Nels and Vincent discuss how evolution of changes in stop codon assignment might occur, and a novel mechanism for altering the meaning of translation stop codons discovered in a trypanosomatid with the apropos name, Blastocrithidia nonstop.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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•Novel stop codon reassignment mechanisms (Nature)

Science Picks

NelsProtein Synthesis: An epic on the cellular level 

VincentWidespread stop-codon recoding in bacteriophages may regulate translation of lytic genes discussed on TWiM 277

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Nels and Vincent discuss the use of genome sequence data for over 4,000 domestic, semi-feral, and wild canids to understand the genetic drivers of canine behavior.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:28:05

NelsGhosts of Science Past Still Haunt Us by C. Brandon Ogbunu
VincentThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe by Sean Carroll

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Nels and Vincent review the use of ancient DNA to identify loci that may have been under selection during the Black Death by studying populations before, during, and after the pandemic.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:17:28

NelsInterview with Paul Turner in Current Biology and Map of the World if you are a fish
VincentSmallpox and its eradication

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Florian Maderspacher from Current Biology joins Nels and Vincent to discuss a special issue of the journal on birds.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Florian Maderspacher

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Science Picks 1:22:39

Florian – Favorite birds of authors/contributors in Birds issue
NelsLoss of avian intromittent organs as a sperm competition strategy: a race to be last
Vincent – Malaria at the Bronx Zoo (TWiP 110)

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Nels and Vincent consider evidence that a single amino acid change in the TKTL1 gene might have led to greater neurogenesis in the frontal cortex of modern humans compared with Neanderthals.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:23:33

NelsUnusual display of elements
VincentSykdomspulsen and summary

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Nels and Vincent discuss how duplication of a gene encoding a transcription factor led to evolution of a novel cell type in the slime mold Dictyostelium.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:15:16

NelsDall-E artificial intelligence meets art
VincentJohn Bonner’s slime mold movies

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Louise Moncla joins Nels and Vincent to review her use of genomics to understand emergence, evolution, and transmission of respiratory viruses including influenza virus H5N1, mumps virus, and SARS-CoV-2.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Louise Moncla

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Science Picks 1:10:40

NelsJWST Images
Vincent3rd International Symposium on Infectious Diseases of Bats and Program

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Nels and Vincent discuss an analysis of the drivers of evolution of SARS-CoV-2 during chronic infections, indicating that a tradeoff exists between antibody evasion and fitness.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:32:04

NelsNASA scientists say images from the Webb telescope nearly brought them to tears
VincentFDA: Don’t rush a move to change the Covid-19 vaccine composition

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Nels and Vincent provide an update on cases of monkeypox, and summarize a biochemical view of three changes in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that may balance positive and negative selection.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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  • ECDC monkeypox risk assessment (pdf) 8:44
  • Monkeypox virus genomes (Nextstrain) 17:30
  • Discussion of monkeypox virus genome sequencing (virological.org) 25:18
  • Balancing positive and negative selection in spike protein (Biochem) 47:11
  • Time stamps by Jolene. Thanks!

Science Picks 1:11:11

NelsScience on the Side podcast by Morgan Nelson and Ty Chiaro 
VincentRichard Ernst Lecture 2022

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Alex joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his work which demonstrates that somatic mutation rates scale with lifespan in mammals.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Alex Cagan

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Science Picks 1:12:34

AlexPaper.app
NelsFifty years since Lewontin’s apportionment of human diversity
VincentAn Exceptional Village

Listener Pick

Martha Plagues Upon the Earth by Kyle Harper

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