Genetic News with a 3D animation of childbirth

I got some feedback on my presentation (Genetics and Web 2.0), they’ve asked me to create an audio file of the presentation. As a non-English speaker, it’s not so easy, but I promise I’m going to do this. Anyway, here are the most interesting genetic news of the last days:

UK researchers have discovered a commonly occuring gene variant that may explain why some people become overweight while others do not. However, they point out that it is unlikely to be the cause of the global obesity epidemic.

Don’t miss the commentary of Corpus Callosum on the subject.

Scientists report today on the ability to create sperm from bone marrow cells. Initially performed in men, the technique could potentially be performed in women and lead to a sperm cell made from a woman’s body. You got it right- that cell could then fertilize an egg leading to the first female-female conception in human history.

Steven Palter raised the question of faulty imprinting:

There is a huge genetic time-bomb here. The genetic phenomenon called imprinting. This describes the situation where a particular gene is marked or imprinted with a tag that says if it came from the mother or father- and more importantly only one of the other is active.

Writing in the journal Science today, researchers present the DNA sequence of the rhesus macaque, a species of monkey living all across Asia. Old-world monkeys such as the macaque are thought to have diverged from the primate line that led to humans some 25 million years ago.

And here is the incredible animation. This 3D medical animation shows a time lapse view of labor and delivery during normal vaginal birth in a simplified form with only the mother’s skeletal structures and the baby in the uterus. Also shown in detail is dilatation (dilation or dilating) and effacement (thinning) of the cervix during childbirth contractions. See more 3D medical animations from Nucleus Medical Art at

(Via Biosingularity)