bintlog v2.0
Friday, July 21, 2006
Oh yeah... that's why I'm doing this
Just when I start to get bogged down in mind-numbing details about primers and PCR and does this additive work? and what temperature should I use? and blah blah blah, I take a moment to play with some GIS data and remember why I love biogeography in the first place. It was such a simple thing: the supplemental data from a paper on beech phylogeography, with lat-long coordinates and haplotypes for each accession. I muddle around in ArcView, trying to remember how to get point data into the map, and suddenly it worked and the haplotype patterns just leaped out at me in shades from the lovely "mineral" color scheme. Now imagine that map with way more data, way more markers. Imagine a single picture that shows in an instant where my pretty trees came from, and whether they share their history with their compatriots. Imagine me at my defense several years hence, putting up that picture and watching my audience's eyes light up with understanding and appreciation for a story well told.

I am ending the week on a positive note. Now if only that new PCR works!!


Blogger Heather said...


What's a haplotype?

I can figure out biogeography and phylogeography (has to do with phyla, right?)...

7:26 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Heh... a haplotype is all of the individuals that are genetically identical for whichever trait I'm looking at. The assumption is, the more genetically similar (or identical) two individuals are, the more closely related they are. If you map the similarities, you can trace their origins and migration routes.

And my PCR did not, in fact, work. So the week actually ended on kind of a sucky note but hey, it's Friday, so that's something!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Semavi Lady said...

Haplotypes are a pattern of genetic markers associated with whichever trait is being studied. For example, issues of various forms of diabetes in humans, the 'obesity gene' (to put that very loosely!), and auto-immune problems are being studied intensely and some are associated with haplotypes.

Sometimes haplotypes are seen but don't seem to fit a theoretical model (eg, when lots of people that have the haplotype but don't have the disease or trait). A lot of epigenetics is involved (for example, refined foods, vaccinations, pollution, etc affect the delay or triggering -or lack of expression when a threshold is reached).

This all keeps it just beyond my comprehension. My hobby of dog breeding is bewildering as it is when trying to grasp this stuff at a practical level. :)

Ew, bintie.
Sorry about the PCR not working out but don't forget, perseverance is the key!

One morning you wake up, rub your chin and discover a beard, and suddenly your puzzle all falls into place!

Don't forget how many times they had to rerun that thing to get that Honda commercial perfect. :) (hey, it's job insurance!)

8:31 PM  

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