Nanopore Sequencer Enables Rapid Analysis of Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Two teams from Europe and the US took the Oxford MinIon sequencer to West Africa to sequence Ebola samples.

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De que forma os novos mini-sequenciadores da Nanopore ajudaram na identificação das novas estirpres de Ebola.

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Scientists discover spiky little sea ‘monster’ that thrived a half billion years ago

The creature, lived during Cambrian Period, a time of evolutionary experimentation when many unusual animals appeared, vanished

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Revelada mais uma criatura duma época em que a Natureza era pródiga em conceber semelhantes criaturas. Que mais surpresas os mares do Câmbrico revelarão ?


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Key Link in Turtle Evolution discovered

An international team of researchers from the United States and Germany have discovered a key missing link in the evolutionary history of turtles. The new …

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Foi encontrado um ancestral comum que parece ser a "ligação perdida" entre os répteis primitivos e as actuais tartarugas.

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Sambamba: fast processing of NGS alignment formats. – PubMed – NCBI

Bioinformatics. 2015 Jun 15;31(12):2032-4. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btv098. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Sambamba is a high-performance robust tool and library for working with SAM, BAM and CRAM sequence alignment files; the most common file formats for aligned next generation sequencing data. Sambamba is a faster alternative to samtools that exploits multi-core processing and dramatically reduces processing time. Sambamba is being adopted at sequencing centers, not only because of its speed, but also because of additional functionality, including coverage analysis and powerful filtering capability.

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GTPB: ABSTATB15 – Advanced Biostatistics for Biologists – July 13th-17th

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Course description

This course is a standalone advanced Biostatistics course that can be taken as a continuation of the Introductory Biostatistics for Bioinformatics (IBSTAT) course, that precedes it in GTPB. It is targeted for Biostatistical techniques often employed in analytical tools for high throughput data and multivariate data. Participants can expect to attend a thorough set of lectures that will reveal the conceptual frameworks that are needed to understand the methods. Extensive hands-on practice will be the main vehicle for providing the skills and user independence. To keep things in context, the course is exclusively based on biological examples, worked with Bioinformatics tools.
Care has been taken not to use any proprietary data or software, so that the hands-on experience can carry on after the course, providing maximum user independence. We will be using custom-built R scripts and packages that are available from the CRAN and Bioconductor repositories.

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Scientists Use AI To Solve A Long-standing Genetics Mystery – io9

For years, biologists have sought to understand how the genes of planarians, a group of free-living flatworms, direct growth in specific body parts.

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Através do uso de algoritmos genéticos, cientistas estado-unidenses puderam determinar as redes metabólicas envolvidas na regeneração da planaria.


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How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds

While most other dinosaur lineages were growing, the line that gave rise to birds began to shrink nearly 200 million years ago.


Modern birds descended from a group of two-legged dinosaurs known as theropods, whose members include the towering Tyrannosaurus rex and the smaller velociraptors.


“A bird didn’t just evolve from a T. rex overnight, but rather the classic features of birds evolved one by one; first bipedal locomotion, then feathers, then a wishbone, then more complex feathers that look like quill-pen feathers, then wings,” Brusatte said. “The end result is a relatively seamless transition between dinosaurs and birds, so much so that you can’t just draw an easy line between these two groups.”


Yet once those avian features were in place, birds took off. Brusatte’s study of coelurosaurs found that once archaeopteryx and other ancient birds emerged, they began evolving much more rapidly than other dinosaurs. The hopeful monster theory had it almost exactly backwards: A burst of evolution didn’t produce birds. Rather, birds produced a burst of evolution. “It seems like birds had happened upon a very successful new body plan and new type of ecology—flying at small size—and this led to an evolutionary explosion,” Brusatte said.


Though most people might name feathers or wings as a key characteristic distinguishing birds from dinosaurs, the group’s small stature is also extremely important. New research suggests that bird ancestors shrank fast, indicating that the diminutive size was an important and advantageous trait, quite possibly an essential component in bird evolution.


Like other bird features, diminishing body size likely began long before the birds themselves evolved. A study published in Science last year found that theminiaturization process began much earlier than scientists had expected. Some coelurosaurs started shrinking as far back as 200 million years ago—50 million years before archaeopteryx emerged. At that time, most other dinosaur lineages were growing larger. “Miniaturization is unusual, especially among dinosaurs,” Benton said.


That shrinkage sped up once bird ancestors grew wings and began experimenting with gliding flight. Last year, Benton’s team showed that this dinosaur lineage, known as paraves, was shrinking 160 times faster than other dinosaur lineages were growing. “Other dinosaurs were getting bigger and uglier while this line was quietly getting smaller and smaller,” Benton said. “We believe that marked an event of intense selection going on at that point.”


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Parece incrível mas é verdade… os dinossauros do grupo dos terópodes começaram a encolher há quase 200 milhões de anos. Uma vez que alcançaram uma estatura diminuída a determinado nível, isso deu-lhes vantagem para começar a explorar o voo. Pode-se dizer que ocorreu uma "explosão evolutiva".

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