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  1. 1. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 1 July 2004 . ISSUE 51 GENETICS SOCIETY NEWS www.genetics.org.uk IN THIS ISSUE Genetics Society News is edited by Tracey Chapman, with major sponsorship provided by Nature Publishing Group. Items for future issues should be sent to Tracey Chapman preferably by email (t.chapman@ucl.ac.uk) or failing that by • What do you think? - membership survey results fax (0207 6797096) or hard copy mail (Department of Biology, University College London, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT). The newsletter is • Forum - open access publishing, the way forward? published twice a year, with copy dates of 1st June and 26th November. • Taxi driver - reviewing papers • My favourite paper Sponsored by • Profiles – Francis Galton Francis Galton - the often overlooked cousin of Charles Darwin Composite photograph of unknown young men's faces. © Galton Collection, University College London.
  2. 2. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 2 Issue 51 . July 2004 NEWS . FEATURES . REPORTS . LISTINGS For more details please contact: A WORD FROM THE EDITOR Jayne Richards . The Genetics Society . Roslin BioCentre CONTENTS Wallace Building . Roslin . Midlothian . EH25 9PP Tel: 0131 200 6391 . Fax: 0131 200 6401 email: mail@genetics.org.uk Website: http://www.genetics.org.uk Welcome to our 51st The Genetics Society Journals Heredity . Genes & Development Journal Editors Managing Editor, Heredity Prof Richard A Nichols, QMUL Editors, Heredity Dr Stephen Harris, University of Oxford Prof Kent Holsinger, University of Connecticut format of Genetics Society meetings will change: there is Society. Peter Harper calls here for anecdotes or information on Dr John D Thompson, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive, France . Dr J Goudet, Universite de Lausanne, Switzerland; Professor JM Hughes, Griffith University, Brisbane, REGULARS no big spring meeting and our the scientists attending these Australia; Professor Paul Sharp, University of Nottingham, UK activities are spread instead meetings for a future edition of over three one-day meetings Genetics Society News. European Editor, Genes & Development Prof Rudi Grosschedl, Department of Molecular Biology, University throughout the year. The first of Munich This issue includes a forum of Meeting announcements 4 of these is in Edinburgh on 29th January 2005 and is entitled personal perspectives on open Meeting reports 11 ‘Behavioural genetics: has access publishing, which, President Prof Jonathan Hodgkin, University of Oxford nature won?’ This meeting will whether we like it or not, is External meetings diary 78 include the Balfour Lecture sure to have a significant Vice-Presidents impact on the way that Prof Mark Macnair, University of Exeter Call for medals / awards 20 given by Mario de Bono. The Prof William G Hill, University of Edinburgh (NEW) second one-day meeting, in May societies such as ours will Dr Helen Sang, Roslin Institute operate in the future. We would Travel and Field reports 43 2005, is ‘Moving targets – be glad to receive Honorary Secretary Dr John Armour, University of Nottingham dynamic signalling in My favourite paper 68 development’. This meeting will correspondence on the views Treasurer Dr Justin Goodrich, University of Edinburgh feature the talk by the Genetics expressed. Taxi-driver 73 Scientific Meetings Officer Society Medal winner Phil Dr Darren Monckton, University of Glasgow We also feature the first of GS news 20 Ingham and will be held at the what will be occasional profiles Executive Officer Jayne Richards, Roslin Institute International Centre for Life in of scientists who have had a Correspondence 76 Newcastle. The final one-day Ordinary Committee Members significant impact on the study meeting for 2005 will be on fish W elcome to issue 51 of Dr Sarah J Bray, University of Cambridge Genetics Society grants 79 of genetics. Francis Galton is Dr Elizabeth MC Fisher, Imperial College School of Medicine Genetics Society genetics and will be held at the the first in this series. If you Prof Deborah Charlesworth, University of Edinburgh News. Royal Society in London in Dr Andy Greenland, Syngenta (NEW) would like to write a profile or November. Dr Steve Russell, University of Cambridge have suggestions for scientists Dr Hester Wain, University College London In this edition, we feature the We cover in this issue some of we should feature in future Prof David Goldstein, University College London results of the recent survey of the Genetics Society membership, an important the other activities made profiles, then please get in possible by the Genetics Society touch. Dr Adam Wilkins, Editor, BioEssays Dr Patricia E Kubawara, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (NEW) Dr Wendy A Bickmore, MRC Human Genetics Unit (NEW) FEATURES in a selection of travel and field Dr Austin C Burt, Imperial College (NEW) survey of the opinons of our We pay tribute to John Dr Peter D Keightley, University of Edinburgh (NEW) membership on our role in grant reports, together with Maynard Smith and Douglas promoting the public reports from some of the Co-opted Member Prof Michael W Bevan, John Innes Centre Falconer. They will be greatly understanding of genetics sectional interest meetings that What you think about promoting PUG 25 missed. (PUG). are sponsored by the Genetics – the results of our survey. Society. The favourite papers I hope you enjoy this issue. Origination & Printing We also report on the highly we feature are a wonderful Clocked Work Design Agency . Forum House . Stirling Road, Forum – open access publishing 58 Chichester . West Sussex . PO19 2EN . UK successful spring meeting and selection of both classic and Tracey Chapman Tel: 01243 779 866 . Fax: 01243 779 533 . info@clockwork.co.uk Scientist profiles: Francis Galton, FRS 54 draw your attention to the contemporary and it is the University College London upcoming one-day meeting on process of reviewing papers The founding of the Genetics Society 57 19th November at the Royal that has this issue’s Taxi-driver – revisited Society in London entitled ‘A foaming at the mouth. In the walk from the wild side: the last edition, we featured the Advertising in Genetics Society News represents an Obituaries: John Maynard Smith 38, 41 opportunity to reach a large community of professional genetics and domestication of minutes from the inaugural geneticists. For rates please email mail@genetics.org.uk and Douglas Falconer livestock and crops’. In 2005, the meetings of the Genetics 2 . GENETICS SOCIETY NEWS . ISSUE 51 www.genetics.org.uk . 3
  3. 3. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 4 The Genetics Society Autumn Meeting A walk from the wild side: the genetics of domestication of livestock and crops Friday 19th November, 2004, The Royal Society, London Scientific Programme 09.30 Registration and Coffee 10.00 Welcome & Introduction to Symposium. Jonathan Jones (The Sainsbury Laboratory) Session 1. Chair: Jonathan Jones 10.10 Maize Domestication/functional genomics Ed Buckler, Cornell University, New York, USA 10.50 Molecular genetics of modern maize breeding Scott Tingey, DuPont Agricultural Products, Wilmington, USA 11.30 Tea/Coffee Session 2. Chair: William G Hill (University of Edinburgh) 11.50 Domestication, genetic diversity in cattle Dan Bradley, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland 12.30 Identification of mutations underlying phenotypic changes in domestic animals Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 13.10 LUNCH Session 3. Chair: Jonathan Jones 14.20 Re-domestication of tomato wild species. Dani Zamir, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel 15.00 MENDEL LECTURE Arabidopsis as a model system to accelerate domestication and crop improvement Chris Somerville, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, California, USA 16.00 Tea and Coffee Session 4. Chair: Helen Sang (Roslin Institute) 16.20 The genetics of dog domestication Robert Wayne, Los Angeles, USA 17.00 Bioarchaeology of domestication Alan Cooper, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK 17.45 Wine Reception
  4. 4. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 6 The Genetics Society Autumn Meeting 2004 19 November 2004, The Royal Society, London, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS A walk on the wild side: the genetics of domestication of livestock and crops 7 CLOSING DATE: Friday 24 October 2004. Photocopies of this form are acceptable. TELEPHONE BOOKINGS ARE ACCEPTABLE. Please complete this form and return it, along with your payment, to the Genetics Society, Roslin Institute, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS. Complete this section carefully. The information you provide will help us to correspond with you efficiently and ensure that your A Genetics Society One Day Meeting name will appear correctly on your badge. 1. IDENTIFICATION MEMBER STUDENT MEMBER NON-MEMBER Moving targets - dynamic signalling in development Participant (Please print or type) Title: Prof. Dr. Mr. Miss. Mrs. Ms. Saturday 7th May 2005 . International Centre for Life, Newcastle Last Name: First Name: This meeting will bring together a group of international scientists to discuss the ways in which plants and animals integrate diverse genetic and molecular signalling events to mediate growth, patterning and development. The Institution: highlight of the meeting will be the delivery of the 2005 Genetics Society Medal Lecture by Professor Phil Ingham, Director of the Centre for Developmental Genetics at the University of Sheffield. Address: (Number/Street) Further details of the meeting will be posted on the Society website and in the next issue of Genetics Society News. City: Postcode: Country: Scientific organisers: Patty Kuwabara and Peter Doerner Telephone: Fax: Email: Promega Young Geneticist of the Year 2. REGISTRATION FEES Fees to include coffee/tea & lunch Award 2005 Members of the Society £25 Vegetarian Lunch The Genetics Society is seeking nominations for the 2005 Promega Young Geneticist of the Year Award (YGYA). The Non-members - £75 (academic) * I wish to apply for a student bursary to help defray the costs of my attendance competition is open to PhD student/recent postdoctoral graduate members of the Society who have submitted their £125 (non-academic) PhD thesis in any area of genetics between 1st January 2004 and 31st December 2004. Applications should consist of the thesis abstract, details of any publications arising from the work, the submission date of the thesis and a signed *Student members only. Please note that grants for the Autumn meeting cover travel expenses only and do not include accommodation. Grants and sealed envelope containing a letter of recommendation from your supervisor and/or Head of Department. must be applied for at least one month prior to the meeting. The Executive Officer on confirming your registration and grant will send a travel Applications should be sent to the Honorary Secretary of the Society (john.armour@nottingham.ac.uk) and must be expense form for you to complete and send back with receipts attached. received by January 31st 2005. Three prizes will be awarded: 3. PAYMENT 1st prize £600 . 2nd prize £400 . 3rd prize £200 Option 1: Credit Card (please add 3.6% handling charge for Visa/MasterCard or £00.43p for Solo/Switch) The first prize winner will be invited to accept the award and to give a short presentation at the Genetics Society one I hereby authorise the Genetics Society to debit my credit card account for the amount of £ day meeting on ‘Moving targets-dynamic signalling in development’ at the Centre for Life, Newcastle, May 7th 2005. Visa Mastercard Solo Switch Finalists in previous Promega YGYA competitions are not eligible to apply. Card No. Expiry Date / Cardholder Name: Signature of Cardholder: Bioscience and business: commercialising your research Option 2: Cheque Payable to: ‘the Genetics Society’. The Biosciences Federation is holding a one-day symposium ‘Bioscience and business: commercialising your 4. CANCELLATION POLICY research’ on Tuesday 12th October 2004 at the Royal Society, London. World-class speakers will discuss some of the Cancellation deadline for registration refund (less 25% administration fee): 24 October 2004. All approved refunds will be sent after the meeting. practical issues surrounding the commercialisation of bioscience, such as how to attract investment, developing partnerships with industry and intellectual property arrangements. Genetics Society members can attend at a reduced rate. For more information and a booking form visit www.bsf.ac.uk or call the Conference and Events 5. DATA PROTECTION Manager on 020 7581 8333. A list of participants maybe circulated to sponsors & advertisers of the Genetics Society to include names and addresses only. Please add my contact details to the participant list Yes No
  5. 5. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 8 Genetics Society 1-day scientific meeting Saturday 29th January 2005, Swann Building, King's Building Campus, University of Edinburgh Behavioural Genetics: Has Nature Won? CLOSING DATE: Friday 1 December 2004. Photocopies of this form are acceptable. TELEPHONE BOOKINGS ARE ACCEPTABLE. Please complete this form and return it, along with your payment, to the Genetics Society, Roslin Institute, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS. Complete this section carefully. The information you provide will help us to correspond with you efficiently and ensure that your name will appear correctly on your badge. 1. IDENTIFICATION MEMBER STUDENT MEMBER NON-MEMBER Participant (Please print or type) Title: Prof. Dr. Mr. Miss. Mrs. Ms. Last Name: First Name: Institution: Address: (Number/Street) City: Postcode: Country: Telephone: Fax: Email: 2. REGISTRATION FEES Fees to include coffee/tea & lunch Members of the Society £25 Vegetarian Lunch Non-members - £75 (academic) * I wish to apply for a student bursary to help defray the costs of my attendance £125 (non-academic) *Student members only. Please note that grants for one-day meetings cover travel expenses only and do not include accommodation. Grants must be applied for at least one month prior to the meeting. The Executive Officer on confirming your registration and grant will send a travel expense form for you to complete and send back with receipts attached. 3. PAYMENT Option 1: Credit Card (please add 3.6% handling charge for Visa/MasterCard or £00.43p for Solo/Switch) I hereby authorise the Genetics Society to debit my credit card account for the amount of £ Visa Mastercard Solo Switch Card No. Expiry Date / Cardholder Name: Signature of Cardholder: Option 2: Cheque Payable to: ‘the Genetics Society’. 4. CANCELLATION POLICY Cancellation deadline for registration refund (less 25% administration fee): 1 December 2004. All approved refunds will be sent after the meeting. 5. DATA PROTECTION A list of participants maybe circulated to sponsors & advertisers of the Genetics Society to include names and addresses only. Please add my contact details to the participant list Yes No
  6. 6. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 10 11 GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS Genetics Society Spring Meeting . University of Warwick, 14th - 16th March 2004 A joint meeting of the Genetics Society and the British Society for Developmental Biology. Conference report written and compiled by Steve Russell, Deborah Charlesworth, John Brookfield, Nicole Soranzo, Adam Wilkins and Tracey Chapman. T he meeting was held to Heidelberg) described her work into spermatogenesis and be a great success, with exploring the development and nitrous oxide signaling. interesting sessions of an specification of muscles during excellent standard and a large Drosophila embryogenesis, in Balanced polymorphic systems number of attendees. Several particular highlighting how The first talk, on plant self- observers commented however microarray analysis can be incompatibility systems (by J. that the traffic between used to elucidate regulatory Bechsgaard, Aarhus University, Genetics Society (GS) and pathways. Renato Paro (ZMB- Denmark, in place of M.H. BSDB sessions tended to be Heidelberg) presented evidence Schierup, who could not attend one-way (i.e. not in our favour!). for additional unannotated due to a broken leg) reviewed genes in the fly genome, an example of balancing sel- Genomic technologies in Drosophila whole genome analysis The meeting was held to be a great success, with On the fourth anniversary of interesting sessions of an excellent standard and a large the publication of the fly genome sequence, this session number of attendees. focused on the way that the genome sequence and genomics technologies have been applied highlighting the constantly ection due to rare allele to broaden our understanding of development of gene models advantage, in which alleles are basic processes in Drosophila. and annotations in genome maintained for very long Julian Dow (Glasgow) described sequence. He also discussed his evolutionary times. The talk his groups work on the Laboratory's work on the regu- outlined the evidence for malphigian tubule, the flies lation of chromatin structure, maintenance of variants since kidney, and how he has used demonstrating how chromatin before extant species evolved both microarray and proteo- immunopurification combined ("trans-specific polymorphism"), mics technologies to character- with DNA microarray analysis and the effects of the balancing ize the complement of genes is beginning to provide a frame- selection on the molecular expressed in this physiologic- work for understanding the evolution of the SRK gene, ally tractable tissue. Julian’s genome wide activity of tran- responsible for the female presentation emphasized the scriptional regulators and DNA- recognition function. It was importance of focusing on binding proteins. Accompany- shown how high levels of specific tissues and how they ing these talks we heard from polymorphism are found, both are using ‘omics’ technologies two UK groups (Helen White- for synonymous and non- to begin to tease apart the com- Cooper, Oxford and Ian Roberts, synonymous variants, making plex relationship between the Sussex) who had used the UK it difficult to determine the proteome and the transcript- Drosophila genomics infra- regions of most importance for ome. Eileen Furlong (EMBL- structure to provide insights recognition functions. David www.genetics.org.uk . 11
  7. 7. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 12 GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS 12 13 Conway (London School of from the University of Louis- Pharmacogenetics normal and tumour cells that genome-wide association by HSF to be identified. Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) iana demonstrated how insert- The pharmacogenetics session provide anti-tumour activity studies using high-density spoke on malaria parasite ions of the Alu sequence can be without substantial side effects. SNPs, outlining their future Evolution of patterning comprised three excellent first genetics, in which there is a powerful tool in phylogenetic While several drugs are now potential in this area. mechanisms talks. First up was Sanjay evidence for strong balancing inference in the primates. Since Sisodiya (UCL) on the available, one of the main Six speakers participated in the selection on the parasite sur- the ancestral state for Alu problems today is that our Among the talks selected from final session of the Warwick pharmacogenetics of epilepsy. face antigens due, in part, to insertions, the absence of the understanding of the inter- submitted abstracts, Fiona C. meeting, which was devoted to In the UK alone, epilepsy rare allele advantage caused by insertion, can always be iden- action between genotypic and Mansergh (University of the evolution of patterning affects nearly 300,000 people, of immunity to malaria in the host phenotypic factors affecting Cardiff) described a mouse mechanisms. Two of the talks population. The talk demon- drug response and toxicity in model of ocular development dealt with aspects of gene strated how population divers- The talk demonstrated how population diversity studies, different individuals is still and eye ageing. She presented evolution. Vicky Prince ity studies, combined with data relatively limited. This means the results of a microarray (University of Chicago) des- on divergence between related combined with data on divergence between related parasite that drug therapy in some analysis of Sparc mice eyes. cribed Hox genes and their parasite species, can provide patients can be ineffective, Among the genes shown to be evolution from studies in the evidence about functionally species, can provide evidence about functionally while in others it often prod- downregulated was EraF, which zebrafish. A key reference idea important regions of the prot- uces very harmful side effects. is involved in globin folding and for this work is the hypothesis eins, and give an unique app- tified, the character is power- Roland then outlined current which may have a role in of Alan Force and Michael whom approximately 30% are roach to help understand which fully synapomorphic. John approaches to the study of apoptosis, the maintenance of Lynch, that long-term main- resistant to anti-epileptic drugs. regions are most important in Moran from the Department of genotypic and phenotypic varia- lens structure, oxygen trans- tenance of duplicates often In parallel with discoveries developing immunity to mal- Human Genetics at the Univers- bility in patient response to port and/or oxygen buffering. takes place because their carried out in cancer research, aria. Scott Edwards (Harvard) ity of Michigan described anticancer drugs, including the Immune response genes were enhancers have undergone drug transporter proteins are spoke on MHC polymorphisms experiments in which cells analysis of interactions upregulated in cataractous complementary mutational known to contribute, at least in in non-mammalian vertebrates. bearing newly transposed LINE between candidate genes and lenses. Fiona discussed how the degeneration, such that neither some cases, to multidrug res- Data are starting to be available sequences can be identified by polymorphisms with known identification of the up- and duplicate can carry out the full ponse to antiepileptic treat- on MHC genes' chromosomal selection, through the express- functional effects. In the next down-regulated genes was con- range of functions possessed by ment. This has prompted a host linkage and polymorphism ion of an antibiotic resistance talk, Lefkos Middleton sistent with the phenotypes. the original gene. Dr Prince’s of candidate gene studies, lead- levels from several fish species, gene which loses an inactivat- ing for instance to the ident- work substantiates this for the and Dr. Edwards reviewed this ing intron during transposition. hoxb1a and hoxb1b duplicates ification of one polymorphism Among the talks selected from submitted abstracts, briefly before turning to his This allows the description of in the ABCB1 transporter of zebrafish. In addition, she own group's research on the the range of molecular events significantly associated with Fiona C. Mansergh (University of Cardiff) described a mouse has shown that ectopic genomic organization of some that can occur as the LINE response to anti-epileptic drugs. expression of hoxb1b causes MHC clusters in wild birds. sequence inserts itself into a Other candidate genes can be model of ocular development and eye ageing. duplication of the Mauthner Balancing selection is clearly new site. Andrew Flavell from identified from the analysis of neurons, which can then acting on some avian MHC the University of Dundee pres- rarer, mendelian forms of integrate into the proper neural genes, but other genes have low ented data on evolutionary (GlaxoSmithKline) took us The final talk was from Ian circuitry as redundant epilepsy, or from developmental diversity, and there are several rates and diversity of retro- through the process of drug Birch-Machin (University of elements. Such redundant studies, highlighting the other differences from mam- transposons, and showed, development, highlighting the Cambridge), who described a neural circuits may offer benefits of applying multi- malian results. The hope is that particularly with studies of some high attrition, or failure, of genome-wide analysis of the substrates for the evolution of disciplinary approaches in the non-mammalian systems, offer- repetitive mobile DNAs from candidate molecules during Heat Shock response in new neural functions, in a study of common forms of ing opportunities for compara- conifers, that rates of evolution development. He discussed the Drosophila. Two techniques manner parallel to the capacity epilepsy. Next, Roland Wolf tive and experimental studies, of mobile DNA families can be (University of Dundee main sources of such attrition, were used. In the first, poly- of gene duplicates to yield new may shed light on the mechan- surprisingly low. In addition, and examples of how pharma- clonal antisera against HSF genetic functions. Seb Shimeld Biomedical Research Centre) ism by which selection main- Corrado Spadafora from the cogenetics could be used to were raised and used to enrich (University of Reading) review- discussed the pharma- tains MHC polymorphisms. Italian National Institute of identify patient groups with for chromatin fractions contain- ed the molecular evolution of cogenetics of cancer treatment. Health in Rome, presented data greater clinical response or ing HSF binding sites. The the Fox gene family. The evi- He described how, over the last The Evolution of Repetitive suggesting that, in early mouse greater risk of adverse events, second technique investigated dence suggests that the original few decades progress in cancer DNAs embryos, there is a requirement and hence increase the prob- enriched chromatin with DNA members of the family date treatment has been slow due, in Monday afternoon saw a symp- for the reverse transcriptase ability of successful drug (ChIP) microarrays. These tech- back to at least the early part, to the difficulty in osium on the Evolution of activity supplied by the LINE-1 development and registration. niques have allowed a set of bilaterian metazoans and were targeting differences between Repetitive DNAs. Mark Batzer sequence. He then covered topics such as genes predicted to be regulated clustered. Many seem to have 12 . GENETICS SOCIETY NEWS . ISSUE 51 www.genetics.org.uk . 13
  8. 8. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 14 GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS 14 15 become subsequently special- ised for different mesodermal pods, the geophilomorphs, in which segmental number is FGF (FGF9/16/20) to instruct notochordal cell fate. In the The The fine-scale roles. always odd but where the absence of this signal, however, actual segment number differs the cells destined to form noto- Promega structure of between different species. He chord do not default to the The other four talks of the reviewed evidence that the neural state but retain their Young recombination session dealt with aspects of terminal segment in the competence to form notochord. comparative biology, shedding light on evolution of specific geophilomorphs is formed by a distinct mechanism while the In the final talk of the session, Patrick Steinmetz (EMBL) Geneticist rate variation developmental features. regular trunk segmental Angelika Stollewerk (University mechanism operates by the presented evidence that some of the same mechanisms involved of the Year in the human of Cambridge) described studies on neurogenesis in equivalent of a strict pair-rule system. This mechanism should in gastrulation and neurulation in vertebrates may be widely First prize winner Rita Fior with Mark Beresford, Promega UK genome myriapods, chelicerates, and always produce an odd number conserved in the Bilateria. He crustaceans with reference to of segments, while permitting described studies of cell move- The Promega Young Third prize: Araxi O. Urrutia The Balfour lecture: the insects (Drosophila). On the evolutionary variation in the ment in the polychaete Geneticist of the Year (University of Bath). Gil McVean . University of Oxford basis of neural cell precursor actual numbers of segments. Platynereis that showed both winners: invagination occurring in cell Clare Hudson (CNRS, inter-calation and convergent- Winning abstract: Notch groups, rather than single cells, Villefranche-sur-Mer) described extension movements during activates a cascade of chick and several other charact- her work on the segregation of neurulation, highly reminiscent First prize: Rita Fior (Instituto hes expression T eristics, the chelicerates and neural and notochordal pre- of vertebrates. Even more de Medicina Molecular- he nature and scale of Rita Fior and Domingos recombination rate the myriapods appear to be cursors from two blastomeres strikingly, the Platynereis Faculdade de Medicina de Henrique. Instituto de variation is largely sister groups. Comparably, at the 32-cell stage of the orthologue of strabismus, a Lisboa, Portugal) Medicina Molecular-Faculdade unknown for most species. In crustaceans and insects share ascidian, Ciona intestinalis. component of the Wnt planar Second prize: Rachael de Medicina de Lisboa, humans, pedigree analysis has some key neurogenic charact- The segregation of notochordal polarity pathway and a gene Nimmo (University of Oxford) Portugal documented variation at the ers and are probable sister cells is dependent upon the required for vertebrate con- groups. Michael Akam MEK signalling pathway and vergent-extension movements chromosomal level, while T (University of Cambridge) the evidence strongly suggests in neurulation, is expressed in he Notch pathway is a Notch ligands and dowstream sperm studies have identified described segmentation mech- that this pathway is required to the mediolaterally intercalating conserved signal targets present in the specific hotspots in which anisms in a group of myria- trigger production of a specific cells of Platynereis. transduction cascade vertebrate genome, such a role crossing-over events cluster. To which is essential for pattern is an open question. We have address whether this picture is formation and the proper isolated various chick cDNAs representative of the genome as execution of a wide array of encoding members of the a whole, we have developed and Gene clusters, germ layers and the Bilateria cell fate decisions. A role for Hairy-Enhancer-of-Split (Hes) validated a method for Notch signalling during family and characterized their estimating recombination rates The Genetics Society Medal-winner’s lecture: Peter Holland . University of Oxford neurogenesis in the vertebrate expression during neural from patterns of genetic CNS has been well development. Using variation. From extensive SNP O ne of the deepest mesoderm and endoderm). The bilaterian animal had three documented. For instance, it electroporation into the chick surveys in European and evolutionary divisions accumulating data from different homeobox gene has been shown that Notch neural tube, we established African populations we find with the animal comparative molecular clusters for patterning the signalling is necessary to that Notch activates a dynamic evidence for extreme local rate kingdom is between the embryology now gives us an three germ layers. The maintain a population of crosstalk loop of Hes variation spanning four orders diploblasts (e.g. jellyfish, sea opportunity to identify existence of three different neural progenitors in the expression and that these in magnitude, in which 50% of anemones, ctenophores) and fundamental genetic and gene sets may have facilitated developing CNS. However, it is genes seem to be canonical all recombination events take the triploblasts (also called developmental characters the independent adaptation and still not known whether Notch Notch targets and effectors. We place in less than 10% of the Bilateria and including worms, shared across the living modification of each germ signalling also contributes for shall present results from this sequence. We demonstrate that molluscs, arthropods and bilaterians, and present in the layer, thereby permitting the generation of neuronal analysis and discuss how these recombination hotspots are a chordates). The bilaterians ancestral bilaterians. Using greater diversification of the diversity, controlling the Hes-like genes function in the ubiquitous feature of the have a clear head-tail axis, data from amphioxus, early bilaterian animal body acquisition of different fates by context of Notch signalling and human genome, occurring on bilateral symmetry and three vertebrates and insects, plan. post-mitotic neurons. regulation of neuronal average every 100-200kb, but germ layers (ectoderm, I propose that the ancestral Considering the diversity of production. preferentially outside genes. 14 . GENETICS SOCIETY NEWS . ISSUE 51 www.genetics.org.uk . 15
  9. 9. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 16 GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS 16 17 Promega poster prize winner: Arabidopsis 2004 Annual Mammalian and Genetics Workshop Rachael Nimmo, University of Oxford. Dr. Steve Jackson (organiser) . Warwick HRI 3rd-4th December 2003 . Institute of Child Health . London Lizzy Fisher . Institute of Neurology . UCL T he one-day Genetics Society Arabidopsis Andrew Copp . Institute of Child Health Winning abstract: The C. elegans Runx homologue, rnt-1/mab-2 has a conserved 2004 meeting was held at the Conference role in controlling cell proliferation. centre of Warwick-HRI in Wellesbourne, T Warwick on 15th May. The central location of he Genetics Society's gene related, before moving Rachael Nimmo and Alison Woollard . University of Oxford Warwick-HRI, which is only 30 mins from three 14th Mammalian on to a session including motorways (M40, M6 and M5), meant that people Genetics and papers on diverse topics mab-2, a member of the male there are fewer seam cells in mutation within the rnt-1 gene. were able to attend from as far away as Development Workshop was such as Igf2 in muscle abnormal class of genes, was both sexes of mab-2 mutants It is interesting that rnt-1 is a Norwich, Liverpool and York. The first guest held in early December 2003 development, cytogenetics originally isolated in a screen indicating that the wild type homologue of the mammalian speaker, Prof. Rick Vierstra, who had flown over at the Institute of Child of human preimplantation for males with a reduced ability function of mab-2 is to promote Runx genes which have been from Madison gave a detailed and well-rounded Health, University College embryos, and studies of to mate. The mutant males division of these lateral proposed to have a role in introduction to the subject of proteolysis and London. This has always gene clustering and gene have variable numbers of hypodermal cells. We have controlling the balance between set the scene for the rest of the day. Dr Mahmut been a small meeting with nomenclature. The meeting missing rays while identified the Runt domain cell proliferation and Tör from Warwick-HRI followed with the first a high quality mix of finished on a stimulating hermaphrodites are transcription factor, rnt-1 differentiation. We are talk on the role of proteolysis in the regulation genetics and developmental session on the role of superficially unaffected. The (B0414.2), as the gene currently looking at the effect of a particular response, in this case plant- biology, with a mélange of various key regulatory rays are mechanosensory responsible for the mab-2 of overexpressing rnt-1/mab-2 microbe interactions. The role of F-box proteins genomics and other areas genes in embryonic events structures derived from the mutant phenotype by non- using a heatshock promoter in regulating the response to plant hormones adding to the interest. The including eye, kidney and posterior lateral hypodermal complementation with a rnt-1 and investigating a possible was particularly well covered in three excellent 2003 meeting maintained skeletal events. As in seam cells of male worms. We deletion allele, rescue of the role for rnt-1/mab-2 in talks by Dr Alessandra Devoto from the both the high quality and previous years, two prizes have used a seam cell specific mab-2 mutant phenotype by the regulating the cell cycle and Promega poster prize University of East Anglia talking about her this interesting mix of of £150 each were awarded winner Rachael Nimmo research topics. The first to the best two marker and an adherens wildtype rnt-1 gene and hope to present data on these with Mark Beresford, work on COI-1 and Jasmonic acid signalling, Dr junction marker to show that identification of a point issues at the meeting. Promega UK Xiangdong Fu from the John Innes Centre in day began with several presentations by PhD Norwich talking about the SLY gene and GA excellent talks ranging over students or postdoctoral signalling, and Dr Stefan Kepinski from York the area of genomic fellows. Judging such a BA Annual Meeting talking about the response to auxin. Over lunch we were given a demonstration of the new imprinting, before turning to a session devoted to range and selection of talks was extremely challenging, Mark Macnair . University of Exeter Arabidopsis website AtEnsemble which enables human genetic disease and but in the end the prize access to the majority of Arabidopsis genomic, mouse models. Topics winners were Tertius microarray and proteomic data. covered in this session Hough for his talk on the T he Genetics Society is assessment of the risks, and included polycystic kidney genetics of a mouse model sponsoring a session at then to facilitate a wide- The afternoon kicked off with Prof. George disease, hypophosphatasia, of hypophosphatasia, and the annual meeting of ranging discussion with the Coupland from the Max-Plank Institute in Köln, coloboma, and neural tube Nicoletta Tekki-Kessaris for the British Association, on 9th audience of these issues. The talking about the latest work from his lab on defects. her presentation on the use September at Exeter registration fee is £5, which the transmissible signal for flowering, and the of a PAC transgenic in fate- University. The session is can be refunded for members regulation of CONSTANS protein levels by The second day began with mapping the mouse spinal entitled "Genetics: Risks, of the Genetics Society. If any light. The third international guest speaker, Dr a session on fate mapping cord and forebrain. The Threats and Benefits". The of you are at the BA, or in Sally Assmann from Penn State University gave and gene expression in the 2004 MGD Workshop will be format will be for three Devon on holiday at that time, the final talk of the day on her group’s work on embryonic nervous system, held on 22nd and 23rd speakers (Prof David Cove, GM come and join us for what I the role of G-protein signalling in guard cell pharyngeal pouches and November 2004, and we look crops; Dr Helen Middleton- hope will be a lively and ABA responses. All-in-all a combination of heart. We then heard about forward to seeing plenty of Price, Clinical Genetics; Mr productive discussion! For excellent talks and an interested audience recent exciting findings on new attendees as well as John Gillott, insurance risks) further details, see meant that the meeting was considered a the genetic basis of obesity, many familiar faces again to give talks on the scientific http://www.the-ba.net/the-ba. success by all those who attended. single gene and multiple this year. 16 . GENETICS SOCIETY NEWS . ISSUE 51 www.genetics.org.uk . 17
  10. 10. Issue 51 6/7/04 11:47 am Page 18 GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS GENETICS SOCIETY MEETING REPORTS / NEWS 18 19 Workshop on Microbiology, Genetics and Pombe Molecular Mechanisms of the Archaea 5th-6th February 2004 . University of St Andrews Club Malcolm White . University of St Andrews 4th May 2004 Jacqueline Hayles . Cancer T he third annual transcription and translation. binding and suggesting a Research UK workshop on Archaeal mechanism for their Lincoln's Inn Fields . London Genetics, Microbiology The focus of this meeting coordinate control. an Molecular mechanisms was on the molecular basis Continuing the theme of took place at the Centre for for informational processes DNA replication, Dr Dale in archaea, where there are The latest Pombe club was held Biomolecular Sciences, Wigley (CRC-UK) outlined striking differences from on the evening of Tuesday May University of St Andrews, on recent work on the clamp bacteria, and similarities to 4th at Cancer Research UK 's the 5th and 6th of February. loading complex RFC, the equivalent pathways in London Research Institute. It Participants from Sweden, combining structural biology eukarya. These similarities was attended by about 50 France, Italy and all parts of and protein biochemistry to have made the archaea an people and there were 3 the UK gathered in St tease out some fascinating attractive model system for speakers. The first speaker was Andrews to hear the latest insights into the structure studies of DNA replication Sylvie Tournier from the research on archaea. and mechanism of the and transcription. However, Université de Paul Sabatier protein. These are exciting times for archaeal molecular biology Toulouse who spoke about the archaeal molecular biology. also has many unique DNA repair processes in spindle orientation checkpoint Genome sequencing has features that we are only just archaea are also coming which delays mitosis until the highlighted the unique bio- beginning to appreciate and under scrutiny. Dr Thorsten spindle is aligned along the logy of the archaea. They are explore. Allers (Nottingham) long axis of the cell at the cell now known to be a major presented intriguing data on centre. Sylvie was followed by component of the biosphere, Highlights of the meeting the effect of deletion of key Evelyn Amoah-Buahin from common in temperate included the opening talk, by repair genes in Haloferax, John Armstrong's lab at the seawater and soil, as well as Dr Rolf Bernander (Uppsala), whilst Dr Ed Bolt described University of Sussex who the more familiar extreme who described the the identification of a novel described conditions for environments such as volc- construction and DNA repair complex from inducing filamentous growth in anic pools, deap-sea vents characterisation of whole- Methanothermobacter fission yeast and genes that and salt pans. Archaeal meth- genome microarrays for two thermoautotrophicum. may be involved in the anogens, living symbiotically species of Sulfolobus. These filamentous growth pathway. in ruminants (and also hum- were used to demonstrate the The meeting included a The last speaker was Sonya ans), are an important source existence of 3 separate DNA poster session and workshop Vengrova from Jacob of the greenhouse gas meth- replication origins in these dinner, giving the Dalgaard's lab at the Marie ane. An archaeal parasite, species – in marked contrast participants opportunity to Curie Institute, Surrey who told Nanoarchaeum equitans, to the situation in bacteria mix in an informal us about mating type switching recently found in association where only a single origin atmosphere. Dr Clare and the nature of the imprint at with another species of exists. Dr Steve Bell Jelinska (St Andrews) was the mat1 locus. There was a archaeon, encodes almost no (Cambridge) presented a very awarded the Microbiology lively discussion after each of genes for metabolic proteins elegant set of biochemical Communication Prize for her the talks and this was but a full set of "inform- experiments demonstrating oral presentation on the continued later in the bar, ational" genes for DNA the roles of multiple cdc6 archaeal chromatin proteins which was very kindly replication, repair, proteins in replication origin Alba1 and Alba2. sponsored by Qbiogene. 18 . GENETICS SOCIETY NEWS . ISSUE 51 www.genetics.org.uk . 19
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