Differential gene expression during early development in recently evolved and sympatric Arctic charr morphs

Arnar Pálsson, 29/09/2017

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Differential gene expression during early development in recently evolved and sympatric Arctic charr morphs

Jóhannes Guðbrandsson, Sigríður Rut Franzdóttir, Bjarni Kristófer Kristjánsson, Ehsan Pashay Ahi, Valerie Helene Maier, Sigurður Sveinn Snorrason, Zophonías Oddur Jónsson, Arnar Pálsson

Phenotypic differences between closely related taxa or populations can arise through genetic variation or be environmentally induced, in both cases leading to altered transcription of genes during the structural and functional development of the body. Comparative developmental studies of closely related species or variable populations of the same species can help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms related to population divergence and speciation. Studies of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and related salmonids have revealed considerable phenotypic variation among populations and in Arctic charr many cases of extensive variation within lakes (resource polymorphism) have been recorded. One example is the four Arctic charr morphs in the ~10.000 year old Lake Thingvallavatn, which differ in numerous morphologicaland life history traits. We set out to investigate the molecular and developmental roots of this polymorphism by studying gene expression in embryos of three of the morphs reared in a common garden set-up. We performed RNA-sequencing, de-novo transcriptome assembly and compared gene expression among morphs during a timeframe in early development.

Expectedly, developmental time was the predominant explanatory variable. As the data were affected by RNA-degradation, an estimate of 3’-bias was the second most common explanatory variable. Morph, both as a independent variable and as interaction with developmental time, affected the expression of numerous transcripts. The majority of transcripts with significant morph effects separated the limnetic and the benthic morphs. However, gene ontology analyses did not reveal clear functional enrichment of transcripts between groups. Verification via qPCR confirmed differential expression of several genes between the morphs, including regulatory genes such as Arid4a and Tsn. The data are consistent with a scenario where genetic divergence has contributed to differential expression of multiple genes and systems during early development of these sympatric Arctic charr morphs.

(Icelandic) Geta tveir einstaklingar farið í erfðapróf og fengið að vita hvort þeir séu samfeðra?

Arnar Pálsson, 19/09/2017

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(Icelandic) Tilnefningar óskast, fyrir heiðursverðlaun líffræðifélagsins

Arnar Pálsson, 22/08/2017

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Nordic Committee on Bioethics Conference: Facing Death – End of life decisions

Arnar Pálsson, 15/08/2017

Nordic Committee on Bioethics Conference: Facing Death – End of life decisions

Should end of life care for incurable ill patients include the possibility of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide? Assisted death or euthanasia are not allowed in any of the Nordic countries, however, surveys show that an increased proportion of the public supports this.

The Nordic committee on bioethics will host a conference on address how the Nordic countries can learn from the experience on assisted death in Europe and North America. The conference aims to reach medical professionals, policy makers and academics, and will be organised in cooperation with the Centre for Ethics at the University of Iceland. The conference will take place at the University of Iceland, Veröld, hús Vigdísar, Brynjólfsgata 1, Reykjavík (main auditorium).

Full schedule and registration info.

Session on bioethics at NeIC 2017

Arnar Pálsson, 09/05/2017

For the past 4 years I have served on the Nordic committee for bioethics. The committee operates under the umbrella of Nordforsk, and its mandate is to foster discussion and debate about bioethical questions and topics of relevance to the nordic countries.

Later this month will the committee host a workshop at the NeIC (Nordic electronic infrastructure collaboration) conference in Umea (May 29-June 1). The topics of the workshop are:

“New technologies enable the accumulation of large amounts of genetic data, biometric data, health records and socio-economic data about individuals. These data are increasingly being gathered and mined by companies for research and commercial purposes. The proper handling, security and use of such data is important to protect individuals while enabling the use of the data for the benefits of society, research or business. This workshop aims to investigate key ethical and societal issues concerning the large-scale collection, storage and sharing of data about individuals.”

Full schedule of talks is available at the website of the conference.

Bioethics of Databanks and Datasharing

(Icelandic) Voru loðfílar erfðafræðilega úrkynjaðir og var útdauði þeirra óhjákvæmilegur?

Arnar Pálsson, 11/04/2017

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Maedi-visna virus persistence: Antigenic variation and latency.

Arnar Pálsson, 11/04/2017

Valgerdur Andresdottir got me to help her with analyses for her master students project on MV virus evolution. The manuscript got resubmitted late winter, lets hope we managed to respond appropriately to the reviewers remarks.

Hallgrímur Arnarson, Arnar Pálsson, Margrét Gudnadóttir and Valgerdur Andrésdóttir. Maedi-visna virus persistence: Antigenic variation and latency.

(Icelandic) Hvernig eru lífsýni rannsökuð í glæparannsóknum og af hverju er ekki hægt að gera það á Íslandi?

Arnar Pálsson, 03/03/2017

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(Icelandic) Afneitun loftslagsvandans

Arnar Pálsson, 08/02/2017

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(Icelandic) Mun norskt genaregn eyðileggja íslenska laxinn?

Arnar Pálsson, 16/01/2017

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