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Conflict and Cooperation in Prokaryote Pangenomes

PhD students wanted Prof J McInerney Applications accepted all year round. Self-Funded PhD Students Only About the Project Prokaryotes mediate most of the biogeochemical cycles on the planet, are responsible for large numbers of diseases and are used in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to make new and interesting compounds. One of the biggest surprises of the last […]

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Book Chapter: Pangenomes and Selection: The Public Goods Hypothesis

Authors James O McInerney, Fiona J Whelan, Maria Rosa Domingo-Sananes, Alan McNally, Mary J O’Connell. The evolution and structure of prokaryotic genomes are largely shaped by horizontal gene transfer. This process is so prevalent that DNA can be seen as a public good—a resource that is shared across individuals, populations, and species. The consequence is […]

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Theory of Evolution

Theory of Evolution book

Professor McInerney has contributed a chapter to a newly-published book on “The Theory of Evolution: Principles, Concepts, and Assumptions“.     Details on the book (extracted from the promotional material of the book) Darwin’s nineteenth-century writings laid the foundations for modern studies of evolution, and theoretical developments in the mid-twentieth century fostered the Modern Synthesis. Since […]

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Paper: Eukaryote Genes Are More Likely than Prokaryote Genes to Be Composites

Authors: Yaqing Ou and James McInerney. Abstract The formation of new genes by combining parts of existing genes is an important evolutionary process. Remodelled genes, which we call composites, have been investigated in many species, however, their distribution across all of life is still unknown. We set out to examine the extent to which genomes […]

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SIBE meeting in Rome

The Italian Society for Evolutionary Biology (SIBE: Società Italia di Biologia Evoluzionistica) http://sibe2017.uniroma2.it/ held their annual meeting in Rome from August 28th-31st. Prof McInerney spoke at the meeting on the first day,on the topic of “The importance of mergers and acquisitions in evolution”. The meeting is a very diverse meeting in terms of content.  The […]

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SMBE 2017 Liveblog

This live blog will be used during SMBE 2017 to keep track of what happens during the conference – through the eyes of one attendee.

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Short Video Explaining Pangenomes Paper

This is a short video to accompany our recent paper, published here: http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201740 The citation is: McInerney, J.O., McNally, A and O’Connell, M.J. (2017) Why Prokaryotes Have Pangenomes. Nature Microbiology 2, 17040 (doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.40). Please use the social media buttons to share.

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Prof. McInerney Becomes A Fellow of The Linnean Society

15th September 2016   Professor McInerney officially became an elected Fellow of the Linnean society of London at a meeting of the society on Thursday September 15th, 2016. Pictured is Prof. McInerney signing the register at an evening meeting of the society. Founded in 1788, the Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl […]

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Phylogenomics Summer School 2016 (May 29th-June3rd)

UPDATE: THE COURSE FOR 2016 IS NOW OVER [symple_social icon=”twitter” url=”twitter.com/mcinerneylab” title=”Follow Me” target=”blank” rel=””][symple_social icon=”facebook” url=”facebook.com/mcinerneylab” title=”Like or Share” target=”blank” rel=””] Current status of registrations (since April 4th) [wppb progress=100 option=”flat option=”animated-candystripe red” percent=inside fullwidth=true] What?: Week-long, intensive phylogenetics course covering all aspects of bioinformatics and phylogenetics/phylogenomics. Where?: Department of Biology, National University of Ireland […]

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EMBO Course On Phylogenomics in Iquitos Peru

Many many years ago, a group of us put together a course on phylogenetic analysis and took this course to South America, using funding obtained from various places in Europe – sometimes The European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), sometimes the Society for General Microbiology (now The Microbiology Society), sometimes the British Association. The course has […]

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Prof. McInerney Speaks At The University of Tübingen, Germany

Professor McInerney gave a research seminar at the University of Tübingen, Germany on November 24th. The title of the seminar was “Merging of biological objects of different kinds is a major evolutionary process”. The seminar was held at the Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine and was followed by a session of questions and answers.

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Maynooth University Holds Farewell Party For Prof. McInerney

On Friday September 11th, 2015, The Department of Biology, Maynooth University held a farewell celebration for Professor McInerney. Prof. McInerney had  worked in the department of biology for 16 years, before leaving to take up a position as Chair in Evolutionary Biology at The University of Manchester. Pictured at the celebration are Professor McInerney, chatting […]

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Endosymbiotic Origins and Differential Losses of Genes in Eukaryotes

Nature have just published a full article concerning an analysis of horizontal (or lateral) gene transfer and how it is different between prokaryotes and eukaryotes [1].  Also, we examined whether eukaryotes experience significant continuous gene gains from prokaryotes over long periods of time, or whether we see evidence for discrete bursts of gene acquisitions. Hint: […]

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Prof. McInerney Inducted Into American Academy of Microbiology

At a luncheon at the New Orleans Mariott Hotel, Prof McInerney was inducted into the American Academy of Microbiology as a Fellow. In total, 79 fellows were elected this year.  According to the academy:   The American Academy of Microbiology (Academy) is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the world’s […]

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Prof. McInerney, his mother and son at his DSc conferring in 2013

Professor McInerney Elected to American Academy of Microbiology

The American Academy of Microbiology have elected Prof. McInerney to its membership. According to the American Society for Microbiology, which is the awarding body: Each elected Fellow has built an exemplary career in basic and applied research, teaching, clinical and public health, industry or government service. Election to Fellowship indicates recognition of distinction in microbiology […]

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Short News and Views Article Published In Nature

A recent comment from the lab was published in Nature in the News and Views Section on the evolution of developmental genes in animals. With the sequencing of sponge genomes, if is becoming obvious that the standard view of the evolutionary history of developmental genes is somewhat over-simplified.  Sponges have ParaHox, NK and possibly HOX genes, […]

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Prof McInerney speaks at the #pintofscience event

Prof. McInerney – in keeping with the public engagement ethos of the research unit – spoke last night at the Odessa club and restaurant on Dame Court in Dublin as part of a city-wide series of events called the Pint of Science talks. He spoke about horizontal gene transfer and how it seems to have […]

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Prof. McInerney invited to speak at IUMS 2014

Professor McInerney has been invited to speak at the International Union of Microbiology Societies annual meeting in Montréal, Canada from July 27th-August 1, 2014. This meeting is collectively known as the International Congress of Microbiology and it consists of three separate congresses: the XIVth International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology, the XVIth International Congress of Virology and the XIVth International […]

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Among-site rate variation and how to examine it.

Some time ago we published a method for exploring among-site rate variation in evolutionary datasets [1]. This particular problem has been of interest for more than 40 years – some characters in a dataset will evolve at different rates to other characters and this might mislead phylogeny reconstruction. There are a few principal situations where […]

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Writing about homology even when told not to

In late 2012, I got the idea that there were a few points to make about homology that were either not in the literature or they were there, but in relatively obscure places.  I thought it was time to pull these ideas together and see if there was something to be said about how homology […]

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Green Anaconda Visits Lab

Today we had the pleasure of welcoming an unusual visitor into the lab – a green anaconda.  The snake is owned by JP Dunbar, a herpteologist and snake enthusiast who recently graduated from NUI Maynooth and who is heavily involved in helping people understand and appreciate reptiles, amphibians and all animals generally. Not everybody was […]

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Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Unit Go To VIBE

VIBE – The Virtual Institute of Bioinformatics and Evolution, which is a loose community of research groups in Ireland, held its annual get-together in Galway recently and was attended by several of our past and current members.  It was a superb meeting, organised in Galway by Prof. Cathal Seoighe and Dr. Tim Downing.

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Professor McInerney Conferred With Higher Doctorate

Professor McInerney of the Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Unit graduated yesterday with a DSc degree from the National University of Ireland. The DSc, which is a higher doctorate, was awarded for his thesis entitled “Studies on the Evolution of Genes and Genomes”.  This thesis was entirely based on published research papers. The degree was awarded on […]

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Scientific American Run Article on Halophile work

Lucas Brouwers has written a very nice account, entitled “How genetic plunder transformed a microbe into a pink, salt-loving scavenger” about the Halophile work we published in PNAS. You can read it here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtomics/2013/04/22/how-genetic-plunder-transformed-a-microbe-into-a-pink-salt-loving-scavenger/

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Photographs from Phylogenetics Course in Eirce Sicily, March 2013

From the 10th to the 17th of March, 2013 a course on phylogenetics and phylogenomics was held in the beautiful old village of Erice in Sicily and members of the Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Unit participated as lecturers and as practical demonstrators. The course was sponsored by EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organisation.   [ready_google_map […]

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Bioenergetics and The Major Evolutionary Transitions

I spoke at a meeting organised by Nick Lane at Chichley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire. This was a wonderful meeting, full of diverse talks and with a lot of people interested in major evolutionary transitions on the planet. The programme for the meeting can be picked up here. I gave […]

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Is there any treelikeness in prokaryotic phylogenetic history

Right now there are some very valid questions being asked about how treelike we might expect to find the history of prokaryotes.  Conflicting phylogenetic trees derived from homologs-that-look-like-orthologs are probably in large part due to horizontal (or lateral if you prefer) gene transfer.  Some might be due to hidden paralogy, poor phylogenetic models and maybe […]

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