Archives

Latest Paper: Evolution A Four Billion Year Old Metabolism

The latest paper from the lab is a News and Views article entitled: Evolution: A four billion year old metabolism. The history of life on the planet is mostly the history of single-celled prokaryotes. Until recently, it was accepted that life was divided into three ‘domains’ — forms of life of equal standing in a taxonomic […]

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BBSRC Grant Announcement

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have confirmed the award of £326,000 to the McInerney lab to investigate how recombination structures life on the planet. The title of the research proposal is “Investigating how non-homologous recombination structures genes, proteins, operons, clusters, genomes and ecosystems”. Over a period of three years, this programme will […]

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Nadine Ziemert Visit And Talk On Secondary Metabolite Gene Evolution

Professor Nadine Ziemert of the University of Tuebingen spoke at the university of Manchester today, 8th February, 2016. The title of her talk was “Diversity and Evolution of Secondary Metabolites in Bacteria”. There was a super turn-out and a lively discussion afterwards. Much of the work is covered by Nadine’s 2014 PNAS paper, though with […]

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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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Prof. McInerney Shortlisted For Irish Laboratory Researcher Of The Year

Professor McInerney has been named as one of six researchers shortlisted this year for the Irish Laboratory Awards.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday the 3rd of December at an event held in the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin. The other shortlisted scientists are: Alexander Von Kriegsheim, Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin Lester Ho, […]

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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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Phylogenetics Summer Course 2014

Current State of Registrations: What?: Week-long, intensive phylogenetics course covering all aspects of modern molecular phylogenetics and phylogenomics. Where?: Department of Biology, National University of Ireland Maynooth.  This is approximately 40 minutes from Dublin Airport (Aer Lingus, British Airways, Ryanair, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, etc.) ,  25km from the centre of Dublin, Ireland. [symple_googlemap […]

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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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Eukaryote Origins

In the last five years, there has been tremendous progress made in understanding the origin of the eukaryote cell. This progress has been on a number of fronts – phylogenetic, metabolic and bioenergetic and in terms of other data that relate directly to evolution. Our latest paper in PNAS is, I feel, the latest in […]

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Leading Scientists Comment on Irish Research Policy

Last Thursday night I went to a lecture in Harvard by Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel prizewinner, 2001 and current president of the Royal Society.  The theme of his talk was “Science and Government” and he spoke about two things – how we should identify the best science to support and how science should be presented […]

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Our letter in the Irish Times today

Here I reproduce our letter in the Irish Times:   Sir, – Ireland’s poor success rate in winning grants from the European Research Council (Business+Technology, August 16th) comes as no surprise to many of us in the Irish scientific community, given recent warnings from a number of international funding agencies. What is of particular concern […]

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The five biggest evolutionary transitions?

Have been thinking recently about what the five biggest evolutionary transitions might be.  Naturally, there are several transitions and indeed it is arguable that at every speciation event, there has been a transition – indeed at every mutational event, even. But which ones are the biggest?  Also, in this vein – what evolves and what […]

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Pervasive horizontal gene transfer in Chlamydia

The genome era has really taught us something impressive about the plasticity of bacterial genomes. Gene exchange between strains of the same species and gene exchange between different species is not limited to special categories of genes and is not limited to ‘oddball’ species.  It is pervasive, frequent and it is also a public health […]

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Two conferences in Colorado in one week

The research unit decamped to Colorado this week to attend the first MMPE (Molecular Mechanisms of Protein Evolution), which was held in the University of Colorado Denver medical school and the 12th ISCB Regional Meeting, which was held in Snowmass Colorado in the Silvertree Hotel. Speaking at the meeting were: Dr. Davide Pisani, Dr. James […]

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H-Index, M-Index and google citations

Today I downloaded and installed the r program for analysing Google Scholar citation metrics (you can pick it up here). There is a lot of talk about the various metrics being used to analyse the productivity of scientists and there seems to be no really good way to do it.  A simple point-statistic doesn’t do […]

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Research returns to Ireland far exceed investment

by Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times Financial returns from Ireland’s expenditure in research have easily outstripped the original investment, according to a study released on 19 September. It claims that while the Exchequer put in almost €1.2 billion over the period 2000-2006 the returns amounted to about €1.8bn. The study by PA Consulting said that the […]

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