Table of Contents: August 2009

Lactase persistence, the genetic trait that enables adult humans to digest the milk sugar lactose, is thought to have coevolved with the culturally transmitted practice of dairying. In this work the authors use computer simulations, conditioned on archaeological and genetic data, to infer that this coevolution process began about 7,500 years ago in a region between the northern Balkans and Central Europe, probably in association with the Neolithic Linearbandkeramik culture (see Itan et al., doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000491).

Image Credit: Yael Pinchevsky, Yuval Itan, Joachim Burger, and Mark G. Thomas. Photograph credit: Sabine Schade-Lindig.

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Bioinformatics in Malaysia: Hope, Initiative, Effort, Reality, and Challenges

Azura M. H. Zeti, Mohd S. Shamsir, Khairina Tajul-Arifin, Amir F. Merican, Rahmah Mohamed, Sheila Nathan, Nor Muhammad Mahadi, Suhaimi Napis, Tin W. Tan

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