Mutations, Hardy-Weinberg, Linkage and Simulations

Our co-op student showed up this Monday and the first couple of days she gets to chat with everyone, PI, Post Doc, RA and finally the LTs. Afterwards we get together and talk about how best to integrate the student into the lab. When we got together to talk about our new charge, we all noticed the same thing; she was very familiar with protocols but seemed to be weak on the concepts. Knew the ‘what and how’ but not the ‘why’. We got together and gathered up some material, papers, articles, software and simulations to get her up to speed.

While going through some of the  material, we came across this wonderful illustration from Wolfram on how mutations change proteins. Using the word/sentence analogy, this interactive demonstration shows how mutations affect protein (i.e. sentence).

Genetics has come up more than a few times here so I’m assuming that anyone who reads this blog will find this interesting.

Effects\ of\ DNA\ Mutations\ on\ Protein\ Sequences

Click to enter interactive demonstration.

Start the second simulation with everything set to zero and move only one slider at a time. When A or B frequency is set to 1, everyone has brown hair/eyes. Once you are comfortable with them, you can link (D) the traits and see how that affects the population. This in an important concept because many times certain breed traits are associated with a disease.

Click to enter interactive demonstration.