You'd Prefer An Argonaute

The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace (NYT)

Posted in Evolution, Media, Science Journalism by YPAA on December 29, 2013

The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace (NYT)

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Great Adaptations

Posted in Evolution, Science Journalism, YPAA Journal Club by YPAA on November 10, 2012


An article that I wrote, Great Adaptations, has just been published in the September/October issue of Natural History Magazine. It’s about the research of Dianne Newman, Lars Dietrich, and their colleagues. Read it to learn about how bacteria and us are really just two peas in a pod, evolutionarily speaking.

2013 RNA Meetings

Posted in Conferences, RNA Conferences by YPAA on September 6, 2012

RNA Editing

Hotel Galvez  •  Galveston, TX
January 6 – 11, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Robert Reenan, Nina Papavasiliou, Jane Jackman and Michael Jantsch

Biogenesis and turnover of small RNAs

Royal Society  •  Edinburgh, Scotland
January 15 – 17, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Amy Buck, Javier Cáceres and Richard Bowater

Noncoding RNAs in Development and Cancer

Fairmount Hotel  •  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
January 20 – 25, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Joshua T. Mendell, Phillip A. Sharp, Judy Lieberman and Howard Y. Chang

RNA Silencing

Whistler Conference Centre  •  Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
March 19 – 24, 2013

Scientific Organizers: David C. Baulcombe and Irene Bozzoni

Eukaryotic RNA turnover: From structural insights to diseases

IGBMC  •  Strasbourg, France
April 21 – 24, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Bertrand Séraphin, Georg Stoecklin and Roberto Gherzi

8th Microsymposium on Small RNAs

IMBA  •  Vienna, Austria
May 27 – 29, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Javier Martinez, Julius Brennecke and Stefan Ameres

Nucleic Acids

University of New England  •  Biddeford, ME
June 2 – 7, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Rachel Green, Karolin Luger, Wolf-Dietrich Heyer and Elena Conti

RNA 2013

Congress Center Davos  •  Davos, Switzerland
June 11 – 16, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Frédéric Allain, Witold Filipowicz, Adrian Krainer, Osamu Nureki and Sarah Woodson


Silverado Resort and Spa  •  Napa Valley, CA
July 9 – 12, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Jamie Cate and Jamie Williamson

Eukaryotic mRNA Processing

CSHL  •  Cold Spring Harbor, NY
August 20 – 24, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Tom Blumenthal, Kristen Lynch and Karla Neugebauer

Protein Synthesis and Translational Control

EMBL  •  Heidelberg, Germany
September 8 – 12, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Fatima Gebauer, Matthias Hentze, Alan Hinnebusch and Marat Yusupov

The Non-Coding Genome

EMBL  •  Heidelberg, Germany
October 9 – 12, 2013

Scientific Organizers: Elisa Izaurralde, David Bartel, Jörg Vogel and John Rinn

~ Intermission ~

Posted in Blog Affairs by YPAA on March 1, 2012

Cabot Street Cinema, Massachusetts by Hiroshi Sugimoto

This isn’t necessarily the final post for You’d Prefer An Argonaute, but I’m calling an intermission, or hitting the standby button perhaps.

While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed running the blog the past three years, other priorities have taken hold of me, and the blog is getting sleepy, so to speak.

There haven’t been contributions to the RNA Journal Club posts for quite a while. When even I didn’t find the time to do one for my last presentation, it got harder for me to in fair conscience ask others to still contribute. I don’t see a point in continuing to post the papers weekly now that there are no more reviews.

I am extremely grateful to the following people who did contribute: Vikram Agarwal, Josh Arribere, Graeme Doran, Anna Drinnenberg, Robin Friedman, Huili Guo, Allan Gurtan, Mohini Jangi, Carla Klattenhoff, David Koppstein, Madhu Kumar, Charles Lin, Joel Neilson, Michael Nodine, Alex Robertson, Jenny Rood, Noah Spies, Alex Subtelny, Igor Ulitsky, Pavan Vaidyanathan, David Weinberg, Josien van Wolfswinkel, Xuebing Wu, and Muhammed Yildirim.

Pretty much all these people are going to be successful P.I.’s/scientists one day. There’s a significant correlation I tell you!

I hope to still post periodically, things like the annual lists of RNA conferences I compile. And maybe the blog will get its second wind during my postdoc… we’ll see. In the meantime don’t fret about the site disappearing from the web, however, the URL could change if I get sick of paying rent on the domain.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been writing for an alien audience, because I’ve had practically no contact with viewers. Who and what are you? Spam drones? Bored teenagers?

Well, to the curious, nerdy aliens who landed here for knowledge or laughs, thanks for reading, and stay true in your science.


Posted in Gallimaufry, Lab Life by YPAA on February 29, 2012

OKAY, OKAY.  But where can we get some ObamaESCs?  At least something to reprogram?  We gotta clone that mofo.

RNA Journal Club 2/23/12

Posted in RNA Journal Club by YPAA on February 23, 2012

DNase I sensitivity QTLs are a major determinant of human expression variation

Jacob F. Degner, Athma A. Pai, Roger Pique-Regi, Jean-Baptiste Veyrieras, Daniel J. Gaffney, Joseph K. Pickrell, Sherryl De Leon, Katelyn Michelini, Noah Lewellen, Gregory E. Crawford, Matthew Stephens, Yoav Gilad & Jonathan K. Pritchard

Nature 482, 390—394, 16 February 2012.

RNA Journal Club 2/16/12

Posted in RNA Journal Club by YPAA on February 16, 2012

PSD-95 is post-transcriptionally repressed during early neural development by PTBP1 and PTBP2

Sika Zheng, Erin E Gray, Geetanjali Chawla, Bo Torben Porse, Thomas J O’Dell & Douglas L Black

Nature Neuroscience AOP, 15 January 2012.

RNA Journal Club 2/9/12

Posted in RNA Journal Club by YPAA on February 9, 2012

Sperm-borne microRNA-34c is required for the first cleavage division in mouse

Wei-Min Liu, Ronald T. K. Pang, Philip C. N. Chiu, Benancy P. C. Wong, Kaiqin Lao, Kai-Fai Lee, and William S. B. Yeung

PNAS vol. 109, no. 2, 490–494, 10 January 2012.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1110368109

RNA Journal Club 2/2/12

Posted in RNA Journal Club by YPAA on February 2, 2012

Murine cytomegalovirus encodes a miR-27 inhibitor disguised as a target

Valentina Libri, Aleksandra Helwak, Pascal Miesen, Diwakar Santhakumar, Jessica G. Borger, Grzegorz Kudla, Finn Grey, David Tollervey, and Amy H. Buck

PNAS vol. 109, no. 1, 279–284, 3 January 2012.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1114204109

iBioSeminars: RNA

Posted in Media, Talks by YPAA on January 29, 2012

Roy Parker Part 1: Mechanisms and Control of mRNA Localization, Translation and Degradation



Roy Parker Part 2: P-bodies and the mRNA Cycle



Melissa Moore Part 1: Split Genes and RNA Splicing



Melissa Moore Part 2: Spliceosome Structure and Dynamics



Ruth Lehmann Part 2: RNA Regulation



Jack Szostak Part 1: The Origin of Cellular Life on Earth



Jack Szostak Part 3: Non-enzymatic Copying of Nucleic Acid Templates


Lectures from

RNA Journal Club 1/26/12

Posted in RNA Journal Club by YPAA on January 26, 2012

Decapping of Long Noncoding RNAs Regulates Inducible Genes

Sarah Geisler, Lisa Lojek, Ahmad M. Khalil, Kristian E. Baker, and Jeff Coller

Molecular Cell 45, 1–13, 10 February 2012.
DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.11.025

RNA Journal Club 1/19/12

Posted in RNA Journal Club by YPAA on January 19, 2012

Cap-Assisted Internal Initiation of Translation of Histone H4

Franck Martin, Sharief Barends, Sophie Jaeger, Laure Schaeffer, Lydia Prongidi-Fix, and Gilbert Eriani

Molecular Cell 41, 197–209, 21 January 2011.
DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.12.019

RNAi video animation

Posted in Media by YPAA on January 15, 2012