Science-y paper explains Force-sensitivity in Wookiees

Dave Ng writes, "The Science Creative Quarterly, a web publication that runs out of my science education lab, is working on producing a new scientific (sort of) journal which will be named 'The Annals of Praetachoral Mechanics.' Here, the first volume will showcase a collection of scientifically authentic looking articles on Wookiee genomics, and is slated for release in the fall of 2014. In the meantime, however, you can take a peek at these Wookiee genomics (or 'Wookieenomics') papers as they are published at the SCQ."

Whole blood samples were obtained from 96 non-force-sensitive (NFS) Humans, 10 Sith, and 86 Wookiees. Specimens were collected as part of a research project approved by the Empire Force Agency Research Ethics Board (EFA REB). We sequenced the mdDNA isolated from each sample. NFS Human, and Wookiee midi-chlorian genomes were de-novo assembled using ABySS (12) with N50 sizes ranging from 34624 to 50348. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the NFS Human subset were identified using SAMtools (supplementary Figure 1).

Sith mdDNA reads were aligned to the NFS Human draft genome using Burrows-Wheeler Aligner version 0.5.4 (13). Screening for SNPs by SAMtools followed by subtraction of known SNPs from the NSF human data set yielded four single nucleotide variants (SNVs) at positions: 257 (A/G), 35768 (T/G), 274491 (G/T), and 289002 (T/G).

We then used Projector, a pair hidden Markov model-based program, to identify homologues to the Sith midi-chlorian genes containing SNVs in the Wookiee midi-chlorian genome (11). Candidate SNVs positions in the Wookiee midi-chlorian genome were then identified by visual inspection of gene homologs: 263 (A/G), 35769 (G/T), 266724 (A/G), and 312012 (C/T).

GENETIC BASIS FOR FORCE-SENSITIVITY IN WOOKIEES [Georgia Russell and Genevieve Rocheleau/Science Creative Quarterly]

(Thanks, Dave!)

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