Author Archives: Patrícia Chrzanová Pečnerová

About Patrícia Chrzanová Pečnerová

I'm currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen. My research focuses on genomics of extinction and I'm particularly interested in how the processes of genetic drift and inbreeding influence genetic diversity in small populations threatened by extinction. My model systems include woolly mammoths, gorillas, and muskoxen. Besides large furry animals, I also like reading books, photography, travelling, and baking.

The almighty CRISPR-Cas9 technology: The future of conservation?

In the first post on CRISPR-Cas9, I’ve explained how bacteria and archaea create a “database” of infections and use it as a form of prokaryotic immunization. This time, I’m going to concentrate on how biotechnology turns this natural phenomenon into … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, evolution, methods, theory | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The almighty CRISPR-Cas9 technology: How does it work?

CRISPR-Cas9 took the whole world of biology by storm. Selected Science’s 2015 Breakthrough of the Year, the CRISPR-Cas9 technology is revolutionizing science. Within five years of the official announcement (Jinek et al. 2012), it became the genome-editing technique of choice. … Continue reading

Posted in evolution, genomics, methods, theory | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A tale of mammoths and a disappearing lake

A wonderful study revealed a sad story of the St. Paul Island population of woolly mammoths. Using a creative and diverse set of analytical approaches, scientists identified freshwater shortage as the likely cause of their extinction. A cross-disciplinary collaboration of … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, evolution, natural history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The final nail in the coffin of Patagonian megafaunal extinctions

Are our ancestors responsible for Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions? Were the Ice Age giants doomed to extinction because they couldn’t adapt or is it human fault that there is no woolly rhino, giant deer and cave bear today? A new … Continue reading

Posted in evolution, natural history, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Catching evolution in the act with the Singleton Density Score

A recent study led by Jonathan K. Pritchard at Stanford University brought a media storm with catchy headlines in both of the flagship scientific outlets Nature and Science News. Aside from highlighting the question of preprints without peer review being … Continue reading

Posted in methods, mutation, population genetics, selection | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Opening Pandora’s box: PSMC and population structure

Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful. — George Box Publication of the Li and Durbin’s 2011 paper titled “Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences” was a milestone in the inference of demography. By allowing … Continue reading

Posted in bioinformatics, methods, Paleogenomics, population genetics, theory | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Disentangling the wolf-coyote admixture through an ancestry-based approach

Large carnivores like bears and wolves still pose a puzzle for systematics and population genetics. The more data we get, the more complex their evolutionary history seems to be.

Posted in conservation, evolution, genomics, population genetics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Clone a Mammoth: When science fiction becomes reality

When I explain that I study the woolly mammoth, sooner or later (and usually right away) comes the question, “Are you going to clone a mammoth?” From childish excitement to real scientific interest, the idea of cloning a mammoth raises … Continue reading

Posted in book review, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Are genetic drift and inbreeding the same thing?

Does it ever happen to you that the more you try to understand something, the more difficult to understand it turns out to be? Recently, I’ve had such a problem with two of the very basic microevolutionary phenomena – genetic … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, evolution, population genetics, quantitative genetics, theory, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Petrous bone is the new black

I was just reading an article about skeletal reconstruction of another fascinating extinct species when my supervisor came to my office. I asked: “How about we sequence this creature’s genome?” He replied by asking where the animal had lived. As … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, methods, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments