Friday, July 13, 2018
A really insightful analysis in paleoproteomics!
I'll be honest, I don't quite understand the paleo part of this study OR the proteomics part! However, my slowly caffeinating brain still realizes that what I do get suggests that this is really cool and has implications for what I do every day!
Besides the obvious WOW factor that this is a proteomics study in an Evolutionary Biology journal(!!) there is still a lot of insight here even past the paleontology part. Dr. Welker is drawing conclusions from proteomic analysis of both distant relatives and very close ones (humans to chimpanzees) using different search techniques to show where they do and don't have power to make connections.
While most of us aren't doing paleoproteomics, almost all of us are searching proteomics data against protein FASTA files that don't contain the exact sequences of the organism you just lysed and chopped up with trypsin. Individual proteomic variation like single amino acid variants (SAAVs) are undoubtedly having an effect on just about every run we queue up. Maybe error tolerant searches like the ones used here are the temporary fix we need until proteogenomics gets easier (and sequencing gets a little cheaper)!