Minerva School on Sociogenomics

We organized a German-Israeli Minerva School on "New Frontiers in Sociobiology and Sociogenomics" together with Guy Bloch from the Hebrew University, Juergen Gadau from the University of Muenster, and Judith Korb from the University of Freiburg. The School was held in beautiful Hagoshrim in northern Israel for a whole week. Ten German and ten Israeli grad students and postdocs attended the school, which was taught by lecturers from Germany and Israel - see the School's website.

(Juergen is unfortunately missing in this photo - he took it!)

Rana's odorant receptor paper published

Rana's evolutionary study of the gene family of the odorant receptors (ORs) in ants was published in Genome Biology and Evolution! We found evidence for widespread positive selection following the extensive duplications of ORs in all ant lineages. Positively selected amino acid sites were especially concentrated around the putative ligand binding site, which indicates adaptive evolution of these receptors to recognize more diverse odors. We suggest that ant ORs evolved to recognize new and more diverse vocabulary of pheromones that they use for chemical communication.


Our new robot is at work on its first genomic libraries!

Our new Tecan liquid handling robot is here! It started to learn the TruSeq protocol for constructing genomic libraries. Shani will use it to construct 300 libraries for genomic sequencing of our large population sample from Cataglyphis niger, for our GWAS project. We're still getting to know each other, but it seems we're going to have a wonderful and productive relationship. So we decided to name it נח (Noah).

Here it is in action! - click here to see the video