Articles about genetics

Dolly sheep. Photo courtesy  University of Nottingham

Clone poster girl Dolly the sheep's arthritis was 'normal for her age'

New research suggests the arthritis plaguing Dolly the sheep – the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell – was normal for her age. Dolly was born in the lab. To keep her DNA around, scientists replaced an egg cell's nucleus with one from an adult somatic cell. The egg cell was then zapped with an electric current to …
Andrew Silver, 23 Nov 2017
Vikings. Credit: History Channel.

Steppe thugs pacified by the love of stone age women

It happens to the best of us: one minute you're raiding and pillaging on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, the next you're settled down with a stone age woman, have a mortgage on the hut and 2.4 kids. According to an article in the journal Antiquity, Steppe migrant thugs who came into Europe via Ukraine were pacified by Stone Age …
Kat Hall, 4 Apr 2017

Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

Amid the attention on the new US administration's healthcare plan, a law has been proposed that would force employees to hand over their genetic information if they want company health insurance. House bill HR 1313, dubbed the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, was introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and …
Iain Thomson, 10 Mar 2017

Fatal genetic conditions could return in some 'three-parent' babies

Troubling new findings have been discovered that could affect the lives of (misleadingly* branded) "three-parent" offspring born thanks to breakthrough mitochondrial replacement therapy. The technique grabbed the world's attention when in September a baby was born bearing the DNA of three parents, a feat that overcame the …
Darren Pauli, 5 Jan 2017
Sucking nectar, spewing pollen

Humans and bees share the same sociability genes

The genetic pathway toward social behavior for honey bees and mammals is more similar than previously thought, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational Biology titled "Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees." Social animals have complex lives, …
Bring out yer dead!

Genes take a shot at rebooting after death

In one of the creepiest bits of science Vulture South has ever encountered, a US scientist has identified 1,000 genes that become active after death. Not just immediately post-mortem, either: some of the genes in question, found in zebrafish, remained active four days after the fish died (and in mice, they were active two days …
Tractor sprays wheat crops under a blue sky. Photo by Shutterstock

SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

In a rebuke to the EU, and environmental activists worldwide, the biggest scientific metastudy yet conducted of genetically modified foods concludes they’re good for human health and the environment. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an advisory body of scientists, finds no evidence of risks over …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2016
Credit: Speedy Gonsales / Edward S Curtis CC 3.0 Attribution Share-Alike Unported

Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

A long-vanished race of humans, whose descendants now survive only among certain indigenous peoples in Australasia and in the Amazon jungles, may have been the true, original Native Americans, according to new genetics research. The clue to the existence of this mysterious "Population Y" has been found by boffins probing the …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
University of Chicago press-release picture. Credit: Giant Screen Films LLC

Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

Poll It will definitely be possible within the foreseeable future to bring back the long-extinct woolly mammoth, a top geneticist has said. However, in his regretful opinion such a resurrection should not be carried out. The assertion comes in the wake of a new study of mammoth genetics as compared to their cousins the Asian and …
Lewis Page, 3 Jul 2015

Oxford boffins publish fine-scale regional genetic map of UK

An international team of researchers have created a fine-scale genetic map of the UK, the first time such a map has been produced for any country in the world. The fine-scale genetic variation between human populations is of interest to researchers both as a means of tracking historical population movements, and for its …
Google Street View penguins

PENGUINS are just TASTELESS, say boffins

Penguins may be immaculately tailored but it seems they may be a bit tasteless in other areas; specifically that of, erm, taste. This is according to new genetic research which indicates that the smartly turned out flightless birds of the Antarctic have the genes to detect only two of the five tastes (which are sweet, sour, …
Lewis Page, 17 Feb 2015
Sheep

Boffins: We have found a way to unlock the MYSTERIES OF SHEEP from old parchments

Top-level boffins say they have discovered a valuable new tool for mapping the genetic history of sheep: namely, the extraction of DNA from old documents, which are generally written on parchment made from the skin of sheep or other animals. It seems that before such modern innovations as mass production of paper, typewriters …
Lindsay Dodgson, 10 Dec 2014

Google to feed machines with evidence of human physical weaknesses – and that's a good thing

Google's X laboratory is working with a team of biologists and geneticists to analyze human frailties using the web giant's computing might. The project, called the Baseline Study, is recruiting 175 volunteers to contribute tissue samples, blood, sweat, tears, and urine for processing. The test results will then be fed into …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2014
DNA

Boffinry breakthrough: First self-replicating life with 'alien' DNA

After 15 years of trying, researchers have created a living, self-replicating, "semi-synthetic" organism with DNA that contains not just the four paired bases that occur in all living things, but also an alien base pair created in the labs. "What we have now is a living cell that literally stores increased genetic information …
Rik Myslewski, 8 May 2014

All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke

According to a new research from genetics gurus, the Y chromosome that all men carry is not at all hobbled by its missing bit. For those who don't know, men carry the XY chromosome pair, while women carry two X chromosomes. The bloke-osome is thought to have evolved from the X, with bits dropping off during 300 million years …
Team Register, 25 Apr 2014

Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

DNA from a prehistoric Siberian boy could reveal exactly where Native Americans - the people who occupied the American continents before Europeans crossed the Atlantic - actually came from. Everybody's pretty clear that the Native Americans arrived across the ancient land bridge from Asia, the location of the present-day …
Lewis Page, 21 Nov 2013

Geneticists resolve human dilemma of Adam's boy-toy status

The largest-ever study of the male Y chromosome has shown that the so-called "Adam" – the most common genetic ancestor to modern humans – is much older than previously thought, which solves a troubling dilemma for geneticists. Geneticists have spent a lot of time examining the genes of humans in the hope for finding what's …
Iain Thomson, 3 Aug 2013

US Supremes: Human genes can't be patented

In a welcome display of patent-law sanity, the US Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that human genes can't be patented. "We hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated," wrote Justice Clarence Thomas, who authored the court's decision. The …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Jun 2013

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