Genetics


11 May 2014

Short men living longer


Shorter men live longer, according to new research that shows shorter men were more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development, lower blood insulin levels, and less cancer...

21 March 2014

Mug shots from DNA possible, say scientists


DNA analysis can already tell us the sex and ancestry of unknown individuals, but now an international team of researchers is beginning to connect genetics with facial features. The scientists speculate that law enforcement groups might soon be able to create a mug shot from a DNA sample...

5 March 2014

Smoking linked to ADHD in future generations


Scientists investigating neurobehavioral disorders say that ADHD could be an environmentally induced health condition inherited from a grandmother who smoked during pregnancy...

20 February 2014

Genetics play no role in disease risk, claims controversial new study


Genes have been implicated in influencing everything from our sexual orientation to our risk of cancer, but a new paper asserts that the prominent emphasis currently given to the gene in biology is based on a flawed interpretation of experimental genetics...

8 October 2013

Scientists link DNA to marital satisfaction


Wedded bliss or a miserable marriage? Researchers say that a gene involved in the regulation of serotonin can predict how much our emotions affect our relationships - and our marital satisfaction...

12 June 2013

Novel epigenetic messaging system found in sperm


A dad's exposure to stress leaves a lasting impression on his sperm, say researchers who have been investigating a never-before-seen epigenetic link to diseases such as anxiety and depression that are passed from father to child...

22 April 2013

Genetic circuit balances individual freedom and collective good


An intriguing investigation of bacterial genetic circuitry indicates that even the simplest creatures can make difficult choices that strike a balance between selflessness and selfishness...

8 April 2013

Couch potatoes born that way


Research from the University of Missouri indicates certain genetic traits may predispose people to being more or less motivated to exercise and remain active...

4 March 2013

Can nicotine transmit disease through multiple generations?


Nicotine creates heritable epigenetic marks on the genome, say U.S. scientists who contend that a grandparent's smoking habits may be responsible for asthma and other respiratory conditions in grandchildren...

20 January 2013

Quadruple helix DNA discovered in human cells


Cambridge University researchers have published a paper showing that four-stranded "quadruple helix" DNA structures exist within the human genome and speculate that these structures may provide a target for novel cancer treatments...

15 January 2013

Leadership can be an inherited trait, study finds


Using a large twin sample, an international research team found that a quarter of the observed variation in leadership behavior between individuals can be explained by genes passed down from their parents...

19 December 2012

Evidence for HIV in humans in distant past


HIV may have affected humans for much longer than is currently believed, according to a scientist who says that the genomes of an isolated West African human population provide important clues about how the disease has evolved...

12 December 2012

Epigenetics might explain evolutionary puzzle of homosexuality


Epigenetics - how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches, called epi-marks - appears to be a critical and overlooked factor in the long-standing evolutionary puzzle of why homosexuality occurs...

19 November 2012

DNA fluidity has "profound implications" for genetic screening, say Yale scientists


The accepted notion that every cell in our body contains identical DNA is incorrect, with Yale and Stanford researchers discovering that genetic variations are widespread throughout the body's tissues, a finding the researchers say will have profound implications for the role of genetic screening...

4 October 2012

Twin-study shows eating disorders influenced by genetics


Genetics may make some women more vulnerable to the pressure of being thin, say researchers who also found media exposure to idealized body size plays a less significant role than previously thought...

12 September 2012

Semen protein acts as "master regulator" in females


Working with fruit-flies, scientists have observed "remarkable" changes in female gene expression after exposure to a protein in semen. The researchers say the changes, which may also exist in other species, include altered fertility, immunity, libido, eating and sleep patterns...

31 August 2012

Nicotine receptor gets blame for Internet addiction


Internet addiction has a physiological basis, according to German researchers who say a variant of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor makes women particularly vulnerable...

14 June 2012

First genetically evolved semiconductors created


By directing the evolution of silicateins, the proteins responsible for the formation of silica skeletons in marine sponges, scientists at the University of California have synthesized novel semiconducting materials...

4 May 2012

Single gene mutation responsible for modern humans


Scientists believe that the appearance of a novel gene, occurring around the time that the Australopithecus and the Homo lineages separated, was responsible for the sudden increase in brain complexity that led to language and modern humankind...

10 April 2012

Genes a good predictor of social status


Scientists using an experimental approach to observe how the presence or absence of DNA methyl groups correlates with social dominance claim that gene expression can predict the social status of an individual with 80 percent accuracy...

3 February 2012

Gender behaviors directly manipulated


Uncovering the individual genes that are directly influenced by testosterone and estrogen has allowed scientists to manipulate individual behaviors in mice, such as sex drive, desire to pick fights, or willingness to spend extra time caring for their young...

12 October 2011

Immune system ruse nixes peanut allergy


For the first time, US researchers have turned off a life-threatening allergic response to peanuts by tricking the immune system into thinking the nut proteins aren't a threat to the body...

19 September 2011

"It's not all in the genes," confirm epigenetic code-breakers


"Genes are not destiny," say the scientists who have been delving into the epigenetic code that allows organisms to develop and pass down new biological traits far more rapidly than via DNA genetic coding...

31 May 2011

Studies slam DIY genetic tests


The direct-to-consumer genetic tests offered by deCODEme and 23andMe give inaccurate predictions of disease risks and regulatory authorities should consider banning them, say the geneticists behind two studies that examined test predictions in relation to a number of disease risks...

21 March 2011

Potent anti-aging mechanism identified


How well the integrity of our DNA is maintained is a critical factor in determining how our bodies age. Now, scientists say they have identified an "elite" natural repair mechanism that is rarely used but can greatly enhance the body's preservation of genetic information...

2 February 2011

Breeder or worker? Scientists search for the genes that drive societies


In order understand the evolution of complex societies; researchers are sequencing the genomes of social insects to decipher which genes might be responsible for the division of labor and reproduction, two crucial characteristics that are important to the evolution of social structure...

17 January 2011

Colored light used to control brains of GM animals


Optogenetics researchers have achieved unparalleled control over the brain circuits in laboratory animals by exciting and inhibiting their genetically modified mechano-sensory and locomotion neurons with colored light...

22 December 2010

Genetic trait triples odds of cocaine abuse


Twenty-percent of Caucasians appear to carry a genetic variant that substantially increases their odds of being susceptible to severe cocaine abuse leading to fatal overdosing...

3 December 2010

Strumpet gene writes infidelity into DNA


Individuals with a certain genetic variant are more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity, say US researchers...

23 November 2010

New test estimates age from blood sample


Using measures of T cell diversity, scientists from the Netherlands have devised a test that estimates the age of crime suspects or missing persons from blood collected at the scene of a crime...

4 October 2010

New evidence that ADHD is genetic


Genetic analysis of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) revealed they were more likely to have small segments of their DNA duplicated or missing, lending new weight to the unfashionable theory that ADHD is a brain disorder with genetic links...

20 September 2010

Scientists uncover Homer Simpson gene


Deleting a certain gene in mice (one that is also found in humans) makes them smarter, but the Emory University researchers who discovered the "Homer Simpson gene" are cautious about its potential to enhance cognition in humans, saying that very little is known about the mysterious region of the brain the gene is linked to...

21 May 2010

Synthetic genome successfully transplanted into cell


Scientists have created the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome, a feat that will allow researchers to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer custom-designed bacteria...

15 March 2010

Opium poppy gives up its genetic secrets


Using advanced genomics techniques to probe the structure of the opium poppy, Canadian researchers have identified a gene called codeine O-dementhylase, a discovery that they say will open the door to creating micro-organisms that can produce custom-designed painkillers...

23 February 2010

Scientists create tiny RNA molecule with big implications


An extremely small RNA molecule created by University of Colorado scientists can catalyze a key reaction needed to synthesize proteins, lending more weight to the theory that all life on Earth evolved from primitive forms of RNA...

10 February 2010

Worm DNA preserved in tequila


Not swallowing the worm at the bottom of a bottle of mescal doesn't mean you'll avoid worminess, say scientists who have discovered that the mescal, far from destroying the DNA of the agave butterfly caterpillar, actually leeches it out of the worm and preserves it...

8 February 2010

Ability to navigate may be linked to genes


Human, animals and even fish routinely reorient themselves using landmarks and mentally visualizing the geometry of their surroundings. Now, according to new research, it appears there may also be a genetic component that plays a part in our ability to navigate the world...

29 October 2009

Bad driving may be genetic


Scientists have found that people with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse on a driving test than people without it. Disturbingly, about 30 percent of the population has the variant...

11 September 2009

Y chromosome not such a dud


It was believed that the X and Y chromosomes - that define the sexes - did not communicate at all, but UK researchers have shown that exchanges of DNA do occur between the X and Y...

4 August 2009

Unique DNA signature discovered in sperm


Scientists have found that sperm carry a DNA signature that can only be recognized by an egg from the same species, explaining why some otherwise healthy men produce sperm that is sterile, and also clarifying how different species evolve and retain their own identity...

25 June 2009

Cost of genotyping plunges thanks to Sudoku logic


Sudoku, the math-based game that took the world by storm, may now be poised to revolutionize the fast-changing world of genome sequencing and the field of medical genetics...

17 April 2009

New nucleotide could revolutionize field of epigenetics


The identification of a sixth nucleotide in the mammalian DNA code suggests a previously unknown layer of complexity exists between our basic genetic blueprints and the creatures that we grow into...

8 April 2009

A genetic basis for love at first sight


A multinational team of researchers has discovered that at the genetic level, some males and females are more compatible than others, and that this compatibility plays important roles in mate selection and mating outcomes...

25 March 2009

Redefining DNA's structure for fun and profit


In a bold rewrite of the recipe for life, scientists have designed a new type of DNA with 12 chemical letters instead of the usual four. This artificial genetic system is already helping to usher in the era of personalized medicine for millions of patients with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases and may one day help produce a self-sustaining molecule capable of Darwinian evolution and reproduction...

12 February 2009

Chromosome study challenges infidelity dogma


Our surnames and genetic information are often strongly connected, according to the authors of a new study that directly challenges the often quoted one-in-ten figure for children born through infidelity...

2 February 2009

Newly discovered non-coding genes control critical disease processes


Researchers have discovered a vast new class of previously unrecognized mammalian genes that do not encode proteins, but instead function as long RNA molecules that play critical roles in both health and disease, including cancer, immune signaling and stem cell biology...

27 January 2009

Biologists mull rapid, non-adaptive gene mutations


New research suggests that in addition to natural selection, biased gene conversion (a non-adaptive evolutionary process) appears to have made a significant contribution to human evolution...

12 January 2009

Knocking on the door of life: self-replicating RNA synthesized


For the first time, scientists have synthesized RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves indefinitely without the help of any proteins or other cellular components...

1 December 2008

New epigenetic mechanism identified


Scientists have uncovered an entirely new way in which heredity can be transmitted, effectively doubling the number of mechanisms by which epigenetic information is known to be inherited...

7 November 2008

Social interactions alter gene expression


Our DNA determines a lot about who we are and how we relate to others, but recent animal studies show that the interaction between genes and behavior is more of a two-way street than most of us realize...

5 November 2008

"Junk" DNA anything but, new study finds


The Genome Institute of Singapore reports that what was previously believed to be "junk" DNA is in fact a vital component that distinguishes humans from other species...

9 October 2008

DNA surname profiling mooted in UK


British researchers say there is a strong link between a person's surname and their Y chromosome type, suggesting that surname prediction from DNA alone may be feasible for forensic scientists in the future...

18 September 2008

Grants to spur search for more robust crops


Climate change is having the most negative impact in the poorest regions of the world, already causing a decrease in yields of most major food crops due to droughts, floods, increasingly salty soils and higher temperatures. Now, the Global Crop Diversity Trust is undertaking a major effort to search seed collections for the traits that could arm agriculture against the impact of future changes...

3 September 2008

Herpes virus transferred to infants via parental DNA


Parents expect to pass on their eye color or their big feet to their children through their genes but they don't expect to pass on viruses through those same genes...

18 July 2008

Scientists Probe Ancient "RNA World"


Proteins carry out almost all of life's cellular functions today, but bacteria sometimes depend instead upon ancient forms of RNA, once viewed merely as the chemical intermediaries between DNA's instruction manual and the creation of proteins...

17 July 2008

African Ancestry Increases HIV Risk


A genetic variation which evolved to protect people of African descent against malaria has now been shown to increase their susceptibility to HIV infection by up to 40 percent...

2 July 2008

Political Participation Flagged In Genes


A new study from the University of California, San Diego, shows that genes influence participation in elections and a wide range of political activities...

30 May 2008

"Massive" Horizontal Gene Transfer In Animal Kingdom Revealed


Evidence for massive horizontal gene transfer - from bacteria, fungi, and even from plants - has been found in the genome of the tiny swimming critter known as the bdelloid rotifer...

23 April 2008

Zeroing-In On Epigenetic Inheritance Mechanism


US reseachers say they now understand how "silent" heterochromatin (tightly packed clumps of DNA where the genes are effectively turned off) can be transcribed into interfering RNA and inherited across generations...

11 April 2008

Spit-Swap Forces Changes To DNA Testing


Protocols for DNA testing are being revised after a man attempted to foil a DNA paternity test by placing another man's saliva in his mouth...

9 April 2008

Evolution Leaves "Fingerprint" Across Human Genome


Turning genetic information into proteins leaves genetic fingerprints, even on regions of the DNA that are not involved in coding for the final protein...

25 March 2008

Doctors Outline Policy To Prevent Genetic Discrimination


The American College of Physicians has released a policy document which they believe should be integral to new laws to protect against genetic discrimination in employment and insurance...

19 February 2008

"Language" Gene Pooh-Poohed


The evolution of human speech was far more complex than is implied by some recent attempts to link it to a specific gene, says an MIT Prof...

8 February 2008

GM Cotton Gets First Resistant Pest


Bollworm are the first pests to evolve resistance in the field to plants modified to produce an insecticide called Bt...

26 November 2007

Self-Assembling DNA Chunks Point To Life's Beginnings


The discovery of tiny chunks of DNA that assemble into liquid crystals that "self-orient" points to a plausible scenario for the emergence of life on Earth...

8 November 2007

Genome Analysis Left Wanting


The sequencing and comparison of 12 fruit fly genomes has revealed considerable flaws in the way scientists identify genes...

18 October 2007

X Chromosome The Evolutionary Smoking Gun


New research contends that the X chromosome is heavily influential in the process of speciation - and the reason may be nothing like what biologists expected...

31 August 2007

Horizontal Gene Transfer Vastly Underestimated, Suggests New Study


The movement of genes between unrelated species may happen much more frequently than previously believed, allowing species to acquire new genes and functions extremely quickly...

27 July 2007

Biologists Create Gene "Dimmer Switch"


A tunable genetic switch based on RNAi and repressor proteins can be used to turn on, shut off, or partially activate a gene's function...

11 July 2007

Chernobyl Radiation Affecting The Brightest Of The Bunch


Birds with brightly colored plumage are among the species most adversely affected by the high levels of radiation around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, ecologists have discovered...

19 June 2007

Human Genome "Far More Complex Than Anyone Imagined," Laments Prof


Genetics boffins have called for a reality-check on proposed gee-whiz gene therapies, after the discovery of a vast swathe of unknown protein coding that goes on beyond the boundaries of the documented genome...

29 May 2007

The Cow That Laid The Golden Lactose


Biotech researchers screening milk samples from New Zealand cattle have found that some cows naturally produce skim milk, a discovery that could revolutionize the dairy food industry...

2 April 2007

Fungicide Causing Unusual Epigenetic Changes In Rats


Unusual inherited changes caused by a common fruit fungicide (Vinclozolin) are dramatically affecting the mating behavior of rats...

30 March 2007

Metagenomics: The More The Merrier


Metagenomics, a new holistic technique to analyze vast swathes of microbial DNA, may make it possible to view ecosystems themselves as biological units with their own genetic repertoires, and to sidestep completely the consideration of individual species...

24 November 2006

Wild Wheat Gene Puts A Rocket Under Crop Protein Levels


A new agricultural revolution could be in the offing as plant scientists use a gene from a wild variety of wheat to ramp-up protein and nutrient levels in commercial wheat crops...

4 October 2006

Biochemists Mull Alternative DNA Structures


Scientists are trying to establish how nature arrived at DNA's simple and elegant structure by making alternative DNA forms...

8 August 2006

DNA Structure Still Surprises


Biological dogma has long held that as a molecule of DNA is stretched, its double helix starts to unwind; but now, researchers have shown that this is, in fact, not the case...

21 July 2006

Universal DNA Switch Shakes Up Biology


The startling discovery that all forms of life on Earth use the very same mechanism to initiate a cell's division into twin daughter cells has caused somewhat of a commotion among biologists. It may not sound like much to the layman, but the discovery casts doubt on a number of long-standing and cherished biological models. But rather than it being a crisis in biology, it simply shows how science - in an era that some have dubbed the dawn of a "scientific dark age" - remains as vital and dynamic as ever...

17 July 2006

Protein Complex Fixes Knotty DNA Problem


Researchers have discovered how genetic information remains intact as cells divide, which may provide a greater understanding of what goes wrong when cancer occurs...

15 July 2005

Do We Really Understand Gene Transfer?


The 'tree of life' visualization used to illustrate gene transfer between organisms has been a mainstay of scientific orthodoxy for years, but new research has turned that dogma on its head by observing that gene transfers occur not only vertically, from one organism to its progeny, but also horizontally through the exchange of genetic material between distantly related organisms...

25 May 2006

Giant Cassava Plants Could Feed Africa


A genetically modified cassava plant more than twice as big as normal cassava roots could play a significant role in addressing food shortages in Africa...

25 April 2006

Focus Of Genetic Research Narrowed


A new way of determining proof of natural selection at the single gene level could replace what is known as the standard neutral model, which many scientists say is less than ideal...

13 February 2006

When DNA Turns On Itself


When DNA twists in the opposite direction to its familiar right hand spiral, it becomes what researchers have dubbed Z-DNA, a catalyst for cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma...

24 January 2006

More Evidence Of Our Close Relationship With Chimps


The theory that humans and chimpanzees may be more closely related to each other than chimps are to the other two species of great apes - gorillas and orangutans - has just become even more compelling...

5 September 2005

Junk RNA Begins To Yield Its Secrets


Two new research papers have shed some light on the mysteries behind non-coding RNA molecules. While these "junk" molecules don't play a role in creating proteins, they do appear to play significant roles in the function of cells...

24 August 2005

GM Bacteria Making Plastics


The effects of dwindling fossil fuel reserves won't only be felt at the gas pump. Key ingredients for making plastic come from oil, and researchers are looking at how alternatives like genetically modified E. coli could manufacture some of these chemicals...

10 August 2005

DNA Error Tolerance Points To Life's Warm Beginnings


Researchers investigating why the language of our genes is more complex than it would seemingly need to be, say their findings point to life beginning in a hot primordial soup...

15 July 2005

Do We Really Understand Gene Transfer?


The 'tree of life' visualization used to illustrate gene transfer between organisms has been a mainstay of scientific orthodoxy for years, but new research has turned that dogma on its head by observing that gene transfers occur not only vertically, from one organism to its progeny, but also horizontally through the exchange of genetic material between distantly related organisms...


20 December 2004

Synthetic DNA Set For Data Processing


Researchers have constructed a synthetic DNA "scaffolding" that they say has the potential to self-assemble data processing components 1,000 times as densely as those produced conventionally...


18 August 2004

New Bayesian Technique Helps Unravel DNA Mutations


A new mathematical approach for analyzing the patterns of natural mutation in DNA will help biologists understand how mutation contributes to evolutionary change...


28 June 2004

New Method For Introducing Transgenic Material


Reproductive scientists have succeeded in producing the first animal offspring with transgenic material carried directly from sperm stem cells "infected" with a retrovirus...


28 May 2004

New Findings On Ribosome Function A Surprise


Oops, researchers say that four critical components of cells' protein-building machinery don't do what scientists had long assumed...

Related:
Animal Kingdom
Biology
Environment
Evolution
Humans
Mind/Brain
Prehistory