Archive | Genetics


Single gene mutation responsible for modern humans

Scientists believe that the appearance of a partial, duplicate copy of a 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. Writing about their findings in Cell, the researchers say the momentous gene duplication event […]

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Genes a good predictor of social status

Scientists using an experimental approach to observe how gene expression patterns correlate with social dominance claim that gene expression can predict the social status of an individual with 80 percent accuracy. The research, detailed in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to demonstrate a link between social status and genetic regulation […]

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Gender behaviors directly manipulated

Uncovering the individual genes that are directly influenced by testosterone and estrogen has allowed University of California, San Francisco 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. Explaining his work in the journal Cell, researcher Nirao Shah said […]

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Immune system ruse nixes peanut allergy

For the first time, Northwestern University 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. Details of the preclinical study have been published in the Journal of Immunology. Northwestern’s Paul Bryce said the peanut tolerance was achieved by […]

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“It’s not all in the genes,” say epigenetic code-breakers

“Genes are not destiny,” say the Salk Institute 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.Their groundbreaking study, published inScience, provides the first evidence that an organism’s epigenetic code – an extra layer of biochemical […]

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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. Both studies were presented this week at the annual conference of the European Society of […]

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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, University of Rochester scientists say they have identified an “elite” repair mechanism that is rarely used but can greatly enhance the body’s natural preservation of genetic information. Writing in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the […]

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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. Published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study focuses on […]

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Colored light used to control brains of GM animals

Optogenetics researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology 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. The researchers, reporting on their work inNature Methods, used red, green and blue lights from a projector to activate light-sensitive microbial proteins […]

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