Articles on Genetics

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Couples who are carriers of genes for recessive diseases don’t show any symptoms. Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

What prospective parents need to know about gene tests such as ‘prepair’

Cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome are serious diseases, and most couples carrying the genetic mutations for these don't know it. Should they all be tested?
The genetics of Indonesian people are a mix between different groups of humans. from www.shutterstock.com

Tracing the origin of Indonesian people through genetics

I try to learn who are the ancestors of Indonesian people through genetics. The genetics of Indonesian people are a mix between different groups of humans.
Canadians are overwhelmingly opposed to insurance companies having access to their genetic test results. A new Canadian law prevents insurers from using genetic information to determine coverage or pricing. (Shutterstock)

Why insurers are wrong about Canada’s genetic non-discrimination law

Canadian insurance companies argue that a new law denying them access to genetic test results will raise the cost of insurance for everyone. That's doubtful.
As genes are favored or phased out, human evolution continues. ktsdesign/Shutterstock.com

Evolutionary geneticists spot natural selection happening now in people

Comparing genomes of more than 200,000 people, researchers identified genetic variants that are less common in older people, suggesting natural selection continues to weed out disadvantageous traits.
It appears that whatever factors are constraining genetic potential among less well-off students in the US do not exert a similar influence in Australia. Shutterstock

For Australian students, academic potential still outweighs social circumstances

In the US, differences in school results among poorer children depend more on environment than genes. In Australia, the story is different.
A banana on the salt lake plain at Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, hints at themes of genetics, food and human journeys in three books recommended by fly scientist Thomas Merritt. Shutterstock

Worth reading: Bananas, dwarves, salt and love

A fly scientist ponders the genetics of bananas and dwarves, women and love in reviews of his favourite fiction and non-fiction books.
Gene drives aim to deliberately spread bad genes when invasive species such as mice reproduce. Colin Robert Varndell/shutterstock.com

‘Gene drives’ could wipe out whole populations of pests in one fell swoop

Releasing just 100 mice carrying a faulty gene designed to stop them reproducing can remove an entire population of 50,000, a new study shows, paving the way for new eradication efforts.

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