Our cells have a built-in genetic clock, tracking time… but how accurately?
Stopwatch image via www.shutterstock.com.
How do scientists figure out when evolutionary events – like species splitting away from a common ancestor – happened? It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.
How does one set of genes result in huge horns in males and none at all in females?
How can the same basic genome produce such different forms in the two sexes of a single species? It turns out one gene can encode for various things, depending on the order its instructions are read.
Tools of diabetes treatment almost always include improved diet and regular exercise.
Diabetes, which afflicts 29 million people in the U.S., remains a difficult disease to treat. Read how an algorithm devised by MIT researchers could help.
Dental calculus deposits show this Neadertal was eating poplar, a source of aspirin, and moulded vegetation including Penicillium fungus, source of a natural antibiotic.
Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC
Neanderthals had a very varied diet based on what foods were available to them where they lived. They also knew what to eat when they were sick.
Human genome editing raises a lot of questions.
Gene sequence image via www.shutterstock.com.
A new report from the National Academies of Science and Medicine outlines conditions that have to be met before gene editing that results in heritable genomic changes can be considered.
Genomes can reveal a lot about disease risk. But people need to think carefully about what they want to know.
Scientists have sequenced the seahorse's genome and found the genes that could explain male pregnancy.
Facing down a future with no bananas.
Every single Cavendish banana plant worldwide is genetically identical. This vast monoculture sets them up for disastrous disease outbreaks. But researchers have ideas on how to protect the crop.
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions?
Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.
The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
Our knowledge of diseases is growing exponentially, but turning knowledge into cures is proving to be a tricky business.
A new study shows that by using genomics, you can cut down the lengthy process of testing for drug-resistance TB to a matter of days.
Ed Hutchinson/University of Glasgow
Understanding how the flu virus copies itself could open a way to killing it.
Pipette tips with reaction mixture to amplify DNA.
It seems like a no brainer to edit out genetic disease...until we pause to consider what would be lost.
The misunderstood genome.
The movie Gattaca's warnings about using advances in genetics for eugenics proved wide of the mark. It's time people woke up to this.
How has a retrovirus survived intact within the human genome for millennia, and how has it affected us?
Scientists used to think that the 98% of human DNA that didn't encode proteins was junk. They don't think that anymore.
Slowly giving up its secrets.
Many of the genes and transcripts associated with schizophrenia are only found in humans, which makes studying the disorder difficult. But scientists are slowly making progress.
Cutting and pasting DNA – it’s a bit like fitting in LEGO blocks.
Bush 41 Library/Flickr
The biology and ethics of gene editing, explained by scientists.
It’s a lot for a person to puzzle out… call in the computers!
Modern biological research relies on big data analytics. Vast reservoirs of memory and powerful computing ability mean machines find patterns and make meta-analyses and even predictions for scientists.
Understanding the DNA of tumours allows researchers to target treatment to each individual.
Personalised medicine is based on the idea that by understanding the specific molecular code of a person’s disease, and particularly its genetic makeup, we can more accurately tailor treatment.