Articles on DNA

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Revolutionary technologies like CRISPR are founded on discoveries uncovered through basic research that attracts very little attention. United Soybean Board/flickr

New study confirms what scientists already know: basic research is under-valued

On average, important new lab techniques like CRISPR take 23 years to develop – but there is a public expectation that scientific breakthroughs occur quickly and efficiently.
The issues surrounding the use of genetic data are complex. image created by James Hereward and Caitlin Curtis

Dramatic advances in forensics expose the need for genetic data legislation

Police have powerful new genetic tools. How are we going to regulate their use? A Genetic Data Protection Act is one solution to ensure confidence in the way DNA is accessed and used.
Eighty years ago, Seabiscuit trounced Triple Crown winner War Admiral. AP Photo

Can Seabiscuit’s DNA explain his elite racing ability?

The US went crazy for Seabiscuit when he won his famous 1938 match race against War Admiral. Now researchers are investigating the thoroughbred's DNA to see what made him such an unlikely success.
Some Harlequin ladybugs, Harmonia axyridis, have black elytra with two large red spots. Others have two additional red spots backwards, or are decorated with a dozen small red spots. Conversely, there are ladybugs with red elytra, decorated with 20 black spots. All these ladybugs belong to the same species. B. Prud’homme, J. Yamaguchi

In red and black, the genetics of ladybug spots

Where do the pretty colours of the harlequin ladybug come from? A single gene draws the colour patterns of this familiar insect.
A three-banded clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) navigates the anemones of the Andaman Coral Reef, India. Ritiks/Wikipedia

Why does Nemo the clownfish have three white stripes? The riddle solved at last

Our children all know the little clownfish Nemo, star of the Pixar film. But why does he have three stripes, rather than one or two? Developmental and evolutionary biology are revealing the answer.

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