Articles on Genetics

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Researchers have taken important steps in conserving endangered cats. dragaroo/Flickr

Saving the snow leopard: stem-cell generation a bright new hope

Looking at embryonic cells allows researchers to understand many of the fundamental questions about how an animal’s genes are structured and the role they play in developing the adult animal. This information…
The demise of the woolly mammoth could teach us much about our effect on other species. George Teichmann

Did climate cause the extinction of the Ice Age megafauna?

When we think of the last 50,000 years of prehistory, particularly the “Ice Age”, extinct species such as the woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros often spring to mind. Did humans bring about the extinction…
Stem cell experiments on mice have been shown to correct a liver disorder, but would it work on humans? Flickr/Rick Eh?

Mouse liver experiment heralds stem cell breakthrough

For the first time, scientists have been able to fix a genetic liver defect in tests on mice using stem cells created from…
It’s clear that some people are just more predisposed to getting melanoma with the same level sun exposure than others. Andrey/Wikimedia Commonns

Understanding the genetic basis of melanoma

An international study published today in Nature Genetics, has discovered two genetic variants that increase the risk of melanoma. Melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer but it is one of the…
Psychologists have debated whether our interests are a result of nature or nurture for more than 100 years. pbkwee/Flickr

Nature v nurture: score one all

So, you’ve got your father’s blonde hair and you were raised in a cricket-mad household and you like cricket. But is it your genes or your childhood that’s responsible for your love of cricket or your…
The hands of a 36-year-old sufferer of familial digital arthropathy brachydactyly, a form of inherited osteoarthritis. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Arthritis gene breakthrough could lead to new drugs

Australian researchers have pinpointed a gene that helps cause osteoarthritis, paving the way for new drugs that may one…

Breast cancer risk viewed differently

Women with a strong family history of breast cancer, but no genetic link, are not consistent in how they perceive their risk…
Drugs that switch off the ‘master gene’ that controls Type 2 diabetes could be five years away. Flickr/ThomasThomas

Could a drug reverse Type 2 diabetes?

Australian researchers have isolated a ‘master gene’ that controls Type 2 diabetes and say drugs that prevent or reverse…
So what’s it to be, buddy, my cave or yours? Kaptain Kobold

Sex with our evolutionary cousins? What’s not to love?

We humans had sex with Neandertals; we bonked the relatives of Neandertals; we got down and dirty with members of an as-yet unrecognised African population; and we, of course, got jiggy with each other…
Francis Galton pioneered the concept of eugenics in this lab in London in the late 19th century. Flickr/Science Museum London

Eugenics in Australia: The secret of Melbourne’s elite

Eugenics — the science of improving the race —was a powerful influence on the development of Western civilisation in the first half of the twentieth century. And Melbourne’s elite were among its chief…
GM is not being used to make fishbread Frankenfoods. Dave Lifson/Flickr

Top five myths about genetic modification

The Conversation asked CSIRO scientist, Richard Richards, to look at the top five myths about genetic modification (GM), and correct the public record. Myth one: GM is just haphazard, imprecise cross-breeding…

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