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Articles on Genomics

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New DNA analysis revealed that Calvin Hoover killed Christine Jessop in 1984. Toronto Police Chief James Ramer sits next to a screen displaying photos of Calvin Hoover during a news conference on Oct. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Christine Jessop’s killer identified: Solved cold case raises questions about genetic privacy

Christine Jessop was murdered in 1984 and, 36 years later, DNA evidence finally identified her killer. But the police investigation's use of genetic genealogical databases raised questions about privacy.
A researcher wearing a face mask and gloves as a preventive measure inside a laboratory. Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pressure is on to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, but corners can’t be cut

Vaccine development usually spans a number of decades. This is because there's a need to understand the mechanisms of protection against the pathogen, and to minimise adverse reactions.
Genomic sequencing can help in understanding viruses. Gio.tto/Shutterstock

Africa joins the race to trace COVID-19 with genomics

The variation captured in these genomes, when compared to genomes sampled elsewhere, provides a fingerprint that might be associated with a particular virus and a particular cluster of transmission.
Tomatoes’ ancestors looked very different. Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock

Modern tomatoes are very different from their wild ancestors – and we found missing links in their evolution

Through genetic detective work, scientists have identified missing links in the tomato’s evolution from a wild blueberry-sized fruit in South America to the larger modern tomato of today.
No, a DNA swab can’t tell you if you’re gay, or likely to be obese, or depressed. And it can be damaging to believe so. Shutterstock

‘Gay gene’ testing apps aren’t just misleading – they’re dangerous

Genetic apps claim to reveal fundamental insights about your health, well-being, and even intellect. But it's not just spurious science - believing these traits are genetic can have harmful consequences.
Are space twin Scott and Earth twin Mark no longer identical? Robert Markowitz/NASA

Does a year in space make you older or younger?

Before sending humans to Mars or the moon, scientists need to understand what long-term space living does to the human body. Now results are coming in from the Kelly brothers in the TWINS Study,
Of more than 500 species of sharks in the world’s oceans, scientists have only sequenced a handful of genomes – most recently, white sharks. Terry Goss/Wikimedia

Sequencing the white shark genome is cool, but for bigger insights we need libraries of genetic data

Why do scientists spend so much time and money mapping the DNA of species like white sharks? Single studies may offer insights, but the real payoff comes in comparing many species to each other.
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.

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