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The Human Genome Project was just the beginning. The Epigenome Roadmap is now telling us how all these genes switch on and off in different parts of the body, and how they go wrong with disease. Tom Purcell/Flickr

Beyond genetics: illuminating the epigenome

There's still a lot we don't know about how various genes are switched on and off. But a new project is seeking to shed light on the complex world of epigenetics.
Evolution isn’t necessarily progressive. Possan/Flickr

What blind beetles can teach us about evolution

Evolution is often perceived as being a “directional” or “adaptive” process. We often think of species evolving to become stronger or faster, or to have sharper teeth, for example. And we tend to see this…
The actions of cells underpin new thinking about pancreatic cancer, which took the life of Apple’s Steve Jobs. James Mitchell

How deadly cancer may actually be spread by survival mechanism

Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease. With a ten-year survival rate of just 1%, it has the poorest prognosis of all solid tumours. The main reason for this is that tumours of the pancreas largely…
Mum’s gone to Iceland. Creatista/Shutterstock

Viking women travelled too, genetic study reveals

The traditional picture of Vikings is one of boatloads of hairy men pillaging their way along the coasts of Europe. Though true to some degree, this stereotype has more recently been tempered with the…
Icy times for mom-to-be meant bad news for baby-on-board. Shaun Best/Reuters

Mom’s prenatal hardship turns baby’s genes on and off

In January 1998 five days of freezing rain collapsed the electrical grid of the Canadian province of Québec. The storm left more than 3 million people without electricity for anywhere from a few hours…
Prize winners together – Ingrid Scheffer and Samuel Berkovic. WildBear

The genetics of epilepsy: bringing hope to families

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science – awarded at Parliament House in Canberra tonight – recognise excellence in science and science teaching. This year, we asked four prizewinners to reflect on their…
Research into gene regulation can treat illness, grow food and understand the brain. WildBear

Epigenetic code cracker: why skin cells are skin cells and not neurons

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science – awarded at Parliament House in Canberra tonight – recognise excellence in science and science teaching. This year, we asked four prizewinners to reflect on their…
What role do genes have to play? Student test by wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

How genes can influence children’s exam results

The idea that children can inherit the ability to get good results at school can spark heated debate. But, put simply, all this means is that children differ in how easy and enjoyable they find learning…
If some foods weird out your taste buds, read on to see if you fall in the ‘supertaster’ quarter of the population. parkydoodles/Flickr (cropped)

Abhor asparagus and can’t stand coffee? You may be a supertaster

There are natural variations between humans in our senses. We need different prescriptions to correct our eyesight. Some people say that vinyl sounds better than CDs or MP3s and will pay big money for…
There’s no one universal ‘intelligence gene’ but many thousands each contributing a small increment – and here are three. Andrew Huff/Flickr (cropped)

Intelligence inheritance – three genes that add to your IQ score

Intelligence, cognitive ability or cognitive performance is usually measured by a battery of tests that aim to quantify skills such as memory and analytical ability. There is loads of variation between…

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