Today, a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics tied male homosexuality to chemical markers on DNA that affect how genes are expressed. »
Yesterday the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich for their work in mapping out how cells repair damaged DNA. Their research improved our understanding of how our own cells work and helped in the development of cancer treatments, but… »
Scientists have long known that one little microbe is responsible for the infamous Black Death plague that decimated Western Europe in the Middle Ages, wiping out roughly one-third of the population. Now they’ve learned more about where it comes from: it takes just a few small genetic changes to turn a mild stomach… »
Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich share this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for mapping out the mechanics of how cells repair damaged DNA. »
An international team of scientists has scanned the genomes of 2,504 people from around the world to create the world’s largest catalog of human genetic variation (HGV). The extensive database will help them understand why some people are susceptible to certain diseases. »
People who use dating app Tinder judge possible hookups just by looking at faces, making instant decisions based on attractiveness. But apparently those decisions aren’t based on some evolutionary instinct — they come from personal experiences. »
Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You, a new BBC series focused on how our prenatal development shapes our lives, has brought new attention to a group of seemingly sex-swapping people in the Dominican Republic. »
Humans, bacteria, daffodils: We’re a diverse bunch on the surface, but trace each and every Earthling back far enough, and you’ll arrive at a common ancestor. For the first time, scientists have built a comprehensive tree of life that binds us all together. »
For thousands of years, history has been recorded piecemeal, in books, artifacts, buildings and legends. But in the age of molecular biology, a new archive is helping to fill in the gaps: your genetic code. »
Last year’s hugely popular “ice bucket challenge” saw celebrities pouring buckets of ice water over their heads to help fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). Skeptics dismissed it as mere “slacktivism,” but researchers told us that the money led directly to a scientific breakthrough. Can slacktivism actually work? »
A male seahorse gets pregnant when his mate deposits her as-yet-unfertilized eggs into a pouch on his belly. He fertilizes them, then carries the developing embryos until they’re ready to feed themselves. At which point he forcefully shoots them into the world.
Chances are, you’ve never heard of bdelloid rotifers, strange microscopic creatures that typically live in freshwater ponds and streams. In the grand scheme of things, they’re related to arthropods, a group which includes insects, spiders, and crustaceans. But honestly, they’re in a unique class all their own. And… »
It seems like cruel fate that some folks are naturally thin, while others have to work tirelessly to control their weight. But in the future, we may be able to level the playing field, because scientists have just discovered a ‘metabolic master switch’ that determines whether fat-producing adipocytes store or burn… »
Scientists have finished sequencing the first complete octopus genome, and it’s a big step toward unraveling many cephalopod mysteries, including the basis of their unusual intelligence and unmatched camouflage abilities. »
A genetic analysis of ancient and modern humans suggests that the ancestors of Native Americans entered the North American continent from Siberia some 23,000 years ago—and that they did so in a single wave.
About one out of every 20,000 people born with male genitalia has two X chromosomes. One X holds an SRY gene, which induces male development in mammalian embryos and is normally found on the Y chromosome. In a fascinating article at Smithsonian, Viviane Callier explains how SRY can make the jump from Y to X. »
Like our brains, the human penis hasn’t evolved in tens of thousands of years — and that’s a real shame. Our favorite male body part is capable of so much more. In consideration of pending advances in science and technology, here’s what to expect with penis 2.0.