Centuries-old theories surrounding human height as it correlates to evolution have stated two things: those closer to the equator were more linear and longer, while people who lived closer to the poles were wider and shorter, but generally bigger. This is according to Allen’s Rule and Bergmann’s Rule, which were both…
It’s tough to say whether studies that show there is an “alcohol gene” hold any weight, but a new study does attempt to drive home that genetics can play a role in somebody’s desire to get totally trashed. It’s all thanks to some drunk rats.
The English Bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, but it’s also one of the unhealthiest. An upsetting new analysis now shows that these stocky, wrinkly-faced dogs lack the genetic diversity required to improve the breed, and that their current level of health is as good as it’s ever going to get.
By studying the genomes of more than 5,000 Samoans, researchers have uncovered a single gene that boosts a person’s obesity risk by upwards of 40 percent. Remarkably, this gene—which appears in a quarter of all Samoans—may have arisen in the population as they colonized the South Pacific.
Controversy has long surrounded the presumed accidental death of Belgium’s King Albert I in 1934, with conspiracy theorists crying murder. Now, 80 years later, forensic geneticists have successfully matched DNA from blood found at the scene of his death with that of two of the late king’s distant relatives, hopefully…
Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny green microbe joined forces with a fungus, and together they conquered the world. It’s a tale of two cross-kingdom organisms, one providing food and the one other shelter, and it’s been our touchstone example of symbiosis for 150 years. Trouble is, that story is nowhere near…
We’ve seen enough science fiction (and soap operas I suppose) over the years to know that your evil twin is just around the corner. But what if they’ve already taken over your life? What if you’re the evil twin??
Clinical trials of a promising new therapy, in which white blood cells are reprogrammed to attack cancer cells, has resulted in the deaths of three patients. In response, the US Food and Drug Administration has ordered a temporary halt to the trial.
We assume that all biological processes come to an end when we die, but new research shows that many genes remain active for up to four days following clinical death. These zombie genes can’t bring a person back to life, but this discovery has serious implications for forensics and organ donor recipients.
Six months after researchers in China bioengineered monkeys to have autism, a Japanese team of scientists has used the same technology to create monkeys with Parkinson’s. It’s a scientific first, and it could lead to effective treatments—but do the ends justify the means?
Using the CRISPR gene-editing tool, scientists from Harvard University have developed a technique that permanently records data into living cells. Incredibly, the information imprinted onto these microorganisms can be passed down to the next generation.
In an effort to tackle the organ donor shortage, researchers in the United States have successfully created part-human, part-pig embryos and implanted them into a sow. Eventually, these animals could act as incubators for human organs, which concerns some ethicists.
Last month, a group of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered in secret to discuss the possibility of creating a synthetic human genome from scratch. Details of the plan have finally been made public, and it’s as ambitious as it sounds. But critics say they founders of the new project are avoiding the tough…
The precise origin of our canine companions is mired in controversy. But a new study suggests that dogs emerged from not one but two different populations of ancient wolves. What’s more, this dual domestication happened on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent.
Canadian scientists have uncovered a single genetic mutation that significantly heightens a person’s chance of developing a progressive and severe form of multiple sclerosis. While no single factor is responsible for causing the neurological disease, the discovery points to possible treatment options.
Scientists say a groundbreaking fertility treatment to correct potentially harmful genetic mutations has the potential to backfire, recreating the exact mutation the intervention was meant to fix. It’s a problem that could put an immediate halt to the pending practice—but a work-around may be possible.
For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of the world’s tallest land species, the giraffe. Surprisingly, this majestic creature required only a small handful of mutations to attain its remarkable physical stature and physiology—but these mutations packed an evolutionary punch.
Planet Earth is doomed with a fast growing global population and a limited amount of farmland to produce food for everyone. That means that we’re going to need to figure out how to maximize what we’ve got—and researchers just made a major breakthrough in getting the most from our crops.
Last year, a biotech startup called Clear Labs performed DNA testing on a bunch of hot dogs and discovered that they often contain more than the label advertises. The same company has now used its arsenal of molecular technologies to break down America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there…
In a lush conservation park in central Kenya, the world’s last three northern white rhinos are unable to breed. When they die, the subspecies will go extinct. That is unless a complex, controversial plan involving tissue cryobanks and test tube embryos can actually work.