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.
The critically endangered smalltooth sawfish was recently found to be capable of asexual reproduction. It’s an exciting discovery for many reasons, but breathless claims by the media that sawfish could save their species from extinction by resorting to virgin births are wrong, wrong, wrong. Let’s explore why. »
Biologists just discovered 11 new species of chameleon hiding in plain sight—as chameleons tend to do. »
People love finding out that they have a famous relative, or they’re descended from royalty. Thanks to genetic testing services like 23AndMe, it’s easy to send your spit away and get a rundown of your potentially regal DNA. But being related to long-ago kings doesn’t make us special—it just makes us human. »
A team of geneticists is ready to unlock the secrets behind Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub’s unique appearance.
The Y chromosome, a chunk of genetic code that is unique to male mammals, isn’t just physically smaller than the X. It also contains far fewer genes. The X has more than 1000 genes, while the Y has fewer than 200 —and most of them don’t even work. Why do men have this odd, stunted chromosome in their genomes? »
This is the Altamura Man. He’s old. In 1993, cave researchers stumbled across an odd formation in Italy: a skull that had essentially grown over time to become part of the cave, calcite budding from its features. Now, scientists have discovered that it could easily be 150,000 years old.
In the 1970s, two inhuman creatures—one hairy and tall, another with orange eyes—were spotted in New England. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, blamed these monsters not on unreliable testimonies, but recombinant DNA technology, then a new and promising laboratory technique. »
A millenium ago, a group settled in Iceland and have stayed there ever since, with few people coming and going. And so their DNA has stayed remarkably homogenous. That's a major boon for genetics researchers, who today have released the results of sequencing the complete genomes of 2,636 Icelanders—the largest such… »
What's happening in Siberia's thawing permafrost and Greenland's melting glaciers sounds borderline supernatural. Ancient viruses, bacteria, plants, and even animals have been cryogenically frozen there for millennia—and now, they are waking up. »