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Posts Tagged "genes"

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Scientific American Goes Bananas on December 20

Editor’s note: Join the Hangout by visiting Scientific American’s Google Plus page at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. That’s right. Using ordinary household items and a humble piece of fruit, we’re going to perform a seemingly magical feat of science while you watch on a Google Science Fair Hangout on December 20 at 1 p.m. [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Talent versus Practice: Why Are We Still Debating This?

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When I was a little kid, my mom and grandmom were having a heated argument in the front of the car. At one point I interrupted them, and with exasperation said: “You know, Mom, Grandmom is really right.” Then I turned to my grandmom and said, “I think my Mom is right too.” They were shocked, because [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talent or Practice

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What is greatness and how do people get there? Is greatness born or made? Is greatness the result of talent or practice? Few other questions have caused such intense debate, controversy, and diversity of opinions. The heights of human accomplishment have always fascinated us, and for good reason. The striving for greatness is a fundamental [...]

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Observations

Are Genes Really Selfish? [Video]

Biologist Richard Dawkins coined the phrase “the selfish gene” with his best-selling book of the same name. “Selfish”, however, was perhaps an unfortunate word choice because genes lack their own will and can actually drive altruistic behavior. I explain how in our latest Instant Egghead video: Correction (5/15/14): This video erroneously states that honeybee workers [...]

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Observations

For Unendowed Fish, a Fake Dinner Leads to Sex

fish lure sex food

The promise of a nice dinner might not always win over a woman, but for some male fish, a tasty-looking lure seems to get the girl pretty reliably. The trick is to make sure the offering resembles the local cuisine and then they can reel in the ladies hook, line and sinker. Swordtail charachin (Corynopoma [...]

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Observations

A Rose Is a Rose, Until It Isn’t: 5 Reasons Plant DNA Is Totally Crazy

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You may not give your houseplants enough credit. What looks like an innocent philodendron gathering dust may actually be a riddle wrapped in a mystery shrouded in potting soil…at least genetically. Turns out plants have some interesting genetic quirks that keep geneticists guessing. As challenges in finding gene-sequencing shortcuts, called barcodes, have made clear, deciphering plant [...]

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Observations

Monarch Butterfly Genome Gives Clues about Slew of Migration Mysteries

The millions of monarchs (Danaus plexippus) that flit on fragile wings from the U.S.to a particular area of fir forest in Mexico—as far as 4,000 kilometers—are making the journey for the first time. “They have never been to the overwintering sites before and have no relatives to follow,” Steven Reppert, a neurobiologist at the University [...]

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Observations

Schizophrenia shares genetic links with autism, genome study shows

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Schizophrenia involves some of the same genetic variations as autism and attention deficit disorders, a new whole-genome study has confirmed. Schizophrenia, which affects about 1.5 percent of the U.S. population, can result in a variety of symptoms that include disrupted thinking, hallucinations, delusions and abnormal speech. The disease is thought to have genetic links but [...]

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PsiVid

A Biologist’s Mother’s Day Song

Biologist's Mother's Day Song

Happy Mother’s Day! A molecular biology ditty for mom by Adam Cole, who has a pretty fun science video channel. You know I love this one! “Slightly more than half of me is thanks to you!!” From his description below the video come his lyrics and a quote by the wonderful Robert Sapolsky. Lyrics: To [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Is Your Sense of Humor in Your Genes? Geneticists Crack the Code

          // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the seventh video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based [...]

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Talking back

Are Delta-FosB, or 5-HTT the Obama Genes?

The Atlantic featured a captivating fantasy in its November issue about a scenario to assassinate the U.S. president in 2016 by using a bioweapon specifically tailored to his genetic makeup—a virus that targeted the commander in chief and no one else. A great plot for a Hollywood thriller. But will we really see four years [...]

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