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Posts Tagged "genome"

Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selection: Excavations, Hurricanes, and Bonobos

This week you’ll want to be sure you check out: Reporting live from Rome, Katy Myers discusses some of the challenges with excavating inside urn—and what constitutes a person—at Bones Don’t Lie. At Inkfish, Elizabeth Preston makes a connection between naming practices and popular words—like violent weather systems. At Evoanth, Adam Benton delves into what [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Ted Turner Donates $1 Million to Help Endangered Gorillas

Grauer

Billionaire media mogul Ted Turner has made a $1 million donation to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International to help support a new initiative to save endangered Grauer’s gorillas (also known as eastern lowland gorillas, Gorilla beringei graueri), a subspecies living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) whose population is on the decline. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New record size for a genome goes to rare plant

paris japonica plant largest genome

A rare plant called Paris japonica has a genome 50 times longer than that of humans, making it the longest genome ever recorded. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, announced the discovery last week, and details appear in the September 2010 issue of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. The Paris japonica genome weighs in [...]

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Food Matters

Carrying canola forward

canola iStock_000012928301Small

Whether you’re coating a baking pan or sautéing squash, you’ll likely reach into your cabinet for a kitchen staple: cooking oil. One of the healthiest of these oils is canola oil, and now, a team of researchers has taken a new step in improving the oil’s source: the canola plant. The researchers, whose home institutions [...]

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Guest Blog

Hallmarks of Cancer 7: Genome Instability and Mutation

BRCA1 structure

All cancers share ten underlying principles, also known as the Hallmarks of Cancer. You can read about the first six here. The seventh is defined as genome instability and mutation. Cancer Cells Evolve Not all cancer cells are equal. They vary, they compete, and the fittest survive to pass on their genes to daughter cells, [...]

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Image of the Week

A Genome is Not a Blueprint

Genome-vs-blueprint

Image: 1936 Joy Oil gas station blueprints (top); sequence from human chromosome 1 (bottom). Source: from A Monkey’s Blueprint by Martin Krzywinski on SA Visual When artist Martin Krzywinski was challenged to come up with a graphic that quickly and concisely shows how the human genome is more similar to chimpanzee and bonobo genomes than [...]

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Not bad science

How might female butterflies gain an advantage? How about having the ability to taste through their feet

heliconius

No man is an island. Similarly, no non-human animal can function alone in the world without interacting with other organisms, be they other animals, plants or bacteria. However, the degree to which animals interact with each other varies, and so the evolutionary pressures upon them from that interaction will vary. To explain, let’s think about [...]

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Observations

Black Skies No More: Passenger Pigeons Slaughtered

Passenger pigeon memorial at the Cincinnati Zoo.

For nearly a minute the sky went black. Then it was over. I was standing in a long alley between two four-story brick buildings on a clear sunny day. Suddenly, off in the bright blue sliver of horizon I could see at the end of the alley, a dark cloud started to rise. It grew [...]

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Observations

Sex with Neandertals Introduced Helpful and Harmful DNA into the Modern Human Genome

Neandertal skull

Over the past few years a number of studies of ancient and contemporary genomes have reached the same stunning conclusion: early human species interbred, and people today carry DNA from archaic humans, including the Neandertals, as a result of those interspecies trysts. Now two new analyses of modern human genomes are providing insights into how [...]

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Observations

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2013

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

Wow. I’ve just spent the last couple days going through the paleoanthropology news that broke in 2013 and I must say it was a banner year. There were so many exciting new findings that bear on scientists’ understanding of just about every chapter of humanity’s seven-million-year saga—from our ancestors’ first upright steps to the peopling [...]

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Observations

Fruit Flies Aid Efforts to Develop Personalized Cancer Treatments

For years clinicians have puzzled over the observation that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop certain malignancies, such as pancreatic, breast and liver cancers. The reason behind their confusion: standard biological principles predict that, if anything, folks with diabetes should suffer fewer tumors, not more of them. However, new research on [...]

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Observations

Horse Fossil Yields Astonishingly Old Genome—Are Similarly Ancient Human Genomes Next?

Horse fossil

Researchers have recovered DNA from a nearly 700,000-year-old horse fossil and assembled a draft of the animal’s genome from it. It is the oldest complete genome to date by a long shot–hundreds of thousands of years older than the previous record holder, which came from an archaic human that lived around 80,000 years ago. The [...]

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Observations

Adaptation to Starchy Diet Was Key to Dog Domestication

Dog

They work with us, play with us and comfort us when we’re down. Archaeological evidence indicates that dogs have had a close bond with humans for millennia. But exactly why and how they evolved from their wolf ancestors into our loyal companions has been something of a mystery. Now a new genetic analysis indicates that [...]

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Observations

Genetic Sequencing Traces Gypsies Back to Ancient Indian Origin

romani gypsy roma genetic india

The Romani people—once known as “gypsies” or Roma—have been objects of both curiosity and persecution for centuries. Today, some 11 million Romani, with a variety of cultures, languages and lifestyles, live in Europe—and beyond. But where did they come from? Earlier studies of their language and cursory analysis of genetic patterns pinpointed India as the [...]

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Observations

Real-Time Genetics Could Squash “Superbug” Outbreaks before They Spread

track superbug outbreak real time genetic sequence

Genetic sequences of drug-resistant bacteria have helped scientists better understand how these dastardly infections evolve—and elude treatment. But these superbugs are still claiming lives of many who acquire them in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. And recent outbreaks of these hard-to-treat infections can spread easily in healthcare settings. Researchers might soon be able to track [...]

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Observations

New Slice of Wheat Genome Could Help Feed Growing Global Population

wheat genome sequence

Common wheat (Triticum aestivum) might seem as boring as the sliced bread it is baked into. But genetically, it is vexingly complex. Its genome is about six times as big as our own, and its genes are distributed among six sets of chromosomes (we humans have just two). In fact, the T. aestivum genome contains [...]

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Observations

Oyster Genome Pries Open Mollusk Evolutionary Shell

oyster genome sequence

The world of the mollusk genome is now our oyster, as researchers have now sequenced the genetic code of this hearty (and delicious) shellfish, revealing it to be even more complex and adaptable than previously imagined. The new genome provides insights how oysters manage to cope with a dynamic habitat and how they build their [...]

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