Genetics, News

Genetically Speaking, You’re More Like Your Dad

Image via Pixabay.

You may look more like your mom or more like your dad, but technically, you inherit equal amounts of genetic information from both; however, a new study has shown that you (and all mammals for that matter) are genetically more like their dads. If that sounds a bit confusing… well, it is. Specifically, although we inherit equal amounts of genetic mutations from both our parents, the mutations that make us who we are and not some other person actually ‘use’ more of the DNA that we inherit from our dads.

Biology, Genetics

Carnivorous plant lacks junk DNA, shows evolution takes place at a genetic level

tb-Utricularia-gibba-01

The carnivorous bladderwort (Utricularia gibba) a carnivorous plant which occurs fresh water and wet soil. Recently, they took biologists by surprise by having a huge number of genes, despite a fairly small genome. The plant is six times smaller than the grape for example, but has 28,500 genes, compared to the 26,300 of the grape.

Genetics, Mind & Brain, News

Big-brained mice engineered using human DNA

mouse brain

In the quest to understand what are the crucial differences between human and chimpanzee brains, scientists have isolated a stretch of DNA, once thought to be “junk”, near a gene that regulates brain development in mice. The engineered mouse embryos grew significantly larger brains. Those which received human brain DNA strands had 12% larger brains than those bred with chimp brain DNA. Research like this, though ethically controversial, might help identify which DNA sequences give a brain human characteristics, but also aid in findings treatment or cures for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Genetics, Health & Medicine, News, Nutrition

Genetically modified apples don’t turn brown when sliced or bruised

gm_arctic_Apples

The US government approved a genetically modified apple that doesn’t turn brown when bruised or sliced. While most genetic alterations of plants involve making these more resilient to pests or yield more, the non-browning apples were made out of cosmetic considerations. Of course, the apples will still rot and eventually get brown, but in time and not so easily when stressed (cell rupture). But despite the government approval, voices run rampant against the genetically modified fruit from behalf of anti-GMO groups, as well as rivaling food companies.

Genetics, News

DNA might make the ultimate time capsule; one gram is enough to store most human knowledge

DNA coding info

The best storage medium might actually be DNA, considering the vast amount of information it store relative to its weight – one gram can theoretically hold some 455 exabytes or more than the data collectively stored by all of Google, Facebook and every other tech company. It’s also very durable. Remember how some scientists thought about cloning mammoths? Well, the DNA they would use is at least 4,000 years old, but DNA has been extracted and sequenced from much older samples, like a 700,000 years-old horse. With this in mind, some scientists got the idea of storing the most critical pieces of modern human knowledge into specially treated DNA – maybe the most effective time capsule ever.

Genetics, News, Science

Why some marriages last for life – genuinely so: a genetic and psychological explanaition

science of love

Dr. Robert W. Levenson is a psychologist at UC Berkeley who has been studying 156 married middle-aged and older couples that were together for more than 20 years. Every five years, the couples were asked to come in and report on their current marital satisfaction. They were observed interacting with each other in a lab setting, where researches judged their interactions though their facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and topic of discussion. Of those involved, 125 also agreed to provide DNA samples.

Genetics, News, Science

The genetic lineage of Genghis Khan-like leaders throughout history

genghis-khan

It’s believed that 0.5% of all people alive today or millions of people are descendants of Genghis Khan – the founder of the Mongol empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise. Research now shows that his prolific breeding wasn’t alone in history after another ten huge genetic lineages were discovered. Their founders lived between 2100 BC and 300 BC.

Genetics, Health & Medicine, News

First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory

A microscopic view of the muscles grown in a lab.Credit: Nenad Bursac, Duke University

For the first time, scientists have created a human muscle in a lab which can contract responds to external stimuli just like a real muscle. The engineered muscle responds to electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. The development will allow researchers to test the effect of drugs on human muscles without needing human subjects and in time, may lead to the creation of artificial muscles.

Biology, Genetics, News

Sparks Literally Fly When the Egg Meets Sperm, Spectacular Images Show

A combined imaging approach was used to identify and characterise zinc-enriched packages in a mouse egg. Image courtesy from Northwestern University.

They say that when two people fall in love, you can see sparks flying. Well, that may or may not be true, but researchers from the US have shown that when sperm meets and egg – sparks definitely fly. Fertilization Fireworks These are the first images captured at the exact moment when a mammal’s egg is fertilized, showing that in response,