Genetics

Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma

Scientists have shown that trauma can leave epigenetic marks - chemical changes that affect how DNA is expressed without altering its sequence. Basically, your traumatic experiences genetically affect your offspring. Scientists have recently focused on the long term after effects of trauma, finding them to be numerous and diverse. The offspring of traumatized people are at […]

Harmless bacteria turned deadly just 30 years ago – now, it kills 500.000 every year

It’s a truly terrifying story, and a truly terrifying disease. The flesh-eating culprit in question is called GAS, or Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus, a highly infective bacteria. Apart from causing the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis, GAS is also responsible for a range of less harmful infections. But like most bacteria, it was harmless at one point in its […]

Lions’ origin revealed by genetic analysis

The origin and evolutionary history of modern lions has been revealed through genetic analysis. This recent study suggests that the lions’ most recent common ancestor lived around 124,000 years ago. A fallen king Modern lions evolved in two different groups – one of them currently lives in Eastern and Southern Africa, the other includes lions […]

Aging successfully reversed in mice – human trials to start next

As incredible as it may sound, scientists have successfully reversed the aging process in mice, according to a new study published in Cell. Reversing aging, a real possibility? Many of the chronic diseases that exist in older adults constitute a highly significant social and economic burden to the community; if you think about it, eliminating […]

Yeast chromosome engineered from scratch: creating cretures in a lab

In a huge breakthrough in synthetic biology, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have engineered from scratch a yeast chromosome. This is the first time scientists have been able to assemble a chromosome from a creature as complicated as a yeast, namely a prokaryrite. The implications of this research are far and wide. For one, the […]

Sea anemone is genetically half animal, half plant

Sea anemones are remarkable creatures. They are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals, but if you look at them, they look like plants more than animals. Now, a team of evolutionary biologists from the University of Vienna has discovered that sea anemones display a remarkable genome, featuring a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit […]

Large clinical study shows staggering 88% remission rate in leukemia patients

The largest clinical study ever conducted to date of patients with advanced leukemia found that an incredible 88% of patients entered remission after being treated with genetically modified versions of their own immune cells. It’s like the medicine of tomorrow – today; and it’s super effective. “These extraordinary results demonstrate that cell therapy is a […]

Human brain artificially created in laboratory

Human embryonic stem cells can be induced into forming a developing brain tissue. The brain development process represents one of the most specific processes; during it, neuroepithelium, formed as a flat sheet by the nervous system, grows on the exterior layer of the embryo, after which it folds in to create a neural tube giving […]

Chimeric organ harvesting: growing human organs inside pigs

Sure to raise a slew of controversy and debate, researchers in Japan are currently investigating the possibility of growing human organs, like kidneys, livers or even hearts, inside pigs. A real life chimeric tale, as if spawned from the Island of Dr. Moreau. The challenges are numerous though, both technical (we’re talking about growing human […]

Remembering faces is influenced by genetics. Face recognition gene found

Some people just have the knack of remembering the face of everyone they’ve met in their lives, while others, on the opposite end of the spectrum, have a difficult time  recognizing who they met yesterday. Now, researchers at Emory have identified the oxytocin receptor, a gene known to influence mother-infant bonding and pair bonding in monogamous […]

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