Genetics

Mutated cat poop parasite treats cancer

Right now, I’m the happy caregiver of seven cats (five kittens. Yey!) which in most people’s books makes me socially challenged and insane. I do take special notice of my pets, and this means looking after them so they don’t get infected by parasites. Cats are typically clean animals, but when infested can spell trouble […]

Mutant worm that doesn’t get drunk could help end alcoholism

An unlikely worm might help millions of people fighting alcohol addiction. No, you won’t find it in tequila, but in the labs of neuroscientists at University of Texas at Austin who have engineered  Caenorhabditis elegans - one of the most popular animal models in science – to become insensitive to alcohol intoxication. The findings, if replicated on […]

Friends are family: study shows we share more genes with friends than strangers

We often cherish our closest friends as if they were family. Well, this isn’t actually too far from the truth, considering a new study from the University of California, San Diego, and Yale University found friends who aren’t biologically related resemble each other genetically. In fact, on average friends are as “related” as fourth cousins […]

Chemical switch found in Alzheimer’s and stroke victims’ brains kills neurons

Researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have found a chemical switch that both regulates the generation of new neurons from neural stem cells and the survival of existing nerve cells in the brain. Postmortem examination of the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and stroke victims found the switch that shuts off the signals was […]

Unique gene passed by extinct human species makes Tibetans superhuman

Advancements in genetic sequencing has allowed genomic research to flourish. DNA sequencing is now much faster, cheaper and accurate than ever before, and we’re only now beginning to reap the rewards. It’s the first step to a complete understanding of our bodies. The Human Genome Project, once finally completed, mapped and identified all the genes of […]

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes manipulated only to breed males, thus wiping whole populations

According to latest estimates by the World Health Organisation, over 3.4 billion people are at risk from contracting malaria and an estimated 627,000 people die each year from the disease. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of leading researchers in the field, however, much progress has been made in curbing down on malaria. Since 2000, increased […]

Scientists genetically screen alleged Yeti samples, find they’re from known mammals instead

One of the most popular urban myths speaks of Bigfoot – an 8-foot tall creature, covered in thick, dark hair. The creature, also known as sasquatch or Yeti (the Asian counterpart) has spurred the imagination of countless people, some of whom went a step farther to report actual sightings of the elusive beast. If you […]

Leukemia drug found to dramatically boost immune system

A class of drugs currently used to treat leukemia has been found to have some severe side effects – positive ones, that is. The drug was found to drastically boosting immune responses against many different cancers, reports a new study. The drug class is referred to as p110´ inhibitors. Recently, it has been used with […]

Three parent babies: possible in two years

Every baby has a mother and a father, right? As in one of each. Well, that may change soon, according to a new UK report. In February, the FDA announced it was considering 3-parent embryos; while this would be an excellent way to stop some deadly diseases, it also raises many ethical questions, and the reaction (as […]

Shorter men live longer, study shows

While being taller has been correlated with success in life, being short also has its perks: a team of researchers has shown that shorter men tend to live longer. “We split people into two groups — those that were 5-foot-2 and shorter, and 5-4 and taller,” said Dr. Bradley Willcox, one of the investigators for […]

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