Black Plague genome sequenced by scientists

The black plague, or black death as it’s also referenced, is a deadly infectious disease which killed off more than a third of Europe’s population during the middle ages. The bacteria responsible for the disease has been confirmed by genetic scientists as Yersinia pestis, and recently, building off the research which found this particular strain, German scientists have successfully sequenced

‘Longevity gene’ debunked – there’s no such thing

Scientists from the UK and Hungary have run various experiments to verify the claim of US researchers that a certain gene is responsible for the increase of lifespan, as shown in some test organisms. Their results show, in fact, that the so called “longevity gene” allegedly responsible for the generation of an anti-aging protein doesn’t affect longevity at all. The

China clones pig national-hero who survived catastrophic 2008 quake

In 2008 a deadly earthquake hit the Sichuan province of China killing tens of thousands and living millions homeless – it was the most devastating natural disaster in China’s recent history. From the among the rubles of the quake, however, emerged a survivor-pig which made him an instant national hero at the time. Now, Chinese scientists have cloned the super-pig

Fancy a cup of pigeon milk?

Common sense might tell you that only mammals are capable of lactating, it’s a little know fact, however, that some species of birds are also capable of making milk for their young. The common pigeon produces milk in its crop, located near the esophagus, to feed its young. Scientists have long been wondering how the lactating process takes place for

Human mating with Neanderthals made our immune system stronger

The mating between Neanderthals and modern homo sapiens has been a highly controversial matter between scientists in the anthropology scene for decades now. That was until last year, however, when anthropologists convened that the two related species did indeed mate, but the genes passed down from Neanderthals were inactive. Recently, there’s been another reason for contradiction, once with the publishing

Scientists genetically engineer glowing dog

In what’s maybe the most startling research I’ve been granted to read about recently, scientists from South Korea at Seoul National University, home to the world’s only strictly genetic engineering curricula, have successfully created a dog that can glow in the dark. The genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon, was born in 2009 using a cloning technique which could help

New DNA sequencing device could decode your genome for just $1000

News of a low-cost semiconductor-based gene sequencing machine has been reported this Wednesday in the journal Nature, by a team led by Jonathan Rothberg. The astonishing advancement might lead to a age of personal human genome sequence, where people will be able to decipher their own DNA for as low as $1000. The human genome was first mapped in 2001 and

Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal

There has been a long standing debate regarding the Neanderthal people, and what kind of legacy we carry from them. Recently, a study conducted by an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center showed that a part of the human X chromosome originating

Human history recorded in a single genome

First of all, I hope you’re having a great Summer so far, and I apologize for my leap of absence – I’ve been missing you guys. If you want to know the history of your ancestors, you don’t have to look any further than your own body. As it turns out, your own genome carries a one million year old

How aging can be cured in the future – a scientist’s view

If we’re to guide ourselves after Aubrey de Grey‘s telling, according to his predictions the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born, and as science advances along the decades at the current pace it does, he claims people born soon after the latter mentioned birthday will live to be 1,000. “I’d say we

Scientists predict age using only a saliva sample

In a recently patented research, UCLA geneticists have shown and demonstrated how they’ve accurately been able to predict a person’s age just by analyzing a saliva sample. The research could possibly find highly welcomed applications in crime scene investigation, as a forensics tool for pinpointing a suspect’s age. “Our approach supplies one answer to the enduring quest for reliable markers

Male+Female bird staggers scientists

Pictured above is a cardinal, and if you don’t see anything special about it yet, you should check out its plumage. Alright, maybe not all of us are ornithologists, so I’ll just set the facts straight. If you look closely, you’ll see that the bird has bright red plumage of a male on its left side and gray, female feathers

Tutorial: Find the DNA in a Banana

If we could zoom in on a single, tiny cell, we could see an even teenier “container” inside called a nucleus. It holds a stringy substance: the  DNA. DNA contains a code for how to build a life-form and put together the features that make that organism unique. If we remove DNA from millions of cells, however, we will be

Do modern women prefer less manly men?

Aparently, the anser is YES. First of all, take a look at how the style of male icons has shifted. More rugged Sean Connery was replaced by celebrities as David Beckam, known to spend more time at the beauty salon than the average european female or the infamous Bieber.                     It

Algae gene therapy could cure blindness

Researchers have managed to restore light perception to mice through gene therapy, by inserting algae genes into the retina. The treatment has succeeded in restoring the ability to sense light and dark to blind mice, and clinical trials in humans could begin in as little as two years. “The idea is to develop a treatment for blindness,” says Alan Horsager,

Gene therapy for Parkinson disease boasts remarkable results

While gene-therapy is still regarded as a very innovative practice, it seems like the procedure might take traction as of today when remarkable results were concluded after the first successful double-blind gene therapy for Parkinson disease. In the case of this dreadful disease, medical researchers injected patients with a a gene that codes for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), an enzyme

Altruism gene discovered: generosity explained by science

I recently finished reading The Generous Man by Tor Nørretranders in which the author tries to explain the awkward act of giving away, charity, by invoking social mechanics – sex to be more accurate. People are generous, and by giving they prove they posses enough resources and skill to make it in the world with a handicap. As preposterous as

Ozzy Osborne’s genome reveals why he is still alive

The lead singer, rock legend bat beheader has done pretty much anything you can do in this life. He played in front of thousands, ate/drank/smoked/injected pretty much everything that can be, had motorcycle accidents, never ate right, and yet, at the proud age of 61 he’s alive and kicking just as he ever was. Researchers wanted to find out why

First trial of embryonic stem cells in humans

In was is a historic day, US doctors have officially begun the first trial of using human embryonic stem cells, as a result of the green light they got from regulators. The controversial method has been on the table for quite a while, and now The Food and Drug Administration has given a license to Geron to use stem cells

Female mice turned lesbian after altering gene. An answer to genetic homosexuality?

Mice have been used for research in nearly every field, be it medicine, psychology or genetics. In one recent finding regarding genetics study on mice published in the BMC Genetics journal, scientists have managed to turn mice gay by simply altering their genome structure. How so? Well, it seems a group of scientists from Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and