Researchers recently examined DNA sequences a snail living in deep ocean hydrothermal vents. They found similar DNA to other mollusks, but different DNA expression giving the snail its unique appearance. Continue reading Different Snail, Same Genes: What Gives the Scaly-foot Snail Its Scales?
by Sam Zimmerman figures by Hannah Zucker If we were all mice, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and most inherited disorders would be a thing of the past. We could nibble on as much cheese as we wanted without fear of heart disease and run around our favorite wheel for hours on end without knee pain because all these ailments have been cured in mice. Unfortunately, … Continue reading Why Drugs Tested in Mice Fail in Human Clinical Trials
A new study takes a crack at trying to predict someone’s face using just their DNA. Continue reading A Rough Portrait of Your Face, Painted by your DNA
Let’s consider a paradox of probabilities. If all cells have the same risk of becoming cancerous, then the likelihood of developing cancer is proportional to the number of cells in an animal. This argument generally holds true for the incidence of cancer and body size for individuals within a given species. However, when comparing across different animal species, there is no constant proportionality between body … Continue reading Zombie genes help eradicate elephant cancer in early stages
A first link between chronic stress, genetics, and mental illness has recently observed in mice. Researchers have discovered that the genes of mice exposed to chronic stress change over time. Modifications were most associated with genes related to a variety of mental illnesses, such as depression, autism spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia.1-3 How exactly are genetics, stress, and mental illness related? DNA, serves as instructions for cells and is broken up into … Continue reading How stress can change your DNA
by Amir Bitran figures by Daniel Utter Proteins, the molecules that sustain all life, are similar to cars and other machines in an important way: they require a specific, well-defined structure to function. Obviously, a random pile of car parts cannot be driven. And similarly, a protein that is not assembled correctly cannot perform crucial tasks like producing energy, supporting cell structure, and generating electric signals. In … Continue reading The Hidden Genetic Code
A now five-month-old boy was the first child to be born via spindle nuclear transfer, a controversial fertilization procedure that incorporates genetic material from three different people. Most of our genes are located in the DNA found in a cell’s nucleus, but a few reside in tiny compartments called mitochondria. While rare, mutations in mitochondrial DNA can result in devastating disorders that often cannot … Continue reading It’s a boy! Baby is born with DNA from three “parents”