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E.g., 07/20/2019
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  • News

    This gene may help worms live longer, but not healthier

    Long life and good health don’t always go hand in hand. 

    A gene that lengthens nematode worms’ lives and is necessary for reproduction also makes the worms more susceptible to infection and stress, researchers report July 17 in Nature Communications. That’s unusual; longevity-promoting genes generally help organisms deal with stress, says Arjumand Ghazi, a geneticist who studies aging at...

    07/17/2019 - 05:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News

    Ground beetle genitals have the genetic ability to get strange. They don’t

    A new peek at the genetics of beetle genitals reveals the underpinnings of a battle of the sexes.

    When mating, males of Japan’s flightless Carabus beetles insert a chitin-covered appendage that, once inside a female, pops out a plump sperm-delivery tube as well as a side projection called a copulatory piece. That piece doesn’t deliver any sperm, but steadies the alignment by fitting just...

    07/08/2019 - 08:00 Animals, Evolution, Genetics
  • News in Brief

    Ancient DNA reveals the origins of the Philistines

    Hard-won genetic clues from the bones of Philistines, a people known from the Old Testament for their battles with Israelites, have taken some of the mystery out of their hazy origins.

    DNA extracted from the remains of 10 individuals buried at Ashkelon, an ancient Philistine port city in Israel, displays molecular links to ancient and modern populations in the eastern Mediterranean,...

    07/03/2019 - 14:00 Anthropology, Genetics
  • News

    Antioxidants may encourage the spread of lung cancer rather than prevent it

    Antioxidants, once touted as a cancer preventive, may actually spur the disease’s spread. Now scientists have figured out how.

    Whether taken as a dietary supplement or produced by the body, antioxidants appear to help lung cancer cells invade tissues beyond the chest cavity, two studies report online June 27 in Cell. Experiments in mice and human tissue revealed that antioxidants both...

    06/27/2019 - 11:02 Cancer, Health, Genetics
  • News

    DNA reveals a European Neandertal lineage that lasted 80,000 years

    Neandertals had evolutionary stamina. An unbroken genetic line of the jut-jawed, powerfully built human relatives inhabited Europe for at least 80,000 years until dying out around 40,000 years ago, scientists say.

    DNA extracted from fossils of two roughly 120,000-year-old European Neandertals displays closer genetic links to 40,000-year-old European Neandertals than to a Siberian...

    06/26/2019 - 14:00 Genetics, Human Evolution
  • News

    DNA confirms a weird Greenland whale was a narwhal-beluga hybrid

    Researchers have made a whale of a discovery — a hybrid of a beluga whale and a narwhal.

    DNA analysis of the whale’s skull confirmed it to be the male offspring of a narwhal mother and a beluga father, researchers report June 20 in Scientific Reports.

    The animal was one of three unusual whales caught during a subsistence hunt in 1986 or 1987 in western Greenland’s Disko Bay, and...

    06/20/2019 - 09:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News

    Genealogy companies could struggle to keep clients’ data from police

    After police used DNA sleuthing techniques to arrest a teenage suspect in Utah accused of assault, a public genealogy website shut off most police access in May, following public outcry. That move by GEDMatch to protect the privacy of its users could backfire, some experts warn, creating more privacy issues, not fewer. 

    Forensic genetic genealogy — the use of genetic databases by police...

    06/10/2019 - 12:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    DNA reveals ancient Siberians who set the stage for the first Americans

    Northeastern Siberia hosted migrations of three consecutive ancient populations that created a genetic framework for Siberians and Native Americans today, scientists say.

    While each incoming population largely replaced people already living there, mating between newcomers and old-timers also occurred, conclude evolutionary geneticist Martin Sikora of the University of Copenhagen and...

    06/07/2019 - 12:00 Genetics, Human Evolution, Ancestry
  • News in Brief

    Almost all healthy people harbor patches of mutated cells

    Normal isn’t always normal. A new study finds that large groups of cells in healthy tissues carry mutations, including ones tied to cancer.

    About 95 percent of healthy people had patches of mutated cells in at least one of the 29 tissues examined, including kidney, muscle and liver, researchers report in the June 7 Science. Most of those mutations found in the 488 people in the study are...

    06/06/2019 - 14:00 Genetics, Cancer
  • News in Brief

    Africa’s first herders spread pastoralism by mating with foragers

    Ancient sheep, goat and cattle herders made Africa their home by hooking up with the continent’s native hunter-gatherers, a study suggests.

    DNA analysis shows that African herders and foragers mated with each other in two phases, says a team led by archaeologist Mary Prendergast of Saint Louis University in Madrid. After entering northeastern Africa from the Middle East around 8,000...

    05/30/2019 - 14:00 Anthropology, Genetics, Human Evolution