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E.g., 04/25/2018
E.g., 04/25/2018
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Your search has returned 532 articles:
  • News in Brief

    Genetically modified plant may boost supply of a powerful malaria drug

    Genetic modifications to a plant that makes artemisinin, a key compound used in malaria drugs, tripled the amount of the ingredient naturally produced in leaves.

    Previous attempts to genetically engineer Artemisia annua to increase the yield of artemisinin had failed. So Kexuan Tang, a plant scientist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and colleagues determined A. annua’s entire genetic...

    04/24/2018 - 14:56 Plants, Genetics, Immune Science
  • Science Ticker

    Cicadas on different schedules can hybridize

    Every few years, a buzz fills the air in the southeastern United States as adolescent cicadas crawl out from the soil to molt and make babies. After a childhood spent sipping tree sap underground, some species emerge every 13 years, others every 17 years, rarely overlapping. Yet somehow in this giant cicada orgy, hybridization happens between species that should be out of sync.

    ...

    04/20/2018 - 17:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Larger spleens may help ‘sea nomads’ stay underwater longer

    In turquoise waters off the Indonesian coast, evolutionary geneticist Melissa Ilardo watched as the diver, wearing handmade, wooden goggles, spotted a giant clam meters below and darted down to retrieve it.

    The diver was one of the Bajau people of Southeast Asia, known for holding their breath for long periods while spearing fish and gathering other seafood. During a typical day, these “...

    04/19/2018 - 15:04 Physiology, Genetics
  • News

    Sweet potatoes might have arrived in Polynesia long before humans

    Sweet potatoes were domesticated thousands of years ago in the Americas. So 18th century European explorers were surprised to find Polynesians had been growing the crop for centuries. Anthropologists have since hypothesized that Polynesian seafarers had brought the tuber back from expeditions to South America — a journey of over 7,500 kilometers.

    New genetic evidence instead suggests...

    04/12/2018 - 18:14 Genetics, Agriculture, Anthropology
  • News

    Birds get their internal compass from this newly ID’d eye protein

    Birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field, and this uncanny ability may help them fly home from unfamiliar places or navigate migrations that span tens of thousands of kilometers.

    For decades, researchers thought iron-rich cells in birds’ beaks acted as microscopic compasses (SN: 5/19/12, p. 8). But in recent years, scientists have found increasing evidence that certain proteins in birds’...

    04/03/2018 - 07:00 Genetics, Chemistry, Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Atacama mummy’s deformities were unduly sensationalized

    By analyzing the genome of a tiny fetal mummy known as Ata, researchers have learned more about what led to its strange-looking deformities — and that Ata was not an it, but a she.

    The 6-inch human mummy, found in 2003 in Chile’s Atacama Desert, contains genetic mutations associated with skeletal abnormalities and joint problems, researchers report online March 22 in Genome Research....

    03/22/2018 - 14:54 Genetics, Anthropology
  • News in Brief

    The last wild horses aren’t truly wild

    When it comes to wild claims, hold your horses.

    Free-roaming Przewalski’s horses of Central Asia are often called the last of the wild horses, the only living equines never domesticated. But a new genetic analysis of ancient horse bones suggests that these horses have a tamed ancestor after all, making them feral rather than wild.

    The findings also debunk the idea that these...

    02/22/2018 - 14:00 Genetics, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Study debunks fishy tale of how rabbits were first tamed

    Domesticated bunnies may need a new origin story.

    Researchers thought they knew when rabbits were tamed. An often-cited tale holds that monks in Southern France domesticated rabbits after Pope Gregory issued a proclamation in A.D. 600 that fetal rabbits, called laurices, are fish and therefore can be eaten during Lent.

    There’s just one problem: The story isn’t true. Not only does...

    02/14/2018 - 13:30 Genetics, Animals, Archaeology
  • Science Visualized

    Here’s how cells rapidly stuff two meters of DNA into microscopic capsules

    Frequent fliers, take note. Scientists have figured out how cells quickly pack long chromosomes into compact, organized bundles — a key step before cells divide. The new finding unifies two competing ideas about the process: whether it involves winding chromosomes into a spiral staircase or into a set of loops. It turns out cells use two different ring-shaped proteins called condensins to do...

    01/29/2018 - 16:30 Cells, Genetics
  • News

    Scientists find 10 new defense systems used by bacteria

    Since long before it gained fame as a precise gene-editing tool, CRISPR has had another job defending bacteria against viral invaders. And it’s far from alone. Ten sets of bacterial genes have similar, newly discovered defense roles, researchers report online January 25 in Science.

    The discovery “probably more than doubles the number of immune systems known in bacteria,” says Joseph...

    01/25/2018 - 16:16 Genetics, Microbiology