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  • News

    A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA

    Even the best editor sometimes introduces typos. That’s true whether the editor is human or a version of the much-heralded gene-editing tool CRISPR.

    One type of CRISPR gene editor that changes individual DNA bases, rather than cutting DNA, introduces more unwanted mutations than expected in mouse embryos and rice plants, researchers report. Those mistakes occurred in places where the...

    03/05/2019 - 12:30 Genetics
  • News

    Genes might explain why dogs can’t sniff out some people under stress

    BALTIMORE — Some police dogs may smell fear, and that could be bad news for finding missing people whose genetic makeup leaves them more prone to stress.

    Trained police dogs couldn’t recognize stressed-out people with a particular version of a gene that’s involved in stress management, geneticist Francesco Sessa reported February 22 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of...

    02/27/2019 - 14:45 Genetics, Physiology, Science & Society
  • News

    A long handshake can spread your DNA to objects you didn’t touch

    BALTIMORE — A 10-second handshake could transfer a person’s DNA to an object that the person never touched.

    In handshaking experiments, people who never picked up a knife became the major source of DNA on the handle about 7 percent of the time, forensic scientist Cynthia Cale reported February 21 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. That DNA was transferred...

    02/26/2019 - 14:53 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    DNA reveals early mating between Asian herders and European farmers

    Hundreds of years before changing the genetic face of Bronze Age Europeans, herders based in western Asia’s steppe grasslands were already mingling and occasionally mating with nearby farmers in southeastern Europe.

    That surprising finding, published online February 4 in Nature Communications, raises novel questions about a pivotal time when widespread foraging and farming populations...

    02/08/2019 - 06:00 Genetics, Archaeology
  • News

    What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you

    A popular at-home DNA testing company has announced that it is allowing police to search its database of genetic data just as customers do when looking for family members. But there’s one big difference: Police are trying to track down rape and murder suspects using relatives’ DNA.

    Since Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested as the suspected Golden State Killer last April, police have...

    02/06/2019 - 06:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • The Science Life

    DNA from extinct red wolves lives on in some mysterious Texas coyotes

    Mysterious red-coated canids in Texas are stirring debate over how genetic diversity should be preserved.

    “I thought they were some strange looking coyotes,” wildlife biologist Ron Wooten says of the canids on Galveston Island, where Wooten works. But DNA evidence suggests the large canids might be descendants of red wolves, a species declared in 1980 to be extinct in the wild.

    A...

    02/04/2019 - 10:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News

    This bacteria-fighting protein also induces sleep

    “Feed a cold, starve a fever,” or so the adage goes. But fruit fly experiments suggest that sleep may be a better remedy.

    A microbe-fighting protein helps control how much and how deeply fruit flies sleep, researchers report in the Feb. 1 Science. That’s evidence that sleep speeds recovery from illness, they conclude.

    “We finally have a very clear link between being sleepy and...

    01/31/2019 - 14:03 Genetics, Physiology, Immune Science