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E.g., 07/06/2015
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  • Science Ticker

    Genetic tweak hints at why mammoths loved the cold

    A single genetic change may have made woolly mammoths fat, hairy and cold-loving.

    Researchers deciphered the genomes of two woolly mammoths that died about 20,000 and 60,000 years ago. When comparing the mammoths’ DNA to that from three Asian elephants, researchers noted that mammoths had different forms of some proteins involved in sensing temperature.

    The team produced one of the...

    07/02/2015 - 12:00 Molecular Evolution, Animals
  • News

    Heat turns wild genetic male reptiles into functional females

    Some genetically male Australian bearded dragons are growing up as fully functional females in the wild — the first reptiles confirmed to reverse sex under natural conditions.

    Eleven of 131 Pogona vitticeps lizards caught at several sites in southeastern Australia during three years had female sex organs but the male ZZ set of sex chromosomes, says Clare Holleley of the...

    07/01/2015 - 13:03 Animals, Evolution, Physiology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Puzzling cosmic signals, processed food defined and more reader feedback

    To edit or not

    A controversial paper about modifying genes in fertilized human eggs raised some serious ethical concerns. Tina Hesman Saey covered researchers’ arguments for and against this type of...

    07/01/2015 - 09:14 Cells, Nutrition, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Genetic tweak turned plague bacterium deadly

    Two genetic changes turned the plague into a scourge.  

    The ancestor of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis causes mild stomach disease. Early in its evolution, Y. pestis acquired a single gene from other bacteria that allowed it to cause the deadly lung infections of pneumonic plague, scientists ...

    06/30/2015 - 11:00 Health, Genetics, Evolution
  • News

    Spit test could provide early warning of head, neck cancers

    Doctors may be able to detect head and neck cancers more promptly with the help of saliva.

    DNA from tumors can appear in the saliva and blood plasma of patients with head and neck cancers, researchers report June 24 in Science Translational Medicine. This DNA could help identify cancer, or its recurrence, at an early stage.  Previous studies have suggested using tumors’...

    06/24/2015 - 14:00 Cancer, Genetics
  • News in Brief

    How vitamin B12 makes pimples pop up

    Vitamin B12 causes a normal skin bacteria to produce pimple-promoting chemicals. 

    Both people with clear skin and those with acne have Propionibacterium acnes living on their skin. But bacteria from acne sufferers have a different metabolism than microbes from the pimple-free, researchers report June...

    06/24/2015 - 14:00 Microbiology, Physiology
  • News

    Ivory DNA pinpoints poaching hot spots

    Ivory poachers tend to hunt elephants in just a few key spots in Africa, a new genetic analysis shows.

    The DNA signatures of smuggled tusks seized by law enforcement officials over the last 20 years finger central and southeastern Africa as hotbeds of organized ivory trafficking crime and corruption, scientists suggest online June...

    06/18/2015 - 14:00 Genetics, Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Kennewick Man’s DNA links him to present-day Native Americans

    Native Americans can claim Kennewick Man as one of their own, an analysis of DNA from one of the ancient individual’s bones finds. But the investigation’s suggestion that Kennewick Man had especially close genetic ties to northern Native American tribes that want to rebury his bones is controversial. 

    DNA extracted from a man’s 8,500-year-old skeleton, which was found in Washington State...

    06/18/2015 - 13:00 Anthropology, Ancestry, Genetics
  • News

    Curtailing calories on a schedule yields health benefits

    Diet smarter, not longer.

    Slashing your food intake for just five consecutive days a month can yield a bounty of health benefits, say researchers from the University of Southern California. This briefer approach to caloric restriction, a severe form of dieting, challenges previous research that dieters might need to tighten their belts as often as twice a week to see positive effects...

    06/18/2015 - 12:12 Nutrition, Cells, Physiology
  • News

    Ebola continues to shift, but grows no more fatal

    Ebola is evolving, but not becoming deadlier.   

    As it spread internationally in the West African outbreak, the virus changed, but did not become more contagious or lethal, studies published online June 17 in Nature and in the June 18 Cell ...

    06/18/2015 - 12:00 Genetics