Genetics

  1. A tuatara, which looks like a spiny lizard
    Genetics

    Lizard-like tuatara carry two distinct mitochondrial genomes

    Having two mitochondrial genetic instruction books, a first for vertebrates, may help explain tuatara’s unique ability to tolerate cold temperatures.

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  2. twin girls
    Genetics

    Some identical twins don’t have identical DNA

    Mutations arising early in development may account for genetic differences between identical twins.

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  3. Lake Baikal
    Genetics

    Plague may have caused die-offs of ancient Siberians

    DNA suggests that the deadly bacterium that causes the plague reached northeast Asia by 4,400 years ago.

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  4. Black-legged tick
    Health & Medicine

    How some ticks protect themselves from deadly bacteria on human skin

    A gene that ticks acquired from bacteria 40 million years ago may help the arachnids keep potential pathogens at bay while feeding on blood.

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  5. heterochromatin
    Genetics

    A key to the mystery of fast-evolving genes was found in ‘junk DNA’

    A new study challenges a long-held belief that essential genes change little over time.

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  6. Penicillin allergy medic-alert bracelet
    Genetics

    Penicillin allergies may be linked to one immune system gene

    Researchers have located a shared hot spot — on the HLA-B gene — in the immune system in people who say they have penicillin allergies.

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  7. Plasmodium falciparum
    Microbes

    How malaria parasites hide from the human immune system

    By turning genes on or off, the parasite keeps blood levels low but persistent, so infection doesn’t set off alarm bells for the immune system.

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  8. illustrated representation of the gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9
    Genetics

    Gene-editing tool CRISPR wins the chemistry Nobel

    A gene-editing tool developed just eight years ago that has “revolutionized the life sciences” nabbed the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

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  9. representational illustration of hepatitis C virus
    Health & Medicine

    Hepatitis C discoveries win 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

    The 2020 medicine Nobel recognizes work that found that a novel virus was to blame for chronic hepatitis and led to a test to screen blood donations.

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  10. Jiankui He
    Genetics

    Strict new guidelines lay out a path to heritable human gene editing

    But scientists say making changes in DNA that can be passed on to future generations still isn’t safe and effective, yet.

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  11. false-color microscope image of HIV on a human cell
    Health & Medicine

    In a first, a person’s immune system fought HIV — and won

    Some rare people may purge most HIV from their bodies, leaving only broken copies of the virus or copies locked in molecular prisons, from which there is no escape.

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  12. illustration of a woolly rhino
    Life

    Climate change, not hunters, may have killed off woolly rhinos

    Ancient DNA indicates that numbers of woolly rhinos held steady long after people arrived on the scene.

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