1. Genetics

    Blind mole-rats are loaded with anticancer genes

    Genes of the long-lived blind mole-rat help explain how the animal evades cancer and why it lost vision.

  2. Chemistry

    Bacteria take plants to biofuel in one step

    Engineered bacterium singlehandedly dismantles tough switchgrass molecules, making sugars that it ferments to make ethanol.

  3. Microbes

    Irish potato famine microbe traced to Mexico

    The pathogen that triggered the Irish potato famine in the 1840s originated in central Mexico, not the Andes, as some studies had suggested.

  4. Genetics

    How a genetic quirk makes hair naturally blond

    Natural blonds don’t need hair dye. They have a variation on a genetic enhancer that dampens pigment production in their hair follicles, scientists say.

  5. Life

    Flightless birds’ history upset by ancient DNA

    The closest known relatives of New Zealand’s small, flightless kiwis were Madagascar’s elephant birds, so ancestors must have done some flying rather than just drifting with continents.

  6. Genetics

    Qatari people carry genetic trace of early migrants out of Africa

    Qatari genomes carry shards of DNA that date back 60,000 years, when humans began to leave Africa.

  7. Genetics

    Spider genomes give hints about venom, silk production

    The genetic codes identify new proteins that may be involved in making and turning on toxins in venom and also those used to make spider silk.

  8. Genetics

    Organism with artificial DNA alphabet makes its debut

    Using DNA molecules other than A, C, G and T, scientists have created the first living organism with an expanded genetic alphabet.

  9. Humans

    Neandertals’ inferiority to early humans questioned

    Early modern humans may not have been smarter or more technologically or socially savvy than their Neandertal neighbors.

  10. Genetics

    E. coli’s mutation rate linked to cells’ crosstalk

    When E. coli cells are in smaller crowds, their genes mutate at an increased rate.

  11. Life

    1918 flu pandemic linked to human, bird virus gene swap

    The 1918 pandemic flu, which killed up to 50 million people, may have come from a human virus and a bird virus swapping genetic material.

  12. Genetics

    Y chromosome gets a closer examination

    The Y chromosome may play a larger role in Turner syndrome and in health and disease differences between males and females than previously thought.