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Keyword: genetics

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  • Cancer-causing mutations yield their secrets

    02/17/2012 11:05:15 AM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Nature News ^ | 15 February 2012 | Heidi Ledford
    Changes to metabolism disrupt cells' ability to differentiate. The mystery of how mutations in a gene called isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) cause brain cancer and leukaemia is beginning to be unravelled. Researchers have discovered that the mutations cause the production of an enzyme that can reconfigure on–off switches across the genome and stop cells from differentiating. The findings, published in three papers today in Nature1–3, could be used in the development of drugs for cancers with these mutations — a search that is already under way in many pharmaceutical companies. Some cancer patients could benefit from new treatments that target...
  • The Case of the Missing Genes

    02/16/2012 7:37:24 PM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 16 February 2012 | Jocelyn Kaiser
    Enlarge Image Imperfect. The average person may be walking around with about 20 inactive genes. Credit: Jan Kranendonk/iStockphoto You might assume that if you're healthy, you have a normal, healthy genome. But there is no such thing as a normal genome—all of us carry a number of mutated and nonfunctioning genes. Now researchers have estimated exactly how many such genes there are in the average person: about 100, including 20 mutated and completely inactive genes. We probably don't need some of this DNA and in some cases could even be better off without it. Soon after researchers began to...
  • Did Easter Islanders Mix It Up With South Americans?

    02/08/2012 7:20:56 AM PST · by Theoria · 16 replies · 1+ views
    Science ^ | 06 Feb 2012 | Andrew Lawler
    The scattered islands of the vast Pacific Ocean were settled by seafarers who set out from the eastern coasts and islands of Asia and traveled thousands of kilometers by boat. Meanwhile pre-Columbian South America was populated by people who crossed a now-vanished land bridge far to the north. Did these two groups ever meet in the New World? There's a good chance of that, according to a new study, which finds evidence that Easter Islanders may have reached South America and mixed with the Native Americans already there. University of Oslo immunologist Erik Thorsby first began analyzing the people of...
  • That myth-crap of 'Khazars,' pushed by R. Islamists and Neo-Nazis alike

    01/18/2012 2:41:19 PM PST · by PRePublic · 36 replies
    Ever heard about the 'Khazar' myth pushed by the Neo-Nazis/KKK? In fact, Jews are both a nation and a religion. the percentage of those with any roots in khazaria is so minimal, that there was only one non-historian "writer" that came up with the idea to say that the percentage is higher. As a penpal who is of Jewish background told me once: 'Before the WW2 Were were told to go BACK to Palestine where we came from... now the same haters don't even grant us that...' Hitler VS Khazar mythOddly enough, Hitler's "aryanism" and anti-Jewish sick obession was AGAINST...
  • Genes Important to Keep Brain Sharp Through Old Age

    01/19/2012 5:54:05 AM PST · by Pharmboy · 21 replies
    Live Science ^ | 18 January 2012 | Jennifer Welsh
    A person's intelligence is mostly inherited, it's in their genes, but whether a person can expect to be a clever grandma or grandpa relies on both genes and environment. "Until now, we have not had an estimate of how much genetic differences affect how people's intelligence changes across the lifetime," study researcher Ian Deary, of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, said in an email to LiveScience. "These new results mean that researchers can seek both environmental and genetic contributionsto successful cognitive aging." Previous studies of the genetics of intelligence have been performed on sets of twins or...
  • Genome Study Points to Adaptation in Early African-Americans

    01/08/2012 2:22:04 PM PST · by neverdem · 24 replies · 2+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 2, 2012 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Researchers scanning the genomes of African-Americans say they see evidence of natural selection as their ancestors adapted to the harsh conditions of their new environment in America. The scientists, led by Li Jin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, report in the journal Genome Research that certain disease-causing variant genes became more common in African-Americans after their ancestors reached American shores — perhaps because they conferred greater, offsetting benefits. Other gene variants have become less common, the researchers say, like the gene for sickle cell hemoglobin, which in its more common single-dose form protects against malaria. The Shanghai...
  • Brain gene activity changes through life

    12/25/2011 11:22:02 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies
    Science News ^ | November 19th, 2011 | Laura Sanders
    Studies track biochemical patterns from just after conception to old age Human brains all work pretty much the same and use roughly the same genes in the same way to build and maintain the infrastructure that makes people who they are, two new studies show. And by charting the brain’s genetic activity from before birth to old age, the studies reveal that the brain continually remodels itself in predictable ways throughout life. In addition to uncovering details of how the brain grows and ages, the results may help scientists better understand what goes awry in brain disorders such as schizophrenia...
  • Genetic Study Confirms: First Dogs Came from East Asia

    11/23/2011 7:43:40 PM PST · by decimon · 21 replies
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology ^ | November 23, 2011 | Katarina Ahlfort
    Researchers at KTH say they have found further proof that the wolf ancestors of today’s domesticated dogs can be traced to southern East Asia — findings that run counter to theories placing the cradle of the canine line in the Middle East.Dr Peter Savolainen, KTH researcher in evolutionary genetics, says a new study released Nov. 23 confirms that an Asian region south of the Yangtze River was the principal and probably sole region where wolves were domesticated by humans. Data on genetics, morphology and behaviour show clearly that dogs are descended from wolves, but there’s never been scientific consensus on...
  • Our Tax Dollars At Work - Rent Fraud

    11/13/2011 10:39:24 AM PST · by BagCamAddict · 7 replies
    YouTube ^ | 08-04-11 | Judge Judy
    EVERY tax payer in this country needs to watch this video. This is why the "intentionally unemployed" vote Democrat - because our "Government" gives them free rent, free college tuition, free food, free cell phones... This is where our tax dollars go. And after watching this video, every one of us needs to send the video to our "politicians."
  • Concerns Raised about Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes

    10/31/2011 2:12:46 PM PDT · by dubyagee · 26 replies
    New York Times ^ | Oct 30, 2011 | Andrew Pollack
    Researchers on Sunday reported initial signs of success from the first release into the environment of mosquitoes engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, killing them before they reach adulthood.
  • Focus Issue: Recruiting Players for a Game of ERK

    10/29/2011 10:23:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Science Signaling ^ | 25 October 2011 | Nancy R. Gough
    Sci. Signal., 25 October 2011 Vol. 4, Issue 196, p. eg9 [DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002601] EDITORIAL GUIDES Focus Issue: Recruiting Players for a Game of ERK Nancy R. Gough1* 1 Editor of Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, USA. Abstract: The extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) pathway is one of the superfamily of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Signals transmitted by this kinase cascade activate a pair of related proteins, ERK1 and ERK2. Research published in Science Signaling shows that, despite the wealth of knowledge about this pathway, previously unknown functions continue to...
  • Iceman stories begin arriving!

    10/18/2011 10:34:58 AM PDT · by FritzG · 18 replies · 1+ views
    Dienekes' Anthropology Blog ^ | 17 Oct 2011 | Dienekes
    The National Geographic has info, a teaser for an October 26 Nova special: The genetic results add both information and intrigue. From his genes, we now know that the Iceman had brown hair and brown eyes and that he was probably lactose intolerant and thus could not digest milk—somewhat ironic, given theories that he was a shepherd. Not surprisingly, he is more related to people living in southern Europe today than to those in North Africa or the Middle East, with close connections to geographically isolated modern populations in Sardinia, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula. The DNA analysis also revealed...
  • Gene therapy and stem cells unite

    10/13/2011 6:30:34 PM PDT · by CutePuppy · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | October 12, 2011 | James Gallagher
    Two of the holy grails of medicine - stem cell technology and precision gene therapy - have been united for the first time in humans, say scientists.It means patients with a genetic disease could, one day, be treated with their own cells. A study in Nature corrected a mutation in stem cells made from a patient with a liver disease. Researchers said this was a "critical step" towards devising treatments, but safety tests were still needed. At the moment, stem cells created from a patient with a genetic illness cannot be used to cure the disease as those cells would...
  • Christian Professor Claims Genetics Disproves Historical Adam

    08/27/2011 10:07:19 AM PDT · by fishtank · 142 replies · 1+ views
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 8-26-11 | Brian Thomas
    National Public Radio recently interviewed Trinity Western University biologist Dennis Venema, who stated his belief that humans did not descend from Adam and Eve.1 Venema, an evangelical evolutionist, claimed that genetics studies show "there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple."2 Do the data really contradict the biblical account of human history? "Given the genetic variation of people today, [Venema] says scientists can't get that [starting] population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history," NPR reported.2 But this claim fails for three reasons. First, it relies on the presumption of "evolutionary...
  • Human Excrement to Blame for Coral Decline

    08/19/2011 12:07:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 22 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 17 August 2011 | Gisela Telis
    Enlarge Image Coral killer. Bacteria found in human excrement cause white pox disease, which bares coral skeletons and kills their tissue. Credit: James W. Porter/University of Georgia Coral reef ecologists have laid a persistent and troubling puzzle to rest. The elkhorn coral, named for its resemblance to elk antlers and known for providing valuable marine habitat, was once the Caribbean's most abundant reef builder. But the "redwood of the coral forest" has declined 90% over the past decade, in part due to highly contagious white pox disease, which causes large lesions that bare the coral's white skeleton and kill...
  • Suicide-Bombing Bacteria Could Fight Infections

    08/19/2011 11:39:20 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 16 August 2011 | Sara Reardon
    Enlarge Image Guerrilla tactics. Biologists have created synthetically engineered E. coli (left) that explode and kill pathogenic P. aeruginosa (right). Credit: CDC Like any good military unit, infectious bacteria have access to numerous weapons and efficient communication systems. But like soldiers in the field, they're also susceptible to suicide bombers. Researchers have used the tools of synthetic biology to create an Escherichia coli cell that can infiltrate foreign bacteria and explode, killing off the pathogens along with itself. The project, says bioengineer Chueh Loo Poh of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, was "inspired by nature," particularly by quorum sensing,...
  • Database Finds New Uses for Old Drugs

    08/17/2011 9:31:27 PM PDT · by neverdem · 20 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 17 August 2011 | Kai Kupferschmidt
    Enlarge Image Double whammy. Researchers have turned up a pill against heartburn that could be used to treat lung cancer and an antiepileptic pill that might treat Crohn's disease. Credit: Marina Sirota What if a cheap medicine sold over the counter turned out to be a cure against cancer or another deadly disease? Scientists have devised a new way of predicting such unexpected benefits of existing drugs, and they have confirmed two potential new therapies just to prove the point. "This promises new uses for drugs that have already been tested for their safety and offers a faster and...
  • New leukemia treament exceeds 'wildest expectations'

    08/10/2011 1:39:34 PM PDT · by Nachum · 68 replies
    NBC News ^ | 8/10/11 | Robert Bazell
    Doctors have treated only three leukemia patients, but the sensational results from a single shot could be one of the most significant advances in cancer research in decades. And it almost never happened. In the research published Wednesday, doctors at the University of Pennsylvania say the treatment made the most common type of leukemia completely disappear in two of the patients and reduced it by 70 percent in the third. In each of the patients as much as five pounds of cancerous tissue completely melted away in a few weeks, and a year later it is still gone
  • Animal's genetic code redesigned (scientists create worm with artificial genetic code)

    08/13/2011 1:24:33 PM PDT · by NYer · 15 replies
    BBC ^ | August 11, 2011 | Roland Pease
    Researchers say they have created the first ever animal with artificial information in its genetic code. The technique, they say, could give biologists "atom-by-atom control" over the molecules in living organisms. One expert the BBC spoke to agrees, saying the technique would be seized upon by "the entire biology community".The work by a Cambridge team, which used nematode worms, appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.The worms - from the species Caenorhabditis elegans - are 1mm long, with just a thousand cells in their transparent bodies.What makes the newly created animals different is that their genetic code has...
  • Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history

    08/09/2011 11:36:54 AM PDT · by neverdem · 50 replies
    Nature News ^ | 9 August 2011 | Ewen Callaway
    Modern humans may have picked up key genes from extinct relatives. For a field that relies on fossils that have lain undisturbed for tens of thousands of years, ancient human genomics is moving at breakneck speed. Barely a year after the publication of the genomes of Neanderthals1 and of an extinct human population from Siberia2, scientists are racing to apply the work to answer questions about human evolution and history that would have been unfathomable just a few years ago. The past months have seen a swathe of discoveries, from details about when Neanderthals and humans interbred, to the important...
  • Intelligence tests highlight importance of genetic differences

    08/09/2011 6:33:26 AM PDT · by globelamp · 5 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 08-09-11 | Alok Jha
    Genetic differences between people account for up to half of the variation in intelligence, according to a study of more than 3,000 individuals. Intelligence is known to run in families, but no single genes have yet been identified that can be reliably linked to mental ability. Instead, researchers think, many hundreds or thousands of genes could be involved, each with a small influence on a person's overall intelligence. "It has been getting clearer and clearer that any genetic contribution to traits on which people differ – like height and weight – comes about from large numbers of gene differences, each...
  • The Mystery of the Missing Fingerprints

    08/07/2011 12:49:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 16 replies · 1+ views
    ScienceNow ^ | 4 August 2011 | Natalie Villacorta
    Enlarge Image Missing. Researchers have uncovered the mutation behind a rare disease that leaves people without fingerprints. Credit: Nousbeck et al., The American Journal of Human Genetics (2011) In 2007, a Swiss woman in her late 20s had an unusually hard time crossing the U.S. border. Customs agents could not confirm her identity. The woman's passport picture matched her face just fine, but when the agents scanned her hands, they discovered something shocking: she had no fingerprints. The woman, it turns out, had an extremely rare condition known as adermatoglyphia. Peter Itin, a dermatologist at the University Hospital Basel...
  • Living to see 100 is just luck, not lifestyle

    08/05/2011 7:14:22 PM PDT · by Clairity · 42 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | Aug 3, 2011 | Stephen Adams
    Taking regular exercise, drinking only in moderation and watching what you eat makes no difference to one's chances of reaching 100, research has found. Those who are lucky enough to qualify for a telegram from the Queen have simply been dealt a good genetic hand at birth, the study indicates. Academics studied almost 500 people between 95 and 109 and compared them with over 3,000 others born during the same period. They found those who lived extremely long lives ate just as badly, drank and smoked just as much, took just as little exercise and were just as likely to...
  • Half of European men share King Tut's DNA

    08/01/2011 10:50:56 PM PDT · by annie laurie · 73 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Aug 1, 2011 | Alice Baghdjian
    Up to 70 percent of British men and half of all Western European men are related to the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, geneticists in Switzerland said. Scientists at Zurich-based DNA genealogy centre, iGENEA, reconstructed the DNA profile of the boy Pharaoh, who ascended the throne at the age of nine, his father Akhenaten and grandfather Amenhotep III, based on a film that was made for the Discovery Channel. The results showed that King Tut belonged to a genetic profile group, known as haplogroup R1b1a2, to which more than 50 percent of all men in Western Europe belong, indicating that they share...
  • Autism linked to hundreds of spontaneous genetic mutations

    06/09/2011 9:15:06 PM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies
    Nature News ^ | 9 June 2011 | Heidi Ledford
    Analysis suggests that girls are partially shielded from effects of the changes. The most comprehensive search yet for spontaneous genetic mutations associated with autism spectrum disorders suggests that hundreds of regions in the genome may have a hand in causing such conditions. Analyses reported in three papers published this week in Neuron1,2,3 dramatically expand the list of known genetic culprits. Two of the studies also shed light on a long-standing mystery: why are boys four times more likely to have autism than girls1,2? The researchers found that girls with autism tend to have many more mutated genes than boys with...
  • Muslim outrage as professor warns first-cousin marriages increase risk of birth defects

    05/30/2011 1:11:24 PM PDT · by ruralvoter · 57 replies
    The Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 5/30/11 | Tom Kelly
    Inbreeding among British Muslims is threatening the health of their children, a leading geneticist warned yesterday. Professor Steve Jones, from University College London, said the common practice in Islamic communities for cousins to marry each other increased the risk of birth defects. ‘There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful,’ he told an audience at the Hay Festival. ‘We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene. ‘Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge...
  • New blood test can show how long you will live.

    05/16/2011 10:23:24 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 58 replies ^ | 05-16-2011 | Staff
    MENLO PARK, Calif., May 13 (UPI) -- A blood test that measures the length of a person's telomeres -- a predictor of longevity -- may be available soon, U.S. and Spanish researchers say. "Knowing whether our telomeres are a normal length or not for a given chronological age will give us an indication of our health status and of our physiological 'age' even before diseases appear," Maria A. Blasco, who heads the Telomeres and Telomerase Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center and who co-founded the company Life Length, told Scientific American. Telomeres are caps on the ends of...
  • MRC Scientists Identify Genes That Make MRSA Difficult To Beat

    05/13/2011 12:42:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies
    Medical Research Council ^ | May 12, 2011 | NA
    Research at the Medical Research Council (MRC) has highlighted genes in the bacterium Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that may help the superbug to survive after it has been targeted by antibacterial agents. This discovery could inform the development of future drugs to overcome MRSA’s defence systems. The research team, including scientists at the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh and the Universities of St Andrews, Dundee and London, developed a gene map to improve understanding of how MRSA escapes being killed by antimicrobials. For the first time, they were able to map relationships between 95 per cent of MRSA genes,...
  • Hippo, Warts and Other Thugs of the Genetic Realm

    04/30/2011 4:51:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 1+ views
    NY Times ^ | April 25, 2011 | NICHOLAS WADE
    If you should ever have a heart attack, Hippo, Warts, Merlin, Yorkie, Scalloped, Shaggy, Frizzled, Dishevelled and Mob-as-tumor-suppressor may have a lot to do with why you don’t get better in a hurry. These are not characters from a Damon Runyon story but a crew of genes that work together to switch other genes on and off. A team of biologists led by James F. Martin and Todd Heallen of the Texas A&M System Health Science Center has now found that these genes block the heart from growing new heart muscle cells, at least in mice. Knock out Hippo, for...
  • The failure of the genome - If inherited genes are not to blame for our most common illnesses..?

    04/19/2011 12:03:55 AM PDT · by neverdem · 20 replies ^ | 17 April 2011 | Jonathan Latham
    If inherited genes are not to blame for our most common illnesses, how can we find out what is? Since the human genome was sequenced, over 10 years ago, hardly a week has gone by without some new genetic "breakthrough" being reported. Last week five new "genes for Alzheimer's disease" generated sometimes front-page coverage across the globe. But take a closer look and the reality is very different. Among all the genetic findings for common illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and mental illnesses, only a handful are of genuine significance for human health. Faulty genes rarely cause, or even...
  • Christopher Hitchens:'America Has Become Sour,Nasty and Boring'[Guinea Pig Cancer Treatment]

    04/14/2011 7:20:57 AM PDT · by fight_truth_decay · 27 replies ^ | 6:23PM BST 13 Apr 2011 | In Confidence, Sky Arts
    Christopher Hitchens, the provocative British author who lives in the United States, has criticised his adopted country’s current political mood. In an interview for the Sky Arts programme In Confidence, which airs on Thursday night, Hitchens described his disappointment at the way in which he felt America’s generosity and self-confidence had dwindled. “The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity, to put it simply. Broadness of mind, curiosity, willingness to accept strangers, allowing them to become citizens really quite easily, assimilate to their...
  • Oxford ethicist: use IVF to create only smart babies

    04/11/2011 8:28:42 PM PDT · by TheDingoAteMyBaby · 29 replies
    The Way ^ | Mar 27, 2011 | Amanda Hopkins
    Australian ethicist working at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics claims that humanity has a “moral obligation” to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to select the most intelligent embryos for the good of society, with the obvious implication that the less intelligent “surplus” embryos should simply be destroyed. Professor Julian Savulescu of Melbourne made the statement while commenting on an economic modeling research paper by Oxford University ethicists Andres Sandberg and Nick Bostrom, who claim that a rise in humanity’s IQ would result in a reduction in poverty, welfare dependency, crowding of jails, school dropout rates, out-of-wedlock births, and...
  • Liberal Political Views Linked to Specific Gene Variant

    04/06/2011 6:07:35 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies
    Grab Some Health News ^ | April 6, 2011 | Kathleen Blanchard
    New research shows a specific gene variant may play a role in liberal political views. Scientists from University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University say it is a combination of social interaction during adolescence and a specific gene variant that influences liberal thinking and political views. The findings are the first to find a relationship between genes and political thinking. The scientists examined 2000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They looked at social networks and matched genetic information, finding a variant of the DRD4 gene leads to novelty seeking behavior and liberalism. Liberal Thinkers Have...
  • The FDA’s Genetic Paternalism - Stifling research, costing Americans more, and sending them into...

    03/25/2011 1:47:06 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE ^ | March 23, 2011 | Robert VerBruggen
    The FDA's Genetic PaternalismStifling research, costing Americans more, and sending them into the black market — some likely consequences of overregulation Ever wonder why your hair is the color it is, where your remote ancestors resided, or whether you carry genes for diseases that could affect you or your children? As of today, it’s not possible to know all of that with certainty — not even close. But you can get a few answers by sending a saliva sample to a private company and paying it to analyze your DNA. Even better, as new research becomes available, you can check...
  • Solving the puzzle of Henry VIII

    03/03/2011 12:38:11 PM PST · by decimon · 67 replies
    Southern Methodist University ^ | March 3, 2011 | Unknown
    Could blood group anomaly explain Tudor king's reproductive problems and tyrannical behavior?DALLAS (SMU) – Blood group incompatibility between Henry VIII and his wives could have driven the Tudor king's reproductive woes, and a genetic condition related to his suspected blood group could also explain Henry's dramatic mid-life transformation into a physically and mentally-impaired tyrant who executed two of his wives. Research conducted by bioarchaeologist Catrina Banks Whitley while she was a graduate student at SMU (Southern Methodist University) and anthropologist Kyra Kramer shows that the numerous miscarriages suffered by Henry's wives could be explained if the king's blood carried the...
  • UPDATE: ELCA issues revised statement on genetics and faith

    02/24/2011 4:28:31 PM PST · by SmithL · 10 replies
    Grand Forks Herald ^ | 2/24/11 | Stephen J. Lee
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released today a proposed social statement, “Genetics, Faith and Responsibility,” revised somewhat since a draft last year raised controversy among members who said it rejected modern farming practices such as genetically-modified seed. The issue perhaps is germane in that the Red River Valley’s sugar beet farmers are waiting to hear if they will be allowed to use GMO seeds this spring, or if a court battle and new federal regulations will make it impossible. A growing percentage of the corn and soybeans raised in the region also is genetically engineered to be immune to...
  • Lysenkoism (before Sagan, Hanson and global warming "consensus" there was Stalin's scientist)

    01/07/2011 7:24:25 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 31 replies
    BBC ^ | January 7, 2011 | Vanity
    In 1928, as America lurched towards the Wall Street Crash, Joseph Stalin revealed his master plan - nature was to be conquered by science, Russia to be made brutally, glitteringly modern and the world transformed by communist endeavour. Into the heart of this vision stepped Trofim Lysenko, a self-taught geneticist who promised to turn Russian wasteland into a grain-laden Garden of Eden. Today, Lysenko is a byword for fraud but in Stalin’s Russia his outlandish ideas about genetic inheritance and evolution became law. They reveal a world of science distorted by ideology, where ideas were literally a matter of life...
  • I’ll Show You My Genome. Will You Show Me Yours?

    01/06/2011 5:57:32 PM PST · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Reason ^ | January 2011 | Ronald Bailey
    Our science correspondent reveals his genetic code. Soon you will too. Michael Cariaso, developer of the human genetics wiki SNPedia and the online gene analysis tool Promethease, has helped thousands of people unlock the secrets of their own genetic code. But when it comes to making his own gene screening tests publicly available for all the world to see, Cariaso prefers to hold the key close to his vest, worrying that such transparency might lead to personal embarrassment or discrimination by insurance companies or future employers. “Someone later might discover,” he says, “that I have genes for a short penis...
  • Risk for alcoholism linked to risk for obesity

    12/30/2010 1:40:20 PM PST · by decimon · 16 replies · 23+ views
    Washington University in St. Louis ^ | December 29, 2010 | Jim Dryden
    Addiction researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a risk for alcoholism also may put individuals at risk for obesity. The researchers noted that the association between a family history of alcoholism and obesity risk has become more pronounced in recent years. Both men and women with such a family history were more likely to be obese in 2002 than members of that same high-risk group had been in 1992. “In addiction research, we often look at what we call cross-heritability, which addresses the question of whether the predisposition to one condition also might...
  • How a Torn Aorta Can Do Lethal Damage

    12/20/2010 10:19:32 PM PST · by neverdem · 72 replies · 3+ views
    NY Times ^ | December 20, 2010 | DENISE GRADY
    The death of the veteran diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke last week shocked Americans and his many colleagues around the world. Mr. Holbrooke, 69, was a larger-than-life figure, a fearless and robust man who was apparently struck down without warning. He became ill on a Friday, and was dead by Monday. According to government officials, the cause was a tear in his aorta, the artery that carries blood from the heart to vessels that feed the rest of the body. Mr. Holbrooke underwent 21 hours of surgery from Friday to Saturday to repair the damage, and then another seven-hour operation on...
  • The Insanity Virus

    11/18/2010 7:12:58 PM PST · by MetaThought · 26 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | published online November 8, 2010 | Douglas Fox
    The Insanity VirusSchizophrenia has long been blamed on bad genes or even bad parents. Wrong, says a growing group of psychiatrists. The real culprit, they claim, is a virus that lives entwined in every person's DNA. by Douglas Fox Steven and David Elmore were born identical twins, but their first days in this world could not have been more different. David came home from the hospital after a week. Steven, born four minutes later, stayed behind in the ICU. For a month he hovered near death in an incubator, wracked with fever from what doctors called a dangerous viral infection....
  • Church leaves ELCA over seed genetics

    11/12/2010 7:44:56 AM PST · by SmithL · 11 replies
    Grand Forks Herald ^ | 11/12/10 | Kristen M. Daum and J. Shane Mercer
    There’s a feud brewing on the prairie between faith and farming. Another church has voted to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but this time it’s over a new stance the denomination’s leadership plans to take. Congregation members at Anselm Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Sheldon, N.D., don’t like the ELCA’s proposed position on genetics — specifically in relation to farmers’ use of genetically modified seeds, which are common in Red River Valley agricultural production. The congregation voted Sunday to leave the ELCA because it feels the group’s draft social statement on genetics is an attack on farmers. The...
  • Researchers find a 'liberal gene'

    10/27/2010 2:41:55 PM PDT · by decimon · 59 replies
    University of California -- San Diego ^ | October 27, 2010 | Unknown
    Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic make-up, according to new research from the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University. Ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4. The study's authors say this is the first research to identify a specific gene that predisposes people to certain political views. Appearing in the latest edition of The Journal of Politics published by Cambridge University Press, the research focused on 2,000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. By matching genetic information with maps of the...
  • Scientists Find 'Liberal Gene'

    10/27/2010 6:29:15 PM PDT · by rdl6989 · 43 replies ^ | Oct 27, 2010 | ERIC S. PAGE
    Researchers have determined that genetics could matter when it comes to some adults' political leanings. According to scientists at UC San Diego and Harvard University, "ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4." That and how many friends you had during high school. The study was led by UCSD's James Fowler and focused on 2,000 subjects from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
  • Regulating Personal Genomics to Death - The FDA threat to direct to consumer genetic testing.

    10/16/2010 9:52:37 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Reason ^ | October 12, 2010 | Ronald Bailey
    In 2008, Time magazine named retail DNA testing the invention of the year. A scant two years later it is questionable whether this exciting new industry will survive heavy-handed regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In June, the FDA sent letters [PDF] to the leading direct to consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies asserting the agency's authority to require "premarket review" of their tests in order to "protect the public from medical products that may pose an unreasonable risk of harm." So what are the "unreasonable risks" posed by the DTC tests?Unlike X-rays or pharmaceuticals, there are no...
  • First babies born from genetic screening study

    10/15/2010 10:40:57 AM PDT · by Teflonic · 21 replies
    Eurekalert ^ | 10/15/10 | Hanna Hanssen
    Births in Italy and Germany from eggs tested by CGHTwo women taking part in the world's first controlled study of a comprehensive genetic screening test before IVF have given birth to healthy babies. The babies, twin girls born in Germany in June and a singleton boy born in Italy in September, are the first deliveries in a pilot study of comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) by microarray, a new method of screening oocytes for IVF for a full range of chromosomal disorders. Dr Cristina Magli, embryologist at the SISMER Centre in Bologna, one of the two centres taking part in the...
  • Bayer admits GMO contamination out of control

    04/16/2010 12:20:47 PM PDT · by Scythian · 17 replies · 883+ views
    (NaturalNews) Drug and chemical giant Bayer AG has admitted that there is no way to stop the uncontrolled spread of its genetically modified crops. "Even the best practices can't guarantee perfection," said Mark Ferguson, the company's defense lawyer in a recent trial. Two Missouri farmers sued Bayer for contaminating their crop with modified genes from an experimental strain of rice engineered to be resistant to the company's Liberty-brand herbicide. The contamination occurred in 2006, during an open field test of the new rice, which was not approved for human consumption. According to the plaintiffs' lawyer, Don Downing, genetic material from...
  • Organ Damage In Rats From Monsanto GMO Corn

    01/13/2010 8:17:26 AM PST · by Clint Williams · 52 replies · 1,246+ views
    Slashdot ^ | 1/13/10 | kdawson
    jenningsthecat writes "A study published in December 2009 in the International Journal of Biological Sciences found that three varieties of Monsanto genetically-modified corn caused damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs of rats. One of the corn varieties was designed to tolerate broad-spectrum herbicides, (so-called 'Roundup-ready' corn), while the other two contain bacteria-derived proteins that have insecticide properties. The study made use of Monsanto's own raw data. Quoting from the study's 'Conclusions' section: 'Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the...
  • Ancient Virus Found Hiding Out in Finch Genome

    10/02/2010 11:21:25 AM PDT · by neverdem · 25 replies · 1+ views
    ScienceNOW ^ | 28 September 2010 | Cassandra Willyard
    Enlarge Image Buried gem. Researchers have uncovered "fossil virus" inside the zebra finch genome. Credit: Peripitus/Wikimedia The hepatitis B virus and its ilk have been around for a long, long time. A newly uncovered "viral fossil" buried deep in the genome of the zebra finch indicates that the hepatitis B family of viruses—known as hepadnaviruses—originated at least 19 million years ago. Together with recent findings on other viruses, the work suggests that all viruses may be much older than thought. No one knows exactly where or when viruses originated. They don't leave fossils, so scientists have begun scouring the...
  • Pensioner who has smoked 292,000 cigarettes celebrates his 100th birthday

    09/25/2010 1:50:50 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 33 replies ^ | 25 Sept 2010 | Daily Mail Reporter
    A pensioner who has smoked almost 300,000 cigarettes during his lifetime has celebrated his 100th birthday. Arthur Langran, who survived being blown up by a grenade during the Second World War, claims the secret behind his longevity is always doing what everyone tells him not to. The father-of-two started smoking when he was 20 and has smoked at least ten cigarettes every day since then - the equivalent of 292,000. The centenarian, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, also drinks a glass of single malt whisky every night before he goes to bed, another factor he credits for his long...