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  • Ancient African exodus mostly involved men, geneticists find

    12/22/2008 5:14:35 PM PST · by CE2949BB · 26 replies · 733+ views
    Science Codex ^ | December 21, 2008
    BOSTON, Mass. (Dec. 21, 2008) — Modern humans left Africa over 60,000 years ago in a migration that many believe was responsible for nearly all of the human population that exist outside Africa today.
  • We should gene-sequence cave paintings to find out more about who made them

    02/16/2019 5:29:24 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Technology Review ^ | February 14, 2019 | Emerging Technology from the arXiv
    ...the origin of these artworks is shrouded in mystery. Nobody is quite sure what the artists used for paint or binder, how the pigmentation has been preserved for so long, and -- most controversial of all -- exactly when the images were made... Today we get a unique insight into this question thanks to the work of Clodoaldo Roldán at the University of Valencia in Spain and colleagues... One way to date ancient artifacts is with carbon dating. But this works only with pigments that have a biological origin, and with the exception of black, most of them do not....
  • Extinct human species lived together in Siberian cave, new research shows

    02/16/2019 12:59:45 PM PST · by ETL · 20 replies ^ | Feb 15, 2019 | Walt Bonner | Fox News
    Bones recently found in a Siberian cave have given researchers a new glimpse into the timeline of an extinct human species. The species – known as Denisovans – at one time lived alongside Neanderthals in the same cave, the evidence showed. The only fossil evidence of the Denisovans was uncovered in Denisova Cave in the Russian Altai Mountains back in 1980, and amount to three teeth and bone fragments. “Denisovans are a sister group to Neanderthals – that is, they are closer in terms of shared ancestry to Neanderthals than they are to modern humans,” study leader and geochronologist Dr. Richard...
  • The Caucasus: Complex interplay of genes and cultures

    02/11/2019 8:14:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, February 4, 2019 | editors
    An international research team, coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) and the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Berlin, is the first to carry out systematic genetic investigations in the Caucasus region... based on analyses of genome-wide data from 45 individuals in the steppe and mountainous areas of the North Caucasus. The skeletal remains, which are between 6,500 and 3,500 years old, show that the groups living throughout the Caucasus region were genetically similar, despite the harsh mountain terrain, but that there was a sharp genetic boundary to the adjacent...
  • Chimpanzee 'mini-brains' hint at secrets of human evolution

    02/08/2019 10:59:12 AM PST · by ETL · 16 replies ^ | February 8, 2019 | Nicholas Weiler, University of California, San Francisco
    At some point during human evolution, a handful of genetic changes triggered a dramatic threefold expansion of the brain's neocortex, the wrinkly outermost layer of brain tissue responsible for everything from language to self-awareness to abstract thought. Identifying what drove this evolutionary shift is fundamental to understanding what makes us human, but has been particularly challenging for scientists because of ethical prohibitions against studying the developing brains of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, in the lab. "By birth, the human cortex is already twice as large as in the chimpanzee, so we need to go back much earlier into...
  • New U.S. Experiments Aim To Create Gene-Edited Human Embryos

    02/02/2019 6:17:15 AM PST · by Roman_War_Criminal · 52 replies
    npr ^ | 2/1/19 | Rob Stein
    A scientist in New York is conducting experiments designed to modify DNA in human embryos as a step toward someday preventing inherited diseases, NPR has learned. For now, the work is confined to a laboratory. But the research, if successful, would mark another step toward turning CRISPR, a powerful form of gene editing, into a tool for medical treatment. A Chinese scientist sparked international outrage in November when he announced that he had used the same technique to create the world's first gene-edited human babies. He said his goal was to protect them from infection with HIV, a claim that...
  • Child murderer is killed in prison by his cellmate

    01/14/2019 9:57:18 PM PST · by lowbridge · 71 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | January 13, 2019 | Mary Kekatos
    A man convicted of murdering an eight-year-old girl was allegedly killed by his cellmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. According to The Oklahoman, a corrections officer discovered the body of Anthony Joseph Palma, 59, around 7.30pm on Friday during a regularly scheduled security check. Reports say medical staff's efforts to revive Palma were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 8.55pm. Details on how Palma died were not released nor was the name of the inmate, but he was also serving time for first-degree murder, reported the newspaper.
  • Edinburgh scientists discover mammoth secret in ivory DNA

    01/09/2019 12:35:30 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    BBC Scotland ^ | 4 January 2019 | Kenneth Macdonald & Marc Ellison
    Scientists based at Edinburgh Zoo are cooperating to create a genetics laboratory in Cambodia to fight the illegal ivory trade. While trying to save elephants, they have found ivory from another animal that is now extinct. In the WildGenes laboratory of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Dr Alex Ball is drilling what sounds like a giant tooth. Which is in effect what it is: an ornately carved elephant tusk... Together they are building Cambodia's scientific capacity to preserve its wildlife and combat the ivory trade which passes through it.
  • DNA tests

    01/05/2019 5:26:20 PM PST · by bboop · 103 replies
    Self ^ | January 5, 2019 | self
    Gathering info here on DNA tests. Good ones/ those to avoid? Feedback? thanks. I've been doing genealogy for some time; cousin got the test and I am curious.
  • Engineers create an inhalable form of messenger RNA

    01/04/2019 5:30:38 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    MIT News ^ | Anne Trafton
    Messenger RNA, which can induce cells to produce therapeutic proteins, holds great promise for treating a variety of diseases. The biggest obstacle to this approach so far has been finding safe and efficient ways to deliver mRNA molecules to the target cells. In an advance that could lead to new treatments for lung disease, MIT researchers have now designed an inhalable form of mRNA. This aerosol could be administered directly to the lungs to help treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis, the researchers say. “We think the ability to deliver mRNA via inhalation could allow us to treat a range...
  • James Watson Had a Chance to Salvage His Reputation on Race. He Made Things Worse.

    01/04/2019 6:27:34 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 75 replies
    The New York Slimes ^ | Jan. 1, 2019 | Amy Harmon
    The Nobel-winning biologist has drawn global criticism with unfounded pronouncements on genetics, race and intelligence. He still thinks he’s right, a new documentary finds. It has been more than a decade since James D. Watson, a founder of modern genetics, landed in a kind of professional exile by suggesting that black people are intrinsically less intelligent than whites. In 2007, Dr. Watson, who shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for describing the double-helix structure of DNA, told a British journalist that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that...
  • John Wayne Gacy's DNA May Help Solve Cold-Case Murders

    12/04/2012 3:12:13 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 11 replies
    The Times-Picayune ^ | December 03, 2012
    Detectives have long wondered what secrets serial killer John Wayne Gacy and other condemned murderers took to the grave when they were executed -- mostly whether they had other unknown victims. Now, in a game of scientific catch-up, the Cook County Sheriff's Department is trying to be creative: They've created DNA profiles of Gacy and others and figured out they could get the executed men entered in a national database shared with other law enforcement agencies because the murderers were technically listed as homicide victims when they were put to death by the state.
  • James Watson Won’t Stop Talking About Race

    01/01/2019 10:25:48 AM PST · by reaganaut1 · 78 replies
    New York Times ^ | January 1, 2019 | Amy Harmon
    It has been more than a decade since James D. Watson, a founder of modern genetics, landed in a kind of professional exile by suggesting that black people are intrinsically less intelligent than whites. In 2007, Dr. Watson, who shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for describing the double-helix structure of DNA, told a British journalist that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says, not really.” Moreover, he added, although he wished everyone were equal, “people...
  • Beijing eyes two-child policy U-turn, but 'lonely generation' has moved on

    12/24/2018 8:27:59 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    Beijing appears to be on the cusp of abolishing all of its family planning rules — and is even encouraging young couples to have more children as a matter of patriotic urgency. … As China’s population ballooned to close to one billion in the 1970s, the government became concerned about the impact that would have on its plans for rapid economic growth. So Beijing introduced the one-child policy in 1979. People who defied it faced hefty financial penalties and some civil servants lost their jobs. But much worse, many women faced the horror of sterilization and forced abortions. … Data...
  • What Chewed-Up Gum Reveals About Life in the Stone Age [DNA]

    12/19/2018 1:49:47 PM PST · by Red Badger · 29 replies ^ | Dec 14, 2018 | Sarah Zhang
    Chewed tar is an unexpectedly great source of ancient DNA. No one today quite understands how they did it, but people in the Stone Age could turn ribbons of birch bark into sticky, black tar. They used this tar to make tools, fixing arrowheads onto arrows and blades onto axes. And they chewed it, as evidenced by teeth marks in some lumps. These unassuming lumps of chewed birch-bark tar turn out to be an extraordinary source of ancient DNA. This month, two separate research groups posted preprints describing DNA from the tar in Stone Age Scandinavia. The two papers have...
  • Do you carry Neanderthal DNA? The shape of your skull may tell

    12/15/2018 7:51:23 AM PST · by ETL · 88 replies ^ | Dec 14, 2018 | Charles Q. Choi Live Science Contributor | LiveScience
    The shape of your brain may say a lot about the Neanderthal in you. New research has found that modern humans carrying certain genetic fragments from our closest extinct relatives may have more oblong brains and skulls than other people. Modern humans possess unique, relatively globular skulls and brains. In contrast, the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, Neanderthals, have the elongated skulls and brains that are typical of most primates. Previous research had suggested these contrasting skull shapes might reflect differences in the size of various brain regions in modern humans and Neanderthals, and how these brain areas were...
  • Why modern humans have round heads

    12/13/2018 8:50:37 AM PST · by ETL · 52 replies ^ | Dec 13, 2018 | Ann Gibbons
    Ever since researchers first got a good look at a Neanderthal skull in the 1860s, they were struck by its strange shape: stretched from front to back like a football rather than round like a basketball, as in living people. But why our heads and those of our ice age cousins looked different remained a mystery. Now, researchers have found an ingenious way to identify genes that help explain the contrast. By analyzing traces of Neanderthal DNA that linger in Europeans from their ancestors' trysts, researchers have identified two Neanderthal gene variants linked to slightly less globular head shape in...
  • June flashback: Massive Genetic Study Reveals 90 Percent Of Earth’s Animals Appeared At Same Time

    12/09/2018 1:24:25 PM PST · by NYer · 113 replies
    Tech Times ^ | June 10 2018
    Landmark new research that involves analyzing millions of DNA barcodes has debunked much about what we know today about the evolution of species.In a massive genetic study, senior research associate at the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University Mark Stoeckle and University of Basel geneticist David Thaler discovered that virtually 90 percent of all animals on Earth appeared at right around the same time.More specifically, they found out that 9 out of 10 animal species on the planet came to being at the same time as humans did some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago."This conclusion is very surprising,"...
  • Reports: Chinese researcher who claimed to have gene-edited babies goes missing

    12/03/2018 8:12:30 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    SFGATE ^ | Monday, December 3, 2018 | By Michelle Robertson,
    Researcher He Jiankui said last week that he had altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments. He said two of the edited embryos were born healthy twin baby girls. Their DNA had been altered to try to make them resistant to infection with the HIV virus. There is no independent confirmation of what He says he did. Over the weekend, reports emerged in Chinese media that He was being kept under house arrest. He was last seen Wednesday during an appearance at a conference in Hong Kong. He's [His] employer, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen,...
  • Shocking new DNA study reveals that human beings are divided into two genders!

    05/11/2017 11:40:48 AM PDT · by Diana in Wisconsin · 48 replies
    Hot Air ^ | May 10, 2017 | Jazz Shaw
    There’s some additional bad news out there for the “party of science” (as the Democrats have taken to calling themselves) and particularly for transgender advocates. But even if you have no interest in such social justice topics, a new study published by geneticists in Israel is still pretty fascinating. The Liberty Council has a report this week on new research material coming from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, where scientists have undertaken an exhaustive study of genetic differences between the two genders which go far beyond just what’s found in their 23rd chromosomal pair or what sorts of genitalia they...