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Keyword: mtdna

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  • DNA can't explain all inherited biological traits, research shows

    04/03/2015 11:57:35 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 14 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 4-2-2015 | University of Edinburgh
    Characteristics passed between generations are not decided solely by DNA, but can be brought about by other material in cells, new research shows. Scientists studied proteins found in cells, known as histones, which are not part of the genetic code, but act as spools around which DNA is wound. Histones are known to control whether or not genes are switched on. Researchers found that naturally occurring changes to these proteins, which affect how they control genes, can be sustained from one generation to the next and so influence which traits are passed on. The finding demonstrates for the first time...
  • DNA carries traces of past events meaning poor lifestyle can affect future generations

    06/04/2015 5:37:50 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 41 replies
    The London Telegraph ^ | June 4, 2015 | Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    Scientists now know that our DNA is being altered all the time by environment, lifestyle and traumatic events. Genetic faults caused by trauma, poor lifestyle or environmental stress can be passed down to future generations, scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered. Previously large studies have shown that devastating events such as famine can scar future generations, making them more prone to obesity and diabetes. However it is the first time that the biological mechanism for the effect has been seen. Although the same genes are passed down through generations, scientists now know that our DNA is being altered...
  • Police can now tell identical twins apart – just melt their DNA

    04/27/2015 7:10:20 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    newscientist.com ^ | Jessica Hamzelou
    Graham Williams at the University of Huddersfield, UK, has a different way – to look for modifications to the twins' DNA that have come about as a result of their lifestyles. Such epigenetic changes occur when a chemical group known as a methyl group attaches to a gene and modifies the way it is expressed. This happens as a body is influenced by a person's environment, lifestyle and disease. Williams's team took mouth swabs from five pairs of twins. After extracting the DNA from each sample, the group used a chemical to target parts of the DNA that did not...
  • An Algorithm Set To Revolutionize 3-D Protein Structure Discovery

    04/26/2015 7:57:25 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 21 replies
    MIT Technology Review ^ | April 23, 2015
    One of the great challenges in molecular biology is to determine the three-dimensional structure of large biomolecules such as proteins. But this is a famously difficult and time-consuming task. The standard technique is x-ray crystallography, which involves analyzing the x-ray diffraction pattern from a crystal of the molecule under investigation. That works well for molecules that form crystals easily. But many proteins, perhaps most, do not form crystals easily. And even when they do, they often take on unnatural configurations that do not resemble their natural shape. So finding another reliable way of determining the 3-D structure of large biomolecules...
  • ‘Gertie’s Babies,’ Sold at Birth, Use DNA to Unlock Secret Past

    04/10/2015 12:58:35 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 7 replies
    New York Times ^ | 04 April 2015 | Kirk Johnson
    Sue Docken’s start in life, in 1951, with a no-questions-asked cash adoption at the hands of a midwife, had strong elements of the crime scene that it was. Her adoptive father was told to stay in the car and keep the motor running. His wife went into a nondescript office building in Butte, Mont., where she met with the midwife, Gertrude Pitkanen, and was handed the hours-old infant and the afterbirth, offered a peek through a curtain at the young mother lying in a bed, and told to leave. The afterbirth was thrown out the window on the drive home,...
  • Unearthed, The Prince Of Stonehenge

    08/25/2002 5:04:48 PM PDT · by blam · 78 replies · 3,337+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8-26-2002 | Roger Highfield
    Unearthed, the prince of Stonehenge By Roger Highfield (Filed: 21/08/2002) A prehistoric prince with gold ear-rings has been found near Stonehenge a few yards away from the richest early Bronze Age burial in Britain. Earlier this year, archaeologists found an aristocratic warrior, also with gold ear-rings, on Salisbury Plain and speculated that he may have been an ancient king of Stonehenge. The body was laid to rest 4,300 years ago during the construction of the monument, along with stone arrow heads and slate wristguards that protected the arm from the recoil of the bow. Archaeologists named him the Amesbury Archer....
  • Death of the Hard Drive? Scientists store data inside DNA that could last MILLIONS of years

    02/16/2015 11:59:42 AM PST · by 9thLife · 27 replies
    Mail Online ^ | 16 February 2015 | VICTORIA WOOLLASTON
    Just one gram of DNA can store the equivalent of 14,000 Blu-ray discs. But although the potential for DNA as an alternative to hard drives has been known about for years, it is not the most reliable and secure way to keep data safe. The latest breakthrough could be about to change that, however.
  • The Earliest Group Of Modern Humans To Branch Off Survived Until Just 2,300 Years Ago

    10/03/2014 8:26:08 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 10/03/2014 | STEPHEN LUNTZ, IFL SCIENCE
    Oxford Journals, Genome Biology and EvolutionBurial site and skeletal remains of the St. Helena marine forager, who was at least 50 years old when he died DNA from a 2,300-year-old skeleton suggests that the earliest known group of modern humans to branch off from the wider genetic population survived until astonishingly recently. The finding supports the case that southern, rather than eastern, Africa is humanity's ancestral home.Mitochondrial DNA, passed on only from the mother, demonstrates that all humanity is descended from a single ancestor around 200,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence points to the Omo Valley, where fossil evidence suggests that Homo sapiens roamed Africa 195,000...
  • Infertility link in iceman's DNA

    02/03/2006 12:16:35 PM PST · by Red Badger · 49 replies · 1,270+ views
    BBC ^ | 2/3/2006 | By Rebecca Morelle BBC News science reporter
    Oetzi, the prehistoric man frozen in a glacier for 5,300 years, could have been infertile, a new study suggests. Genetic research, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, also confirms that his roots probably lie in Central Europe. Oetzi's body was found in the melting ice of the Schnalstal glacier in the Italian Alps in 1991. Examination of his remains has already revealed the Copper Age man almost certainly died as a result of a fight. The assessment is based on the presence of an arrowhead that is lodged in his back and extensive cuts to his hands. The...
  • Alpine ice man may have been childless outcast

    02/03/2006 6:43:25 PM PST · by presidio9 · 66 replies · 1,609+ views
    Reuters ^ | Fri Feb 3, 2006 | Sophie Hardach
    Stone Age man found frozen in the Alps some 5,300 years after he was murdered under mysterious circumstances may have been a childless social outcast, a new study showed. Italian anthropologist Franco Rollo studied fragments of the DNA belonging to Oetzi, as the mummy has come to be known, and found two typical mutations common among men with reduced sperm mobility, the museum that stores the "iceman" said. A high percentage of men with such a condition are sterile. "Insofar as the 'iceman' was found to possess both mutations, the possibility that he was unable to father offspring cannot be...
  • New World's Oldest Skeleton Is a Key Genetic Link

    05/15/2014 11:37:31 AM PDT · by Theoria · 37 replies
    WSJ ^ | 15 May 2014 | Robert Lee Hotz
    Remains Found in Mexico Connect Earliest Settlers With Continent's Natives She was just a teenager when she died alone in the dark. The scientists who analyzed her bones said Thursday that she is the oldest nearly complete, genetically intact human skeleton in the New World. Her remains—discovered deep within a flooded cave in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula—cement the connection between the earliest settlers of the Americas and modern Native Americans. A unique genetic marker exhumed from her 12,000-year-old skeleton offers evidence that the first hunter-gatherers who crossed the Bering Sea from northeast Asia on a now-submerged territory called Beringia belonged to...
  • Bison Poop Reveals Two Distinct U.S. Populations [ Holy Feces!!! ]

    02/01/2007 9:39:53 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 39 replies · 545+ views
    LiveScience ^ | January 30, 2007 | Jeanna Bryner
    Bison poop has more to offer than a field-clearing smell. Genetic analysis of the feces has revealed there are two breeding populations of bison in Yellowstone National Park, according to a new study. The discovery has implications for how to manage the roughly 4,000 bison (called Bison bison by scientists), which were previously considered one giant breeding population within the park's boundaries... The poop itself doesn’t contain the DNA. When a bison chows down, the roughage scoots through the digestive tract before a less-recognizable chunk of it passes out of the gut. During the descent, cells lining the gut slough...
  • The Mating Habits of Early Hominins

    12/19/2013 12:22:35 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 56 replies
    The Scientist ^ | December 18, 2013 | Ruth Williams
    A high-quality genome sequence obtained from a female Neanderthal toe bone reveals that the individual’s parents were close relatives and that such inbreeding was prevalent among her recent ancestors, according to a paper published today (December 18) in Nature. But the sequence also reveals that interbreeding occurred between Neanderthals and other hominin groups, including early modern humans. “Did humans evolve like a constantly branching tree? A lot of people think so,” said Milford Wolpoff, a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the study. “But there’s also been this thread of thought, by some...
  • At 400,000 Years, Oldest Human DNA Yet Found Raises New Mysteries

    12/04/2013 12:31:08 PM PST · by Theoria · 45 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 04 Dec 2013 | Carl Zimmer
    Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries. In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years. The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans....
  • DNA reveals details of the peopling of the Americas

    09/02/2013 8:46:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Science News ^ | August 12, 2013 | Tina Hesman Saey
    The scientists examined the DNA of mitochondria, tiny power plants within cells that get passed down from mother to child. Scientists use mitochondrial DNA from living populations to decipher ancient movements of their ancestors. Most studies have examined only a small part of the mitochondria's circular piece of DNA. But Antonio Torroni, a geneticist at the University of Pavia in Italy, and his coauthors compiled complete mitochondrial genomes from 41 native North Americans and combined that data with information from previous studies... supports the widely accepted notion of an initial coastal migration wave. A second wave of migration probably left...
  • DNA From 'In Cold Blood' Killers Could Solve 1959 Florida Cold Case

    12/03/2012 6:24:52 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 27 replies
    ABC News ^ | Dec. 3, 2012 | ALYSSA NEWCOMB
    More than 50 years after the Walker family was murdered in the quiet, carefree town of Osprey, Fla., the focus of the cold case investigation has shifted to two notorious killers who were the basis of Truman Capote's true-crime book "In Cold Blood." Investigators from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office are hoping to travel to Kansas as soon as an order is approved by a judge to exhume the bodies of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. They hope mitochondrial DNA evidence collected from the bones of the killers, who were executed by hanging in 1965, will help close a cold...
  • Polar bears' ancient roots pushed way back

    07/25/2012 6:22:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    Science News ^ | Monday, July 23rd, 2012 | Devin Powell
    ...A new analysis of its DNA suggests that Ursus maritimus split from the brown bear between 4 million and 5 million years ago -- around the same time when, some scientists believe, the Arctic's thick sea ice first formed. With such old origins, the creature must have weathered extreme shifts in climate, researchers report online July 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Simulations of how the DNA changed over time suggest that polar bear populations rose and fell with the temperature. After thriving during cooler times between 800,000 and 600,000 years ago, the bears seem to...
  • Ancient migration: Coming to America

    05/02/2012 10:12:27 PM PDT · by Theoria · 92 replies
    Nature ^ | 02 May 2012 | Adam Curry
    For decades, scientists thought that the Clovis hunters were the first to cross the Arctic to America. They were wrong — and now they need a better theory The mastodon was old, its teeth worn to nubs. It was perfect prey for a band of hunters, wielding spears tipped with needle-sharp points made from bone. Sensing an easy target, they closed in for the kill. Almost 14,000 years later, there is no way to tell how many hits it took to bring the beast to the ground near the coast of present-day Washington state. But at least one struck home,...
  • MtDNA tests trace all modern horses back to single ancestor 140,000 years ago

    04/29/2012 5:53:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | January 31, 2012 | Bob Yirka
    For many years archeologists and other scientists have debated the origins of the domesticated horse. Nailing down a time frame is important because many historians view the relationship between man and horse as one of the most important in the development of our species. Horses allowed early people to hunt for faster prey, to wander farther than before and to create much bigger farms due to pulling plows. Now, new evidence has come to light suggesting that all modern horses, which are believed to have been domesticated approximately 10,000 years ago, descended from one mare around 140,000 years ago. The...
  • Did Ancient Drifters 'Discover' British Columbia?

    04/25/2012 4:58:58 PM PDT · by Theoria · 27 replies
    The Tyee ^ | 03 April 2012 | Daniel Wood
    Legends and bits of evidence tell a story of Asians arriving here long, long ago. Part one of two. "Even pale ink is better than memory." -- Chinese proverbAs the tide creeps over the sand flats of Pachena Bay south of Bamfield, it brings ashore the flotsam of the Pacific that -- on occasion -- hints at extraordinary travels and a mystery of historic proportions. Amid the kelp, in decades past, hundreds of green-glass fishing floats would arrive intact on the Vancouver Island coast, having ridden the powerful Japanese Current in year-long transits from Asia. But on rare occasions, entire...
  • Vikings were successful at invading, alright, but did they also bring.. wisdom?

    02/08/2012 9:13:50 PM PST · by WesternCulture · 39 replies · 2+ views
    http://www.beyondweird.com/high-one.html ^ | 02/09/2012 | WesternCulture
    Our offspring and culture is the most successful feature of the History of Mankind. Ancient Rome and Greece have nothing on Scandinavia of today, nor what we did some centuries after Rome came down. No, I'm not a Racist - and I furthermore am more than a true friend of Italy and Greece. But I do not believe there's a point in denying the fact that Viking Culture has played a major role in shaping the World of today. Have a look at it. Britain, North America, Scandinavia, Germany, etc. in one way or another, all were formed by the...
  • 'Speed Gene' in Modern Racehorses Originated from British Mare 300 Years Ago, Scientists Claim

    01/28/2012 7:50:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | January 24, 2012 | NovaUCD
    Scientists have traced the origin of the 'speed gene' in Thoroughbred racehorses back to a single British mare that lived in the United Kingdom around 300 years ago, according to findings published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications. The origin of the 'speed gene' (C type myostatin gene variant) was revealed by analysing DNA from hundreds of horses, including DNA extracted from the skeletal remains of 12 celebrated Thoroughbred stallions born between 1764 and 1930. "Changes in racing since the foundation of the Thoroughbred have shaped the distribution of 'speed gene' types over time and in different racing regions,"...
  • Mating with Neanderthals Good for Human Health

    06/17/2011 2:29:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Friday, June 17, 2011 | Tim Wall
    Interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals may have given Europeans and Asians resistance to northern diseases that their African ancestors didn't have. Peter Parham, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford, recently presented evidence to the Royal Society in London that Europeans gained many of the genes for human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) from neanderthals. The antigens helped them adapt to diseases in the north much more quickly than would have otherwise occurred. Comparisons of the human and Neanderthal genomes were conducted by Parham to locate similarities and differences in the DNA of modern human populations and Neanderthals. Parham found that modern...
  • We are all mutants

    06/12/2011 10:39:43 AM PDT · by decimon · 28 replies
    Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute ^ | June 12, 2011 | Unknown
    First direct whole-genome measure of human mutation predicts 60 new mutations in each of usEach one of us receives approximately 60 new mutations in our genome from our parents. This striking value is reported in the first-ever direct measure of new mutations coming from mother and father in whole human genomes published today. For the first time, researchers have been able to answer the questions: how many new mutations does a child have and did most of them come from mum or dad? The researchers measured directly the numbers of mutations in two families, using whole genome sequences from the...
  • Ancient DNA reveals male diffusion through the Neolithic Mediterranean route

    06/02/2011 5:26:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    The Neolithic is a key period in the history of the European settlement. Although archaeological and present-day genetic data suggest several hypotheses regarding the human migration patterns at this period, validation of these hypotheses with the use of ancient genetic data has been limited. In this context, we studied DNA extracted from 53 individuals buried in a necropolis used by a French local community 5,000 y ago. The relatively good DNA preservation of the samples allowed us to obtain autosomal, Y-chromosomal, and/or mtDNA data for 29 of the 53 samples studied. From these datasets, we established close parental relationships within...
  • Absence of Mitochondrial Proteins May Prevent Age-Related Diseases, Increase Lifespan

    05/12/2011 8:45:07 AM PDT · by decimon · 26 replies
    Daily Tech ^ | May 12, 2011 | Tiffany Kaiser
    Researchers hope to control a group of mitochondrial proteins that attack and damage other functional cell parts, which leads to age-related diseases Thomas Nyström, study leader and a researcher in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg, and a team of researchers, have discovered that a group of mitochondrial proteins may be responsible for age-related diseases. Scientists have theorized that the mitochondria, which are the power stations of cells, are responsible for human aging. This theory comes from the fact that mitochondria not only produce the body's energy, but also create harmful byproducts. These byproducts...
  • Solving the puzzle of Henry VIII

    03/03/2011 12:38:11 PM PST · by decimon · 65 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...
  • Breakthrough as DNA identifies WW1 soldier

    09/15/2007 8:33:55 PM PDT · by DancesWithCats · 28 replies · 757+ views
    London Daily Telegraph ^ | Sept 16, 2007 | DancesWithCats
    By Jasper Copping Last Updated: 1:29am BST 16/09/2007 He was a young man, like so many others, who fell on the battlefield at Passchendaele. Aged just 29, Private Jack Hunter died in the arms of his younger brother, Jim, who buried him there, on the front line, in a shallow grave. Jack Hunter, who died at Passchendaele, with his brother Jim Jack Hunter, who died in the first world war, with his brother Jim Once the guns had fallen silent, Jim returned to look for his brother's body, but the ground had been chewed up by artillery and he could...
  • Population expansion in the N African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6

    12/24/2010 7:06:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies · 1+ views
    7thSpace Interactive ^ | December 21, 2010 | Luisa Pereira et al
    The archaeology of North Africa remains enigmatic, with questions of population continuity versus discontinuity taking centre-stage. Debates have focused on population transitions between the bearers of the Middle Palaeolithic Aterian industry and the later Upper Palaeolithic populations of the Maghreb, as well as between the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Results: Improved resolution of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup U6 phylogeny, by the screening of 39 new complete sequences, has enabled us to infer a signal of moderate population expansion using Bayesian coalescent methods. To ascertain the time for this expansion, we applied both a mutation rate accounting for purifying selection...
  • Chinese villagers 'descended from Roman soldiers'

    11/27/2010 2:33:35 AM PST · by the scotsman · 42 replies · 1+ views
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 27th November 2010 | Nick Squires
    'Genetic testing of villagers in a remote part of China has shown that nearly two thirds of their DNA is of Caucasian origin, lending support to the theory that they may be descended from a 'lost legion' of Roman soldiers.'
  • Roman Descendants Found In China?

    02/01/2007 6:08:49 PM PST · by blam · 35 replies · 2,539+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2-2-2007 | Richard Spencer
    Roman descendants found in China? By Richard Spencer in Liqian, north-west China Last Updated: 1:33am GMT 02/02/2007 Sound and vision: Richard Spencer visits the village of Liqian, China(Click at site) Residents of a remote Chinese village are hoping that DNA tests will prove one of history's most unlikely legends — that they are descended from Roman legionaries lost in antiquity. Villager Cai Junnian with his green eyes and ruddy complexion Scientists have taken blood samples from 93 people living in and around Liqian, a settlement in north-western China on the fringes of the Gobi desert, more than 200 miles from...
  • Romans in China?

    07/18/2004 8:43:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies · 1,650+ views
    Archaeology ^ | Volume 52 Number 3, May/June 1999 | Erling Hoh
    This idea was first proposed by Homer Hasenphlug Dubs, an Oxford University professor of Chinese history, who speculated in 1955 that some of the 10,000 Roman prisoners taken by the Parthians after the battle of Carrhae in southeastern Turkey in 53 B.C. made their way east to Uzbekistan to enlist with Jzh Jzh against the Han. Chinese accounts of the battle, in which Jzh Jzh was decapitated and his army defeated, note unusual military formations and the use of wooden fortifications foreign to the nomadic Huns. Dubs postulated that after the battle the Chinese employed the Roman mercenaries as border...
  • Roman Legion Founded Chinese City

    07/31/2005 12:31:23 PM PDT · by blam · 37 replies · 3,270+ views
    Ansa ^ | 7-25-2005
    Roman legion founded Chinese city Survivors of Crassus's routed army said to have built town (ANSA) - Florence, July 25 - Roman soldiers who disappeared after a famous defeat founded a city in eastern China, archaeologists say . The phantom legion was part of the defeated forces of Marcus Licinius Crassus, according to the current edition of the Italian magazine Archeologia Viva . The famously wealthy Crassus needed glory to rival the exploits of the two men with whom he ruled Rome as the First Triumvirate, Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar . Crassus decided to bring down the Parthian...
  • Anthropologists looking for Roman legion in China

    11/22/2010 4:06:21 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies · 1+ views
    Newstrack India ^ | Sunday, November 21, 2010 | ANI
    Experts at the newly established Italian Studies Center at Lanzhou University in Gansu province are looking into the possibility that some European-looking Chinese in Northwest China are the descendants of a lost army from the Roman Empire. They will conduct excavations on a section of the Silk Road, a 7,000-kilometer trade route that linked Asia and Europe more than 2,000 years ago, to see if a legion of Roman soldiers settled in China, said Yuan Honggeng, head of the center, reports China Daily... Before Marco Polo's travels to China in the 13th century, the only known contact between the two...
  • Chinese villagers 'descended from Roman soldiers'

    11/24/2010 2:29:16 PM PST · by markomalley · 37 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 11/23/2010 | NIck Squires
    Cai Junnian's green eyes give a hint he may be a descendant of Roman mercenaries who allegedly fought the Han Chinese 2,000 years ago Genetic testing of villagers in a remote part of China has shown that nearly two thirds of their DNA is of Caucasian origin, lending support to the theory that they may be descended from a 'lost legion' of Roman soldiers. Tests found that the DNA of some villagers in Liqian, on the fringes of the Gobi Desert in north-western China, was 56 per cent Caucasian in origin. Many of the villagers have blue or green...
  • Why I Eat Lion and Other Exotic Meats

    11/21/2010 5:42:03 PM PST · by Immerito · 34 replies
    Popular Science ^ | 11/08/2010 | Dave Arnold
    n the November issue, we looked at how scientists are using DNA analysis to track down endangered species that are being hunted for food. Here, Dave Arnold talks about why some people prefer exotic meats. For the most part, Americans are obsessed with tenderness, and favor mild-flavored meat. We eat a fairly small number of animals, almost all of them slaughtered young, when their meat is at its least flavorful. Fortunately, some of us are starting to realize that meat can be much more interesting. As the food revolution continues to gain traction, our ancestral lust for robust, unusual meats...
  • Early Cities Spurred Evolution of Immune System? [ "Amazing" DNA results show benefits ]

    11/12/2010 9:03:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies · 1+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | November 8, 2010 | Matt Kaplan
    As in cities today, the earliest towns helped expose their inhabitants to inordinate opportunities for infection -- and today their descendants are stronger for it, a new study says. "If cities increase the amount of disease people are exposed to, shouldn't they also, over time, make them natural places for disease resistance to evolve?" asked study co-author Mark Thomas, a biologist at University College London... study co-author Ian Barnes, a molecular paleobiologist at University College London, screened DNA samples from 17 groups long associated with particular regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa -- for example Anatolian Turks and the southern...
  • Pompeii's Mystery Horse Is a Donkey

    11/03/2010 8:28:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies · 1+ views
    Softpedia ^ | Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 | Smaranda Biliuti
    Back in 2004, when academics unearthed skeletons found at a house in the ancient Roman town that was covered in ashes in 79 AD, they thought it belonged to an extinct breed of horse... What happened really was that there seems to have been a mix-up in the lab, which led to horse DNA being combined with donkey DNA, creating an artificial hybrid that actually never existed. Six years ago, the skeletons of equids having belonged to a rich Roman household in Pompeii were analyzed. There were found in the stables of a probably wealthy politician, and all five of...
  • DNA reveals identity of Passenger Pigeon

    10/31/2010 5:11:44 AM PDT · by Palter · 48 replies · 1+ views
    Birdwatch ^ | 30 Oct 2010 | Birdwatch
    The extinct Passenger Pigeon, once the most numerous bird species in the world, has had its closest living relatives identified by DNA extracted from museum specimens.The Passenger Pigeon was a forest nomad, breeding in vast colonies and following sporadic crops of acorns and chestnuts around the dense deciduous forests of the eastern and central United States. the forests were once so vast that they could support tens of millions of the birds, which were known to form flocks so huge that they darkened the sky when dispersing. This made them easy prey for hunters' guns, and the greed and over-exploitation...
  • Royal Blood May Be Hidden Inside Decorated Gourd

    10/26/2010 9:07:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Monday, October 25, 2010 | Jennifer Viegas
    The gourd, originally used to store gunpowder, was extensively decorated on the outside with a flame tool. Burned into its surface is the text: "Maximilien Bourdaloue on January 21st, dipped his handkerchief in the blood of Louis XVI after his beheading. It is described in contemporaneous accounts that there was a lot of blood in the scaffold after the beheading and that, in fact, many people went there to dip their handkerchiefs in the blood," Carles Lalueza-Fox, lead author of the study and a researcher at Spain's Institute of Evolutionary Biology, told Discovery News. The handkerchief is now missing from...
  • DNA points to royal roots in Africa

    09/19/2010 5:12:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 38 replies
    MSNBC blogs ^ | September 8, 2010 | Alan Boyle, msnbc.com science editor
    William Holland, a genealogical researcher living in Atlanta, has seen some pretty strange twists in his family tree. Several years ago, he found out that his great-grandfather was a black slave ... who wound up serving as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. But this year Holland's research resulted in something even stranger. Thanks to DNA testing, Holland is being welcomed as a long-lost relative by a ruling family of the West African nation of Cameroon... Holland plugged his genetic markers into a database provided by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, which draws upon GeneTree results as well as...
  • 'Mitochondrial Eve': Mother of All Humans Lived 200,000 Years Ago

    09/04/2010 10:15:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 66 replies
    ScienceDaily staff ^ | August 17, 2010 | materials provided by Rice U
    The most robust statistical examination to date of our species' genetic links to "mitochondrial Eve" -- the maternal ancestor of all living humans -- confirms that she lived about 200,000 years ago. The Rice University study was based on a side-by-side comparison of 10 human genetic models that each aim to determine when Eve lived using a very different set of assumptions about the way humans migrated, expanded and spread across Earth... "Our findings underscore the importance of taking into account the random nature of population processes like growth and extinction," said study co-author Marek Kimmel, professor of statistics at...
  • True causes for extinction of cave bear revealed

    08/24/2010 6:46:14 AM PDT · by decimon · 66 replies
    The cave bear started to become extinct in Europe 24,000 years ago, but until now the cause was unknown. An international team of scientists has analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences from 17 new fossil samples, and compared these with the modern brown bear. The results show that the decline of the cave bear started 50,000 years ago, and was caused more by human expansion than by climate change. "The decline in the genetic diversity of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) began around 50,000 years ago, much earlier than previously suggested, at a time when no major climate change was taking place,...
  • Critics point to flaws in longevity study

    08/01/2010 11:04:59 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 3+ views
    Science News ^ | July 31st, 2010 | Tina Hesman Saey
    Questions have focused on the analytic platform used to find about 150 genetic variations linked to longevity Just like the fountain of youth, a study that purported to find genetic secrets to longevity may be a myth, critics say. Researchers led by Thomas Perls and Paola Sebastiani from Boston University reported July 1 in an online publication in Science that they had identified 150 genetic markers that distinguish centenarians from people with average life spans with 77 percent accuracy. Almost immediately the study came under fire because of a technical flaw. Most of the controversy stems from the devices used...
  • A Genetic Testing Dupe? The government says I am being misled by useless information about my...

    07/28/2010 3:49:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 4+ views
    Reason ^ | July 27, 2010 | Ronald Bailey
    The government says I am being misled by useless information about my genes. I disagree. "Misleading and of little or no practical use to consumers" is the way that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) described the results of direct-to-consumer genetic screening tests in a report unveiled last week. To reach this damning conclusion, the GAO sent in genetic samples from five people for testing by four leading direct-to-consumer testing companies. For each donor the GAO sent two DNA samples, one sample using the person’s actual profile and one using a fictitious profile. Although the testing companies were not identified in...
  • Mitochondrial genome analysis revises view of the initial peopling of North America

    07/09/2010 7:49:08 PM PDT · by neverdem · 84 replies · 2+ views
    EurekAlert ^ | 28-Jun-2010 | NA
    Contact: Peggy Calicchia calicchi@cshl.edu 516-422-4012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Mitochondrial genome analysis revises view of the initial peopling of North America June 29, 2010 – The initial peopling of North America from Asia occurred approximately 15,000-18,000 years ago, however estimations of the genetic diversity of the first settlers have remained inaccurate. In a report published online today in Genome Research (www.genome.org), researchers have found that the diversity of the first Americans has been significantly underestimated, underscoring the importance of comprehensive sampling for accurate analysis of human migrations. Substantial evidence suggests that humans first crossed into North America from Asia over...
  • English and Welsh are races apart DNA

    06/16/2010 12:25:16 AM PDT · by restornu · 50 replies · 1,167+ views
    BBC ^ | Sunday, 30 June, 2002,
    Genetic tests show clear differences between the Welsh and English It suggests that between 50% and 100% of the indigenous population of what was to become England was wiped out, with Offa's Dyke acting as a "genetic barrier" protecting those on the Welsh side. had genes that were almost identical. But there were clear differences between the genetic make-up of Welsh people studied. The research team studied the Y-chromosome, which is passed almost unchanged from father to son, and looked for certain genetic markers. Ethnic links: Many races share common bonds The English and Frisians studied had almost identical genetic...
  • Dogs First Tamed in China -- To Be Food? [SURPRISE!]

    09/08/2009 12:30:02 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 11 replies · 790+ views
    nationalgeographic ^ | September 4, 2009 | John Roach
    Wolves were domesticated no more than 16,300 years ago in southern China, a new genetic analysis suggests—and it's possible the canines were tamed to be livestock, not pets, the study author speculates. "In this region, even today, eating dog is a big cultural thing," noted study co-author Peter Savolainen, a biologist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. "And you can also see in the historical records as far back as you can go that eating dogs has been very common" in East Asia. "Therefore, you have to think of the possibility that this was one of the...
  • Study finds genetic links among Jewish people

    06/03/2010 12:09:49 PM PDT · by decimon · 46 replies · 867+ views
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine ^ | June 3, 2010 | Unknown
    Results could shed light on origins of various diseasesJune 3, 2010 — (BRONX, NY) — Using sophisticated genetic analysis, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and New York University School of Medicine have published a study indicating that Jews are a widely dispersed people with a common ancestry. Jews from different regions of the world were found to share many genetic traits that are distinct from other groups and that date back to ancient times. The study also provides the first detailed genetic maps of the major Jewish subpopulations, a resource that can be used to...
  • Penn Researchers Add Genetic Data to Archaeology and Linguistics to Get Picture of African Popu...

    06/02/2010 5:50:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies · 310+ views
    Univ of Penn ^ | May 26, 2010 | unattributed
    genetic variation in Africa is structured geographically, and to a lesser extent, linguistically. The findings are consistent with the notion that populations in close geographic proximity that speak linguistically similar languages are more likely to exchange genes. Furthermore, genetic variation in Africa appears consistent with the natural, geographic barriers that limit gene flow. In particular, there are geographic, and therefore genetic, distinctions between northern African and sub-Saharan African populations due to the vast desert that limited migration. "Focusing on particular exceptions to these broad patterns will enable us to discern and fully appreciate the complex population histories that have contributed...