Genetics

Ancient and Modern DNA Reveal How Cats Conquered World

According to a new analysis of modern and ancient cat DNA, today’s domestic cat is a descendant of both the Near Eastern and Egyptian populations of the wildcat subspecies Felis silvestris lybica, which was domesticated several times in different locations around the world, with two major waves of domestication. The …

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Scientists Discover First Genes for Insomnia

Researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and elsewhere have identified seven risk genes for insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common health problems. Image credit: Dan Fa. Insomnia is among the most frequent complaints in general practice. Even after treatment, poor sleep remains a persistent vulnerability for many people. A …

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Researchers Sequence Genome of Mojave Desert Tortoise

An Arizona State University-led team of scientists has sequenced the genome of the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert. The results could help the animal survive an increasing number of threats. The Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Image credit: Sandra Leander, Arizona State …

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CRISPR-Cas9 Editing Can Cause Unexpected Mutations, Researchers Say

As CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing starts to move into clinical trials, a research team led by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center has found that this technology can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome. CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations. Image credit: Lisichik. CRISPR-Cas9 editing technology …

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Spinach Genome Sequenced

An international team of researchers from Cornell University’s Boyce Thompson Institute and Shanghai Normal University has produced the first high-quality genomic sequence for spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Additionally, the team has sequenced the transcriptomes (all the RNA) of 120 cultivated and wild spinach plants. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Image credit: George Hodan. …

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Scientists Improve Evolutionary Tree of Life for Archaea

An international group of researchers from UK, France, Hungary and Sweden has provided new insights into the origins of the Archaea, the group of simple cellular organisms that are the ancestors of all complex life. According to Williams et al, the earliest metabolisms of the Archaea were based on the …

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Researchers Identify Liver Fibrosis-Causing Protein

An international team of scientists has identified a long-sought protein that causes liver fibrosis (scarring), paving the way for new treatments. The research was published in the journal Nature Genetics. Stages of liver disease. Image credit: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The team, led by Professor …

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Tea Tree Genome Sequenced

A multi-institutional team of researchers from China and the United States has sequenced the genome of the cultivated tea tree (Camellia sinensis). A tea tree plantation in Kerala, India. Image credit: Rajib Ghosh. Socially and habitually consumed by more than 3 billion people across 160 countries, tea is the world’s …

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