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Bizarre Microbes Represent a Major New Branch on the Evolutionary Family Tree Bizarre Microbes Represent a Major New Branch on the Evolutionary Family Tree

Canadian scientists have identified microscopic creatures that are so unlike anything seen before, they had to create an entirely new branch on the evolutionary tree of life to slot them in.

Upsettingly Large Fungus in Michigan Weighs 440 Tons and Is 2,500 Years Old Upsettingly Large Fungus in Michigan Weighs 440 Tons and Is 2,500 Years Old

It’s nicknamed the “humongous fungus”—an unusually large fungal growth belonging to a single genetic individual. An updated analysis of this gigantic fungal beast shows it’s substantially larger and older than scientists initially thought.

Three New DNA Studies Are Shaking Up the History of Humans in the Americas Three New DNA Studies Are Shaking Up the History of Humans in the Americas

It’s a huge day for archaeologists and anyone interested in the history of America’s first settlers. Findings from three new genetics studies—all released today—are presenting a fascinating, yet complex, picture of the first people in North and South America, and how they spread and diversified across two continents.

FDA Approves New 23andMe Pharmacogenetic Reports, But There Are Some Caveats FDA Approves New 23andMe Pharmacogenetic Reports, But There Are Some Caveats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday that it has approved the marketing of 23andMe’s reports on pharmacogenetics, which the genetic-testing company claims are designed to assess whether genetics may affect an individual’s ability to metabolize certain drugs including antidepressants.

There Are More Tiger Types Than We Thought, New Genetic Analysis Reveals  There Are More Tiger Types Than We Thought, New Genetic Analysis Reveals 

Tigers seem pretty straightforward: stripes, sharp claws, awe-inspiring grace wielded by hundreds of pounds of rippling muscle, fondness of sugary cereal, etc. But new research on the big cats’ DNA is the latest indication that underneath that striking orange and black pelage, not all tigers are the same. Scientists…

Demand for Chocolate Labs Is Making Them Sick and Prone to Early Death Demand for Chocolate Labs Is Making Them Sick and Prone to Early Death

New research shows that chocolate Labrador retrievers are more likely to experience health problems and die younger compared to their black and yellow canine compatriots. A likely reason, say scientists, is a tightening genetic bottleneck caused by consumer demand.

New Theory Explains Why Europe's Original Dogs Vanished New Theory Explains Why Europe's Original Dogs Vanished

The first farmers to arrive in Europe from the Middle East brought their dogs along with them, effectively wiping out the original population of European canines, according to new research.

Hungry Dinosaurs May Be the Reason Humans Need Sunscreen Hungry Dinosaurs May Be the Reason Humans Need Sunscreen

What do blind cavefish, dinosaurs, and sunburnt humans have in common? A lot more than you may realize, according to a thought-provoking new study.

Scathing Report Accuses the Pentagon of Developing an Agricultural Bioweapon Scathing Report Accuses the Pentagon of Developing an Agricultural Bioweapon

A new technology in which insects are used to genetically modify crops could be converted into a dangerous, and possibly illegal, bioweapon, alleges a Science Policy Forum report released today. Naturally, the organization leading the research says it’s doing nothing of the sort.

Scientists Are Trying to Create the Most Detailed 3D Map of the Human Body Ever Scientists Are Trying to Create the Most Detailed 3D Map of the Human Body Ever

Scientists across the world are working together to make the most detailed map of the human body—one that will show how the tissues and organs of the body function and interact with one another on a cellular level.

Genetic Analysis of Seized Elephant Tusks Exposes Three Major Cartels Genetic Analysis of Seized Elephant Tusks Exposes Three Major Cartels

By performing a DNA analysis of elephant tusks nabbed at ivory busts, scientists have successfully backtracked the contraband to three major African cartels. This application of genetics presents a powerful new tool in the ongoing struggle to stop elephant poachers.

Appeals Court Upholds CRISPR Patent, Potentially Ending Bitter Dispute Appeals Court Upholds CRISPR Patent, Potentially Ending Bitter Dispute

An appeals court has upheld a 2017 decision recognizing scientists from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT as the true inventors of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system. The decision likely signifies the end of a bitter legal dispute that began four years ago.

New Research Sheds Light on How Opium Poppies Evolved Their Powerful Painkillers New Research Sheds Light on How Opium Poppies Evolved Their Powerful Painkillers

The opium poppy is famous for its ability to produce painkilling molecules. Now, by sequencing its genome, a team of scientists from China, the United Kingdom and Australia uncovered several events in the poppy’s history that, together, could have led to the evolution of its opium-producing behavior.

A Gene Editing Study in Dogs Shows Promise in Treating a Deadly Form of Muscular Dystrophy A Gene Editing Study in Dogs Shows Promise in Treating a Deadly Form of Muscular Dystrophy

A new study of dogs published this week in Science offers a tantalizing glimpse of how life-changing the gene-editing technology CRISPR could be for some people in the near future. It suggests that CRISPR can be used to treat an otherwise incurable, fatal genetic disorder known as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Genetic Testing Reveals Shelters Often Label Dogs With the Wrong Breeds Genetic Testing Reveals Shelters Often Label Dogs With the Wrong Breeds

When adopting a new canine family member at a shelter, many people choose a dog based on the breed or breeds labelled on its cage. But new research using genetic testing shows that shelters don’t always correctly label dogs, meaning the pointer you just adopted could actually be more of a labrador.

Scientists Find Evidence of 1,000-Year-Old Parrot-Breeding Operation in the American Southwest Scientists Find Evidence of 1,000-Year-Old Parrot-Breeding Operation in the American Southwest

DNA evidence appears to have revealed an ancient parrot-breeding operation in the southwestern United States, a new study reports.

23andMe Is Getting Lots of Money From Big Pharma and Sharing Your Genetic Data 23andMe Is Getting Lots of Money From Big Pharma and Sharing Your Genetic Data

23andMe customers might just play a role in helping create one of Big Pharma’s next blockbuster drugs. On Wednesday, the genetic testing company announced it was entering a partnership with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop new drugs and therapies. As part of the collaboration, the company will…

Experts Say Recent ‘Alien’ Mummy Study Was Deeply Flawed and Unethical Experts Say Recent ‘Alien’ Mummy Study Was Deeply Flawed and Unethical

Earlier this year, scientists from Stanford University concluded that a strange skeleton known as the Atacama Mummy belonged to a human girl whose physical malformations were the result of several severe genetic mutations. A team of international experts is now questioning these findings, and accusing the scientists…

Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population

In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population—an interpretation that is not standing…

Massive Genetic Study Finds Many Links Between Various Psychiatric Illnesses Massive Genetic Study Finds Many Links Between Various Psychiatric Illnesses

An excavation of a million people’s genes has provided some interesting clues to how several common psychiatric disorders might arise, including major depression and schizophrenia. And it’s also highlighted connections between some mental illnesses and other health problems, including heart disease.

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