DNA

The bow of the Vasa displayed at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm

Who Was the Woman Aboard This Famed 17th-Century Swedish Warship?

DNA analysis has revealed that a woman was among the 30 who died when the 'Vasa' sank on its maiden voyage

New research suggests Native Americans used horses of European descent long before colonizers arrived in the American West.

New Research Rewrites the History of American Horses

Native Americans spread the animals across the West before Europeans arrived in the region, archaeological evidence and Indigenous knowledge show

A portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by August von Kloeber. The composer suffered from health problems throughout his adult life, including hearing loss and gastrointestinal issues.

DNA From Beethoven's Hair Reveals Clues About His Death

The composer was predisposed to liver disease and had hepatitis B at the end of his life, a new study finds

To collect a saliva sample, technicians instruct a person to tilt their head for two to five minutes and spit the accumulated saliva into a sterile tube. The saliva-filled tube is kept on ice and sent to the laboratory to test for the presence of biomarkers for cancer or other diseases.

Is Saliva the Next Frontier in Cancer Detection?

Scientists are finding tumor signals in spit that could be key to developing diagnostic tests for various types of cancer

Industrialization changed Italy’s Bagnoli Bay. Analyzing the DNA that was trapped in sediment offers a record of what was lost—and a clue as to how to get it back.

DNA Buried in Sediment Helps Scientists Picture Past Ecosystems

Examining the evidence offers a way to look back at now damaged environments

Two dogs walk around the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine, in 2022, near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Why Scientists Are Studying the Stray Dogs Living at Chernobyl

A new study is a first step toward understanding how radiation exposure might affect DNA

The Malalmuerzo Cave in southern Spain, where archaeologists uncovered the fossilized teeth of an ancient hunter-gatherer.

Ancient DNA Sheds Light on Europe's Hunter-Gatherers

Researchers looked at the genomes of several hundred people who lived before, during and after the last ice age

Baofeng Su, a fish genetics researcher at Auburn University, is part of a team of scientists studying the effectiveness of injecting alligator genes into farm-raised catfish.

Scientists Are Injecting Alligator Genes Into Catfish

The technique could help prevent infections in the millions of pounds of farmed catfish raised for human consumption

The Porcupine River in Alaska

DNA Reveals Identity of Skull Found in Alaska in 1997

The remains belonged to a New York man who went missing during a hunting trip nearly 50 years ago

The dodo, now extinct, weighed about 50 pounds, had blue and grey feathers and couldn't fly.

This Company Wants to Bring the Dodo Back From Extinction

Colossal Biosciences plans to de-extinct the dodo, but some scientists question whether it’s ethical—or even plausible

Pueblo Bonito, a massive stone great house in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico

How Should Scientists Navigate the Ethics of Ancient Human DNA Research?

Paleogenomic research has expanded rapidly over the past two decades, igniting heated debate about studying remains

Red junglefowl, ancestors of wild chickens, are known to mix with domestic birds.

Why Chickens Need to Stop Breeding With Their Wild Cousins

The red junglefowl is losing important genetic diversity in its native Asian habitat

An Anolis cristatellus lizard in Puerto Rico.

Genetic Mutations Could Help Lizards Survive City Life

Urban Puerto Rican crested anoles show genetic changes related to immune function, metabolism and limb and skin development

A grave with bones that were analyzed

Ancient DNA Charts Native Americans’ Journeys to Asia Thousands of Years Ago

Analysis of ten Eurasian individuals, up to 7,500 years old, gives a new picture of movement across continents

An old Viking ship under the Northern Lights in Iceland

Ancient DNA Reveals a Genetic History of the Viking Age

Nearly 300 ancient genomes shed light on how people migrated and genes flowed in Scandinavia

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The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2022

From Omicron’s spread to a revelation made using ancient DNA, these were the biggest moments of the past year

A team led by Laurits Skov and Benjamin Peter from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sequenced nuclear, mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA of 13 Neanderthal individuals. From these sequences, they determined that two of the Neanderthals represent a father-daughter pair and that another two are cousins.

Fourteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2022

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal the year’s most riveting findings about our close relatives and ancestors

A replica of a Denisovan finger bone fragment. Now extinct, Denisovans were an ancient species of human that mated with ancestors of modern humans.

Denisovan DNA May Have Shaped Immune Systems in Papua New Guinea

The inherited genetic mutations might provide an advantage in fighting diseases

2 million years ago, Greenland was roughly 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is today. 

New 'Astounding' Analysis Argues That Greenland Used to Be a Lush, Diverse Ecosystem

Scientists found evidence of over 100 types of plants and animals that lived in the northern part of the island around two million years ago

Workers converting a 15th-century granary (large brown building pictured) into a parking garage in Erfurt, Germany, uncovered graves from a medieval Jewish cemetery.

How Construction of a Parking Lot Uncovered New Insights About Medieval Jews

A new DNA study suggests Ashkenazi Jews living in 14th-century Germany were surprisingly genetically diverse

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