Genetics

A female Anopheles mosquito, the type that transmits malaria.

Ancient DNA Illuminates the History of Malaria, One of the World's Deadliest Diseases

Researchers extracted parasitic DNA from preserved teeth and bones, revealing how malaria spread across the globe in a new study

The skull rack at Chichén Itzá was created to honor the Maya's dead.

A Mass Grave of Maya Boys May Shed Light on Human Sacrifice in Chichén Itzá

Researchers have genetically tested the bones and made determinations of gender and family relations

A horse herder in Inner Mongolia, China, in July 2019.

When Did Humans Domesticate Horses? Scientists Find Modern Lineage Has Origins 4,200 Years Ago

A new study suggests people in the Eurasian steppe bred horses around 2200 B.C.E., challenging earlier ideas about the beginnings of horse husbandry

A reconstruction of the central grave in the burial mound of Eberdingen-Hochdorf, located in southwestern Germany

Ancient Celtic Elites Inherited Wealth From Their Mothers' Sides

A genetic analysis of opulent burial mounds in Germany sheds new light on how power passed through family lines

The fern Tmesipteris oblanceolata, which scientists just discovered has the longest known genome of any organism. Ferns are known among scientists for having particularly large genomes.

This Tiny Fern Has the World's Largest Known Genome

The plant's genome has about 50 times as many base pairs as a human's, and its DNA from a single cell would stretch longer than a football field

Color-enhanced transmission electron microscope images of adenovirus, which is a common cause of respiratory illnesses. Researchers identified adenovirus remnants, as well as herpesvirus and HPV, in Neanderthal remains in a new study.

50,000-Year-Old Neanderthal Bones Have Remains of Human Viruses, Scientists Find

The preliminary analysis is a first step in testing the theory that infectious diseases played a role in Neanderthals' extinction

German cockroaches took advantage of human globalization to spread all over the world.

DNA Reveals How German Cockroaches Came to Dominate the World

A new paper looks at the genes of the most common cockroach species, tracing its historical journey alongside humans, from Asia to the Middle East, Europe and beyond

Baobab trees can reach 100 feet tall, and they support entire ecosystems and communities with their large structures and natural resources.

Scientists Uncover the Ancient Origins of Baobab Trees in Genetic Study

The trees originated in Madagascar 21 million years ago but later traveled long distances by way of ocean currents, according to new research

An MRI of a brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease. A new study suggests having two copies of a genetic variant called APOE4 is a cause of the disease, not just a risk factor for it.

Almost All People With Two Copies of This Genetic Variant Develop Signs of Alzheimer's Disease, Study Finds

The research focused on a variant called APOE4 and largely looked at people of European ancestry—risk levels are different for other groups, the authors say

Previous research had found leprosy in modern red squirrels, and genetic analysis suggested the strain was closely related to leprosy found in medieval humans.

Medieval Squirrels and Humans May Have Spread Leprosy Back and Forth

Archaeologists uncovered evidence of leprosy in a medieval red squirrel in England, and DNA evidence revealed the strain was similar to what was circulating in humans at the time

To create mouse-rat "chimeras," researchers injected rat stem cells into mouse embryos that lacked some genes for brain development.

Researchers Breed Mice With Hybrid Brains Containing Cells From Rats

In one experiment, rat neurons helped mice restore their senses of smell—the first time any animal has perceived the world through the sensory hardware of another species

Researchers are recruiting some 1,100 people globally to participate in the trial's third phase.

Personalized Melanoma Vaccine Could Be a 'Game Changer' by Teaching the Body to Fight Cancer Cells

The mRNA therapy, designed to prevent treated skin cancer from returning, is entering its third phase of trials

Antonia, one of the new black-footed ferret clones. The first black-footed ferret clone was born in 2020. The two new ferrets are the second and third successful clones.

Scientists Clone Two Black-Footed Ferrets From Frozen Tissues in Conservation Effort

The aim of cloning the animals is to increase the genetic diversity of the endangered species

About 10 percent of the population is left-handed. Studies have identified a number of genes correlated with handedness that are related to microtubules, which help cells maintain their shapes.

Why Are Some People Left-Handed? Scientists Identify Rare Genetic Variants That May Be Linked to the Trait

The variants are present in fewer than 1 percent of people, but they were 2.7 times more likely to appear in lefties than in righties

One difference between resident and transient killer whales is their fins. Residents have more rounded, curved dorsal fins, while those of transients are straighter and more pointed.

Two New Species of Killer Whale Should Be Recognized, Study Says

A couple of eastern North Pacific populations of orcas have qualities that set them apart, according to researchers

The digital reconstruction of Emperor Wu's face (left), alongside a painting made of him from the 'Thirteen Emperors Scroll' (right).

See The Face of Emperor Wu, a Sixth-Century Chinese Ruler Brought to Life with DNA Analysis

Genetic analysis of DNA from his skeleton offers not only a first glimpse at his face, but also insight into his mysterious death

A Neanderthal skull on display at the Natural History Museum, London. Many modern humans have inherited around 1 to 2 percent of their DNA from Neanderthals and their close relatives, Denisovans.

Modern Indian People Have a Wide Range of Neanderthal DNA, Study Finds

Genomes of Indian people today reveal links to a prehistoric migration and a group of Iranian farmers, as well as several new sequences from the Neanderthal genome

Some researchers say that "bringing back" woolly mammoths could help protect frozen tundras by slowing the melting of permafrost.

Scientists Grow Elephant Stem Cells in Key Step Toward Woolly Mammoth 'De-Extinction'

The team's lofty goal of "resurrection" is still far from reality, but scientists say the advancement in understanding cells could help with elephant conservation

A mutation in a gene called TBXT may be behind the loss of great apes' tails, according to a new study.

Why Don’t Humans Have Tails? An Old Genetic Mutation Could Explain Why Monkeys, but Not Apes, Have the Extra Appendage

Scientists have pinpointed a genetic change that might have led the ancestors of humans to lose their tails

Remains of a stillborn infant with Down syndrome from the Iron Age, found in a 2,800-year-old house at the Las Eretas archaeological site in Spain.

DNA Reveals Presence of Down Syndrome in Ancient Society

The burials of infants with Down syndrome in Europe provide insight into how babies with genetic conditions were cared for in premodern times, according to a new study

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