Genetics

Svante Pääbo poses with a model of a Neanderthal skeleton after winning the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Svante Pääbo Wins Nobel Prize for Unraveling the Mysteries of Neanderthal DNA

The Swedish geneticist used 40,000-year-old bones to sequence the early humans' genome

Skull of a Neanderthal, or Homo neanderthalensis

What's the Difference Between a Human and Neanderthal Brain?

One small variation in DNA may have helped Homo sapiens out-compete our ancient relatives

Immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) are smaller than the nail on your pinky finger.

‘Immortal Jellyfish’ Could Spur Discoveries About Human Aging

After reaching maturity, these deep-sea creatures can revert to a juvenile stage and repeat their life cycle

Digital facial reconstructions of two of the individuals found in the well, based on skeletal remains and DNA

Bones Found in Medieval Well Likely Belong to Victims of Anti-Semitic Massacre

A new DNA analysis suggests the 17 individuals were Ashkenazi Jews murdered in Norwich, England, in 1190

Australia is home to roughly 200 million rabbits, which are not native to the country and damage crops and ecosystems. 

How Two Dozen Rabbits Started an Ecological Invasion in Australia

The country’s “most serious pests” can be traced to one shipment from England in 1859, study shows

Four pairs of "human doubles" included in the study

Art Meets Science

Doppelgängers Don't Just Look Alike—They Also Share DNA

New research finds genetic and lifestyle similarities between unrelated pairs of "virtual twins"

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito

How Can Mosquitoes Find Humans So Easily?

A sophisticated sense of smell makes the Earth’s deadliest animal hard-wired to hunt us

A variegated snailfish (Liparis gibbus)

This Arctic Snailfish Is Loaded With Antifreeze Proteins

But climate change could threaten these cold-adapted fish, scientists say

Thylacines were dog-like, carnivorous marsupials.

Why the Idea of Bringing the Tasmanian Tiger Back From Extinction Draws So Much Controversy

Using gene-editing technology, researchers hope to “de-extinct” the iconic marsupial carnivore

A new species of giant isopod, Bathynomus yucatanensis

New Species of Deep Sea Isopod Discovered

The giant crustacean was originally mistaken for a different species at an aquarium in Japan

Experts were unable to pinpoint a cause of death, but three medical witnesses who testified during an inquest into the Somerton Man case agreed that his passing “was not natural.” 

Have Scholars Finally Identified the Mysterious Somerton Man?

New DNA analysis suggests a body found on a beach in Australia in 1948 belongs to Carl Webb, an electrical engineer from Melbourne

Based on the remnants left on pottery fragments, researchers can say northern Europeans have been drinking milk for 9,000 years.

Why Did Europeans Evolve Into Becoming Lactose Tolerant?

Famine and disease from millennia ago likely spurred the rapid evolution of the trait on the continent

The current rate of climate change does not bode well for penguins.

Penguins Might Not Be Ready to Adapt to Modern Climate Change

A new study looking at genomes and the fossil record shows that penguins evolve slower than other birds

A teabag contains traces of DNA from insects and other animals that interacted with the plants before they were harvested and packaged.

The DNA of Hundreds of Insect Species Is in Your Tea

Minute remnants preserved among dried leaves might help scientists track pests and monitor population declines

Most individuals born male have an X and a Y chromosome, while those born female have two X chromosomes. 

Loss of Y Chromosome in Mice May Lead to Heart Failure

A new study suggests the same loss in humans may lead to increased mortality

Scientists are studying ancient wolves to better understand the domestication of dogs.

Dogs May Have Evolved From Two Different Wolf Populations

A massive new wolf family tree dating back 100,000 years could help researchers understand where dogs were first domesticated

The gravestones say that the women died of “pestilence.”

Where Did the Black Death Start? Thanks to Ancient DNA, Scientists May Have Answers

The devastating disease possibly began in what is now northern Kyrgyzstan

Vets of the study say that if breeders and the public stop selecting the bulldog’s current characteristic features, the future English bulldog will have a longer face, trimmer head, and no skin folds.

The Selective Breeding of English Bulldogs Has Led to a Lot of Health Problems

Their deep facial folds, pronounced underbite and other distinctive features lead to issues

A common bottlenose dolphin swimming off the coast of France. 

Dolphins Have Different Whistles Based on Their Environment

Genetics have little influence on the differences between dolphin whistles, but location and population demographics play an important role

A Mexican wolf pup less than 14 days old is given a health check before being placed into a wild den in New Mexico.

Eleven Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Released Into the Wild

The pups were part of a cross-fostering program to boost genetic diversity in the endangered subspecies

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