Genetics

Neanderthals have held our fascination ever since we first identified their remains.

Here's What We Know About Neanderthals So Far

Today, thanks to new artifacts and technologies, findings about our closest relatives are coming thick and fast

The monkey "chimera" with two sets of DNA at three days old. Some body parts appear tinted green, because the researchers marked the transplanted cells with fluorescent dye to trace what parts they developed into.

Scientists Created a Monkey With Two Different Sets of DNA

So-called "chimeric" monkeys could help scientists understand human diseases and aid in conservation efforts, but the research raises ethical questions

Some species of kingfisher hunt for fish by diving head-first into the water as quickly as 25 miles per hour.

How Kingfishers Dive Head-First Into Water Without Getting Concussions

Thanks to a new genetic analysis of 30 kingfisher species, researchers are one step closer to understanding the birds' dramatic hunting style

Contact between Europeans and Native Americans is recorded in the DNA of head lice.

When Did Humans Arrive in the Americas? Lice Help Answer That Head-Scratcher

A new analysis of the annoying critters shows when groups from Asia and Europe hitched rides on human hair and skin to arrive on our continent

Wildcats appear very similar to domestic cats, but they are slightly larger with longer legs.

Domestic Cats Could Breed Scottish Wildcats Out of Existence

Just a few decades of intermixing affected the DNA of all sampled modern wildcats, researchers say, suggesting the species may be "genomically extinct"

Researchers examined how key genes behave across the sea star body by staining genetic material with fluorescent labels.

A Starfish 'Body' Is Just One Giant Head, Study Finds

Genes associated with the torso are largely absent in a species of starfish, upending how scientists perceive these creatures

Gene-editing silkworms produced this spider silk.

Genetically Modified Silkworms Can Produce Spider Silk That's Stronger Than Kevlar

The sturdy, biodegradable fibers could one day be used for surgical sutures or armored vests

Mass Audubon's science coordinator Mark Faherty examines a horseshoe crab in Pleasant Bay, where he has conducted research on them for years.

New Synthetic Horseshoe Crab Blood Could Mean Pharma Won't Bleed the Species Dry

The “living fossils” have been vital for testing intravenous drugs, but a few large pharmaceutical companies are using a lab-made compound instead

More than 52 million birds died in the U.S. because of avian flu outbreaks in 2022.

Editing Chicken Genes Could Slow the Spread of Bird Flu, Study Suggests

Using CRISPR technology, researchers edited a protein gene that increased chickens' resistance to the virus. But the process is far from practical use

If you want to cut meat out of your diet but are having a hard time, a new study suggests your genetics may be responsible.

Maintaining a Vegetarian Diet Might Be in Your Genes

New research has identified three genes that are strongly linked to vegetarianism and 31 others that might also play a role in sticking to a meatless diet

Fossilized footprints in White Sands National Park

North America's Oldest Known Footprints Point to Earlier Human Arrival to the Continent

New dating methods have added more evidence that these fossils date to 23,000 years ago, pushing back migration to the Americas by thousands of years

A Tasmanian tiger at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania. The last known living Tasmanian tiger died at the zoo in 1936.

Scientists Collect First RNA From an Extinct Tasmanian Tiger

No other RNA has ever been extracted from an extinct species, so the breakthrough opens doors to understanding the biology of long-gone organisms

The female whale was found stranded in January on a beach near Palm Coast, Florida.

How an Orca Skeleton Made Its Way From Florida to the Smithsonian

Washed up in a rare stranding event, the newly collected specimen will offer rich exploration for researchers

The core formula of a new study in Science that suggests our ancestors may have survived a bottleneck 900,000 years ago

Our Human Ancestors Very Nearly Went Extinct 900,000 Years Ago, Genetics Suggest

A study proposes that the population that gave rise to modern humans may have been reduced to roughly 1,300 reproducing individuals

A team including research scientists at Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute became the first in the world to successfully cryopreserve coral using a technique called isochronic vitrification.

Scientists Cryopreserve and Revive Coral Fragments in a World First for Conservation

The new freezing technique could reinvigorate corals suffering from warming oceans—or even preserve human organs in the future

Cows with the slick gene have sleek, short hair that helps keep them cool.

Farmers Are Breeding Cows to Withstand Heat Waves

A gene that occurs naturally in some cow breeds may be the key to helping cattle thrive as temperatures rise because of climate change

The rare all-brown giraffe was born in July.

See the Rare Spotless Giraffe Born at a Tennessee Zoo

The baby might be the only all-brown giraffe on the planet, as the last one on record was born in 1972

The Tyrolean Iceman Ötzi is one of the oldest known human glacier mummies.

Famed 5,300-Year-Old Alps Iceman Was a Balding Middle-Aged Man With Dark Skin and Eyes

Genetic analysis shows that Ötzi was descended from farmers who migrated from an area that is now part of Turkey

Catoctin Furnace in Cunningham Falls State Park, Maryland

DNA Links 42,000 Living People to Enslaved and Free African Americans Buried in Maryland

The research, initiated by the local African American community, could be a roadmap for future genealogy studies

Researchers think that servants maintained the site year round, while royals only came to Machu Picchu during the dry season.

Servants at Machu Picchu Came From Distant Corners of the Inca Empire

The city's servant class was a genetically diverse community, according to a new study of ancient DNA

Page 2 of 30