White Tiger Gene

White tiger gene found, according to reports in ScienceNOW, BBC News, ScienceDaily and Current Biology doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.054 23 May 2013. White Bengal tigers have white fur with black stripes, rather than the normal orange fur with black stripes. Although they have been found in the wild in the past, they now only seem to exist […]

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We’ve All Lost 20 Genes

We’ve all lost 20 genes, according to reports in ScienceNOW and Science, vol. 335 pp. 823-828 17 February 2012 DOI: 10.1126/science.1215040. As more human genomes are studied, scientists are finding many differences between individuals. Some of these may be just harmless variations, but others may cause genes to become non-functional. As genome technology improves scientists […]

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Unsweetened Cats

Unsweetened cats, as described in PLoS July 2005, ScienceNOW 25 July 2005 and BBC News 1 August 2005. Cat owners have known for a long time that cats are not attracted to sweet food. Now the reason for this has been found by a group of scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre, Philadelphia, USA, […]

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Snake Leg Loss

Snake leg loss described in articles in ScienceShots and ScienceDaily 7 February 2011, ABC News in Science and BBC News, 8 Feb 2011, and Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology vol. 31 p2, January 2011. No living snakes have legs but three fossil snakes have been found with tiny back legs. A group of French and German […]

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Short Dog Leg Gene

Short dog leg gene found, according to articles in National Institutes of Health News 16 July 2009 and ScienceDaily 17 July 2009 and Science, vol. 325, p995, 21 August 2009 (originally published in Science Express on 16 July 2009). An international team of scientists have found the gene that gives dog breeds such as dachshund, […]

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Pollen Trap Prevents Hay Fever

Pollen trap prevents hay fever, as described in New Scientist 23 November 2002, p20. Australian scientists are currently running clinical trials on a device that filters air as it enters the nose in order to prevent pollen grains from triggering allergic reactions. Unlike conventional filters, which work like a sieve and rapidly get clogged up, […]

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Pigeon DNA Proves Darwin Right

“Pigeon DNA proves Darwin right” claims Nature News 31 January 2013 in a genetic study of pigeon breeds also reported in ScienceNOW 31 January 2013. Charles Darwin spent many years breeding many varieties of pigeons, and wrote about them in Origin of Species. According to Nathan Young, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, […]

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Live to 1,000

Live to be a thousand years old, says Cambridge scientist in an article in BBC News, 3 December 2004. Geneticist Aubrey de Grey claims a project named Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence will be able to “repair all the types of molecular and cellular damage that happen to us over time.” De Grey is confident […]

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King Size Fossil Penguin

King size fossil penguin found, according to reports in BBC News, ScienceDaily and ScienceNOW 30 September 2010. A group of scientists from USA and Peru have found the fossil of a giant penguin in rocks dated at 36 million years old in a nature reserve in Peru. Penguins are usually thought of as inhabiting the […]

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Humans Getting Dumber

“Human beings are getting dumber” proclaims an article in news.com 19 February 2013. This blunt unflattering assessment of humanity is based on articles by Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University entitled “Our Fragile Intellect” published in Trends in Genetics January 2013. Crabtree lists two reasons: genetic mutations have damaged genes involved in human intellect, and evolution […]

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