Location Matters for Genes

Location matters for genes, according to a report in New Scientist, p12, 15 September 2001. At a meeting of the British Association Wendy Bickmore explained that our genes are organised so that the most active genes are in the centre of the nucleus and the less active parts of the genome arranged around the outside. […]

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Lactose Tolerance Evolved Three Times

Lactose tolerance evolved three times, according to articles in ScienceNOW 11 December 2006 and Science, vol. 314, p1672, 15 December 2006. Lactose tolerance is the ability to digest milk in adult life, and depends on the activity of an enzyme named lactase that breaks down lactose, the sugar in milk. In most of the world’s […]

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Junk Generated RNA

Junk generated RNA “astonishes” scientists, according to a report in New Scientist, 21 February 2004, p.10. When the information encoded on DNA needs to be used to make proteins, the information is copied onto a similar molecule called RNA. However, not all DNA codes for proteins and it has been assumed that the “non-coding” DNA, […]

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Jumping Genes Make Brains Unique

Jumping genes make brains unique, according to reports in ScienceNOW 15 June 2005, Nature Vol 435, p903 and New Scientist 18 June 2005, p21. Jumping genes are pieces of DNA that can spontaneously move from one place in the genome to another. When they insert themselves into a new part of the genome they can […]

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Is Bird Flu Evolving?

Is bird flu evolving? ask many readers. Numerous warnings that the Avian Influenza virus will mutate and cause a pandemic have been in the scientific news services over the last few months. As a result we have received many questions about whether the virus is evolving. Editorial Comment: Bird flu is one of a number […]

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Indian Frog Living Fossil

Indian frog is a living fossil, as reported in Nature vol. 425, p711, 16 October 2003. Scientists have analysed the DNA of a strange purple burrowing frog recently discovered in India and found it is similar to some frogs that are only found in the Seychelles Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The […]

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Hybrids Produced New Species

Hybrids produced new species, according to a report in New Scientist, 16 August 2003, p12. A team of scientists led by Loren Rieseberg of Indiana University, Bloomington USA studied the genes of five species of sunflower and came to the conclusion that three of them were hybrids descended from the other two. The “hybrid” species […]

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Humans Made Pigs and Prey Evolve

Humans made pigs and prey evolve, according to articles in EurekAlert 12 and 15 Jan 2009 and New Scientist, 16 Jan 2009. A team of researchers led by evolutionary ecologist Chris Darimont from University of California, Santa Cruz have analysed changes in 29 species that are commercially harvested, including fish, shellfish, bighorn sheep, caribou, and […]

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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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Humans Evolving in Tibet

Humans evolving in Tibet, according to an article in news@nature and ScienceNOW, 16 Sept 2004. Cynthia Beall of Case Western Reserve University, Ohio interviewed thousands of people living in villages in Tibet and drew up detailed family trees and medical histories. They also tested the concentration of oxygen in the villagers’ blood and found that […]

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