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‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’: Doctors Sound Alarm Over Drug Resistance

Scientists attending a recent meeting of the American Society for Microbiology reported they had uncovered a highly disturbing trend. They revealed that bacteria containing a gene known as mcr-1 – which confers resistance to the antibiotic colistin – had spread round the world at an alarming rate since its original discovery 18 months earlier. In one area of China, it…

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Two Ancient DNA Studies Provide New Insights into Lives of Neanderthals and Paleolithic Humans

Two separate teams of researchers have used advanced DNA sequencing methods to analyze the 52,000-year-old remains of a Neanderthal woman from Vindija Cave in Croatia, and the 34,000-year-old remains of four anatomically modern humans from the Upper Paleolithic archaeological site of Sunghir. The findings are published in two papers in the journal Science. Kay Prüfer et al. A high-coverage Neandertal genome from Vindija…

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UCLA Biologists Slow Aging, Extend Lifespan of Fruit Flies

In research that potentially could delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases of aging, biologists have produced a genetic one-two punch that significantly slowed aging and improved health in the middle-aged fruit flies they studied. The approach focuses on mitochondria, the tiny power generators within cells that control the cells’ growth and…

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Humans Still Evolving, Large-Scale Study of Genetic Data Shows

In a study analyzing the genomes of 210,000 people in the United States and Britain, researchers have found that the genetic variants linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy smoking are less frequent in people with longer lifespans, suggesting that natural selection is weeding out these unfavorable variants in both populations. “It’s a subtle signal, but we find genetic evidence that…

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Study Reveals White Nationalists’ Reactions When Genetics Test Results Challenge Their Identity

A new study by UCLA researchers reveals the range of reactions — from rejection to reinterpretation to acceptance — after white nationalists learn that DNA ancestry test results indicate they may not be as white or European as they previously thought. The study, “When Genetics Challenges a Racist’s Identity: Genetic Ancestry Testing Among White Nationalists,” is the work of UCLA researchers Aaron Panofsky and…

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How The Genome Sets its Functional Micro-Architecture

The genes that are involved in the development of the fetus are activated in different tissues and at different times. Their expression is carefully regulated by so-called “enhancer sequences”, which are often located far from their target genes, and requires the DNA molecule to loop around and bring them in close proximity to their target genes. Such 3D changes of…

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