dna

First Big Efforts to Sequence Ancient African DNA Reveal How Early Humans Swept Across the Continent

The study of ancient human DNA has not been an equal opportunity endeavor. Early Europeans and Asians have had portions of their genomes sequenced by the hundreds over the past decade, rewriting Eurasian history in the process. But because genetic material decays rapidly in warm, moist climates, scientists had sequenced the DNA of just one ancient African. Until now. This week,…

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Scientists 3-D Print Mouse Ovaries That Actually Make Babies

Not all girls grow up to be mothers. Sometimes they choose not to be, and sometimes circumstances take those choices away. A superfluity of cancers and genetic diseases can destroy women’s ovaries. Or treatments like radiation—used to save a woman’s life—can render those egg-producing organs useless. Ovaries also mediate female hormones. Without them, young patients might never go through puberty;…

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Scythian Horse Breeding Unveiled: Lessons for Animal Domestication

Nomad Scythian herders roamed vast areas spanning the Central Asian steppes during the Iron Age, approximately from the 9th to the 1st century BCE (Before Common Era). These livestock pastoralists, who lived on wagons covered by tents, left their mark in the history of warfare for their exceptional equestrian skills. They were among the first to master mounted riding and…

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“Smart” Cephalopods Trade Off Genome Evolution for Prolific RNA Editing

Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are famous for engaging in complex behavior, from unlocking an aquarium tank and escaping to instantaneous skin camouflage to hide from predators. A new study suggests their evolutionary path to neural sophistication includes a novel mechanism: Prolific RNA editing at the expense of evolution in their genomic DNA. The study, led by Joshua J.C. Rosenthal of…

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Fish Study Shows Important Genome Interactions in Animal Cells

In a new study, researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science examined how the interaction of two genomes in animal cells — the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes — interact to affect adaptation of the Atlantic killifish to different temperatures. They showed that although these genomes are separate physical entities, the mitochondrial genome affects…

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