Posts tagged with ‘genetics

Tibetans got their amazing high altitude genes from long extinct Denisovans

Genetic research has already discovered that early humans in Europe mingled genes (bumped uglies) with Neanderthals, now it looks like Tibetans’ unique tolerance for extremely high altitudes can directly be traced to genes from another long extinct hominid race, the Denisovans. Denisovans were one of many ancient human species that lived at the same time as early Homo sapiens. The genes that Tibetans inherited allow for a better use of blood oxygen at higher altitudes that would make lesser mortals’ blood thicken above 15,000 feet to deadly levels.

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Artist regrows Van Gogh’s lost ear via his ancestor’s DNA

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Artist Diemut Strebe made a living replica of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, grown from genetic samples provided by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. They share about 1/16th of the same genes, including the Y-chromosome, passed down the male lineage.

So not actually Vincent Van Gogh’s ear if you want to get super technical about it— it’s a replica of his great-great-grandnephew’s ear, but that really doesn’t make it less badass.

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A finite number of stem cells could be one big key to mortality

In the science of aging and death, and why our bodies slowly lose the ability to replenish their cells, much attention has been paid to telomeres, chemical chains at the ends of chromosomes that keep them from getting damaged. These have often been referred to as “fuses”, because it’s been found that as we get older, the telomeres get shorter and shorter, causing less and less new cell creation. But after the study of the blood of a 115 year old woman, it was also found that the other big factor could be stem cells— as in we each have a finite number of stem cells in our body for an entire lifetime and when those start to run out, production of new cells decreases dramatically.

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Geneticist Aoife Mclysaght introduces the 2013 Ri advent calendar - our video journey through the human genome

Each day in December we’ll release a new short film focussing on the 23 pairs of human chromosomes and the mitochondrial DNA that make up the building blocks of human life.

EXPLORE THE RI ADVENT CALENDAR: http://rigb.org/advent

British geneticist says yetis are descended from ancient polar bears

After studying two DNA samples that supposedly were taken from a yeti in the Himalayas, a British geneticist has concluded that the samples are not from anything living, but are nearly identical to ancient polar bears. Somehow, the idea of ancient bears roaming around just out of the corner of your eye is cooler than bigfoot.

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Mice with human chromosomes - the genetic breakthrough that could revolutionise medicine

By inserting synthetic human chromosomes into every cell in a mouse’s body, scientists have proven that radical genetic therapy could be on its way. Radical as in a) TOTALLY RADICAL and b) completely and forever altering the way disease will be treated in the future. Got a problem? Swap out some genes and voila.

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Did Homo sapiens destroy all the other human races or did we just interbreed them out of existence? A little of both.

Ever since Neanderthals were discovered to have been a separate human race, anthropologists have been asking where they went. Now we know there were a couple other ancient non-Homo sapien human species, and they’re gone as well. So what the hell happened? Did Homo sapiens come out of Africa fighting or did modern Homo sapiens come about as the product of interbreeding between us and other hominid species? Turns out, it was a little of both.

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Thousands of “hacked” silkworms build a dome at MIT

The above silk dome was built by thousands of silkworms, but collecting silkworms and trying to get them to do your bidding won’t work in quite the same way. Scientists at MIT “hacked”, or coerced the silkworms using light heat and a very light, basic structure to get them to create this amazing work of art.

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Supreme Court rules that human genes can’t be patented

The US Supreme Court issued a ruling earlier today, saying that human genes cannot be patented. Well that ruins my awesome future business plans of patenting my genetic awesomeness and selling it out of a mall kiosk.

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Russian scientists recover well-preserved tissue and liquid blood from a frozen mammoth

All over Siberia, there are the bones and well preserved bodies of the long-extinct woolly mammoth. But a recent discovery is one of the most intact ever found, with preserved tissue and liquid blood.

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Stranger Visions, Portrait Sculptures Generated from Genetic Material Found in Public Places
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Stranger Visions, Portrait Sculptures Generated from Genetic Material Found in Public Places

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Jawbone found in 1957 could be the first known remains of a Neanderthal/human hybrid

Scientists now know that mating and offspring did occur between humans in Neanderthals, but it looks like we now have tangible proof. Actually, we’ve had the proof in our possession since 1957, but we didn’t have the techniques and the genetic knowledge for someone to test the jawbone until now. And it looks like this old jawbone likely did come from a Neanderthal/human hybrid.

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De-extinction is a real thing that we can do now, but should we?

While the dream of bringing dinosaurs back to life might never happen, genetic science is at a point where we could bring other, more recently vanished species back to life. It won’t be long before “de-extinction” becomes a thing, where we can undo some of the extinction that either we, or nature as a whole have caused, and now that we’re here, we’re asking whether we should.

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Are you the adventurous type of woman who might want to carry a Neanderthal baby?

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There’s a good possibility in the future that scientists may be able to bring Neanderthals back to life using the power of genetics, but in order for that to happen, it’s going to require a human woman to carry the Neanderthal in her womb. So if you think you have the uterine fortitude to carry a fetal hominid that’s several times stronger than a human being, you could be the Eve of the new Neanderthal.

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