Genetics News

Scientists Discover a Gene for Brain Size

March 4, 2015

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Scientists Identify a Gene for Human Brain Size

A team of researchers has identified for the first time a gene (ARHGAP11B) that is only present in humans and contributes to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex. About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have […]

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Researchers Uncover Genetic Trigger for Immune Response

February 3, 2015

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Yale Uncovers Genetic Trigger for Immune Response

Yale researchers have identified an unexpected relationship between mtDNA and the innate immune response, showing a new source of inflammation that could promote common diseases and aging. The thousands of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecules present in each cell are known primarily for their role converting food and oxygen into energy. But Yale researchers have identified […]

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A Link between Inflammation and Cancer

January 20, 2015

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Study Details a Link Between Inflammation and Cancer

New research from MIT reveals a link between inflammation and cancer, showing that the timing of inflammation determines whether potentially cancerous mutations may arise. A new study from MIT reveals one reason why people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis have a higher risk of mutations that cause cancer. The researchers also […]

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The Role of Genetics Varies Over Time

December 30, 2014

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Nature and Nurture Vary Over Time

New research from Yale University shows that the effect of genes may depend on the total, historical environment in which the researcher and subject are embedded. Nature and nurture have found a new companion — historical context. A new study has produced the best evidence yet that the role of genetics in complex traits, including […]

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Gene-Editing System Allows Rapid, Large-Scale Studies of Gene Function

December 11, 2014

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Researchers Develop a New Technique to Study Gene Function

Using a gene-editing system that was originally developed to delete specific genes, researchers from MIT developed a new technique to reliably turn on any gene of their choosing in living cells. This new application for the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system should allow scientists to more easily determine the function of individual genes, according to Feng Zhang, […]

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Research Reveals New Strategy to Control Cellular Identity and Fate

December 5, 2014

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A New Strategy to Control Cellular Identity and Fate

Newly published research suggests a new strategy to control cellular identity and fate, revealing that depleting or knocking out a chemical tag on RNA keeps embryonic stem cells in suspended animation. A team of scientists that included researchers from UCLA has discovered a novel mechanism of RNA regulation in embryonic stem cells. The findings are […]

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Engineered Bacteria Store Memories of Chemical Exposure

November 17, 2014

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Engineered Bacteria Can Store Memories of Chemical Exposure

New research from MIT reveals that engineered E. coli can store long-term memories of chemical exposure and other events in their DNA. MIT engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well suited for applications […]

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Human Body Weight Influenced by Microbes in the Gut

November 7, 2014

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Research Shows Weight Influenced by Microbes in the Gut

New research from King’s College London and Cornell University reveals that genetic makeup influences whether people are fat or thin by shaping which types of microbes thrive in our body, paving the way for personalized probiotic therapies that are optimized to reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases based on an individual’s genetic make-up. By studying […]

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Scientists Come Together to Reveal Cancer’s Strategies

November 5, 2014

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Scientists Come Together to Reveal Cancer’s Strategies

In a new study, a group of scientists detail how they fused the power of statistical physics and artificial intelligence into a mathematical toolkit that can turn cancer-mutation data into multidimensional models that show how specific mutations alter the social networks of proteins in cells. While this may sound like the setup to some late-night […]

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Researchers Show Embryos Receive Parent-Specific Layers of Information

October 13, 2014

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Study Reveals Embryos Receive Parent Specific Layers of Information

New research from San Francisco State University sheds light on the multilayered process of how a sperm and egg pass along information needed for successful reproduction, revealing that embryos receive parent-specific layers of information. The information that interprets the genetic code in a new embryo differs depending on whether it comes from the father or […]

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GIANT Research Shows Large Number of Genes Linked to Human Height

October 7, 2014

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Research Shows Giant Number of Genes Linked to Human Height

A newly published study from the international Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium gives scientists a better look at the biology of height and offers a model for investigating traits and diseases caused by many common gene changes acting together. Cambridge, Massachusetts — The largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to date, involving more than […]

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Study Shows Coffee Drinking Habits Shaped by DNA Variations

October 7, 2014

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Research Reveals Coffee Drinking Habits Shaped by Genetic Variations

A study by the international Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium looked at DNA samples and data sets from the coffee-drinking habits of 120,000 people of European and African-American ancestry, providing insight on why caffeine affects people differently, and how these effects influence coffee-drinking behavior. An international research team has found six new genes underlying our […]

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Salk Institute Discovers an On/Off Switch for Aging Cells

September 22, 2014

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Salk Institute Discovers an On Off Switch for Aging Cells

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered an on-and-off “switch” in cells that may hold the key to healthy aging. In our bodies, newly divided cells constantly replenish lungs, skin, liver and other organs. However, most human cells cannot divide indefinitely–with each division, a cellular timekeeper at the ends of chromosomes shortens. […]

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New PhenIX Diagnostic Procedure Identifies Genetic Diseases

September 16, 2014

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New Diagnostic Method Identifies Genetic Diseases

A team of scientists has developed a test procedure that significantly increases the prospect of identifying genetic diseases quickly and reliably based on analyses of genes and symptoms. People with genetic diseases often have to embark on an odyssey from one doctor to the next. Fewer than half of all patients who are suspected of […]

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Researchers Reveal That a Doppler Effect Influences Segmentation

July 15, 2014

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Researchers Discover that a Doppler Effect Influences Segmentation

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that the rhythm of segmentation is influenced by a Doppler effect that arises from gene expression waves occurring in a shortening embryonic tissue. Many animals exhibit segmental patterns that manifest themselves during development. One classical example is the sequential and rhythmic formation the segmental precursors of the […]

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Scientists Engineer First Living Organism with an Expanded Genetic Alphabet

May 8, 2014

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Scientists Engineer First Living Organism that Transmits Added Letters in DNA Alphabet

A newly published study details how researchers at The Scripps Research Institute were able to create the first living organism with an expanded genetic alphabet. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA “letters,” or bases, not found in nature. The cells of […]

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MIT Researchers Reverse a Rare Liver Disorder in Mice

April 3, 2014

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MIT Researchers Reverse a Liver Disorder in Mice

In a newly published study, MIT researchers show that a new gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, MIT researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. The findings, […]

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