Archives for category: Genetics and genomics

MPs in the UK have voted to approve the use of DNA from parents, along with mitochondria from a donor egg, to create embryos that are free from devastating mitochondrial diseases. Story from BBC News website

It’s that time of the year when you are looking for Christmas gifts for the scientist in your life. Have a look at this post on xxpress PCR for some great DNA-themed ideas.

Researchers have used PCR to create DNA profiles from fingerprints – XXPress PCR

Finding mutated proteins on cancer cells could lead to personalized cancer vaccines – GenoKey Blog

Mindful meditation appears to change gene expression, according to a US study. This includes reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which correlate with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

…or is it? DNA samples from purported Yetis actually match those from an ancient type of polar bear, which dates back around 40,000 years. Some scientists are skeptical, but watch this space…

Ants are more closely related to bees than to wasps, according to a study of the insects’ genomes and transcriptomes (the genes that are actively being translated into proteins).

A change in the gene for aquaporin 5 causes diffuse non-epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma, where the skin on some people’s hands go white and spongy after being exposed to water because it becomes more porous.  It’s similar to what happens when you stay in the bath much too long, but sets in a lot more quickly.

See The American Journal of Human Genetics for the original paper.

The DNA in our cells, carrying our genetic code, is usually in a double helix. However, researchers have found quadruple strands of DNA in cells. These might be linked to certain types of cancer. Read the paper in Nature Chemistry.

It’s easy to see how genes can control simple behaviour, but can they really control something as complicated as mice digging sets of burrows to specific lengths and constructing escape routes – well, according to a new piece of research, four regions on the genome could do just that.

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