Archives for posts with tag: genes

People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. Scientists have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6,000-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye color of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today. ScienceDaily

Dogs can suffer from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), with symptoms like repetitive shadow stalking or hours of paw chewing, and scientists have tracked down four genes behind this.

Some genes are expressed on a 24-hour cycle – night shifts and mistimed sleep cycles change these patterns.

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.

Researchers have sequenced the coelacanth genome. This deep-sea fish has changed little physically in the last 300 million years, and the genome analysis shows few changes in its protein-coding genes.

The research could tell us more about how animals evolved from fish. Read more in the paper in Nature.

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.

Around 2% of the population has a genetic variant that means they don’t produce under-arm odour – and these people often have dry rather than sticky earwax. However, 78% of them still buy deodorant.

People who have close relatives with epilepsy are much more likely to get migraines, and it seems like it’s all in their genes. Find out more…

Researchers from China, the US and Europe have sequenced  the genome of the watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), a large juicy fruit, usually with pink or red flesh and dark pips that is grown throughout the world.

The team sequenced 20 different watermelons and created a draft genome, finding 23,440 predicted protein-coding genes, around the same number as in humans. They also identified three different C lanatus subspecies.

The paper was published in Nature Genetics.

However fit and well you feel, however good your genetic inheritance, nobody’s genes are perfect, because everyone carries an estimated 400 damaging gene variants and two disease-causing mutations. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though – many of the disease or damaged variants are unlikely to cause any harm to the carrier, and even though as many as one in ten people studied were expected to develop a genetic disease as a consequence of the variants, these are often very mild.

Read the original paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

%d bloggers like this: