Archives for posts with tag: humans

It looks like the SARS virus originated in Chinese horseshoe bats and was passed on through bat-to-human contact – that’s one for you, Count Dracula!


Work on the Y chromosome shows that men’s common ancestor is around 120,000 to 156,000 years ago, around the same time of that of women.

Transplanting microbes from the gut of obese humans makes germ-free mice put on weight.

Read the original research in Science.

…even if there is missing bone, provided enough of the nail is still there, and it’s all because of the stem cells just under our nails.

Researchers have found the nerves in mice that send feel-good messages to the brain during stroking – and similar nerves in humans may explain why we like massages.

Read the original research in Nature.

Messages in your DNA can give geographic clues to your family’s past, creating a ‘GPS’ for your genes. This uses software to locate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs – changes in single letters in the DNA code) that have mutated in the past and have then been passed on to a population in a specific place. The researchers believe that this allows people’s origin to be placed on a map on the basis of their genetic information alone.

According to researchers from Tel Aviv and Los Angeles, they can work out where you originate from using software and your genes, creating a kind of genetic ‘GPS’.  The researchers have used a software tool called spatial ancestry analysis (SPA) to locate mutations from the past that can be linked with a specific geographic location, even down to finding your parents’ ancestry too.

CompassThis could be used to trace a change that leads to disease in a specific population, or track the historic movement of human and animal populations. Read the original research in Nature Genetics.

Many animals can match and beat humans in track and field events. For example, the 5 cm hat thrower fungus can throw a spore capsule 2 m away.

Olympic Games 27 July – 12 August

Fruit flies can be used to study human genetics – but why? We share around 70% of the same genes, and the flies can be engineered to show many of the same symptoms and diseases as us, even kidney stones!

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