science
Three New DNA Studies Are Shaking Up the History of Humans in the Americas

It’s a huge event for archaeologists and anyone interested in the history of America’s first settlers. Findings from three new genetics studies, released last week, are presenting a fascinating, yet complex, picture of the first people in North and South America, and how they spread and diversified across two continents. Read More >>

science
There Are More Tiger Types Than We Thought, New Genetic Analysis Reveals 

Tigers seem pretty straightforward: stripes, sharp claws, awe-inspiring grace wielded by hundreds of pounds of rippling muscle, etc. But new research on the big cats’ DNA is the latest indication that underneath that striking orange and black pelage, not all tigers are the same. Scientists are now reporting that tigers are broken up into six distinct subspecies spread out across Asia. Read More >>

animals
Demand for Chocolate Labs Is Making Them Sick and Prone to Early Death

New research shows that chocolate Labrador retrievers are more likely to experience health problems and die younger compared to their black and yellow canine compatriots. A likely reason, say scientists, is a tightening genetic bottleneck caused by consumer demand. Read More >>

science
New Theory Explains Why Europe’s Original Dogs Vanished

The first farmers to arrive in Europe from the Middle East brought their dogs along with them, effectively wiping out the original population of European canines, according to new research. Read More >>

science
Scientists Are Trying to Create the Most Detailed 3D Map of the Human Body Ever

Scientists across the world are working together to make the most detailed map of the human body—one that will show how the tissues and organs of the body function and interact with one another on a cellular level. Read More >>

science
New Research Sheds Light on How Opium Poppies Evolved Their Powerful Painkillers

The opium poppy is famous for its ability to produce painkilling molecules. Now, by sequencing its genome, a team of scientists from China, the UK and Australia uncovered several events in the poppy’s history that, together, could have led to the evolution of its opium-producing behaviour. Read More >>

science
A Gene Editing Study in Dogs Shows Promise in Treating a Deadly Form of Muscular Dystrophy

A new study of dogs published this week in Science offers a tantalising glimpse of how life-changing the gene-editing technology CRISPR could be for some people in the near future. It suggests that CRISPR can be used to treat an otherwise incurable, fatal genetic disorder known as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Read More >>

archaeology
Scientists Find Evidence of 1,000-Year-Old Parrot-Breeding Operation in the American Southwest

DNA evidence appears to have revealed an ancient parrot-breeding operation in the southwestern United States, a new study reports. Read More >>

archaeology
Experts Say Recent ‘Alien’ Mummy Study Was Deeply Flawed and Unethical

Earlier this year, scientists from Stanford University in the US concluded that a strange skeleton known as the Atacama Mummy belonged to a human girl whose physical malformations were the result of several severe genetic mutations. A team of international experts is now questioning these findings, and accusing the scientists of breaching standard research ethics. Read More >>

archaeology
Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population

In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population—an interpretation that is not standing the test of time. The story of human evolution, as the latest research suggests, is more complicated than that. Read More >>

science
Extinct Giant Panda Lineage Discovered Thanks to DNA From 22,000-Year-Old Skull

DNA from a 22,000-year-old fossilised panda skull suggests an entirely separate lineage of giant pandas once roamed the area that is now southern China. Read More >>

science
Another DNA Testing Company Reportedly Gets Fooled by Dog DNA

Consumer DNA testing is going to the dogs. A Canadian testing company has been accused of sending back supposedly human ancestry results on a faux sample that actually came from a chihuahua named Snoopy, CBC News reported Wednesday. Remarkably, it’s the second company reported to have been fooled by doggy DNA in recent months, but the full story behind the sting is even weirder. Read More >>

science
A Defunct Pregnancy Drug May Still Affect the Grandchildren of Women Who Took It

The ties that bind us to our ancestors might be even more influential than we knew, suggests a new study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. It found that the grandchildren of women who took a certain hormone-mimicking drug before the 1970s were at higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to children whose grandmothers didn’t take the drug. Read More >>

science
I Tried a DNA-Optimised Skin-Care Routine – and I Was Allergic to It

The pitch was a skin-care routine designed especially for me, genetically optimised to give me the skin I was “born to have.” The reality was decidedly more itchy, flaky, and red. Read More >>

science
How Hibernating Squirrels Could Ease the Organ Shortage Crisis

Squirrels and other hibernating animals have an almost magical ability to withstand frigid temperatures. New research has uncovered the biological factors involved in keeping cellular structures intact during hibernation—a finding that could eventually be used to preserve human organs prior to transplantation. Read More >>