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 >>

dna testing
I DNA Tested My Cat and She Was Not Happy About It

I was crawling around on the floor, chasing my cat, Avalanche, as she artfully wriggled away from me over and over again to gnaw at the piece of tape I had stuck to her grey and white fur. Avalanche had unwittingly become a victim of journalistic inquiry: I wanted to explore the latest fad in consumer DNA testing, genetic analysis for pets. But rather than somehow coax my cat to spit in a tube, Basepaws required that I stick a piece of tape to Avalanche’s body, then “gently” pull it off. Except it turns out that there is no way to gently rip tape off of an animal completely covered in two-inch-long fur. My cat was furious with me for hours. Read More >>

science
Scientists Find Another Possible Explanation for Why Hair Goes Gray

Scientists think they’ve stumbled upon a newly discovered mechanism that could explain why some people’s hair turns gray and others become afflicted with patches of unpigmented skin, a rare, stigmatized condition called vitiligo. Their research, published Thursday in PLOS Biology, suggests a gene that regulates the natural pigment melanin also keeps our immune system from turning on itself. Read More >>

science
Artificial Genome Scientists Want to Build Human Cells That Are Impervious to Viruses

Two years ago, a consortium of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs announced a plan to synthesise an artificial human genome from scratch—an extremely ambitious endeavour that’s struggled to secure funding. Project organisers have now disclosed details of a scaled-down version of the venture, but with a goal that’s still quite audacious: creating human cells that are invulnerable to infections. Read More >>

science
Report: A DNA Testing Company Could Not Tell the Difference Between Human and Dog DNA

Dog may be man’s best friend, and even genetically similar to humans, to boot, but there are enough key differences that it shouldn’t be too hard to distinguish between human and doggy DNA. Read More >>