Genetics

Cowpea Genome Sequenced

A large international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), a major crop for worldwide food and nutritional security, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. African farmers domesticated the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) from its wild form, in a process of unconscious selection over many centuries. Domesticated cowpea …

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Almond Genome Sequenced

The domesticated almond tree (Prunus amygdalus) has been feeding humans for millennia. Derivation from the wild, bitter, and toxic almond required loss of the cyanogenic diglucoside amygdalin. A team of European scientists has sequenced the almond genome and analyzed the genomic region responsible for this shift. Almond kernels. The almond …

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Scientists Sequence Spider Glue Genes

Researchers have published the first-ever complete sequences of two genes that allow spiders to produce glue, a modified version of silk that keeps a spider’s prey stuck in its web. Droplets of water and glue on spider silk. Image credit: Hans Braxmeier. Spiders use a suite of remarkable silk and …

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DNA and Protein Studies Shake Up Sloth Family Tree

Sloths once roamed the Americas, ranging from cat-sized animals that lived in trees all the way up to giant ground sloths. The only species we know today, however, are the two- and three-fingered sloths. They seem remarkably similar, but new molecular (DNA and protein) studies estimate they last shared a …

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Being Dog Lover Could Be in Your Genetic Makeup

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, an international team of researchers from Sweden and the United Kingdom assessed the ‘heritability of dog ownership’ in the Swedish Twin Registry, the largest twin cohort in the world. The results show that genetic variation ‘explains more than half of the …

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Narwhal Genome Sequenced

A team of researchers from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and Malaysia’s AIMST University has successfully sequenced and analyzed the genome of the narwhal (Monodon monoceros), the most specialized endemic Arctic cetacean, well known for its elongated horn-like tusk and …

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Researchers Sequence Genome of Cultivated Peanut

An international team of scientists has produced the high-quality genomic sequence for the cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea), an important grain legume and oilseed crop with an annual production of about 44 million tons. Leaves and freshly dug pods of Arachis hypogaea, Stuckey, South Carolina. Image credit: Dave, aka Pollinator / CC …

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