Thursday , November 15 2018

Genetics

New Research Confirms Six Living Tiger Subspecies

Today, fewer than 4,000 free-ranging tigers survive in the wild, covering only 7% of their historical range. Efforts to protect these animals have been stymied by uncertainty about whether they comprise six, five, or two subspecies. Now, researchers who’ve analyzed the complete genomes of 32 representative specimens confirm that tigers …

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Researchers Sequence Genome of Wild Sugarcane

An international team of over 100 scientists from 16 institutions has sequenced the genome of the wild sugarcane (Saccharum spontaneum). The results appear in the journal Nature Genetics. The wild sugarcane (Saccharum spontaneum). Image credit: Joydeep / CC BY-SA 3.0. Domesticated in New Guinea approximately 10,000 years ago, ‘reeds that …

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Lavender Genome Sequenced

A team of scientists from Brock University and the University of British Columbia, Canada, has sequenced the genome of the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), an economically important plant widely grown around the world. The English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Image credit: Rebekka D. The lavenders comprise the genus Lavandula, with over …

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Dinosaurs May Be to Blame for Human Sunburns

Basking in the sun can be a great way to spend an afternoon while replenishing your vitamin D. However, too much time in the sun can lead to a nasty sunburn and an increased risk of skin cancer. Why are we so vulnerable to sunlight when it’s all around us? …

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Study: Humans Inherited Viral Defenses from Neanderthals

Neanderthal DNA introgressed in modern humans helped them adapt against RNA viruses, according to new research published in the journal Cell. Interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans gave us genetic tools to combat viral infections. Image credit: Claire Scully. Current thinking is that modern humans began moving out of Africa …

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Extra DNA Produces Blue Eyes in Huskies

In a study examining the DNA of over 6,000 dogs, researchers at Embark Veterinary, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, have identified that duplication of a part of canine chromosome 18 is strongly associated with blue eyes in Siberian Huskies. Blue eyes are iconic of the Siberian Husky, a breed of northern latitudes. …

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New World’s First Dogs Came from Siberia: Study

According to a study published in the journal Science, the earliest New World dogs were not domesticated from North American wolves; instead, they form a lineage that likely originated in Eastern Siberia and dispersed into the Americas alongside people. ‘Pre-contact’ American dogs, which arrived alongside people over 10,000 years ago …

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Southeast Asians Derive Ancestry from Four Ancient Populations

Modern-day Southeast Asian populations are the result of mixing among four ancient populations, including multiple waves of genetic material from more northern East Asian populations, according to researchers who sequenced and analyzed 26 ancient genomes from Southeast Asia and Japan. McColl et al sequenced 26 ancient genomes from Southeast Asia …

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Aquatic Alga Genome Contains Ancient Land Plant Genes

An international team of researchers, led by Kanazawa and Kobe Universities, Japan, and the Universities of Marburg and Freiburg, Germany, has sequenced and analyzed the genome of Chara braunii, a freshwater green alga closely related to land plants. By comparing Chara’s genome to multiple land plant genomes, the scientists were …

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Researchers Identify 1,271 Genetic Variants Linked to Educational Attainment

A multinational team led by researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Univesities of Queensland and Southern California, Los Angeles, has conducted a large-scale genetic association analysis of educational attainment in a sample of approximately 1.1 million individuals and identified 1,271 genome-wide-significant genetic variants. The findings, published in the journal Nature …

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