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Experts Decode Ancient Girl's Genome

Pinky bone reveals eye, hair color of child who lived 80K years ago

(Newser) - You can tell a lot about someone from her finger bone—even if it's 80,000 years old. Using the bone, scientists were able to sequence an ancient Siberian girl's genome 31 times; now, they can tell you her hair, eyes, and skin color, Science reports. (All were...

We Could Soon Know Truth About Elephant Man

 We Could 
 Soon Know 
 Truth About 
 Elephant Man 
in case you missed it

We Could Soon Know Truth About Elephant Man

Genome sequencing could reveal his true ailment

(Newser) - It's been more than a century since Joseph Merrick—the so-called Elephant Man—died at age 27, but researchers still can't definitively explain the huge growths on his body. Though he was nicknamed after the parasitic infection Elephantiasis, other scientists believe he may have suffered from the congenital...

This Exists: DNA Tests for Cats

Now you can verify your cat's lineage

(Newser) - Do you have a burning desire to know your cat's ancestry? Are you dying to know if she's really a pure Abyssinian or if the guy at the pet store ripped you off? Well, now you can. Lyons Feline Genetics Laboratory at the University of California now offers...

Scientists Decode Banana Genome

Breakthrough could help keep millions fed in developing nations

(Newser) - They got the tomato in May, and now researchers have sequenced the banana genome, too. It's no mere scientific exercise—the feat could have huge implications in the developing world, explains the Los Angeles Times . Bananas are a vital source of food for hundreds of millions, but they're...

Red Tomatoes Explained: Blame Meteor
 Why Are Tomatoes Red? 
 Blame Meteor 
in case you missed it

Why Are Tomatoes Red? Blame Meteor

Dinosaur-killing impact forced the tomato into big changes, say scientists

(Newser) - Why are tomatoes red? The same reason dinosaurs were killed off, say scientists. The massive meteorite that struck Earth 60 to 70 million years ago created extremely harsh conditions that forced the evolution of the tomato into its current red and edible form, reports . Researchers discovered this connection...

Scientists Crack Tomato Genome

Which should allow producers to breed tastier ones

(Newser) - What makes a tomato a tomato? Researchers now know all 35,000 genes that make up the answer to that question, Reuters reports. An international team of scientists has fully mapped the order, orientation, types, and relative position of all those genes inside both a domesticated and a wild tomato...

For Just $1K, You'll Soon Be Able to Map Your Genes

Genomics company unveiling new machine today

(Newser) - Want to map your genes, but don't have the $3,000 the cheapest sequencing currently costs? By the end of the year, you could be in luck: California genomics company Life Technologies Corp. will introduce a machine today that, by year's end, is expected to be able to...

Scientists Crack Code of Kangaroo's DNA

Decoding could lead to new antibiotics, hope for wombats

(Newser) - What makes the kangaroo hop? That’s just one of the questions answered by international researchers who’ve decoded the genome of a kangaroo species, the BBC reports. The genome research team—the first to be led by Australian scientists—sequenced the genome in 2008 but finally completed its analysis...

Scientists Sequence Genetic Code of Marijuana

Cannabis plant falls under the microscope

(Newser) - Marijuana is giving up its secrets: A Massachusetts company has sequenced the entire genome of the cannabis plant for the first time, reports the Nature news blog. The results from Medicinal Genomics have yet to be peer-reviewed and probably won't be published in full until next year. And the...

Genetic Mutation Study: We Could All Be X-Men
 We're All Mutant X-Men 
study says

We're All Mutant X-Men

We're all chock-full of mutations, scientists find

(Newser) - Wolverine’s not so different from you and me: Scientists have found that each person has as many as 60 mutations in our genomes—portions of our DNA that aren’t matched in either of our parents. Mutations happen in both eggs and sperm cells, and neither cell’s mutations...

Tibetans 'Fastest-Evolving People on Earth'

Mutations allow Tibetans to thrive at high altitude

(Newser) - The Tibetan people have evolved to suit their high-altitude home with astonishing speed, say researchers. Biologists who compared the genomes of Tibetans living in villages up to 3 miles above sea level with Han Chinese found that 30 genes had undergone adaptive mutations in the 3,000 years since lowland...

Scientist to Map Ozzy's DNA
 Scientist to Map Ozzy's DNA 

Scientist to Map Ozzy's DNA

Geneticists will study rock star as drug abuse test case

(Newser) - Scientists looking to analyze how recreational drugs are absorbed into the body have found the ideal subject: Ozzy Osbourne. Taking advantage of the fact that Ozzy abused drugs and alcohol for years, the US-based genetics company Knome is mapping the rocker's full genome, CBS News reports. "Sequencing and analyzing...

Author: Obama's Really 'White'

He's 'too powerful' to be 'black,' prof argues

(Newser) - President Obama is "really" a white person because of his background and power, according to a controversial new book. Despite the color of his skin, Obama is essentially "white" not because of his "white" mom, but due to his educational background, income, power, and status, eminent American...

Bacteria on Skin May Be Used to ID Criminals

Study shows people can be identified by their bugs

(Newser) - Forget fingerprints: The latest crime fighting tool may be the traces of bacteria we carry on our skin. A new study shows it is possible to identify people based on their personal brand of bacteria. "Each one of us leaves a unique trail of bugs behind," a researcher...

Scientists Hope to Clone Perfect Christmas Tree

Someday, they might even glow by themselves

(Newser) - Scientists are busy trying to take the fun out of the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. Danish researchers are trying to crack the genome of the conifer for the first time, a development that could lead to oh-so-perfect trees and possibly even flame-retardant needles. Another group in Britain is...

Get Your Genome Sequenced for Just $50K

New technology slashes test cost

(Newser) - Decoding the first full human genome cost billions, but a professor of bioengineering says he has done it for just $50,000 using technology he helped design, reports the San Francisco Business Times. Stephen Quake sequenced his genetic code using a team of just three people. Only last year, decoding...

HIV Genome Decoded, Raising Hopes for Treatment

(Newser) - The entire structure of the virus that causes AIDS has been decoded for the first time, a breakthrough that may eventually lead to effective treatments for the disease and others like it, Reuters reports. University of North Carolina researchers, using a new method they liken to zooming out on a...

Bovine Industry Boon: Cow Genome Sequenced

(Newser) - A 5-year, $53 million project has resulted in the sequencing of the cow genome, the Houston Chronicle reports. The results will likely take the guesswork out of breeding, but also mark the end of big-money sequencing projects. “It was pretty dumb to do the cow for $50 million when...

Genes Reveal Elevated Risk of Stroke
Genes Reveal Elevated Risk
of Stroke

Genes Reveal Elevated Risk of Stroke

Variations found in millions of people may help drugs find targets

(Newser) - Two genetic variations that increase the risk of stroke are present in an unexpectedly large proportion of the population, Reuters reports. Scientists analyzed the genomes of over 19,000 people, looking for single-letter changes in DNA in those who had experienced ischemic strokes. The two variations they identified, located near...

DNA Tests Can Improve Health&mdash;and Ruin Privacy
DNA Tests Can Improve Health—and Ruin Privacy

DNA Tests Can Improve Health—and Ruin Privacy

Testing labs can sell genomes to Big Pharma

(Newser) - Genetic testing is quickly becoming cheaper and widely available, prompting questions of whether the privacy of this most personal data can be ensured, writes Peter Dizikes for Salon. Companies such as 23andMe and Navigenics can study your genes for $399 or so to determine if you're at risk for a...

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