human genome

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Scientists Find Earth's Oldest Civilization

Indigenous Australians, Papuans can trace DNA back 50K years

(Newser) - New research suggests that the title of world's oldest civilization goes to the indigenous populations of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Scientists say the DNA of these people can be traced back to an original wave of settlers from Africa more than 50,000 years ago, reports the Guardian ... More »

We All Come From Single Wave of African Migrants

Humans that populated the world left Africa 50K to 80K years ago

(Newser) - While all modern humans originated in Africa around 200,000 years ago, scientists have long debated on exactly when and how we spread across the globe. A trio of studies published this week posits that, with one tiny exception, all people living today are descended from the same wave of... More »

Study: DNA Test Can Predict Whether You're Gay

Potential for misuse troubles lead scientist, who's just left the lab

(Newser) - UCLA scientists think they've developed the first test that can accurately predict whether a man is gay based on his DNA, and all it takes is a swab of saliva, reports New Scientist . The researchers examined 400,000 epigenetic tags—"chemicals that latch onto DNA and help turn... More »

How Slave Skeletons Were Finally Traced to Their Home

Tiny bits of DNA extracted from tooth roots helped identify 3 slaves

(Newser) - Though upward of 12 million Africans were enslaved and shipped to the Americas between 1500 and 1850, tracing their roots back home has been famously difficult—with poor record-keeping and poorly-preserved DNA samples partly to blame. Now researchers from Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen report in the Proceedings ... More »

Supreme Court: No, You Can't Patent Our DNA

But court rules that synthetic genes are fair game

(Newser) - Sorry, corporate America, you can't own our genes. The Supreme Court declared that unanimously today, ruling against Utah-based Myriad Genetics, which holds patents on a pair of genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. But in something of a compromise, the court ruled that while it was unconstitutional to... More »

Fish's DNA Holds Clues to Evolution: Scientists

Scientists find DNA for placenta, limbs in ancient fish

(Newser) - The coelacanth doesn't just look like a prehistoric fish, it was believed to be one, extinct for some 70 million years—until one turned up at a South African fish market in 1938. Now, scientists have decoded the endangered species' genome, and they say they've found some clues... More »

White House Plans to Map Human Brain

Experts hope for economic boost from potential $3B project

(Newser) - When President Obama mentioned mapping the brain in his State of the Union address, he may have been hinting at a big science goal for the White House. The administration is readying a project to investigate the human brain at a level on par with the Human Genome Project, the... More »

Scientists Create 'Google Maps' for Genome

ENCODE project proves humans' genetic code has little 'junk'

(Newser) - Scientists today unveiled the most in-depth exploration yet of the human genome—complete with what they're likening to a "Google Maps" system that allows researchers to explore it. The research, which involved 1,600 experiments conducted by hundreds of scientists in dozens of labs, promises to fundamentally change... More »

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... More »

Breakthrough in Fetus Genome Mapping Raises Abortion Fears

Parents will be able to test for wide range of traits

(Newser) - Genetic testing on fetuses has long been dangerous, difficult, and useful only for a small number of disorders, but a new technique allows scientists to sequence an unborn child's complete genome using only a blood sample from the mother and saliva from the father, reports the New York Times... More »

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... More »

How Much Caveman DNA Do You Have?

Company scours genome for Neanderthal heritage

(Newser) - If you've ever wondered whether your boorish ex or oafish boss may be closely related to our caveman ancestors, you can now officially prove it with a genetic test. Genome-mapping company 23andMe is offering "The Neanderthal Test" this holiday season. Simply submit your saliva and you can find... More »

Sex With Neanderthals Boosted Our Immunity

Scientists make 'stunning' discovery in genome comparison

(Newser) - Three years ago, scientists thought humans had never had sex with Neanderthals. Last year, they changed their tune—and now it looks like DNA passed down from Neanderthals has had a “profound impact” on our immune systems. Scientists compared a section of the modern human genome to the same... More »

Scientists to Pentagon: Map Every Soldier's Genome

Report prompts fears over flaws in process, discrimination

(Newser) - A secretive group of top scientists is pushing the Pentagon to map the genomes of all military personnel, the Huffington Post reports. Such mapping could reveal information about troops' "responses to battlefield stress"—for example, how well they can tolerate "sleep deprivation, dehydration, or prolonged exposure to... More »

Scientists Zero In on Genetic Clues to Anorexia

Markers linked to autism show up in eating-disorder patients

(Newser) - Researchers have found a set of genetic alterations linked to the development of anorexia, LiveScience reports. The eating disorder had previously been thought to be highly heritable, but specific genetic markers hadn't been identified. If more are found, people at risk for the disorder could be identified early. More »

'Zombie' DNA Can Wake Up, Cause Disease

Long-inactive gene triggers form of muscular dystrophy

(Newser) - Geneticists have found the culprit causing a common form of muscular dystrophy—zombie DNA. Sort of. They've discovered that long-inactive genes—so-called junk DNA lying dormant in the human genome for thousands of years—"can rise from the dead like zombies" and cause trouble, explains Gina Kolata in the... More »

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... More »

Don't Let Scientists Patent Synthetic Life

Genome pioneer argues for open access

(Newser) - Craig Venter's creation of the first synthetic life form is a milestone discovery but patenting it will hold back science, argues a British scientist who helped sequence the human genome. John Sulston—who clashed with Venter a decade ago when he sought to restrict access to genome information—tells the... More »

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... More »

Drugstores Will Sell Genetic Tests

Possibly illegal product reveals risk of disease

(Newser) - Soon, you may be able to pick up a genetic testing kit at your local drugstore. A San Diego company has made a deal to sell its new Insight test at Walgreens locations across the country, promising consumers a look at their risk for Alzheimer's, breast cancer, diabetes, and more.... More »

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