DNA

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Answers in One Mystery Lead to More Questions

Could Robert Ivan Nichols be the Zodiac Killer?

(Newser) - What appeared to be a straightforward suicide case morphed into what's been called "one of northeast Ohio's biggest mysteries," involving a long-dead boy, identity theft, and a war hero turned deadbeat dad. Now, per the Plain Dealer , the cold case has been (somewhat) solved, largely thanks... More »

'We Have No Idea What This Was Until We Get a DNA Report'

Mysterious wolf-like creature shot in Montana

(Newser) - A central Montana rancher shot a wolf-like animal after it was spotted in a pasture with livestock, but a closer look has prompted state wildlife officials to take DNA samples to determine what type of animal it was, reports the AP . Fish, Wildlife, and Parks regional spokesman Bruce Auchly said... More »

Team Searches for DNA of Loch Ness Monster

They plan to test hundreds of samples from lake

(Newser) - The stories seem as tall as the lake is deep. For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland's Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lurks in the depths. But now the legend of "Nessie" may have no place left to hide. A New Zealand scientist... More »

Serial Killer Case Highlights Concern of DNA Websites

Privacy advocates say people's health and family histories are vulnerable to prying eyes

(Newser) - Investigators who used a genealogical website to find the ex-policeman they believe is a serial killer and rapist who terrified California decades ago call the technique groundbreaking. But others say it raises troubling legal and privacy concerns for the millions of people who submit their DNA to such sites to... More »

FBI Solves the Mystery of an Ancient Severed Head

In an Egyptian tomb belonging to Djehutynakht and his wife, there was just one head

(Newser) - It has to rank among the less usual undertakings doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital had attempted: In 2009 they removed a molar from a severed Egyptian mummy's head via an endoscope with grasping forceps they inserted through the neck. The tooth was a hopeful clue in a nearly... More »

Left in a Bush, She Uncovered Her Parents 80 Years Later

Inside Anthea Ring's hunt for her origins

(Newser) - It's a seemingly unsolvable mystery that has been solved, partially, some eight decades later: What were the origins of a 9-month-old girl abandoned, with her hands tied in front of her, in a blackberry bush in Worthing, England? That Anthea Ring survived is thanks to Margaret Dodd, a British... More »

Humans Mated Outside Our Species 3 Times

Second instance of human-Denisovan interbreeding discovered

(Newser) - Ancient humans weren't against knocking boots with other species: We know they had sex with Neanderthals . We also know they mated with the mysterious Denisovans, as some Australasians (those from Papua New Guinea in particular) have 5% Denisovan DNA. But a "breakthrough" study shows the interbreeding wasn't... More »

They Had the Same DNA. Then One Spent a Year in Space

A fascinating look at the case of identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly

(Newser) - NASA is pointing to the "stresses of space travel" as the factor behind a fascinating phenomenon involving the only pair of identical twin astronauts in history. Per Live Science , even though Scott and Mark Kelly once boasted the same DNA makeup, Scott's nearly yearlong trip on the International... More »

Police Have New Tool to Find Mom of Baby Left in Dumpster

DNA used to create sketch of woman

(Newser) - On Christmas Eve, a newborn girl was found dead in a dumpster in a Calgary parking lot. Police are still looking for her mother, and now they have a sketch of the woman or girl, thanks to a process known as DNA phenotyping, the CBC reports. The Canadian authorities hired... More »

'Cheddar Man's' DNA Reveals Surprise About Early Brits

The earliest modern Brits had 'dark to black' skin

(Newser) - Think of a stereotypical Brit and you may imagine a pale cast member from Downton Abbey. A new study, however, shows early modern Brits from 10,000 years ago, who migrated from Europe over a land bridge into England, may not have been quite as pale as many of their... More »

Scientists 'Toy With Mother Nature' in 'Bold' Genetic First

For first time, scientists attempted gene editing inside a live human to try to cure genetic disease

(Newser) - Scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene inside the body in a bold attempt to permanently change a person's DNA to cure a disease. The experiment was done Monday in California on 44-year-old Brian Madeux, the AP reports. Through an IV, Madeux, who has a metabolic... More »

New Evidence Unveiled in Weird California Kidnap Case

Male, female DNA was recovered from Sherri Papini

(Newser) - Authorities have released new details in the Sherri Papini case, almost a year after the California mother of two young children vanished after going for a jog. She disappeared on Nov. 2 last year and was next seen 22 days later, when she flagged down a passing car 150 miles... More »

The Clay Bust Looked Just Like Her Sister, Missing Since 1978

Inside a cold case in Tampa, Fla.

(Newser) - Sheila Williams loves watching the news, and a local segment caught her attention: Florida law enforcement and other officials would soon gather in Tampa for a symposium on cold cases. Maybe, she thought, they'd be able to talk with detectives there about Brenda, her sister who had been missing... More »

Unforeseen Twist in Case of 10-Year-Old Rape Victim

DNA shows newborn is not child of uncle who allegedly raped girl

(Newser) - An unforeseen twist in a highly publicized case that had seemed to be at its end: The DNA results show that a 10-year-old girl in India—who was pregnant via rape, not permitted to abort , and in August gave birth —was not impregnated by her uncle, as has been... More »

Scientists Spot Stage 1 Cancers Via Blood Test

Earlier treatment could save millions of lives

(Newser) - Human blood is rich with genetic material, and scientists have in recent years taken many steps forward in decoding it. The latest announcement—that a blood test can spot cancer at its earliest stages—has the potential to save millions of lives as treatment is administered earlier in the disease'... More »

Farmers Use DNA Tracking to Thwart Sheep Thieves

Sheep rustling has become a serious crime in the UK

(Newser) - Police in England are hoping cutting-edge technology can help deter crime in the country's most pastoral regions. The Westmorland Gazette reports that police in Cumbria in England's Lake District have kicked off a 12-month pilot program with local farmers and forensic marking company SelectaDNA to help prevent sheep... More »

Scientists 'Very Excited' About 150K-Year-Old Baby Tooth

It's the oldest Denisovan fossil yet, found in a Siberian cave

(Newser) - Scientists are "very excited" to learn more about a baby tooth that only the most sophisticated DNA dating tech can analyze. Some 150,000 years ago, a young girl lost her baby tooth, and it fell into the sediment of a cave in Siberia from which the first three... More »

Alleged Killer's Mistake: He Spit on a Sidewalk

Geovanni Borjas accused of raping, killing 2 women in 2011

(Newser) - For more than five years, a killer has been on the loose in California. No longer, say police. Authorities in Los Angeles say they've arrested a man believed to have raped and killed two women, then dumped their bodies near freeways in 2011, reports the Los Angeles Times . Michelle... More »

How a Bit of Cave Dirt Just Changed Archaeology

In first, scientists pull ancient human DNA from dirt

(Newser) - The study of humans has long relied on bones to reveal human DNA. The problem is that those bones are hard to come by. As the Atlantic points out, scientists have only a finger bone and two teeth belonging to the Denisovans, cousins of Neanderthals. It's no wonder then... More »

Subway: We Tested Our Chicken, and No, It's Not Soy

Chain refutes 'false' CBC report, says its own tests show only 'trace' amount of soy

(Newser) - Subway says lab tests it commissioned show its chicken contains only trace amounts of soy. This after a CBC show reported that tests showed only about half the DNA from Subway chicken samples was from chicken. The rest was mostly from soy. After calling the report "false and misleading,... More »

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