DNA

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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 »

Men Who Smoke Affect Future Kids in Surprising Way

Life-saving drugs may be less effective for them, study suggests

(Newser) - When research began to trickle out 10 years ago suggesting that what we do today can affect the health of our unborn children, it was largely "considered heretical," medical biochemistry professor Dr. Oliver Rando tells the Boston Herald . Not anymore. Habits like cigarette smoking have since been shown... More »

Woman Claims to Be Member of Lost Tribe

But geneticists say that's impossible to prove in regard to the Beothuk

(Newser) - The Beothuk, an Indigenous tribe that lived in Canada, came to an end in 1829 with the death of its last member. Or did it? CBC reports a 55-year-old woman from North Carolina says she and her family are long-lost members of the Beothuk tribe, and she has the DNA... More »

Family Braces for Trial in Daughter's 1984 Murder

Candace Derkson was 13 when she was abducted in Canada

(Newser) - When Candace Derksen went missing on her way home from school in Winnipeg in the fall of 1984, it took six weeks for volunteers to find her body—just a few hundred yards from her home, in a storage shed, where the 13-year-old who loved horses had been bound with... More »

LI Serial Killer Case Gets 'Biggest Revelation in Years'

Torso, body parts belong to mother of slain toddler

(Newser) - A new DNA analysis in the investigation into the Long Island serial killer has resulted in what the Long Island Press calls "the biggest revelation in the case in years." Records show the torso of an unidentified black woman found in a plastic bin in Rockville Centre, NY,... More »

JonBenet Ramsey Case Takes Another New Turn

State plans to conduct sophisticated DNA tests on clothing

(Newser) - The 20th anniversary of JonBenet Ramsey's murder has led to all kinds of renewed speculation about the case, but now comes an actual development in the criminal investigation: The state plans to conduct new DNA tests on the panties and long johns the 6-year-old was wearing when she was... More »

Hunter S. Thompson's Weed Coming to a Dispensary Soon

His widow is creating strains from his preserved stash

(Newser) - For years, marijuana growers have approached Anita Thompson, the widow of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, to put her late husband's name on their weed. "I always ended up saying no because it's the same story every time: somebody wants to slap Hunter's name on their... More »

Suspected Serial Killer Doomed by Genealogy-Curious Relative

Forensic genealogy is a new tool for law enforcement

(Newser) - The man police say is Arizona's "Canal Killer," who killed two women—beheading one of them—in the early 1990s, was caught in large part because some relative of his somewhere submitted their DNA to one of those public genealogy databases, the Arizona Republic reports. Suspect Bryan... More »

When We Have Kids, How Many May Be Partly Genetic

DNA variants can also predict probability of a woman remaining childless

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have identified areas of DNA—specifically, 12—associated with reproductive habits, in this case the age when men and women have their first kid and how many kids they have. Reporting in the journal Nature Genetics , researchers at the University of Oxford analyzed more than... More »

Smoking Damages Our DNA— in Some Cases Permanently

But the vast majority of genes 'recover' within 5 years of quitting

(Newser) - Scientists are learning more about how smoking impacts our health all the way down to our genes, and experts say they're not terribly surprised by new findings that some of the changes to a smoker's DNA appear to be permanent, lingering even decades after the smoker quits, reports... More »

In the Future, Your DNA May Not ID You— Your Hair Might

Scientists say analyzing hair proteins may be better for identification than DNA testing

(Newser) - DNA testing has been the forensic scientist's workhorse for identification purposes, but it comes with major issues, reports the Los Angeles Times , and scientists now say they've got a possible substitute: hair proteins. Per a study published in PLoS One , these proteins are like replicas of a person'... More »

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