DNA

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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 »

Ice Bucket Challenge Funds 'ALS Breakthrough'

Gene tied to the disease has been identified

(Newser) - The $115 million raised from 2014's Ice Bucket Challenge for the ALS Association's research and services helped fund what's now being called an "ALS breakthrough," per the Guardian : the ID of a gene linked to the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which... More »

Why a Biotech Company Bought Sardinians' DNA

About one in every 2,000 people in Ogliastra lives to be 100

(Newser) - About one in every 2,000 people in Ogliastra, a province in eastern Sardinia, lives to be 100, the Financial Times reports. According to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News , that's five times the normal rate in the developed world and nearly 50 times greater than the rate in the... More »

Woman to Make Clothes Out of Alexander McQueen 'Skin'

She says it's 'completely legal'

(Newser) - Alexander McQueen "was always pushing the boundaries" in fashion. That's why Tina Gorjanc thinks he'd love her new project, which aims to make clothing from McQueen's skin—or rather skin grown from McQueen's DNA. The recent fashion school graduate plans to use DNA from... More »

Guys, Smoking May Damage Your Sperm

When fathers are smokers, odds of fertilization go down and genetic abnormalities go up

(Newser) - Need another reason to keep your distance from cigarettes? For men, smoking appears to damage their sperm and potentially their offspring, too. Reporting in the journal BJU International , researchers say that men who smoke have a higher percentage of damage to sperm DNA; they had partially and sometimes totally inactive... More »

Murder Conviction Reversed Thanks to Skype

Court says defendant missed out on right to confront witness

(Newser) - Technology is great, except when you're trying to get someone convicted for murder and you have your DNA expert testify via Skype, which denies the defendant his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses in court, which in turn gets the defendant (who was convicted and sentenced to life in... More »

Today's Sperm Whales Descended From One 'Eve'

An ancient whale appears to be the mother of all modern sperm whales

(Newser) - While investigating samples of toxic levels of heavy metals found in sperm whales, researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: All of today's sperm whales appear to have descended from the same female, reports Hakai magazine. They've named her Eve and say she lived between 10,000 and 80,... More »

Source: DNA Shows Inmate Isn't Prince's Son

He claimed he was entitled to $300 million estate

(Newser) - DNA test results show a Colorado prison inmate is not Prince's son, a source who has seen a sealed document in the case tells the AP . The finding means that Carlin Q. Williams is not entitled to inherit a fortune worth up to $300 million. TMZ , citing unnamed sources... More »

We Read the Human Genome; Next Up, Writing It?

Project would enable creation of synthetic people

(Newser) - Scientists are contemplating a big follow-up to the Human Genome Project: Where that project essentially sought to read human DNA, this new endeavor would involve writing it. The idea, which is "spurring intrigue and concern in the life sciences community," as the New York Times reports, could enable... More »

Scientists Have Big Plans for da Vinci's DNA ... If They Can Find It

His remains are believed to be in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert

(Newser) - It's a project scientists say Leonardo da Vinci would have loved. Researchers plan to sequence the DNA of the Renaissance genius to discover more about his amazing abilities, and possibly even what he really looked like, the Independent reports. Da Vinci, however, wasn't trapped in amber Jurassic Park-style,... More »

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