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Scientists Find Genes in Mice That May Lead to Future Ebola Treatments

KQED Science | November 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Scientists Find Genes in Mice That May Lead to Future Ebola Treatments

Scientists have identified Ebola-resistant and Ebola-sensitive mouse strains. Not only will the sensitive mice be useful as a relatively quick way to test new Ebola treatments, but by comparing its genetics to those of the resistant strains, scientists may find new ways to treat Ebola.

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Oldest Sequenced Genome From 45,000-Year-Old DNA

KQED Science | November 3, 2014 | 1 Comment

Oldest Sequenced Genome From 45,000-Year-Old DNA

In a technological tour de force, a group of scientists have managed to read most of the DNA from the thigh bone of a 45,000 year-old-man. They were able to estimate that humans and Neanderthals bred in a major way 50,000-60,000 years ago and to confirm that the human mutation rate is a bit slower than scientists previously thought.

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New Research Shows Targeted Antioxidants Help Mice Live Longer, Healthier Lives

KQED Science | October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

New Research Shows Targeted Antioxidants Help Mice Live Longer, Healthier Lives

While many of the benefits of antioxidants are undoubtedly oversold, we do know that if given at high enough levels and targeted to the right place, antioxidants can help a mouse live 10-20% longer. If this holds up in people, that is equivalent to an extra 7-14 years for people here in the U.S.

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Why Scientists are Seen as Competent but Untrustworthy (and Why it Matters)

KQED Science | October 6, 2014 | 1 Comment

Why Scientists are Seen as Competent but Untrustworthy (and Why it Matters)

According to a recent study, the public's distrust of scientists has gotten so bad that they are now on par with CEOs and lawyers. This loss of trust will almost certainly have profound implications for our future.

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Genetic Tests May Have Unexpected Side Effects — Like Divorce

KQED Science | September 22, 2014 | 2 Comments

Genetic Tests May Have Unexpected Side Effects — Like Divorce

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests are a fun way to learn about your family history, ancestry and maybe even a bit about your future health risks. But sometimes, they can also lead to unforeseen negative consequences.

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Fixing a Gene in a Fertilized Egg Prevents Muscular Dystrophy (in a Mouse)

KQED Science | September 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

Fixing a Gene in a Fertilized Egg Prevents Muscular Dystrophy (in a Mouse)

Scientists recently fixed a broken gene in a fertilized mouse egg and prevented the mouse from getting an ultimately fatal form of muscular dystrophy. This study may one day translate into gene therapies that will treat and maybe even reverse certain effects of the disease.

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A Glimpse of LUCA, Life’s Last Universal Common Ancestor

KQED Science | August 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

A Glimpse of LUCA, Life’s Last Universal Common Ancestor

A new study suggests how early life might have survived without some of the cellular machinery that is absolutely required for life today. Turns out that having a fairly leaky membrane may have been the key.

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Some of Us May Have a Genetic Predisposition to Disliking Exercise

KQED Science | August 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Some of Us May Have a Genetic Predisposition to Disliking Exercise

About 90% of us over the age of 12 fail to get as much exercise as we should. This is almost certainly not because we don’t believe in those benefits. Instead, it looks like at least part of the reason may be that some of us are genetically programmed to hate exercise.

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Genetically Engineering Wild Populations Could Be Just Around the Corner

KQED Science | July 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Genetically Engineering Wild Populations Could Be Just Around the Corner

We might be able to use selfish genes to cause the population of mosquitoes that carry malaria to crash. Is genetically manipulating these insects out in the wild worth preventing hundreds of millions of people from getting malaria?

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Present-Day Tibetans Inherited Genetic Gifts from Paleolithic-Era Ancestors

KQED Science | July 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Present-Day Tibetans Inherited Genetic Gifts from Paleolithic-Era Ancestors

The world had been awash in news about how we can see the evidence in our DNA of ancient humans mating with Neanderthals and their close relatives, the Denisovans. Now in a new study out in the journal Nature, a group of researchers has found the strongest evidence to date that this mating mattered.

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You Can Transform Your Genetic Ancestry Data Into Health Info, But Your Results May Vary

KQED Science | June 30, 2014 | 1 Comment

You Can Transform Your Genetic Ancestry Data Into Health Info, But Your Results May Vary

An online service called Promethease allows you to convert your genetic ancestry data into health data. If you do, keep in mind that you may miss key health data because your ancestry test might not have been designed to find important health markers.

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Stanford Scientists Solve Small Part of Genetic Mystery Behind Blonde Hair

KQED Science | June 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Stanford Scientists Solve Small Part of Genetic Mystery Behind Blonde Hair

A surprisingly large number of DNA regions are involved in hair color. Stanford scientists have solved how one of these can lead to blonde hair.

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Comb Jelly DNA Studies Are Changing How Scientists Think Animals Evolved

KQED Science | June 2, 2014 | 5 Comments

Comb Jelly DNA Studies Are Changing How Scientists Think Animals Evolved

Comb jellies are these beautiful, otherworldly creatures that sparkle gently in the sea. And now, if a study in the journal Science and another one in the journal Nature hold up, they may not be so gentle on evolution or the tree of life. These “aliens of the sea” are fundamentally changing how we think about both.

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DNA 2.0: Adding Two Letters to Life’s Alphabet

KQED Science | May 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

DNA 2.0: Adding Two Letters to Life’s Alphabet

For the last few billion years, all life has used just four letters to spell out its instructions. Now a group in San Diego has added two new letters.

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Surprising Amount of Neanderthal DNA Still Evident in Modern European and Asian Populations

KQED Science | May 5, 2014 | 11 Comments

Surprising Amount of Neanderthal DNA Still Evident in Modern European and Asian Populations

Neanderthals may be extinct but at least 20-40% of their DNA lives on in modern Europeans and Asians because of interbreeding. Neanderthal DNA survives because it gave useful traits to the ancestors of Europeans and Asians.

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Scientists Have Engineered a Version of Bird Flu That Can Spread Between Mammals

KQED Science | April 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Scientists Have Engineered a Version of Bird Flu That Can Spread Between Mammals

Scientists were able to engineer a version of the bird flu that can spread between mammals, the first step towards turning this virus into a pandemic. This research is controversial as it has created something that is potentially dangerous.

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Another Step Closer to Redesigning Life: Scientists Create Synthetic Chromosome in Yeast

KQED Science | April 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

Another Step Closer to Redesigning Life: Scientists Create Synthetic Chromosome in Yeast

A group of scientists has replaced a natural chromosome in yeast with an artificial one. This won't only make a more useful yeast, but it also opens the door to redesigning the DNA of more complicated beasts like plants and animals (or us) and maybe even to resurrecting extinct species like the passenger pigeon or wooly mammoth.

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Testing Complete DNA Sequences Yields Only Partial Info but Could Still Save Your Life

KQED Science | March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Testing Complete DNA Sequences Yields Only Partial Info but Could Still Save Your Life

Evaluating your whole genome sequence to determine your health risks is not yet up to snuff. But as imperfect as it is, you still might see something that could save your life.

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Erasing Traumatic Memories from DNA May One Day Help PTSD Sufferers

KQED Science | March 10, 2014 | 1 Comment

Erasing Traumatic Memories from DNA May One Day Help PTSD Sufferers

A group of scientists has reported that they have been able to make current treatments for post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) better and longer lasting in mice. The hope is that these findings may one day pave the way for better treatments for the 7-8% of people who suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.

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New Technology Allows for Precise Genetic Engineering in Primates

KQED Science | February 24, 2014 | 2 Comments

New Technology Allows for Precise Genetic Engineering in Primates

Scientists can now make precise, specific changes in the DNA of primates using a new technology first identified in bacteria. Not only will this usher in an age where animal models for human diseases are more useful, but it also means that we are very close to being able to do the same thing in people.

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