Researchers Find DNA “Borgs” in Methane-Chomping Archaea
Researchers Find DNA “Borgs” in Methane-Chomping Archaea
Massive extrachromosomal elements named after the hive-minded cyborg villains in Star Trek may be the first of their kind.
Researchers Find DNA “Borgs” in Methane-Chomping Archaea
Researchers Find DNA “Borgs” in Methane-Chomping Archaea

Massive extrachromosomal elements named after the hive-minded cyborg villains in Star Trek may be the first of their kind.

Massive extrachromosomal elements named after the hive-minded cyborg villains in Star Trek may be the first of their kind.

genetics & genomics
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
Christie Wilcox | Jul 15, 2021
Bettas were likely the first fish welcomed into human homes. Now, scientists are welcoming them into the lab to learn how genes dictate their appearance and behavior.
Giving Sweat the Respect It Deserves
Giving Sweat the Respect It Deserves
Sarah Everts | Jul 13, 2021
Not only is the humble fluid a boon for keeping humans cool, it also contains a wealth of biological information.
Lots of Rapid Evolution in Interferon-Stimulated Genes: Study
Lots of Rapid Evolution in Interferon-Stimulated Genes: Study
Christie Wilcox | Jul 1, 2021
A comparison of interferon-related genes across 20 primate genomes reveals differences in the speed at which they evolve and new targets for antiviral discovery efforts.
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“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
Amanda Heidt | Jun 25, 2021
A massive, well-preserved skull discovered in China in the 1930s belongs to a new species called Homo longi, researchers report, but experts remain skeptical about the evidence.
New Evidence Shows COVID-19 Was in US Weeks Before Thought
New Evidence Shows COVID-19 Was in US Weeks Before Thought
Abby Olena | Jun 17, 2021
Some of the blood specimens collected in the United States for the NIH’s All of Us research program starting on January 2, 2020, have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Deadly Facial Tumors Spur Tasmanian Devil Evolution: Study
Deadly Facial Tumors Spur Tasmanian Devil Evolution: Study
Christie Wilcox | Jun 16, 2021
The largest study to date of the animals’ genetics provides robust evidence that they are adapting to survive a highly lethal, contagious cancer scientists feared would cause their extinction.
Spike Protein Deletions Linked to COVID-19 Surges: Preprint
Spike Protein Deletions Linked to COVID-19 Surges: Preprint
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jun 15, 2021
Researchers find that surges in COVID-19 case numbers are associated with deletions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome in an antigenic site of the spike protein. Some of these mutations are present in vaccine breakthrough infections or reinfections.
Nearly Complete Human Genome Sequenced
Nearly Complete Human Genome Sequenced
Jef Akst | Jun 8, 2021
In a preprint, researchers fill in some of the holes left in the first draft of the human genetic code, published at the turn of the century.
Many Bacteria and Archaea Promoters Work Forward and Backward
Many Bacteria and Archaea Promoters Work Forward and Backward
Jack J. Lee | May 28, 2021
New analyses find that divergent transcription, in which one promoter directs the expression of two adjacent genes oriented in opposite directions, is conserved across all domains of life.
FDA-Led Consortium Details Improvements Needed in Liquid Biopsies
FDA-Led Consortium Details Improvements Needed in Liquid Biopsies
Marcus A. Banks | May 19, 2021
In the largest effort to date to standardize performance metrics of the cancer diagnostic across products, researchers say the products can likely detect advanced tumors reliably, but early-stage malignancies would remain a challenge.
Coronavirus Mutations Could Muddle COVID-19 PCR Tests
Coronavirus Mutations Could Muddle COVID-19 PCR Tests
Jack J. Lee | May 17, 2021
Researchers find that SARS-CoV-2 variants can evade primer-probe sets and recommend that diagnostic assays include multiple targets for reliability.
Gene Therapy Continues to Benefit Kids with Immunodeficiency
Gene Therapy Continues to Benefit Kids with Immunodeficiency
Jef Akst | May 12, 2021
Four dozen children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) who received a corrective gene carried by a virus have working immune systems two to three years later, according to three independent clinical trials.
Dinoflagellate Genome Structure Unlike Any Other Known
Dinoflagellate Genome Structure Unlike Any Other Known
Amanda Heidt | May 10, 2021
The transcription of DNA drives the remarkably tidy organization of chromosomes in the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium microadriaticum.
Incest Isn’t Taboo in Nature: Study
Incest Isn’t Taboo in Nature: Study
Christie Wilcox | May 7, 2021
Avoiding inbreeding appears to be the exception rather than the norm for animals, according to a new meta-analysis of experimental studies.
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Appear Effective Against Multiple Variants
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Appear Effective Against Multiple Variants
Lisa Winter | May 6, 2021
Data from three studies indicate that fully vaccinated patients are able to stave off severe disease from the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 variants.
Whole-Genome Data Point to Four Species of Giraffe
Whole-Genome Data Point to Four Species of Giraffe
Ruth Williams | May 6, 2021
The genome sequences of 51 giraffes from all over Africa contribute to the latest attempt in an ongoing pursuit to pin down a species number.
First US Field Test of GM Mosquitoes Begins in Florida
First US Field Test of GM Mosquitoes Begins in Florida
Christie Wilcox | May 4, 2021
After years of push back, the first batch of Oxitec’s engineered mosquitoes, designed to reduce population numbers, have been released in the Keys.
What Scientists Know About the B.1.617 Coronavirus Variant
What Scientists Know About the B.1.617 Coronavirus Variant
Shawna Williams | May 3, 2021
While some experts speculate the variant could be partially responsible for India’s current surge in SARS-CoV-2 infections, information about the effects of its mutations is only beginning to emerge.
Aphid Salivary Gene May Regulate Gall Color
Aphid Salivary Gene May Regulate Gall Color
Asher Jones | May 1, 2021
Whether the galls that aphids make on witch hazel leaves are red or green is associated with a gene expressed in the insects’ salivary glands.