NextGen Triple-Helix DNA -It Could be Scary!

6a00d8341bf7f753ef011570bd4ea4970b-320wiCyborgs have been the sci-fi dream of a generation, merging man and machine in amazing new combinations. Most of which seem to look like major action stars. But a team at the University of Copenhagen think that's amateur hour. In fact they find the entirety of life of planet Earth to be distinctly underwhelming, which is why they're working on an upgrade - triple-helixed DNA.

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Genetic Exodus: DNA Tells 'Global Story' of Human Migration Out of Africa

Prehistoric_animal_herding "Nearly all civilizations have their own origin or creation myth. Now we can use archaeogenetics to tell a global story that is robust and applicable to all human communities everywhere."

Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge,

In recent years, DNA evidence has added important new tools for scientists studying the human past. "To understand what it is to be human, it is essential to understand the human past," says Renfrew, who first coined the term "archaeogenetics" and is the author of a guest editorial in the special issue on Global Genetic History of Homo Sapiens in Cell (link below).

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"Andromeda DNA?" Discovery Shows 8% of Human Genome from Viruses


'The next great war will start inside us. In the next stage of evolution, mankind is history'.
Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio

Michael Crichton would love this discovery: new research showed that about eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to researchers in Japan and the U.S. The genomes of humans and other mammals contain DNA derived from the insertion of bornaviruses, RNA viruses whose replication and transcription takes place in the nucleus. Research led by Professor Keizo Tomonaga at Osaka University in Japan shows virally transmitted DNA may be a cause of mutation and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.

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Does True Genius Have a Genetic Basis? Experts Say "Yes" (With Possible Slightly Psychotic Side Effects)


One of the most important discoveries in human history is how we're really a couple of pounds of gooey jelly inside our own skulls. Since then we've been working on exactly how we come to be us: from the psychology of our upbringings, to the chemicals that control our mood, to the recent analysis of the fundamental genetic design of the wiring. Now a study shows that we have a simple "Creative Psychopath ON/OFF" switch, and whether you find that interesting or not might be related to whether it applies to you.

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MIT Team Unveils New 3-D Model of "You"

6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e54f40c7538834-800wi DNA's shape is simultaneously the best and least understood arrangement in biology.  If we were to ask "What shape is DNA?" you'd answer "A double-helix." Then we'd ask "How do you fit a two-meter long double-helix ladder in a micrometer-scale cell?", and sneak a picture of your confused expression.

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Extreme Microbes Hint at Possible Lifeforms in the Universe

Joyce_divehole Oxygen, one of the by-products of photosynthesis by microbes such as cyanobacteria and their descendants -including algae and higher plants, transformed the Precambrian Earth and made possible the evolution of more complex organisms. Jeffrey Touchman, assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arziona State University is doing groundbreaking resaerch to illuminate large gaps in the available genetic data for photosynthetic microbes through the study of  organisms known as phototrophic extremophiles living in unusually harsh and exotic environments such as the buried lakes of Antarctica where a biodiversity of extremophilic anoxygenic bacteria are known to exist.

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DNA Time Travel - Species Discovered that Sleep for Centuries

DNA_930779239Nature has found a way send genetic information forward through time, and no, it doesn't involve Doctor Who finally getting with Rose. Tiny crustaceans can bury their young in the Earth for centuries, and scientists in the new and awesomely-named science of "resurrection ecology" are using these sleeping samples to study evolution.

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The "DNA Pardon": Murder Sentence Genetically Reduced


Gear up for Gattaca, as an Italian court has reduced a murderer's sentence to account for his genes.  Despite the fact the relevant genetic science isn't actually that advanced, the likely effects on the legal system, and the very real question of "Isn't that ass backwards?"

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Genetic Mutations that Set Humans Apart from Other Primates Identified

Chp_black_brain_1 Although humans and chimpanzees genetically vary by just 1.2 percent, that small percentage makes a world of difference in the mental and linguistic capabilities between the two species. A study shows that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans. The scientists conclude that this critical difference originated less than 5 million years ago.

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