Current Ancient DNA News and Events

Current Ancient DNA News and Events, Ancient DNA News Articles.
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Understanding how genetic motifs conduct "the music of life"
Our genetic codes control not only which proteins our cells produce, but also - to a great extent - in what quantity. This ground-breaking discovery, applicable to all biological life, was recently made by systems biologists at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, using supercomputers and artificial intelligence. Their research, which could also shed new light on the mysteries of cancer, was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. (2021-01-28)

'You say tomato, I say genomics': Genome sequences for two wild tomato ancestors
A research team led by University of Tsukuba has produced genome sequences for two wild species of tomato from South America, ancestors of the cultivated tomato. The ancestral species contain thousands of genes that are not present in modern types. The novel genes will help plant breeders produce new tomatoes with features like improved disease resistance, increased tolerance for the changing climate, and improved flavor and shelf-life. (2021-01-27)

Ancient proteins help track early milk drinking in Africa
Got milk? The 1990s ad campaign highlighted the importance of milk for health and wellbeing, but when did we start drinking the milk of other animals? And how did the practice spread? A new study led by scientists from Germany and Kenya highlights the critical role of Africa in the story of dairying, showing that communities there were drinking milk by at least 6,000 years ago. (2021-01-27)

Humanizing yeast ORC sheds light on cancer therapy and human development
Researchers from the HKSUST and the HKU recently demonstrated that the selectivity determinant of Origin Recognition Complex for DNA binding lies in a 19-amino acid insertion helix in the Orc4 subunit, which is present in yeast but absent in human. (2021-01-27)

'Virtual anatomy' imaging yields new insight into ancient platypus fish
The inner ear of a 400 million-year-old 'platypus fish' has yielded new insights into early vertebrate evolution, suggesting this ancient creature may be more closely related to modern-day sharks and bony fish than previously thought. (2021-01-27)

VCU technology could upend DNA sequencing for diagnosing certain DNA mutations
Doctors are increasingly using genetic signatures to diagnose diseases and determine the best course of care, but using DNA sequencing and other techniques to detect genomic rearrangements remains costly or limited in capabilities. However, an innovative breakthrough developed by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Department of Physics promises to diagnose DNA rearrangement mutations at a fraction of the cost with improved accuracy. (2021-01-27)

Newly discovered fossil named after U of A paleontologist
A newly discovered trace fossil of an ancient burrow has been named after University of Alberta paleontologist Murray Gingras. The fossil, discovered by a former graduate student, has an important role to play in gauging how salty ancient bodies of water were, putting together a clearer picture of our planet's past. (2021-01-26)

Identification of Oligo-DNA that promotes skeletal muscle differentiation
Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in the human body and is responsible not only for locomotion but for energy metabolism and heat production. Myoblasts play an important role in maintaining muscle homeostasis, but it has been reported that the differentiation ability of myoblasts decreases with age and disease and this will be one of the causes of muscle atrophy. To prevent muscle atrophy, researchers of Shinshu University studied molecules that promote myoblast differentiation. (2021-01-25)

Climate change in antiquity: mass emigration due to water scarcity
The absence of monsoon rains at the source of the Nile was the cause of migrations and the demise of entire settlements in the late Roman province of Egypt. This demographic development has been compared with environmental data for the first time by professor of ancient history, Sabine Huebner of the University of Basel - leading to a discovery of climate change and its consequences. (2021-01-25)

Biologists unravel full sequence of DNA repair mechanism
Researchers led by the University of Iowa have observed the entire sequence in break-induced replication, a method by which organisms from viruses to humans repair breaks in DNA that cannot be fixed otherwise but can introduce or cause genomic rearrangements and mutations contributing to cancer development. (2021-01-25)

Proteins unspool DNA so cells can take on unique properties
New research reveals how proteins, called 'pioneer transcription factors,' help turn on key genes that give cell types their unique properties and functions. (2021-01-22)

Regulating the ribosomal RNA production line
The enzyme that makes RNA from a DNA template is altered to slow the production of ribosomal RNA (rRNA), the most abundant type of RNA within cells, when resources are scarce and the bacteria Escherichia coli needs to slow its growth. (2021-01-22)

Palaeontology: Fossil burrows point to ancient seafloor colonization by giant marine worms
Giant ambush-predator worms, possible ancestors of the 'bobbit worm', may have colonized the seafloor of the Eurasian continent around 20 million years ago. The findings, based on the reconstruction of large, L-shaped burrows from layers of seafloor dating back to the Miocene (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) of northeast Taiwan, are reported in Scientific Reports this week. (2021-01-21)

Pioneering new technique could revolutionise super-resolution imaging systems
Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that could revolutionise the accuracy, precision and clarity of super-resolution imaging systems. (2021-01-21)

Scientists make pivotal discovery on mechanism of Epstein-Barr virus latent infection
Wistar Researchers have discovered a new enzymatic function of the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) protein EBNA1, a critical factor in EBV's ability to transform human cells and cause cancer. Study provides new indications for inhibiting EBNA1 function, opening up fresh avenues for development of therapies to treat EBV-associated cancers. (2021-01-21)

Giant sand worm discovery proves truth is stranger than fiction
Simon Fraser University researchers have found evidence that large ambush-predatory worms--some as long as two metres--roamed the ocean floor near Taiwan over 20 million years ago. (2021-01-21)

On the origins of money: Ancient European hoards full of standardized bronze objects
In the Early Bronze Age of Europe, ancient people used bronze objects as an early form of money, even going so far as to standardize the shape and weight of their currency, according to a study published January 20, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Maikel H. G. Kuijpers and C?t?lin N. Popa of Leiden University, Netherlands. (2021-01-20)

Rocks show Mars once felt like Iceland
A comparison of chemical and climate weathering of sedimentary rock in Mars' Gale Crater indicate the region's mean temperature billions of years ago was akin to current conditions on Iceland. (2021-01-20)

Using ancient fossils and gravitational-wave science to predict earth's future
New research on predicting the earth's future climate: Using gravitational-wave science, a group of international scientists, including Australian OzGrav astrophysicist Ilya Mandel, studied ancient marine fossils as a predictor of climate change. (2021-01-19)

DNA origami enables fabricating superconducting nanowires
In AIP Advances, researchers describe how to exploit DNA origami as a platform to build superconducting nanoarchitectures. The structures they built are addressable with nanometric precision that can be used as a template for 3D architectures that are not possible today via conventional fabrication techniques. Inspired by previous works using the DNA molecule as a template for superconducting nanowires, the group took advantage of a recent bioengineering advance known as DNA origami. (2021-01-19)

A new archaeology for the Anthropocene era
Scantily clad tomb raiders and cloistered scholars piecing together old pots - these are the kinds of stereotypes of archaeology that dominate public perception. Yet archaeology in the new millennium is a world away from these images. In a major new report, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History probe a thoroughly modern and scientific discipline to understand how it is helping to address the considerable challenges of the Anthropocene. (2021-01-18)

WSU scientists identify contents of ancient Maya drug containers
Scientists have identified the presence of a non-tobacco plant in ancient Maya drug containers for the first time. The researchers detected Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) in residues taken from 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels. The vessels also contain chemical traces present in two types of dried and cured tobacco. (2021-01-15)

Simulating evolution to understand a hidden switch
Some organisms evolve an internal switch that can remain hidden for generations until stress flicks it on. (2021-01-15)

Not as simple as thought: How bacteria form membrane vesicles
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba identified a novel mechanism by which bacteria form membrane vesicles, which bacteria employ to communicate with each other or to defend themselves against antibiotics. By studying mycolic acid-containing bacteria (MCB), which also includes tuberculosis-causing bacteria, the researchers demonstrated that environmental stimuli dictate the route by which the MCB form membrane vesicles. Further, their observations were consistent among various MCB. This study has implications for vaccine development as well as novel therapies. (2021-01-14)

Accounting for the gaps in ancient food webs
Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future. There's just one problem: only some species left enough of a trace for scientists to find eons later, leaving large gaps in the fossil record -- and researchers' ability to piece together the food webs from the past. (2021-01-14)

New molecular structures associated with ALS
Researchers from the University of Seville and the University of Pavia have identified a link between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and the accumulation of DNA-RNA hybrids in the genome. The accumulation of these hybrids causes increased genomic damage and boosts genetic instability. This finding will make it possible to better understand the molecular basis of the disease, as well as to propose new solutions to curb it. (2021-01-13)

Inferring human genomes at a fraction of the cost promises to boost biomedical research
A new method, developed by Olivier Delaneau's group at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Lausanne, offers game-changing possibilities for genetic association studies and biomedical research. For less than $1 in computational cost, GLIMPSE is able to statistically infer a complete human genome from a very small amount of data. It offers a first realistic alternative to current approaches, and so allows a wider inclusion of underrepresented populations. (2021-01-13)

The dire wolf was a distinct species, different from the gray wolf, biologists discover
The iconic, prehistoric dire wolf, which prowled through the Americas over 11 millennia ago, was a distinct species from the smaller gray wolf, an international team of scientists reports today in the journal Nature. The study, which puts to bed a mystery that biologists have pondered for more than 100 years, was led by researchers from UCLA, along with colleagues from Durham University in the UK, Australia's Adelaide University and Germany's Ludwig Maximilian University. (2021-01-13)

Ancient DNA reveals secrets of Game of Thrones wolves
Extinct dire wolves split off from other wolves nearly six million years ago and were only a distant relative of today's wolves, according to new research published in Nature. (2021-01-13)

Wetland methane cycling increased during ancient global warming event
Wetland methane cycling increased during a rapid global warming event 56 million years ago and could foreshadow changes the methane cycle will experience in the future, according to new research led by the University of Bristol. (2021-01-13)

Rare quadruple-helix DNA found in living human cells with glowing probes
New probes allow scientists to see four-stranded DNA interacting with molecules inside living human cells, unravelling its role in cellular processes. (2021-01-13)

New study of Earth's crust shows global growth spurt three billion years ago
Curtin University researchers have used ancient crystals from eroded rocks found in stream sediments in Greenland to successfully test the theory that portions of Earth's ancient crust acted as 'seeds' from which later generations of crust grew. (2021-01-12)

A bucket of water can reveal climate change impacts on marine life in the Arctic
We know very little about marine life in the Arctic. Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, are trying to change that. They have shown that a simple water sample makes it possible to monitor the presence, migration patterns and genetic diversity of bowhead whales in an otherwise hard-to-reach area. The method can be used to understand how climate changes and human activities impact life in the oceans. (2021-01-12)

'Bespoke' analysis of DNA packaging sheds light on intricacies of the fundamental process
Researchers from Skoltech and their colleagues have optimized data analysis for a common method of studying the 3D structure of DNA in single cells of a Drosophila fly. The new approach allows the scientists to peek with greater confidence into individual cells to study the unique ways DNA is packaged there and get closer to understanding this crucial process's underlying mechanisms. (2021-01-12)

New method helps pocket-sized DNA sequencer achieve near-perfect accuracy 
Researchers have found a simple way to eliminate almost all sequencing errors produced by a widely used portable DNA sequencer (Oxford Nanopore Technologies' MinION device). (2021-01-12)

Biomarkers in fathers' sperm linked to offspring autism
Epigenetic biomarkers in human sperm have been identified that can indicate a propensity to father children with autism spectrum disorder. In the study, researchers identified a set of genomic features, called DNA methylation regions, in sperm samples from men who were known to have autistic children. Then in a set of blind tests, they were able to use the presence of these features to determine whether other men had fathered autistic children with 90% accuracy. (2021-01-11)

Antibiotic resistance from random DNA sequences
An important and still unanswered question is how new genes that cause antibiotic resistance arise. In a new study, Swedish and American researchers have shown how new genes that produce resistance can arise from completely random DNA sequences. The results have been published in the journal PLOS Genetics. (2021-01-08)

NIST publishes a beginner's guide to DNA origami
Jacob Majikes and Alex Liddle, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) who have studied DNA origami for years, have compiled the first detailed tutorial on the technique. (2021-01-08)

Modern microbes provide window into ancient ocean
Roughly two billion years ago, microorganisms called cyanobacteria fundamentally transformed the globe. Researchers are now stepping back to that pivotal moment in Earth's history. (2021-01-06)

Making therapeutic sense of antisense oligonucleotides
In a significant extension of their previous research work, researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, USA, have devised a molecular structural modification that boosts the efficacy of antisense oligonucleotide-based drugs by replacing the RNA strand of a heteroduplex oligonucleotide with DNA. This advance expands the scope and clinical applicability of nucleic-acid therapeutics across an ever-widening swathe of intractable diseases including neurological disorders. (2021-01-05)

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