Current Ancient DNA News and Events

Current Ancient DNA News and Events, Ancient DNA News Articles.
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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)

St Petersburg University scientists discover an ancient island arc in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan
Researchers at St Petersburg University, as part of an international team, have discovered in the Tien Shan mountains a specific complex of rocks that formed in the Cambrian ocean about 500 million years ago. The age of the rock assemblage was established thanks to adakites - a group of acid volcanic rocks, described from one of the islands in the Aleutian arc. (2020-12-31)

UCLA scientists develop high-throughput mitochondria transfer device
Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer have developed a simple, high-throughput method for transferring isolated mitochondria and their associated mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells. (2020-12-29)

Switching DNA functions on and off by means of light
Biochemists at Münster University have developed a new strategy for controlling the biological functions of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) by means of light and therefore provide a tool to investigate processes which take place in cells. The results have been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2020-12-28)

$3.9M project on self-deleting genes takes aim at mosquito-borne diseases
To control mosquito populations and prevent them from transmitting diseases such as malaria, many researchers are pursuing strategies in mosquito genetic engineering. A new Texas A&M AgriLife Research project aims to enable temporary ''test runs'' of proposed genetic changes in mosquitoes, after which the changes remove themselves from the mosquitoes' genetic code. (2020-12-28)

Discovery boosts theory that life on Earth arose from RNA-DNA mix
Chemists at Scripps Research have made a discovery that supports a surprising new view of how life originated on our planet. In a study published in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, they demonstrated that a simple compound called diamidophosphate (DAP), which was plausibly present on Earth before life arose, could have chemically knitted together tiny DNA building blocks called deoxynucleosides into strands of primordial DNA. (2020-12-27)

Discovery of aging mechanism for hematopoietic stem cells
By transferring mouse aged hematopoietic stem cells (aged HSCs) to the environment of young mice (bone marrow niche), it was demonstrated that the pattern of stem cell gene expression was rejuvenated to that of young hematopoietic stem cells. (2020-12-24)

Ancient DNA retells story of Caribbean's first people, with a few plot twists
The history of the Caribbean's original islanders comes into sharper focus in a new Nature study that combines decades of archaeological work with advancements in genetic technology. (2020-12-23)

Ludwig Cancer Research study reveals how ecDNA forms and drives cancer drug resistance
Researchers led by Ludwig San Diego Member Don Cleveland and Peter Campbell of the Sanger Center have solved the mystery of how free-floating circular DNA fragments, which are almost exclusively found in cancer cells, drive gene amplification to generate drug resistance in cancer. (2020-12-23)

Ancient DNA sheds light on the peopling of the Mariana Islands
Compared to the first peopling of Polynesia, the settlement of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific, which happened around 3,500 years ago, has received little attention. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the Australian National University and the University of Guam have now obtained answers to long debated questions regarding the origin of the first colonizers of the Marianas and their relationship to the people who initially settled in Polynesia. (2020-12-22)

Discovery: How Colorado potato beetles beat pesticides
New research shows that pesticides alter how Colorado potato beetles manage their DNA. These epigenetic changes were passed down two generations suggesting that rapid resistance to pesticides may not require beetles to evolve their genetic code. Instead they may simply use existing genes to tolerate toxins already found in potatoes. The scientists were surprised that these epigenetic changes, triggered by tiny doses of pesticide, were maintained through multiple rounds of sexual reproduction. (2020-12-21)

The far-reaching effects of mutagens on human health
Mutagenic threats to a cell's subtle machinery may be far more widespread than previously appreciated. In a new study, Michael Lynch and his colleagues demonstrate that DNA mutation itself may represent only a fraction the health-related havoc caused by mutagens. The study highlights the ability of mutagenic compounds to also affect the process of transcription, during which a DNA sequence is converted (or transcribed) to mRNA, an intermediary stage preceding translation into protein. (2020-12-21)

Study resolves the position of fleas on the tree of life
A study of more than 1,400 protein-coding genes of fleas has resolved one of the longest standing mysteries in the evolution of insects, reordering their placement in the tree of life and pinpointing who their closest relatives are. (2020-12-20)

Genetic exchange discovered in anciently asexual rotifers
Skoltech's evolutionary biologists discovered recombination in bdelloid rotifers, microscopic freshwater invertebrates, which have long been regarded as 'an evolutionary scandal' due to their presumed ancient asexuality. The existence of such anciently asexual groups calls into question the hypothesis that sexual reproduction is indispensable for long-term evolutionary success of species. However, the recent study published in Nature Communications provides evidence of recombination and genetic exchange in bdelloids. (2020-12-18)

Researchers discover protein function that could improve chemotherapy in the future
A protein responsible for orchestrating DNA key signaling and repair pathways could play a role in future chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients. The protein's function has been described by researchers at University of Copenhagen. (2020-12-17)

HSE researchers use neural networks to study DNA
HSE scientists have proposed a way to improve the accuracy of finding Z-DNA, or DNA regions that are twisted to the left instead of to the right. To do this, they used neural networks and a dataset of more than 30,000 experiments conducted by different laboratories around the world. Details of the study are published in Scientific Reports. (2020-12-17)

A non-destructive method for analyzing Ancient Egyptian embalming materials
Ancient Egyptian mummies have many tales to tell, but unlocking their secrets without destroying delicate remains is challenging. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Analytical Chemistry have found a non-destructive way to analyze bitumen -- the compound that gives mummies their dark color -- in Ancient Egyptian embalming materials. The method provides clues to the bitumen's geographic origin and, in one experiment, revealed that a mummy in a French museum could have been partially restored, likely by collectors. (2020-12-16)

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