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Current Ancient DNA News and Events, Ancient DNA News Articles.
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Sperm DNA damage may contribute to repeat miscarriages
Some cases of recurrent pregnancy loss may be caused by sperm DNA damage in the male partner, rather than by a problem in affected women, according to research to be presented Sunday, March 24 at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La. (2019-03-23)

Artificial chemical DNA switch helps understand epigenetic mechanisms
Researchers from the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University constructed an artificial chemical DNA switch and made the first step towards artificial epigenetics -- targeted switching on and off of genes. Their paper was recently published in the journal Chemical Science. (2019-03-21)

Breakthrough in fight against plant diseases
A global research team including scientists from La Trobe University have identified specific locations within plants' chromosomes capable of transferring immunity to their offspring. (2019-03-20)

Chromatin changes rapidly in response to low oxygen, study finds
A study by the University of Liverpool reveals new insights into how cells respond to oxygen deprivation. Published in the prestigious journal Science, the researchers found that chromatin, the complex of DNA and proteins where all genes reside, quickly changes in response to low oxygen. (2019-03-20)

Computer scientists create programmable self-assembling DNA
Computer scientists at UC Davis, Maynooth University in Ireland and the California Institute of Technology have created DNA molecules that can self-assemble into patterns essentially by running their own program. The work is published March 21 in the journal Nature. (2019-03-20)

New class of drugs could treat ovarian cancer
A team of researchers across the University of Manchester have shown that a new class of drugs are able to stop ovarian cancer cells growing. The Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust funded study, published in the journal Cancer Cell, showed that the drugs, called PARG inhibitors, can kill ovarian cancer cells by targeting weaknesses within their ability to copy their DNA. (2019-03-19)

First Anatolian farmers were local hunter-gatherers that adopted agriculture
An international team has analyzed eight prehistoric individuals, including the first genome-wide data from a 15,000-year-old Anatolian hunter-gatherer, and found that the first Anatolian farmers were direct descendants of local hunter-gatherers. These findings provide support for archaeological evidence that farming was adopted and developed by local hunter-gatherers, rather than being introduced by a large movement of people from another area. Interestingly, the study also indicates a pattern of genetic interactions with neighboring groups. (2019-03-19)

How hot spots of genetic variation evolved in human DNA
New research investigates hot spots of genetic variation within the human genome, examining the sections of our DNA that are most likely to differ significantly from one person to another. (2019-03-19)

Study shows IPCC is underselling climate change
A new study has revealed that the language used by the global climate change watchdog, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is overly conservative - and therefore the threats are much greater than the Panel's reports suggest. (2019-03-19)

Hepatitis B virus sheds light on ancient human population movements into Australia
Australian researchers have used hepatitis B virus genome sequences to deduce that the mainland Aboriginal population separated from other early humans at least 59,000 years ago. (2019-03-17)

DNA of sperm taken from testicles of infertile men 'as good as sperm from fertile men'
Scientists have found that sperm DNA from the testicles of many infertile men is as good as that of ejaculated sperm of fertile men. This may explain a major cause of male infertility and opens the possibility of using sperm taken directly from the testicles of these men; to overcome their infertility. (2019-03-16)

Oral bacteria in pancreas linked to more aggressive tumours
The presence of oral bacteria in so-called cystic pancreatic tumours is associated with the severity of the tumour, a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Gut reports. It is hoped that the results can help to improve diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. (2019-03-14)

Charting 8,000 years of Iberian genomic history
Using ancient DNA recovered from over 270 Iberians representing an unprecedented timespan, researchers including David Reich have pieced together an 8,000-year-long genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula. (2019-03-14)

Mysterious males: Asexual female nematodes produce males for sperm, not genes
Getting at why nematodes engaged in a unique female-favoring reproduction strategy produce males at all, researchers report that the asexual females produce limited numbers of male offspring to exploit them for their sperm in order to make more males, and in a ratio meaning the resultant sons are more likely to mate with their sisters. (2019-03-14)

Unique diversity of the genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula revealed by dual studies
Researchers have analyzed ancient DNA from almost 300 individuals from the Iberian Peninsula, spanning more than 12,000 years, in two studies published today in Current Biology and Science. The first study looked at hunter-gatherers and early farmers living in Iberia between 13,000 and 6,000 years ago. The second looked at individuals from the region over the last 8000 years. Together, the two papers greatly increase our knowledge about the population history of this unique region. (2019-03-14)

Ancient DNA research shines spotlight on Iberia
The University of Huddersfield's Archaeogenetics Research Group joins an international team to conduct the largest-ever study of ancient DNA from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) which suggests that the Iberian male lineages were almost completely replaced between 4,500 and 4,000 years ago by newcomers originating on the Russian steppe. (2019-03-14)

Meet India's starry dwarf frog, lone member of newly discovered ancient lineage
The starry dwarf frog is an expert hider. Plunging into leaf litter at the slightest disturbance, it has successfully evaded attention for millions of years -- until now. The thumbnail-sized species, now named Astrobatrachus kurichiyana, was discovered in India's Western Ghats. It's the sole member of an ancient lineage, a long branch on the frog tree of life that researchers have classified as a new subfamily, Astrobatrachinae. (2019-03-12)

New species of frog sheds light on major biodiversity hotspot in southern India
An expedition to an isolated hill range located in Southern India along one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world led to the discovery of a new, ancient lineage of frog endemic to the area, according to a study published today in the journal PeerJ. (2019-03-12)

Copying made easy
Whether revealing a perpetrator with DNA evidence, diagnosing a pathogen, classifying a paleontological discovery, or determining paternity, the duplication of nucleic acids (amplification) is indispensable. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists have now introduced a new, very simple, yet highly sensitive and reliable method that avoids the usual heating and cooling steps, as well as complicated instruments. The reagents can be freeze-dried, allowing this universal method to be used outside of the laboratory. (2019-03-12)

Selfish genetic elements amplify inflammation and age-related diseases
Researchers from the University of Rochester show that LINE1 retrotransposons, a class of selfish genetic elements, become more active with age and may cause age-related diseases by triggering inflammation. By understanding the impacts of retrotransposons, researchers can better recognize the processes by which cells age and how to combat the deleterious effects of aging. (2019-03-11)

Tiny DNA reader to advance development of anticancer drugs
Researchers at Osaka University have developed a novel method to determine exactly where anticancer drug molecules are incorporated into microscopic strands of DNA. By passing an electrical current between two tiny probes across a strand of DNA, the researchers successfully distinguished drug molecules from normal DNA bases, pinpointing the insertion sites. This technique will allow researchers to study the mechanism of drug activity, leading to more effective anticancer treatments. (2019-03-07)

Researchers discover a new mechanism used by bacteria to evade antibiotics
Antibiotics survival mechanism: UC San Diego researchers have discovered an unexpected mechanism that allows bacteria to defend themselves against antibiotics, a surprise finding that could lead to retooled drugs to treat infectious diseases. When under attack by antibiotics, bacteria were found to modulate magnesium ion uptake in order to stabilize their ribosomes -- the fundamental molecular machines of life that translate genes into proteins--as a survival technique. (2019-03-07)

New insights into the geographical landscape of prehistoric central Tibet
A team of scientists from the UK and China have uncovered new evidence, using recently-discovered 25-million-year-old fossilized palm leaves, that Tibet's geography was not as 'high and dry' as previously thought. (2019-03-06)

Sleep tight! Researchers identify the beneficial role of sleep
Why do animals sleep? Why do humans 'waste' a third of their lives sleeping? Researchers now reveal a novel and unexpected function of sleep that they believe could explain how sleep and sleep disturbances affect brain performance, aging and various brain disorders. Using 3D time-lapse imaging techniques in live zebrafish, they were able to define sleep in a single chromosome resolution and show that single neurons require sleep in order to perform nuclear maintenance. (2019-03-05)

Modern beer yeast emerged from mix of European grape wine, Asian rice wine yeast
For thousands of years brewers made beer using specialized strains of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A new study publishing March 5 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, led by Justin Fay at the University of Rochester, shows that modern brewing strains were derived from a mixture of European grape wine and Asian rice wine strains. This finding points to the emergence of beer yeast from a historical East-West transfer of fermentation technology. (2019-03-05)

Protocells use DNA logic to communicate and compute
Researchers at the University of Bristol, Eindhoven University of Technology and Microsoft Research have successfully assembled communities of artificial cells that can chemically communicate and perform molecular computations using entrapped DNA logic gates. (2019-03-04)

Checking DNA base editor's mistakes and tricks to reduce them
IBS scientists have identified the mistake-rate of DNA editing tools, based on CRISPR and known as adenine base editors. Assessing the genome-wide target specificity of these innovative techniques is essential to harness their applications in clinics and biotechnology. (2019-03-04)

Gene transcription machinery constrains DNA movements, study suggests
Researchers in Japan have discovered that the DNA inside human cells moves around less when its genes are active. The study, which will be published March 1 in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that RNA polymerase II -- the key enzyme required to produce messenger RNA molecules from active genes -- restricts the movement of DNA by organizing it into a network of interconnected domains. (2019-03-01)

Two genes explain variation in color and behavior in the wall lizard
How are reptiles capable of generating such a diversity of bright colors? And how is it possible that within a single population of the same species, different individuals exhibit strikingly different coloration patterns? In a new paper published in the journal PNAS an international team of scientists, led by researchers from CIBIO/InBIO (University of Porto) and Uppsala University, reveal two genes implicated in yellow to red pigmentation in reptiles, and demonstrate that these 'pigmentation genes' also affect behavior and other traits. (2019-03-01)

WSU researcher discovers oldest tattoo tool in western North America
Washington State University archaeologists have discovered the oldest tattooing artifact in western North America. The tool was made around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period in what is now southeastern Utah. (2019-02-28)

ESA tipsheet for March 4,5, 2019
Get a sneak peek into these new scientific papers, publishing on March 4,5, 2019 in the Ecological Society of America's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Digging for ancient parasites in museum archives; Species origin is linked to extinction risk; Pollinator-friendly cities need to be human community-friendly, too; and Is North America's ''old growth'' forest concept less important than we think? (2019-02-28)

Endangered eel located using DNA from one liter of water
Researchers have shed light on the distribution of Japanese eel by analyzing environmental DNA (eDNA) from small samples of river water. This could enable faster and more effective surveys of Japanese eel populations, and help to conserve this endangered species. The finding was published on Feb. 27 in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. (2019-02-28)

Researchers discover cell mechanism that delays and repairs DNA damage that can lead to cancer
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have identified a specific mechanism that protects our cells from natural DNA errors -- an 'enemy within' -- which could permanently damage our genetic code and lead to diseases such as cancer. The study has just been published in one of the most influential scientific journals, Nature Cell Biology. (2019-02-27)

Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution is a powerful technique for engineering proteins. EPFL scientists now show that it can also be used to engineer synthetic nanoparticles as optical biosensors, which are used widely in biology, drug development, and even medical diagnostics such as real-time monitoring of glucose. (2019-02-27)

A rare assemblage of sharks and rays from nearshore environments of Eocene Madagascar
Eocene-aged sediments of Madagascar contain a previously unknown fauna of sharks and rays, according to a study released Feb. 27, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Karen Samonds of Northern Illinois University and colleagues. This newly described fauna is the first report of sharks and rays of this age in Madagascar. (2019-02-27)

Ancient extinct sloth tooth in Belize tells story of creature's last year
Some 27,000 years ago in central Belize, a giant sloth was thirsty. It eventually found water in a deep sinkhole, but it was the creature's last drink. A new analysis of its tooth offers insight into the landscape it inhabited and what it ate its last year of life. (2019-02-27)

First semi-identical twins identified in pregnancy
Boy and girl twins in Brisbane, Australia, have been identified as only the second set of semi-identical, or sesquizygotic, twins in the world -- and the first to be identified by doctors during pregnancy. (2019-02-27)

Study sheds more light on genes' 'on/off' switches
Regulation of genes by noncoding DNA might help explain the complex interplay between our environment and genetic expression. (2019-02-26)

'Ibiza is different', genetically
'Ibiza is different.' That is what the hundreds of standard-bearers of the 'hippie' movement who visited the Pitiusan Island during the 60s thought, fascinated by its climate and its unexplored nature. What they did not imagine was that the utmost unique feature of the island was in its inhabitants. (2019-02-26)

Researchers uncover mechanism behind DNA damage control
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have identified a mechanism that is critical for the survival of cells under genotoxic stress. New finding could help develop novel anti-cancer approaches to improve the cancer cell killing effects of chemotherapy. (2019-02-26)

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