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Current Genetic Variation News and Events, Genetic Variation News Articles.
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Infection biology: How one pathogen evades the immune system
A research team of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munch led by Nicolai Siegel has uncovered a mechanism that enables the parasite that causes sleeping sickness in humans to escape the attention of the immune system. The finding may also be relevant to other infectious diseases. (2021-01-13)

Asian butterfly mimics other species to defend against predators
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry -- mimicking a poisonous species -- as a defense against predators. The common palmfly Elymnias hypermnestra -- a species of satyrine butterfly that is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia -- adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy. (2021-01-13)

New study examines medical practice patterns over time
Variations in medical practice can have serious consequences for the quality, equity and cost of one's health care; however, it's unclear whether these disparities can be attributed to individual differences, from one doctor to another or to changes in your doctor's individual practice over time, perhaps in response to shifts in clinical guidelines or advancements in diagnostic technologists. (2021-01-12)

Big differences in how coral reef fish larvae are dispersed
How the larvae of colorful clownfish that live among coral reefs in the Philippines are dispersed varies widely, depending on the year and seasons - a Rutgers-led finding that could help scientists improve conservation of species. Right after most coral reef fish hatch, they join a swirling sea of plankton as tiny, transparent larvae. Then currents, winds and waves disperse them, frequently to different reefs. (2021-01-11)

New statistical method exponentially increases ability to discover genetic insights
A test of the Sum-Share statistical method with only summary-level data found 1,734 genetic variations associated with cardiovascular-related conditions when just one had previously been likely. (2021-01-08)

Long-term study finds dozens of new genetic markers associated with lifetime bone growth
A multidisciplinary team of researchers has discovered several genetic markers associated with bone mineral accrual, which could ultimately help identify causes of eventual osteoporosis earlier in life through genetic testing. (2021-01-06)

Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that some flag leaves of different varieties of rice transform light and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates better than others, potentially opening new opportunities for breeding higher yielding rice varieties. (2020-12-29)

New mammal reference genome helps ID genetic variants for human health
A new reference genome assembly identified more than 85 million genetic variants in the rhesus macaque, the largest database of genetic variation for any one nonhuman primate species to date. (2020-12-23)

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)

Plants can be larks or night owls just like us
Plants have the same variation in body clocks as that found in humans, according to new research that explores the genes governing circadian rhythms in plants. (2020-12-18)

Improved macaque genome enhances biomedical utility
Using advanced sequencing technology, researchers present a new, improved and far more complete reference genome for the rhesus macaque - one of the most important animal models in biomedical research. (2020-12-17)

TGen identifies gene that could explain disparity in COVID-19 effects
TGen identified a genetic target that could help explain the tremendous variation in how sick those infected with COVID-19 become. Led by Nicholas Schork, Ph.D., Director of TGen's Quantitative Medicine and Systems Biology Division, researchers identified miR1307 by comparing the genetic elements of SARS-Cov-2 with seven other human coronaviruses, and the genomes of coronavirus strains known to infect bats, pigs, pangolins, ferrets, civets and chickens. (2020-12-16)

Genes play a role in common knee injury
It has long been known that the choice of shoe, surface and type of sport can all be contributing factors when someone suffers an anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now observed that genes also play a decisive role. (2020-12-15)

Using water fleas, UTA researchers investigate adaptive evolution
Researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington resurrected the preserved eggs of a shrimp-like crustacean to examine long-standing questions about adaptive evolution, reporting the results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (2020-12-11)

A new evolutionary clue
Colleen B. Young, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri, tested several popular assumptions about the characteristics of Homo floresiensis by comparing an island fox from California's Channel Islands with its mainland US relative, the gray fox. (2020-12-09)

Genetics of human face begin to reveal underlying profile
The genetics behind the shape of the human face are difficult to decipher, but now an international team of researchers has connected specific genetic signals with specific areas of the face. They not only can see the signals of normal facial features in the genome, but also hope their work can shed light on craniofacial malformations such as cleft lip and palate. (2020-12-07)

Study finds large-scale expansion of stem rust resistance gene in barley and oat lineages
Stem rust is one of the most devastating fungal diseases of wheat and historically has caused dramatic, widespread crop failures resulting in significant yield losses around the world. Stem rust epidemics in major wheat growing areas could cause a major threat to global food security. Scientists have identified a resistance gene, Sr22, as one of the few characterized genes that protects against a large array of stem rust races. (2020-12-07)

Potential means of improving learning and memory in people with mental illnesses
More than a dozen drugs are known to treat symptoms such as hallucinations, erratic behaviors, disordered thinking and emotional extremes associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other severe mental illnesses. But, drug treatments specifically able to target the learning, memory and concentration problems that may accompany such disorders remain elusive. (2020-12-03)

Study highlights strategies for boosting accuracy of personal genetic risk scores
As the consumer genetics industry rapidly expands, more and more people are turning to DNA-based services to learn their risk of developing a wide range of diseases. However, the risk scores from these genetic tests are not always as precise as they could be, according to a new study from Scripps Research. The scientists examine many approaches to calculating the scores and recommend that personal genomics organizations adopt standards that will raise the bar for accuracy. (2020-12-03)

Tweaking carotenoid genes helps tomatoes bring their a-game
Researchers led by the University of Tsukuba demonstrated that Target-AID gene editing technology can be used to simultaneously introduce single-base changes into multiple genes in tomatoes. Using this technique, the researchers altered three genes associated with carotenoid accumulation, resulting in elevated levels of carotenoids, particularly lycopene, in the resulting tomato lines. This technology will allow tomato breeders to introduce multiple advantageous gene changes into elite commercial cultivars, bypassing lengthy back-crossing steps between generations. (2020-12-01)

New method identifies adaptive mutations in complex evolving populations
A research team co-led by a scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has developed a method to study how HIV mutates to escape the immune system in multiple patients, which could inform HIV vaccine design. (2020-11-30)

High genomic variability predicts success in desert tortoise refugees; could inform conservation
Tortoise refugees with the highest genetic variation are far more likely to survive conservation translocation than tortoises whose genetic diversity is lower, according to a new study. (2020-11-26)

UCLA study of threatened desert tortoises offers new conservation strategy
A UCLA study publishing Nov. 27 in Science supports a new conservation strategy. Climate change increasingly makes relocating threatened species necessary, despite the frequently low success rate. The study found tortoises with lots of genetic variation were much more likely to survive after their relocation. The research supports this fast, inexpensive conservation tool, and upends the conventional wisdom suggesting that tortoises from areas moved from close by would fare best. (2020-11-26)

Researchers have discovered new links between miscarriage and maternal genes
Researchers at the Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu described hitherto undiscovered associations between miscarriage and maternal genes, reveals a recent article published in the Nature Communication. (2020-11-25)

Genetic study shows that the risk of pre-eclampsia is related to blood pressure and BMI
An international study, coordinated by experts from the University of Nottingham, has revealed that the genetic risk of pre-eclampsia - a potentially dangerous condition in pregnancy - is related to blood pressure and body mass index. (2020-11-25)

Space worms experiment reveals gravity affects genes
Living at low gravity affects cells at the genetic level, according to a study of worms in space. (2020-11-25)

New wheat and barley genomes will help feed the world
An international research collaboration, including scientists from the University of Adelaide's Waite Research Institute, has unlocked new genetic variation in wheat and barley - a major boost for the global effort in breeding higher-yielding wheat and barley varieties. (2020-11-25)

Barley pan-genome: IPK scientists reach milestone on the way to 'transparent' barley
An international research team led by the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) has reached a milestone on the way to the 'transparent' barley plant. With the complete sequencing of 20 different genotypes, the scientists completed the first step in decoding the genetic information of the entire species 'barley' -- the barley pan-genome. Breeders will greatly benefit from these new findings, which have today been published in the renowned magazine Nature. (2020-11-25)

Novel haplotype-led approach to increase the precision of wheat breeding
Wheat researchers at the John Innes Centre are pioneering a new technique that promises to improve gene discovery for the globally important crop. (2020-11-25)

Siberian primrose has not had time to adapt to climate change
Global warming already affects Siberian primrose, a plant species that is threatened in Finland and Norway. According to a recently completed study, individuals of Siberian primrose originating in the Finnish coast on the Bothnian Bay currently fare better in northern Norway than in their home area. The results indicate that the species may not be able to adapt to quickly progressing climate change, which could potentially lead to its extinction. (2020-11-23)

Early weight gain in children linked to ability to produce the hormone leptin
The brain controls weight by measuring levels of leptin in the blood, which is released by fat cells. In adults, leptin treatments have so far proved ineffective at treating obesity. New genetics research by scientists at the University of Copenhagen suggests that leptin plays a stronger role in controlling the weight of children than in adults. (2020-11-23)

In the Cerrado, topography explains the genetic diversity of amphibians more than land cover
Study shows that a tree frog endemic to a mountainous region of the Brazilian savanna is unable to disperse and find genetically closer mates when the terrain is rugged, potentially endangering survival of the species (2020-11-23)

Nature is widely adapted to current climate -- making it harder to adjust to a new one
To do the right thing at the right time, organisms need to glean cues from their environment. With ongoing climate change, the timing of these cues, like the accumulation of warm days, is rapidly shifting. Now a network of researchers working on an unprecedentedly large dataset of seasonal events has shown that the timing of species' activity fail to keep up with their cues, and that how quickly activity shifts reflects past evolution. (2020-11-23)

Records from six growth studies analyzed to provide milestone data
For the first time ever, craniofacial growth in children can be studied comprehensively using data from six historic adolescent growth studies. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine analyzed more than 15,000 cranial radiographs from nearly 2,000 participants to create the Craniofacial Growth Consortium Study (CGCS). (2020-11-17)

Birds of a feather do flock together
Researchers explain how different species of the finch-like capuchino seedeaters quickly acquired distinct patterns of coloration over an evolutionary time scale. New gene patterns emerged from selective sweeps, a genetic process during which a naturally occurring variation becomes advantageous. (2020-11-17)

Yale team finds way to protect genetic privacy in research
In a new report, a team of Yale scientists has developed a way to protect people's private genetic information while preserving the benefits of a free exchange of functional genomics data between researchers. (2020-11-12)

240 mammals help us understand the human genome
A large international consortium led by scientists at Uppsala University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has sequenced the genome of 130 mammals and analysed the data together with 110 existing genomes to allow scientist to identify which are the important positions in the DNA. This new information can help both research on disease mutations in humans and how best to preserve endangered species. The study is published in Nature. (2020-11-11)

Climate-adapted plant breeding
Securing plant production is a global task. Using a combination of new molecular and statistical methods, a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to show that material from gene banks can be used to improve traits in the maize plant. Old varieties can thus help to breed new varieties adapted to current and future climates. (2020-11-11)

Swedish, Finnish and Russian wolves closely related
The Scandinavian wolf originally came from Finland and Russia, and unlike many other European wolf populations its genetic constitution is virtually free from dog admixture. In addition, individuals have migrated into and out of Scandinavia. These findings have emerged from new research at Uppsala University in which genetic material from more than 200 wolves was analysed. The study is published in the journal Evolutionary Applications. (2020-11-10)

Decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions due to COVID-19 detected by atmospheric observations
Atmospheric observations at Hateruma Island, Japan, successfully detected the decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions in China associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. The weather in Hateruma island is frequently influenced by the northwest monsoon travelling over China, which carries the emission signals of air pollutants. The observed ratios of CO2 and CH4 variabilities showed a significant decrease during February-March 2020, corresponding to about a 30% decrease in China's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, according to a chemistry-transport model simulation. (2020-11-06)

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