genetics
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Bloodthirsty Ticks Have A Seriously Weird Genome

Ticks — those unbreakable, blood-lusting arthropods that haunt your childhood memories — have some fascinating genetic secrets. The tick genome tells a tale of weaponised spit, expandable armour and how to drink 100 times one’s body weight in blood. Strangest of all, it’s utterly enormous.


What Happens When You Keep Fruit Flies In Total Darkness For 60 Years

Since 1954, Kyoto University has been managing a population of fruit flies, living in total darkness. Now, after interbreeding some of these “dark flies” with regular flies, the researchers are learning more about the genetic adaptations taking place when fruit flies are kept entirely in the dark.


It's Time To Declare War On Mosquitoes

Zika is now a global emergency, and the latest in a long string of mosquito-borne viruses to afflict humanity. Mosquitoes truly suck, and the time has come to do something about them. Here’s how science will help — and why a war on mosquitoes doesn’t mean we have to wipe them off the face of the planet.


Scientists Have Finally Found A Biological Process Behind Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex disease with elusive origins, but the mystery became much clearer today, when a landmark new study based on genetic analysis of nearly 65,000 individuals pinpointed a specific gene and biological process behind it.


First Successful Gene-Editing In Live Mammals Brings Us Closer To Human Treatments

For the first time ever, scientists have used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to successfully treat a genetic muscle disorder in a living adult mammal. It’s a promising medical breakthrough that could soon lead to human therapies.


Are Sperm Banks In The Business Of Eugenics?

The most prominent sperm bank in the UK is under investigation after turning away donors with dyslexia and other questionable characteristics. This raises an important question: Should sperm banks be in the business of making “better” babies?


The US FDA Just Approved Transgenic Chickens That Make Medicine

The US Food and Drug Administration has given the thumbs up to a genetically modified chicken that produces a drug in its eggs. It’s the latest addition to a growing area in medicine known as “farmaceuticals.”


The Only Way To Save The Northern White Rhino Is A JurassicĀ Park-Style Intervention

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood science-fiction movie. An alien species is dying. Their only hope is for a brood of artificially fertilised eggs created from the preserved DNA of some of the last survivors to be brought back to life in a future world where (hopefully) conditions are better suited to them.


This Microbial Animal Threw The Evolutionary Rulebook Out The Window

We typically think of evolution as a progression from simplicity to complexity. But one organism seems to have thrown the rulebook out the window: a microbial animal that offers a striking example of evolution run “backwards.”


One 'Supergene' May Determine Mating Strategies For These Male BirdsĀ 

The birds you see above are all ruffs (Philomachus pugnax): wading birds that summer in marshes through Northern Europe and Asia. All three are wearing different forms of breeding plumage. And all of them are male.


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