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May 22, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Researchers reported Wednesday that they had sequenced the genome of the Norway spruce, a giant evergreen native to Europe that has also been planted widely in parts of North America. Published in the journal Nature, the catalog of the tree's DNA was notable for its length. The human genome is made up of about 3 billion pairs of DNA base letters, which store all the genetic information needed to make a person. The Norway spruce genome was nearly seven times longer, at 20 billion base pairs.
November 8, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
 JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was covered in blood when he walked back to his base in southern Afghanistan after a nighttime attack that left 16 civilians dead, and samples from his clothing have been positively matched with blood found at the scene of the shootings, an Army investigator testified Thursday. Christine Trapolsi, a DNA analyst at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Laboratory, said she identified the blood of four people on various parts of Bales' pants, shirt, boxer shorts, gloves, boots and weapons.
May 26, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Silicon-based computers are fine for typing term papers and surfing the Web, but scientists want to make devices that can work on a far smaller scale, recording data within individual cells. One way to do that is to create a microscopic hard drive out of DNA, the molecule that already stores the genetic blueprints of all living things. Stanford University bioengineer Drew Endy is a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, which aims to turn the basic building blocks of nature into tools for designing living machines.
June 1, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Harvard biologists have brought new meaning to the term "fine print" by devising microscopic tiles made of DNA that self-assemble into letters, Chinese characters, emoticons and other shapes. More than mere doodling , their advance, detailed this week in the journal Nature, could make it easier and cheaper to build tiny DNA devices capable of delivering drugs or aiding the study of biochemistry, scientists said. "This technique will accelerate the research field of DNA nanotechnology," said Ebbe Sloth Andersen, a researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark who collaborated on an editorial that accompanied the report.
January 13, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Authorities say they were able to use DNA evidence to track down a man who they say brutally beat and raped a 29-year-old woman in her apartment in 2012. The woman, who has not been identified, woke up at 6 a.m. Oct. 27 in her Rowland Heights apartment as Pablo Reyes Bautista, 26, attacked her, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The break in the case came when DNA recently entered by the suspect resulted in a match from a national database. Bautista was arrested "after an extensive manhunt" in Atwater Village, the department said.
June 23, 2009 | Joel Rubin and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Out of cash and understaffed, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has suspended its faltering effort to analyze DNA evidence from thousands of rape and sexual assault cases. The department halted shipments of the genetic evidence to private crime laboratories at the end of May after funds allotted for the testing ran dry, according to a report submitted by Sheriff Lee Baca to the county Board of Supervisors late last week.
November 20, 2013 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
DNA and proteins are arguably the most important components of the cells of living creatures. Both are produced by stringing together long chains of individual molecules - amino acids in the case of proteins and nucleotides in DNA. Understanding the identity of the individual molecules in these chains and the sequence in which they are strung together proved to be one of the major biological challenges of the last century. Only by unlocking these sequences would scientists be able not only to understand the fundamental workings of biochemistry, but also to duplicate it. In the early 1950s, British biochemist Frederick Sanger of Cambridge University developed the first viable technique for determining the amino acid sequence of proteins and used it to describe the structure of insulin, which is composed of 51 amino acids.
June 21, 2013 | By Anh Do
DNA evidence helped authorities nab a suspect in a Rancho Cucamonga murder nearly 17 years after the killing, authorities said Friday. Gabriel Bencomo was arrested Thursday in the Aug. 4, 1996, shooting death of Joseph Anguiano. Bencomo allegedly targeted Anguiano in front of Anguiano's home in the 8800 block of Hermosa Avenue. Anguiano later died at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The case remained unsolved until this week's development. The sheriff's cold case team reopened the investigation in 2010, combing through more evidence, according to officials.
January 18, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Worried that your genetic information could be revealed?  You should be, says Harvard geneticist George Church.  But it doesn't have to keep you from participating in genetic studies. DNA privacy has been a subject of concern this week, as a team of geneticists reported Thursday in the journal Science that it was able to figure out the names of people who had donated their DNA to research -- even though test subjects' identities were stripped from their genomic data. Using information posted to genealogy websites and other publicly available Internet resources, the Whitehead Institute researchers were able to ferret out the names of nearly 50 people, suggesting that it may be easier than many had previously believed for a motivated hacker to match a test subject's DNA to his or her identity.
February 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The manipulation of human genes could lead to profound advances in our ability to cure or prevent terrible diseases. But in some cases, it might also mean introducing genetic material that could be passed from one generation to the next, changing the human gene pool in a manner that could inadvertently harm peoples' health. Such "inheritable" DNA is a hotly debated issue among bioethicists, and one that an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration will review Tuesday and Wednesday as it considers whether human trials should be allowed for a new therapy that could prevent a rare but devastating inherited disorder.
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