January 29, 2014 |
Mating between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Europeans and East Asians gave our forebears important evolutionary advantages but may have created a lot of sterile males, wiping out much of that primitive DNA, new genetic studies suggest. The comparison of Neanderthal and modern human genomes, published online Wednesday in the journals Nature and Science , identified specific sequences of altered DNA that both Neanderthals and several...
January 29, 2014 |
The ancestors of most modern humans mated with Neanderthals and made off with important swaths of DNA that helped them adapt to new environments, scientists reported Wednesday. Some of the genes gained from these trysts linger in people of European and East Asian descent, though many others were wiped out by natural selection, according to reports published simultaneously by the journals Nature and Science. The stretches of Neanderthal DNA that remain include genes that altered hair and pigment, as well as others that strengthened the immune system, the scientists wrote.
January 21, 2014 |
Fish don't have fingers, but they could. That conclusion, drawn by a team of researchers in Switzerland, casts new light on the evolution of four-legged land vertebrates, suggesting that a flick of a switch could have repurposed the bony radials of fins to become the fingers and toes of land-based animals. The DNA programming architecture necessary to create such digits was present in the ancient genome of fish, before the emergence of amphibians, according to the researchers, who published their findings Tuesday in the online journal PLOS Biology.
January 19, 2014 |
Do genes make us do it? The idea that human behavior is driven by genes makes many people uncomfortable, and nowhere is the dispute more bitter than when discussing the biological underpinnings of violence. The war of ideas over violence and human nature has raged since the 1600s, when philosopher Thomas Hobbes first speculated that the "natural condition of mankind" was one of violence and conflict. In the 1700s, Jean-Jacques Rousseau saw things differently. Enthralled with accounts of the New World, he argued that civilization, not nature, shaped the human propensity for violence.
December 30, 2013 |
Ready yourself for the real-life glowing green menagerie. Ten little piggies that glow in the dark have been created by scientists at the South China Agricultural University. (See the video above.) A sheep that glows green under a black light will soon be announced by researchers in Turkey, and that same Turkish team has already created glow-in-the-dark bunnies . By the light of day these animals all look normal. But turn off the lights and hit them with a black light and parts of their bodies glow fluorescent green.
November 4, 2013 |
Elon Musk, who heads electric-car company Tesla Motors, has shelled out $6.75 million on the former Gene Wilder estate in Bel-Air, property records show. That's a lot of clams for a cracked driveway. [Updated 10:59 a.m. PST Nov. 5: The sellers are financier Paul Kessler and his wife, attorney and businesswoman Diana Derycz-Kessler, who invest in real estate. ] The three-quarter-acre promontory home, overlooking the 13th green and 14th fairway of the Bel-Air Country Club, was described in the listing as an “opportunity to develop a view property.” The existing ranch-style home of 2,800 square feet has three bedrooms and 4.5 bedrooms.