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.
April 4, 2011 |
Alzheimer’s, the brain disease that saps away not just memories but, gradually, identity, is now a little less mysterious. In two large studies of more than 54,000 people, scientists have found five new genes linked to the disease. Think of the genes as clues to the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s. Those causes are still unknown, but scientists have long suspected they involve tangled strands of protein and protein plaque in the brain. Some of the most recently discovered genes add evidence that cholesterol plays a role in the disease, others that inflammation of the brain is an important player.
November 28, 2012 |
A new genetic test may help determine whether a small tumor in the breast is likely to turn in to full-blown breast cancer, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The small tumor, called a ductal carcinoma in-situ, or DCIS, resides in the milk ducts and is generally considered pre-cancerous. But according to the study, DCIS lesions left untreated will eventually progress to breast cancer in about 50% of patients. The lesions, which tend to be small and only detectable via mammogram, have become increasingly common as mammography has become more widespread.
June 13, 2013 |
The U.S. Supreme Court decision that Myriad Genetics cannot patent two genes linked to ovarian and breast cancer came as welcome relief to researchers whose work on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes had been thwarted by legal challenges from the company. But while researchers and clinicians no longer will receive cease-and-desist orders from Myriad, they will have to labor for years to catch up with the data and analysis the Utah-based company has been able to accumulate during the 17 years it held a U.S. monopoly on analyzing the genes, said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla.
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...
October 19, 2011 |
In a one-on-one interview Tuesday, ABC's Jake Tapper confronted President Obama about his administration's stalled jobs bill, his reelection chances and the simmering "Fast and Furious" scandal. Oh, and his gray hair. "When you get haircuts, it goes away," Tapper said during some casual banter before launching into meatier topics. "Exactly," Obama said. "That's why people think, somehow, that [I'm] dying my hair. It depends on where the lights are hitting it. " "I don't know if it [is]
September 6, 2011 |
Ten years after terrorists hijacked four American jetliners and killed nearly 3,000 people, there's growing evidence that people with a previous history of depression, or who have been traumatized before, are far more vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than those without such histories. A new study suggests why, and supplies yet more evidence that genes play a powerful role in influencing who develops post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic event and who doesn't.
April 9, 2013 |
One complaint leveled against genome studies is that they don't survey a broad enough swath of humankind. Though many projects have searched DNA collected from people of European descent -- hoping to ferret out which changes in what parts of the genome are linked to this disease or that -- fewer have investigated the genomes of other ethnic groups. In 2011, Stanford University geneticist and MacArthur "genius" grant recipient Carlos Bustamante discussed...
February 11, 2010 |
Government researchers have discovered the first genes linked to stuttering -- a complex of three mutated genes that may be responsible for one in every 11 stuttering cases, especially in people of Asian descent. Studies of stuttering in both families and twins had long suggested that stuttering has a significant genetic component. But until now, scientists had not been able to identify specific genes that might cause the disorder. The finding is important, experts said, because it shows that stuttering, which affects as many as 1% of all adults worldwide, is biological in origin and not the result of poor parenting, emotional distress or other nebulous factors that many physicians have cited as causes.
July 23, 2000
Re "Gene Issues Take Root," editorial, July 15: The overall concept of patenting genes should be questioned. One fundamental rule of patent law is that "prior invention" invalidates a patent. That is, something that previously existed (other than in the hands of the person applying for the patent) cannot be patented. Well, I must inform you that human genes have existed for thousands of years. The genes that make me who I am could be found in my mother or father when they were born (over 90 years ago)