March 13, 2010 |
Hundreds of genetic mutations accumulated over thousands of years have transformed the red jungle fowl of South Asia into the domesticated chickens that are a fixture on farms -- and dining tables -- worldwide, according to a scientific analysis of poultry DNA published this week in the journal Nature. Swedish and American scientists identified about 7.5 million genetic variations between domesticated chickens and the jungle fowl, their primary wild ancestor. Then the scientists zeroed in on a few dozen differences that seemed particularly important based on their frequent prevalence in eight distinct populations of birds raised for meat or eggs.
January 2, 2010 |
Disinfectants, be they hand sanitizers or industrial-strength cleaners, present a hospital's first blockade against bacterial infection. But this same weapon may be helping create stronger microbial enemies: superbugs that are resistant to disinfectants and commonly used antibiotics, scientists report in the January issue of the journal Microbiology. Researchers from the National University of Ireland in Galway studied lab cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa , which lives in soil and water.
September 12, 2009 |
Eight time zones ahead of Los Angeles, Brian Eno's cellphone is ringing. He's cycling along the Thames River towpath, savoring the shank of a summer afternoon. "Could you call back in an hour?" he asks politely. The appointed moment arrives and Eno is ready to chat, having come to a temporary halt in the tranquillity of his London home. Like his fellow harried humanoids, the British multimedia artist intimates that he's constantly trying to carve out a few minutes of quiet, contemplative space for himself within the manic, tech-driven modern world.
August 19, 2009 |
Several weeks in rural Ireland may have softened the emotional carapace required for any extended immersion in American politics these days, but it's hard not to be taken aback by the televised images of people opposed to healthcare reform carrying guns to rallies at which President Obama is speaking. At least a dozen people openly displaying everything from an AR-15 assault rifle to 9-millimeter Beretta sidearms were in the crowd outside the hall where Obama spoke in Arizona on Monday.
August 17, 2009 |
Sean Delshad, 19, probably could have found more enjoyable things to do on a breezy Sunday afternoon. But instead he was waiting his turn at Sinai Temple -- along with dozens of other members of Los Angeles' large Persian Jewish community -- to undergo genetic testing. The UCLA student deposited a few drops of saliva in a tube handed to him by a doctor and, in four to six weeks, he'll learn whether he carries gene mutations for four disorders that are especially prevalent among Persian Jews.
November 8, 2008 |
Researchers have identified two genetic variations that appear to increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer by up to 60%, they reported Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics. Smoking is the leading risk factor, but increasingly scientists are looking to genetics to help explain why some longtime smokers never develop the disease and why some nonsmokers do. Researchers from 18 countries analyzed genetic mutations in more than 15,000 people -- 6,000 with lung cancer and 9,000 without the disease.
July 17, 2008 |
A genetic mutation that originally protected Africans from a virulent form of malaria now renders them 40% more susceptible to HIV infections, offering a partial explanation for the disproportionate spread of the virus among Africans and African Americans, researchers reported today. The mutation, however, has an unusual benefit. It also slows progression of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, giving patients an extra two years of life, said Dr. Sunil K.
May 26, 2008 |
In 1969, "The Andromeda Strain" unleashed Michael Crichton on an unsuspecting public, and the world has never been the same. Yes, he had written three books previously, but those were originally published under pseudonyms; it was with "The Andromeda Strain" that Crichton established his name and his trademark -- thrillers loosely rooted in science that explore the moral obligations and contradictions of technology and that almost unfailingly become movies.
February 25, 2008 |
IN the age of celebrity, where have all the actors gone? That's what crossed the mind when Daniel Day-Lewis ascended the stage to collect the statuette for best leading actor for his role as the rapacious oilman Daniel Plainview in the epic "There Will Be Blood."
December 22, 2007 |
A mutation in a single gene may confer up to a 30% higher risk of getting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, offering a potential new target for drug research, Dutch scientists said this week. They said in the journal Nature Genetics that a variant in the DPP6 gene may give rise to ALS in people without a family susceptibility to the disease. Familial ALS, which accounts for 10% of ALS cases, has been linked with mutations in other genes.