Neanderthals died out 40,000 years ago, but there has never been more of their DNA on Earth

Credit: Tom Björklund / Moesgård Museum, Author provided Neanderthals have served as a reflection of our own humanity since they were first discovered in 1856. What we think we know about them has been shaped and molded to fit our cultural trends, social norms and scientific standards. They have changed from diseased specimens to primitive … Read more

DNA in Viking poop sheds new light on 55,000-year-old relationship between gut companions

sample map. Credit: University of Copenhagen Using fossilized eggs in up to 2,500-year-old feces from Viking settlements in Denmark and other countries, researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the Wellcome Sanger Institute (UK) have made the largest and most in-depth genetic analysis of one of the oldest parasites … Read more

Researchers find spaceflight may be associated with DNA mutations, increased risk of heart disease and cancer

a) We identified somatic mutations in known clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) driver genes using peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from 14 astronauts who flew short space Shuttle missions lasting a median of 12 days between 1998–2001. Created with b) Number of somatic nonsynonymous single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in CHIP-driver genes harbored per … Read more

DNA analysis shows Griffin Warrior ruled his Greek homeland

A forensic reconstruction by Lynne Schepartz and Tobias Houlton imagines what the Griffin Warrior might have looked like. Credit: Lynne Schepartz and Tobias Houlton/HVRU/University of Witwatersrand Using new scientific tools, University of Cincinnati archaeologists discovered that an ancient Greek leader known today as the Griffin Warrior likely grew up around the seaside city he would … Read more

DNA profiling solves Australian rabbit plague puzzle

The colonization route of the European rabbit from Iberian Peninsula to Australia and New Zealand. Credit: Joel Alves Rabbits were first introduced to mainland Australia when five domestic animals were brought to Sydney on the First Fleet in 1788. At least 90 subsequent importations would be made before 1859 but none of these populations became … Read more

Research team models moving ‘washers’ that help DNA replicate

A helicase protein model created at Rice University shows a before-and-after of how the six-sided ring moves along DNA to split double strands into single strands in response to ATP hydrolysis during replication. Credit: Shikai Jin Knowing the structure of a complex biological system isn’t nearly enough to understand how it works. It helps to … Read more

Enzyme, proteins work together to tidy up tail ends of DNA in dividing cells

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have described the way an enzyme and proteins interact to maintain the protective caps, called telomeres, at the end of chromosomes, a new insight into how a human cell preserves the integrity of its DNA through repeated cell division . DNA replication is essential for … Read more

A ‘nano-robot’ built entirely from DNA to explore cell processes

0, of antibodies alone was subtracted from the signal of lysed cells in experimental and control conditions calculated from ratios of acceptor and donor fluorescence intensities, RAD. Results are the average of at least three independent experiments. Error bars represent the standard deviation, statistical significance was determined by one-way analysis of variance with comparison to … Read more

Oldest DNA from domesticated American horse lends credence to shipwreck folklore

The origin of Assateague’s wild horses has remained a mystery for centuries, but new genetic data supports the theory that they descended from Spanish horses marooned on the barrier island. Credit: Florida Museum photo by Jeff Gage An abandoned Caribbean colony unearthed centuries after it had been forgotten and a case of mistaken identity in … Read more

Prehistoric roots of ‘cold sore’ virus traced through ancient herpes DNA

One of the samples of ancient herpes DNA came from a young adult male from the late 14th century, buried in the grounds of medieval Cambridge’s charitable hospital (later to become St. John’s College), who had suffered appalling dental abscesses. Credit: Craig Cessford/Cambridge Archaeological Unit Ancient genomes from the herpes virus that commonly causes lip … Read more