Lice DNA Study Shows Humans First Wore Clothes 170,000 Years Ago

David Reed

University of Florida researcher David Reed is lead investigator on a five-year study following the evolution of lice that found modern humans first began wearing clothes about 170,000 years ago.

A new University of Florida study following the evolution of lice shows modern humans started wearing clothes about 170,000 years ago, a technology which enabled them to successfully migrate out of Africa.


Elephants in Africa Found to be Two Distinct Species

african elephants

African elephants

You may not have been debating whether African elephants living in savannah or forests were two separate species, but it’s been an unanswered question among scientists for a while. A new study in the journal PLoS Biology claims to put the question to rest though, determining though DNA sequencing that African elephants are in fact two separate species–in fact they are genetically further apart than Asian elephants are from the extinct wooly mammoth.


Japanese Scientists Create Mouse that Tweets Like a Bird


Japanese scientists have produced a genetically-engineered mouse that tweets like a bird, it was revealed today.  A team of researchers at the University of Osaka are breeding genetically modified mice that are prone to miscopying DNA and are more likely to develop mutations.


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Entire DNA Profile of Unborn Baby Has Been Mapped From Mother’s Blood


Scientists were able to identify all DNA strands that belong to the child from the mother’s blood sample.

Parents may soon be able to find out if their unborn child is prone to any inherited diseases, researchers said on Thursday, after developing a non-invasive technique to draw the entire gene map of the human fetus. By analyzing a sample of the mother’s blood, which contains DNA from the fetus, scientists in Hong Kong and the United States were able to identify all the DNA strands that belong to the child and piece them together.


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Genetic Secret to AIDS Immunity Discovered


HLA molecule helps determine whether someone will be able to fight off HIV.

As long as HIV and AIDS have existed, there has been a small minority who have contracted the virus, but not the disease. Their bodies are somehow able to control HIV, making them less contagious and immune to AIDS symptoms, sometimes forever. A new genomic study of nearly 1,000 of these people, known as “HIV controllers,” has found the genetic reason behind this.


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U.S. Government Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents

gene patents

The issue of gene patents has long been a controversial and emotional one.

Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.


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SelectaDNA Spray Keeps the Robbers Away

DNA spray

SelectaDNA Spray glows blue under ultraviolet light and can tie a burglar to a crime.

When a gang of hammer-wielding thieves smashed their way into a convenience store in the northwest English town of Preston, neighboring businessman Altaf Kazi realized he had to upgrade his security or risk becoming the next victim. Fortunately for newsstand owner Kazi, his security crisis came just as police were offering small businesses in the area the chance to trial a high-tech crime-fighting device.

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A New Way to Make Stem Cells and Avoid the Political Pitfalls of Stem Cell Treatments


A microscope image shows neurons created from pluripotent stem cells using modified RNA.

A Harvard researcher has developed a way to make pluripotent stem cells that solves several of the major impediments to using them to treat human diseases.


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U.S. Scientists Hail ‘Penicillin Moment’ in Cancer Treatment Following Drug Trials


Drug trials used genetic data to target tumors.

Scientists have hailed a ‘penicillin moment’ in cancer treatment following trials of a drug that uses genetic data to target the formation of specific tumors.  The study has raised hopes drug manufacturers will be able to tailor drugs to individual cancers that will halt them in their tracks and even reverse the growth of existing tumors.


Organic Strawberries Have Better Taste and Nutrition Than Conventional According to a New Study


Organic strawberries

In the tug of war over whether organic farming is really better than conventional chemical-laden farming, a new study in the online peer-reviewed journal PLoS One comes out solidly in support of the benefits of organic. Self-described as the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from Washington State University found that commercial organic farms produce was more flavorful and nutritious strawberries, while leaving the soil healthier and genetically diverse.