Philip Leder, Who Deciphered Amino Acid Sequences, Dies

The Harvard Medical School researcher’s work on the genetic basis of protein coding and production led him to make groundbreaking discoveries in immunology, molecular biology, and cancer genetics. by ASHLEY YEAGER Harvard Medical School molecular geneticist Philip Leder died last week (February 2). He was 85. Leder was revered for his work in molecular biology,Continue reading “Philip Leder, Who Deciphered Amino Acid Sequences, Dies”

DNA is only one among millions of possible genetic molecules

Biology encodes information in DNA and RNA, which are complex molecules finely tuned to their functions. But are they the only way to store hereditary molecular information? Some scientists believe life as we know it could not have existed before there were nucleic acids, thus understanding how they came to exist on the primitive EarthContinue reading “DNA is only one among millions of possible genetic molecules”

‘Longevity gene’ (SIRT6) responsible for more efficient DNA repair

by Lindsey Valich Explorers have dreamt for centuries of a Fountain of Youth, with healing waters that rejuvenate the old and extend life indefinitely. Researchers at the University of Rochester, however, have uncovered more evidence that the key to longevity resides instead in a gene. In a new paper published in the journal Cell, theContinue reading “‘Longevity gene’ (SIRT6) responsible for more efficient DNA repair”

Poverty leaves a mark on our genes

A new Northwestern University study challenges prevailing understandings of genes as immutable features of biology that are fixed at conception. Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increasedContinue reading “Poverty leaves a mark on our genes”

Sydney Brenner (1927-2019)

Sydney Brenner was one of the first to view James Watson and Francis Crick’s double helix model of DNA in April 1953. The 26-year-old biologist from South Africa was then a graduate student at the University of Oxford, UK. So enthralled was he by the insights from the structure that he determined on the spotContinue reading “Sydney Brenner (1927-2019)”

The “Price of Wakefulness” Is High, Says DNA Study Revealing Why We Sleep

Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it: No, they don’t fall in love, they sleep. However, exactly why all animals with a nervous system evolved to sleep has been a longstanding scientific mystery. Slumber certainly feels great, but it doesn’t exactly make sense — why should we spend a third ofContinue reading “The “Price of Wakefulness” Is High, Says DNA Study Revealing Why We Sleep”

For The First Time, Scientists Have Made Synthetic DNA With 4 Additional Letters

by Mike McRae Earth might have a dizzying array of life forms, but our biology ultimately remains a solitary data point – we simply don’t have a reference for life based on DNA different from our own. Now, scientists have taken matters into their hands to push the boundaries on what life could be like.Continue reading “For The First Time, Scientists Have Made Synthetic DNA With 4 Additional Letters”

A French Teenager Turned the Bible and Quran into DNA and Injected Them into His Body

By Rafi Letzter A kid in France transcribed parts of the Hebrew book of Genesis and the Arabic-language Quran, into DNA and injected them into his body — one text into each thigh. Adrien Locatelli, a 16-year-old high school student, posted a paper Dec. 3 on the preprint server OS, in which he claimed, “ItContinue reading “A French Teenager Turned the Bible and Quran into DNA and Injected Them into His Body”

40,000 Volunteers Needed for Largest Ever Study of the Genetics of Anxiety and Depression

The NIHR and King’s College London are calling for 40,000 people diagnosed with depression or anxiety to enrol online for the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study and join the NIHR Mental Health Bioresource. Researchers hope to establish the largest ever database of volunteers who can be called up to take part inContinue reading “40,000 Volunteers Needed for Largest Ever Study of the Genetics of Anxiety and Depression”

Sperm donor #2757 sired at least 45 kids—now they’re connecting online

Half-siblings conceived with donated sperm and eggs are connecting online using DNA testing and online registries, forming extraordinarily large genetic families with dozens to hundreds of children linked to one parent, The Washington Post reports. The modern family ties and genetic sleuthing are making it easier for donor-conceived children to learn about their backgrounds—and harderContinue reading “Sperm donor #2757 sired at least 45 kids—now they’re connecting online”