Articles written specifically for the GLP or the articles that are reposted from other sources (sometimes in modified form) with permission list the source as Genetic Literacy Project. Excerpted articles list the original media outlet as the source. Excerpts are posted under guidelines for Fair Use and Creative Commons for educational nonprofits (501c3). The GLP’s Fair Use policy for posting excerpts and using images is explained here.
‘Hello World!’ Bacterial DNA combines CRISPR and electricity to store data. Here’s what that means

‘Hello World!’ Bacterial DNA combines CRISPR and electricity to store data. Here’s what that means

Theresa Machemer | 
A study published on January 11 in the journal Nature Chemical Biology details how the researchers led by Columbia University ...
Why grandmothers might be a driving force behind human evolution

Why grandmothers might be a driving force behind human evolution

Elizabeth Landau | 
[Kristen] Hawkes, a professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, has extensively studied the Hadza, a group of hunter-gatherers ...
10 top dinosaur discoveries of 2020

10 top dinosaur discoveries of 2020

Riley Black | 
As we anticipate what the fossil record might reveal in 2021, here’s a look back at ten dinosaur discoveries that ...
2020's most important human evolution discoveries

2020’s most important human evolution discoveries

Briana Pobiner, Ella Beaudoin | 
Since many scientific articles are years in the making, a lot of exciting discoveries were still revealed in 2020! … ...
Plants are evolving to look like their surroundings to protect themselves from scavenging humans

Plants are evolving to look like their surroundings to protect themselves from scavenging humans

Alex Fox | 
Fritillaria delavayi grows on the rocky alpine slopes of China’s Hengduan Mountains, and for more than 2,000 years its dried ...
‘A million years of memory and history, biology and psychology’: The science behind what makes the dog-human bond so unique

‘A million years of memory and history, biology and psychology’: The science behind what makes the dog-human bond so unique

Jeff MacGregor | 
In a minute or two, Winston will choose. And in that moment will be a million years of memory and ...
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Scientists reconstructed fox-sized dinosaur ‘pea brain’

Theresa Machemer | 
According to [a] new study, Buriolestes schultzi’s brain had an elongated shape and weighed about 1.5 grams, as much as a ...
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How extreme environmental changes spurred early human evolution

Brian Handwerk | 
[A]fter hundreds of thousands of years of stability, dramatic shifts occurred [in the East African Rift Valley] beginning about 400,000 ...
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Recreating the Neanderthal Y chromosome helps explain how modern humans emerged

Rasha Aridi | 
One hurdle in deciphering human prehistory is the absence of evidence of a Neanderthal Y chromosome in the genetic record ...
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Colorants used in tattoos could play a role in detecting cancer

Courtney Sexton | 
Currently, only three dyes with fluorescent properties used as optical imaging contrast agents—methylene blue, indocyanine green and fluorescein—are approved for ...
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‘Everything smells like a more disgusting version of Spaghetti O’s’: Recovered COVID patients report awful phantom smells

Stephanie Feuer | 
Instead of a scentless world, an increasing number of people who lost their sense of smell because of Covid-19 are ...
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After prehistoric asteroid destroyed most life on Earth, why were birds able to survive?

Riley Black | 
With hindsight, birds can be categorized as avian dinosaurs and all the other sorts—from Stegosaurus to Brontosaurus—are non-avian dinosaurs. The ...
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What’s happening to viruses, bacteria and mites that exist in our socially-isolated home islands?

Rob Dunn | 
We may feel isolated now, in our homes, or apart in parks, or behind plexiglass shields in stores. But we are ...
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‘From pipsqueaks to titans’: The complicated evolution of dinosaurs

Riley Black | 
For tens of millions of years, even as other dinosaur species grew to huge sizes, 40-foot carnivores weren't around. How, ...
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7 things we learned about human evolution in the past decade, including that we are older than we thought

Briana Pobiner, Rick Potts | 
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s “David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins,” here are some of the ...
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How a 19th-century typhus outbreak helped doctors fight the coronavirus and other pandemics

Timothy Kent Holliday | 
It was a truism among 19th-century physicians that, in the words of German epidemiologist August Hirsch, “[t]he history of typhus ...
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These 2 ‘crucial and very different’ tests could help us contain the coronavirus

Katherine Wu | 
Amidst a slew of shortages and logistical hurdles, American researchers are now slowly rolling out two crucial and very different ...
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If you survive the coronavirus, do you gain immunity? And for how long?

Katherine Wu | 
Scientists don’t yet have definitive answers about SARS-CoV-2 immunity. For now, people who have had the disease appear unlikely to ...
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Searching for signs of Earth’s earliest life more than ‘a needle-in-the-haystack’ problem

Riley Black | 
The search for signs of Earth’s earliest forms of life isn’t quite like looking for dinosaur bones protruding out from ...
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Strange cave-fellows? Unexpected discovery suggests 3 early human species lived together in South Africa

Brian Handwerk | 
Two million years ago, three different early humans—Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and the earliest-known Homo erectus—appear to have lived at the same time in ...
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Warm weather won’t solve COVID-19 pandemic by itself

Katherine Wu | 
Many infectious diseases wax and wane with the changing months. Some, like flu, spike when the weather turns cold, while others, ...
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How a few pioneering botanists prepared us to battle the coronavirus outbreak

Theresa Machemer | 
When German pathologist Robert Koch discovered the bacterium behind tuberculosis in 1882, he included a short guide for linking microorganisms ...
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Chance of extraterrestrial contact will multiply by 1,000 in coming decade, says SETI scientist

Tom Siegfried | 
[H]owever small the probability of seeing a signal from E.T. is, those chances are soon going to be a lot ...
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1918 Spanish flu redux? ‘Unprepared for the deluge of death’, politicians rejected ‘social distancing’ in bungled handling of the pandemic

Kenneth Davis | 
It was a parade like none Philadelphia had ever seen.... When the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive parade stepped off on September ...
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Trends that will shape the 2020s: Psychedelics as medicine, diagnostic cell phone apps and AI prediction of disease outbreaks

Katherine Wu, Rachael Lallensack | 
Clearly, a lot can happen in a decade—but innovation has to start somewhere. Based on what’s breaking through now, here ...
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Before Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop: 19th century’s Madame Yale and her ‘Religion of Beauty’

Emmeline Clein | 
On an April afternoon in 1897, thousands of women packed the Boston Theatre to see the nation’s most beguiling female entrepreneur, ...
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Exploring the uneasy relationship between Charles Darwin and his skeptical publisher

Dan Falk | 
Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolution shook up Britain’s Victorian establishment upon the release of On the Origin of Species, the 1859 ...
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‘Simple blood test’ could give us an early warning system for cancer

Sarah Richards | 
As of 2020, there are now targeted therapy drugs for 30 kinds of cancer. As part of this whirlwind of innovation, ...
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