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Tracking the global spread of the coronavirus through its genetic signature

Several years ago, Richard Neher, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, and his colleagues wanted to ...
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Infographic: What suicidal behavior looks like in the brain

Scientists have identified several key neurobiological pathways with ties to suicidal behaviors. Research in the field addresses only a fraction ...
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Modern Africans have more Neanderthal ancestry than previously thought, study says

Modern Africans have an average of 17 megabases of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes, according to an analysis published [January ...
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Amish people study suggests environmental factors influence mutations causing disease and evolution more than genes

The rate of new mutations in the human genome appear to be consistent across diverse populations, except one—the Old Order ...
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Alzheimer’s link to herpes disputed in new study

Around 30 years ago, researchers in the UK discovered DNA strands of herpes simplex virus 1 in postmortem brain samples of Alzheimer’s ...
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Tracing the origins of China’s coronavirus: Infectious disease expert explains how it jumped from animals to humans

The Scientist spoke with Peter Daszak, the president of the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance and an infectious disease researcher who’s done extensive research ...
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Searching for answers in the genome of China’s mysterious coronavirus

As public health officials respond in real-time to the unfolding of the outbreak, so too are scientists. Just one month ...
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Global temperature modeling suggests dinosaurs were wiped out by asteroid strike

A massive asteroid impact is likely to blame for the extinction event that marks the end of the Cretaceous period, ...
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Exposure to different types of dirt may boost body’s immune system, study suggests

Differences in allergy incidence between the two sides of the Finnish-Russian border might have something to do with exposure to ...
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We don’t know enough yet to effectively pick embryos to get smarter, taller children, study says

Despite advances in understanding the combined effects of multiple genes on complex traits in humans, efforts to choose embryos based ...
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‘Strange’ decade gave us CRISPR, gene therapy advances and a Neanderthal genome

[H]ere, we present some of the innovations, both conceptual and technological, that stood out throughout the past decade. … In ...
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Emergency approval sends new oral polio vaccine to front lines, bypassing clinical trials

To stem a growing polio crisis, health officials are accelerating the development of a new oral vaccine with plans for emergency ...
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Video: Neuroscientist Sergiu Pasca on his pioneering efforts to grow brain organoids from stem cells

When [Stanford University brain researcher Sergiu] Pasca started his own lab at the university in 2014, he continued working on ...
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Infographic: These blood biomarkers could be critical to diagnosing, treating Alzheimer’s

Researchers are investigating a host of molecules found in the blood that could reveal pathological processes in the brain. Here ...
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Pursuit of ‘speech prosthetic’ for people who’ve lost the ability to talk could be boosted by this discovery

One [area of the brain is called] the “hand knob,” which, as the name suggests, is a knobby region of ...
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Why finding a blood test for Alzheimer’s could be the key to new treatments

Alzheimer’s patients who were at earlier stages of the disease did better than those with more advanced cognitive decline [in ...
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Was it ‘bad luck’—not ancient humans—that drove Neanderthals to extinction?

Neanderthals may have gone extinct due to chance, and not, as some researchers previously thought, due to competition for resources ...
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New dengue fever defense? Mosquitoes infected with common bacteria can’t transmit dangerous virus

Mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria and released into the wild are associated with a sharp decrease in dengue fever infections in humans, ...
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More children sickened by polio vaccine than by wild virus

Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Angola have experienced nine new cases of polio caused by the ...
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Universal ecology: Laws of physics and mathematics apply across the universe. Are there biological laws?

On Earth, bacteria grow exponentially, lynx eat hares, and red panda populations decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation. How ...
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Does the keto diet offer protection against the flu?

Mice fed a ketogenic diet—in which 90 percent of calories come from fat and less than 1 percent from carbohydrates—were ...
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Infographic: Creating artificial human chromosomes

To convert a piece of cloned DNA into a centromere-containing human artificial chromosome (HAC), an array of repeated LacO sequences ...
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Cancer cells alter mutation rates to survive targeted therapies. Researchers want to know how they do it.

In response to antibiotic treatment, bacteria improve their odds of survival by increasing the rate of mutations in their genomes, ...
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Seeking a better understanding of how space travel changes human heart cells

A team of researchers led by Joseph Wu, the director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, recently sent cardiomyocytes made from human ...
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China’s new Alzheimer drug greeted with ‘surprise and skepticism’ by researchers

China’s approval of the drug oligomannate earlier this month for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease has been met with surprise and ...
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Children from extramarital affairs not as common as we think, study shows

That old joke about the milkman fathering many of a town’s children—it’s far from true, a new study reaffirms. Researchers ...
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What makes a murderer? MRI scans reveal reduced gray matter patterns in convicts

Kent Kiehl and his research team regularly park their long, white trailer just outside the doors of maximum-security prisons across the ...
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Neural stem cell transplants show promise for treating stroke, Parkinson’s, spinal injuries

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease is a genetic malady that leaves neurons without their myelin coating. This deficit has devastating consequences for the ...