Genetics

Cow Genome Decoded – Cheaper Beef for Everybody?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 23, 2009   View Article

The humble cow has now had its entire genome sequenced, a new study says.

Six years in the making, the feat could lead to healthier, cheaper beef and milk, according to scientists.

Watchmen technology in the real world

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: March 4, 2009   View Article

“Watchmen,” a graphic novel set in 1985, adds a few twists to the typical superhero story – including technological advances that were not that far ahead of their time, such as genetic engineering and electric cars. Now the upscale comic-book series has been adapted for the big screen. How do the concepts featured in “Watchmen” compare with real life in the 21st century?

Massive Genetic Study Supports “Out of Africa” Theory

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 21, 2008   View Article

A massive new study of human genetic diversity reveals surprising insights into our species’ evolution and migrations—including support for the theory that the first modern humans originated in Africa—scientists said today.

Researchers compared 650,000 genetic markers in nearly a thousand individuals from 51 populations around the globe—an unprecedented level of detail for a human genetic study.

Entire Synthetic Genome Created

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 25, 2008   View Article

Scientists yesterday announced that they have successfully created an entire synthetic genome in the lab by stitching together the DNA of the smallest known free-living bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium.

Experts are hailing the research as an important breakthrough in genetic manipulation that will one day lead to the “routine” creation of synthetic genomes—possibly including those of mammals.

“Hobbits” May Have Been Genetic Mutants

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 3, 2008   View Article

A rare disease characterized by small brain and body size but near normal intelligence is caused by mutations in a gene coding for the protein pericentrin, researchers have found.

The scientists speculate that the condition may explain the tiny, hobbitlike people that occupied a remote, Indonesian island about 18,000 years ago—adding fuel to the debate over whether the unusual creatures were a new species or just diseased modern humans.

Human Evolution Speeding Up, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 11, 2007   View Article

Explosive population growth is driving human evolution to speed up around the world, according to a new study.

The pace of change accelerated about 40,000 years ago and then picked up even more with the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, the study says.

African Slaves Brought First Rice Riches to U.S.?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 28, 2007   View Article

A rice variety that made many a colonial plantation owner rich was brought to the United States from West Africa, according to preliminary genetic research.

The finding suggests that African slaves are responsible for nearly every facet of one of the first rice varieties grown in the U.S., as well as one of the most lucrative crops in early American history.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach