Category Archive for "Blog"

Study links brain scans to genes

Several genes which contribute to brain size have been identified by a consortium called Enigma. Over 30,000 brain scans were compared with people’s DNA, which has located genes which affect the size of structures in the brain as well as its overall volume. Paul Thompson, a neuroscientist who is the

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Gut bacteria can protect themselves

Bacteria in the gut can protect themselves from the immune responses designed to wipe out infection. They achieve this by modifying their outer membranes to be resistant to antimicrobial peptides which hosts release to kill pathogens. Andrew Goodman of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and his team studied 17

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Low-density bones linked to less activity

Two studies have determined that low-density bones evolved relatively recently in modern humans, with bone density decreasing in the past 12,000 years or so. This marked the change in modern humans, shifting from foraging to agriculture and becoming more sedentary. Timothy Ryan at Pennsylvania State University in University Park and

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Ancient apes digested ethanol

Matthew Carrigan at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, and his co-workers have discovered that ancient apes were able to metabolise ethanol. They acquired this ability around 10 million years ago, which coincides with when they came down from the trees onto the forest floor. They were analysing the gene

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An Introduction to Genetic Engineering

Genetics is a field which has been rapidly changing over the last 60 years, and is greatly improving our knowledge of how physical and behavioural traits are inherited. Scientific and technological advances in genetics has transformed agriculture, biology, medicine, zoology, anthropology, forensic science and more. The ability to design and

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Brain of Henry Molaison is Reconstructed

A 3D reconstruction of the brain that made the biggest contribution to neuroscience will allow scientists to continue to get insights into the brain for years to come. The brain of Henry Molaison (known to science until his death in 2008 as ‘Patient HM’), who was left with no short-term

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