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Tag archives for genetics

To Catch a Rat on Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia, currently governed by its own general assembly. Norfolk Island is the last island around New Zealand from which we need a genetic sample of the invasive rats to complete our phylogeographic map of invasive rats around New Zealand and neighbouring islands.

How can you eat, eat, eat–and stay healthy? Ask a blind cavefish.

Barbecues and clambakes. Ice cream and berry pies. Summer is the season of food, food and more food. Is there a way to binge and still stay healthy? For answers, look far underground, say scientists, to the denizens of darkness: blind cavefish. Biologists studied blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus, living in freshwater pools in deep caves…

Female Flies’ Previous Lovers Affect Size of Later Children

A female fly’s previous sexcapades can have a profound effect on how her future children look, redefining the way scientists think about inheritance in insects.

Is Genetic Genealogy the Next Facebook of Science?

While millions of people spent last weekend dumping buckets of ice water on their heads and documenting it on Facebook to raise money and awareness for ALS, a few us genetics geeks gathered and talked about haplogroups*  A, L and S, among others. *Never heard of a haplogroup? Don’t worry, it’s not because you have…

Three-Eyed Crab and More Freaks of Nature

Nature isn’t perfect: Sometimes things go awry, which can lead to defects such as two heads, three eyes, and other odd mutations.

Watch: Very Rare Calico Lobster Caught in New Hampshire

You could call it a lucky catch: A fisher recently captured an extremely rare “calico” lobster in Maine.

Genographic Project DNA Results Reveal Details of Puerto Rican History

DNA analysis of living inhabitants of Puerto Rico sheds light on the island’s colonial history.

July 6, 2014 Show: Tracing Evolution Through Ape DNA and Chasing the Ebola Virus

As West Africa struggles with the largest known outbreak of Ebola, Dr. Peter Piot shares how he helped discover and describe the virus’ first known outbreak in 1976 Zaire. Also, geneticist Gil McVean studies the rates of genetic mutation in chimpanzee DNA compared to that of humans to try to determine the date of our last common ancestor.

Geography in the News: Svalbard Global Seed Vault

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Svalbard’s “Doomsday Seed Vault” The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, nicknamed the “Doomsday Seed Vault” by some, has opened its doors and is accepting seeds. The seed vault was created to preserve samples of seeds from around the world to protect the earth’s crop diversity.…

Fishing in the Gene Pool for New Species

  By Matthew Frank  One day last summer, Michael LeMoine, a Ph.D. candidate in fisheries biology at the University of Montana, carried a nondescript cardboard box into the Missoula FedEx office. Inside it was a jar of ethanol containing a single specimen of a new species of a type of fish called a sculpin. The…

Two New Snapping Turtle Species Named

The alligator snapping turtle, the biggest freshwater turtle in North America, is actually three species, a new study says.

Happy DNA Day: Genetic Results From New York City Students Reveal Microcosm of the World

Sixty-one years ago tomorrow, James Watson and Francis Crick published a landmark paper on the structure of DNA. Now, April 25 is recognized as DNA Day, a day for celebrating all that we know about genetics, including what DNA tells us about our ancient past. Today, Genographic Project scientists are collaborating with populations around the…

Could Mockingjays From “The Hunger Games” Exist One Day?

Besides fire, the overwhelming symbol of this weekend’s blockbuster movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is of a steel-colored, mohawked bird with a pointed, hummingbird-like bill who trills melodiously. Mockingjays are described as a cross between mockingbirds and “jabberjays,” a species developed by the Panem government to imitate human speech and spy on the rebels.…

Ötzi the Iceman Leads a Wave of Genetics Buzz

The popularity of recent news reports on the DNA of the mummy Ötzi remind us that genetic breakthroughs are reaching far beyond white-lab-coat laboratories. Will 2013 be remembered as the year that genetics went main stream?

Europe’s Early Settlers Uncovered

Europe’s Stone Age settlers migrated in waves that replaced older hunter-gatherer cultures, suggests a study that looks at European DNA, both ancient and modern. The results reported in the journal, Science, answer questions about the peopling of modern-day Europe. Some of our ancestors hunted wild animals and gathered plants to survive, while others were discovering agriculture, and…