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genetics

  1. Awwwww Yeeaaah, Humans and Neanderthals Totally Hooked Up

    We're a little less highbrow here and a little more protruding brow.

    While we've all been mindlessly wasting our lives browsing the Internet, science has been busy answering the tough questions -- like, did Neanderthals and humans ever bang? It's been theorized for years that the two species interbred with one another at some point, and now a new method of genome analysis confirms it. So yes, they totally banged.

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  2. Oompa Loompa Doopity Docolate, Scientists Can Now Authenticate Premium Chocolate

    There's a lesson in here somewhere.

    Scientists (pictured above) have finally discovered a way to authenticate claims that chocolate is "premium" and not secretly sub-premium Slugworth nonsense. It's a great day for humanity.

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  3. Science Finally Able To Tell The Genetic Difference Between Identical Twins

    Sorry, every cop drama ever.

    It's such a great conceit for a crime show: guy commits murder; guy denies it; turns out it was guy's identical twin all along; everyone is happy (except murdered dude). Sadly, procedurals are going to have to get some new plotlines, because scientists at Eurofins have finally discovered a way to tell identical twins apart genetically.

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  4. Geneticist Claims to Have Found the Yeti’s Origin Story

    We hope you like salt, because we have huge grains of it to go with this story.

    We love a good shaky bigfoot video or yeti sighting as much as the next blog, but generally we don't pay them much attention here on the site. Some yeti news out of the UK has managed to catch our attention though. A geneticist believes he has matched the DNA of a yeti to a very real animal, explaining the creature's origins.

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  5. Clones Are People Too: The Science and Science Fiction of BBC America’s Orphan Black

    Essay

    As BBC America's Orphan Black heads into its second season, many critics have focused on Tatiana Maslany’s supremely impressive feats of acting and the many compelling female characters as the draw of the series. If you haven’t watched the show, you’ve still likely heard that the lead actress plays no fewer than seven distinct characters, just in the first season. However, Orphan Black also stands out as a piece of science fiction, and it does so in a very relevant manner. The series is a distinctly modern science fiction story and focuses on two crucial themes: individuality and gene patenting. By posing serious questions about humanity, Orphan Black serves as an effective analogue for real life events, which elevates its science fiction status. Read on to find out how the show is reflecting our society, perceived stereotypes, and why they're way ahead of the sci-fi game.

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  6. Things We Saw Today: When AT-AT’s Crash A Jedi’s Wedding

    Things We Saw Today

    Photo editor Steven Kowalski altered this wedding photo for newlyweds Mindy and John to feature AT-AT's approaching the couple as they stand arm in arm, prepared to defend their wedding. (via The Frisky)

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  7. It’s for Science, Okay? Scientists Prepare to Freeze Bee Semen, Breed Superbees

    There's really nothing appropriate to say here. I really need to "bee" careful.

    Bee warned: Researchers at Washington State University are starting a frozen semen bank to store the genetic material of honey bees. In addition, they will use crossbreeding from various colonies to create new generations of bees that are more diversified and resilient to environmental threats. There's probably room for another bee joke here, but I'm drawing a blank.

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  8. Supreme Court Declares Victory for Common Sense, Denies Patents for Naturally Occurring Human Genes

    Identifying a gene is not the same as inventing, says a Supreme Court that can barely keep from rolling its eyes.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down some truly weird and sometimes downright awful decisions recently -- the "corporations have civil rights just like people do" debacle springs to mind -- but it's good to know that they don't always go against the individual while reviewing important cases. In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring human genes may not be patented, ending a dispute over intellectual property of genes that are used to detect early signs of certain cancers. So now we can all find out our cancer risk without having to pay exorbitant fees! You know, other than the ones we'd have to pay to address those risks. Those fees are still pretty exorbitant.

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  9. Scientists Unravel Chocolate Genome, Scientifically Superior Chocolates in Our Future

    It's okay, Game of Thrones fans: the world can still be an okay place sometimes.

    This weekend was very upsetting for me, from the death of All in the Family star Jean Stapleton to... well, Game of Thrones was pretty rough last night, y'all. At times like this, the greatest remedy for profound emotional devastation is a whole bunch of chocolate slammed right down my facehole. Good to know that the open access journal Genome Biology is looking out for me there, as they've released a fully sequenced genome for the cacao plant which may one day lead to better tasting chocolate. 

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  10. Super Woman Angelina Jolie Describes Her Double Mastectomy In Surprise New York Times Op-Ed

    Today in Boobs

    Angelina Jolie has never been one to sit back and let the world happen around her, so we probably shouldn't have been surprised when news broke of the actress undergoing a double mastectomy as a preemptive move again breast cancer. That's just how she rolls.

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