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genetics

  1. Surprise! That DNA “Evidence” Shows We’re All Jack the Ripper Victims! Or Something Like That

    These scientists need a lesson from Mr. DNA.

    Oh no! The (most) recent supposed Jack the Ripper identification was wrong! He's still at large! Wait, what do you mean he lived over 100 years ago?

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Yoga and Meditation May Induce Instant Changes to Genetics

    Researchers may have a new clue as to what's behind the feelings of well-being that come with activities like yoga or guided meditation. A new study shows that these forms of practiced relaxation have the potential to change which genes a person is expressing almost instantaneously. One yoga session is not going to alter your genetic structure and turn you into a superhuman, of course, but it could influence the function of genes associated with metabolism and immune system function in a hot second, which, really, is weird and surprising enough for our tastes.

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  13. This Science of Baldness Video Will Have You in Front of the Mirror in No Time

    As I rapidly approach the ripe old age of 30, I am becoming increasingly aware of things like my hair and whether or not I still have any. Commonly held wisdom says that baldness is passed from your mother's father, but AsapSCIENCE tackles the question to teach us just how hair loss really works in this new video.

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  14. Quadruple Helix DNA Discovered In Human Cells, Is The Double Rainbow Of Molecular Information Storage

    A team of researchers at Cambridge University have spotted the first instances of DNA with four helices present inside human cells. The Cambridge team hopes their findings could have implications for treating cancer, but the discovery more broadly suggests that we still may have a lot to learn about the basic structure of DNA and the shapes it can potentially take.

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  15. Fellas, This Animation Will Explain Why You Have Useless Nipples, In Case You Were Wondering

    Gender Bendery

    AsapSCIENCE is back with another marker animation to explain a bit of science some may not understand. Last time it was how Plan B works, this time it's to explain why men have nipples that serve absolutely no purpose. Which I'm pretty sure I learned in middle school but hey, you might still be out of the loop and this is a fun way to learn. Disclaimer: If you don't agree with the science presented this video, just remember, we didn't make it. (Just had to say it, we get that kind of thing a lot.) (via Jezebel) Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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  16. Home Genetic Testing Now More Affordable, Still Kind of Creepy

    What would you pay for a home genetic test that could help you trace your ancestry, let you know your risk for disease, allow you to participate in valuable research, and also probably creep you out a little? One company hopes the answer is $99. 23andMe has lowered the cost of their Personal Genome Service to only $99. Will the lower cost attract more customers, or are people still too creeped out by this kind of thing to bite?

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  17. Jurassic Park: Scientists Find Genetic Switch That Determines Gender

    Remember that scene in Jurassic Park where the scientist is explaining to Ian Malcolm that all the dinosaurs on the island are female because they deprive them of a specific hormone at a specific moment? Science may have just found that hormone and that moment. A team of scientists have found the protein that kicks off the development of male sex organs in mice. It could even explain why the female dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were able to breed.

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  18. Gene That Determines If You’re A Night Owl Or An Early Bird Also Makes A Handy Death Clock

    Do you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Good news -- it's probably not your fault. Researchers are offering more insight into a gene that seems to govern people's sleep cycles -- mutations and variations in this gene can render people genetically predisposed to being early birds or late risers. So thanks, genetics,for taking one more item off of the "Aspects Of My Personality That I'm Actually Responsible For" list. Oh, also interesting about this gene? It may help researchers predict when you're going to die, like a gypsy made of DNA.

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  19. All-Female Species Survives by Stealing DNA of Other Animals

    When a class of animal is made up of only one gender, those animals tend to go extinct. That's not the case with the bdelloid rotifers, which have been exclusively female for around 80 million years. Just like we learned in Jurassic Park, life finds a way. For the bdelloids, that way is by hijacking the DNA of other species for its own benefit. Clever girl.

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  20. Scientist Confirms Your Suspicions: Humans Really Are Getting Dumber

    Your Stupid Minds! Stupid! Stupid!

    OK all you "those kids today!" naysayers, it appears that you're at least partially right about the decline of humanity. A study by Stanford University geneticist Gerald Crabtree has found that humanity is getting stupider... albeit very, very gradually. Human intelligence peaked about 2,000 years ago, says Crabtree, and we've been on the slow train to Stupidville ever since.

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