Genetics News -- ScienceDaily Genetics research. Read the latest news on plant and animal genetics from universities and research institutes around the world.

  • How the smallest bacterial pathogens outwit host immune defenses by stealth mechanisms
    on October 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Despite their relatively small genome, mycoplasmas can cause persistent and difficult-to-treat infections in humans and animals. A study has shown how mycoplasmas escape the immune response. Mycoplasmas 'mask' themselves: They use their small genome in a clever way and compensate for the loss of an enzyme that is important for this process. This could be shown for the first time in vivo, thus representing a breakthrough in the research of bacterial pathogens. […]

  • Chromosomes may be knotted
    on October 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Little is known about the structures of our genetic material, chromosomes, which consist of long strings that -- according to our experience -- should be likely to become knotted. However, up to now it has not been possible to study this experimentally. Researchers have now found that chromosomes may indeed be knotted. […]

  • Evolution in your back garden: Great tits may be adapting their beaks to birdfeeders
    on October 19, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    A British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research. The findings identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in UK birds. […]

  • Water striders illustrate evolutionary processes
    on October 19, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    How do new species arise and diversify in nature? Natural selection offers an explanation, but the genetic and environmental conditions behind this mechanism are still poorly understood. Researchers have just figured out how water striders (family Veliidae) of the genus Rhagovelia developed fan-like structures at the tips of their legs. These structures allow them to move upstream against the current, a feat beyond the abilities of other water striders that don't have fans. […]

  • Gut bacterium indirectly causes symptoms by altering fruit fly microbiome
    on October 19, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    CagA, a protein produced by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, can alter the population of microbes living in the fruit fly gut, leading to disease symptoms, according to new research. […]

  • Last unknown structure of HIV-1 solved, another step in efforts to disarm the AIDS virus
    on October 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Researchers have solved the last unknown protein structure of HIV-1, the retrovirus that can cause AIDS. This will further explain how the virus infects human cells and how progeny viruses are assembled and released from infected cells. […]

  • Obesity: Engineered proteins lower body weight in mice, rats and primates
    on October 18, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Researchers have created engineered proteins that lowered body weight, bloodstream insulin, and cholesterol levels in obese mice, rats, and primates. […]

  • Duplications of noncoding DNA may have affected evolution of human-specific traits
    on October 18, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Duplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to new results. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to human disease. […]

  • Death by a thousand cuts? Not for small populations
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    New research provides a look at how certain species survive by evolving a greater ability to weed out harmful mutations -- a new concept called 'drift robustness'. […]

  • Turning brain cells into skin cells
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A new study reveals that it is possible to repurpose the function of different mature cells across the body and harvest new tissue and organs from these cells. […]

  • Gene therapy can cure lameness in horses, research finds
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Injecting DNA into injured horse tendons and ligaments can cure lameness, new research has found. […]

  • Yeast spotlights genetic variation's link to drug resistance
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Researchers have shown that genetic diversity plays a key role in enabling drug resistance to evolve. Scientists show that high genetic diversity can prime new mutations that cause drug resistance. The study has implications for our understanding of the evolution of resistance to antimicrobial and anticancer drugs. […]

  • Single cell level sorting technology uses sound waves
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Researchers have developed a highly accurate single cell sorting technology using focused sound waves. This new technology enables rapid and accurate isolation of single cells from complex biological samples, which will facilitate the broad application of single cell analysis toward precision medicine. […]

  • Need for speed makes genome editing efficient, if not better
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Researchers have developed a computational model to quantify the mechanism by which CRISPR-Cas9 proteins find their genome-editing targets. […]

  • 'Hiding in plain sight:' Discovery raises questions over scale of overlooked biodiversity
    on October 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Scientists have used cutting edge DNA technology to demonstrate that one of Europe's top freshwater predators is actually two species rather than one. […]

  • Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments
    on October 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Two recent studies have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning. The studies used a series of experiments to identify key pathways and mechanisms previously unknown or overlooked in the body's defenses, and possible treatments already developed. […]

  • Oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution
    on October 16, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Marine scientists have quantified potentially denitrifying bacteria in the oyster gut and shell, with important implications for efforts to reduce nutrient levels in coastal waters through oyster restoration. […]

  • How cells induce inflammation upon detection of cytoplasmic DNA
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    A research team has elucidated the mechanism by which human cells induce inflammation upon detection of cytoplasmic DNA. Notably, the signal network involved differs from that used in the same context in mice. […]

  • Cell biology: Proteins may prevent dysfunction, disease by relaxing, study shows
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    A team of researchers used simulations and X-rays to conclude that disordered proteins remain unfolded and expanded as they float loose in the cytoplasm of a cell. The answer affects how we envision the movement of a protein through its life--essential for understanding how proteins fold, what goes wrong during disorders and disease and how to model their behavior. […]

  • How E. coli bacteria adapt under stress
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Researchers have developed a genome-scale model that can accurately predict how E. coli bacteria respond to temperature changes and genetic mutations. The work sheds light on how cells adapt under environmental stress and has applications in precision medicine, where adaptive cell modeling could provide patient-specific treatments for bacterial infections. […]

  • 3D packaging of DNA regulates cell identity
    on October 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    The ability of a stem cell to differentiate into cardiac muscle (and by extension other cell types) depends on what portions of the genome are available for activation, which is controlled by the location of DNA in a cell's nucleus, new research suggests. […]

  • Cell biology: Cell contacts in embryonic development determine cellular fate
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    The average human consists of about 37.2 trillion cells. But not all cells are created equal: while muscle cells contain the molecular machinery to contract and relax your muscles, some neurons send meter-long axons from the spinal cord to the tip of your toes, and red blood cells bind oxygen and transport it around the body. How does a cell 'know' which function to fulfill? […]

  • The sea cucumber genome points to genes for tissue regeneration
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    A new high-definition genome sequence of the sea cucumber provides molecular insights into its ability to regenerate. […]

  • How switches work in bacteria
    on October 12, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Many bacteria have molecular control elements, via which they can switch on and off genes. These riboswitches also open up new options in the development of antibiotics or for the detection and decomposition of environmental toxins. Researchers have now used light optical microscopy of single molecules to fundamentally study the way riboswitches work. […]

  • Universality and specificity in protein motions
    on October 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Although proteins have very different function functions, or specialties, in living cells, they share the general characteristics -- the same universality -- in their motions, say scientists. Their motion is much like mountain landslides or wildfires, they report. […]

  • Novel mechanism protects mitochondrial DNA
    on October 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Researchers have discovered a novel mechanism safeguarding mitochondrial DNA. A central part of the protective mechanism is an unusual enzyme, PrimPol, which can re-initiate mitochondrial DNA replication after damage. […]

  • Pioneering discovery of an odor-detecting receptor enhancer
    on October 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Scientists have identified a regulatory sequence that turns gene expression on, or simply an enhancer, for odor-detecting receptors, which form one of the largest gene clusters in the mouse genome. This was done using a combination of research methods, including the CRISPR-Cas9 system, which is a genome editing technique, the Bacillus subtilis synthetic genome vector system, which is a cloning system for large DNA fragments, and bioinformatics. […]

  • Genes critical for hearing identified
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Fifty-two previously unidentified genes that are critical for hearing have been found by testing over 3,000 mouse genes. The newly discovered genes will provide insights into the causes of hearing loss in humans, say scientists. The study tested 3,006 strains of 'knock-out' mice for signs of hearing loss. […]

  • New way to prevent genetically engineered and unaltered organisms from producing offspring
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    A major obstacle to applying genetic engineering to benefit humans and the environment is the risk that organisms whose genes have been altered might produce offspring with their natural counterparts, releasing the novel genes into the wild. Now, researchers have developed a promising way to prevent such interbreeding. The approach, called 'synthetic incompatibility,' effectively makes engineered organisms a separate species unable to produce viable offspring with their wild or domesticated relatives. […]

  • Deciphering biological meaning from an atlas of gene expression across 42 tissue types
    on October 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    The human genome encodes instructions for which genes are expressed in what cell type, along with other molecules that control how much and when these genes are expressed. Variation in the regulation of gene expression gives rise to the diverse tissue types, with diverse functions, in the human body. Finding new clues about the molecular origins of disease is the goal for a comprehensive atlas of variation in gene expression. […]