Tagged: DNA

The Curious Case of Stem Cells - News

Guest Work Dec 19, 2017

Much like Benjamin Button, mature cells may soon be able to revert to a state earlier in their development – one where they can become any cell type. New research in Australia,published by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, has moved us one step forward in the effort to produce these induced pluripotent stem cells … Read More

Traditional Chinese medicine: Eye of newt and toe of frog - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Dec 09, 2017

‘Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble’ chant the three witches in the cavern, lightening flashing outside, in Act 4, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s images like these, conjured up by the great bard himself, that I associate with traditional Chinese medicines and herbal remedies. The implied promise that if I take this concoction, my health … Read More

DNA shows tiny tardigrades are just as cool as we thought - News

Jean Balchin Jul 28, 2017

New genome sequences have revealed exciting new information about the origins of tardigrades as well as the genes that underlie their extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.  A team of researchers led by Mark Blaxter and Kazuharu Arakawa from the universities of Edinburgh, Scotland and Keio, Japan respectively, have carefully stitched together the DNA code for two … Read More

Five things you should know about taxonomy - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 10, 2017

Kevin Thiele, University of Western Australia; David Yeates, CSIRO; Kym Abrams, University of Western Australia, and Nerida Wilson, Western Australian Museum Earlier this year, a Canadian scientist named a new moth species Neopalpa donaldtrumpi (read that name out loud for full effect). It’s an insect with a golden hairdo and relatively … Read More

Unravelling the twisted story of DNA - A History of NZ Science in 25 Objects

Jean Balchin Jun 28, 2017

This grainy, black and white photograph is quite possibly the most important photograph in human history. Photograph 51, the unimaginatively-named X-ray diffraction image of DNA was taken by Raymond Gosling in May 1952, a PhD student under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin at King’s College London. Photograph 51 triggered the development … Read More

Ancient rat dung a window into the past - News

John Kerr Nov 03, 2016

The bits of plant and animal matter found in fossilised rat poo can tell us a rich and detailed story of New Zealand’s past. Rat droppings are something most people actively avoid, but not Associate Professor Janet Wilmshurst. She has just been awarded a $830,000 grant from the Marsden Fund to take a closer look at preserved … Read More

Why isn’t there a gene for depression? - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 14, 2016

Sarah Bailey, University of Bath Depression is sometimes categorised as a mental, rather than a physical illness – as though somehow mental health is different from physical health. But the brain is not a magical black box inside your head. It is an organ, just like the heart or lungs, made up of cells and supplied with … Read More

23 and NZ: Genetic testing results restricted - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Sep 06, 2016

I knew that genetic testing service 23andMe was having FDA trouble in the US: the FDA restricted 23andMe from providing health advice based on its genetic tests except where the FDA approved the specific tests. As Gizmodo put it, you’re getting less service for more money, but with an FDA seal of approval on those tests you … Read More

Ice ages led to ‘explosive’ diversity in Kiwi species - News

John Kerr Sep 01, 2016

Ancient walls of ice separating kiwi populations have left their mark in the DNA of New Zealand’s most iconic species. A new study published this week in PNAS has revealed the enormous impact historic cold snaps had on the evolution of kiwis. Researchers based in Canada, in collaboration with Department of Conservation scientists, examined a database of kiwi DNA across the geographic … Read More