Tagged: genetics

Large-scale genetic study provides new insight into the causes of stroke - News

Jean Balchin Mar 19, 2018

An large-scale international genetic study on stroke, based on DNA samples of 520,000 people has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke. Published recently in the journal Nature Genetics, the study’s participants originated from Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia, and were compiled from 29 large studies. 67,000 participants in the study had suffered a stroke. From … Read More

What’s that smell? Perfect poo pills! - News

Jean Balchin Feb 15, 2018

Gut scientists have pored over numbers and come up with a way of predicting which good bacteria can be successfully transplanted in a poo transplant. What is a Poo Transplant? Fecal microorganism transplant (FMT) is a process wherein fecal matter (aka poo) is collected from a tested donor, mixed with a saline solution, strained, and reintroduced to a patient, … Read More

The Immortal Life of a Hydra - BioBlog

Jean Balchin Feb 09, 2018

Students often get to look at hydras – tiny, fresh-water members of the group that includes sea anemones, jellyfish, corals, and the Portuguese man’o’war. All these cnidarians have a simple body-plan: two layers of true tissue with a jelly-like layer between them, a sac-like gut with a single opening that acts as both mouth and anus, and the characteristic stinging cells –  … Read More

How palaeolithic humans shaped the modern genome - News

Jean Balchin Jan 31, 2018

When we think about our ancestry, we think about our grandmothers and grandfathers – and, if we have photo albums nearby, or a family member interested in genealogy, we might know a bit more about our great-grandmothers, great-grandfathers, and so on. I remember traveling around Scotland a few years ago, and chancing upon a small churchyard. Every second gravestone, most … Read More

Sleepwalking, Sex, and Murder: Part Two - Guest Work

Jean Balchin Jan 09, 2018

Part One in this Sleepwalking Saga can be read here. The Sleep Centre Thinking I’d benefit from a hands-on experience of sleep studies, I contacted a sleep clinic. According to their website, the clinic staff perform a “wide range of home sleep tests for snoring, sleep apnoea, sleep/wake cycles, restless legs, and other sleep disorders.” … Read More

‘Honey, I’m related to Genghis Khan’: the hype around ancestral DNA testing - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Nov 27, 2017

Television documentaries focusing on the use of ancestral DNA to reveal hidden mysteries in family trees are becoming increasingly popular. However, in our house they are known as ‘the time Daddy rants at the TV’. Quite frequently, you will hear me exclaim to my kids ‘You can’t say that!’ or ‘There’s no evidence to support that’, before I throw … Read More

Evolution actually – A tale of two disciplines - Lippy Linguist

Andreea Calude Nov 09, 2017

I wrote a recent post which touched on adopting approaches from other disciplines, specifically biology, and applying them to language data. It started a long time ago, that we realised language, as abstract and elusive as it might seem, can be thought of (and even more, modelled) in a similar vein to biological phenomena – people credit Darwin with … Read More

Autism is mostly genetic again - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 24, 2017

Ever since Rain Man, autism has been a condition du-jour for those touting (fake) ’wellness’ remedies, opposing vaccines, and general head-nodding concern. Some claim autism is caused by any number of things, offering just many remedies offered to “treat” it. Recent research reminds us that autism is mostly genetic. People with autism, or autism spectrum disorder, have difficulty in social … Read More

Ancient DNA giveth and ancient DNA taketh away: The penguin that never was - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Aug 18, 2017

Dr Nic Rawlence & Tess Cole, University of Otago Australian politics is mired in a duel-citizenship scandal. Certain politicians have discovered that they are in fact part kiwi and accusations of interference in Australian politics are flying. This trans-Tasman identity shock, however, is not unique to Australian politicians. Now new ancient DNA research has surprisingly shown it’s also found … Read More

Hiding in plain sight: how we found New Zealand’s newest seabird, the Kōhatu Shag - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Aug 14, 2017

New Zealand was once a land of birds. A bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis of different species that had evolved in isolation until the arrival of humans. Scientists thought we knew the characters that made up this enigmatic ecosystem of a time long past, but we were wrong. Hiding in plain sight, in fossil deposits throughout Northland, and natural history … Read More