Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
- "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops
for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Mar 8, 2014 -
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 11, 2013 -
The etiology of Autism
remains a mystery. However, three research teams have for the first time linked a gene
to certain forms of autism. This is a great step in the search of what causes this disease.
posted by dov3
on Apr 6, 2012 -
After decades of breeding, the complexity of cat color genetics
is quite well understood. Genes which control pigmentation
, hair length
, color dilution
, banding (agouti)
, white fur
(dominant, spotting, or albino, sometimes linked with deafness
), tabby patterns
, and more combine to create a wide spectrum of possibilities
. Specific traits such as white gloving among Birman cats
and the amber color found only in Norwegian Forest Cats (which comes from a single female born in 1981!) have also been isolated and studied, and can be affordably tested for
On top of all that, fur color is epigenetic
as well as genetic, and sometimes responds to the cat's environment. If you clone a calico cat, you get a kitten which doesn't have a similar coat
due to X-inactivation
, and pointed cats (such as Burmese, Siamese, and Tonkinese) have temperature-sensitive coloration
. [more inside]
posted by vorfeed
on Aug 28, 2011 -
This is a game about breeding flowers. Each flower's traits are determined by its genes. Pick two flowers and their genes combine to create new variations. There is no aim in this game... Feel free to set yourself one.
-- Rare Breeds: Petunia
. (Flash.) [more inside]
posted by Gator
on Jan 30, 2011 -
Indeed, at 6 million years of separation, the difference in [Y-chromosome] gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation.
It is commonly said that the Human and Chimpanzee genomes share 99% or more identical DNA. In a surprising development about to be published in Nature
, the Y-chromosomes of these two species were found to share only 70% of their DNA, raising important questions about the mode and tempo by which speciation from a common ancestor occurred. This finding may point the finger
at the evolution of different patterns of sperm-competition and mating practices within these two species.
posted by Rumple
on Jan 16, 2010 -
Monogamouse Prairie voles have many vasopressin receptors in the reward centres of their brains. It seems as though these are wired up in a way that causes the animal to take pleasure from monogamy.
posted by kliuless
on Jan 9, 2010 -
Researchers have found that beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern
posted by monospace
on Jul 28, 2009 -
"Their idea is, in broad outline, straightforward.
and Dr. Badcock
propose that an evolutionary tug of war between genes from the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg can, in effect, tip brain development in one of two ways. A strong bias toward the father pushes a developing brain along the autistic
spectrum, toward a fascination with objects, patterns, mechanical systems, at the expense of social development. A bias toward the mother moves the growing brain along what the researchers call the psychotic spectrum, toward hypersensitivity to mood, their own and others’. This, according to the theory, increases a child’s risk of developing schizophrenia
later on, as well as mood problems like bipolar disorder and depression."
posted by grumblebee
on Nov 11, 2008 -
Humans are evolving more rapidly
than in the distant past, according to a new study
published in PNAS. "The massive growth of human populations has led to far more genetic mutations, and every mutation that is advantageous to people has a chance of being selected and driven toward fixation. We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals
", says lead author John Hawks. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 10, 2007 -
Not settled after all
partial genetic explaination of eye color. it's not one classic dominant/recessive allele a la the monk Mendel. three known + unknown genes involved, everybody's still beautiful.
posted by longsleeves
on Dec 8, 2005 -
What Makes People Gay?
--long, informative article from Boston Globe on recent scientific developments regarding nature or nurture. Studies on twins, brothers, CGN, the "big brother" effect, fetal development, genetics, hormones, etc. and don't miss the Evangelical Preacher who converted to the belief that homosexuality is not a choice but rather a predisposition, something "deeply rooted" in people.
posted by amberglow
on Aug 15, 2005 -
Who were your first ancestors?
Tracking ancient ancestors and the migration of ancient peoples through DNA. Progressive maps from 200,000 years to 10,0000 years ago show the movement of our "tribes" since Adam.
posted by adamvasco
on Apr 13, 2005 -
Extinct is forever
. Or is it?
Scientists are hard at work reconstructing entire genomes of our common ancestors. The present technology is a far cry from Jurassic Park, but we're getting there.
posted by mowglisambo
on Dec 8, 2004 -
The Dawkins FAQ.
Interesting Q&A session about evolution, biology, genes, etc with an expert
. Dawkins claims no final answer on the "gay gene" or a Darwinian explanation of homosexuality.
posted by skallas
on Nov 27, 2004 -
In terms of our genes
, we humans are all the same -- except
for the ways in which we're different. Pharmacogenomics has for years been touted as the ultimate benefit of the genomics revolution. But to many, this revolution has a troubling side.
posted by semmi
on Oct 13, 2004 -
Breeders are winning
. "Conservative, religiously minded Americans are putting far more of their genes into the future than their liberal, secular counterparts." (WaPo link, bugmenot
says try email@example.com and
fedup if you don't care to register. Definition of genetic fitness here
posted by jfuller
on Sep 6, 2004 -
. "If your parents kept on having children, they’d have to visit the maternity hospital another million billion times to stand a chance of producing another child with your genes" (unless you're an identical twin of course).
posted by lola
on Sep 19, 2003 -
First Birds with teeth in 70 million years
. Vicious toothed, flying microraptors once darkened the Jurassic skies. Now, scientists
have learned to activate the dormant, vestigal avian "tooth gene" and so coaxed chicken embryos into growing teeth. From the grave, Alfred Hitchcock enviously quips - "a messy thing indeed when toothed birds kill a man". Meanwhile the French are appalled: “quand les poules auront des dents”, which translates to “when hens have teeth”, is analogous to the English “pigs might fly”. Coming soon: flying pigs.
But there might be a baldness cure in this new research. I'll remember that as the flocks of mutant raptor-fowl move in for the kill.
posted by troutfishing
on Jun 4, 2003 -
Gene Prevents 'Brains Everywhere'
The human version of the gene probably is not involved in keeping the human brain inside the skull, but likely plays some other role in nervous system development in human embryos, says Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, a developmental biologist at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
posted by Grod
on Oct 11, 2002 -
Need a user's manual for your DNA?
Sure that there's some bug in there you could fix if you knew how to? Here are the tools you'll need. I know the web isn't relly about one-to-many publishing, but just sometimes it does it wonderfully well.
posted by alloneword
on Sep 16, 2002 -
Scientists ruin mouse's day.
Or maybe, "discover the end of all ends"? or something. This story is begging for clever headlines, and I cannot think of any. Too embarassing. But still, the possibilities raised by this study are endless. Oh, there you go, another pun...
posted by costas
on Aug 30, 2002 -