When scientists sequenced the human genome a decade ago, it was somewhat like looking at a blueprint in a foreign language — everything was marked in its proper location, but no one could tell what it all meant. Only about 1 percent of our genome codes for proteins that actually do anything, so the rest of our DNA has been like biology’s dark matter, acting in mysterious ways. Now, after years of monumental effort, scientists think they have some answers.
For the first time, scientists have discovered evidence of a human DNA fragment in the genome of bacteria, shedding light on why this particular bug is so adept at surviving in human hosts. The bacteria in question is Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea.
Four ounces of shampoo is enough to send the Transportation Security Administration into a tizzy, but the U.S. government does not have any rules governing the making of custom sequences of DNA to order, for sale to any interested would-be bioterrorists. Until now, anyway.
There's no doubt humans are a musical species, although whether there's a genetic basis for our musicality is still up for debate. A UK team put that question into literal terms Tuesday night in London.
Over the weekend, the New London Chamber Choir offered three performances of "Allele," a 20-minute, 40-part choral work in which the members sing their own genetic codes.
Scientists in Australia, Canada and Denmark have resurrected woolly mammoth blood, determining that the huge beasts' circulatory systems acted as a sort of antifreeze.
The process uses DNA extracted from 43,000-year-old mammoth bones and then duplicated inside E. coli bacteria cells. It could easily be adapted to other extinct species, the researchers say, suggesting future medical labs full of dinosaur blood (if not full-fledged dinos).
The genetic tests our writer took to determine what kinds of illnesses he might have
By Meryl RothsteinPosted 08.03.2005 at 3:15 pm 0 Comments
We charged one worrywart writer, Michael Rosenwald, with getting as many different DNA tests as he could to find out what his future—or, more specifically, his genes—had in store for him. In a search for everything from cancer to narcolepsy, Rosenwald sent blood samples or cheek swabs to genetic-testing labs across the country. The DNA in the harvested cells was then extracted from the cells’ nuclei to undergo PCR amplification, essentially molecular photocopying.