Category: genetics 101

Genetics: Looking Back and Looking Forward

The tenth anniversary of the completion of the first draft of the human genome is approaching, apparently putting a lot of scientists in the mood for reflection on the past and speculation about the future of genetics. The journal Nature has a series of opinion articles and two news articles on the ...

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Human Prehistory 101: Out of (Eastern) Africa

Take a look at the second installment of 23andMe's Human Prehistory 101 series.  23andMe's creative team (led by chief illustrator Ariana Killoran) recently released "Out of (Eastern) Africa."  With this new installment, we pick up where the previous video left off, when humans were starting to take their ...

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Europe’s First Farmers Came from Afar: New Clues Shed Light on Genetic Ancestry of Modern Europeans

About 10,000 years ago, the prehistoric hunter-gatherers of Europe began meeting some new neighbors. These farmers spread gradually at first, expanding from the Near East through Anatolia and the Balkans. Then agriculture exploded, reaching present-day Britain within a few thousand years. The farmers ...

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Sometimes The “Science” Of ABO Blood Types Goes A Little Too Far

The importance of ABO blood types in transfusions is unquestioned. And the associations between blood type and certain diseases are pretty convincing. But some "scientists" have linked blood type to some pretty wacky stuff. In the first part of the 20th century it seems that there was nothing some ...

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ABO Blood Type: Important For More Than Just Transfusions

Not long after Karl Landsteiner first described the different ABO blood types, scientists started looking for associations between blood type and other human traits.  Some of their theories were truly weird (more on these tomorrow!), but some have held up to scientific scrutiny. Venous Thromboembolism ...

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More on ABO Blood Type: The Key to Compatibility

When it comes to blood transfusions, what's good for one person might be deadly for another. This might seem obvious today, but until 1900 the idea of "blood types" wasn’t understood. A person in need of a transfusion could find himself getting a donation from just about anyone, and sometimes even an ...

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Novel Techniques Suggest Neanderthal Populations Dwindled in the Face of Expanding Humans

The Neanderthals have always held a special place in the field of anthropology.  The skeletal remains of our short, stocky evolutionary relatives have been found everywhere from Spain to Iraq. Their physical likeness to our own species, and the possibility that humans and Neanderthals may have interacted, ...

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The Disappearing Y: New Study Uncovers the History and Future of the Y Chromosome

It may be you've heard a rumor that males are on the brink of extinction. Whatever you may think of that prospect, the rumor is false. But over the past decade, numerous studies have hinted that the Y chromosome, a male necessity, is going the way of the dodo. Though other studies have suggested this ...

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Archaeologists Discover Early Example of Domesticated Camels

Most experts agree that the earliest examples of farming and animal domestication lie in the aptly named Fertile Crescent, in present day Iraq.  But still many questions have lingered over the years, especially with regard to remnants of farming or animal domestication that have not survived to the present ...

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People of the Veil: New Study Reveals Clues to Origins of the Nomadic Tuaregs

Not many people could survive the harsh conditions of the Sahara Desert.  Yet the Tuareg have lived in the the region for millennia. The Tuareg call themselves the Imazghan, meaning "free people." Today they are known for a distinctive dark blue turban worn by the men, and for their long history as ...

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