Category: genetics 101

The Genetics of Globalization

Before 500 years ago people rarely went far to find a mate, choosing a husband or wife from the locally available pool of men and women. But with the dawn of European colonialism people from different parts of the world were suddenly living side by side, and had a whole new set of people to choose from when ...

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History’s Mysteries: Finding Answers in our DNA

As we have shown time and again here at the Spittoon, our DNA can greatly illuminate the lives of our most ancient ancestors.  We've learned how the ancient Phoenicians left their genetic footprints scattered across the Mediterranean Sea, and seen the DNA signatures of the first farmers sprinkled everywhere ...

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The Evolution of a Theory: Darwin and Evolution 150 Year Later

Biology has changed a lot over the past 150 years. Scientists have discovered entirely new forms of life, deciphered the molecular code of heredity and observed the machinery of life on the smallest dimensions. And through it all, one scientific theory has stood the test of time. New discoveries in ...

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Cereal Killer: The Tragic Tale of a Fatal Statistical Flaw

Pop Quiz: What do women who eat cereal for breakfast each morning have in common? They get a full day's supply of 11 essential vitamins and minerals. They enjoy better sex lives than women who don't eat cereal for breakfast. They are more likely to give birth to male children. They make buying ...

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Past DNA Day Essays Reveal Student Misconceptions About Genetics

For many people, the first and last place they will ever study genetics is high school biology class. So it is crucial that these classes prepare people to deal with the barrage of genetic advancements that are increasingly impacting everyday life. Unfortunately, many high school biology courses are not ...

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DNA Day Essay Contest 2009

Even though there are still 152 days to go until DNA Day 2009, it’s never too early for high school students to start thinking about next year’s essay contest. The deadline for teachers to submit the top three essays from their classes is March 16, 2009. Rules and questions are posted on the ASHG ...

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Human Prehistory 101: The Newest Video Series from 23andMe!

When 23andMe launched last November, we set out to make genetics accessible to everyone – not just the experts.  So we created a series of education videos called Genetics 101. These videos educated viewers on the basics of genetics:  What is a gene, what is a SNP, how genes are inherited from generation to ...

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Plus ca change … The Mystery of Ultraconserved Elements

Before efforts to sequence the human genome began, scientists thought they’d find about 100,000 protein coding genes in the three billion bases pairs of DNA that are found in almost every cell. But much to everyone’s surprise, the true number turned out to be much lower. It’s now thought that the human ...

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What it Means to be Human

What is it about humans that distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom?  Is it our upright walking?  Our language?  Our love of Reality TV?  Even though we are said to be 99% genetically identical to our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee, we clearly differ vastly from them physically ...

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More than Just a Parable: The Genetic History of the Samaritans

Upon hearing the name "Samaritans," many people are immediately reminded of the famous passage from the Gospel of Luke (10: 25-37), the so called ‘Good Samaritan’ parable. Jesus tells of a Levite (a Jew) who is beaten and left on the side of the road. None who pass by the injured man stop to help, save a ...

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