A massive public health effort eradicated smallpox but scientists are still studying the deadly virus

The smallpox virus appears to have been with humanity for millennia before a global vaccination drive wiped it out. Current genome research suggests how smallpox spread and where it came from.

Patricia L. Foster, Professor Emerita of Biology, Indiana University • conversation
June 24, 2020 ~12 min

Tags: genome coronavirus genome-sequencing pandemic sars-cov-2 vaccination viruses world-health-organization-who viral-evolution smallpox zoonoses virulence cowpox smallpox-eradication disease-eradication zoonosis viral-dna

Genomes front and centre of rare disease diagnosis

Cambridge-led study discovers new genetic causes of rare diseases, potentially leading to improved diagnosis and better patient care.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
June 24, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: dna health genome genome-sequencing rare-diseases

DNA study reveals Ireland's age of 'god-kings'

A genetic survey of ancient remains from Ireland reveals the existence of a Stone Age social elite.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
June 17, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: dna genetics genome archaeology republic-of-ireland


Identification of viruses and bacteria could be sped up through computational methods

A new multinational study has shown how the process of distinguishing viruses and bacteria could be accelerated through the use of computational methods.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
March 30, 2020 ~4 min

Tags:  dna  physics  genome  bacteria

Coronavirus: sequencing the DNA of patients screened for coronavirus might save lives

It might protect thousands of people.

Richard Alan Nichols, Professor of Genetics, Queen Mary University of London • conversation
March 17, 2020 ~5 min

Tags:  dna  genome  covid-19  coronavirus

How CRISPR technology is advancing

Fewer off-target edits and greater targeting scope bring gene editing technology closer to treating human diseases.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Feb. 14, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  science-technology  dna  chemistry  crispr  genome  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  rna  gene-editing  broad-institute  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  cas9  base-editing  base-editors  biotechnology-nature  david-liu  genetic-disease  genetic-engineering  sickle-cell-anemia

Humans 'sole culprits' in US parrot extinction

A study of North America's only native parrot confirms its disappearance was down to humans alone.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
Dec. 13, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: dna evolution genetics genome birds spain extinction animals united-states wildlife hunting catalonia

Gene flow between butterfly species offers clue to biodiversity

An analysis of 20 butterfly genomes found evidence that many butterfly species — including distantly related species — show a surprisingly high amount of gene flow between them, Harvard researchers found.

Peter Reuell • harvard
Oct. 31, 2019 ~6 min

Tags:  science-technology  genome  butterfly  genes  faculty-of-arts-and-sciences  fas  harvard  peter-reuell  reuell  edelman  gene-flow  genomes  heliconius  hybrid  hybridization  introgression  james-mallet  mallet  michael-miyagi  miyagi  nate-edelman

Benefits of being an early riser vs. a night owl

A new study finds that being genetically programmed to rise early may lead to greater well-being and a lower risk of schizophrenia and depression.

Louise Vennells • harvard
Jan. 29, 2019 ~5 min

Tags:  mental-health  genome  depression  health-medicine  massachusetts-general-hospital  23andme  body-clock  circadian-rhythm-disorders  early-risers  mental-disease  nature-communications  night-owls  retina  university-of-exeter

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