DNA from 31,000-year-old milk teeth leads to discovery of new group of ancient Siberians

Two children’s milk teeth buried deep in a remote archaeological site in north eastern Siberia have revealed a previously unknown group of people lived there during the last Ice Age.

Cambridge University News | June 5, 2019 | cambridge
~5 mins   

Tags: ancient-dna dna human-evolution archaeology

‘Fingerprint database’ could help scientists to identify new cancer culprits

Scientists in Cambridge and London have developed a catalogue of DNA mutation ‘fingerprints’ that could help doctors pinpoint the environmental culprit responsible for a patient’s tumour – including showing some of the fingerprints left in lung tumours by specific chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

Cambridge University News | April 16, 2019 | cambridge
~5 mins   

Tags: spotlight-on-cancer spotlight-on-stem-cells dna cancer smoking

Ancient DNA analysis unlocks secrets of Ice Age tribes in the Americas

Scientists have sequenced 15 ancient genomes spanning from Alaska to Patagonia and were able to track the movements of the first humans as they spread across the Americas at “astonishing” speed during the last Ice Age, and also how they interacted with each other in the following millennia.

Cambridge University News | Nov. 9, 2018 | cambridge
~8 mins   

Tags: ancient-dna dna evolution human

Studies raise questions over how epigenetic information is inherited

Evidence has been building in recent years that our diet, our habits or traumatic experiences can have consequences for the health of our children – and even our grandchildren. The explanation that has gained most currency for how this occurs is so-called ‘epigenetic inheritance’ – patterns of chemical ‘marks’ on or around our DNA that are hypothesised to be passed down the generations. But new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that this mechanism of non-genetic inheritance is likely to be very rare.

Cambridge University News | Oct. 30, 2018 | cambridge
~9 mins   

Tags: genetics epigenetics dna animal-research

Many cases of dementia may arise from non-inherited DNA ‘spelling mistakes’

Only a small proportion of cases of dementia are thought to be inherited – the cause of the vast majority is unknown. Now, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, a team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Cambridge believe they may have found an explanation: spontaneous errors in our DNA that arise as cells divide and replicate.

Patrick Chinnery | Oct. 15, 2018 | cambridge
~5 mins   

Tags: spotlight-on-neuroscience genetics dna dementia

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