Recent Posts by Pangaea Biosciences

Human mutation rate has slowed recently

Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and Copenhagen Zoo have discovered that the human mutation rate is significantly slower than for our closest primate relatives. The new knowledge may be important for estimates of when the common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees lived -- and for conservation of large primates in the wild. Over the past…
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Artificial intelligence applied to the genome identifies an unknown human ancestor

By combining deep learning algorithms and statistical methods, investigators from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG) of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Institute of Genomics at the University of Tartu have identified, in the genome of Asian individuals, the footprint of a new hominid who…
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First moon plants sprout in China’s Chang’e 4 biosphere experiment

A sprouting cotton seed on China’s Chang’e 4 lunar lander is the first plant ever to germinate on another world, heralding a new era for life in space. Seeds of cotton, oilseed rape, potato and arabidopsis were carried to the moon as part of a biosphere experiment, along with fruit fly eggs and some yeast. Pictures…
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How an ancient cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth

A cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth. A new scenario suggests that some 4.47 billion years ago—a mere 60 million years after Earth took shape and 40 million years after the moon formed—a moon-size object sideswiped Earth and exploded into an orbiting cloud of molten iron and other debris. The metallic hailstorm that ensued…
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The bacteria in your gut may reveal your true age

The billions of bacteria that call your gut home may help regulate everything from your ability to digest food to how your immune system functions. But scientists know very little of how that system, known as the microbiome, changes over time—or even what a “normal” one looks like. Now, researchers studying the gut bacteria of thousands of people…
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Antibiotic resistance in the environment linked to fecal pollution

Increased levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment may have different causes. It could be a consequence of on-site selection from antibiotic residues in the environment, hence promoting the evolution of new forms of resistance. Alternatively, it is simply due contamination by fecal bacteria that often tend to be more resistant than other bacteria.…
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Evolution used same genetic formula to turn animals monogamous

Why are some animals committed to their mates and others are not? According to a new study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at 10 species of vertebrates, evolution used a kind of universal formula for turning non-monogamous species into monogamous species -- turning up the activity of some…
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A new way to genetically tweak photosynthesis boosts plant growth

A genetic hack to make photosynthesis more efficient could be a boon for agricultural production, at least for some plants. This feat of genetic engineering simplifies a complex, energy-expensive operation that many plants must perform during photosynthesis known as photorespiration. In field tests, genetically modifying tobacco in this way increased plant growth by over 40 percent. If…
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Tracking Development Cell by Cell is Science’s Breakthrough of 2018

Science has chosen single-cell analyses of gene activity through time as its 2018 Breakthrough of the Year, honoring a trifecta of methods that together are enabling researchers to determine, at the individual cell level, which genes are turned on and off as an early embryo develops. "In 2018 alone, studies detailed how a flatworm, a fish, a…
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