Recent Posts by Pangaea Biosciences

Japan set to allow gene editing in human embryos

Japan has issued draft guidelines that allow the use of gene-editing tools in human embryos. The proposal was released by an expert panel representing the country’s health and science ministries on 28 September. Although the country regulates the use of human embryos for research, there have been no specific guidelines on using tools such as…
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Viruses influenced gene sharing between Neanderthals and humans

Human evolution used to be depicted as a straight line, gradually progressing from an ape-like ancestor to modern Homo sapiens. But thanks to next-generation sequencing -- as well as the discovery of genetic material from extinct subspecies of early humans -- findings in recent years have shown that it wasn't quite so orderly. The human…
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New DNA tool predicts height, shows promise for serious illness assessment

A new DNA tool created by Michigan State University can accurately predict people's height, and more importantly, could potentially assess their risk for serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer. For the first time, the tool, or algorithm, builds predictors for human traits such as height, bone density and even the level of education…
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Chemistry Nobel: Harnessing Power of Evolution

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 with one half to Frances H. Arnold, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA "for the directed evolution of enzymes" and the other half jointly to George P. Smith, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA and Sir Gregory P. Winter, MRC…
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T. rex evolved into a monster predator by dumbing down its brain

Tyrannosaurus rex has a reputation for being one of the biggest and fiercest dinosaurs ever to have lived. But it probably wasn’t the brightest: it had a simpler brain than an earlier, smaller tyrannosaur. The change could be a consequence of growing so large. Fossils suggest that T. rex could reach 12 metres in length and between 8…
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Every man in Spain was wiped out 4500 years ago by hostile invaders

A genetic analysis has revealed that, about 4500 years ago, part of southern Europe was conquered from the east. In what is now Spain and Portugal, the local male line vanished almost overnight, and males from outside became the only ones to leave descendants. David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts presented the results…
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Third lander arrives on asteroid Ryugu with only 16 hours to live

It’s a lander bonanza on the asteroid Ryugu. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 spacecraft has just dropped off its third lander on the surface of the asteroid. The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander is the largest of four that Hayabusa 2 will be deploying on Ryugu over the course of its mission. It…
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Mosquitoes Genetically Modified To Crash Species That Spreads Malaria

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species. The scientists used the revolutionary gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to engineer mosquitoes with a "gene drive," which rapidly transmitted a sterilizing mutation through other members of the mosquito's species. After…
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Addiction could stem from ancient retrovirus, study suggests

Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse and tens of thousands die each year, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Though treating addiction has become a vast (and at times abusive) industry, the underlying causes of drug or alcohol dependency—and how to successfully treat these debilitating conditions—are still poorly understood by science. Now, researchers think they’ve found…
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