If scientists were to draw an enormous family tree for all of Earth's animals, the oldest branch would belong to the jellyfish, a new study finds.
Genes are the blueprints of life. Genes control everything from hair color to blood sugar by telling cells which proteins to make, how much, when, and where. Genes exist in most cells. Inside a cell is a long strand of the chemical DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). A DNA sequence is a specific lineup of chemical base pairs along its strand. The part of DNA that determines what protein to produce and when, is called a gene.
First established in 1985 by Sir Alec Jeffreys, DNA testing has become an increasingly popular method of identification and research. The applications of DNA testing, or DNA fingerprinting within forensic science is often what most people think of when they hear the phrase. Popularized by television and cinema, using DNA to match blood, hair or saliva to criminals is one purpose of testing DNA. It is also frequently used for other benefits, like wildlife studies, paternity testing, body identification, and in studies pertaining to human dispersion.While most aspects of DNA are identical in samples from all human beings, concentrating on identifying patterns called microsatellites reveals qualities specific and unique to the individual. During the early stages of this science, a DNA test was performed using an analysis called restriction fragment length polymorphism. Because this process was extremely time consuming and required a great deal of DNA, new methods like polymerase chain reaction and amplified fragment length polymorphism have been employed.The benefits of DNA testing are ample. In 1987, Colin Pitchfork became the first criminal to be caught as a result of DNA testing. The information provided with DNA tests has also helped wrongfully incarcerated people like Gary Dotson and Dennis Halstead reclaim their freedom.
By slipping a chemical group in between the letters of DNA, scientists have created a tiny electrical switch that could be used in miniscule electronic devices.
More than 200 new genetic markers linked with male pattern baldness have been identified, according to a new study from the United Kingdom.
Your partner's or roommate's genes have a sizable effect on how your own genes are expressed, according to a study on caged mice.
A new study reveals more than 800 new reasons why some people can't smell the characteristic scent of asparagus compounds in urine.
Babies whose mothers are obese may be biologically "older" than babies whose mothers are a normal weight.
A well-preserved 2,000-year-old skeleton could provide the first DNA evidence recovered from an ancient shipwreck.
When it comes to giraffes, can you spot the difference? A new study reveals there's more to the animals' species diversity than once suspected.
If one cup of coffee keeps you perked up all day, you may be able to thank your genes for that long-lasting caffeine kick, a new study finds.