A new study reveals more than 800 new reasons why some people can't smell the characteristic scent of asparagus compounds in urine.
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.
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.
Small and furry gliding mammals called colugos are primates' close relatives, scientists have discovered
Chimeras aren't always man-made — there are a number of examples of human chimeras that already exist.
New clues about the genetics involved in Lou Gehrig's disease are revealed today in two new studies, thanks in large part to donations from the wildly popular Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014.
Called LUCA, the forerunner of all living things, was not just a sophisticated organism but also likely lived in iron-rich hot springs that lacked any oxygen.
A taste for alcohol may be more widespread in the primate lineage than suspected, and is linked to genetic factors, a new study suggests.
Mouse lemurs, the world's tiniest — and perhaps cutest — primate, have helped solve a whodunit about who (or what) disrupted the green forests on the island nation of Madagascar.
Genetics may play a role in student performance but a child's environment can also influence school achievement.
Labrador retrievers are more inclined than other dog breeds to care about food — and the reason lies in their DNA.