Genetics http://kplu.org en UW Team Hunts Tiny Genetic Flaws Linked to Big Problems http://kplu.org/post/uw-team-hunts-tiny-genetic-flaws-linked-big-problems <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Even the tiniest misprint in a person’s genetic code can cause big health problems, but they can be hard to find. Now members of a team at University of Washington say they’ve designed </span><a href="http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nchem.1713.html" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">a better way to track down those mutations.</a></p><p>If you think of DNA as a twisted ladder, each rung is made of two little structures called bases, stuck together. If even one of the billions of these rungs gets copied wrong it can have serious consequences, such as which kind of tuberculosis you get.</p><p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 05:10:29 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 9475 at http://kplu.org UW Team Hunts Tiny Genetic Flaws Linked to Big Problems Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules http://kplu.org/post/natural-dna-cannot-be-patented-supreme-court-rules In a decision that could have broad-reaching effects on the future of science and medicine, the Supreme Court <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-398_8njq.pdf" target="_blank">ruled Thursday</a> that:<p>-- "A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated."<p>-- But, synthetically created "strands of nucleotides known as composite DNA (cDNA)" are "patent eligible" because they do not occur naturally.<p>The case, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/15/177035299/supreme-court-asks-can-human-genes- Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:45:12 +0000 Mark Memmott 9062 at http://kplu.org An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance? http://kplu.org/post/evolutionary-whodunit-how-are-adult-humans-able-digest-lactose Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/104/10/3736.abstract">lacked</a> a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.<p>Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — <a href="http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0501/p1845.html">can</a> digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.<p>So, how did we transition from milk-a-phobics to milkaholics? Fri, 28 Dec 2012 20:59:37 +0000 7463 at http://kplu.org An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance? So, would you eat a panda? http://kplu.org/post/so-would-you-eat-panda <p><span style="font-family: arial; ">A Chinese scientist recently&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/offbeat/story/2012/10/15/panda-food-ancient-humans-chinese-scientist.html" style="font-family: arial; ">suggested</a><span style="font-family: arial; ">&nbsp;that prehistoric humans ate pandas. The evidence, based on cut marks on panda bones, strikes me as thin, but the report led me to a thought experiment.</span></p> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 16:45:09 +0000 Barbara J King 6755 at http://kplu.org So, would you eat a panda?