Category Archives: Evolution and genetics

Ancient evolutionary selection for alleles at a GDF5 enhancer that influences human height and osteoarthritis risk

In terms of gene-environment interactions, we’ve shared many examples in which the environment (diet, climate, and geographic region) has exerted strong selective forces, over time, to change the phenotype (trait). In the case of the attached study (and editorial), the … Continue reading

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Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation from Genes in Human Embryos

The day of “editing severe mutations out of the fertilized egg (zygote)” is here. The CRISPR/Cas9 editing must be done before the zygote divides beyond the eight- or sixteen-cell stage (after which differentiation into specialized cell types and tissues begins). … Continue reading

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Latest paleo-anthropological findings on the origin of Homo sapiens

One of GEITP’s (many) ongoing themes is the Great Human Diaspora –– i.e. when and how the Homo genus arose, when and how at least 25 different “fits and starts” of new branches arose/diverged and lived for tens of thousands … Continue reading

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Detecting mitochondrial DNA from Neaderthal and Denisoain DNA in “cave sediments”

Today, modern humans are called Homo sapiens sapiens, which have survived from earlier tribes of hominins such as Homo sapiens neaderthaliensis that had lived in various regions of the planet at least 25,000 years ago. Scientists can now discover what … Continue reading

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Potentially a HUGE breakthrough !!! Liquid biopsies for lung cancer parients improves treatment (of tumors that are constantly changing their phenotype)

The “evolution” of tumor formation (carcinogenesis) symbolizes the quintessence of gene-environment interactions. The “biggest obstacle” (to the survival of a cancer cell) is how it can mutate and undergo epigenetic changes –– in order to survive chemotherapy and any other … Continue reading

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Wax moth caterpillars, which normally live in bee hives feeding on honey and wax, can digest plastic

Plastics are synthetic polymers derived from fossil oil and mostly resistant to biodegradation. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) represent ~92% of total plastic production. PE is largely used in packaging –– representing ~40% of total demand for plastic products, with … Continue reading

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Genetic basis of inheritance for the phenotype of monogamy and child-caring …???

Peromyscus is a diverse North American genus of mouse, with habitats ranging from arid deserts to mountainous cloud forests. Along with these tremendously disparate habitats come compa­rably variable behaviors. For example, shar­ing of parental care and social monogamy are rare … Continue reading

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Evidence of an ancient reptile (Dinocephalosaurus) that gave birth to live young

Live birth has evolved many times independently in vertebrates –– such as mammals and diverse groups of lizards and snakes. However, live birth had not been known before in the major clade Archosauromorpha, a group that first evolved ~260 million … Continue reading

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Chemical tags on RNA, as well as DNA, rediscovered and implying mechanisms involving epigenetics

Chuan He (chemist at Uni­versity of Chicago in Illinois) had been studying a family of proteins that repair damaged DNA, and he began to suspect that these enzymes might also act on RNA. A colleague nearby in the same building, … Continue reading

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FW: Seven temperate terrestrial planets found around the nearby ultra-cool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 ….!!

Most stars in our Milky Way Galaxy are much smaller and dimmer than the Sun. Low-mass stars that are about 80 times the mass of Jupiter have core temperatures that are just high enough to convert hydrogen into helium. The … Continue reading

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