Ratchet-like genetic mutations make evolution irreversible
(PhysOrg.com) -- A University of Oregon research team has found that evolution can never go backwards, because the paths to the genes once present in our ancestors are forever blocked. The findings -- the ...
Genetic evidence shows loss of three basic tastes in penguins
A University of Michigan-led study of penguin genetics has concluded that the flightless aquatic birds lost three of the five basic vertebrate tastes—sweet, bitter and the savory, meaty taste known as umami—more ...
Western diets turn on fat genes
Those extra helpings of gravy and dessert at the holiday table are even less of a help to your waistline than previously thought. According to a new research report recently appearing online in The FASEB Journal, a diet t ...
Research team discovers "immune gene" in Neanderthals
A research group at Bonn University, Germany, and international collaborators discovered a novel receptor, which allows the immune system of modern humans to recognize dangerous invaders, and subsequently elicits an immune ...
Gene therapy raises hope for a future AIDS cure
In a bold new approach ultimately aimed at trying to cure AIDS, scientists used genetic engineering in six patients to develop blood cells that are resistant to HIV, the virus that causes the disease.
Elephants possess 'superior' sense of smell, study finds
Elephants possess a sense of smell that is likely the strongest ever identified in a single species, according to a study by Japanese scientists out Tuesday.
Study reveals messenger molecules in cell walls can double as hormones
Researchers have discovered that some common messenger molecules in human cells double as hormones when bound to a protein that interacts with DNA. The finding could bring to light a class of previously unknown ...
A master mechanism for regeneration?
ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Biologists long have marveled at the ability of some animals to re-grow lost body parts. Newts, for example, can lose a leg and grow a new one identical to the original. Zebrafish can re-grow fins.
Researchers find epigenetic factor in monogamy for voles
Great tits: birds with character
(PhysOrg.com) -- In humans and animals alike, individuals differ in sets of traits that we usually refer to as personality. An important part of the individual difference in personality is due to variation ...
Extensive taste loss in mammals: Animals live in surprisingly different sensory worlds
Scientists from the Monell Center report that seven of 12 related mammalian species have lost the sense of sweet taste. As each of the sweet-blind species eats only meat, the findings demonstrate that a liking ...
New Target for Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure Discovered
(PhysOrg.com) -- In trying to understand the role of prostaglandins - a family of fatty compounds key to the cardiovascular system - in blood pressure maintenance, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania ...
Scientists identify new drug strategy against fragile X syndrome
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a potential new strategy for treating fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability.
Dwarfism gene linked to protection from cancer and diabetes
A 22-year study of abnormally short individuals suggests that growth-stunting mutations also may stunt two of humanity's worst diseases.