The DNA regions in our brain that contribute to making us human

With only 1% difference, the human and chimpanzee protein-coding genomes are remarkably similar. Understanding the biological features that make us human is part of a fascinating and intensely debated line of research. Researchers ...

Viruses play critical role in evolution and survival of the species

As the world scrambles to control the growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, new research in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology shows viruses also play a key evolutionary role in mammals' ability to reproduce and survive.

New insight into mammalian stem cell evolution

The genes regulating pluripotent stem cells in mammals are surprisingly similar across 48 species, Kyoto University researchers report in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution. The study also shows that differences among ...

ENCODE3: Interpreting the human and mouse genomes

Scientists around the world have access to a rich trove of information through the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE)—annotated versions of the human and mouse genomes that are vital for interpreting their genetic codes. ...

New tool reveals DNA structures that influence disease

Disruption of certain DNA structures—called topologically associating domains, or TADs—is linked with the development of disease, including some cancers. With its newly created algorithm that quickly locates and helps ...

Researchers clear the path for 'designer' plants

A team of researchers at the University of Georgia has found a way to identify gene regulatory elements that could help produce "designer" plants and lead to improvements in food crops at a critical time. They published their ...

How genes interact to build tissues and organisms

Although the knowledge we have about human cells and tissues has steadily increased over recent decades, many things remain unknown. For instance, cells exist in transient, dynamic states and understanding them is fundamental ...

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