Genetics

10:32am

Thu July 11, 2013
The Two-Way

DNA Ends Years Of Doubt On Boston Strangler Victim, Police Say

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:12 pm

Mary Sullivan, seen here in a photo displayed at a 2000 news conference, was the final victim of the Boston Strangler, officials said Thursday. They plan more DNA tests on the evidence.
William Plowman AP

The Boston Strangler's final victim has been identified, according to police who say DNA tests have linked Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to being the serial killer, to the death of Mary Sullivan in 1964. The authorities will exhume DeSalvo's body to get "a biological sample" that might provide a 100 percent match.

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3:29pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Animals

Barking Up The Family Tree: American Dogs Have Surprising Genetic Roots

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:58 pm

Modern Chihuahuas trace their genetic roots in America to back before the arrival of Europeans, a new study suggests.
mpikula iStockphoto.com

America is as much of a melting pot for dogs as it is for their human friends. Walk through any dog park and you'll find a range of breeds from Europe, Asia, even Australia and mutts and mixes of every kind.

But a few indigenous breeds in North America have a purer pedigree — at least one has genetic roots in the continent that stretch back 1,000 years or more, according to a new study. These modern North American breeds — including that current urban darling, the Chihuahua — descended from the continent's original canine inhabitants and have not mixed much with European breeds.

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1:56pm

Fri May 31, 2013
The Two-Way

Report Of Liquid Woolly Mammoth Blood Prompts Clone Talk

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 2:38 pm

A file photo from 2011 shows a man touching a giant bronze sculpture of a mammoth in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk. A team of Russian and South Korean scientists who found a well-preserved frozen woolly mammoth carcass this month say it also included blood.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Scientists in Siberia say they've extracted blood samples from the carcass of a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth, reviving speculation that a clone of the extinct animal might someday walk the earth, if scientists are able to find living cells. But researchers say the find, which also included well-preserved muscle tissue, must be studied further to know its potential.

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1:28pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Each Family May Have Schizophrenia In Its Own Way

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:58 pm

Genetic changes in signaling pathways in the brain may cause schizophrenia.
iStockphoto.com

Schizophrenia runs in families, but scientists have been stymied in their efforts to nail down genetic changes that could be causing the often devastating mental illness.

By zeroing in on just one pathway in the brain, scientists say they've found genetic variations that are shared in families, and tend to cause specific symptoms.

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9:34am

Tue May 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Insurers Balk On Rarer Genetic Tests For Breast Cancer

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 10:10 am

Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy after genetic testing has prompted a discussion about which other tests should be covered.
WPA Pool Getty Images

When it comes to inherited genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2 get nearly all the attention.

Inherited mutations in these genes cause from 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers as well as up to 15 percent of ovarian cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

There are other, rarer genetic mutations that also predispose women to breast cancer.

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