Tag Archives: genetic analysis

Research in the news: Eunotosaurus has the early word on turtles

There’s a twist in the turtle timeline.

Thanks to new fossil evidence, paleontologists are able to prove that turtles share a recent common ancestor with birds and crocodiles. The discovery may settle a longstanding argument among scientists about the origins of turtles. (more…)

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Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago, UCLA biologists report

Wolves likely were domesticated by European hunter–gatherers more than 18,000 years ago and gradually evolved into dogs that became household pets, UCLA life scientists report.

“We found that instead of recent wolves being closest to domestic dogs, ancient European wolves were directly related to them,” said Robert Wayne, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and senior author of the research. “This brings the genetic record into agreement with the archaeological record. Europe is where the oldest dogs are found.” (more…)

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UCLA Researchers Further Refine ‘Nanovelcro’ Device to Grab Single Cancer Cells from Blood

Improvement enables ‘liquid biopsies’ for metastatic melanoma

Researchers at UCLA report that they have refined a method they previously developed for capturing and analyzing cancer cells that break away from patients’ tumors and circulate in the blood. With the improvements to their device, which uses a Velcro-like nanoscale technology, they can now detect and isolate single cancer cells from patient blood samples for analysis.

Circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, spreading from tumors to other parts of the body, where they form new tumors. When these cells are isolated from the blood early on, they can provide doctors with critical information about the type of cancer a patient has, the characteristics of the individual cancer and the potential progression of the disease. Doctors can also tell from these cells how to tailor a personalized treatment to a specific patient. (more…)

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Climate Warming Unlikely to Cause Near-Term Extinction of Ancient Amazon Trees, Study Says

ANN ARBOR — A new genetic analysis has revealed that many Amazon tree species are likely to survive human-caused climate warming in the coming century, contrary to previous findings that temperature increases would cause them to die out.

However, the authors of the new study warn that extreme drought and forest fires will impact Amazonia as temperatures rise, and the over-exploitation of the region’s resources continues to be a major threat to its future. Conservation policy for the Amazon should remain focused on reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions and preventing deforestation, they said. (more…)

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Study Suggests Antibiotics Might be Another Suspect in Honey Bee Die-off

The gut bacteria of honey bees have acquired several genes that confer resistance to tetracycline, a direct result of more than five decades of use of antibiotics by American beekeepers and a potential health hazard for bee colonies, a new study by Yale University researchers show.

The genetic analysis of the gut bacteria, which are believed to help in bees’ digestion and ability to ward off parasites, suggests changing antibiotic use by beekeepers might be one factor in the mysterious colony collapse disorder afflicting bee populations. (more…)

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Yale Study Reveals New Family Tree for Ray-Finned Fish

The most common lineages of fish found today in oceans, lakes, and rivers evolved about the same time as mammals and birds, a new Yale University-led study shows.

The comparative genetic analysis of more than 200 fish species, reported the week of Aug. 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, gave an earlier than expected evolutionary birthday to well-known teleost — or ray-finned — fish such as salmon, bass, or tuna.

The analysis also shows that the very earliest lineages of living teleost fish were eels and bonefishes, not tropical freshwater bonytongue fish as some scientists had proposed. (more…)

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Tortoise Species Thought to Be Extinct Still Lives, Genetic Analysis Reveals

Dozens of giant tortoises of a species believed extinct for 150 years may still be living at a remote location in the Galápagos Islands, a genetic analysis conducted by Yale University researchers reveals.

The analysis, published Jan. 9 in the journal Current Biology, suggests that direct descendants of at least 38 purebred individuals of Chelonoidis elephantopus live on the volcanic slopes of the northern shore of Isabela Island — 200 miles from their ancestral home of Floreana Island, where they disappeared after being hunted by whalers. (more…)

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MSU Professor’s Invention Analyzes Plant Diseases without Leaving the Field

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Farmers and field scientists can now instantly identify diseases attacking crops and plants, thanks to a Michigan State University professor’s new invention.

Syed Hashsham, professor of civil and environmental engineering, has developed the Gene-Z device, which performs genetic analysis using a low-cost handheld device and is operated using smartphone technology. (more…)

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