To Know or Not to Know: Cancer Risk Gene Testing

Genetic mutation testing has been a hotly debated and controversial topic since its initial prevalence in 1990.  Originally genetic testing was used to test females who have cancer in their family history for the BRCA 1 and 2 gene mutations.  Early detection of these mutations allowed for precautionary measure sure to be exercised prior to […]

Echinacea’s Habitat Decline

The plant that is commonly used to treat flu and cold symptoms, Echinacea, is beginning to suffer from a disappearing habitat. A flowering plant part of the daisy family, Echinacea grows in central and North America in mostly dry, wooded areas. As one of the “top five” herbal remedies sold in retail stores, the coneflower is regarded as […]

Junk DNA Shaping Your Face?

So called “junk DNA” found in mice have been identified as major factors in the shaping of their faces. These findings are important because the same sequences are found in humans, and might be shaping ours. Junk DNA is named as such because it doesn’t code proteins, so it was originally thought to be “junk”. […]

GATTACA review

Who ever knew a movie staring Jude Law, Uma Therman and Ethan Hawke does not just explore romance and drama but also takes a look into the revolutionizing and weary scientific future our world has yet to see!  The movie, GATTACA(standing for the 4 DNA bases-Guanine, Adenine, Thymine, Thymine, Adenine, Cytosine, Adenine), starts with the birth […]

Genetically Modified Food? Now You Can Know For Sure.

Whole Foods Market has officially become the first grocery store to require the labeling of all genetically modified foods. In an article published by The New York Times, on Friday, March 8th, Whole Foods Market announced that they will be labeling all genetically enhanced food products. According to Whole Foods president A. C. Gallo, the […]

Epigenetics, Dads, and Obesity

    It turns out that kids with obese fathers have unique epigenetic changes that can affect their health… for the worse. According to a recent study, “children with obese fathers have different epigenetic markings on the gene for insulin-type growth factor 2 (IGF2) than children with fathers of normal weight.” Children with obese fathers have less […]

Incredible New Gene-Searching Software

Joseph T. Glessner, of the Center for Applied Genomics at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia recently invented a new software tool that will revolutionize accuracy in genetic disease studies. The software called ParseCNV is an algorithm that “detects copy number variation associations with higher levels of  accuracy than that available in existing software,” says Mr. Glessner. This incredible software […]

The True Origins of HIV

There’s no doubt you’ve heard of HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The HIV virus, if left untreated can lead to AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which leads to progressive immune system failure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV#Discovery). HIV didn’t become a problem in the United States until the 1980s, but was around long before then. Alfred Roca, an assistant […]

New Deadly Virus Discoved in Africa

Recently an article was released summarizing the discovery of a new disease in Africa. In 2009 a fifteen year old boy in a small village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo fell ill. The initial symptoms were malaise and a bloody nose, but quickly the boy developed an acute hemorrhagic fever. Within two days […]

Identical but Not the Same

  After studying genetically inherited traits and diseases it could be easy to assume that genes determine everything about us. While it is true that colorblindness is a sex-linked trait – there is certainly more to the story. Monozygotic “identical” twins are genetically identical, so they should be the same in all ways shouldn’t they? […]

Wait, Babies can be Born Without Eyes?

I always knew individuals could lose eyes if a terrible accident occurs, but I never knew that babies can be born without eyes! Did you? Recently, a condition called anophthalmia has been discovered. It is when there are complications with the development of both copies of the STRA6 gene, one that is “responsible for transporting […]

Could there be another reason?

Leukemia has always been a tough form of cancer to combat. It is the leading cancer found in children and can also be found in adults. Leukemia “is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow (which produces blood cells). A person who has leukemia suffers from an abnormal production of blood cells, generally leukocytes […]

Monkey Be, Monkey Do

Are you one of those people who has always wondered about scientist’s progress in creating genetically amalgamated Monkeys? Well, if the answer is yes, then you need wonder no more, because Scientists have recently created their very own combinations of primate genes known as Chimeric Monkeys through the extensive study of stem cells and embryonic […]

Tasting Colors?!

Last year while doing a practice SAT reading section, I came across a story about a condition called synesthesia. If you have never heard of it before, you’re not alone. Synesthesia is a very rare, sense-mixing condition in which people taste colors or see smells. Sounds crazy, right? According to studies, 3% of the world […]

I Got it From My Mama . . . and My Papa

Ever wonder why Justin Timberlake could belt it out or how come Usain Bolt is so fast? Well the answer’s pretty unexpected, but not too surprising: genetics. Now while genetic prowess is not the sole key to these superstars’ successes, recent studies have shown that certain genes are attributed to superior athletic performance and feel […]

Class Fox?

  As a kid visiting a zoo did you ever wonder what it would be like to pet the tigers?  Well as you know wild animals are dangerous and they aren’t meant to be tamed, patted or touched… or are they?  According to new studies domestication may not be a learned trait or a trait only found […]

Are Canadians Genetically Superior?

I mean they do have Ryan Reynolds,  Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Ellen Paige, that tall guy from Glee, and Beiber. Well, maybe Bieber doesn’t isn’t a testiment to Canadian superiority, but recent studies have found certain signs of rapid genetic changes among the recent residents of a small Canadian town,  Ile aux Coudres, in the last 140 years. […]