Tag Archives: Biology

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New cancer study reveals that “bad luck” more of a factor than behavior

A new study has shed some light on the causes of cancer mutations, with researchers finding that 66% of all genetic mutations leading to cancerous cells are caused by simple random errors during cell replication more so than environmental, lifestyle or hereditary factors. The team from John Hopkins University have only just recently published their results in the journal Science.

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Scientists close to synthesizing the entire genome of baker’s yeast

A team of researchers at New York University are close to achieving a scientific first according to the group’s lead geneticist Jef Boeke announced. The Synthetic Yeast 2.0 Project has been able to almost fully synthesize the genome of baker’s yeast, continuing the work they’d begun in 2014 when they managed to create the first “designer chromosome” to replace part of the yeast’s genetic material. Three years on and the scientists are close to synthesizing the last of the sixteen chromosomes, a feat they expect to accomplish by the end of the year.

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New study shows bees are capable of flexible decision making and adaptive behaviour

Scientists at the Queen Mary University of London have managed to prove through various tests that bees are a lot more intelligent than previously thought, with the insects displaying flexible decision making and adaptation to external factors to which they had never previously been exposed to. Up until now, it was known that bees were able to communicate to each other using “waggle dances” that indicated to their counterparts the direction of food, and were able to pull string to access said food. However, the latest discovery by biologist Olli J. Loukola and his team shows that bees are capable of much more.

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Living microorganisms found trapped inside 60,000 year-old crystals

When NASA isn’t launching satellites into space or helping others service the International Space Station, they are making discoveries closer to home. A group of scientists from the famed space organization have uncovered a unique group of microorganisms dwelling inside the giant crystals of the Naica mine in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

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Scientists believe they are on the verge of bringing Woolly Mammoth back from extinction

Since 2015, a team of Harvard scientists have been working tirelessly to try recreate the DNA sequence for the Woolly mammoth. The driving force behind their efforts is the hope that they could bring back the long-lost creature from extinction using the embryo and genetic closeness of one of its’ closest living relatives, the Asian elephant.

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Over 250 whales dead after mass stranding in New Zealand

A mass stranding of more than 400 pilot whales off the coast of New Zealand led over 500 volunteers to the beaches to try and save the marine creatures. The beaching on New Zealand’s Farewell Spit nature reserve is being described as the third-largest whale beaching in the country’s history, it still remains unclear what led to it. Scientists have speculated that issues with these whales’ inner GPS to a “follow the leader” mentality may have doomed the pod, whilst officials warned of potential disease threats, however, much like many other beachings, their cause still remains a mystery.

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