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Extinct Humans' DNA Is Helping Us Today

Emily Singer Quanta Magazine
Neanderthals and Denisovans may have supplied modern humans with genetic variants that let them thrive in new environments.

Obesity Breakthrough: Genetic Alchemy Can Turn Bad Fat Cells to Good

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century, affecting more than 500 million people worldwide and costing at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone. It contributes to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Scientists have now uncovered a genetic circuit that controls whether our bodies burn or store fat. Manipulating that genetic circuit may offer a new approach for obesity treatments.

food

Why Are You a Picky Eater?

Brian Handwerk www.smithsonianmag.com
The complicated science behind picky eating is giving experts plenty of food for thought.

Viking Women Travelled Too, Genetic Study Reveals

Daniel Zadik The Conversation
Until recently, [some] specimens have been un-sequenceable due to DNA contamination from the modern people who have handled them. Today’s techniques make it possible to differentiate modern from ancient DNA sequences, which opens up the prospect of returning to the many museum specimens in collections worldwide to see what further answers they might hold.

How Exercise Changes Our DNA

Gretchen Reynolds The New York Times
Exercise, a new study finds, changes the shape and functioning of our genes, an important stop on the way to improved health and fitness. More than 5,000 sites on the genome of muscle cells are altered by exercise.

Tidbits - August 21, 2014

Portside
Reader Comments - We need a special prosecutor ((Cornell William Brooks, NAACP); Ferguson, Racism, Economic Inequality, Michael Brown, Police Militarization; Racism and Misuse of Genetics; Rosetta Comet; Jewish Resources for Resisting Nationalism; Robin Williams; Israel, Gaza and Hamas; NFL's New Low - Asks Performers to Pay to Play at Super Bowl; Today in History - Nat Turner's Rebellion; Tomorrow - Fannie Lou Hamer & the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Racism, the Misuse of Genetics and a Huge Scientific Protest

Michael Hiltzik Los Angeles Times
Perhaps unwittingly, perhaps deliberately, Wade has blurred "the distinction between storytelling and science," writes Eisen. The blurring of that line is infecting scientific discussions that have great public implications--it's visible, for example, in the political attack on climate science, the promotion of creationism, and the marketing of California's multibillion-dollar stem cell program.
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