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What the First Ancient African Genome Reveals

Ewen Callaway Nature
For the first time, a complete DNA sequence from Africa dating back thousands of years has been recovered. The DNA of this Ethiopian man sheds new light on the movement out of Africa, and also movement of Eurasians back into Africa.

Friday Nite Videos -- March 20, 2015

Where Right Wing Conspiracies Come From. Burned at McDonald's. Documentary: Peace Officer. Buffett's $1B March Madness Bet. LBJ & the Voting Rights Act.

Scientists Call for Halt to Human Genome Tinkering

Tabitha M. Powledge Public Library of Science Blogs
It's now possible to modify the human germ line, and the rules haven't caught up with the science. The best way to respond to concerns created by emerging knowledge or early-stage technologies is for scientists from publicly-funded institutions to find common cause with the wider public about the best way to regulate — as early as possible. Once scientists from corporations begin to dominate the research enterprise, it will simply be too late.

The Avian Tree of Life

This animation illustrates the  major branches of the avian tree of life revealed by the mapping of the complete genomes of 48 bird species -- one of the most ambitious evolutionary investigations yet.

A Flock of Genomes Tells the Tale of Bird Evolution

Geoffrey Mohan Los Angeles Times
Which bird is closest to the saltwater crocodiles, American alligators and the slender-nosed Indian gharial? Either the chicken or the ostrich, depending on how you look at it. If a genome is a shelf of books, then the chicken has been a better librarian, but the ostrich has been a more faithful translator.

Happy Summer. You’re Covered in Fungus.

Kent Sepkowitz The Daily Beast
Thanks to new technology, we know now exactly which microbes are crawling behind our ears, between our eyebrows, and especially on our feet. Kent Sepkowitz explains the gross new study.
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