Recreational Ancestry DNA May Reveal More than Consumers Bargained For

It all begins with spitting in a tube like this one. Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, CC BY-NC-ND More people are sending off saliva samples to find out about their genetic roots. But the raw DNA results go way beyond genealogical data – and could deliver unintended consequences. By Dr. Catherine Wang / 05.14.2018 Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences Boston University[…]

Genetic Home Testing: Not Such a Great Guide to Ancestry or Disease Risk

Shutterstock Most people will be much better off putting the money spent on a genetic test towards a gym membership, or a pair of trainers. By Dr. Jonathan Pettitt / 08.08.2017 Reader in Genetics University of Aberdeen Genetic variation is an unavoidable feature of life. As a consequence of this – and unless you are an identical twin – you are genetically unique. You[…]

Ancient DNA Reveals How Europeans Developed Light Skin and Lactose Intolerance

Slurp and thank the Yamnaya. Samantha Jade Royds/Flickr, CC BY-SA Shedding light on how have traits that were rare in African ancestors became common in Europe. By Dr. Daniel Zadik / 07.10.2015 Postdoctoral Researcher in Genetics University of Leicester Food intolerance is often dismissed as a modern invention and a “first-world problem”. However, a study analysing the genomes of 101 Bronze-Age Eurasians reveals[…]

Ancient DNA Sheds Light on the Origin of Europeans

Ancient DNA can tell you a lot more than skull shape about the origins of the first Europeans. Flickr/Sebastian Dooris , CC BY Capturing ancient genomes gives us valuable information.    By Dr. David Lambert (left) and Dr. Micheal Westaway (right) / 11.15.2014 Lambert: Dean Research Griffith Sciences and Professor of Evolutionary Biology Westaway: Senior Research Fellow Griffith University Much[…]

Combining Linguistics, Archaeology, and Ancient DNA Genetics to Understand Deep Human History

TonelloPhotography/Shutterstock.com Each discipline tells us only part of the story. And so the truest picture of prehistory comes from triangulating these independent lines of evidence.    By Dr. Michael Dunn (left) and Dr. Annemarie Verkerk (right) / 03.29.2018 Dunn: Professor in Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University Verkerk: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for the[…]

On Being Human

Analyzing the genetics of ancient humans means changing ideas about our evolution. By Gaia Vince / 03.07.2017 The Rock of Gibraltar appears out of the plane window as an immense limestone monolith sharply rearing up from the base of Spain into the Mediterranean. One of the ancient Pillars of Hercules, it marked the end of[…]

Evolutionary Geneticists Spot Natural Selection Happening Now in People

As genes are favored or phased out, human evolution continues. ktsdesign/Shutterstock.com      By Dr. Molly Przeworski, Dr. Joe Pickrell, and Hakhamanesh Mostafavi / 09.11.2017 Przeworski: Professor of Boiological Sciences Pickrell: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Mostafavi: PhD Student in Biological Sciences Columbia University Human evolution can seem like a phenomenon of the distant past which applies only to[…]

‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’: Basic Transmission Genetics

Genetic transmission is the mechanism that drives evolution. DNA encodes all the information necessary to make an organism. Every organism’s DNA is made of the same basic parts, arranged in different orders. DNA is divided into chromosomes, or groups of genes, which code for proteins. Asexually reproducing organisms reproduce using mitosis, while sexually reproducing organisms[…]

Would You Pay $30,000 to Have a Beer Tailored to Your DNA?

A London-based brewery has recently launched a unique service that uses cutting edge genetic profiling to create “the world’s most personalised beer”, based on the client’s DNA profile. And it “only” costs £25,000 ($30,550). Ciaran Giblin, the brewmaster of Meantime Brewery, was the world’s first brewer to have a beer tailored to his own DNA, and was so[…]