Northern Europeans who speak Uralic languages, such as Estonian and Finnish, can thank ancient migrating Siberian populations for their dialects, according to a fascinating new study that combined genetics, archaeology, and linguistics. Continue reading Analysis of Ancient DNA Suggests Finnish and Estonian Languages Came From Siberia
When she was eight years old, Jo Cameron broke her arm and didn’t tell anyone for days; it just wasn’t bothering her. In the six-odd decades since, she has sustained numerous injuries and felt barely any pain. Sometimes, she accidentally leans on her stove, only to notice when she smells burning flesh. Continue reading A Scottish Woman Doesn’t Feel Pain or Stress. Now Researchers Think They Know Why
When a mosquito lands and your arm and starts taking a drink, it’s not just an unhappy accident. Mosquitoes use an array of chemical neuroreceptors to track down their next blood meal. Now, researchers have identified a key receptor that detects the lactic acid in human sweat, a finding that could eventually help people avoid becoming fast food for the insects. Continue reading Mosquitoes Can Smell Your Sweat
POLICE FOUND 19 spent shell casings scattered in the San Diego street where Gregory Benton was murdered on April 12, 2014. Benton and his cousin had gone to buy cigarettes, a witness later said. As they returned to a family party, two men pulled up in a car behind them. They got out, and at least one of them opened fire. Continue reading A NEW METHOD OF DNA TESTING COULD SOLVE MORE SHOOTINGS
Around five years ago, a pregnant woman in Australia went in for her six-week ultrasound and was told she would be having twins. Her scan showed that the fetuses were sharing a single placenta, indicating that they were identical. But when the woman came in for a follow-up ultrasound at 14 weeks, it was discovered that she was carrying a boy and a girl—something that is impossible in identical twins. Continue reading Doctors Identify Very Rare ‘Semi-Identical’ Twins
In the not-too-distant future, it will be possible to get a complete readout of a person’s genetics with ease, even right after they’re born. A new study published Thursday offers a glimpse of what that future could look, suggesting many children are born with genetic conditions that can’t be found with current screening. But the study also raises important ethical questions about how best to handle the predictions these tests will provide families and their doctors. Continue reading Sequencing the DNA of Newborns Uncovered Hidden Disease Risks and a Whole Lot of Tricky Issues
There’s a rocky island in the South Atlantic Ocean so remote that it is known as Inaccessible Island. No humans and few animals dwell there, but among the creatures that call the island home is the Inaccessible Island rail, the world’s smallest flightless bird still in existence. Since the creature was first described in the 1920s, scientists have wondered how it managed to reach its far-flung habitat. Now, as Sarah Laskow reports for Atlas Obscura, a new study may shed light on the enduring natural mystery.