Scientists have finished unraveling the largest genome ever sequenced. The genome of the loblolly pine encompasses just under 23 billion base pairs — seven times more than the human genome.
At some point, you probably learned about the idea of dominant and recessive genetic characteristics. A common example is tongue-rolling — those who can do it are said to have a dominant genetic trait. Except that's all wrong. And so are a lot of other things your teacher called dominant traits, too.
In the human genome, only about 2% of our DNA are genes involved in coding the proteins essential to our existence. The other 98% is noncoding DNA, often called junk DNA because there's no clear purpose for it. That name might seem a bit pejorative, but a new study of the bladderwort genome suggests it's oddly…
Our closest evolutionary relatives are chimpanzees, and both of our species are much more related to each other than to gorillas, the next closest relative. But a new genome analysis reveals we share some unexpected traits with our massive gorilla cousins.
The human genome carries an average of 1% to 4% Neanderthal DNA, which means our ancient human ancestors must have interbred with our extinct evolutionary cousins. That raises an obvious next question: why did humans have sex with Neanderthals?
This month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the discovery of Mitochondrial Eve, the common ancestor of every human alive today. Here's everything you need to know about why the mother of humanity is so important.
Humans and chimpanzees share up to 99% of the same DNA, which is particularly remarkable considering we don't look anything like each other. The reason behind our vast difference in appearance is all thanks to our seemingly useless so-called "junk" DNA.
Reproductive arrangements don't get much stranger than those of the Batura toad of Pakistan. The entire species is the result of two unknown species interbreeding, and each toad carries three sets of genes...which makes passing on its genome extremely tricky.
The plague that wiped out over a third of Europe's population in the 14th century came from a bacteria known as Yersinia pestis. Now we've sequenced its genome...and it's weirdly, almost worryingly identical to its modern descendants.
The naked mole-rat lives for thirty years - compared to 1-2 years for other rodents - and we've never found any evidence that it can get cancer. Now we're peeking inside its genome to figure out what makes it special.
Your spit can pinpoint your age to within five years, making it by far the most accurate age test yet found. This discovery could help identify how old crime scene suspects are, as well as reveal people's true biological ages.
For the first time ever, we can track the number of genetic mutations in each generation of a human family. Humans are mutating at a downright glacial pace, with a shockingly tiny number of mutations passed on in each generation.
All humans can trace their family tree back to a surprisingly small group of common ancestors. Every person on Earth's most recent common ancestor might have died less than 2000 years ago.
The water flea species Daphnia pulex is barely more than a millimeter long, is completely translucent, has no clear divisions between their various body parts...and has the largest genome of any animal we've ever encountered. It has an incredible 31,000 genes in its genome, over 8,000 more than humans have. So what's…
Life has been around for billions of years, but it's only about 580 million years ago that organisms start leaving behind fossils. But our modern genes provide a window into the past, revealing how life developed billions of years ago.
Scientists have successfully created a small part of the DNA needed to build a mouse from scratch. It's just a step on on the long road to synthetic life, but in the short term their breakthrough could prevent genetic disease.
A rare flower known as Paris japonica has a genome 50 times bigger than humans'. With 149 billion base pairs of DNA, it's the biggest genome in the world, and stretched out end-to-end it would be taller than Big Ben.
The yellow monkeyflower is in the process of splitting into two separate species. But how does this happen? Now scientists understand better how to make one species into two.
The research company Complete Genomics has figured out a way to sequence the human genome for less than $5,000 in chemicals, making it seem more likely than ever that affordable genetic profiles will become a thing of the mainstream.
If ancient homo sapiens got it on with their Neanderthal cousins, there were no children to show for it. Researchers studying Neanderthal DNA have sequenced half of the Neanderthal genome, and shoot down the theory that European humans interbred with the now-extinct species. And the team says the genome has other…