Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

  1. Health & Medicine

    Do mosquitoes love you? Blame your parents

    By studying twins, scientists found that how attractive we are to mosquitoes depends partly on our genes. That could lead to better bug repellents.

  2. Environment

    Deep-sea fish show signs of exposure to pollution

    A new study suggests deep-water fish may have health problems linked to human pollution. Eating these fish may expose diners to the same pollution.

  3. Microbes

    Making a microbe subway map

    We are surrounded by bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms. Now, high school scientists have contributed to the first map of microbes in the New York subway system.

  4. Microbes

    New virus may have given kids polio-like symptoms

    More than 100 U.S. children developed a paralyzing illness in 2014. Genetic evidence now suggests that the most likely culprit is a new form of a virus in the polio family.

  5. Life

    How DNA is like a yo-yo

    When not in use, DNA coils tightly. But it must uncoil for the cell to ‘read’ its genes. Physical forces affect how easily that happens, new data show.

  6. Genetics

    Silencing genes — to understand them

    Hijacking a cell process called RNA interference can let scientists turn off a selected gene. Its silencing can point to what genes do when they’re on — and may lead to new treatments for disease.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Mice can teach us about human disease

    Humans and mice look and act very differently. But 85 to 90 percent of their genes are the same or quite similar. So an international group of scientists is deciphering the instructions in mouse genes to help us better understand our own.

  8. Life

    Scientists Say: Parthenogenesis

    When a baby frog develops from an egg that’s never been fertilized, we call that parthenogenesis.

  9. Plants

    Desert plants: The ultimate survivors

    Creosote, mesquite and other desert plants rely on different adaptations to thrive, even when no rain falls for an entire year.

  10. Animals

    A whale of a lifespan

    Bowhead whales can live more than 200 years. The secret to such longevity may lie in the Arctic species’ genes. Scientists recently mapped the whale’s genetic code. They found features that protect the marine mammal against cancer and other problems related to old age.

  11. Computing

    Virtual wounds: Computers probe healing

    To better understand how the body heals wounds, scientists have begun creating computer programs that let virtual cells fight it out. These ‘computer games’ could lead to better medicines.

  12. Life

    Cell gangs may help cancer spread

    A new study on mice suggests that when cancer cells strike out from a primary (first) tumor in groups, they have an especially good chance of creating new tumors elsewhere.