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Beethoven’s genome: New study reveals hereditary diseases and a family mystery

Scientists have sequenced the composer’s genome using five genetically matching hair locks


The study shows Beethoven was predisposed to liver disease, and infected with Hepatitis B, which – combined with his alcohol consumption – may have contributed to his death. Furthermore, DNA from modern relatives points to an extramarital ‘event’ in Beethoven’s paternal line. Johannes Krause, ...


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New organ-on-chip pilot seeks to reduce animal testing in consumer health industry

Cooperation between Bayer, the start-ups esqLABS and Dynamic42, and Placenta Lab of Jena University Hospital


A first-of-its-kind collaboration in the consumer health industry is developing a platform aimed at reducing or replacing animal testing using “organ-on-chip” (OoC) technology and interactive computational software. The pilot project, supported by esqLABS, Dynamic42, Placenta Lab of Jena ...


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New method for the detection of RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2

An effective and faster methodology than the PCR test


Experts from the University of Barcelona, the Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC) and the Aragon Nanoscience and Materials Institute of Aragon (INMA) —a joint institute of the CSIC and the University of Zaragoza— ...


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Genomics for biodiversity conservation

Genomic analyses provide important insights for conservation management


Conserving nature’s biodiversity is one of the great challenges of our time. To develop strategies and effective measures, well-founded scientific analyses, and concrete information for the actors in nature conservation are needed. The field of biodiversity genomics can make an important ...


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Genome sequencing in record time: now it only takes days instead of years

Software assembles complete genome sequences on-demand


National Institutes of Health researchers have developed and released an innovative software tool to assemble truly complete (i.e., gapless) genome sequences from a variety of species. This software, called Verkko, which means “network” in Finnish, makes the process of assembling complete genome ...


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Reading out RNA structures in real time


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and Stephen Hawking’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that results in the gradual loss of control over the muscles in the body. It is currently incurable and the cause of the disease is unknown in over 90% of all ...


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Novel way to identify still unknown pathogens

Evolutionary trade-offs: Balancing genetic disease risks and pathogen protection


Certain genes can exist in different, functionally divergent variants in the individuals of a species. If they lead to clear differences, for example in a phenotype or susceptibility to disease, this is known in biology as a polymorphism. Typical examples are a number of genes whose variants are ...


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The architecture of shattered genomes

Hunting for disease clues in the dark matter of our DNA


Scientists have reconstructed the chromosomes of patients with an extremely high number of aberrations in their genome that could alter the expression of nearby genes and potentially cause disease. Their results were published in Nature Communications in October 2022. “We are only beginning to ...


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How a CRISPR protein might yield new tests for many viruses


In a first for the genetic toolset known as CRISPR, a recently discovered protein has been found to act as a kind of multipurpose self-destruct system for bacteria, capable of degrading single-stranded RNA, single-stranded DNA and double-stranded DNA. With its abilities to target so many types of ...


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Molecular archeology: 1200-year-old DNA sequences from Madagascar lead to the discovery of an extinct tortoise

Genetic analyses reveal the lost world of giant tortoises in the western Indian Ocean


An international research team led by Senckenberg scientist Uwe Fritz has succeeded in sequencing the genetic material of up to 1200-year-old tortoise finds from the western Indian Ocean. This led to the discovery of a tortoise species from Madagascar that went extinct in the Middle Ages and ...


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