Found in almost every organism, DNA provides instructions for creating the myriad of proteins that build an organism. A gene is a stretch of DNA which has the code to produce a particular protein and is passed on to the next generation during reproduction or to new cells during replication. Mistakes in the copying of genes or damage to the DNA code are called mutations and can lead to altered traits, which may then be selected for and lead to the evolution of a species.
Articles about genetics
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Since the discovery of DNA in 1953 we have known the importance of this simple molecule in making us who we are, but there are still plenty of things we don't know about genetics.
Delve deeper into genes
Mental health problems have a huge impact on society, but are poorly understood.
Delve deeper into mental health
For the moment at least, it seems that ageing is an inevitable part of life. And yet scientists don't really understand how, or why, we age.
Delve deeper into aging
The origins of life – where and how did life begin?
Delve deeper into origin of life
Whales; the majestic, mysterious mammals of the ocean.
Delve deeper into whales
There are many open questions surrounding vaccines – but perhaps not the first questions that come to mind. Vaccines do not cause autism, but there are many things we don’t know about them, such as why some wear off.
Delve deeper into vaccines
Our immune systems are vital for our survival as they protect us from bacterial, viruses and other pathogens that could cause us harm. But sometimes, they can go wrong, and cause damage to our bodies.
Delve deeper into immune system
There are many unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, and many accepted phenomena are still unexplained, or simply attributed to "hormones" or "the placenta" (a complex and poorly understood organ!)
Delve deeper into pregnancy
The ecosystem in your gut – how the microbiome might affect what we eat, what illnesses we get and whether we gain weight easily. How to change your microbiome and why it's such a fuzzy business.
Delve deeper into microbiome
Our senses allow us to explore and interact with the world around us. Even the simplest living organisms have some way to sense their environment - and some animals can sense in ways we can't even imagine!
Delve deeper into senses
Can the toxoplasma gondii parasite change our personalities, behaviours and who we're attracted to?
Delve deeper into toxoplasmosis
Going without sleep will kill you faster than going without food. But why?
Delve deeper into sleep
Ebola is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases, but between outbreaks the disease must be hiding somewhere. Some suspect bats, but is this really true?
Delve deeper into bats and ebola
At low concentrations toxins, drugs, radiation and other “stressors” may improve health rather than damage it. Scientists are looking into why.
Delve deeper into hormesis
The disease COVID-19, caused coronavirus, was thought to originate from a seafood market in China, and be 10,000 years old... but it may come from elsewhere and be millions of years older.
Delve deeper into coronavirus
Scientists are very interested in twins because it helps us identify the differences between genetic and environmental factors that influence health and behaviour.
Delve deeper into twins
From two wombs to signs of pregnancy without an actual pregnancy, reproduction can be weird, wonderful, and sometimes scary. So what are some of the weirdest pregnancies out there?
Delve deeper into unusual pregnancies
Blog posts about genetics
Our blog posts are often written by scientists about their ongoing research