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Tag: genes

Wild genes may help domesticated peaches adapt to climate change

Wild genes may help domesticated peaches adapt to climate change

Science
March 9 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered genes that help wild peaches tolerate a variety of climate stressors. The genes could be reintroduced to domesticated peaches to help the stone fruits adapt to climate change. For the study, scientists sequenced and analyzed the genomes of wild peaches and landraces -- varieties that have adapted over hundreds of years to specific climate conditions -- across seven regions of China. Advertisement The survey, published Tuesday in the journal Genome Research, revealed the genes that help the wild relatives of the domestic peach, Prunus persica, survive cold spells, drought and elevated levels of ultraviolet radiation. "Our study provides many candidate genes, showing how peach has adapted to all kinds of environmental stresses and stimuli," study ...
Space worm tests show microgravity can alter genes

Space worm tests show microgravity can alter genes

Science
Nov. 25 (UPI) -- After a tour on the International Space Station, a group of nematode worms exhibited changes in nearly 1,000 genes. The findings, published Wednesday in the journal iScience, suggests prolonged exposure to microgravity can influence cells at the genetic level. Advertisement Though most of the genetic changes identified by scientists were relatively subtle, researchers also observed a handful of more significant genetic alterations among nervous system cells, or neurons. The study, a collaboration between the University of Exeter and NASA GeneLab, could help scientists identify the genetic origins of the physiological effects of space travel, highlighted by numerous previous studies. "We looked at levels of every gene in the worms' genome and identified a clear pattern of...
Viruses steal human DNA to forge new human-virus genes

Viruses steal human DNA to forge new human-virus genes

Science
June 18 (UPI) -- Members of a large groups of viruses, including influenza viruses, can build new genes using genetic code copied from hijacked human cells, according to new research. When virologists surveyed the genetic diversity and protein synthesis capabilities of a group of viruses known as segmented negative-strand RNA viruses, or sNSVs, they found a variety of human pathogens can code for new proteins by combining host and viral sequences. Advertisement The so-called UFO proteins could explain why these viruses are so adept at infecting human hosts, but they could also be useful targets for future vaccines and anti-viral drugs. Researchers detailed the production of these never-before-documented proteins in a new paper, published Thursday in the journal Cell. "The capacity of a p...
Different genes control lifespan, healthspan, according to new worm study

Different genes control lifespan, healthspan, according to new worm study

Science
July 17 (UPI) -- Most people don't just want to live a long time, they want to age well. They want to stay healthier for longer. The quality of a person's life as they age is called healthspan, and new research suggests different genes control lifespan and healthspan. While tracking the healthspan of an aging population, including factors like mobility and immune resistance, is difficult, researchers suggest interventions designed to improve healthspan could prove more effective. For the study, scientists analyzed a protein called TCER-1 in the worm species Caenorhabditis elegans. Previous studies have linked TCER-1 expression with enhanced longevity in the transparent nematodes. Earlier tests also showed the protein is essential to the worm's fertility. For the newest experiments, scien...
Protective genes help dolphins survive certain ecosystems, study says

Protective genes help dolphins survive certain ecosystems, study says

Science
May 24 (UPI) -- Understanding which genes help dolphins survive can help conservationists identify potential threats to the animal's population, new research shows. Dolphins may need certain immune genes for survival in particular ecosystems, according to a study published Thursday in Ecology and Evolution. "Genetic diversity is crucial for animals to adapt to a changing environment -- for example, diverse genes can help populations defend against diseases and tolerate climate change -- but not all genetic diversity is equally important," Oliver Manlik, a researcher at United Arab Emirates University and study lead author, said in a news release. Some gene variants are considered neutral genetic markers, which don't serve any survival or adaptation function for an animal. The researchers...