Tag Archives | Mutation

The Arsehole Gene

It may be a brother, a sister, a father, a mother, or a co-worker. Whoever it may be, we understand. May the healing begin.

After years of investigation, a group of European scientists had discovered that the vulgarly called ‘arseholes’ are actually suffering a genetic mutation that conditions their behaviour. This discovering had opened a door to end with the unfair stigmatization of this group of patients. Understanding how the disease works is the first step to the cure, but there’s a lot of work to do before that moment arrives, including informing the citizenship about its existence. Because arseholes… are just sick people.

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Iran Battles Plague Of Giant Genetically Mutated Rats

SINA English reports on the perils of city living:

Iran has sent in sniper teams to clear Tehran’s streets from the massive rodents weighting up to five kilos plaguing 26 district of the Iranian capital, the city’s environmental agency said.

“They seem to have had a genetic mutation, probably as a result of radiations and the chemical used on them,” said Ismail Kahram, Teheran city council environment adviser.

“They are now bigger and look different. These are changes that normally take millions of years of evolution. They have jumped from 60 grams to five kilos, and cats are now smaller than them.”

The “mutated rats” have been running rampant in the capital, as traditional poison appear to have no effect on them. To stop them, the council has deployed ten snipers teams armed with infra-red sighted rifles. So far 2,205 rats have been shot dead.

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Hold That Cheeseburger: Your Diet Can Change Your Future Kids’ DNA

Via LiveScience:

You are what you eat. Or rather, your children will be. Animal experiences seem to suggest that an individual’s dietary habits can actually change their DNA, leading to greater risks for mutations in subsequent generations. Does this mean that you’re doomed to have a McBaby? No, not necessarily: With the right food choices the genetic changes may be beneficial as well.

“It is possible that eating more omega-3 fatty acids, choline, betaine, folic acid and vitamin B12, by mothers and fathers, possibly can alter chromatin state and mutations, as well as have beneficial effects…leading to birth of a ‘super baby’ with long life and [lower risk] of diabetes and metabolic syndrome,” Singh told LiveScience. “This is just a possibility, to be proven by more experiments.”

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Has Human Evolution Stopped?

possan (CC)

possan (CC)

We’re screwing with our own nature as well as that of many other species and the Earth itself, with unpredictable consequences. Matt Ridley offers his opinion on what that might mean in the Wall Street Journal:

If you write about genetics and evolution, one of the commonest questions you are likely to be asked at public events is whether human evolution has stopped. It is a surprisingly hard question to answer.

I’m tempted to give a flippant response, borrowed from the biologist Richard Dawkins: Since any human trait that increases the number of babies is likely to gain ground through natural selection, we can say with some confidence that incompetence in the use of contraceptives is probably on the rise (though only if those unintended babies themselves thrive enough to breed in turn).

More seriously, infertility treatment is almost certainly leading to an increase in some kinds of infertility.

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