Topic: DNA

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Science High School

Editing Human Genes

Life Science DNA Biotechnology Cells

We live in an age when genetic engineering has the capacity to affect the course of human evolution. Scientists can edit human DNA, which could have profound benefits for society, but they also come with dangers. Editing human DNA can allow for the treatment and prevention of disease, but edited DNA can also be passed down from generation to generation, becoming a permanent part of human genes. The scientific community met to discuss these issues and clearly stated that creating a baby with edited DNA is dangerous and unsafe, but supported the basic research to see what is possible before taking any next steps. Listen to hear more about this issue and what scientists have concluded.

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Why mammoths got wholly

Science Middle School

Why Woolly Mammoths Have Thick Furry Coats

Animals Genetics DNA

Woolly mammoths were large, elephant-like creatures that lived tens of thousands of years ago, during the last great ice age. The thick, furry coat is one of several traits that gave woolly mammoths an advantage in a very cold environment. Today, the closest biological relative is the Asian elephant, which prefers warmer climates. Scientists were curious about the genetic variations between the woolly mammoth and the Asian elephant, and what might account for the differences between the two species. In this audio story, we hear from a scientist who studied the DNA from the extinct mammoth and compared it to its contemporary descendant. Listen to learn more about what researchers discovered.

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Current Event September 24, 2015

Counting Fish with DNA

Environment Oceans DNA Biotechnology

New technology is revolutionizing underwater science. A brand new field is using DNA testing to study and track species diversity in various ecosystems and environments. Biologists can study one liter of seawater and identify the fish that swam through that water. This allows them to study fish and whales without having seen them and without the expense of divers and equipment. But, there are a few issues with some of the data, such as finding the DNA of food that was eaten miles away. Listen to how data from genetic testing can be used to protect marine life, and how it is changing the research process.

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The cells mystery

Science Middle School

Inventor of Polarizing Microscope Sheds Light on Cell's Mystery

Life Science Engineering Genetics DNA Human body Cells

Meet a legend of the cell biology world! This public radio story is a profile of the scientist who invented a way of looking at live cells that revolutionized our understanding of how molecular life works. In learning about him and his work, you learn about how cells work.

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Science Middle School

Microbes are Still a Mystery to Scientists and the Diversity of Life

Life Science Genetics DNA Human body Cells

The study of genes is moving toward a new frontier. There is a new field studying the little known field of microorganisms. Microbes run every process on earth. And a human is made up of 90% bacteria, or microorganisms. And yet we know very little about microbes. This public radio story looks closely at the microscopic microbes.

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Using dna to catch poachers

Science Middle School

Using DNA Fingerprinting to Catch Poachers

Life Science Engineering Animals Genetics DNA

Game wardens in California are now using DNA fingerprinting analysis to help protect illegal poaching of wildlife. There are many species, from large game to shellfish, which are being illegally caught or killed for food. Since there are so few game wardens to patrol the state, they are relying on forensic evidence to help track poachers. This public radio story looks at the latest in DNA fingerprinting technology.

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Sea slug animal or plant

Science Middle School

Sea Slug: Animal or Plant?

Life Science Genetics Ecosystems Oceans DNA Ecology

The little green sea slug is a puzzle to scientist because it can live in fresh water. Scientists discover the sea slug uses photosynthesis like a plant and has the DNA of a slug and algae.This audio story raises the question of whether the sea slug is an animal or a plant.

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Wooly mammoths depended on flowers

Current Event February 18, 2014

Woolly Mammoths Depended on Flowers

Life Science biology DNA

50,000 years ago, the arctic was not icy—but grassy, full of life and of course, woolly mammoths. After studying these giant animals’ DNA found in feces and soil, scientists hypothesize their extinction may be due to a flower. Listen to this story to find out why.

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Ancient plague dna found in tooth

Current Event February 5, 2014

Ancient Plague DNA Found in Tooth

Life Science Ancient Civilization DNA

One of the first instances of a plague was found during the Roman Empire. The plague, which occurred during the 6th century, spread through Europe, Africa, and Asia. Today, an ancient burial site may hold DNA evidence of why and how it occurred. Listen to this story to learn the difference between ancient and modern bacteria.

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