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Protect forest elephants to conserve ecosystems, not DNA

April 25, 2018

Although it is erroneously treated as a subspecies, the dwindling African forest elephant is a genetically distinct species. New University of Illinois research has found that forest elephant populations across Central Africa are genetically quite similar to one another. Conserving this critically endangered species across its range is crucial to preserving local plant diversity in Central and West African Afrotropical forests--meaning conservationists could save many species by protecting one.


April 25, 2018


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New genetic engineering method indispensable biotechnological tool

March 2, 2017

New method of genetic engineering indispensable tool in biotechnological applications

Research by Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Huimin Zhao and graduate student Behnam Enghiad is pioneering a new method of genetic engineering for basic and applied biological research and medicine. Their work, reported in ACS Synthetic Biology on February 6 [DOI:10.1021/acssynbio.6b00324], has the potential to open new doors in genomic research by improving the precision and adherence of sliced DNA.


March 2, 2017


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Desert elephants pass on knowledge—not mutations—to survive

August 1, 2016

Despite reported differences in appearance and behavior, DNA evidence finds that Namibian desert elephants are not a subspecies, but rather another population of African savanna elephants in Namibia. However, Namibian desert-dwelling elephants should be protected so they can continue to pass on their unique knowledge and survival skills to future generations.


August 1, 2016


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Scientists Find DNA is Packaged Like a Yoyo

March 16, 2015

To pack two meters of DNA into a microscopic cell, the string of genetic information must be wound extremely carefully into chromosomes. Surprisingly the DNA’s sequence causes it to be coiled and uncoiled much like a yoyo, scientists reported in Cell.


March 16, 2015


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Ancient, modern DNA tell story of first humans in the Americas

November 21, 2013

Ancient, modern DNA tell story of first humans in the Americas

University of Illinois anthropology professor Ripan Malhi looks to DNA to tell the story of how ancient humans first came to the Americas and what happened to them once they were here.


November 21, 2013


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Mitochondrial DNA Ties Ancient Remains to Living Descendants

July 5, 2013

Study of Mitochondrial DNA Ties Ancient Remains to Living Descendants

Researchers report that they have found a direct genetic link between the remains of Native Americans who lived thousands of years ago and their living descendants. The team used mitochondrial DNA, which children inherit only from their mothers, to track three maternal lineages from ancient times to the present.


July 5, 2013


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Team solves mystery associated with DNA repair

December 6, 2012

Every time a human or bacterial cell divides it first must copy its DNA. Specialized proteins unzip the intertwined DNA strands while others follow and build new strands, using the originals as templates. Whenever these proteins encounter a break – and there are many – they stop and retreat, allowing a new cast of molecular players to enter the scene.


December 6, 2012


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