Biological Sciences

Promising breakthrough in Cystic Fibrosis research: Nebulization of CFTR gene therapy

Mutations in the CFTR protein result in cystic fibrosis. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

For the first time, a non-viral gene therapy in a phase 2 trial has been demonstrated to be advantageous to lung function in people afflicted with cystic fibrosis (1). Normally, people with cystic fibrosis have one or more mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. These mutations...

 
 

Confirmation of climate-induced sex change in reptile populations

Australian bearded dragons have the ability to swap genders during the egg stage in times of extreme climate. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at the University of Canberra have confirmed the first climate-induced change of male bearded dragons into females occurring in the wild. Sex reversal has not evolved among mammals or birds, although it can happen in  rarely in amphibians and in some fish. The Australian central bearded dragon was one...

 
 

Geometry of brain surface linked to genetic ancestry

The patterns of ridges (gyri) and grooves (sulci) differ between ancestral populations. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that genetic ancestry was correlated with the geometry of the brain’s outer surface. They could use surface patterns to estimate the proportion of various ancestries in American subjects from diverse lineages (1,2). An individual’s ancestry can be determined using small parts...

 
 

Chimpanzee study indicates evolutionary preconditions of morality

Chimpanzees know social norms, especially tolerance to infant chimps. Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to a new June paper in Human Nature, the reactions of chimpanzees to videos showing violence against an infant chimp reveal that chimpanzees can recognize putative social norms. The chimpanzees did not, however, react in strongly negative ways – showing that chimpanzees may not intervene or protest if the...

 
 

Connection between eye color and alcoholism discovered

Blue eye color is the most likely risk factor for alcohol dependency among European descendants. 
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at the University of Vermont have discovered a link between eye color and alcohol dependency in Americans of European descent. Northern Europeans might have evolved light eye traits as an adaption to darker environments because lighter eyes provide a greater sensitivity to light (1). But an increased sensitivity to...

 
 
 
 
 

Mission Statement

Founded in 1998, the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science aims to increase scientific awareness within the Dartmouth community by providing an interdisciplinary forum for sharing undergraduate research and enriching scientific knowledge.

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