Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor deficits and aggregates of a protein called α-synuclein (α-syn) in the brain (pronounced sin-NU-clee-in). Genetics plays a role in PD, because there are some early-onset forms of PD that are caused by mutations in α-syn that cause it to more readily clump together and form … Continue reading Microbiome accelerates neurodegeneration
The Y-chromosome is one of the smallest chromosomes in the human genome and contains genes involved in male development and production of sperm. Previous research has shown that just two genes on the Y chromosome are necessary to make male mice who can sort of produce sperm. By “sort of” I mean that the mice … Continue reading No Y genes? No problem.
Pandas are closely related to carnivorous mammals (like all the other bears), but they consume mostly bamboo. Their digestive tracts are short and adapted for digesting meat, not cellulose that is found in plants. In fact, they only digest about 20% of all the bamboo they eat, and they eat a lot of bamboo (30-60 … Continue reading Pandas are lazy!
Female mammals have two copies of the X chromosome while males have only one copy (because they have a Y chromosome instead). Chromosomes contain genes and genes are the instructions for making proteins, so if females have twice as many copies of each gene on the X chromosome, will they make twice as much protein? … Continue reading The mosaic female brain