Posts Tagged ‘Genetics’

Breast Milk – It Does a Brain REAL Good

November 6th, 2007

Maternity by PicassoNow yet another reason to breastfeed: help make your kids less stupid. Though, it works only if they’re lucky enough to have a particular variant of the FADS2 gene. Actually, this variant is in about 90% of the human population. And those lucky 90% would have experienced a measurable and significant improvement in IQ if they were also breastfed as babies. While the improvement is only by about 7 IQ points, it’s probably enough to make the difference between going to UCLA or USC (I’ll let you decide which one is better). The researchers theorize that the FADS2 variant allows the people who have it to metabolize particular fatty acids present in abundance in breast milk, all to the benefit of the developing brain.

Ethically, it makes me wonder – how much is the FADS2 gene and where can I get one?

Primary Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Secondary Source: New York Times

Medicine ,

Pond Scum Reveals Animal / Plant Divergence

October 29th, 2007

AlgaeGeneticists at Stanford have dug their noses in pond scum, specifically, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to shed insight into when this little organism spit from the animal kingdom. Turns out it was 1.6 billion years back. Plus or minus.
Source: Stanford

Evolution , ,

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