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Chickens and Dogs and Bears, Oh My (DNA)

Why did the chicken cross the road? We may never know. But since it did, and it carried its DNA, we can now say something about both chicken and human migration. Yes, using DNA to trace migration and history is not limited to just humans. A new paper on polar and brown bear DNA suggests…

Ancient DNA from Montana Skeleton Holds Clues to Native American Ancestry

DNA from the skeleton of an ancient boy from Montana may just hold clues revealing who the first Native Americans were and where they came from. A recent paper in the journal Nature details the results from the 12,500-year-old infant boy’s genome. The boy, nicknamed Anzick-1 in reference to the owner of the land where…

How Rare Am I? Genographic Project Results Demonstrate Our Extended Family Tree

Most participants of National Geographic’s Genographic Project can recite their haplogroup as readily as their mother’s maiden name. Yet outside consumer genetics, the word haplogroup is still unknown. Your haplogroup, or genetic branch of the human family tree, tells you about your deep ancestry—often thousands of years ago—and shows you the possible paths of migration…

DNA From Ancient Site in Spain Reshapes Human Family Tree

Six weeks ago I suggested that 2013 was already the breakthrough year for molecular anthropology, but 2013 is ending with yet another highlight. Yesterday, Nature published a stop-you-in-your tracks piece that scrambles the scientific picture of our ancient relatives.  The world-leading Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany successfully sequenced the mitochondrial genome…

Ötzi the Iceman Leads a Wave of Genetics Buzz

The popularity of recent news reports on the DNA of the mummy Ötzi remind us that genetic breakthroughs are reaching far beyond white-lab-coat laboratories. Will 2013 be remembered as the year that genetics went main stream?

The Genographic Project Explores the Ancient History of Guam

The name Micronesia, meaning small islands, describes the region well since most of these are small atolls, less than 80 square miles. I’m among the beautiful Marianas islands of western Micronesia, more specifically in Guam to meet the Chamorro people, and to see if together we could unlock some of the mysteries hidden in their DNA.…

Blood Found in Mosquito Fossil: “One of a Kind”

Scientists have discovered blood in a mosquito fossil, a new study says—but don’t get your hopes up for a pet velociraptor.

Macaques In The City

I am very excited to be part of the National Geographic community this year!  A little bit about myself – I’m Amy Klegarth, a 4th year PhD student in Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame.  I’m advised by Dr. Hope Hollocher, a population geneticist as well as Dr. Agustín Fuentes whose work lies…

How Cat Hairs Crack Stubborn Crime Cases

Could our pets implicate more wrongdoers? Although DNA from human bone, hair, saliva, and blood have revealed the perpetrator in crime scene investigations, for the first time feline hair has been used in a criminal trial in the U.K. The technology could also be useful to help track and solve cases of wildlife smuggling.

Top 10 Headlines Today: Cosmic Currency, Oldest DNA…

The top stories on National Geographic’s radar today: SETI and Paypal are teaming up to create the universe’s first space currency, DNA from an ancient horse has become the oldest ever sequenced, and…

June 16, 2013: Underwater Cave Diving, Seeking a Man-Eating Catfish, and More

As National Geographic’s annual Explorer’s Symposium came to an end, NG Weekend revisits some of our favorite adventures from the previous classes of Emerging Explorers. In the coming weeks and months, we will introduce the 2013 class of Emerging Explorers on the show. Here are some of our favorites from over the years…

How a Tiny Critter Has Seven (Yes, Seven) Sexes

If you thought the battle of the sexes was chaotic, meet Tetrahymena thermophila, whose genetic mysteries are finally being revealed.

Read Francis Crick’s $6 Million Letter to Son Describing DNA

Read the letter that sold at auction for just over $6 million. Francis Crick, one of three researchers awarded a Nobel Prize in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, wrote a letter in 1953 describing the finding to his 12-year-old son, who was away at boarding school.

Coldplay Backs Up Rhino Conservation

Coldplay has already partnered with the likes of Eminem and Beyonce on the reworking of songs by African musicians for Artists Project Earth (APE). APE funds reforestation and wetland conservation projects, aiming to raise the global awareness of climate change. Mumford & Sons, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Cee Lo Green and Bruno Mars have all…

“Geno 2.0″ Can Reveal How Neanderthal You Are

The new edition of the Genographic Project analyzes more than 130,000 genetic markers to reveal secrets hidden in your genes, including how much of your DNA comes from Neanderthal ancestors.