Teen’s decades-old murder solved with new DNA technology

Kansas City, Missouri — Sixteen-year-old Fawn Cox was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July 1989. Police say they never knew who killed her – until now, reports the CBS affiliate there, KCTV.

a person posing for the camera: fawn-cox.jpg


It’s the first murder case solved by the Kansas City Police Department using advanced genetic genealogy techniques like the those used in the Golden State Killer case.

Authorities say the advanced DNA testing revealed the rapist and killer was Cox’s cousin, Donald Cox Jr. He died years ago from an overdose.

a person posing for the camera: Fawn Cox was 16 when she was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July of 1989. / Credit: KCTV

© Provided by CBS News
Fawn Cox was 16 when she was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July of 1989. / Credit: KCTV

“It’s a relief there’s closure,” said Felisa Cox, Fawn’s sister. “The answers aren’t always what we were asking for, but there’s closure.”

Fawn’s body was discovered

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Researchers develop DNA approach to forecast ecosystem changes

Stanford researchers develop DNA approach to forecast ecosystem changes
A night vision camera trap captured this image of mountain lions drinking from a stream at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Credit: Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

When wolves returned to Yellowstone in 1995, no one imagined the predators would literally change the course of rivers in the national park through cascading effects on other animals and plants. Now, a Stanford University-developed approach holds the promise of forecasting such ecosystem changes as certain species become more prevalent or vanish altogether.

Outlined in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the rapid, low-cost technique is the first to analyze DNA left behind in animals’ feces to map out complex networks of species interactions in a terrestrial system. It could help redefine conservation as we know it, identify otherwise hard-to-find species and guide a global effort to rewild vast areas through the reintroduction of locally extirpated species.

“It’s not just that we can rapidly

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Diet and lifestyle during pregnancy linked to modifications in infants’ DNA — ScienceDaily

A new study has shown pregnant women with obesity could reduce the health risks for their infants through improved diet and more physical activity.

Research published today in the journal PLosMed investigates the impact of high glucose in mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and changes to infants DNA.

GDM is becoming more frequent around the world alongside a rise in obesity and can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth as well as increasing the risk of metabolic disease in the child in later life. High levels of glucose in mothers with GDM have been suggested to trigger epigenetic changes in the developing fetus (chemical modifications to the genetic blueprint of the fetus that function of genes activity) resulting in adverse health outcomes for the child.

Researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College London studied data from over 550 pregnant women with obesity and their

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Applied DNA Announces Linear DNA Orders from New Contract Research Customers for Use in RNA Vaccine and Adeno-Associated Virus Applications

– Company also Secures Follow-on Order from Existing Contract Research Customer for Adoptive Cell Therapy (CAR T) Application –

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the “Company”), a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing, announced that it received orders for its linear DNA to be evaluated in an RNA vaccine and Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) production from two new contract research customers, respectively. The Company also received a follow-on order for linear DNA from an existing contract research customer for a preclinical CAR T therapy. The follow-on order marks the third order from the existing customer for use across multiple applications. All orders are to be shipped by the end of calendar 2020.

Applied DNA’s unique large-scale PCR production of linear DNA is made capable by its LinearDNA™ platform, a proprietary process that enables large, gram-scale production of single- or double-stranded DNA for diagnostics; therapeutics, such

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Scientists Use DNA To Store Digital Data

In my previous article, I have written about the proliferation and abundance of data in our world, and the need for novel computing mechanisms, as our current computers may not be able to effectively handle such an influx data coming from the increasing use of digital technologies. This being the case, scientists are coming up with creative and cutting edge solutions to harness these large volumes of data in their quest to forge ahead with innovation. However, in order to do so we must either have novel and more efficient computers, or better ways of working and storing the data. One such breakthrough in data storage was recently developed at Harvard University by a team of researchers that used DNA as the storage material for digital data. 

DNA is the building block of life, carrying the

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Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians

Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians
The skullcap found in the Salkhit Valley in eastern Mongolia belonged to a woman who lived 34,000 years ago. Analyses showed: She had inherited about 25 percent of her DNA from Western Eurasian. Credit: Institute of Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences

Researchers have analyzed the genome of the oldest human fossil found in Mongolia to date and show that the 34,000-year-old woman inherited around 25 percent of her DNA from western Eurasians, demonstrating that people moved across the Eurasian continent shortly after it had first been settled by the ancestors of present-day populations. This individual and a 40,000-year-old individual from China also carried DNA from Denisovans, an extinct form of hominins that inhabited Asia before modern humans arrived.

In 2006, miners discovered a hominin skullcap with peculiar morphological features in the Salkhit Valley of the Norovlin county in eastern Mongolia. It was initially referred to as Mongolanthropus and thought to

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Study of ancient dog DNA traces canine diversity to the Ice Age — ScienceDaily

A global study of ancient dog DNA, led by scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, University of Oxford, University of Vienna and archaeologists from more than 10 countries, presents evidence that there were different types of dogs more than 11,000 years ago in the period immediately following the Ice Age.

In their study, published in Science today (29th October), the research team sequenced ancient DNA from 27 dogs, some of which lived up to nearly 11,000 years ago, across Europe, the Near East and Siberia.* They found that by this point in history, just after the Ice Age and before any other animal had been domesticated, there were already at least five different types of dog with distinct genetic ancestries.

This finding reveals that the diversity observed between dogs in different parts of the world today originated when all humans were still hunters and gatherers.

Pontus Skoglund, author and group

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Ancient Dog DNA Shows Early Spread Around the Globe

Among the other findings, Dr. Larson said he found it particularly intriguing that once dogs had become domesticated, and even while they were sometimes breeding with wolves, no new wolf DNA entered their genomes.

By contrast, pigs, for example, were brought to Europe by farmers from Anatolia. But the genes of those first domesticated pigs have been completely lost, replaced by the genes of wild European boars, even though the pigs stayed domesticated animals.

While dogs do interbreed, no new wolf genes survive over the years. One possibility, Dr. Larson said, is that “wolfiness” just doesn’t fit with an animal as close to people as a dog. Pigs can be a little wild but “if you’re a dog and you’ve got a little bit of wolf in you, that’s not a good thing and those things get knocked on the head very quickly or run away or disappear but they

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DNA in fringe-lipped bat feces reveals unexpected eating habits — ScienceDaily

Feces is full of secrets. For scientists, digging into feces provides insights into animal diets and is particularly useful for understanding nocturnal or rare species. When animals eat, prey DNA travels all the way through animal digestive tracts and comes out again. Feces contains very precise information about the prey species consumed. At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a team explored the eating habits of the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus) by examining its stool.

Bats hunt at night. This makes it challenging to observe their foraging behavior in nature. Analyzing DNA traces in bat guano offers a more specific way to explore how bats feed in the wild and to study how bat behavior changes depending on their eating habits.

“Because bats forage at night, and in the dense forest, you can’t observe what they are eating the way you can with a diurnal bird or mammal,” said Patricia

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Tumor DNA in spinal fluid could help doctors better monitor childhood brain cancer — ScienceDaily

For many cancers, doctors are increasingly looking to the DNA that solid tumors shed into the blood stream to help with diagnosis and monitoring. But brain cancer has been a different story thanks to the natural blockade created by the blood-brain barrier.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, however, were optimistic that cerebrospinal fluid could be a valuable source for tumor DNA that could help monitor and treat pediatric cancer patients with aggressive brain tumors known as high-grade gliomas.

Not only do the mutations in these tumors change over time, causing shifts in potential avenues for treatment, the amount of tumor DNA in a patient’s spinal fluid can help doctor’s know whether changes observed on a patient’s imaging scans are true signs of a tumor’s progression or a merely the body’s response to cancer treatments.

“We knew from past research

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