Neandertal mother, Denisovan father!
Up until 40,000 years ago, at least two groups of hominins inhabited Eurasia -- Neandertals in the west and Denisovans in the east. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have sequenced the genome of an ancient hominin individual from Siberia, and discovered that she had a Neandertal mother and a Denisovan father. (Max Planck Institute)
Ice on the moon: reflections reveal frozen water at the lunar poles
In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon's surface. Learning more about this ice, how it got there and how it interacts with the larger lunar environment will be a key focus for future NASA missions, if and when we return to the Moon. (Cosmos)
What was lost in Brazil's devastating museum fire
Two hundred years of work -- and millions of priceless specimens ranging from one of the oldest relatives of today's scorpions to an irreplaceable collection of pterosaurs -- were destroyed in a fire at Brazil's National Museum in Rio on Sunday evening. The 11,600-pound Bendegó meteorite did survive the blaze. (The Atlantic)
A CRISPR cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is closer after a trial in dogs
Dogs suffering from muscular dystrophy are having their genomes edited with CRISPR, a tool for modifying genes, and the results are "mind-blowing." Researchers from Texas this week unveiled data showing how CRISPR could reverse the molecular defect responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a devastating illness that affects about one in 5,000 boys. If the treatment can stop muscular dystrophy in dogs, that would set the stage for giving the experimental treatment to boys, according to the research team. (MIT Technology Review)