Latest Stephen J. O'Brien Stories

2009-11-04 16:00:00

An international consortium of scientists is proposing to generate whole genome sequences for 10,000 vertebrate species using technology so new it hasn't yet been invented. Known as the Genome 10K Project, the new plan is the most comprehensive study of animal evolution ever attempted. Launched in April 2009 during a three-day meeting at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Genome 10K project now involves more than 68 scientists, who refer to themselves as the Genome 10K Community...

2007-10-31 17:50:00

NEW YORK -- An Abyssinian cat from Missouri, named Cinnamon, has just made scientific history. Researchers have largely decoded her DNA, a step that may aid the search for treatments for both feline and human diseases. The report adds cats to the roughly two dozen mammals whose DNA has been unraveled, a list that includes dogs, chimps, rats, mice, cows and of course, people. Why add cats? They get more than 200 diseases that resemble human illnesses, and knowing the details of their genetic...

2007-06-28 15:00:00

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID WASHINGTON - Garfield, Morris and the Aristocats get the fame, but look to the origins of today's furry felines and you find "lybica," a Middle Eastern wildcat. Domestic cats can be traced to wild progenitors that interbred well over 100,000 years ago, new research indicates. "House cats - which includes fancy breeds and feral cats - those cats all form a genetic group that is virtually indistinguishable from ones in the Middle East," said Stephen J. O'Brien of the...

Word of the Day
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.