800-year-old remains of witch discovered in a graveyard in Tuscany, Italy By Nick Pisa UPDATED: 18:20 GMT, 25 September 2011 Macabre: Archaelogists believe this is the skeleton of a woman who was thought to be a witch These are the 800 year old remains of what archaeologists believe was a witch from the Middle Ages after seven nails were found driven through her jaw bone.
Sep. 26, 2011 — An international team of researchers studying DNA patterns from modern and archaic humans has uncovered new clues about the movement and intermixing of populations more than 40,000 years ago in Asia. Using state-of-the-art genome analysis methods, scientists from Harvard Medical School and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have found that Denisovans -- a recently identified group of archaic humans whose DNA was extracted last year from a finger bone excavated in Siberia -- contributed DNA not just to present-day New Guineans, but also to aboriginal Australian and Philippine populations. The study demonstrates that contrary to the findings of the largest previous genetic studies, modern humans settled Asia in more than one migration. According to David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, "Denisova DNA is like a medical imaging dye that traces a person's blood vessels. Asia was settled in multiple waves of migration, DNA study suggests
A "hidden" code linked to the DNA of plants allows them to develop and pass down new biological traits far more rapidly than previously thought, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The study, published in the journal Science, provides the first evidence that an organism's "epigenetic" code - an extra layer of biochemical instructions in DNA - can evolve more quickly than the genetic code and can strongly influence biological traits. While the study was limited to a single plant species called Arabidopsis thaliana, the equivalent of the laboratory rat of the plant world, the findings hint that the traits of other organisms, including humans, might also be dramatically influenced by biological mechanisms that scientists are just beginning to understand. DNA's Hidden Code