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From Popular Mechanics
Scientists have discovered a gynandromorphic (two-sexed) bird in a Pennsylvania nature reserve.
The bird displays an even split down the middle between male and female feather coloring, leaving researchers to label it a “unicorn.”
The bird is likely a product of a genetic anomaly, but it’s perfectly healthy.
Every once in a while, a genetic anomaly will occur in the animal world that blows scientists’ minds. Take, for example, the exotic bird in the image above. It’s “gynandromorphic,” which means a specimen containing both female and male characteristics that can sometimes be seen in physical traits on the body.
🦅 You love badass animals. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.
Meet the rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), which displays an even split down the middle between male and female feather coloring. The bird’s right side shows red plumage (male), while and its left
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A security flaw in an internet-connected male chastity device could allow hackers to remotely lock it — leaving users trapped, researchers have warned.
The Cellmate, produced by Chinese firm Qiui, is a cover that clamps on the base of the male genitals with a hardened steel ring, and does not have a physical key or manual override.
The locking mechanism is controlled with a smartphone app via Bluetooth — marketed as both an anti-cheating and a submission sex play device — but security researchers have found multiple flaws that leave it vulnerable to hacking.
“We discovered that remote attackers could prevent the Bluetooth lock from being opened, permanently locking the user in the device. There is no physical unlock,” British security firm Pen Test Partners said Tuesday.
“An angle grinder or other suitable heavy tool would be required to cut the wearer free.”
The firm also found other security flaws
Biology textbooks may need to be re-written, with scientists finding a new piece of DNA essential to forming male sex organs in mice.
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An international research collaboration with The University of Queensland found the Y-chromosome gene that makes mice male is made up of two different DNA parts, not one, as scientists had previously assumed.
UQ’s Institute of Molecular Biosciences Emeritus Professor Peter Koopman said the critical DNA fragment had been hidden from researchers for more than 30 years.
“Expression of the Y chromosomal gene Sry is required for male development in mammals and since its discovery in 1990 has been considered a one-piece gene,” he said.
“Sry turns out to have a cryptic second part, which nobody suspected was there, that is essential for determining the sex of male mice. We have called the two-piece gene Sry-T.”
The scientists tested their theory and found that male mice (XY) lacking
New light is being shed on a little-known role of Y chromosome genes, specific to males, that could explain why men suffer differently than women from various diseases, including Covid-19.
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The findings were published this month in Scientific Reports by Université de Montréal professor Christian Deschepper, director of the Experimental Cardiovascular Biology research unit of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.
“Our discovery provides a better understanding of how male genes on the Y chromosome allow male cells to function differently from female cells,” said Deschepper, the study’s lead author, who is also an associate professor at McGill University.
“In the future, these results could help to shed some light on why some diseases occur differently in men and women.”
Genes that females lack
Humans each have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including one pair of sex chromosomes. While females carry two X sex chromosomes, males carry one X and one Y
In 1997, the very first Neanderthal DNA sequence — just a small part of the mitochondrial genome — was determined from an individual discovered in the Neander Valley, Germany, in 1856. Since then, improvements in molecular techniques have enabled scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology to determine high quality sequences of the autosomal genomes of several Neanderthals, and led to the discovery of an entirely new group of extinct humans, the Denisovans, who were relatives of the Neanderthals in Asia.
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However, because all specimens well-preserved enough to yield sufficient amounts of DNA have been from female individuals, comprehensive studies of the Y chromosomes of Neanderthals and Denisovans have not yet been possible. Unlike the rest of the autosomal genome, which represents a rich tapestry of thousands of genealogies of any individual’s ancestors, Y chromosomes have a peculiar mode of inheritance — they are passed exclusively from father
A team of University of Queensland researchers has revealed why male funnel web spiders develop much deadlier venom than their female counterparts.
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Led by UQ’s Associate Professor Bryan Fry, the team has spent 20 years investigating delta-hexatoxins, the venom peptides that make funnel web spider venom so dangerous.
“Australian funnel-web spiders are infamous for causing human fatalities with this particular range of toxins,” Dr Fry said.
“Delta-hexatoxins exert fatal neurotoxic effects in humans by keeping nerves turned on, so that they keep firing over and over again.
“It has puzzled scientists why these toxins are so deadly to humans, when they and other primates, haven’t featured as either prey or predator during the spider’s evolution.
“And we couldn’t understand why most human deaths were being caused by male funnel web spiders, which seemingly had much deadlier venom than females.”
Using molecular analysis of the venom, Dr Fry and the team