New Guinea Singing Dogs May Hold Clues to Human Vocalization
BY NATALIE HAGEN, NCATS
The New Guinea singing dog, whose harmonious wolf-like howls sound eerily like whale songs, was thought to have been extinct in the wild for some 50 years. But researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute confirmed that this breed still roams the New Guinea Highlands and that studying them may yield clues to how human vocalization developed.
The Bubonic Plague Has Made Its Evolutionary Mark on the Human Genome
BY ETHAN SMITH, NINR
Evolutionary pressure to survive the bubonic plague may have selected for genetic mutations that protect certain Mediterranean populations from being infected by the infamous Yersinia pestis, the bacterium behind the plague. But evolution isn’t perfect. Being able to survive the plague may also be the reason for today’s prevalence of another ancient disease—familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)—National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) researchers recently reported.
10th Annual Women Scientists Advisors Scholars Symposium
BY FRANCES FERNANDO NICHD
Ever since 2011, the outstanding research achievements of NIH women postdocs have been recognized at the Annual Women Scientists Advisors (WSA) Scholars Symposium. On October 5, 2020, postdoctoral fellows Alix Warburton (NIAID) and Ida Fredriksson (NIDA) presented their work. They had been selected as WSA scholars from among the 95 women recipients of the 2020 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE).
Joan Steitz leads and inspires by example, with her infectious passion for all things RNA. As a young college student, she had seen female medical doctors but never a female professor heading a lab. Originally set on medical school, she did not anticipate building a career as a woman molecular biologist.