Genetics & Molecular Biology

Bananas in their natural state have up to a hundred seeds but all commercial varieties that you see in stores are seedless.   Making seedless varieties made bananas wildly popular, which was good for the people who grow them and good for the people who eat them.     That is a science win.

Researchers have now discovered a way to make "the most delicious fruit known to man", as Mark Twain called it, more popular with the public also.   The cherimoya, or custard apple, has lots of big, awkward seeds but a group of researchers studied the seedless variety of sugar apple, a relative of the cherimoya, and noted that the ovules, which would normally form seeds, lacked an outer coat.
Among environmental activists and their supporters, the use of genetic modification is a bad thing.   Obviously, tomatoes would be the size of our thumbs if our ancestors did not genetically modify plants so research continues.   A group of researchers has announced that plants have for the first time been cloned as seeds, a major step toward making hybrid crop plants that can retain favorable traits from generation to generation - something to which even the most anti-science people can object.
Genomycism - the unsubstantiated belief that the cataloging of the genomic sequence of an individual conveys useful understanding about their ancestry, current characteristics, and disease risk with high degrees of accuracy and predictive power.
The skeletal hormone osteocalcin also, boosts testosterone production to support the survival of the germ cells that go on to become mature sperm, say researchers writing in Cell.

Bone was once thought of as a "mere assembly of inert calcified tubes" but in the last ten years, scientists have gained a much more dynamic picture of bone as a bona fide endocrine organ with links to energy metabolism and reproduction. 
The existence of functional, non-protein-coding DNA is all too frequently portrayed as a great surprise uncovered by genome sequencing projects, both in large media outlets and in scientific publications that should have better quality control in place. Eric Lander, writing a Human Genome Project 10th anniversary retrospective in Nature, explains the real surprise about non-coding DNA that was revealed by big omics projects.
The search for actively 'jumping' genes in humans has found new evidence that the genome contains numerous pesky mobile elements that may help to explain why people have such a variety of physical traits and disease risks. 

Using bioinformatics, the study in Genome Research set out to compare the standard assembly of genetic elements as outlined in the reference human genome to raw whole-genome data from 310 individuals recently made available by the 1000 Genomes Project, the team found 1,016 new insertions of retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms (RIPs), expanding the catalog of insertions that are present in some individuals and absent in others. 
Humans have about 23,000 genes and we are at the top of the food chain but the animal with the most genes is the near-microscopic freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, or water flea, clocking in around 31,000.

Daphnia is the first crustacean to have its genome sequenced.   The findings are part of a comprehensive report by members of the Daphnia Genomics Consortium, an international network of scientists led by the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics (CGB) at Indiana University Bloomington and the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute.
Ashwani Kumar1 and Sven Schubert2 Abstract Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPcase) catalyzes the first step in the fixation of atmospheric CO2 during C4 photosynthesis. Under saline conditions, Hatzig et al. (2010) found an increase in PEPcase activity in young shoots of maize, whereas activity in old
Why are we forked creatures instead of tumbling beach balls of undifferentiated cells?

An embryo begins by dividing into identical cells, but within hours these cells begin to make genetic decisions, turning off some genes and turning on others. So the ball of cells acquires a front end and a back end, a top and a bottom, nerve cells and muscles cells, all still carrying the same DNA, but DNA now packaged in such a way that some genes are shrink wrapped and silent but others are spread-eagled for easy access and active.

There once was a time when the parts you had were all you were going to get; when something went wrong that was that.    As science and medicine progressed in leaps during the 20th century replacement parts became available, like artificial joints, and state-of-the-art metal or ceramic implants eliminated pain and gave many relief from arthritic knees, shoulders and hips.

But what once was the future is now old tech and, instead, the goal is to take a patient's own cells and create replacement joints.   A team of  researchers have found a way to create these biological joints in animals, and they believe biological joint replacements for humans aren't far away.