A study by Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, and headed by geneticist Vanessa Hayes, pinpoints the Okavango region in northern Botswana as the origin of modern humans. Other scientists express skepticism at this, particularly at the study's primary evidence coming from mitochondrial DNA.
A panel of external experts to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unanimously vote that the benefits of the gene replacement treatment made by Spark Therapeutics of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, called voretigene neparvovec (trade name, Luxturna), which treats Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), a form of hereditary blindness, outweigh its risks. The treatment, which targets a specific disease-causing mutation, is designed to treat individuals who have two mutated copies of a gene called "RPE65" and consists of a virus injected into the eye loaded with a normal copy of the "RPE65" gene. Further, this technique utilizing adeno-associated virus as a vector may, in the future, be used for the treatment of heart disease and also mutations other than LCA, including some cancers.
A research team at Los Alamos National Laboratory quantifies the molecular damage inflicted on DNA and discloses that every 50 cigarettes smoked generates an average of one DNA mutation in each lung cell.
A new species of guenon monkey discovered in 2007 is now identified in Opala, DR Congo. Local inhabitants call it "lesula". The first specimen resembled the owl-faced monkey, but of unseen colour. More specimen have been located in a 6,500 square mile area. The species' genetic and anatomical distinctiveness (identification) has been determined in a study made the following three years. Its scientific name is "Cercopithecus lomamiensis". The publication already recommends it to the Red List of endangered species and proposes conservation measures for its Lomami and central Congo Basin habitat.
Four new species of freshwater crab –bright purple in colour– are found in the Philippines. [http:--www.bangkokpost.com-news-asia-289773-new-purple-crab-species-found-in-philippines ("Bangkok Post")]date=August 2019