After weeks of speculation, it can finally be confirmed that geneticists in China have modified the DNA of human embryos. It’s a watershed moment in biotech history, but the experiment may ultimately serve as a major setback in the effort to responsibly develop beneficial interventions involving the human germline.
Scientists at Stanford University have found a way to program DNA in such a way that genes can be turned on or off in living cells. Incredibly, the new tool can affect two different genes at the same time, an advance that will allow scientists to treat even the most complex genetic disorders. »
Sorry CRISPR, but there's a new genomic editor in town — and this one's better than you. It's a new approach to site-specific gene targeting that will allow scientists to safely replace disease-causing genes with functional copies. And they've already used it to relieve the effects of hemophilia in mice. »
A fundamental drawback to antibiotics is that they indiscriminately target all of the bacteria in your body, including the good ones. So how cool would it be if we could engineer a smart antibiotic that targets specific strains of bacteria? Researchers at Rockefeller University have just taken us one major step… »
Looking to create more accurate experimental models for human diseases, biologists have created transgenic monkeys with "customized" mutations. It's considered a breakthrough in the effort to produce more human-like monkeys — but the ethics of all this are dubious at best. »
From intergalactic neutrinos and invisible brains, to the creation of miniature human "organoids," 2013 was a remarkable year for scientific discovery. Here are 17 of the biggest scientific breakthroughs, innovations and advances of 2013. »