DNA Can Be Used As A Flame Retardant

Apply heat to DNA and it becomes useless. Try to set it on fire and suddenly you rediscover a use for it. Deoxyribonucleic acid is a great way to put out a flame. To understand why this is, we can look at its chemistry. » 3/24/15 2:55pm 3/24/15 2:55pm

80% Of Americans Support Mandatory Labels On Foods Containing DNA. DNA!

A recent survey conducted by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics found that 80.44% of respondents supported a government policy mandating labels on foods containing DNA. Not GMOs. DNA, the genetic material contained in every living thing known to science and practically every food,… » 1/18/15 11:08am 1/18/15 11:08am

Researchers Turn DNA Into Robotic "Transformers"

Inspired by full-sized mechanical parts like hinges and pistons, researchers at Ohio State University have designed pieces of DNA that could eventually be used to construct nano-scale robots. » 1/06/15 2:00pm 1/06/15 2:00pm

Why House Cats Generally Don't Care (About You)

House cats often appear aloof and indifferent toward their human companions. But it's not just an act — they actually don't care. A recent study of the domestic cat genome reveals why. » 11/27/14 3:30pm 11/27/14 3:30pm

This Viral DNA Infects Cells by Changing From a Solid to a Liquid

Two new studies are showing that viral infections are possible owing to a remarkable biological phase transition. The research shows that viral DNA transforms from a glassy solid to a fluid-like state when the conditions for infection are just right. The new insight could result in new antiviral therapies. » 10/02/14 3:40pm 10/02/14 3:40pm

Inside the Forensic Lab That Fights Crime and Counterfeits With DNA

What you're looking at is me, being blasted by a fog machine. It's not a prop for a rave or a haunted house; it's vapor laced with custom DNA particles that could prove I was at the scene of a crime. And it's just one way a cutting-edge security firm is using life's building blocks to detect counterfeits and bust… » 9/27/14 5:29pm 9/27/14 5:29pm

You Are Alive Today Thanks to the Symbionts in Your Body

Mitochondria float around in the goo of your cells, tirelessly making the molecules that power your body. But these mitochondria used to be independent of your body; they were bacteria, floating free in the world. You are, at a fundamental level, the result of symbiosis — the interdependence of two life forms. » 9/23/14 11:27am 9/23/14 11:27am

Three Things To Keep In Mind About The Big Jack The Ripper 'Reveal'

According to a WORLD EXCLUSIVE at The Daily Mail, the mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has been solved by businessman Russell Edwards and forensic expert Jari Louhelainen using DNA evidence. The alleged culprit? A 23-year old Polish barber and longtimer Ripper-suspect Aaron Kosminski. » 9/07/14 4:03pm 9/07/14 4:03pm

DIY Diagnosis: How One Woman Uncovered Her Own Genetic Flaw

When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help find out why. » 8/21/14 3:44pm 8/21/14 3:44pm

Hilariously Useless Comments About Science from the US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is not composed of scientists. We've seen this before. But they do end up hearing a lot of cases that involve science, and are forced to describe the concepts and technology before them. They do not always rise to the challenge. » 7/18/14 2:15am 7/18/14 2:15am

Soviet Doctors Cured Infections With Viruses, and Soon Yours Might Too

In the Soviet Union, western antibiotics couldn't make it past the Iron Curtain. So Eastern Bloc doctors figured out how to use viruses to kill infectious bacteria. Now, with antibiotic-resistant bugs vexing doctors, that eerie yet effective method might come our way. In post-antibiotic world, infection cures you! » 6/07/14 4:51pm 6/07/14 4:51pm

Nerve cells may have evolved in animals twice

Ctenophores, also known as the "comb jellies", are an ancient phyla of animals. They have no HOX genes, at least some of which are present in every other animal except themselves and sponges. They lack many of the basic immune system adaptations common to all other animals, including sponges. » 5/27/14 10:16am 5/27/14 10:16am

New Double Helix Visualization Revises What We Know About DNA

By using an advanced microscopy technique, researchers have collected the most precise measurements to date of DNA's tangled structure. Their results showed significant variations to the well-known double helix — variations that are offering fresh insights into the inner workings of this life-bearing molecule. » 5/16/14 3:20pm 5/16/14 3:20pm

News Of Junk DNA's Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

The term "junk DNA" has been under attack lately, but a pair of geneticists are now making the case for this much maligned and misunderstood concept. There are significant chunks of our DNA, they argue, that really are utterly useless. » 5/09/14 3:20pm 5/09/14 3:20pm

The First Lifeform Capable Of Passing Down A Juiced-Up Version Of DNA

Scientists have engineered the first living microbe that can carry and pass down an expanded genetic code to future generations — one that has six base pairs instead of the usual four. It's a breakthrough that will not only allow us to build powerful new forms of life, it's also changing what we know about evolution. » 5/08/14 8:00am 5/08/14 8:00am

Make A Pineapple Daquiri To Extract DNA From Strawberries

Here's a bit of science that you can perform in your kitchen. You'll need some thawed strawberries, pineapple juice, and a bit of rum. » 3/29/14 1:00pm 3/29/14 1:00pm

Now Police Can Reconstruct Your Face From DNA Evidence

Criminals who inadvertently leave traces of their DNA at the crime scene now have something more to worry about. By isolating 24 genetic variants, researchers have developed a computer program that can construct surprisingly accurate 3D models of facial features. » 3/21/14 4:00pm 3/21/14 4:00pm

New study suggests humans could become radiation-resistant

In the event of a nuclear accident or blast, humans can be exposed to ionizing radiation that causes cancer and heart disease, among other problems. But now a group of scientists have bred a strain of bacteria that can repair its own radiation damage. This has implications for us, too. » 3/14/14 11:22am 3/14/14 11:22am

University of Michigan's Risk Science Center offers a quick and handy explanation of the FDA's recent crackdown on personal genomics company 23andme. Some clean, even-keeled perspective to be had here. For more, see these musings from genomics expert (and member of 23andme's Scientific Advisory Board) Mike Eisen. » 11/27/13 4:27pm 11/27/13 4:27pm

Modern humans are still carrying Neanderthal viruses

Neanderthals and Denisovans may be long gone, but their viruses continue to live on inside our bodies. The geneticists who discovered these ancient viruses aren't sure if they're bad for us, but they could make us more susceptible to certain cancers. » 11/19/13 3:40pm 11/19/13 3:40pm