By editing a single gene, researchers from South Korea and China have engineered pigs that produce about twice the amount of muscle as normal pigs. The goal is to produce leaner meat and at higher yields, but early results show it could be a long time before this jacked-up pork appears on your dinner plate. »
The critically endangered smalltooth sawfish was recently found to be capable of asexual reproduction. It’s an exciting discovery for many reasons, but breathless claims by the media that sawfish could save their species from extinction by resorting to virgin births are wrong, wrong, wrong. Let’s explore why. »
Breeding giant pandas in captivity is a challenge, and artificial insemination can make conception less of a crapshoot. But it’s easy for a few successful parents to overwhelm the breeding pool. Check out this infographic at the Washington Post that shows how geneticists pick the ideal partners for their pandas. »
This season, Orphan Black introduced a line of genetically male clones to its tale, and with them came a scary new twist in the Orphan Black biology. How scientifically realistic is this weird new development? Well, something like it does happen in the real world — but only with fruit flies, not humans. »
For years, biologists have sought to understand how the genes of planarians, a group of free-living flatworms, direct growth in specific body parts. An artificial intelligence tasked with the problem appears to have cracked the code, a breakthrough that demonstrates the incredible potential for “robot science.” »
In the wake of news that scientists in China modified the DNA of human embryos, a number of scientists and bioethicists have called for a global moratorium on experiments that could alter the human germline. The White House has come out in support of such a ban — for now. »
Europe has surprisingly little genetic variety. Learning how and when the modern gene-pool came together has been a long journey. But thanks to new technological advances a picture is slowly coming together of repeated colonization by peoples from the east with more efficient lifestyles. »
A team of geneticists is ready to unlock the secrets behind Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub’s unique appearance.
An international team of scientists have isolated a gene within the Aedes aegypti mosquito that partially transforms females into males. Since only females spread diseases by feasting on human blood, the discovery could lead to powerful population control strategies.
The Y chromosome, a chunk of genetic code that is unique to male mammals, isn’t just physically smaller than the X. It also contains far fewer genes. The X has more than 1000 genes, while the Y has fewer than 200 —and most of them don’t even work. Why do men have this odd, stunted chromosome in their genomes? »
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.
The oldest samples of Neanderthal DNA have been extracted from remains embedded in a cave in southern Italy, confirming that the so-called Altamura Man was a Neanderthal who lived around 150,000 years ago. »
Rumors are circulating that geneticists have modified the DNA of a human embryo. If true, it could allow scientists to hack the human germ line, resulting in heritable genome modifications. Critics warn it could lead to unforeseen consequences, while advocates say it's the next step in medical evolution. »
Researchers excavated the first complete skeleton of a camel in central Europe — one that may have started out life in the army and ended it as a curiosity. »
For the first time in over 3,000 years, the functional components of wooly mammoth DNA have been brought to life (albeit in a petri dish). The achievement represents an important step towards potential efforts to bring the extinct species back. »
A couple of years ago, a DNA analysis of an ostensible sample of Yeti hair indicated that it may have belonged to a previously undiscovered ancestor of modern bears. A new genetic analysis now refutes this claim. »
Rolling your tongue is not a genetic trait. Most of the people reading this were told, at some point during their schooling, that it was. At last you can read the paper that started the myth, and find out how quickly it was disproved. »
Bernard Meyerson, chief innovation officer of IBM and chair of the World Economic Forum's Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, today published the Meta-Council's list of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015. »