Editas Medicine hopes to use CRISPR—a revolutionary new gene-editing technology—to treat conditions such as sickle-cell anemia, cancer, and cystic fibrosis. »
The emerging discipline of synthetic biology is poised to change many aspects of our lives, from the production of medicines and bio-fuels through to genetic engineering and the development of completely new biological systems. It’s a technologically daunting prospect, but this video from Grist uses Legos and… »
If your poop is much lighter colored than nearly everyone else’s, it could be a sign that you have an absolutely harmless medical condition. And your parents are to blame. »
Birds have a quality known as broodiness. It means that, after they lay their eggs, they stick around and take care of those eggs. Most commercial chickens don’t have that quality. And it looks like their complete disregard for their offspring results from one genetic mutation. »
Researchers working off the Shimokita Peninsula in Japan have discovered living microbes buried 8,000 feet below the seabed, a new record. And because they resemble those found in forest soils, these organisms likely survived for tens of millions of years after being buried under the seabed. »
A genetic analysis of ancient and modern humans suggests that the ancestors of Native Americans entered the North American continent from Siberia some 23,000 years ago—and that they did so in a single wave.
Like our brains, the human penis hasn’t evolved in tens of thousands of years — and that’s a real shame. Our favorite male body part is capable of so much more. In consideration of pending advances in science and technology, here’s what to expect with penis 2.0.
An international team of researchers has used a virus to correct genetic defects and partially restore hearing in deaf mice. It’s an important proof-of-concept that could eventually lead to therapies in humans. »
“I’m old” is the common refrain for why we get worse at athletics as we age. But here’s what’s really happening in the body through the years to make world-class performance less possible. »
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.