It Should Be Legal To Hack Your DNA

A group of geneticists has called for a moratorium on research into modifying heritable human DNA — a practice that could lead to so-called "designer babies." But as scientists consider this drastic proposal, they should also recognize the potential benefits this technology could afford – and the risks of an outright… » 3/24/15 4:00pm 3/24/15 4:00pm

Now that Britain has legalized three-parent IVF, it's time for other countries to follow suit. As noted by Tom Solomon in The Guardian, "It's mind-boggling that some people are against a medical advance that will prevent mitochondrial disease from occurring." Critics warn that it could lead to so-called "designer… » 2/04/15 4:00pm 2/04/15 4:00pm

New Technique Allows Bioengineers To "Reprogram" Genetic Code

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. » 1/28/15 1:20pm 1/28/15 1:20pm

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

The Coffee Genome Has Been Sequenced. Here's What That Means For You.

Now that the coffee plant genome has been sequenced, it's only a matter of time until we're all brewing up genetically engineered, super-caffeinated coffee beans, right? Maybe. Here's what we know now about coffee that we never knew before. » 9/05/14 11:44am 9/05/14 11:44am

The Domestic Cat Genome Has Been Fully Sequenced, and It's Fascinating

The Felis catus genome has been fully sequenced and annotated, which means your pet kitty is about to give up its genetic secrets to science. » 8/11/14 8:40am 8/11/14 8:40am

Google Wants to Create a Map of What a Healthy Human Body Looks Like

It's the ultimate baseline study — an effort to collect the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should look like. » 7/25/14 10:40am 7/25/14 10:40am

Over 90% Of Human DNA May Be Completely Worthless

Geneticists at Oxford University are making the astounding claim that a mere 8.2% of our DNA does something biologically important. That means upwards of 90% of the human genome is "junk" — a discovery that could dramatically hasten genetic research. » 7/25/14 8:40am 7/25/14 8:40am

Blood Of 2 Million Babies Found In Indiana Warehouse

For over 20 years, the state of Indiana hoarded the blood of newborns without their parents' consent. If your child was born in Indiana after 1991, chances are his or her blood sample is one of an estimated 2.5-million specimens currently stored in a warehouse, the location of which state officials have not disclosed. » 7/19/14 2:00pm 7/19/14 2:00pm

This Man Wants to Genetically Engineer Trees to Save the World

Carbon fiber is one of the strongest and most resilient materials on the market, used in everything from car frames to body armor. It's also incredibly expensive to make. But one plant biologist says that in fifty years, we'll be growing it on trees. » 7/17/14 2:09pm 7/17/14 2:09pm

I Am So Tempted to Say that These European Crows Are Racists

In Europe, there are two groups of crows who are almost identical — except for for thing. Carrion crows are all black, while hooded crows have patches of gray. Each group prefers to mate with their own color. It sounds like what humans would call racism, but instead it's a lesson in the limits of anthropomorphism. » 6/20/14 5:35pm 6/20/14 5:35pm

This Baby May Be The First To Be Born With Its Genome Fully Sequenced

A child delivered last week in California could well be the first healthy baby born in the United States "with his entire genetic makeup deciphered in advance," according to MIT Technology Review. » 6/14/14 4:00pm 6/14/14 4:00pm

Genetic Manipulation: The First 50,000 Years

Genetically modified plants and animals are often feared as "Frankenfoods," but is there really anything dangerously new about manipulation of DNA? People have been creating extreme genetic mutants with plants and animals for tens of thousands of years. » 5/23/14 11:20am 5/23/14 11:20am

The One Cognitive Bias That's Holding Back Genetic Research

Scientists may be awesome, but they're still human beings — and they fall prey to the same cognitive biases as everyone else. Now, a group of researchers say they've discovered that the bias known as anthropocentrism is holding back genetic research and severely limiting our discoveries. » 5/01/14 5:30pm 5/01/14 5:30pm

DNA Evidence Debunks a Longstanding Myth About Louis XVI's Blood

When King Louis XVI was beheaded in the early days of the French Revolution, it is said that a handkerchief soaked in his blood was placed in this gourd (pictured). Now a group of Spanish geneticists have sequenced DNA in the blood, to find out whether it's truly from the king. » 4/24/14 11:28am 4/24/14 11:28am

Supercentenarian's Blood Provides Clues To Extending Human Life

Prior to her death at the tender age of 115, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper was the world's oldest woman. Recently, scientists had the opportunity to study her blood — and what they discovered could have serious implications to the future of rejuvenation therapies. » 4/23/14 2:47pm 4/23/14 2:47pm

Why King Tut's DNA is fueling race wars

We've all heard stories of the miraculous tomb of King Tutankhamun, son of the rebel king Akhenaten who believed in monotheism. Trying to learn more, Egyptian scientists recently sequenced his DNA. Here's how their discoveries became racially and politically charged events. » 3/07/14 5:24pm 3/07/14 5:24pm

Craig Venter's new longevity startup will make "100 the new 60"

Biotechnologist Craig Venter — the first scientist to map the human genome and create synthetic life — now wants to dramatically extend the human lifespan. His new company, Human Longevity Inc., will use both genomics and stem cell therapies to help people stay healthy and vibrant for as long as possible. » 3/05/14 7:35am 3/05/14 7:35am

Early Europeans had dark skin and blue eyes

In 2012, archaeologists made an amazing find in a Spanish cave: the intact, 8,000-year-old skeleton of a man who lived in the area. Now they've sequenced his genome, and discovered quite a bit about life among hunter-gatherers in southern Europe. » 1/27/14 3:39pm 1/27/14 3:39pm

Breakthrough: Now we can sequence a human genome for just $1000

It took the Human Genome Project ten years, and close to three billion dollars, to sequence the first human genome. Now, in a major milestone for biotechnology, a company has introduced a machine that it claims can sequence an entire human genome in a matter of hours, for less than $1,000. » 1/15/14 3:20pm 1/15/14 3:20pm