Creating a Synthetic Human Genome

Sixty trays can contain the entire human genome as 23,040 different fragments of cloned DNA. Credit James King-Holmes/Science Source By ANDREW POLLACK Scientists are now contemplating the fabrication of a human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes. The prospect is spurring both intrigue and concern inContinue reading “Creating a Synthetic Human Genome”

Chinese researchers report first-ever gene editing of human embryos

In an ethically charged first, Chinese researchers have used gene editing to modify human embryos obtained from an in-vitro fertilization clinic. The 16-person scientific team, based at the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, set out to see whether it could correct the gene defect that causes beta-thalassemia, a blood disease, by editing the DNAContinue reading “Chinese researchers report first-ever gene editing of human embryos”

The eternity drive: Why DNA could be the future of data storage

By Peter Shadbolt, for CNN How long will the data last in your hard-drive or USB stick? Five years? 10 years? Longer? Already a storage company called Backblaze is running 25,000 hard drives simultaneously to get to the bottom of the question. As each hard drive coughs its last, the company replaces it and logsContinue reading “The eternity drive: Why DNA could be the future of data storage”

Protein That Can Edit Other Proteins Without DNA Blueprint Discovered

In our cells, proteins are the tiny machines that do most of the work. And the instructions for making proteins — and for piecing together their building blocks, called amino acids — are laid out by DNA, then relayed through RNA. But now, researchers show for the first time that amino acids can be assembledContinue reading “Protein That Can Edit Other Proteins Without DNA Blueprint Discovered”

Rapid-DNA technology that profiles DNA in about 90 minutes for law enforcement

Rapid-DNA technology makes it easier than ever to grab and store your genetic profile. G-men, cops, and Homeland Security can’t wait to see it everywhere. Robert Schueren shook my hand firmly, handed me his business card, and flipped it over, revealing a short list of letters and numbers. “Here is my DNA profile.” He smiled.Continue reading “Rapid-DNA technology that profiles DNA in about 90 minutes for law enforcement”

Ebola’s Family Tree: Disease May Have Existed For 23 Million Years, Much Longer Than Previously Believed

A family of viruses that Ebola belongs to may have existed over 20 million years ago, according to a new study published in the journal PeerJ. Researchers from the University of Buffalo found that Filoviruses did not begin appearing 10,000 years ago as previously thought, but in fact have been around for much longer. TheContinue reading “Ebola’s Family Tree: Disease May Have Existed For 23 Million Years, Much Longer Than Previously Believed”

Genetically Modified Mosquitos Could Eradicate Wild Populations By Only Producing Male Offspring

by Lisa Winter Over 200 million people are infected by malaria each year, and the majority of the 627,000 deaths per year are children younger than five. The disease is carried by mosquitos who act as vectors for the parasite. It’s only transmitted to humans by female mosquitoes, as they’re the only ones who bite.Continue reading “Genetically Modified Mosquitos Could Eradicate Wild Populations By Only Producing Male Offspring”

Termite Genome Reveals Details of “Caste System”

The genome of the termite has just been sequenced, and it is revealing several clues about how the pests create their rigid social order. For instance, the new genome, detailed today (May 20) in the journal Nature Communications, uncovers some of the underpinnings of termites’ caste system, as well as the roots of the males’Continue reading “Termite Genome Reveals Details of “Caste System””

New research shows that whales and dolphins can’t taste anything except salt

Tastes are a privilege. The oral sensations not only satisfy foodies, but also on a primal level, protect animals from toxic substances. Yet cetaceans—whales and dolphins—may lack this crucial ability, according to a new study. Mutations in a cetacean ancestor obliterated their basic machinery for four of the five primary tastes, making them the firstContinue reading “New research shows that whales and dolphins can’t taste anything except salt”

DNA mugshot: Computer sketch program can reconstruct faces from DNA

Workflow for 3D face scan processing, including the A) original surface, B) trimmed to exclude non-face parts, C) reflected to make mirror image, D) anthropometric mask of quasi-landmarks, E) remapped, F) reflected remapped, G) symmetrized and H) reconstructed. By Philip Ross Could a single hair be used to make an accurate 3D model of aContinue reading “DNA mugshot: Computer sketch program can reconstruct faces from DNA”