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3D Printing and the murky ethics of replicating bones

January 15th, 2020 at 12:50 pm » Comments Off

Bone scan databases offer scientists new ways to study human remains. But some worry they could be misused. Ten years ago, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited […]



The world’s first Gattaca baby tests are finally here

November 19th, 2019 at 12:15 pm » Comments Off

The DNA test claims to let prospective parents weed out IVF embryos with a high risk of disease or low intelligence. Anxious couples are approaching fertility doctors in the US with requests for a hotly debated new genetic test being called “23andMe, but on embryos.” The baby-picking test is being offered by a New Jersey […]



CRISPR enzyme programmed to kill viruses in human cells

November 10th, 2019 at 5:15 pm » Comments Off

Researchers harness Cas13 as an antiviral and diagnostic for RNA-based viruses Researchers have now turned a CRISPR RNA-cutting enzyme into an antiviral that can be programmed to detect and destroy RNA-based viruses in human cells. Many of the world’s most common or deadly human pathogens are RNA-based viruses — Ebola, Zika and flu, for example […]



Japan approves scientist’s plan to create world’s first Humanimals

November 1st, 2019 at 11:33 am » Comments Off

  For the first time, a government is supporting a plan to create animal embryos with human cells and bring them to term, resulting in a type of humanimal known as a human-animal chimera. According to Nature, a committee from Japan’s science ministry signed off on a request by researchers to grow human pancreases in […]



Hacking Humans : Search & replace gene editing is here

November 1st, 2019 at 11:21 am » Comments Off

The introduction of CRISPR changed the world of genetic engineering by allowing researchers to “cut and paste” DNA. But the process can introduce errors that produce unpredictable results. A recently published report in the journal Nature by David Liu, a Harvard university biologist, describes a new process that is more like a “search and replace” […]



Gene editing transforms gel into shape-shifting material

September 10th, 2019 at 3:23 am » Comments Off

  The CRISPR technique can trigger the new material to release drugs or pick up biological signals Is there anything CRISPR can’t do? Scientists have wielded the gene-editing tool to make scores of genetically modified organisms, as well as to track animal development, detect diseases and control pests. Now, they have found yet another application […]



Gene-edited cattle have a major screwup in their DNA

September 6th, 2019 at 11:29 am » Comments Off

  Bid for barnyard revolution is set back after regulators find celebrity “hornless” bovines contaminated by bacterial genes. They were the poster animals for the gene-editing revolution, appearing in story after story. By adding just a few letters of DNA to the genomes of dairy cattle, a US startup company had devised a way to […]



In a 1st, doctors in U.S. use CRISPR tool to treat patient with genetic disorder

August 16th, 2019 at 12:25 am » Comments Off

Victoria Gray, 34, of Forest, Miss., volunteered for one of the most anticipated medical experiments in decades: the first attempt to use the gene-editing technique CRISPR to treat a genetic disorder in the U.S. For the first time, doctors in the U.S. have used the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR to try to treat a patient […]



Wait, What? The first human-monkey hybrid embryo was just created in China

August 14th, 2019 at 6:57 am » Comments Off

Last week, news broke that a prominent stem cell researcher is making human-monkey chimeras in a secretive lab in China. The story, first reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, has all the ingredients of a bombshell. First, its protagonist is the highly-respected Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, a Spanish-born stem cell biologist at the […]



How scientists built a ‘living drug’ to beat cancer

August 7th, 2019 at 12:07 pm » Comments Off

IN 2010, EMILY Whitehead was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a cancer of certain cells in the immune system. THIS IS THE most common form of childhood cancer, her parents were told, and Emily had a good chance to beat it with chemotherapy. Remission rates for the most common variety were around 85 percent. It […]



Using CRISPR to resurrect the dead

July 8th, 2019 at 12:10 pm » Comments Off

Gene-editing breakthroughs could allow us to bring extinct species, like the woolly mammoth, back from the dead. But should we? It really is worse than you think. We’ve gorged ourselves on fossil fuels, vacuumed up the Earth’s forests and spewed toxic gases into the atmosphere for years on end. The planet is getting warmer, we’re […]



His DNA solved a century-old jailhouse rape. The victim: His Grandmother

June 18th, 2019 at 11:39 am » Comments Off

Commercial DNA tests showed that Hiram and Bruce were related. But their link proved to be much deeper — and darker — than either could have imagined. As a black teenager in Compton, California, in the 1970s, Hiram Johnson began to wonder about his father’s fine curly hair, and the light-brown skin that strangers sometimes […]



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