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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 […]



Scientists created bacteria with a synthetic genome. Is this artificial life?

June 3rd, 2019 at 11:23 am » Comments Off

  A colored scanning electron micrograph of the bacteria E. coli. Scientists in Britain created bacteria with “recoded” DNA. In a milestone for synthetic biology, colonies of E. coli thrive with DNA constructed from scratch by humans, not nature. Scientists have created a living organism whose DNA is entirely human-made — perhaps a new form […]



This DIY biohacker is under investigation

May 26th, 2019 at 2:52 am » Comments Off

Josiah Zayner rose to internet fame after performing various biohacking stunts on himself — including a livestreamed attempt to edit his own genes using CRISPR. Those antics are coming to haunt Zayner. Now, the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is investigating a “complaint of unlicensed practice of medicine” filed against him — a strange […]



CRISPR gene editing is coming for the womb

May 7th, 2019 at 11:28 am » Comments Off

  When an unborn baby is diagnosed with a life-threatening defect, it can be devastating. So some scientists hope to treat the fetus in the uterus, using gene editing. WILLIAM PERANTEAU IS the guy parents call when they’ve received the kind of bad news that sinks stomachs and wrenches hearts. Sometimes it’s a shadow on […]



CRISPR is now being used on humans in the U.S.

May 6th, 2019 at 11:27 am » Comments Off

The gene editing trial has two patients so far. CRISPR therapies are entering the mainstream. The first U.S. trial of CRISPR in humans has begun, NPR reported Tuesday. Two patients are currently being treated as part of a University of Pennsylvania study. Per NPR, both have difficult-to-treat forms of cancer and both have relapsed after […]



Should athletes be allowed to enhance their genes?

May 5th, 2019 at 11:16 am » Comments Off

  So-called gene doping is banned in sports, but some philosophers argue that it’s the way of the future Scientists first developed gene therapy techniques in the 1990s, exploring ways to treat disease by modifying malfunctioning cells. In 1997, a team at John Hopkins University edited genes to create what the media called “Schwarzenegger mice,” […]



Advance in CAR T-cell therapy eliminates severe side effects

April 27th, 2019 at 3:12 am » Comments Off

Scanning electron micrograph of a human T lymphocyte (also called a T cell) from the immune system of a healthy donor. Credit: NIAID An advance in the breakthrough cancer treatment known as CAR T-cell therapy appears to eliminate its severe side effects, making the treatment safer and potentially available in outpatient settings, a new USC […]



Device tests thousands of stem cells super fast

April 25th, 2019 at 11:46 am » Comments Off

Institute for Molecular Engineering researchers have developed a “lab-on-a-chip” that could help us understand how single stem cells react to different molecules and environments. (Credit: Zhang et al.) A new “lab-on-a-chip” can examine thousands of individual live cells over a weeklong period, performing experiments that would take more than 1 million steps in a laboratory. […]



Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumors, scientists find, creating a ‘black box’ for origin of disease

April 22nd, 2019 at 12:08 pm » Comments Off

Cancer causes the genetic code of DNA to change and the alterations can now be read The cause of cancer is written into the DNA of tumors, scientists have discovered, in a breakthrough which could finally show how much disease is attributable to factors like air pollution or pesticides. Until now the roots of many […]



Five Scenarios for a techno apocalypse