Facebook Literally Wants to Read Your Thoughts

At Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, on Wednesday, the group unveiled what may be Facebook’s most ambitious—and creepiest—proposal yet. Facebook wants to build its own “brain-to-computer interface” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a computer. Read More >>

Do Parents Have a Right to Sue Over Their Kids’ Genetics?

It’s a nightmare scenario straight out of a primetime drama: a child-seeking couple visits a fertility clinic to try their luck with in-vitro fertilisation, only to wind up accidentally impregnated by the wrong sperm. Read More >>

A New Flavour of CRISPR Could Tackle Some of the Worst Genetic Diseases

Cardiomyocytes from patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy corrected by CRISPR-Cpf1. Image: Science Advances

New Zealand Could Use Gene Editing to Kill Off Its Cutest Predator

The stoat—a small, adorable, weasel-like mammal—is the one of the largest ecological threats in New Zealand. It’s a fierce invader with few predators that dines freely on the country’s endangered birds. The stoat did not come to New Zealand via any unfortunate accident. It was brought there on purpose, introduced in the 19th century to control another pest introduced by settlers, the rabbit. It was, in essence, a Russian nesting doll of ecological disasters—one bad decision supplanting yet another.

How One Scientist Plans to Hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Using DNA 

UFOs. Big Foot. The Loch Ness monster. All mythologies that have propagated to explain the unexplained, the things modern science can’t quite justify or illuminate. Read More >>

You Could Get Ill if You Follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cookbook Recipes

If your culinary philosophy includes the belief that no kitchen is complete without a bamboo matcha whisk or a box of gluten-free pancake mix, then Gwyneth Paltrow is probably the lifestyle guru for you. Along with promoting sex-dust smoothies and $66 jade vagina eggs, Gwyn is of course an avid home cook with a library of YouTube cooking demonstrations and three cookbooks to her name. But following her recipes, it turns out, could make you ill—and not just because she once recommended dropping $4,739 on a gold-plated juicer. Read More >>

Finally, an Answer to Why You Keep Getting UTIs After Sex

If you are a woman, the odds are pretty good that you have experienced the agony and annoyance of a urinary tract infection at some point in your life. And if you are a particularly unlucky woman, you might experience them on the regs. While women often swear sex is the culprit of a UTI showing up again, as far as science is concerned, exactly why these recurring infections happen has been a mystery. Read More >>

DNA Is Being Collected to Protect Sex Workers, But It Could Also Be Used Against Them

Nearly a decade ago, Dallas police proposed a new program designed to get sex workers off the streets. Rather than just send them to jail, police would set up shop at truck stops, accompanied by counsellors, social workers and nurses, and give the sex workers a choice of either prison or talking to a counsellor. But the program also had a grimmer, more ethically fraught component — collecting sex workers’ DNA in hopes of identifying their bodies should they wind up dead. Read More >>

The World’s First Menstrual ‘Period’ in a Dish Could Revolutionise Reproductive Medicine

The female menstrual cycle is a rite of passage into womanhood that for centuries has been shrouded in mystery and taboo. Pliny The Elder, for one, believed that menstrual blood could turn crop fields barren. Just last century, one scientist floated a theory that menstrual blood contained a poison that caused women to turn wine into vinegar. Let’s not even start on the rumours that a burnt toad can ease a heavy flow. Read More >>

America’s Doctors: Climate Change is Making People Ill

In the debate over Earth and its changing climate, rhetoric frequently suggests that we are destroying the planet. The truth, though, is that this hunk of floating space rock we call home will live on long after humanity. The real losers of climate change will be us. Read More >>

Newcastle Fertility Clinic Has Just Been Granted Permission to Make ‘Three-Parent’ Babies

A fertility clinic in Newcastle was just granted permission to start performing what’s known as the ‘three-parent baby’ technique, a controversial in vitro fertilisation procedure that prevents genetic diseases from being passed on to children by giving them three genetic ‘parents’. Read More >>

The Crazy Plan to Restore a Woman’s Fertility – and Defy the Limits of Nature

Over the course of seven years, Sezenia Tzeni endured seven rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Typically, women undergo only three or four such treatments before either getting pregnant or giving up. But for Tzeni and her husband, conceiving a child was more important than almost anything else. Read More >>

Scientists Just Took a Major Step Toward the First Complex Artificial Life

In 2008, researchers built the first artificial genome, a wonder of synthetic biology in which scientists generated all 582,970 base pairs of the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium’s genome entirely from scratch. It was an unparalleled scientific achievement, requiring scientists to carefully design 101 unique DNA fragments so that their codes would overlap and stick together, then bind those fragments piece by piece. It was also small potatoes, one of many steps along the way to eventually creating a synthetic eukaryotic organism. Read More >>

gwyneth paltrow
A Women’s Health Magazine Just Printed Gwyneth Paltrow’s Terrible Health Advice

Gwyneth Paltrow, high priestess of sex-dust smoothies and £50 jade vagina eggs, is back with some more pseudoscientific health advice that you should definitely never follow. Read More >>

Scientists Have Created the First Artificial Embryo Without Using an Egg or Sperm

Using stem cells in grown-on 3D scaffolding in a laboratory petri dish, scientists have for the first time created an embryo made entirely from stem cells. Read More >>