Should People Be Banned From Genetically Engineering Themselves?

In the past few months, the possibility of do-it-yourself genetic engineering has exited the realm of the purely hypothetical. At a conference last autumn, a well-known biohacker injected himself with a gene to promote muscle growth. Not long after, a 27-year-old software engineer injected himself with an unproven gene therapy for HIV while streaming on Facebook. More DIY attempts at human genetic modification are sure to follow. Read More >>

Scientists Develop Important Tool for Connecting Poo Bacteria to Health

Your poop is a living forest. Seriously! Hundreds of species of microbes thrive inside of you, helping you to live your best life. Everyone’s microbiome differs—yours from your neighbours’, and different populations’ from one another’s. But there is much scientists still don’t know about the human microbiome. And one team of scientists think they’ve made a leap in helping us understand this forest. Read More >>

Biotech Stocks Drop After Troubling CRISPR Study, but Gene Editing Is Still the Future

On Monday, the world of science awoke to news that suddenly cast uncomfortable doubt on many of the past five years’ major breakthroughs: A new paper had identified a possible barrier to using the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 in humans. The news incited a temporary hysteria that sent the stocks of all three major CRISPR biotech firms tumbling in premarket trading, declining by as much as 11.9 per cent. Read More >>

23andMe Wants to Tell You How to Lose Weight

The quest to figure out the right diet for maintaining an optimal weight is often less a quest and more a life-long battle. We cycle through fad diet after fad diet, hoping to eventually one day strike diet gold. Now, the consumer DNA testing company 23andMe is hoping to cut out some of the mystery of dieting, providing consumers with personalised weight loss advice as part of its genetic reports. Read More >>

Why Saudi Arabia is Pushing Premarital Genetic Screening

In Saudi Arabia, if you’re planning to tie the knot, there’s a step you must go through that doesn’t happen anywhere else: you have to get a test for genetic disease. Hereditary blood diseases like sickle cell and beta thalassemia are prevalent in this part of the world, where marriage between cousins is common. A new awareness campaign around genetic disorders aims to reduce the spread of these illnesses. Read More >>

genetics gone wrong
Please, Do Not Send Your Spit to This DNA Dating App

Online dating is largely a succession of misery and humiliation, which is why so many of us are willing to pay an algorithm to find us the perfect match. The newest entré to the arena of apps that promise to help you find love: Pheramor, a US-based startup that claims to use DNA as the basis for its matchmaking algorithm. Simply swab your cheek with a Q-tip and—voila!—Pheramor’s app will populate with a cadre of genetically optimised potential Mr or Mrs Rights. Read More >>

In 2018, We Will CRISPR Human Beings

Ever since 2012, when researchers first discovered that bacterial immune systems could be hijacked to edit DNA in living creatures, CRISPR has been hailed as a maker of revolutions. This was the year that prediction felt like it was starting to come true. US scientists used the CRISPR gene editing technique to treat a common genetic heart disease in a human embryo. Many more diseases were successfully treated in mice using CRISPR. Hell, a particularly enthusiastic biohacker even spontaneously injected himself with muscle-growth genes while giving a talk at a conference. Read More >>

The Most Life-Changing Breakthroughs in Genetics of 2017

It was a big year for the building blocks of life. Here are the most significant breakthroughs in genetics research of 2017. Read More >>

Google Taught an AI to Make Sense of the Human Genome

If you’ve ever watched a prime time crime drama like CSI, you probably recall a scene in which a forensic analyst used a computer to trawl through thousands of snippets of DNA, looking for a match between a crime scene and a suspect. Real life doesn’t happen quite like it does on television, but the gist is the same. Genetics is inherently a comparative science. Whether you’re trying to identify a suspect or a genetic disease or a long-lost relative, it involves comparing one genome to another, hunting for telling similarities or variabilities among billions of letters of DNA. Read More >>

A Modified CRISPR Could Treat Common Diseases Without Editing DNA

The unassumingly named CRISPR/Cas9 is a technology that stands to remake the world as we know it. By allowing scientists to more easily than ever cut and paste all those As, Cs, Ts, and Gs that encode all the world’s living things, for one thing, it could one day cure many devastating diseases. Read More >>

Genetically Engineering Yourself Sounds Like a Horrible Idea—But This Guy Is Doing It Anyway

“If something goes wrong, I can just chop off that part of the skin.”

Scientists Added Two New Letters to DNA’s Code

If you’ve taken a science class, you’re likely aware that DNA is the body’s instruction manual. But its language is only written in four letters: A, T, C, and G. Those who paid extra close attention will remember that RNA, the photocopy of the instructions that the cell actually uses, replaces the Ts with the letter U. Read More >>

How the Genetics of Skin Colour Challenges Antiquated Ideas About Race

For much of recorded history, skin colour has been loaded with powerful social meaning. Skin colour plays a major part in how we define race. It also plays a significant role in racism. Read More >>

DNA Evidence Shows Yeti Was Local Himalayan Bears All Along

A host of DNA samples “strongly suggest” that yetis are, in fact, local Himalayan bears. Watch out, Bigfoot. Read More >>

Stunning Video Is the First to Show CRISPR Editing DNA in Real Time

Despite sounding like an off-brand breakfast cereal, the genetic engineering technique CRISPR has infiltrated the vocabulary of the general public, stoking fierce ethics debates, imaginative renderings of the future and even inspiring a novel and a J.Lo-backed TV series. That’s because CRISPR truly is amazing, allowing human beings to alter genetic code with a level of precision never before achieved. And now there’s actual video footage documenting just how amazing CRISPR really is. Read More >>