Over 33,000 Brits Have Rare DNA Fluke and Don’t Know It, Study of 23andMe Data Finds

A supposedly rare genetic quirk might be more common than we think, according to new research out Thursday. The study, based largely on 23andMe data, suggests that one in every 2,000 people are born with two copies of a gene from only a single parent, often with no serious health consequences. Read More >>

How Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything

The future is going to be genetically modified. That means the future could be disease-free, with babies designed in labs by parents who live in a world where ageing has stopped. Or the future might be something else entirely, with state-mandated genetic engineering that turns citizens into super soldiers. Who knows. Read More >>

Gene-Editing Tool Approved For Use in Humans

Brace yourself for GATTACA comparisons. A powerful gene-editing tool that could pave the way for genetic engineering has been approved for use in humans to fight cancer. Read More >>

Powerful New Gene-Editing Tool May Finally Be Used on Humans

Next week, a US federal advisory committee is set to review a proposal to use CRISPR — the cheap, powerful and buzzy gene-editing tool — on human patients for the first time. Read More >>

We’ve Been Completely Wrong About How Cats Get Their Black-and-White Spots

For quite some time, scientists had a working theory of why certain piebald (patchy black-and-white) mammals look the way they do. They assumed the colouring is a directed pattern that involves pigmented cells instigating a controlled expansion. Turns out, it’s all just random. Read More >>

Gene Study Says Domestic Cats are Just Pretending to be Nice

A study that mapped the genome of domestic cats and compared it to the make-up of their wild cousins has found that there's very little difference between the two, with that seemingly polite thing on the carpet probably just pretending it's not a killer because it means you give it meaty chunks. Read More >>

The World’s First Handheld DNA Sequencer is a Genetics Lab In a Box

DNA sequencing is crucial for identifying and tracking nasty viruses like E. coli and the flu. But current tabletop-size DNA sequencing machines aren't readily portable. Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand have a solution in a brick-sized DNA sequencer that connects wirelessly to a smartphone or laptop. Read More >>

Predict What Your Future Children Look Like in “Virtual Embryos”

Remember those slightly horrifying sites that mash up two faces to tell you what your hypothetical babies might look like? With genome sequencing and "virtual embryos," we might actually be able to do that—using science. Read More >>

Music Doesn’t Make Your Child Smarter, So Cancel Those Tuba Lessons

Today's research on the poor brains of lab-children has debunked one of the more popular myths about music, with researchers claiming there's no link between early music lessons and a child's later intelligence. Read More >>

Good GCSE Results? Thank Your Parents, as it Might all be Genetic

Soon, a DNA test might be able to tell you whether it's worth revising for exams or not, as new research suggests that genetic factors are much more important than schoolwork or home life when it comes to determining future exam successes. Read More >>

Scientists Found the Wolverine-Healing Gene

Deep within our bodies are all kinds of genes that turn on and off over the years, including the very genes that make you grow a body in the first place. This is where scientists are looking for the magical code that could enable us to regrow organs and regenerate limbs. One Harvard researcher thinks he might have found it. Read More >>

Monitoring Gene Activity Across Thousands of Cells Sure Is Pretty

Scientists have developed a new technique which allows them to visualise gene activity in thousands of cells, simultaneously. That will allow them to understand how our cells function like never before—and it looks damn pretty, too. Read More >>

Scientists Ditch Guns For Lasers to Insert DNA Into Cells

Step one in any project involving genetic modification is to get the genes you want into the cells you want changed. Traditionally, this meant shooting microscopic DNA-coated bullets at the cells and hoping the DNA got inside without blowing the cells to smithereens. It sounds messy, and it is. Now, researchers in South Korea have devised a super-precise method for inserting DNA into cells, and it's powered by lasers. Read More >>

Scientists May Have Found a Genomic Off Switch for Down Syndrome

One in every thousand or so babies born today will suffer from Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21 that results in learning disabilities, a heightened risk of bowel and blood diseases, and a severely heightened risk of dementia later in life. But a radical new genome treatment method could hold the key to turning off that extra chromosome 21 like a light. Read More >>