food
GMO Labels Actually Make People Less Afraid of GMOs, Study Finds

A new study seems to provide an interesting wrinkle in the debate over whether foods containing genetically engineered ingredients (otherwise known as either GE or GMO foods) should be labelled as such. It turns out that people living in Vermont, US actually became less distrustful of GMOs following a temporary state law that mandated a simple labelling system, especially when compared to people living in the rest of the country, according to a paper published Wednesday in Science Advances. Read More >>

crispr
This Gene-Editing Breakthrough Could Provide Hyper-Specific Cancer Diagnoses

Ever since researchers first discovered that bacterial immune systems could be hijacked to selectively change DNA in living creatures, CRISPR gene-editing technology has been limited by the boundaries of the cell wall. CRISPR allows scientists to cut and paste little bits of DNA, swapping out even single letters of DNA to correct disease-causing genetic mutations. But—at least until now—all of that cutting and pasting has gone on inside cells. Read More >>

science
This Tattoo Only Becomes Visible When It Detects Early Signs of Disease

In the future, tattoos may no longer be mere decorative statements for the body, but useful biomedical devices that can alert us when something’s not quite right. Read More >>

science
Scientists Edit Thousands of Genes at Once With Upgraded CRISPR

When the gene-editing technology CRISPR first made a splash back in 2012, it foretold a future in which curing diseases might simply involve snipping out problematic bits of genetic code. Of course, innovation is rarely so straightforward. Read More >>

science
How Editing RNA—Not DNA—Could Cure Disease in the Future

DNA is the code of life, and so advances that allow us to edit that code have unlocked vast potential, from simply editing away the buggy code of disease, to engineering animals that don’t spread illness, to, maybe one day in a distant future, creating so-called designer babies. But editing another essential molecular component of our biology—RNA, the messenger used by cells to turns DNA instructions into proteins—also holds great promise. Read More >>

science
These Glowing, Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Could Fight Malaria Instead of Spreading It

Genetic engineering, researchers hope, will fight disease both by altering the genes of people and by changing the genes of critters known to pass diseases on to us. Read More >>

science
This Rogue Company Wants People to Inject Themselves With Untested Drugs 

Aaron Traywick paced the stage like a caged lion. In a few minutes, he would drop trou in front of an audience and thrust a needle containing a highly experimental herpes treatment into his left thigh. For now, though, he stood alone in the spotlight, his slight frame cast in harsh silhouette and face fixed in meditative concern. He had been wearing the same oversized navy suit with a red fabric flower on the lapel for the past three days. Read More >>

biohacking
Watch This Guy Inject Himself With an Untested Herpes ‘Cure’

Last Sunday at the BodyHacking Con in Austin, Aaron Traywick joined the rarefied ranks of those who have experimented on themselves in the name of science. Only Traywick is not a scientist—he is the CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, a rogue biotech firm working with biohackers to develop treatments outside of FDA oversight and regulation. Read More >>

science
The UK is Officially Letting Doctors Create a 3-Parent Baby

The modern era of the so-called “three-parent baby” has officially kicked off, and it will begin here, in the UK. Read More >>

science
The First US Human CRISPR Trials Could Start Any Day Now

The first U.S. human trial using CRISPR to treat disease could kick off any day now. The trials, led by the University of Pennsylvania, will use the gene-editing tool to modify immune cells, prompting them to attack three different types of cancer. Read More >>

science
Why CRISPR-Edited Food May Be in US Supermarkets Sooner Than You Think

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this approval was that the USDA did not ask that the inventors of the plant endure the usual regulatory hoops required to sell biotech crops. The next month, a drought-tolerant soybean variety developed with CRISPR also got a quick pass from the USDA. Read More >>

science
Could Gene Therapy One Day Cure Diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes, the body engages in warfare with itself, the immune system mistakenly treating the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas as a harmful invader, destroying the cells along with the body’s ability to regulate sugar. Typically diagnosed in youth, it has no cure, and patients face a lifetime of insulin injections and complications. Read More >>

science
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 >>

science
Would Mutant Species Solve Our Environmental Woes—Or Set Off a Global Catastrophe?

Genetic engineering is often derided as “playing God.” No technology approaches that metaphor more closely than the gene drive. A powerful and controversial technology, a gene drive is a form of genetic engineering that allows researchers in a lab to override the rules of natural selection. Read More >>

science
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 >>