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Scientists Want to Transplant Genetically Modified Pig Organs Into Humans

In news that sounds straight out of a dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, surgeons managed to keep a genetically modified pig heart alive inside a baboon for 945 days before it failed last month. “Xenotransplantation” experiments like this may one day lead to doctors raising pigs for organ transplants. »8/14/15 7:10pm8/14/15 7:10pm

The U.S. Just Approved Its First GMO Apple, Which Doesn't Turn Brown 

For years, a small Canadian company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, has been touting its Arctic apple, which doesn't turn an unsightly brown after being sliced. The U.S. Department of Agriculture finally approved it for planting this week. But before you see any Arctic apples at the grocery store, get ready for a big… »2/14/15 12:00pm2/14/15 12:00pm

Of Course 23andMe's Plan Has Been to Sell Your Genetic Data All Along

Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe's data to study Parkinson's. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $99 a pop? Nope, it's been about selling your data all along. »1/06/15 3:35pm1/06/15 3:35pm

How Biotech Could Make Life in Prison a Living Hell

At the University of Oxford, a team of scholars led by the philosopher Rebecca Roache has begun thinking about the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment. In January, I spoke with Roache and her colleagues Anders Sandberg and Hannah Maslen about emotional enhancement, 'supercrimes', and the ethics… »3/17/14 11:00am3/17/14 11:00am

Listen to the Purring, Electromagnetic Weirdness of Mushrooms

I was blown away when I first heard about a project that tried to tap into the electromagnetic communication potential of mushrooms. Using wires, radio waves, and circuits—not psychedelics—the project's off-kilter quest to find (and listen to) "electromagnetic fungi" was nonetheless more art than science. But who says… »2/01/14 9:00pm2/01/14 9:00pm

Silkworms Fed Dyed Mulberry Leaves To Produce Colored Silk

Fact: Snails fed colored paper will poop colored squiggles. Now, silkworms are getting in on the technicolor action: a recent report shows that, after eating mulberry leaves treated with fabric dye, regular larvae will produce cotton-candy-tinted fibers. They're like biological 3D printers for producing colored silk. »12/06/13 3:40pm12/06/13 3:40pm

How Close Are We to Building a Full-Fledged Cyborg?

The dream of the cyborg is coming true at an exhilarating rate. As humans gets better and better at making machines, we keep attaching those machines to our bodies to make ourselves better humans. It seems at times that the only question left is if we can put a human brain in a robotic frame. Actually, it's not a… »10/21/13 3:00pm10/21/13 3:00pm

Scientists Transform Deadly Plant Into Cancer Killing Smart Bomb

The ancient Greeks called the thapsia garganica plant "deadly carrot," because their camels would eat it and quickly die. The Roman emperor Nero mixed it with frankincense to treat bruises. Until the early 20th century it was used in a plaster to treat rheumatism—the side effects, however, were barely worth the cure. »2/02/12 4:40pm2/02/12 4:40pm

Scientists Create Diode Propulsion Engine for Bloodstream-Swimming Microbots

Science fiction edges ever closer to reality as researchers at NC State University devise a form of propulsion that can accelerate microbots through the human bloodstream. The challenge: not only finding a way to create this engine on such a tiny scale, but to provide power to it. The solution? Diode propulsion, using… »3/15/07 1:37pm3/15/07 1:37pm