A controversial fertility treatment requiring three genetic parents has been approved by an FDA-appointed expert panel. This means the therapy, which eliminates rare mitochondrial diseases, could soon be legal in the US. But on the recommendation of the panel, it won’t be available to girls.
Less than a year after scientists in China became the first to genetically modify human embryos, a research team in Britain has been given the green light to perform similar work. It’s a huge moment in biotech history—one that could eventually lead to “designer babies.”
Pregnant women in Brazil who are infected with Zika—a virus suspected of causing birth defects—are prohibited from having an abortion. That’s prompting a group of lawyers, activists, and scientists to demand that the country’s supreme court make an exception.
Researchers in China have genetically engineered monkeys to exhibit autistic-like behaviors, including impaired social skills and increased anxiety. This research is poised to improve our understanding of brain disorders, but ethicists say the harm endured by these monkeys is simply not worth it.
An international team of neuroscientists claims to have successfully carried out a head transplant on a monkey, along with other related experiments. But because the details haven’t been published, experts remain skeptical.
The most prominent sperm bank in the UK is under investigation after turning away donors with dyslexia and other questionable characteristics. This raises an important question: Should sperm banks be in the business of making “better” babies?
Last week’s historic summit on human gene-editing has come to a close, and its organizing committee has given the go-ahead for scientists in the US to experiment on human genes — only if it doesn’t result in a pregnancy. It’s a surprisingly progressive stance. But make no mistake, human trait selection is coming.…
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has stopped funding experiments in which human stem cells are transplanted into the embryo of an animal. Now, a group of researchers from Stanford University are speaking out, claiming that the restrictions are holding back important medical research—and that the NIH’s reasons…
Researchers in China are reportedly the first to use a powerful gene editing tool to produce super-muscled dogs. The goal is to create test subjects that mimic degenerative human diseases, but the breakthrough also raises the prospect of customized pets.
Last year, scientists in China used a gene-editing technique to produce pint-sized pigs for medical research. Now they want to sell them as pets. Critics say the precedent could lead to bizarre versions of cats and dogs, while at the same time preventing biologists from focusing on more important research.
Since the 9/11 attacks, researchers in the United States have conducted exceptionally cruel, even superfluous, experiments on animals to develop countermeasures to weapons of mass destruction. But as BuzzFeed reporter Peter Aldhous asks: Is all this suffering really necessary?
Most patients receiving end-of-life care want to avoid aggressive attempts to prolong their life, but medical culture and practices often contradict these wishes. Part of the problem is due to confusion surrounding do-not-resuscitate orders. Here’s what patients really need to know about the “no code.”
In the 1940s, a young American doctor went to Guatemala to do medical experiments. He was funded by the venerable U.S. National Institutes of Health, but he did not make anyone healthy. Instead, he deliberately exposed 1,300 people to sexually transmitted diseases.
In the 1970s, two inhuman creatures—one hairy and tall, another with orange eyes—were spotted in New England. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, blamed these monsters not on unreliable testimonies, but recombinant DNA technology, then a new and promising laboratory technique.