It’s been 20 years since the birth of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult. Because Dolly died prematurely, scientists have worried that cloning accelerates the aging process. But a new analysis of 13 cloned sheep—including a batch of Dolly’s genetic duplicates—shows this isn’t the case.
Most American adults are nervous about the prospect of enhancing humans beyond normal capacities, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals. But while many of those surveyed expressed concerns about brain-boosting chips and designer babies, a significant number had a positive view of technology’s ability to transform…
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has partnered with Apple on a new clinical study on rheumatoid arthritis. The study relies on an iPhone app to collect data about arthritic symptoms from users as they go about their daily lives. That sounds great at first glance, but how well will it protect your privacy?
In an effort to learn more about the dreaded disease, the National Institutes of Health is funding a study in which a group of US athletes, coaches, and staff will be monitored for exposure to the Zika virus while attending the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil.
Here we go again: A jaguar that was brought out during an Olympic torch event earlier this week was shot and killed shortly afterward when it escaped its handlers. The local Games organizing committee is now investigating the incident, but animal welfare advocates say the big cat should never have been there in the…
Six months after researchers in China bioengineered monkeys to have autism, a Japanese team of scientists has used the same technology to create monkeys with Parkinson’s. It’s a scientific first, and it could lead to effective treatments—but do the ends justify the means?
Last month, a group of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered in secret to discuss the possibility of creating a synthetic human genome from scratch. Details of the plan have finally been made public, and it’s as ambitious as it sounds. But critics say they founders of the new project are avoiding the tough…
Earlier this week, over a hundred scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss the radical possibility of creating a synthetic human genome. Strangely, journalists were not invited, and attendees were told to keep a tight lip. Which, given the weighty subject matter, is obvious cause for concern.
Scientists have sustained human embryos in a petri dish for 13 days, shattering the previous record of nine days. The breakthrough will allow researchers to study early fetal development in unprecedented detail, and brings us one step closer to viable “artificial wombs.” But it’s adding fuel to an already heated…
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.