It’s a nightmare scenario straight out of a primetime drama: a child-seeking couple visits a fertility clinic to try their luck with in-vitro fertilization, only to wind up accidentally impregnated by the wrong sperm.
Embedded in our genetic code is all kinds of sensitive data that could be compromising in the wrong hands. Without genetic privacy protections, the information stored in our genes might be used to discriminate against us or send us targeted ads. For these reasons, some have said we should skip out on consumer DNA…
At times, DNA testing can feel more like horoscopes than science. In many cases, we just don’t know enough about a gene to say what it means for our health. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration has sought to protect consumers by preventing DNA testing companies from telling them whether or not they’re…
UFOs. Big Foot. The Loch Ness monster. All mythologies that have propagated to explain the unexplained, the things modern science can’t quite justify or illuminate.
Nearly a decade ago, Dallas police proposed a new program designed to get sex workers off the streets. Rather than just send them to jail, police would set up shop at truck stops, accompanied by counselors, social workers and nurses, and give the sex workers a choice of either prison or talking to a counselor. But…
While we all want to travel, live, and bang in space, there are some pretty major things to consider, such as the fact that our sentient flesh cocoons were not designed to handle the harsh conditions of the cosmic void. Though research like NASA’s Twin Study will illuminate some of the potential impacts of extended…
Ten years ago, if you wanted to back up some old photos, you might have stored them on a big, clunky external hard drive that weighed a couple of pounds and was a pain to lug around. Ten years from now, you might back up all the data from your entire life on just a few grams of DNA.
As individuals, our DNA offers insight into things like our personalities, our health and where we come from. But taken together, all those individual portraits can add up to paint a detailed history of humankind.
Diagnosing disease often requires analyzing and detecting single cells with lab tests that cost hundreds of dollars each. Hospitals in a poor country stricken with a disease epidemic like HIV or malaria simply might not have the funds to run all of those tests. Scientists are looking for a cheaper option.
They haven’t found alien life out there yet, but following the first successful in-space DNA sequencing, astronauts have a better way to look for it.
The ISS is getting an incredible new tool: a handheld DNA sequencer. The questions scientists hope it will answer include whether life exists beyond our planet and just what is that weird fungus growing on the wall of the space station?
Last year, a biotech startup called Clear Labs performed DNA testing on a bunch of hot dogs and discovered that they often contain more than the label advertises. The same company has now used its arsenal of molecular technologies to break down America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there…
The burgeoning industry of biological design is in the headlines every day. Yet even science journalists have had trouble explaining concepts like CRISPR in terms that everyone can understand. A new exhibition at a Silicon Valley museum skillfully explains the technically and ethically complicated field of…
Rosalind Franklin, the British scientist whose research enabled the discovery of DNA’s double helix, will be getting a biopic if spec script Exposure is made. Fingers crossed, because not only would a feature film bring Franklin some much-deserved recognition—her life would make for quite a dramatic movie.
DNA contains the information that defines life—but it can also be used to store digital content, too. Now, Microsoft has announced that it’s seriously investigating the technique as a means of storing data, paying a bioscience company to create ten million strands of digital storage DNA.
Need to take a temperature in a hard-to-reach spot? Researchers have created the world’s smallest thermometer from DNA, and it could be used to measure temperature even within living cells.
The CIA is very interested in skincare products. It wants to stay up-to-date on all the latest tips and trends—do you think the spooks have tried those crazy looking sheet masks?—because it knows the secret to aging well is taking good care of the skin.
Who needs memory cards when you have DNA? A team of scientists has been able to store images within the life-defining molecules then retrieve them perfectly.
Researchers from Temple University have used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool to clear out the entire HIV-1 genome from a patient’s infected immune cells. It’s a remarkable achievement that could have profound implications for the treatment of AIDS and other retroviruses.
It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood science-fiction movie. An alien species is dying. Their only hope is for a brood of artificially fertilised eggs created from the preserved DNA of some of the last survivors to be brought back to life in a future world where (hopefully) conditions are better suited to them.