23andMe Is Back in the Genetic Testing Business With FDA Approval

Genetic testing company 23andMe is back in the business of direct-to-consumer health testing kits, after a two-year semi-hiatus (in the U.S., at least) from offering health risk assessments at the behest of the Food and Drug Administration. That makes 23andMe the first such company to win FDA approval for taking its… »10/23/15 11:50am10/23/15 11:50am

DNA Repair Earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Here's Why

Yesterday the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich for their work in mapping out how cells repair damaged DNA. Their research improved our understanding of how our own cells work and helped in the development of cancer treatments, but… »10/08/15 3:50pm10/08/15 3:50pm

A Few Mutant Genes Can Turn a Stomach Bug into the Black Death

Scientists have long known that one little microbe is responsible for the infamous Black Death plague that decimated Western Europe in the Middle Ages, wiping out roughly one-third of the population. Now they’ve learned more about where it comes from: it takes just a few small genetic changes to turn a mild stomach… »10/07/15 8:20pm10/07/15 8:20pm

Here's the Exact Way That the Ice Bucket Challenge Helped ALS Research

Last year’s hugely popular “ice bucket challenge” saw celebrities pouring buckets of ice water over their heads to help fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). Skeptics dismissed it as mere “slacktivism,” but researchers told us that the money led directly to a scientific breakthrough. Can slacktivism actually work? »9/16/15 1:20pm9/16/15 1:20pm