dna

This Is Why We Have Brains In Our Heads And Not Our Bums

Video: This video explains why our brains are at the end of our bodies in our heads. Evolutionary advantage led to sensory organs clustered together around animals’ eating ends and early brains developed. Only later did animals start to protect these assets with skulls and then develop other advantages such as jaws.


Mystery Illnesses Could Now Be Diagnosed With A Rapid DNA Test

When we think of medicine, we usually think of the treatment: drugs, surgery, therapy. But before all that comes the diagnosis — a tricky proposition when symptoms are confusing and information scant. Now for the first time ever, doctors were able to use rapid DNA sequencing to identify an obscure bacterium in time to save a boy’s life.


Artist Regrows Van Gogh's Ear Using His DNA

Artist Diemut Strebe made a living replica of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, grown from genetic samples provided by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. They share about 1/16th of the same genes, including the Y-chromosome, passed down the male lineage.


How England's Yeast Vault Saved A Brewery After A Disastrous Flood

A commercial brewery is really a factory. Raw ingredients like grain and water go in one end, flow through pipes and tanks, and beer comes out the other side. But you could gut and replace all those pipes and tanks, switch from one grain supplier to another, swap out the walls and the controllers, and the same beer would still flow from the taps, metaphorically speaking.


This Mechanical Nano-Lance Is One Hundredth The Size Of A Human Hair

You may think this looks like the surface of the Death Star, but it’s actually a microscopic device that delivers DNA into the nucleus of a single cell. The process has been awesomely dubbed metamorphic nanoinjection by Brigham Young University scientists, and it benefits all kinds of genetic research for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.


Scientists Have Created 'Alien' DNA

After 15 years of work, scientists have successfully created a living cell that contains two unnatural DNA building blocks. The breakthrough brings us one step closer to being able to synthesise cells that can produce drugs on demand. It even opens the door to a future where we could create life that’s unlike anything ever found on Earth.


DNA Sequences Can Trace Your Ancestors To Within 50km

DNA sequencing can already tell us a lot about our ancestors. But a new technique developed by an international team of scientists now allows them to pinpoint a person’s geographical origin — going back 1000 years.


Predict What Your Future Children Look Like In 'Virtual Embryos'

Remember those slightly horrifying sites that mash up two faces to tell you what your hypothetical babies might look like? With genome sequencing and “virtual embryos”, we might actually be able to do that — using science. Those days are not quite here yet, but New Scientist has an intriguing report about a company called GenePeeks. We already screen for common genetic disorders by testing the DNA of prospective parents.


Nanoparticles In Consumer Products Could Be Damaging Your DNA

Masses of products — from cosmetics to clothing — now contain nanoparticles, to kill microbes, lengthen shelf life or provide other wonderful properties. But new research from MIT and Harvard suggests they could also be damaging your DNA.


DNA Nanobots Turn Cockroaches Into Living, 8-Bit Computers

We already have the potential to reconfigure DNA into itty bitty bio-computers programmed to do our bidding. But now scientists have used high numbers of those nanobots to successfully complete logic operations inside of actual, living organisms. Say hello to the computerised cockroach.