dna

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.


These Eerily Accurate Mugshots Were Created From DNA Alone

Everyone knows that DNA can be invaluable when it comes to solving crimes. But now genetic analysis can be used to generate incredibly precise mugshots of criminals, too.


The Fascinating History Of Eugenics

The name deriving from the Greek “eugenes”, meaning “well-born”, it should be no surprise that “eugenics” seeks to engineer a better human race by purposefully selecting good traits, and eliminating bad ones, as is common when breeding animals. Over the years, eugenics has had a number of proponents, from some of the greatest and most admires thinkers in western civilisation to the worst human monsters to ever walk the earth.


The Fish You're Eating Might Not Actually Be The Fish You Think

Think you’re eating grouper? Nope, it’s Vietnamese catfish. What about cod? Could be escolar. Can you tell the difference between red snapper and rockfish? Farm-raised salmon and wild? Here’s the thing with fish: once you fillet it and get rid of its characteristics, it can get kind of, sort of hard to tell what from what.


A Crash Course In How Genomes Are Sequenced

Everyone’s heard of DNA, genetics and genome sequencing, but you might not actually know exactly how scientists go about doing it. This TED Ed video explains, nicely and simply, how it works.


What Is Gene Therapy?

Every now and again you might read about gene therapy and efforts to correct serious genetic diseases. But I’m betting that very few readers have had gene therapy, nor have they ever met anyone who has, nor will they ever meet that many. The reasons are simple – while these procedures are possible in theory, in practice, it has proved remarkably difficult to insert new genetic materials into human patients and ensure that the new genes are sustainably expressed.


23andMe Stops Performing Health-Related Genetic Testing

Following demands issued by the US Food and Drug Administration late last month, 23andMe has ceased all health-related genetic testing until further notice.


23andMe Must Stop Selling DNA Tests, Says US Authorities

Something’s not quite right about 23andMe’s DNA analysis kits, and the US Food and Drug Administration is on it. The agency ordered 23andMe to stop selling the kits until the Google-backed company can prove that they actually work. Sounds reasonable.