genetics

Genetic Engineers Are Building A Biological Kill Switch

The fear of genetically-modified creatures escaping from the lab is the basis for a thousand sci-fi stories, but it’s also a legitimate concern. That’s why genetic engineers are inventing kill switches, or genetically-encoded suicide triggers, for GMOs they want to keep contained. Here’s how they work.


Scientists To Sequence Lil Bub's Genome

A team of geneticists is ready to unlock the secrets behind Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub’s unique appearance. Lil Bub, whose full name is Lillian Bubbles (her friends call her Bub), may be the most recognisable cat on the Web. Although Bub is an adult now, she still looks like a kitten, with wide green eyes and short legs and her tongue sticks out, giving her a perpetual happy-go-lucky expression.


Scientists Edited A Human Embryo -- But It Didn't Go Very Well

It’s an unprecedented feat: tweaking the genomes of human embryos. In a groundbreaking move, Chinese researchers have officially done it, but the announcement comes amid a whole bunch of ethical fracas.


After 150,000 Years In A Cave, A Neanderthal Skull Looks Like This

This is the Altamura Man. He’s old. In 1993, cave researchers stumbled across an odd formation in Italy: a skull that had essentially grown over time to become part of the cave, calcite budding from its features. Now, scientists have discovered that it could easily be 150,000 years old.


Harvard's 'Frankenstein': The 1970s Controversy Over Mixing DNA

In the 1970s, two inhuman creatures — one hairy and tall, another with orange eyes — were spotted in New England. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, blamed these monsters not on unreliable testimonies, but recombinant DNA technology, then a new and promising laboratory technique.


The Problem With Those DNA-Based Mugshots

A little less than a year ago, researchers announced a new technique that used DNA analysis to recreate the image of a person’s face. It was a stunning idea — but a new a New York Times report reveals that there’s more than one big problem with the sci-fi promise of DNA-based mugshots.


After Thousands Of Years, Earth's Frozen Life Forms Are Waking Up

What’s happening in Siberia’s thawing permafrost and Greenland’s melting glaciers sounds borderline supernatural. Ancient viruses, bacteria, plants and even animals have been cryogenically frozen there for millennia — and now they are waking up.


This Video Is The Best Explanation Yet Of How Genomes Really Work

There are 20,000 genes in the human genome, but only a small fraction of them are active in any given cell. This video from Nature explains with beautiful clarity the system that activity, turning genes on and off. It’s called the epigenome, and it’s incredibly important. Now you can understand how it works too.


How Do I Look In These Genes? The Science Of DNA Dating

That sensation you feel when you meet someone you like — that visceral pull towards another human being — there’s biology behind that. And if there’s biology behind that, it can be measured, and controlled for, and used to help determine if two people will be attracted to each other before they ever even meet in person. That’s the theory behind a new wave of online dating trying to radically improve the matchmaking process by analysing your DNA.


Of Course 23andMe's Plan Has Been To Sell Your Genetic Data All Along

Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of 10 deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $US60 million for access to 23andMe’s data to study Parkinson’s. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $US99 a pop? Nope, it’s been about selling your data all along.


Product And Price Finder

Find more great products at