genetics
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A Flaw Has Been Detected In A Ground-Breaking Fertility Treatment

Scientists say that a groundbreaking fertility treatment to correct potentially harmful genetic mutations has the potential to backfire, recreating the exact mutation the intervention was meant to fix. It’s a problem that could put an immediate halt to the pending practice — but a work-around may be possible.


Genetic Clues Reveal How Giraffes Got Their Long Necks

For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of the world’s tallest land species, the giraffe. Surprisingly, this majestic creature required only a small handful of mutations to attain its remarkable physical stature and physiology — but these mutations packed an evolutionary punch.


Researchers Just Solved One Of The Biggest Problems For World Hunger

Planet Earth is doomed with a fast growing global population and a limited amount of farmland to produce food for everyone. That means that we’re going to need to figure out how to maximise what we’ve got — and researchers just made a major breakthrough in getting the most from our crops.


Experts Held Secret Meeting On Building A Human Genome

Earlier this week, over a hundred scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss the radical possibility of creating a synthetic human genome. Strangely, journalists were not invited and attendees were told to keep a tight lip. Which, given the weighty subject matter, is obvious cause for concern.


Genetic Analysis Of 250 Burgers Reveals Some Unsavoury Surprises

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 your other favourite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there are some unsavoury surprises.


How The Venus Flytrap Became Predator Instead Of Prey

Remember when we told you that the Venus flytrap can actually count? That’s how this carnivorous plant knows the difference between the presence of prey in its trap and a false alarm. Now the same team of German scientists is back with insight into how the Venus flytrap turned the evolutionary tables to become predator instead of prey. They describe this work in a new paper in Genome Research.


Why Your Labrador Retriever Loses Its Mind Around Food

As a breed, Labrador Retrievers often have serious food-related issues — a behavioural quirk that often leads to over-eating and canine obesity. Researchers have finally figured out why, and the answer could influence the way we treat human obesity.


CRISPR Just Got One Step Closer To Editing Human Genes With Ease

Leveraging the pre-existing power of CRISPR, a team of researchers has made an important adjustment to the groundbreaking gene-editing tool that could make it precise enough for human applications.


Addiction Could Be More Like A Learning Disorder Than A Disease

When Saturday Night Live aired a skit this weekend riffing on America’s new heroin epidemic — a satirical fake ad for “Heroin AM” to help addicts remain productive while using — many people weren’t laughing. That’s because heroin and other powerful opiates are killing more people than ever, across all demographics. So much for the War on Drugs. Maybe that approach is failing because we’re thinking about addiction all wrong.


Chinese Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos Again

Just one year after scientists in China made history by modifying the DNA of human embryos, a second team of Chinese researchers has done it again. Using CRISPR/Cas9, the researchers introduced HIV-resistance into the embryos, showcasing the tremendous potential for gene-editing.


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