genetics

How A New DNA Test Can Distinguish Between Identical Twins 

Ever since police started using DNA tests, one particular loophole has captivated our imagination: How do you distinguish between identical twins who share DNA? But it turns out even identical twins have tiny differences in their DNA, and prosecutors in Massachusetts want to use a new test for identical twins in court for the very first time.


Why I'd Let Google Put My Genome In The Cloud

For the past 18 months, according to the Tech Review, Google has been quietly rolling out a cloud computing service for DNA. Google Genomics could one day have millions of genomes on its servers, available at a click of a button to researchers. Are there legitimate privacy concerns here? Definitely, but it’s not Google’s grubby fingers you should worry about.


The Many Ways We're Using Mutant Mosquitos To Eradicate Disease

Mosquitos suck. It’s not just because of those itchy red bites we all get in the summer, either. Mosquitos suck because they’re the deadliest animals on the planet, and none of our classic strategies from combatting the threat seem to be working. That’s why we’re turning the mosquitos against themselves.


Federal Court Of Australia: Patents On Genes Are Totally Fine

While the legal system plays catch-up with the ever-changing facets of the Digital Age, so to are the medical sciences trying to figure out lawtastic minefields such as stem cell research, cloning and genetics. That last one in particular featured recently in a decision handed down by Federal Court of Australia, with its sitting judges ruling that yes, companies can indeed patent genes.


The World's First Handheld DNA Amplifier Is A Genetics Lab In A Box

DNA sequencing is crucial for identifying and tracking nasty viruses like E. coli and the flu. But current tabletop-size DNA sequencing machines aren’t readily portable. Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand have a solution in a brick-sized DNA sequencer that connects wirelessly to a smartphone or laptop.


How Lizard Tails Could Help Scientists Study Human Limb Regeneration

Prosthetic technology is getting insanely good. But what if we just didn’t need it any more? What if we could simply program our genes to regrow human limbs as easily as lizards regrow lost tails? Well, scientists are getting closer to that fantastic future.


DIY Diagnosis: How One Woman Uncovered Her Own Genetic Flaw

When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help find out why.


How The Internet Is Helping A Father Fight An Illness Unknown To Science

In 2012, Matt Might sat down to write a blog post. The 5000-word essay titled “Hunting Down My Son’s Killer,” which was also republished on Gizmodo, documented his and his wife’s harrowing attempt to make sense of their son’s mysterious illness. The post went viral online — setting the family down a road that could change medical research. In the New Yorker, journalist Seth Mnookin tells the story of what’s happened since.


There's A Plan To Breed Bald Chickens That Can Survive Global Warming

In a few decades, global warming will likely make our unbearable summers hotter, longer, and even more unbearable. So think of the chickens. Or, if you can’t find a place for chickens in your heart, think of the chicken nuggets and hot wings that you’ll miss. That’s why researchers at the University of Delaware want to breed a heat-resistant chicken with no feathers on its head and neck.


New Software Can Spot Rare Genetic Diseases From Family Photographs

Spotting rare genetic disease is, by definition, a little tricky. But now a team of scientists from the University of Oxford has developed software that can spot such conditions by analysing family photographs.