The burgeoning industry of biological design is in the headlines every day. Yet even science journalists have had trouble explaining concepts like CRISPR in terms that everyone can understand. A new exhibition at a Silicon Valley museum skillfully explains the technically and ethically complicated field of…
The need to mend broken hearts has never been greater. But what if we could simply manufacture a new one—an artificial heart that doesn’t beat?
We love to imagine how biotechnology might one day enhance our fleshy bodies, but too often, Earth’s wildlife are left out of the future entirely. Enter Kathryn Fleming’s future zoo, filled with a menagerie of fantastical, slightly disturbing, genetically modified mutants.
The waiting list for organ transplants is growing at an alarming rate while the number of potential organ donors has failed to keep pace. Encouragingly, scientists are working several high-tech solutions in the field of regenerative medicine. We spoke to the experts to learn how organ shortages will soon become a…
Inspired by full-sized mechanical parts like hinges and pistons, researchers at Ohio State University have designed pieces of DNA that could eventually be used to construct nano-scale robots.
The powerful painkiller morphine comes from opium poppies, which only grow in a few places around the world. But now, a group of bioengineers are on the cusp of creating a modified form of baker's yeast that can synthesize the drug. What happens when we can brew up heroin in a vat of yeast?
Researchers in the UK have developed a technique to culture universal type-O blood from stem cells. It's the first time scientists have manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being. It's a breakthrough that could eventually end blood shortages in emergencies.
Researchers at Berkeley have orchestrated the flow of cell groups by using electrical currents. It's a tissue engineering breakthrough that could eventually lead to "smart bandages" that use electricity to guide cells during the wound healing process.
In a surprising breakthrough for the world of materials science, researchers have created some of the most powerful artificial muscles we've ever seen. And they did it with simple fishing line. These freakishly strong and cheap muscles could revolutionize robotics, and perhaps one day our own bodies.
Swiss researchers have achieved a major breakthrough in the development of bioengineered skin. The new grafts, which are about to undergo clinical trials, work a lot like the real thing — because they actually contain functioning blood vessels and lymph capillaries.
Engineers often take inspiration from animal designs because they're more efficient than machines are. In the case of owl wings, nature has a major advantage over human engineering: owl wings are uncannily quiet. Now, researchers are considering outfitting wind turbines with an upscaled equivalent – if they can figure…
In a big step towards making humans more bionic, scientists have trained monkeys to control not just one, but two virtual arms by thoughts alone. The work could someday be a boon to double amputees or quadriplegics.
Researchers have been kicking around the idea of a cranial porthole for years – a skylight for your skull that doctors could peer through to monitor brain cancer, or treat neurological disorders. But glass is too fragile, and traditional skull implants are opaque. Now, a team of bioengineers has developed an implant…
In a major scientific first, a team of developmental biologists has built a functional mouse heart from human tissues. The results herald a future where specific patches of heart muscle – or even the whole organ – could be grown for transplantation.
John W.M. Bush is an applied mathematician at MIT, where he studies how insects stand, paddle, jump and jitter along the surface of water, via what he calls "interfacial biolocomotion." As this video compilation illustrates, the movements and mechanisms at work are surprisingly complex, and captivating to watch.
Do not judge the Crabster by its lame name, which sounds more like the nickname of a frat guy from a terrible '80s movie than it does a badass ocean-roving robot. A portmanteau of "crab" and "lobster," two creatures after which it is modeled, the Crabster was designed by researchers in South Korea to help them do…
A new study shows that stem cells extracted from urine can be turned into rudimentary tooth-like structures. Oh, and the researchers did so by growing the teeth inside the kidneys of mice.
While DNA is the building block of life, its cousin RNA keeps the show running smoothly, as it carries the information from DNA that allow genes to be expressed. RNA's ability to increase or decrease the expression of genes means it has huge potential to treat diseases at the genetic level, including tumors and…
Everyone, say hello to RoboBee. RoboBee is inspired by the biology of a fly – otherwise, it's exactly what it sounds like. And it is amazing.