Researchers in China are reportedly the first to use a powerful gene editing tool to produce super-muscled dogs. The goal is to create test subjects that mimic degenerative human diseases, but the breakthrough also raises the prospect of customized pets.
A lot of researchers are thinking about how to genetically engineer crops and food animals to help them withstand post-climate change heat and parched conditions. But what about genetically engineering humans to slow our constant carbon contributions?
Just five months after scientists in China made history by modifying the germline of human embryos, a research team in the U.K. is requesting permission to do the same, but strictly for research into infertility. Given recent calls for a moratorium on such research, the decision is likely to set a precedent for future…
The emerging discipline of synthetic biology is poised to change many aspects of our lives, from the production of medicines and bio-fuels through to genetic engineering and the development of completely new biological systems. It’s a technologically daunting prospect, but this video from Grist uses Legos and…
It used to be that making cheese meant killing cows. Young cows, specifically—a few days old, at most. The stomach of an unweaned calf produces enzymes that turn liquid milk into good, hard, flavorful cheeses like Parmesan and Cheddar. These enzymes, called rennet, are secreted by mucous membranes that line the calf’s…
In the wake of news that scientists in China modified the DNA of human embryos, a number of scientists and bioethicists have called for a global moratorium on experiments that could alter the human germline. The White House has come out in support of such a ban — for now.
An international team of scientists have isolated a gene within the Aedes aegypti mosquito that partially transforms females into males. Since only females spread diseases by feasting on human blood, the discovery could lead to powerful population control strategies.
CRISPR, a new genome editing tool, could transform the field of biology—and a recent study on genetically-engineered human embryos has converted this promise into media hype. But scientists have been tinkering with genomes for decades. Why is CRISPR suddenly such a big deal?
The science world was rocked last week by news that geneticists in China had modified the DNA of human embryos. In the face of mounting criticism, science journal Protein & Cell has issued a formal response explaining why it chose to publish the controversial study.
I have loved a lot of Craigslist ads in my time, but I truly love this one the most. It sounds like a plot ripped from The Avengers or Fantastic Four, crossed with VC-funded biotech startup madness.
Rumors are circulating that geneticists have modified the DNA of a human embryo. If true, it could allow scientists to hack the human germ line, resulting in heritable genome modifications. Critics warn it could lead to unforeseen consequences, while advocates say it's the next step in medical evolution.
A powerful new technique called a "gene drive" is opening up incredible possibilities for the control and manipulation of wildlife. Leading researchers say we need to have a debate now about whether we should be shaping the genetics of whole populations of wild animals.
The hearts of genetically modified pigs could soon be transplanted into humans. A research team, who tweaked the DNA of pigs to make the organ more compatible to humans, grafted a pig heart into a baboon more than a year ago — and it's still doing fine.
Of the many horror stories we hear about GMOs, few are as heart-rending as the one about how nearly 300,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves over failed cotton crops. What's also horrible is that the story is a complete fabrication.
As we head deeper into the GMO era, it's fair to wonder just how far we can manipulate the biology of plants. Here are a few possibilities — from spore-spewing super-plants to delicious hamburgatoes.
Now that many environmentalists are coming around to the idea that GMOs don't have to be evil, we need a more nuanced view of how we want to use GMOs in agriculture. When is it a good idea to use GMOs, and when is it overkill?
In an experiment that even caught the researchers by surprise, nematode worms had their lifespans increased by — get this — five times. By tweaking two longevity-related genes, the researchers created an unexpected feedback effect that radically amplified lifespan. The technique could eventually be used to treat…
Spiders. They're terrible, they're everywhere, and one is probably crawling on you right now. With all the wondrous things that science has achieved, isn't it time to do something about this eight-legged menace?
A farmer in Oregon recently discovered unkillable wheat in his fields. He'd sprayed the whole field with a pesticide called Roundup, but this patch of wheat wouldn't die. Convinced he'd discovered a new super-wheat mutation, he sent some to a scientist.