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.
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 America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there…
In a lush conservation park in central Kenya, the world’s last three northern white rhinos are unable to breed. When they die, the subspecies will go extinct. That is unless a complex, controversial plan involving tissue cryobanks and test tube embryos can actually work.
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…
As a breed, labrador retrievers often have serious food-related issues—a behavioral 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.
Over a century ago, scientists discarded a proposed theory that human limbs evolved from gills, given the lack of evidence in the fossil record. That theory is being revisited in light of new genetic results just published in the journal Development.
When Saturday Night Live aired a skit this weekend riffing on America’s new heroin epidemic—a satirical fake ad for “Heroin A.M.” 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…
Researchers from Temple University have used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool to clear out the entire HIV-1 genome from a patient’s infected immune cells. It’s a remarkable achievement that could have profound implications for the treatment of AIDS and other retroviruses.
It sounds ripped out of the pages of a science fiction novel—or maybe a Lisa Frank catalog—but the genetically modified, brilliantly colored zebra fish pictured above is no fantasy. It was created by scientists, to explore one of the most elusive processes in biology: tissue regeneration.
Researchers from the University of Oxford have rewritten positive memories associated with cocaine in mice. The achievement could expand our understanding of memory, while demonstrating that it’s possible to neurologically reverse ingrained bad behavior, such as drug addiction.
Zika is now a global emergency, and the latest in a long string of mosquito-borne viruses to afflict humanity. Mosquitoes truly suck, and the time has come to do something about them. Here’s how science will help—and why a war on mosquitoes doesn’t mean we have to wipe them off the face of the planet.
Schizophrenia is a complex disease with elusive origins, but the mystery became much clearer today, when a landmark new study based on genetic analysis of nearly 65,000 individuals pinpointed a specific gene and biological process behind it.
The most prominent sperm bank in the UK is under investigation after turning away donors with dyslexia and other questionable characteristics. This raises an important question: Should sperm banks be in the business of making “better” babies?
We typically think of evolution as a progression from simplicity to complexity. But one organism seems to have thrown the rulebook out the window: a microbial animal that offers a striking example of evolution run “backwards.”
The birds you see above are all ruffs (Philomachus pugnax): wading birds that summer in marshes through Northern Europe and Asia. All three are wearing different forms of breeding plumage. And all of them are male.
The Bread Lab at Washington State University is a collaboration between plant geneticists and master bakers. The goal? To breed new varieties of wheat that can turn out superior breads and beers while still growing well in the cool and wet Northwest climate.
A one-year-old girl diagnosed with incurable aggressive leukemia is now in remission after receiving “designer cells” from a donor. The therapy made use of a powerful new gene-editing technique that could eventually be used to treat an array of hereditary diseases.
Genetic testing company 23andMe is back in the business of direct-to-consumer health testing kits, after a two-year semi-hiatus (in the U.S., at least) from offering health risk assessments at the behest of the Food and Drug Administration. That makes 23andMe the first such company to win FDA approval for taking its…
Today, a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics tied male homosexuality to chemical markers on DNA that affect how genes are expressed.
Yesterday the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich for their work in mapping out how cells repair damaged DNA. Their research improved our understanding of how our own cells work and helped in the development of cancer treatments, but…