Category: Genetics

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New DNA Synthesis Method Could Soon Build a Genome in a Day

New DNA Synthesis Method Could Soon Build a Genome in a Day Synthetic biologists are the computer programmers of biology. Their code? DNA. The whole enterprise sounds fantastical: you insert new snippets of DNA code—in the form of a chain of A, T, C, G letters—into an organism, and bam! Suddenly you have bacteria that…
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Three Huge Ways Tech Is Overhauling Healthcare

Three Huge Ways Tech Is Overhauling Healthcare We are on the brink of a revolution in healthcare. AI is making the drug discovery process >100X faster and cheaper, and 90 percent more likely to succeed in clinical trials. Mobile health is predicted to become a $102 billion market by 2022, putting a virtual doctor, on-demand,…
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What Makes People Distrust Science? Surprisingly, Not Politics

What Makes People Distrust Science? Surprisingly, Not Politics Today, there is a crisis of trust in science. Many people—including politicians and, yes, even presidents—publicly express doubts about the validity of scientific findings. Meanwhile, scientific institutions and journals express their concerns about the public’s increasing distrust in science. How is it possible that science, the products…
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Pioneering Stem Cell Trial Seeks to Cure Babies Before Birth

Pioneering Stem Cell Trial Seeks to Cure Babies Before Birth Even before she was born, Elianna Constantino had already cheated death. Elianna has a rare inherited blood disorder called alpha thalassemia major, which prevents her red blood cells from forming properly. The disease, which has no cure, is usually fatal for a developing fetus. But…
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The Epic Project to Record the DNA of All Life on Earth

The Epic Project to Record the DNA of All Life on Earth Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have brought rapid progress in the fields of medicine, food, ecology, and neuroscience, among others. With this progress comes ambition for even more progress—realizing we’re capable of, say, engineering crops to yield more means we may be…
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Living Neanderthal ‘Mini-Brains’ May Reveal What Makes Our Brains Special

Living Neanderthal ‘Mini-Brains’ May Reveal What Makes Our Brains Special He isolated DNA from Egyptian mummies. He discovered the Denisovans, an extinct ancient human species, by sequencing DNA from a tiny bone fragment. He led a massive study that reconstructed the Neanderthal genome—and found traces of their genes still lurking within some of us today.…
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Scientists Kick Off Synthetic Biology Project to Make Virus-Resistant Super Cells

Scientists Kick Off Synthetic Biology Project to Make Virus-Resistant Super Cells Recently, roughly 200 eminent scientists assembled in Boston. Their agenda? Creating “superhero” human cells impervious to all viral attacks and possibly other killers—radiation, freezing, aging, or even cancer. The trick isn’t super-soldier serum. Instead, the team is relying on tools from synthetic biology to…
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This New Startup Will Use CRISPR as a Search Engine to Hunt Down Diseases

This New Startup Will Use CRISPR as a Search Engine to Hunt Down Diseases By now, you’ve heard of CRISPR—the bacterial self-defense mechanism that can be used to modify the genome. From “biohackers” building the hype by injecting themselves with CRISPR—and later regretting it—to the more measured, successful approach taken by scientists and startups, people…
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CRISPR-on-a-Chip For Diagnosing Cancer May Soon Be a Thing

CRISPR-on-a-Chip For Diagnosing Cancer May Soon Be a Thing Oh CRISPR, how you’ve grown. From an obscure part of the bacterial immune defense system, you’re now on track to cure genetic diseases, thwart superbugs, boost global food production, and wipe out disease-carrying pests. And now, finally, you’re ready to shed your cellular cocoon and head…
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A Data Storage Revolution? DNA Can Store Near Limitless Data in Almost Zero Space

A Data Storage Revolution? DNA Can Store Near Limitless Data in Almost Zero Space In the age of big data, we are quickly producing far more digital information than we can possibly store. Last year, $20 billion was spent on new data centers in the US alone, doubling the capital expenditure on data center infrastructure…
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