The blueprint of every living thing on the planet is encoded in DNA. We know the stuff can hold a lot of information. But how much is a lot? We could… read more
In the decade or so since the Human Genome Project was completed, synthetic biology has grown rapidly. Impressive advances include the first bacteria to use a chemically-synthesized genome and creation of… read more
With the recent and highly publicized death of actor Robin Williams, depression is once again making national headlines. And for good reason. Usually, the conversation about depression turns to the… read more
What causes human to age? A study published recently provides a tool that may help future researchers answer that question. It’s a biological clock that can date the age of a cell by measuring methylation, a chemical modification that affects certain parts of DNA. Using the clock, any piece of tissue identified with the biological age of its human source.
Technology has always ridden far out ahead of the laws that govern it. As the pace accelerates, that gap may widen. The US Patent Office issued the first patent on a gene thirty years ago. Tens of thousands of patents later and amid growing uncertainty about the patentability of genes, the issue was heard by the US Supreme Court earlier this year. On June 13th, the court ruled against biotech firm, Myriad, saying the company may not patent isolation of naturally ocurring genes. However, the court upheld patents of synthetically created genes, known as complementary DNA or cDNA.
Only about two percent of the human genome contains genes. The other 98 percent has been likened to cosmology’s dark matter that fills the space between stars – there’s a lot of it, but nobody really know what it does.
Microchimerism results when cells from two genetically distinct populations appear in the same tissue, organ, or individual, such as occurs during an organ transplant or during pregnancy. It has been known… read more
For the last 15 years mystified doctors have been unable to explain the cause for Brooke’s disorder that has kept her aging in check.
Researchers in Germany have found a new way to make a flu vaccine. Their approach, shown to protect mice against the virus, utilizes messenger RNA instead of purified protein to… read more
Toni Balcean turned 101 in September. How’d she beat a century? Simple. “Clean living and good Italian wine.” Case closed! Unless, of course, you like science. A retooled Archon Genomics X PRIZE aims to… read more
A new study that estimates the rate of DNA degradation in fossils casts serious doubt on our chances of ever having a real life Jurassic Park. The researchers looked at… read more
Using new technology, researchers were able to sequence and analyze whole genomes of infants in about 50 hours. While the rapid data is impressive, even more impressive was how they… read more