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Genetics


Analysis and insight on the advancements in genetics. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends in genetics research.

iGEM 2009: Synthetic Biology Competition Bigger than Ever this Halloween

Like some Frankenstein monster composed of space camp, graduate school, and science fair, iGEM is ready to spring to life this Halloween. The International Genetic Engineering Machine competition is now in its 6th...

Gene Therapy Cures Color Blindness in Monkeys

If nature gave you some bum genes, you've got a chance of fixing them. Genetic treatments have allowed researchers to cure color blindness in two squirrel monkeys. As published this month in Nature, gene...

Illumina’s Genome Sequencing Service Gets First Customers

The race to provide you with access to your genome is really heating up. Industry leader Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) has completed its first genome sequencing service for an individual at the low-low price of...

The Scoop on Zirus from CEO David Perryman

If the Home Alone movies taught me anything (and that's doubtful to begin with) it's that defeating the bad guys goes hand in hand with well-laid traps. Well, there are few bad guys as...

3 Genetic Variants Account for 20% of Risk for Alzheimer’s

  Two recent studies from Europe have shown that three genetic variants may be responsible for about 20% of the risk of developing Alzheimer's. This discovery not only could help scientists refine tests that let...

Sequenced Human Genomes Nearly Doubled Since March

Complete Genomics has had a busy spring. For those of you who missed our February story, or our recent article, CG is a human genome sequencing company that is focusing on economies of scale....

Dog Hair is Defined by Just Three Genes!

There are few species as diverse as man's best friend. Yet, every breed from the chihuahua to the great dane has much the same genome. A recently published article in Science, however, explains that...

China: “We Don’t Use Executed Prisoners for Organs…Not Anymore”

The Chinese government has many strengths, but I don't think that international PR is one of them. In a report released from the Chinese Health Ministry, and reported in their nationalized press last week,...

Monkey DNA Swap Paves Way to Engineered Babies

Great joke I just heard: How many monkeys does it take to make a baby? Answer: Three. Two for chromosomal DNA, and one for mitochondrial DNA. Ha ha ha... Yeah...maybe it's only funny to...

Get Your Entire Genome From Complete Genomics For $5000

It's getting progressively cheaper to sequence your entire genome. Earlier in June, Illumina announced it would provide sequencing for close to $50k, half of their original price. Not to be outdone, Complete...

23andMe Leading Way to Democratized Disease Research

Here's a riddle: What do you get when you mix American Idol with genetic testing for disease? The 23andMe research revolution. The same company that brought you affordable testing for common genetic markers has...

Genetic Testing of Chinese Children: Fraud and Future

Depending on who you ask the genetic testing of children is a nightmare, a science fiction ploy, or a day camp in China. At the Chongqing Children's Palace, more than thirty children aged three...

Britain vs. The Organ Black Market

Nations tend to fight over land, minerals, ideologies...and now organs. Public outrage spread through the UK earlier this year when it was discovered that foreign citizens were receiving the organs of dead Britons through...

Growing Mice From Stem Cells? The Real Story About The Stem Cell Breakthrough From Qi Zhou

Traditional media outlets have been tripping over each other this week with sensational titles such as "Chinese Scientists Reprogram Cells to Create Mice" to describe the work of Chinese stem cell researchers.  Indeed, the...
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Toyota Humanoid Robot Runs At 7 Km/hr

Props to the guys over at smart-machines for digging up an awesome video (see below) of the Toyota humanoid robot running at 7 Km/hr (4 mph), besting Asimo's 6Km/hr.  Making humanoid robots that can...

MIT is Organizing New Genetic Parts

If you want to check out a book you go to the library. If you want to get a copy of the latest DNA, you go to MIT's Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Started...

Prenatal Screening Could Eradicate Genetic Disease, Replace Natural Conception

Genetic birth defect screening is about to get faster, cheaper, and more comprehensive - all at once. A new technique could soon make genetic defects a thing of the past... and replace natural conception...

The Genetically Modified Food You Eat

Would you eat food that was genetically modified? You probably already have. Scientists have been tinkering with the DNA of commercial food for nearly two decades, and they've covered most of the food pyramid. ...

The Hub Goes To Scifoo 2009 – It Was Awesome! (scifoo09)

I just wrapped up an amazing weekend participating in the fourth annual scifoo gathering at Google headquarters (the Googleplex) in Mountain View, CA.  The 2009 scifoo camp boasted a fascinating and stimulating array of...

Super Babies Reveal the Key to Strength Gene

It's known as myostatin, but it might as well be called kryptonite, because it's what keeps each of us feeling like Clark Kent. This protein tells your muscles when to stop growing, and in...

Artificial Life on the Horizon

Admit it: you wouldn’t mind winning a Nobel Prize. Well here’s a science project for you: reverse global warming, solve the world’s energy crisis, and pave the way for breakthrough antibiotics and vaccines… all...

Google, Papa Brin Step In For 23andme

Both Google and Sergey Brin have made an investment in personal genetics company 23andme in a series B funding round.  This comes on top of a previous investment from both Google and Brin in...

Another Step in Genetic Engineering: Glowing Primates

The primate family tree seems to have gotten a bit brighter lately.  Earlier, Singularity Hub reported on Ruby Puppy, the genetically engineered glowing dog, and now the puppy has been one-upped by a team...

From Dolly to Injaz: The Cloning Revolution Takes Off

Dolly was so 90's. Most of us are waiting for scientists to clone something awesome, like velociraptors or wholly mammoths... hell, even a giant sloth would be cool. But, to quote Dr....

13 Year Old Girl Born With Disabilities Allowed to Sue Sperm Bank

Look in any court docket and there is sure to be a father-daughter lawsuit alleging some sort of negligent behavior by poor old Pops.  It seems now that precedent may be set allowing for...

Man Receives First US Double Hand Transplant

Ten years ago, Jeff Kepner lost both his hands and feet to a bacterial infection. Today, he is recovering from the first US double hand transplant surgery. Soon, he'll be able to...

Now Recruiting: The Personal Genome Project

Everybody has a database: staffers, bankers, law enforcers and now geneticists, too.  The PGP is not a college fraternity (rush Lambda Lambda Lambda) but a new database of mapped genomes and medical records called...
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Genetically Engineered Puppies Glow In The Dark

Dog training is poised to become much more interesting.  In addition to the usual tricks (sit, lay down, heel, look adorable), “glow” may soon be added to the repertoire.  A team at Seoul National...

Viruses – Batteries Now Included

Microscopic workers of the world unite!...

Exponential Trends – What Are Your Favorites?

Over at Hacker News there was a discussion about our ebay genome story that I thought was cool enough to post below.  In the first part of the thread user davidmathers is talking about...

Who is DIYbio.org?

If you're like me, Jurassic Park taught you two valuable lessons: genetic engineering has to be dangerous, and the coolest scientists are chaos obsessed mathematicians. Fifteen years later, I'm throwing both of those lessons...

Do It Yourself Biohacking

Ever wanted to play with your own genome? When you read about the latest genetic engineering tools do your fingers itch with anticipation? Do you look around the library, the pub, or the community...

Stem Cell Treatment Heals Damaged Heart Tissue In Trials

When it comes to health and longevity in most developed countries, heart attacks are public enemy number one.  In 2009 alone, more than half a million Americans will have their first heart attack. According...

Bankruptcy Imminent For Personal Genetics Pioneer Decodeme

Genetics blogger Daniel MacArthur points out that personal genetics pioneer deCODEme is in serious financial straits.  The company is going to run out of money within the next quarter or two unless it can...
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Video: Juan Enriquez Explains The Biology Revolution At TED 2009

Below we have posted a video of Juan Enriquez at the 2009 TED conference explaining the convergence of engineering in genetics, organs, and robotics.  Think you don't have time for a 9 minute video? ...

Despite Setback, March Toward Designer Babies Inevitable

About a month ago we wrote a story about the Fertility Institutes, the first company to offer parents the choice of screening their embryos for eye color, hair color, and complexion.  The announcement from...

23andMe Declares War On Parkinson’s – Army Of 10,000 To Give DNA

Genetic analysis company 23andMe today announced a bold initiative to gather DNA samples from at least 10,000 people as part of a massive effort to identify genes that may be at the root of...

Revolution In Newborn Screening Saves Newborn Lives

Every year in the US, about five thousand babies are born with genetic or functional disorders that can be partly or completely treated through early detection.  As amazing as it sounds, up until four...

Skin Cells Reprogrammed Into Beating Heart Tissue

Imagine a future when your aging organs - a failing liver, or a brain degenerated by Alzheimer's disease - could be repaired using cells from other parts of your body.  That dream came closer...

Designer Babies – Like It Or Not, Here They Come

Long before Watson and Crick famously uncovered the structure of DNA in 1953, people envisioned with both horror and hope a day when babies could be custom designed -- free of inherited disease, yet...

Stem Cell Therapy Must Continue In Spite of Cancer Setback

The first known report of a brain tumor resulting directly from neural stem cell therapy was published yesterday.  The report is a fresh reality check against worldwide hopes for life saving stem cell therapies...

Gene Therapy Trial To Fight HIV Shows Promise

A trial to test the safety and effectiveness of gene therapy to cure or alleviate HIV in patients has seen promising results according to a paper published yesterday in the journal Nature Medicine....

First FDA Cardiac Adult Stem Cell Trial Underway, Rest of World Already Doing It!

Today we learn that a team of University of Louisville doctors at Jewish Hospital will soon perform the first phase one FDA-approved clinical trial using adult cardiac stem cells to treat heart disease. Amazing...yes,...

Complete Genomics – New Information About the Hottest Company in Genetic Sequencing

Daniel MacArthur has once again delivered some of the best information on the net about Complete Genomics, the company that is lighting a fire in the genomics community with its claim that it will...

Gene Therapy Cures Fatal Bubble Boy Disease

Gene therapy marked another successful milestone last week when it was used to completely cure eight of 10 children who had potentially fatal "bubble boy disease," according to a study that followed their progress...

Complete Genomics Stuns Genomics Community, Confirms Industry Shattering Capability

Daniel MacArthur at Genetic Future has just completed his post covering the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference, where an intense battle is taking place as genetic sequencing companies seek to position themselves...

Genetically Modified Humans: Children With Three Parents

Nick Lane from New Scientest wrote an interesting article about genetically modified humans that opens as follows: "CHILDREN with three parents might sound like monstrous chimeras, but they are among us already. In the late...

Genetic Mutation Found in 1% of Population Almost Guarantees Onset of Heart Disease

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute today published a press release presenting the discovery of a gene mutation in roughly 1% of the world population that virtually guarantees the onset of heart disease in its...

Another Step in the March Towards Designer Babies

The Herald and other major outlets are reporting that the "UK's first genetically selected baby has been born." This sensational claim is misleading since the practice of genetically screening embryos, as was done in this...

Vision Restored to Blind Patients in Gene Therapy Breakthrough

The emerging field of gene therapy took a huge leap forward in 2008 when vision was substantially restored to several blind patients. The patients in the study suffer from Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare...

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