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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.

Costs of DNA Sequencing Falling Fast – Look At These Graphs!

You may know that the cost to sequence a human genome is dropping, but you probably have no idea how fast that price is coming down. The National Human Genome Research Institute, part of...

Woman Doesn’t Fear Reaper, Anything at All

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.” – Litany Against Fear, Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965) How many of us let fear guide us? How often do abstract notions of danger keep us from living...

DNA sequencing for 1/10 the price: Ion Torrent’s sequencer arrives

Thinking of setting up your own genomics lab in the garage? Time to update your Christmas list. The Personal Genome Machine (PGM) by Ion Torrent is a DIY biologist’s fantasy: it’s fast, compact, and...

Man Cured of HIV Using Stem Cells. Fluke or Hope?

Timothy Ray Brown has officially been declared cured of HIV. A US citizen living in Germany with HIV, Brown was treated for leukemia in 2007 at the Charite University of Medicine in Berlin. As...

Exclusive Interview with Complete Genomics – These Guys Get It

The future of human genetics will arrive when we understand how each gene in your DNA interacts with every other gene to form who you are. In order to get that understanding we're going...

Dolly Lives! The Original Cloned Sheep has Four New Copies

Surprise! The world's most famous cloned sheep, Dolly, has four living copies enjoying the sweet life in England. Dolly was the world's first cloned mammal, and a huge media sensation when she appeared. Professor Keith...

The Pills Have Eyes: Microchipped Medicine Is Coming

Open wide! Earlier this month, Swiss pharma giant Novartis announced it will be seeking regulatory approval of “smart pills” embedded with microchips within the next 18 months. The chip-on-a-pill, developed by Proteus Biomedical (and...

New Colon Cancer Screening Tests the DNA in Your Poop (video)

Usually testing for colon cancer involves sticking things up your bum, but the newest tests for the disease are more concerned about what comes out. Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS) is developing a screening process...

BGI – China’s Genomics Center Has A Hand in Everything

When it comes to genomics, China seems a little like the proverbial kid in the candy store - she wants a taste of everything. Of course, unlike the child, China might be making a...

23andMe Raises $22 Million in Funding – SNP Genetics Isn’t Dead

23andMe, one of the pioneering companies of personal genetics, is ramping up for another round of growth. According to a recent press release, the Mountain View based DNA analysis business raised more than $22...

Complete Genomics Gears Up for IPO This Week

Open up your financial umbrellas, Complete Genomics is going to make it rain. The Mountain View startup has built a name for itself as one of the premier providers of whole genome sequencing for...

Genetic ‘Secret’ Shows Why Some People With HIV Don’t Get AIDS

If you've ever taken a class on sexually transmitted diseases, you were probably taught this fact: once you contract HIV, you will eventually get AIDS. Yet for about 1 in every 300 people this...

GATC To Sequence 100,000 Genomes by 2014

Europe's leading genetic sequencing provider, GATC Biotech, recently announced that it would sequence 100,000 human genomes by 2014. Based in Germany, GATC plan on using sequencing technology from other industry leaders, including Illumina's HiSeq2000...

Gene Therapy Looks To Have Cured Man With Blood Disease

Gene therapy is making a difference in the lives of patients. A phase I/II clinical study run by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Paris has added a new gene into...

Genetically Modified Salmon Could Be On Your Plate Soon

This past Sunday (September 19th) the US FDA held one of the final meetings needed to approve genetically modified salmon for human consumption. If approved, the salmon would be the first transgenic animal available...

The Craig Venter Interview Gives a Grim Perspective on Genetics

"We have learned nothing from the genome." That's the grim message that J. Craig Venter recently gave Der Spiegel in an amazing interview. Venter, decoder of the human genome and creator of the world's...

Autism Diagnosed with a Fifteen Minute Brain Scan (Video)

A new technique developed at King’s College London uses a fifteen minute MRI scan to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The scan is used to analyze the structure of grey matter in the brain,...

Berkeley Won’t Give Personalized Results to Students for Genetic Tests

UC Berkeley sparked a bit of controversy earlier when they announced they would be giving 5000 incoming freshman the option of taking a simple genetic test. Now, the "Bring Your Genes to Cal" program...

Who Owns You? 20% of the Genes in Your Body are Patented

Here’s a disconcerting thought: for the past thirty years, genes have been patentable. And we’re not just talking genetically modified corn – your genes, pretty much as they exist in your body, can and...

This Fall, Don’t Forget Your DNA on Your Way to College

Thanks to new programs at UC-Berkeley and Stanford University, some students around the country have a new item to add to their back to school lists this fall--DNA samples. While the two programs are set...

Unleashing the Power of the Savant Brain in All of Us

What if you had perfect pitch, a photographic memory, and astounding artistic ability? Allan Snyder thinks you already do. Snyder is the director of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney...

Cloning Extinct Species: How Close Are We?

For as long as life has been a feature of this planet, natural selection has been wiping out species with subpar adaptive strategies. Among the casualties: dinosaurs, mammoths, Neanderthals, and all manner of...

Open Science Summit 2010 – Thursday Review

Over the next few days, Singularity Hub will be bringing exclusive coverage of the Open Science Summit 2010 taking place in Berkeley, CA this weekend. The conference is bringing together a wide range...

DNA Factory Plans to Open Within 6 Months

Good news for all you aspiring Craig Venters out there. Before the end of the year, synthetic biologists will have a stocked factory of DNA building blocks with which to remix microbe life...

Watching Genetically Engineered Cells Kill Cancer In Real Time

What if you could not only beat cancer, but watch your body do it? Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center are using gene therapy to teach immune cells how to attack cancer,...

How Do People Respond to Bad Genetic News? Just Fine.

If you were going to get Alzheimer’s disease, would you want to know? Or is genetic ignorance bliss? The new era of commercial genetics is putting all sorts of predispositions right at...

New Gene Therapy Trials To Test Cure For Bubble Boy Syndrome

New research sponsored at Children’s Hospital Boston will use gene therapy to fix the malfunctioning DNA of children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), popularly known as the bubble boy syndrome. SCID cripples the...

Potential Flaws in Longevity Genetics Study

Here at Singularity Hub, any study that shows the genetic origins of extreme longevity – especially one showing huge effects and published in a journal as prestigious as Science – is basically our bread...

Genes Are Secret to Longevity, Scientists Can Predict Using Genome

Researchers in Massachusetts have discovered a host of genetic variations that may be responsible for living past 100. Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study, and colleagues examined the genes of 1055...

FDA Will Regulate Commercial Genetics

The New York Times reports that last week the FDA announced plans to regulate commercial genetics companies like 23andMe and deCODE. The agency sent (and posted) letters to five major genetics companies, claiming...

New Research Sheds Light on Autism’s Genetic Causes

Autism remains one of the most poorly understood and troubling developmental disorders of modern medicine. But the genetic revolution could turn that around. Recent research by the groundbreaking Autism Genome Project has...

Can DNA Prove Your Nationality?

Controversy surrounding a new proposal in the United Kingdom is proof that genetics is starting to shape the world. In 2009, the U.K. Border Agency (UKBA) unveiled a program that would genetically test East...

Two Genes Help Explain How Tibetans Survive in High Altitude

Researchers from the University of Utah and Qinghai University in China have discovered two genes which assist ethnic Tibetans survive in the high altitude of the Himalayas. Their study, recently published in the journal...

Crizotinib Targets Gene To Stop Lung Cancer Tumors in 90% of Treated Patients

The drug Crizotinib (PF0234-1066) was shown to shrink or stabilize tumors in about 90% of the patients who took it. Dr. Yue-Jue Bang of Seoul National University presented these results at the annual meeting...

Genetic Testing Mix-up at 23andMe, Another Blow to the Industry

23andMe may have provided the wrong results to as many as 96 customers for its genetic testing services. According to statements made on the 23andMe blog, human error was behind the mistake at ...

The Genome Project is 10 Years Old – Where is the Health Care Revolution?

“It is fair to say that the Human Genome Project has not yet directly affected the health care of most individuals.” – Francis Collins, April 2010, Nature. What’s in a genome?  Ten years ago, the...

Secret Messages Coded Into DNA Of Venter Synthetic Bacteria

Researchers at the J Craig Venter Institute recently unveiled their first self-replicating synthetic bacteria (M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0) whose DNA was 'programmed' base pair by base pair. To verify that they had synthesized a new...

Venter Creates First Synthetic Self-Replicating Bacteria from Scratch

*Update: We've included the Science interview with Venter after the break. Craig Venter wants to program life the way we program computers, and today he announced a momentous win: the first synthetic self-replicating bacterium. The...

What Secrets Are in the DNA of 17 Year Old Girl With Body of a Baby?

Brooke Greenberg was born in January of 1993. She's now more than seventeen years old, but she physically looks to be about one. Doctors have long been baffled by her condition, sometimes referred to...

Exclusive: I Already Took the DNA Test That Hits Walgreens on Friday (video)

UPDATE: Walgreens has decided to postpone stocking these genetic test kits until after the FDA is finished 'discussing' legal issues with Pathway Genomics. This Friday will see the launch of a new phenomenon: a genetic...

The Incredible Regenerating Mouse

More than twelve years ago, Dr. Ellen Heber-Katz at the Wistar Institute did what so many great scientific minds have done throughout time - she discovered something by accident. In particular, she found that...

Whole Genome Sequencing to Unravel Genetic Basis of Pediatric Cancer

Widely considered to be the world’s leading institution for the study of childhood cancers, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital recently announced a large-scale genomic study to understand the origins of pediatric cancers. Teaming up...

Gene for Intelligence Revealed by Studying Williams Syndrome

Want to make yourself smarter? It may all start with finding which genes are responsible for intelligence. Researchers led by scientists at the University of Utah's Brain Institute have discovered that a single gene...

Is it Ethical to Genetically Sequence Kids if There’s No Immediate Health Concern?

John West is very familiar with whole genome sequencing (WGS). He was a general manager with Illumina after they acquired Solexa, where he had been CEO. So it's no surprise that John West hired...

Boolean Logic Unlocks The Key To Finding New Genes in Milliseconds

A little bit of computer science has made it possible to reduce the time it takes to find new genes from years to milliseconds. Researchers at Stanford University have developed a simple processing method...

Genetically Engineered ‘EnviroPig’ Waiting For US Approval

In the race to genetically engineer food that is tastier and cheaper, Canada's University of Guelph is instead finding a way to produce meat that may be more environmentally friendly. For more than a...

US Court Strikes Down Patent on Human Genes – Huge News for Genomics

In what is sure to become a landmark case for genomics, a US District Court Judge in New York (Robert Sweet) has ruled that patents on human genes held by Myriad Genetics are invalid....

New Study Shows Your Ability To Recognize Faces is Genetic

Scientists at the University College of London, Harvard University, and elsewhere have discovered that not only is the part of your brain responsible for recognizing faces different than the part that recognizes words or...

Demand for Stem Cells Growing Fast, Many Turn to Medical Tourism

You can't keep a good thing down. When the US restricted stem cell research in the early part of the century that research didn't die, it emigrated. All over the world, scientists continued to...

Stem Cell Transplant Defeats HIV? Patient Still HIV Free After 2 Years

Add one more name to the ever growing list of diseases that have been defeated by stem cell treatments: HIV. That's right, according to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine,...

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