No, this isn’t a blog about genetically modified organisms — that has been argued enough lately! Instead, in honor of Thanksgiving, I want to talk about regular old selective breeding and the monsters it can create.
New research is making us rethink how our DNA works – again.
In my last blog entry, I wrote a quiz that tested some basic knowledge about genetics that experts have found the public struggles with. What I found from the responses I received is that the QUEST public doesn’t struggle with them or, more likely, people only answer quizzes like this if they are pretty confident [...]
As a nation, we aren’t teaching the right genetics in our schools. And for those of us out of school, the situation is, if anything, even worse. By and large we lack the fundamental knowledge needed to properly interpret the avalanche of data headed our way.
In the very near future, a pregnant woman will be able to learn a whole lot more than she currently can about the fetus she is carrying. And she can find out in a way that poses no risk to the fetus.
There was big news in the cystic fibrosis (CF) field recently: a new CF drug called ivacaftor (or VX-770 or Kalydeco) has been approved that does more than target the symptoms of CF. It actually works to get the broken gene working again. The good news is that this is the first treatment that has [...]
A couple of new studies confirm what many of us have feared: each of us is surprisingly unique genetically. This is to be feared because of the impact it will have on the future of personalized medicine.
We may finally be at the threshold of the age of personalized medicine. In a recent study, scientists were able to predict that a man was at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and over a two-year period tracked his health as he developed the disease.
Autism is incredibly frustrating from a genetic point of view. Every study clearly shows that genetics plays an important role in this disease. But when these studies try to find a cause, they keep coming up short.
Dr. Mina Bissell of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is one of the world’s leading researchers on breast cancer. Her group recently found that normal breast cells provide an innate defense mechanism against cancer by secreting a protein to actively and specifically kill breast cancer cells without harming normal ones.
Most admirers of Vincent van Gogh's iconic "Sunflower" paintings gaze upon the golden inflorescences without any awareness of the scientific conundrum they pose. But researchers from the University of Georgia have finally cracked the case with a paper published in PLoS Genetics.
Evolving from something simple like a single celled beast into a slug, mushroom, cactus or a human seems impossibly hard. The series of precise DNA changes you need is mind-boggling to think about. Unless, of course, the changes are easier than we imagine.
Biology may have made it so that women prefer the smell of men with different immune systems from their own. Disturbingly, the pill may turn this on its head so that women like the way men with similar immune systems smell.
The cost of figuring out what someone’s DNA looks like is dropping like a stone. For casual consumers, though, affordable DNA sequencing can be less than useful. In fact, it might even make a difficult situation worse.