Science of the Future

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Simulated ‘cellular suicide’ could help control chronic inflammation

Simulated ‘cellular suicide’ could help control chronic inflammation

Inflammation, in particular, is vital to fighting infection or healing wounds. If it lingers, however, it can cause more harm ...
Why is type 2 diabetes difficult to diagnose in African Americans?

Why is type 2 diabetes difficult to diagnose in African Americans?

One of the tests used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and monitor blood sugar control is influenced by 60 genetic ...
Artificial intelligence uses facial features to detect sexual orientation

Artificial intelligence uses facial features to detect sexual orientation

AI’s power to pick out patterns is now turning to more intimate matters. Research at Stanford University by Michal Kosinski and Yilun ...
Diabetes and heart disease share common genetic links

Diabetes and heart disease share common genetic links

Scientists out of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine say that they’ve uncovered 16 new genetic risk factors for ...
Blood clot risk, other health problems, may increase with height

Blood clot risk, other health problems, may increase with height

Height can be an independent predictor of your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, also known as blood clots, according to ...
Could discovery of boron on Mars bring us closer to finding alien life?

Could discovery of boron on Mars bring us closer to finding alien life?

Using data from NASA’s Curiosity rover, a team of interdisciplinary scientists has found boron in the Gale Crater. Gale was probably once a lake, and ...
Genetic obesity risk influenced by lifestyle as well as DNA

Genetic obesity risk influenced by lifestyle as well as DNA

The risk for developing obesity is influenced by our lifestyle as well as our genes. In a new study from ...
Is brain hacking possible?

Is brain hacking possible?

Accessing the human brain to enable functional connections with electronic technology may sound incredibly futuristic, but a handful of entrepreneurs, ...
Genetic mutation that causes paleness, light sensitivity may be responsible for legend of vampires

Genetic mutation that causes paleness, light sensitivity may be responsible for legend of vampires

Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), the most common kind of porphyria to occur in childhood, causes people's skin to become very sensitive ...
Is evolution still happening in modern humans?

Is evolution still happening in modern humans?

Though it may take millions of years for complex traits to evolve, say allowing humans to walk on two legs, ...
Quest to colonize space demands boost from biotechnology, synthetic biology

Quest to colonize space demands boost from biotechnology, synthetic biology

The lack of technology for such sustainable life support systems is a major factor underlying criticism of human space exploration ...
Finding and destroying tumors with microscopic 'spasers'

Finding and destroying tumors with microscopic ‘spasers’

[Research by] Vladimir Zharov of the University of Arkansas and Mark Stockman of Georgia State University, in Atlanta involves injecting ...
‘Unscrupulous’ stem cell clinics targeted in FDA crackdown

‘Unscrupulous’ stem cell clinics targeted in FDA crackdown

The Food and Drug Administration announced a crackdown on dangerous stem cell clinics...while at the same time pledging to ease the path to approval ...
Life 3.0: What happens when AI becomes ‘master of its own destiny’?

Life 3.0: What happens when AI becomes ‘master of its own destiny’?

[Editor's note: Max Tegmark is a physicist at MIT. The following is part of an excerpt from his new book, Life 3.0: ...
Doubts emerge about first 'successfully cured' CRISPR gene-edited human embryos

Doubts emerge about first ‘successfully cured’ CRISPR gene-edited human embryos

Doubts have surfaced about a landmark paper claiming that human embryos were cleared of a deadly mutation using genome editing ...
Peter Thiel's quest for immortality: Escaping death would create the highest form of inequality

Peter Thiel’s quest for immortality: Escaping death would create the highest form of inequality

Peter Thiel, tech-philanthropist and billionaire, surmised that “probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive ...
How, why and when humans became able to talk

How, why and when humans became able to talk

How and when did we first become able to speak? A new analysis of our DNA reveals key evolutionary changes ...
Debate rages over whether your DNA can help create a personalized diet

Debate rages over whether your DNA can help create a personalized diet

Companies now want to take the buzz over DNA testing one step further and market the tests as a way ...
Biofabrication: Using living organisms to make every day products, from shoes to silk

Biofabrication: Using living organisms to make every day products, from shoes to silk

Biofabrication [is] the science of using living organisms to build with biology and make everyday products. For the first time, ...
Fluoride flipping: Hidden RNA regulator could help create new antibiotics

Fluoride flipping: Hidden RNA regulator could help create new antibiotics

So much of what happens inside cells to preserve health or cause disease is so small or time-sensitive that researchers ...
Viewpoint: Can yoga ‘reprogram’ our DNA? Don't bet on it

Viewpoint: Can yoga ‘reprogram’ our DNA? Don’t bet on it

One of the most persistent narratives latched on to by advocates of “integrative medicine” is that the “mind” can somehow ...
Could astronaut urine be the key to safer space travel?

Could astronaut urine be the key to safer space travel?

Yeast strains of Yarrowia lipolytica that naturally like to feed on urine have been bioengineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids, which are ...
Australian scientists chasing genetic links to clinical depression

Australian scientists chasing genetic links to clinical depression

Two-thirds of Australians with clinical depression have used multiple antidepressants to manage their condition, the nation's largest study on depression ...
22 genes linked to increased intelligence

22 genes linked to increased intelligence

Genome-wide association studies—GWAS, for short, […] search for differences in people’s genetic makeup—their “genotypes”—that correlate with differences in their observable ...
Do we need mandatory genetic screening of sperm donors?

Do we need mandatory genetic screening of sperm donors?

The multibillion-dollar sperm donation business has shockingly little oversight, leading to false promises of anonymity, insufficient medical testing and high ...
Peak athletic performance: What are our human limits?

Peak athletic performance: What are our human limits?

Athletic performance follows a normal distribution, like many other quantities in nature. That means that the number of people capable ...
Male sterility may be correctable  through stem cell treatments, if mice studies lead to human cure

Male sterility may be correctable through stem cell treatments, if mice studies lead to human cure

A common genetic cause of male infertility has been overcome in mice using a technique that creates healthy sperm in ...
Lesson for gene editing: How do we regulate a technology when we 'can't imagine' the consequences of its use?

Lesson for gene editing: How do we regulate a technology when we ‘can’t imagine’ the consequences of its use?

Humanity has a method for trying to prevent new technologies from getting out of hand: explore the possible negative consequences, ...