Science of the Future

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If gene editing had been approved, my brother would never have been born

If gene editing had been approved, my brother would never have been born

[Editor's note: Joel Reynolds is a postdoctoral fellow in bioethics at the Hastings Center..] For the first time in the ...
Use of embryo selection in China is soaring: Is that a good thing?

Use of embryo selection in China is soaring: Is that a good thing?

Early experiments are beginning to show how genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR might one day fix disease-causing mutations before embryos are implanted ...
Bodybuilder's death offers warning about genetics and rising use of protein supplements

Bodybuilder’s death offers warning about genetics and rising use of protein supplements

The death of an Australian bodybuilder with a rare genetic disorder should serve as a cautionary tale for those who ...
Americans shedding their skepticism of human genome editing

Americans shedding their skepticism of human genome editing

Earlier surveys of Americans (here and here) have found a reluctance to support human genome editing...But the new survey, conducted by social ...
It's time to talk about the ethics of CRISPR-edited human embryos

It’s time to talk about the ethics of CRISPR-edited human embryos

With groundbreaking human gene editing research moving forward, and human enhancement becoming a reality, decisions need to be made about ...
Mapping the complex wiring of our brains

Mapping the complex wiring of our brains

Marta Zlatic owns what could be the most tedious film collection ever...the neuroscientist has stored more than 20,000 hours of ...
5 companies leading the personal genomics revolution

5 companies leading the personal genomics revolution

As gene sequencing technology gets faster and cheaper, companies are finding more ways to commercialize DNA, from offering disease-specific genetic ...
Cancer treatment uses genetically engineered biomaterial to deliver drugs and block resistance

Cancer treatment uses genetically engineered biomaterial to deliver drugs and block resistance

[M]any chemotherapeutic agents […] cause serious side effects because they kill healthy cells in addition to cancer cells; some forms ...
Three-person IVF as an infertility solution has a long way to go

Three-person IVF as an infertility solution has a long way to go

The procedure is typically targeted at parents who want to avoid passing a potentially fatal mitochondrial disease to their child ...
Cerebral organoids: How can we know if cells collected as ‘mini-brains’ are conscious?

Cerebral organoids: How can we know if cells collected as ‘mini-brains’ are conscious?

[Editor's note: Mike Klymkowsky is a Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder.] The ...
Our brains as hard drives -- could we delete, modify or add memories and skills?

Our brains as hard drives — could we delete, modify or add memories and skills?

Research suggests it might one day be possible to tweak our brains -- eliminating traumatic memories or granting new skills, ...
Healthcare inequality and genetic screening: Will the poor be left behind?

Healthcare inequality and genetic screening: Will the poor be left behind?

Today in America, if you are poor, you are also more likely to suffer from poor health... Imagine now, that ...
How can the human race survive? By overcoming biological urge to procreate

How can the human race survive? By overcoming biological urge to procreate

Physicist Stephen Hawking adds to a growing chorus of catastrophists in claiming that humans could face extinction in the next ...
Viewpoint: Racial IQ gap debate stirs mischief

Viewpoint: Racial IQ gap debate stirs mischief

Suppose it's true. Suppose that, at the end of the day, people of African descent have lower IQs on average ...
Are transfusions of 'young blood' the answer to longer, healthier lives?

Are transfusions of ‘young blood’ the answer to longer, healthier lives?

The blood of young animals, it seems, may be able to ameliorate at least some of the effects of ageing ...
Biotechnology timeline: Humans have manipulated genes since the 'dawn of civilization'

Biotechnology timeline: Humans have manipulated genes since the ‘dawn of civilization’

The history of biotechnology shows how humans have been manipulating nature for our benefit for a long time—and how modern ...
Unwanted genes: Why can't we just edit them out of our lives?

Unwanted genes: Why can’t we just edit them out of our lives?

Gene therapy 2.0 using CRISPR to knock out harmful genes sounds is a great idea--if and when it works. But ...
Genetics of pandemics: How can we prevent future flus?

Genetics of pandemics: How can we prevent future flus?

The scientific textbook depiction of the flu virus is about to get a facelift, due to a University of Pittsburgh ...
Sunburn savior? High doses of vitamin D may jumpstart skin repair

Sunburn savior? High doses of vitamin D may jumpstart skin repair

Anyone who has ever had bad sunburn understands the agonizing discomfort associated with too much sun exposure and would probably ...
How connecting our brain to a computer could restore lost sight or hearing

How connecting our brain to a computer could restore lost sight or hearing

Matt Angle’s claim might have sounded eccentric before: for years, he insisted that the key to solving one of neuroscience’s ...
Ectogenesis: Artificial placenta could aid premature babies, rekindle abortion debate

Ectogenesis: Artificial placenta could aid premature babies, rekindle abortion debate

Survival rates are likely to be improved for infants born prematurely, and those requiring invasive treatments -- including surgery, cell ...
Modern Frankenstein: Are we on the pathway to human head transplants?

Modern Frankenstein: Are we on the pathway to human head transplants?

The mysterious work of Dr. Sergio Canavero is the stuff of grade-B horror movies. He claims he’s successfully attached a living ...
Innovative 'cell guillotine' could revolutionize wound healing

Innovative ‘cell guillotine’ could revolutionize wound healing

For the last 100 years, slicing a single cell into two equal parts has proven to be a process that's tedious, ...
Transgenic spider silk: About superheroes, medical devices and space elevators

Transgenic spider silk: About superheroes, medical devices and space elevators

Maybe you'd like to be bullet proof like Superman or shoot silk from your body to fling between buildings like ...
Virtual reality: Avatars help amputees control their prosthetics

Virtual reality: Avatars help amputees control their prosthetics

People who have had amputations can control a virtual avatar using their imagination alone, thanks to a system that uses ...
Eyeborg: Man has video camera inserted to replace damaged eye

Eyeborg: Man has video camera inserted to replace damaged eye

Rob Spence, a documentary filmmaker from Canada, has a prosthetic eye that doubles as a video camera. Spence, who is ...
Creating 'leaks' in blood vessels could aid in drug delivery

Creating ‘leaks’ in blood vessels could aid in drug delivery

The endothelial cells that line blood vessels are packed tightly to keep blood inside and flowing, but scientists have discovered ...
Deep-space travel, colonization may rely on genetically engineered life forms

Deep-space travel, colonization may rely on genetically engineered life forms

Space exploration fires the imagination but presents many practical challenges—among them, how humans or organisms chosen to accompany us can ...