Synthetic biology in space: Mushrooms could be used to build extraterrestrial habitats

Synthetic biology in space: Mushrooms could be used to build extraterrestrial habitats

Nick Hilden, Paul Stamets | 
In a new “astromycological” venture launched in conjunction with NASA, [Paul] Stamets and various research teams are studying how fungi ...
Finding ‘invisible DNA’ floating in the air opens doors to detecting and protecting rare wildlife

Finding ‘invisible DNA’ floating in the air opens doors to detecting and protecting rare wildlife

Robin McKie | 
DNA is in the air – literally. It is wafted around by all the Earth’s creatures, and now scientists have ...
‘A tyrannical clawhold’ on their world: How Tyrannosaurus Rex dominated the prehistoric ecosystem

‘A tyrannical clawhold’ on their world: How Tyrannosaurus Rex dominated the prehistoric ecosystem

Riley Black | 
The sheer size and apparent ferocity of T. rex has been apparent from the outset, but, paleontologists have learned, this ...
Conservative opponents of healthcare for trans youths draw on anti-abortion tactics

Conservative opponents of healthcare for trans youths draw on anti-abortion tactics

Joanne Kenen | 
A rash of bills introduced in at least 20 states would limit trans youth’s access to gender-affirming care — and ...
CRISPR, fluorescent proteins, optogenetics: Three life-enhancing technologies inspired by nature

CRISPR, fluorescent proteins, optogenetics: Three life-enhancing technologies inspired by nature

Marc Zimmer | 
Watson and Crick, Schrödinger and Einstein all made theoretical breakthroughs that have changed the world’s understanding of science. Today big, game-changing ideas are less ...
The intriguing brain science of left-handedness

The intriguing brain science of left-handedness

Sebastien Ocklenburg | 
Handedness is one of many functional left-right differences in the brain. Specifically, in left-handers, the motor cortex in the right ...
Sex or food? When deprived of both, dinner wins out — at least for fruit flies

Sex or food? When deprived of both, dinner wins out — at least for fruit flies

Animals make behavioral choices every day. But how do they prioritize one need over another—especially when those choices are both ...
As Chinese troops falter in Tibet’s Himalayas, China launches genetic study of altitude adaptation

As Chinese troops falter in Tibet’s Himalayas, China launches genetic study of altitude adaptation

China has reportedly opened the world’s largest “plateau human genetic resources biological sample bank” in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for medical ...
Centenarians have unique genetic characteristics. Here’s why studying them might help us solve the mystery of longevity

Centenarians have unique genetic characteristics. Here’s why studying them might help us solve the mystery of longevity

Anders Bredberg, Johan Bredberg | 
A recent perspective article on human longevity focuses on socioeconomic standards and health care. In our opinion the authors could ...
‘Phenomenal advancements’ in gene drive technology to eradicate disease-carrying mosquitoes

‘Phenomenal advancements’ in gene drive technology to eradicate disease-carrying mosquitoes

Ethan Bier | 
Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that are transmitted to progeny at super-Mendelian (>50%) frequencies.  Recently developed CRISPR–Cas9-based gene-drive systems ...
‘Ghost lineages’: Discovering extinct species in modern animal DNA

‘Ghost lineages’: Discovering extinct species in modern animal DNA

Christie Wilcox | 
Either before, during, or shortly after their migration to the [Tibetan] plateau, H. sapiens got friendly with Denisovans, while their ...
Misinformation trifecta: How disinformation spreaders weaponize science

Misinformation trifecta: How disinformation spreaders weaponize science

Steven Novella | 
Recently it has become more apparent to me that often there is a common strategy to weaponizing misinformation. It’s likely ...
Viewpoint: Should we assume most health research is untrustworthy or fraudulent until proven otherwise?

Viewpoint: Should we assume most health research is untrustworthy or fraudulent until proven otherwise?

Richard Smith | 
Health research is based on trust. Health professionals and journal editors reading the results of a clinical trial assume that ...
Is borderline personality disorder genetic?

Is borderline personality disorder genetic?

Sarah Bence | 
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition characterized by instability in moods, self-image, and behavior. People with BPD ...
Why is life genetically programmed to die?

Why is life genetically programmed to die?

Aaron Hirsh | 
Epidemics have a way of making one wonder about death. To put it plainly, in the raw form it takes ...
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Far right targets recruits to government conspiracy theories from vaccine skeptics

Razzan Nakhlawi | 
Far-right groups across the nation have aligned themselves with those opposed to masks and vaccines, seeking new allies around the ...
Biodiversity surprise: In Quebec, there are 25% more species than 500 years ago, challenging ecosystem catastrophists, Nature reports

Biodiversity surprise: In Quebec, there are 25% more species than 500 years ago, challenging ecosystem catastrophists, Nature reports

Gayathri Vaidyanathan | 
[Mark] Vellend, who teaches at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, poses a question to his students every year: ...
Biotech beauty: How technology advances are revolutionizing the skin care, cosmetics and beauty market

Biotech beauty: How technology advances are revolutionizing the skin care, cosmetics and beauty market

Fiona Embleton | 
Until recently the beauty industry could be split into two camps. In one corner, there’s high-tech, lab-made contenders – like ...
Rethinking ‘The Omega Man’: How viruses alter human DNA

Rethinking ‘The Omega Man’: How viruses alter human DNA

[W]e're celebrating 50 years since the release of The Omega Man, the 1971 film based on Richard Matheson's novel I ...
On average, women live 5 years longer than men. It’s mostly genetics

On average, women live 5 years longer than men. It’s mostly genetics

Tara Santora | 
Around the world, women live longer, on average. So why do women tend to outlive men?  Two of the main ...
How climate change shaped evolution in the Middle East

How climate change shaped evolution in the Middle East

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, along with their international collaborators, have uncovered signals in ...
Separating hype from reality in the coming era of gene-enhanced ‘designer babies’

Separating hype from reality in the coming era of gene-enhanced ‘designer babies’

Laura Hercher | 
[W]hat new iteration of genetic testing could tempt healthy, fertile couples to reject our traditional time-tested and wildly popular process ...
‘I am sorry for the pain this caused Black former NFL players and families’: How ‘race-norming’ brain injuries cost players tens of millions of dollars

‘I am sorry for the pain this caused Black former NFL players and families’: How ‘race-norming’ brain injuries cost players tens of millions of dollars

Will Hobson | 
When the settlement in the landmark NFL class-action concussion litigation was finalized in 2017, and the league agreed to pay ...
Genetic warfare: Is China on the path to developing a biological superweapon?

Genetic warfare: Is China on the path to developing a biological superweapon?

Partap Narwal | 
In 2020, after the US Justice Department indicted six Chinese researchers for hiding their [People’s Liberation Army, or] PLA connection, ...
Will artificial wombs usher in a new era of gender equality?

Will artificial wombs usher in a new era of gender equality?

Michelle Petersen | 
Imagine a world where it’s possible to produce children without placing any burden on women — an empowered society where ...
The de-extinction club: Scientists plot to restore the Tasmanian tiger and other extinct species

The de-extinction club: Scientists plot to restore the Tasmanian tiger and other extinct species

Sherryn Groch | 
[Paleontologist Michael Archer] is part of the “de-extinction club”: a growing group of scientists working to harness genetic engineering and ...
60% of elderly people have hearing problems. Here’s how gene editing and other cutting-edge techniques could restore the inner ear

60% of elderly people have hearing problems. Here’s how gene editing and other cutting-edge techniques could restore the inner ear

Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities in the United States. It can be caused by the effects ...
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