Human Genetics from around the Web

Every day, the staff of the Genetic Literacy Project scours the Web for stories on a range of human genetics issues, including gene editing, regulations and bioethics, gene therapy, epigenetics, personal genomics, evolution, ancestry and artificial intelligence. We publish excerpts of those stories and encourage our readers to visit the original publications for the complete stories.
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Fighting infectious diseases with immunotherapy on 'cusp of commercialization'

Fighting infectious diseases with immunotherapy on ‘cusp of commercialization’

Immunotherapy, which involves adapting immune cells to destroy specific cellular targets, has made a name for itself treating cancer. But ...
Gene drives could combat exploding population of poison-resistant subway rats and other pests

Gene drives could combat exploding population of poison-resistant subway rats and other pests

Figures ... show that London councils receive 100 complaints about rats and mice each day with some local authorities reporting ...
insect-drones 12/7/17

Fighting Zika with drones and genetically engineered mosquitoes

At Rutgers University ... engineers are developing “skeetercopters” that can detect and map mosquito-infested sites from the air — and douse ...
MIT-3D_0 12/6/17

‘Living tattoo’ made with 3D-printed bacteria responds to stimuli

A team at MIT has genetically modified bacteria cells and developed a new 3D printing technique to create a "living ...
high iq 12/7/17

High IQ correlates with success—but also mood disorders, anxiety and autism

There’s some bad news for people in the right tail of the IQ bell curve. In a study just published in the ...
alien search 12/6/17

Quest to find aliens boosted by new technology and funding

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is bigger than ever, thanks to a big cash infusion from Russian billionaire Yuri Milner ...
Hemophilia 12/7/17

Gene therapy could be ‘ideal cure’ for hemophilia B

[L]ast year, [Jay] Konduros enrolled in a clinical trial, receiving an experimental gene therapy at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia [to ...
Overcoming genetic risks with healthy lifestyle choices

Overcoming genetic risks with healthy lifestyle choices

It is often said in the context of lifestyle diseases that “genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.” This ...
Why some Amish are genetically wired to live longer

Why some Amish are genetically wired to live longer

Although known mainly for their adherence to an older, simpler way of life, some Amish folks also have a genetic ...
Future of heart medicine: Stem cells to grow cardiac muscle and smaller medical implants

Future of heart medicine: Stem cells to grow cardiac muscle and smaller medical implants

If heart transplantation - 50 years after Christiaan Barnard carried out the first operation - has become routine, what exactly ...
Building and coding your own video games with jellyfish DNA

Building and coding your own video games with jellyfish DNA

[Engineer Helene Steiner] has developed a bio-pixel display that can play games such as Tetris, Snake or Pong using the ...
Gene drives: Nature editorial board calls out green groups for 'unfair attempt to create damaging and polarizing spin'

Gene drives: Nature editorial board calls out green groups for ‘unfair attempt to create damaging and polarizing spin’

[A]lthough it might not always be obvious, both critics and advocates of the technique — called a gene drive — tend to agree on ...
Skin color and 'race': Genetics reveal complicated relationship

Skin color and ‘race’: Genetics reveal complicated relationship

For much of recorded history, skin color has been loaded with powerful social meaning. Skin color plays a major part ...
Could humans learn to love sex robots?

Could humans learn to love sex robots?

Kate Devlin says she does, occasionally, get a little weary of being pigeonholed as “that sex robot woman.” … “There’s ...
Should we accept the extinction of endangered species as just another part of evolution?

Should we accept the extinction of endangered species as just another part of evolution?

A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post from Dr. Robert Alexander Pyron has created quite the stir in the conservation and ...
DIY gene therapy? FDA is not a fan

DIY gene therapy? FDA is not a fan

A few biohackers (fans of do-it-yourself (DIY) science experiments) recently designed a gene therapy for HIV. Not only that, they posted a video ...
Era of unregulated stem cell therapies may be coming to an end

Era of unregulated stem cell therapies may be coming to an end

Is the Wild West of stem cell therapies coming to an end? Newly released guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggest ...
Exorbitant costs of gene therapy raise payment concerns for patients and government

Exorbitant costs of gene therapy raise payment concerns for patients and government

[Editor's note: Executives from several companies developing gene therapies gathered for a panel discussion at the recent Forbes Healthcare Summit, ...
Migraine relief: First drug in 20 years that can prevent and cut in half length of attacks

Migraine relief: First drug in 20 years that can prevent and cut in half length of attacks

A new migraine drug that can halve the length of attacks has been hailed as “the start of real change” ...
Genetics and eating: Why diets don't work the same for everyone

Genetics and eating: Why diets don’t work the same for everyone

New research from scientists at Texas A&M University found that a standard diet doesn’t work for everyone, in a study ...
Neuron by neuron: We often examine the brain too closely to see the big picture

Neuron by neuron: We often examine the brain too closely to see the big picture

[Rafael Yuste thinks neuroscientists have been looking at the brain too close. “It’s just like a TV screen—if you’re watching ...
Surrogate granted limited parental visitation rights by UK court, rejecting genetic connection

Surrogate granted limited parental visitation rights by UK court, rejecting genetic connection

In the surrogacy world, one of the worst case scenarios for intended parents is that the surrogate will change her ...
Reexamining common genetics lesson: At least 49 genes contribute to earlobe attachment

Reexamining common genetics lesson: At least 49 genes contribute to earlobe attachment

A common, hands-on method for teaching genetics in grade school encourages students to compare their earlobes with those of their ...
Genomics AI tool: Google’s DeepVariant released as open source

Genomics AI tool: Google’s DeepVariant released as open source

A novel artificial intelligence tool that can accurately call out variants in sequencing data was released as open source on the ...
Cuddling may change your baby's epigenome, improve their immune system over the long term

Cuddling may change your baby’s epigenome, improve their immune system over the long term

The amount of close and comforting contact that young infants get doesn't just keep them warm, snug, and loved. A ...
Podcast: Who should have access to gene-editing tools?

Podcast: Who should have access to gene-editing tools?

Scientists and researchers from major labs are putting their minds and grant dollars into gene editing tools like CRISPR, which ...
‘Semi-synthetic’ organism expands DNA base alphabet

‘Semi-synthetic’ organism expands DNA base alphabet

Every living thing on Earth stores the instructions for life as DNA, using the four genetic bases A, G, C, ...
Countering alarmist health reporting with scientific savvy

Countering alarmist health reporting with scientific savvy

Without even thinking about it, the survival instinct is for ever on, which is why, says Brunel University’s James Carney, a ...