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Viewpoint: Widespread DNA testing for breast cancer risk is ‘an irresponsible idea’

While predictive genetic testing is useful and even crucial for many populations, new medical advances are routinely overhyped in the ...
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Defining life: Why we need to identify the boundary between living things and AI robots

They’re advancing artificial intelligence (AI) to create next-gen personalized robots that can read human emotions in real time. What will ...
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Would ‘designer babies’ herald a new era of eugenics?

September [2018] saw the announcement from scientists of the first manufacture of human egg cells in the lab. … Despite the apparent ...
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Our powers of perception are boosted by our brain that guesses what’s about to happen

Imagine picking up a glass of what you think is apple juice, only to take a sip and discover that ...
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Scavenger hunt for new antibiotics sends researchers to strange places

It’s said that for nearly 200 years, residents of a small rural area in Northern Ireland called Boho (pronounced “bo”), ...
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Life on Earth is carbon-based. But that doesn’t mean other planets have to use the same building block.

All life on Earth, and thus, all life we've ever observed in the universe, shares a few basic characteristics. Its ...
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Social skills in people with autism could be improved through 2 new drug treatments

New research seems to show encouraging progress in helping treat the complex neurodevelopmental disorder autism. Two unrelated clinical trials, involving ...
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How culture shapes the evolution of our genes

The well worked out examples of the impact of human culture in re-shaping our own evolution are riveting, I think ...
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7 things we get wrong about heredity

Many people have misconceptions about heredity—how we are connected to our ancestors and how our inheritance from them shapes us ...
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Doctors face ‘wrenching questions’ about genetic testing and legal risks. Do we need new laws?

As DNA testing gallops ahead, doctors face wrenching questions about legal risks, protecting patients’ privacy, and the quality of the ...
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Does a future with genetic enhancements undermine ‘the idea that we are all equal’?

Sex is how humans propagate. But developments in genetic engineering might change this one day. “We are, in the future, ...
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Searching for a CRISPR antidote in case gene editing is used as a weapon

[W]hat’s to stop a madman, terrorist, or state from employing CRISPR to cause harm?... In her book A Crack in Creation, ...
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Dark days: Examining Europe’s history of eugenics, including forced sterilizations in Sweden

In Sweden the self-examination has already begun. A government minister has admitted that “what went on is barbaric and a ...
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If a gene test could reveal a high risk of dying, would you want to know?

If a fortune teller had “read” my future two years ago, I would have learned that I was at high ...
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Space station experiment testing ‘nano antioxidants’ that could fight age-related diseases

An upcoming experiment aboard the International Space Station will test the effects of microgravity on living cells mixed with tiny ...
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Video: What does it mean to ‘turn on’ a gene?

In the murky darkness, blue and green blobs are dancing. Sometimes they keep decorous distances from each other, but other ...
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How a genetically modified virus saved this teenager’s life

In October 2017, Graham Hatfull received an urgent email from across the pond. A microbiologist colleague ... was desperately looking ...
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‘Reverse engineering’ our brains with silicon chips could help us understand consciousness

The fact that computers “think” very differently than our brains do actually gives them an advantage when it comes to ...
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Chronic fatigue syndrome could soon be diagnosed with a blood test

Researchers at Stanford University and elsewhere say they’ve taken an important step in potentially helping people with a barely understood ...
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Viewpoint: Targeting amyloid deposits isn’t working. It’s time for a new approach for Alzheimer’s treatments

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results, then the last decade or ...
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Short or tall? Genes account for 79% of height differences, study shows

Since the human genome was sequenced nearly two decades ago, researchers have struggled to fully identify the genetic factors responsible [for ...
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Why ‘titanic’ issues related to DNA privacy must be addressed for us to enjoy the benefits of personal genomics revolution

An astonishing panel of world-leading researchers and business leaders in personal genomes revealed the titanic issues facing the genomics sector ...
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‘An insurance policy for the future’: Why some healthy young men are freezing their sperm

Gilbert Sanchez froze his sperm in January [2019], shortly before his 25th birthday. He was healthy and at low-risk for ...
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Building artificial brains to help us understand our own

You’d think that overseeing an entire issue of The Scientist focused on artificial intelligence would cause my mind to wander far into ...
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Autism diagnosis for children as young as 14 months could boost treatment potential

When screening for autism spectrum disorder, a new study suggests that children can be reliably diagnosed with autism at an ...
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Searching for the origins of male aggression: Nature, nurture or both?

Most men are not especially violent, but most people who are especially violent are men. … Now, there’s no real doubt that ...
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Fathers who exercise may also improve the genetics of their children, study suggests

A positive perception of regular exercise may be one of the more lasting gifts a parent can give their children. But there’s ...
5-1-2019 download

Using genetic data to examine differences between populations just ran into a problem

Various innovations in the field of genomics over the past few decades have given researchers hope that resolutions to long-lasting ...