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 ...
Gene research opens doors to drug treatments to confront the 'fine-tuned' malaria parasite

Gene research opens doors to drug treatments to confront the ‘fine-tuned’ malaria parasite

The single-cell parasite [malaria] has been estimated to have caused the death of almost half of the world’s population since ...
Milk without cows, eggs without chickens? Synthetic biology could lead to more sustainable food

Milk without cows, eggs without chickens? Synthetic biology could lead to more sustainable food

[Editor's note: The following is a Q&A with Swedish bio-hacker Hannes Sjoblad.] Bio-hacking applies technology in innovative ways to modify biological systems ...
First gene-edited cloned dog may open gates to more cloning and help fight human diseases

First gene-edited cloned dog may open gates to more cloning and help fight human diseases

Last week, Beijing-based biotech company Sinogene introduced Longlong to the world, a cute beagle puppy that is the first dog ...
'Molecular scalpel': Gene-editing technique promises greater precision

‘Molecular scalpel’: Gene-editing technique promises greater precision

A scientific team from in the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (NNF-CPR), at the University of Copenhagen, has ...
Deadly breakthrough? Scientists revive cousin of smallpox virus that killed 1 billion people

Deadly breakthrough? Scientists revive cousin of smallpox virus that killed 1 billion people

Scientists in Canada have used commercially available genetic material to piece together the extinct horsepox virus, a cousin of the ...
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, ...
Drug weapons: Computer designed proteins prepare to battle the next pandemic

Drug weapons: Computer designed proteins prepare to battle the next pandemic

Researchers are using computer modeling to design new antiviral proteins that could slow down, or stop, global outbreaks of deadly ...
Redefining natural selection: How synthetic biology may solve sustainability challenges in food, fuel and health

Redefining natural selection: How synthetic biology may solve sustainability challenges in food, fuel and health

[S]ynthetic biology] is poised to change how we feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, fuel ourselves—and possibly even change our very selves ...
Can genetically modified viruses stop antibiotic-resistant infections?

Can genetically modified viruses stop antibiotic-resistant infections?

Genetically modified viruses that cause bacteria to kill themselves could be the next step in combating antibiotic-resistant infections. Several companies ...
Eye tech: Synthetic iris may revolutionize human eye repair

Eye tech: Synthetic iris may revolutionize human eye repair

An artificial iris can open and close in response to sunlight without any other outside control, just like the ones ...
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 ...
Biocontainment: Genetic tweak could prevent accidental release of GMO bacteria from labs

Biocontainment: Genetic tweak could prevent accidental release of GMO bacteria from labs

When dealing with bacteria in a lab setting, it is often a requirement to ensure that the risk of the ...
Blue feces: Modified gut bacteria could indicate colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease

Blue feces: Modified gut bacteria could indicate colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease

Checking the hue of your feces could soon reveal why you are feeling off-color. Gut bacteria in mice have been ...
Read ELP’s Nicholas Staropoli Reddit Science ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Epigenetics: Hype and Health

Read ELP’s Nicholas Staropoli Reddit Science ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Epigenetics: Hype and Health

Editor’s Note: On Friday, June 2nd from 1pm–3pm EDT, ELP director Nicholas Staropoli hosted a Reddit-science Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) about the hype surrounding ...
Harvard's George Church is revolutionizing evolution

Harvard’s George Church is revolutionizing evolution

Harvard biologist George Church burst into the headlines (yet again) [recently] when he helped organize a closed-door meeting of scores of ...
Keys to human regeneration in worms and bioelectricity?

Keys to human regeneration in worms and bioelectricity?

[W]ith the advent of gene editing, the ability for humans to make replacement organs will only become more secure in ...
Bacteria artists? E.coli can be engineered using light to paint pictures

Bacteria artists? E.coli can be engineered using light to paint pictures

To show off the powers of synthetic biology, researchers have engineered a primitive kind of colour vision into bacteria — ...
CRISPR creator Jennifer Doudna warns gene editing may be going too fast

CRISPR creator Jennifer Doudna warns gene editing may be going too fast

Easy genetic modification could mean cures for cancer (yay!), kitty-sized pigs (squee!), and, yes, designer babies (ack). In her new ...
Synthetic biology cheat sheet: Key players, big debates and lingo you should know

Synthetic biology cheat sheet: Key players, big debates and lingo you should know

Key Players J. Craig Venter: After playing an important role in early efforts to sequence the human genome, Venter now ...
Open source science or intellectual property: Should we allow patenting of synbio organisms?

Open source science or intellectual property: Should we allow patenting of synbio organisms?

[S]ynthetic biology...incorporates disparate disciplines like engineering, computer science, biotechnology, and molecular biology...[i]nstead of using engineering’s discrete modules of code, transistors, ...
Queer theory and biology: Should 'relatedness' be defined only by blood and genes?

Queer theory and biology: Should ‘relatedness’ be defined only by blood and genes?

Biological taxonomy, the study and sorting of how different organisms are related to one another, has for centuries incorporated novelty ...
Uncertain US laws and regulations surround DIY synthetic biology

Uncertain US laws and regulations surround DIY synthetic biology

At the moment, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the regulation of the DIY biology movement. DIY biologists, a ...
Is the US military in danger of using synthetic biology to 'weaponize the environment'?

Is the US military in danger of using synthetic biology to ‘weaponize the environment’?

In recent years... the military—mostly under the umbrella of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—has created a new suite of ...
What is 'cell-free biotechnology' and how could it revolutionize our lives?

What is ‘cell-free biotechnology’ and how could it revolutionize our lives?

The stuff of life comes wrapped in tiny bags called cells. Inside are DNA molecules that carry the instructions for ...
Eric Lander and Eric Schmidt: Science's Miracle Machine — government investment in basic research — in danger

Eric Lander and Eric Schmidt: Science’s Miracle Machine — government investment in basic research — in danger

[Editor's note: Eric S. Lander is president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. Eric E ...
Is there hope for diabetes cure through synthetic biology?

Is there hope for diabetes cure through synthetic biology?

Type 1 diabetes is a discouraging disease. Despite the availability of synthetic insulin and increasingly sophisticated monitoring technology, it’s still ...