Glowing Plant's failed Kickstarter venture highlights pitfalls of synthetic biology

Glowing Plant’s failed Kickstarter venture highlights pitfalls of synthetic biology

The latest update came quietly on [in April 2017]. “We’re sorry to say that we have reached a significant transition ...
Revamping 'woefully out of date' biotech regulations easier said than done

Revamping ‘woefully out of date’ biotech regulations easier said than done

Depending on whom you talk to, the CRISPR’d mushroom isn’t strictly defined as synthetic biology. Still, genetic technology exists on ...
Could alien life be made from silicon instead of carbon?

Could alien life be made from silicon instead of carbon?

Science fiction has long imagined alien worlds inhabited by silicon-based life...Now, scientists have for the first time shown that nature ...
Behold the octopus: Problem solver, tool user and now, gene editor

Behold the octopus: Problem solver, tool user and now, gene editor

The more we learn about octopuses and squids, the more mysterious they become. The ability to edit their own RNA ...
Are we ready to welcome intelligent robots into the human family?

Are we ready to welcome intelligent robots into the human family?

Artificial intelligence (AI) may become so advanced that some computer minds achieve consciousness and self-awareness. Would these machines be granted ...
Synthetic bioterrorism: US developing medical rapid response plan

Synthetic bioterrorism: US developing medical rapid response plan

The United States must prepare for surprise attacks at home and abroad from...the new, emerging and largely unknown consequences posed ...
Glowing trees, no more colonoscopies and other wonders of synthetic biology

Glowing trees, no more colonoscopies and other wonders of synthetic biology

Synthetic biology offers the opportunity to create a wide array of novel life forms, products and approaches to medicine -- ...
Questions abound on synthetic biology: Is it creating 'new life' or just part of biotechnology's toolkit?

Questions abound on synthetic biology: Is it creating ‘new life’ or just part of biotechnology’s toolkit?

[Editor's note: Sophia Roosth, a historian of science at Harvard University, talks about her new book on synthetic biology: Synthetic: How ...
GMO plant emerges as drug incubator to fight malaria

GMO plant emerges as drug incubator to fight malaria

Scientists have discovered a gene that allows to double the production of artemisinin in the Artemisia annua plant. The artemisinin-based ...
Human skin, brain and bone cells grown on plants offer path for tissue implants

Human skin, brain and bone cells grown on plants offer path for tissue implants

To grow clusters of human stem cells that mimic organs in the lab and might be used someday in tissue ...
Heart-pounding vegetables? Heart tissue grown on spinach may lead to organ regeneration

Heart-pounding vegetables? Heart tissue grown on spinach may lead to organ regeneration

One of the biggest obstacles in the field of organ regeneration is scaling up production from tiny samples in a ...
Is it time to abandon the 14-day rule limiting human embryo research?

Is it time to abandon the 14-day rule limiting human embryo research?

[A] group of Harvard University scientists has published a paper arguing that it is time to reconsider the 14-day rule ...
'Live vaccines': Recoding bacteria's genome could lead to more effective immunizations

‘Live vaccines’: Recoding bacteria’s genome could lead to more effective immunizations

[G]eneticists used a new technique to recode 5 per cent of the Salmonella bacterium’s genome, introducing a record number of engineered ...
Future of milk? Genetically engineered yeast could replace cows

Future of milk? Genetically engineered yeast could replace cows

The latest new buzzword in food tech? Fermentation. And we’re not talking about the kimchi or kombucha kind. Rather, it’s ...
DIY DNA: Free online course teaches you how to make your own GMOs

DIY DNA: Free online course teaches you how to make your own GMOs

Have you found yourself sitting in your kitchen lately wondering how to make bread, cheese or yogurt? How about genetically ...
Building synthetic life: Yeast experiments pave way for new drugs, treatments

Building synthetic life: Yeast experiments pave way for new drugs, treatments

The team that built the first synthetic yeast chromosome [in 2014] has now added five more chromosomes, totaling roughly a ...
'Speeding up evolution': Artificial yeast project could boost drug, biofuel production

‘Speeding up evolution’: Artificial yeast project could boost drug, biofuel production

An international team of scientists is closing in on its goal of replacing all the genetic material in a yeast ...
No egg? No sperm? No problem. First artificial embryo made from stem cells

No egg? No sperm? No problem. First artificial embryo made from stem cells

Using stem cells in grown-on 3D scaffolding in a laboratory petri dish, scientists have for the first time created an ...
Sickle cell cure? Patient in complete remission following gene therapy

Sickle cell cure? Patient in complete remission following gene therapy

A number of recent headlines imply a recent case study just published...proves that gene therapy has cured sickle cell disease—a ...
Body parts from fruit? Skin grafts may use apples to grow human tissue

Body parts from fruit? Skin grafts may use apples to grow human tissue

Biophysicist Andrew Pelling of University of Ottawa wants to [use apples to determine] the future of biomaterials and human tissue repair.... “What ...
Return of the woolly mammoth and 3 other ways CRISPR could change the world

Return of the woolly mammoth and 3 other ways CRISPR could change the world

The woolly mammoth has been extinct for more than 4000 years. Now scientists are talking about bringing it back with ...
Human Genome Project 2: Should scientists synthesize entire human genetic code from scratch?

Human Genome Project 2: Should scientists synthesize entire human genetic code from scratch?

In May 2016, scientists, lawyers and government representatives converged at Harvard to discuss the Human Genome Project-Write (HGP-Write), a plan ...
How genetically modified microorganisms could help humans farm on Mars

How genetically modified microorganisms could help humans farm on Mars

[A]s NASA gears up to touch down on Mars, research is turning to how astronauts will produce what they need ...
Evolving immunity: Controlling obesity, mood with designer gut bacteria faces obstacle

Evolving immunity: Controlling obesity, mood with designer gut bacteria faces obstacle

Beginning in 2012, scientists discovered they could use CRISPR proteins to precisely edit the genomes of not only bacteria but ...
Evolution debate: Are humans continuing to evolve?

Evolution debate: Are humans continuing to evolve?

Is natural selection still a major force in human evolution? Or have vaccines, water purification, modern medical care and other ...
Zhang vs. Doudna patent ruling: Broad Institute holds patents but University of California may appeal

Zhang vs. Doudna patent ruling: Broad Institute holds patents but University of California may appeal

The US patent office ruled [Feb. 15] that hotly disputed patents on the revolutionary genome-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 belong to the ...
Proceed with caution: National Academies offers 'qualified support' for gene editing 'abnormal' embryos

Proceed with caution: National Academies offers ‘qualified support’ for gene editing ‘abnormal’ embryos

The door to gene-edited humans was opened a crack by a joint National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of ...
Synthetic conservation: Gene drives could revive extinct animals, protect endangered species, knock out pests

Synthetic conservation: Gene drives could revive extinct animals, protect endangered species, knock out pests

Scientists working in coördination with a U.S. conservation group say they’ve established an evolution-warping technology called a “gene drive” in ...