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blade runner

We’re a long way from Blade Runner-like organic androids

[Editor's note: Fumiya Iida is a lecturer in mechatronics at the University of Cambridge.] The new Blade Runner sequel will return ...
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Mass tragedies underscore desperate need for synthetic blood

Scientists have been working on creating synthetic blood for years now. The hope is that this substance will have a ...
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Synthetic bionics: E. coli pills could boost body’s ability to absorb ammonia in the gut

Synlogic of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company behind the unusual study, is testing what it calls “synthetic biotics,” or bacteria engineered ...
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Human embryoids push bioethical boundaries

Scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine. […] ...
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Mini ‘brains’ aid study of dementia and mental illness

[A] brain organoid begins as a single skin cell taken from an adult. With the right biochemical prodding, that cell ...
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Simulated ‘cellular suicide’ could help control chronic inflammation

Inflammation, in particular, is vital to fighting infection or healing wounds. If it lingers, however, it can cause more harm ...
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De-extinction: How far should humans go in resurrecting lost species?

The science of resurrecting lost species takes many forms, but collectively it has become known as “de-extinction.” According to advocates ...
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Weakened Zika virus might help fight brain cancer in adults

A new study suggests that the same properties that make Zika a dangerous virus for unborn children could be useful ...
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Quest to colonize space demands boost from biotechnology, synthetic biology

The lack of technology for such sustainable life support systems is a major factor underlying criticism of human space exploration ...
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Older mini-brains could boost study of autism, schizophrenia

[Sergiu Paşca, a neuroscientist at Stanford University] has joined other researchers in growing little balls of human brain tissue, about ...
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Far out: Could psychedelics fight ‘treatment-resistant’ depression?

Given existing antidepressants don’t work for many people, the excitement surrounding the development of a new class of treatments from ...
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Doubts emerge about first ‘successfully cured’ CRISPR gene-edited human embryos

Doubts have surfaced about a landmark paper claiming that human embryos were cleared of a deadly mutation using genome editing ...
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Did life originate ‘naturally’ or are we a cosmic mistake?

Understanding the origin of life is arguably one of the most compelling quests for humanity. This quest has inevitably moved ...
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Making leather without animals: Genetically engineered leather made from modified yeast is here

The whole leather industry, based as it is on animal hides, is vulnerable these days to sensibilities about the relationship ...
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As the era of the artificial womb approaches, a great debate awaits

The ability to develop a fetus outside the mother's body could be here within decades. That means society will face ...
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Biofabrication: Using living organisms to make every day products, from shoes to silk

Biofabrication [is] the science of using living organisms to build with biology and make everyday products. For the first time, ...
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Lab-created virus-free gene-edited piglets could mark breakthrough of pig-human organ transplants

Researchers in the US have created gene-edited piglets that are free of viruses that could be harmful to humans. This ...
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Could astronaut urine be the key to safer space travel?

Yeast strains of Yarrowia lipolytica that naturally like to feed on urine have been bioengineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids, which are ...
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Safer prenatal genetic tests: Fetal cells using antibody-coated chip

Every pregnant woman who has considered getting a prenatal genetic test is familiar with the dilemma: Amniocentesis and chorionic villus ...
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Crippling costs blunt potential of drugs harvested from living cells

Biologics are drugs grown in living cells, rather than produced through chemical reactions. They can be incredibly effective, but are ...
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Micro RNA: Genetic suppression might control insect-borne diseases and limit pesticide use

New methods of controlling mosquitos without chemicals include releasing sterile males, spreading confusing pheromones and, most recently, disrupting egg development ...
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Cerebral organoids: How can we know if cells collected as ‘mini-brains’ are conscious?

[Editor's note: Mike Klymkowsky is a Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder.] The ...
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‘Supercharged’ T-cells could treat autoimmune disorders

Researchers in both academia and industry are turning to immune-suppressing cells to clamp down on autoimmune disorders, and the effort is building ...
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Life’s DNA blueprint: Rewriting yeast genome could help design better drugs and improve stem cell therapy

Scientists have long been able to make specific changes in the DNA code. Now, they’re taking the more radical step ...
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Beneficial ‘natural’ gene mutation could be effective in treating sickle cell

Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients have a genetic defect that leads them to produce hemoglobin S, or sickle hemoglobin, instead of ...
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3D printed brain-like tissue made from stem cells offers hope to address neurological disorders

Scientists in Australia have used a 3D printer to create nerve cells found in the brain using a special bio-ink ...
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US national security advisors map plans to counter rogue gene drives

The JASONs, a group of elite scientists that advises the US government on national security, has weighed in on issues ranging from cyber security to renewing America’s nuclear arsenal ...
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Gene therapy leukemia treatments approval expected by end of 2017

The approval of gene therapy for leukemia, expected in the next few months, will open the door to a radically ...