Beyond designer babies: What's the future of ‘bio-modifications’?

Beyond designer babies: What’s the future of ‘bio-modifications’?

Vanderbilt University professor Michael Bess's presentation, “Our Grandchildren Redesigned,” was presented at the Dawn or Doom conference on [September 27]. Bess ...
Modified polio virus could be used as cancer treatment

Modified polio virus could be used as cancer treatment

A protein common on some types of cancer cell turns out to be the same one that in other circumstances ...
Viewpoint: Inequality rooted in social conditions not biology

Viewpoint: Inequality rooted in social conditions not biology

[Editor's note: Michael White is a professor of genetics at Washington University in St. Louis.] America, we've had a long ...
Human embryoids push bioethical boundaries

Human embryoids push bioethical boundaries

Scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine. […] ...
Seeking human consciousness at the cellular level

Seeking human consciousness at the cellular level

To define human consciousness at the neuronal level is among the most difficult of tasks for neuroscience. Still, researchers have ...
Calculating odds of destroying humanity with genetic engineering

Calculating odds of destroying humanity with genetic engineering

How likely is it that humanity will destroy itself? Various scientists have studied this probability, and the basic calculation is ...
Modified herpes virus boosts immunotherapy treatment for melanoma

Modified herpes virus boosts immunotherapy treatment for melanoma

In a two-year UCLA-led study, nearly two-thirds of people with advanced melanoma responded positively to a treatment that combines the ...
Armor of tomorrow could be derived from these 3 animals

Armor of tomorrow could be derived from these 3 animals

Scientists are investigating what makes conch shells and fish scales so tough and designing their own versions. They’re even turning to materials ...
Embryos aren't female by 'default' after all, study shows

Embryos aren’t female by ‘default’ after all, study shows

Every developing embryo, irrespective of its sex, at one point contains both male and female reproductive tracts, referred to as ...
Transhumanism and inequality: Enhancing human life could bring dystopian consequences

Transhumanism and inequality: Enhancing human life could bring dystopian consequences

Transhumanism may offer a pathway to an 'engineered paradise,' but there are many perils and pitfalls ahead -- particularly for ...
Is scientific neutrality being lost to commercialism?

Is scientific neutrality being lost to commercialism?

In the past few decades, the life sciences have been transformed into gigantic bio-technosciences, blurring the boundaries between science and ...
Podcast: Gene editing is life code's 'unnatural selection' tipping point

Podcast: Gene editing is life code’s ‘unnatural selection’ tipping point

[Editor's note: Futurist Juan Enriquez talks with Guy Raz, host of NPR's TED Radio Hour.] RAZ: This is Juan Enriquez. He's ...
Podcast: Exploring the consequences of gene editing's links to 'eugenics'

Podcast: Exploring the consequences of gene editing’s links to ‘eugenics’

[Editor's note: Paul Knoepfler, a UC-Davis biology professor and researcher, is interviewed by Guy Raz for NPR's Ted Radio Hour.] ...
Simulated ‘cellular suicide’ could help control chronic inflammation

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 ...
Why is type 2 diabetes difficult to diagnose in African Americans?

Why is type 2 diabetes difficult to diagnose in African Americans?

One of the tests used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and monitor blood sugar control is influenced by 60 genetic ...
Artificial intelligence uses facial features to detect sexual orientation

Artificial intelligence uses facial features to detect sexual orientation

AI’s power to pick out patterns is now turning to more intimate matters. Research at Stanford University by Michal Kosinski and Yilun ...
Diabetes and heart disease share common genetic links

Diabetes and heart disease share common genetic links

Scientists out of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine say that they’ve uncovered 16 new genetic risk factors for ...
Genetic obesity risk influenced by lifestyle as well as DNA

Genetic obesity risk influenced by lifestyle as well as DNA

The risk for developing obesity is influenced by our lifestyle as well as our genes. In a new study from ...
Genetic mutation that causes paleness, light sensitivity may be responsible for legend of vampires

Genetic mutation that causes paleness, light sensitivity may be responsible for legend of vampires

Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), the most common kind of porphyria to occur in childhood, causes people's skin to become very sensitive ...
Blood clot risk, other health problems, may increase with height

Blood clot risk, other health problems, may increase with height

Height can be an independent predictor of your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, also known as blood clots, according to ...
Is brain hacking possible?

Is brain hacking possible?

Accessing the human brain to enable functional connections with electronic technology may sound incredibly futuristic, but a handful of entrepreneurs, ...
Could discovery of boron on Mars bring us closer to finding alien life?

Could discovery of boron on Mars bring us closer to finding alien life?

Using data from NASA’s Curiosity rover, a team of interdisciplinary scientists has found boron in the Gale Crater. Gale was probably once a lake, and ...
Is evolution still happening in modern humans?

Is evolution still happening in modern humans?

Though it may take millions of years for complex traits to evolve, say allowing humans to walk on two legs, ...
Quest to colonize space demands boost from biotechnology, synthetic biology

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 ...
‘Unscrupulous’ stem cell clinics targeted in FDA crackdown

‘Unscrupulous’ stem cell clinics targeted in FDA crackdown

The Food and Drug Administration announced a crackdown on dangerous stem cell clinics...while at the same time pledging to ease the path to approval ...
Life 3.0: What happens when AI becomes ‘master of its own destiny’?

Life 3.0: What happens when AI becomes ‘master of its own destiny’?

[Editor's note: Max Tegmark is a physicist at MIT. The following is part of an excerpt from his new book, Life 3.0: ...
Doubts emerge about first 'successfully cured' CRISPR gene-edited human embryos

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 ...
Peter Thiel's quest for immortality: Escaping death would create the highest form of inequality

Peter Thiel’s quest for immortality: Escaping death would create the highest form of inequality

Peter Thiel, tech-philanthropist and billionaire, surmised that “probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive ...