NASA Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence SETI 32737

After 25 years, will Congress revive NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)?

Marina Koren | 
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives recently proposed legislation for NASA’s future that includes some intriguing language. The space agency, the bill recommends, ...
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Are we done bleeding horseshoe crabs for pharmaceutical use?

Sarah Zhang | 
Contemporary humans do not deliberately kill the horseshoe crabs—as did previous centuries of farmers catching them for fertilizer or fishermen ...
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Our bodies churn out trillions of mutations each day—why aren’t we ‘walking bags of cancer’?

Sarah Zhang | 
As you read this article, the cells in your body are dividing and the DNA in them is being copied, ...
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Death of controversial biohacker Aaron Traywick puts movement at ‘crossroads’

Kristen Brown | 
At just 28, [Aaron] Traywick was among the most infamous figures in the world of biohacking—the grandiose CEO of a ...
4-29-2018 brain-organoid-created-from-stem-cells-287735

Is it time to discuss what we should or shouldn’t do with ‘lab-grown blobs of human brain tissue’?

Ed Yong | 
Rusty Gage and colleagues at the Salk Institute [recently] announced that they had successfully transplanted lab-grown blobs of human brain tissue ...
4-22-2018

Why your startle reflex is like an ‘exploitable data breach’

Michael Graziano | 
[T]he startle reflex might be an evolutionary point of origin for many of our most common human emotional expressions. When ...
4-19-2018 questttt

Could humans be Earth’s second civilization?

Adam Frank | 
“How do you know we’re the only time there’s been a civilization on our own planet?” [said Goddard Institute for ...
4-15-2018 tech-tattoo

Biohacking can work wonders on machines, but on humans? Not so much.

Samuel Arbesman | 
We can hack our technologies, and even our societies, so why not ourselves? Alas, things are not so straightforward. While ...
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All yeast strains likely descended from common ancestor in China

Sarah Zhang | 
When scientists in France set out to sequence 1,000 yeast genomes, they looked at strains from all the places you ...
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Delving into the minds of psychopaths

Ed Yong | 
It’s a rare person who goes out of their way to spend time with psychopaths, and a rarer one still ...
What the humble fruit fly has taught us about human genetics

What the humble fruit fly has taught us about human genetics

Sarah Zhang | 
I came to First in Fly, a new book about fruit-fly research, with perhaps some special interest. In fact, a popular ...
3-5-2018 cc_Erlich_TimLee_850

‘White-hat hacker’ Columbia University geneticist Yaniv Erlich maps his 13-million-person family tree

Sarah Zhang, Yaniv Erlich | 
Yaniv Erlich has been a white-hat hacker and a geneticist at Columbia University, and now he works for a genealogy company. This unusual ...
2-22-2018 234234-43

Video: Josiah Zayner’s deep dive into DIY biohacking

Emily Buder | 
In 2016, Josiah Zayner, a former synthetic biology research scientist at NASA, checked himself into a hotel room. Over the ...
Ginkgo Bioworks' mission to make GMOs fun, cool and socially conscious

Ginkgo Bioworks’ mission to make GMOs fun, cool and socially conscious

Sarah Zhang | 
Out on an old Navy dry dock, a biotech company called Ginkgo Bioworks is growing genetically modified organisms by the ...
2-2-2018 flu-update-1_custom-c7ef81dec3b63321ec8c64adbd3a973209117416-s900-c85

Forecasting the flu is a challenge. Here’s why

Laura Bliss | 
[F]or the third week in a row, flu activity remains widespread in 49 states, according to the latest CDC data ...
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Personalized piglets could offer insights into disease progression in children

Ed Yong | 
To better understand [incurable inherited disease neurofibromatosis type 1, Charles] Konsitzke learned, you need a species that’s closer in both ...
Uptown rats? Rodents in New York City have genetically adapted to different neighborhoods

Uptown rats? Rodents in New York City have genetically adapted to different neighborhoods

Sarah Zhang | 
As a whole, Manhattan’s rats are genetically most similar to those from Western Europe, especially Great Britain and France. They ...
Proof the yeti exists? DNA analysis shows bone 'samples' came from bears

Proof the yeti exists? DNA analysis shows bone ‘samples’ came from bears

Sarah Zhang | 
In the fall of 2013, Charlotte Lindqvist got a call from a film company making an Animal Planet documentary about ...
Challenging Mendel: Does the female egg woo sperm with specific genes?

Challenging Mendel: Does the female egg woo sperm with specific genes?

Carrie Arnold | 
[Researcher Jon Nadeau’s] hypothesis—that the egg could woo sperm with specific genes and vice versa—is part of a growing realization ...
How evolution contributed to the demise of the passenger pigeon

How evolution contributed to the demise of the passenger pigeon

Ed Yong | 
Passenger pigeons were once the most abundant bird in North America, and quite possibly the world. … In a matter ...
Dolly the sheep revisited: Early health fears about clones 'greatly exaggerated'

Dolly the sheep revisited: Early health fears about clones ‘greatly exaggerated’

Sarah Zhang | 
[L]ast year, Kevin Sinclair, a developmental biologist at the University of Nottingham, published a paper about several clones including Dolly’s four “sisters,” who ...
Video: CRISPR gene editing in real time

Video: CRISPR gene editing in real time

Sarah Zhang | 
[Researcher Osamu] Nureki’s paper was published in Nature Communications Friday, and by early morning, the video that astonished the room in [a CRISPR ...
DNA profiles of 500,000 people put online by UK Biobank in massive research effort

DNA profiles of 500,000 people put online by UK Biobank in massive research effort

Sarah Zhang | 
U.K. Biobank [recruited] 500,000 volunteers for a massive study on the origins of disease. In addition to collecting blood and urine, ...
Oldest known human fossils rewrite Homo sapiens history

Oldest known human fossils rewrite Homo sapiens history

Ed Yong | 
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, around 62 miles west of what would eventually become Marrakesh, a group of people ...
Deep freeze: Will climate change awaken long-frozen diseases?

Deep freeze: Will climate change awaken long-frozen diseases?

Robinson Meyer | 
I visited Greenland because, lately, the land here has gone soft, and disquieting things threaten to wake in it. … ...
Brain studies weakened by lack of diversity in participants

Brain studies weakened by lack of diversity in participants

Ed Yong | 
[S]ocial sciences [tend] to focus on people from WEIRD societies—that is, Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic. The results of such studies ...
Unapproved stem cell therapy leaves elderly women blind

Unapproved stem cell therapy leaves elderly women blind

Sarah Zhang | 
[E]ye doctors based primarily at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami had published a widely covered report describing three eerily similar cases: ...
One-fourth of cow genome descendant from snakes and lizards, study shows

One-fourth of cow genome descendant from snakes and lizards, study shows

Ed Yong | 
There are genes known as retrotransposons that can copy themselves and paste the duplicates in other parts of our DNA, ...