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Personal DNA tests challenged for perpetuating ‘false notions’ of ethnic cultures and race

Genetic-ancestry tests are having a moment. Look no further than Spotify: [Last month], the music-streaming service—as in, the service used ...
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Artificial Intelligence as Ken Kesey: A computer goes on a cross-country novel writing trip

On March 25, 2017, a black Cadillac with a white-domed surveillance camera attached to its trunk departed Brooklyn for New ...
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Can a DNA test prove you are black? This man is suing the government to find out

In 2014, Ralph Taylor applied to have his insurance company in Washington State certified as a “disadvantaged business enterprise.” The DBE ...
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Do babies dream? If so, what do they dream about?

Technological advances are helping to shed more and more insight on, as the University of Washington professor of early-childhood learning ...
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Living with hemophilia: When patients with genetic disorders don’t want to be cured

Jeff Johnson is 40 years old, and for all 40 of those years, he has been living with hemophilia. The ...
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Quest to fight skin cancer with machine learning may have a diversity problem

As the rates of melanoma for all Americans continue a 30-year climb, dermatologists have begun exploring new technologies to try ...
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Hardwired for delusion: How our brains deceive us

[Present bias] is the tendency people have, when considering a trade-off between two future moments, to more heavily weight the ...
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When a DNA test says you aren’t exactly who you think you are

[Catherine] St Clair thought she was inquiring about a technical glitch. Her brother—the brother who along with three other siblings ...
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How bacterial CRISPR defense systems are defeated by suicidal virus attacks

The natural world abounds with examples of predators that cooperate to take down their prey. And such teamwork also exists ...
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Carl Zimmer’s new book walks us deep into the ‘thickets of genetics and genomics’

Our word for a diagram of the lines of descent—pedigree—is probably derived from the French pé de grue, or “crane’s foot,” ...
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3 explanations for why we haven’t found aliens yet

[Enrico] Fermi wasn’t the first person to ask a variant of this question about alien intelligence. But he owns it ...
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Fueling CRISPR: The nonprofit dedicated to sharing ‘bits of useful DNA’

When Feng Zhang was a graduate student in the early 2000s, he helped make a groundbreaking discovery: Light-sensitive proteins from ...
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Genetically engineered monkeys? China is using them for autism research

[MIT genetics researcher Guoping] Feng now travels to China several times a year, because there, he can pursue research he ...
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Did our ancestors’ development of complex tools spur the growth of language?

[A] new body of research [is] arguing that if not for our hominin ancestors’ hard-earned ability to produce complex tools, ...
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CRISPR innovator Feng Zhang on treating human diseases: ‘We’re still a ways from that’

[Biologist Feng Zhang] has already made two discoveries tipped to win Nobel Prizes. The big one, the one that shot ...
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Viewpoint: 3 reasons we should be concerned about artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence will in time bring extraordinary benefits to medical science, clean-energy provision, environmental issues, and many other areas. But precisely ...
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Small genealogy website GEDmatch ‘never expected’ its criminal-catching use

Ever since investigators revealed that a genealogy website led police to arrest a man as California’s notorious Golden State Killer, interest ...
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How did our brains get so big?

By studying [brain organoids, researcher Frank] Jacobs could look for genes that are switched on more strongly in the growing ...
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Viewpoint: Genetic intelligence tests are ‘worse than just wrong’

On a recent visit to [genetic data website] DNA.Land, I scanned down the list of traits they offered to tell ...
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Sleeping helps us find ‘out of the box’ solutions to difficult problems

[M]any experiments have shown that sleep promotes creative problem-solving. Now, Penny Lewis from Cardiff University and two of her colleagues have collated and ...
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As precision medicine explodes, there aren’t enough genetic counselors to go around

[When Nancy] Wurtzel stared at the blue glow of her computer screen announcing she had two copies of the ApoE4 ...
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The future of ‘genetic genealogy’ crime solving

Just three weeks ago, law enforcement in California announced the arrest of the Golden State Killer using DNA. … On ...
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After 25 years, will Congress revive NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)?

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?

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’?

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’

At just 28, [Aaron] Traywick was among the most infamous figures in the world of biohacking—the grandiose CEO of a ...
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Is it time to discuss what we should or shouldn’t do with ‘lab-grown blobs of human brain tissue’?

Rusty Gage and colleagues at the Salk Institute [recently] announced that they had successfully transplanted lab-grown blobs of human brain tissue ...
Why your startle reflex is like an 'exploitable data breach'

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

[T]he startle reflex might be an evolutionary point of origin for many of our most common human emotional expressions. When ...
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