Posts Tagged ‘Genetic Engineering’

Scientist Says "Never in Our Imagination Could This Happen." Famous Last Words?

August 19th, 2007

Whenever a scientist says something like, don’t worry our new experiment could never get out of the lab, or don’t worry the miniature black hole we are going to generate couldn’t possibly swallow up the entire planet, I tend to get a little worried. The problem is that just about every time a scientist has […]

Networked Genome — New Finding Shatters Current Thinking

August 15th, 2007

A new finding has discovered that the human genome may be highly networked. That is, genes do not operate in isolation, but rather they are networked together in a far more complex ecosystem than previously thought. It may be impossible to separate one gene from another in fact. This throws into question not only our […]

Open-Source Medicine

March 17th, 2007

There are thousands of promising drugs for treating diseases that are simply not getting studied or brought to market because they are derived from natural or common substances that can’t be patented. The dirty little secret of the pharma business is that even a miracle cure for cancer won’t be invested in if it can’t […]

Scientists Encode Message into Bacterial DNA

March 1st, 2007

Japanese scientists have developed a technique that can encode 100-bit messages into the DNA of common bacteria. The bacteria replicate and pass the message down from generation to generation for at least thousands of years. Because there are millions or more copies of the message it can survive gradual degradation or mutuations (so they claim). […]

GM Grapes and Toxic Wines

February 21st, 2007

This is a somewhat scary article about the hazards of genetically modified grapes and the wines they may be used to produce. The article is from the extreme anti-genetic-engineering perspective, and so I don’t know how balanced it is or what the opposing view might say. But it is certainly food for thought… or thought […]

Major Breakthrough Revolutionizes Genetics

November 22nd, 2006

Scientists have discovered a dramatic variation in the genetic make-up of humans that could lead to a fundamental reappraisal of what causes incurable diseases and could provide a greater understanding of mankind.                                          The discovery has astonished scientists studying the […]

Minding The Planet — The Meaning and Future of the Semantic Web

November 6th, 2006

NOTES Master Copy can be found at this URL or Last Update: Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 10:17AM PST License — This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Deed. If you would like to distribute a version of thisarticle, please link back to from yourversion, thanks. Printable version — Click here to download […]

Playing Proteins as Songs Helps Researchers Hear Patterns

October 23rd, 2006

All living things are made up of proteins. Each protein is a string of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids, and each protein can consist of dozens to thousands of them. Scientists write down these amino acid sequences as series of text letters. Clark and her colleagues assign musical notes to the different […]

New Viral Cure for Cancer Invented

October 19th, 2006

Researchers in South Korea may have discovered a new cure for cancer — a genetically engineered  form of a virus that causes colds. By injecting this in animals with cancer it kills 90% of all cancer cells within 60 days, with no other side-effects.

RNAi — The Next Revolution in Medicine?

September 7th, 2006

This article discusses RNA interference (RNAi), a technique which can selectively turn genes off, which is currently in the early stages of testing. It shows promise for treating a broad spectrum of diseases.

A Village Where Aging is Sped Up

September 4th, 2006

Here’s an interesting video about a village in India where men have been stricken for over a decade with a disease that causes them to age much faster. Nobody knows what is causing this. Men in their 30’s appear to be 80. It’s strange. Watch the video. Perhaps if someone were to collect some DNA […]

US Rice Supplies Inadvertently Contaminated

August 21st, 2006

It has just come out that supplies of rice in the USA have been contaminated with a gene that was not approved for human consumption. 

New Level of Order Discovered in DNA

July 25th, 2006

A major new discovery about the structure of DNA molecules has been announced. Researchers have found there is a pattern to the organization of nucleosomes in DNA, which may explain why certain parts of the moleculare are accessible or inaccessible to transcription. This in turn may help explain how certain genes are conserved in nature, […]

Anti-Aging Molecule Discovered

June 13th, 2006

South Korean researchers have synthesized a molecule that seems to not only stop, but also reverse, the built-in aging functions of cells. A team of South Korean scientists on Sunday claimed to have created a “cellular fountain of youth,’’ or a small molecule, which enables human cells to avoid aging and dying. The team, headed […]

Scientists Solve Flu Virus Replication Mystery

January 26th, 2006

In a big step for medicine, scientists have figured out how the flu virus replicates — including the bird flu —  inside cells. This opens up new pathways for developing drugs to fight all strains of the flu.

Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas

January 4th, 2006

The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading. The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about […]

Using DNA to Send Messages into the Distant Future

October 26th, 2005

This article discusses recent research into encoding short 100 word messages into the DNA of living organisms. The error-correcting characteristics of DNA enable such messages to be passed down without degrading across generations. By embedding short messages into hardy organisms such as particular strains of bacteria, it may be possible to preserve information over longer […]

20% of Your Genes Belong to Them

October 24th, 2005

From Boing Boing today: Xeni Jardin: A report in this week’s issue of Science says 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States: The study (…) is the first time that a detailed map has been created to match patents to specific physical locations on the human genome. Researchers can patent […]

Human-Brained Monkeys Pose Ethical Challenge

July 12th, 2005

A cutting-edge research program is injecting human brain cells into monkey brains, to investigate whether this causes their brains to become more "human." This poses a potential ethical challenge: If the monkeys do become more human, would they be considered "human subjects" and be protected by ethical guidelines governing research onto humans? At which point […]

Cloning in the Animal Kingdom

July 3rd, 2005

Several recent articles discuss the discovery of insects that clone themselves: The ant Wasmannia Auropunctata, which is native to Central and South America but has spread into the US and beyond, has opted for a unique stand-off in the battle of the sexes. Both queens and males reproduce by making genetically identical copies of themselves […]

New Discovery – All Vertebrates Share Certain "Junk DNA" Segments

June 26th, 2005

In an amazing new research finding, it turns out that a substantial amount of the so-called "junk DNA" in humans and other vertebrates is the same and has remained unchanged for 600 to 700 million years. Not only that but it turns out that at least some of the base pairs in this set have […]

Hackers Crack Junk DNA?

May 26th, 2005

A group of researchers working at the Human Genome Project will be announcing soon that they made an astonishing scientific discovery: They believe so-called non-coding sequences (97%) in human DNA is no less than genetic code of an unknown extraterrestrial life form. The above excerpt is from an article that has to be one of […]

Future Evolution of Human Species

May 15th, 2005

Here is a thought-provoking article that discusses several possible directions for the future evoloution of the human species. It includes comments by Richard Dawkins, as well as several scenarios with pictures of what humans might look like in the distant future.

What the Next Pandemic Will be Like

March 19th, 2005

Here is an article written by an MD about what the coming H5N1 flu pandemic will be like, based on historical records of the 1918 flu pandemic. Scary reading.

Creator of Sim City Previews Amazing New Game

March 12th, 2005

Many years ago I spoke with Will Wright — one of the most interesting visionaries I’ve met (and who happens to be the creator of Sim City) about his dream of a universe game — one in which the player could evolve life from the simple cellular level all the way up through galactic scale […]

New Study Finds Stress Causes Aging

December 1st, 2004

A recent study by the University of California, San Francisco, has found that stress causes the same changes in cells that are typically caused by aging: The study involved 39 women ages 20 to 50 who had experienced grinding stress for years because they were caring for a child with a serious chronic illness, and […]

New Anti-Aging Pill To Be Released

December 1st, 2004

In February of 2005, a controversial new anti-aging pill called Protandim is slated for release. This drug is claimed to increase the body’s natural production of anti-oxidants, which in turn is believed to combat damage from free-radicals. Preliminary studies on mice demonstrated "reduction of lipid peroxidation by 60% to 75% in both plasma and liver, […]

The Next Flu Pandemic…

November 22nd, 2004

This article provides some interesting details on the leading candidate for the next flu pandemic, which is overdue, and appears to be brewing in Asia. Unlike normal flu’s pandemic strains seem to have an uncanny ability to kill off people in the prime of their lives, by causing the immune system to go so far […]

If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?

November 15th, 2004

Here’s an interesting speculation. Assume for the moment that our universe is in fact a simulation running on a vast computing system created a race of beings that is far more advanced than we can presently imagine. The next logical question would be, “Why would an advanced civilization want or need to undertake such a […]

Designer Babies Approved in England

October 31st, 2004

Couples in England with certain forms of inherited cancer will now be able to prescreen embryos to choose give birth to healthier babies. This sets a new precedent for the pre-screening and selection of embryos with other desired genetic traits.