This was a big week for big news…literally. Fossils of the largest dinosaur, largest saltwater crocodile, and largest giraffe all made headlines. The World Health Organization announced on January 14 that the Ebola epidemic was “officially over,” only to unfortunately announce a new flare-up less than 24 hours later. In the US, President Barack Obama and […]Read more "The Science Week in Review: January 11-17"
“Without these mechanisms we would probably not exist and would certainly all die young,” said Mark Downs, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Biology in regards to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded on October 7, 2015 to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich for their studies on DNA repair. DNA requires faithful […]Read more "Nobel Prize Goes to Work that is Essential for Life"
“Designer babies,” the curated and industrialized meme of what genetic engineering might be continues to captivate the public’s perception of the future of human genetics. But despite all the hype, the technology is nowhere close. Or is it? The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 gene engineering is revolutionizing biologists’ ability to “easily” edit the genomes of many species previously […]Read more "“Designer Babies” are a Distraction from the Real Debate: Prenatal Genetic Screening"
When genetic engineering is mentioned, noble goals of feeding the world with more productive crops or curing terminal illnesses through gene therapy may come to mind. But some Chinese scientists recently embarked upon a less noble, although much cuter application: genetically edited pet micropigs. The Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) in Shenzhen announced that it plans to […]Read more "Pigs are Hogging the GMO Show"
A Conversation with Dr. David Riglar By Ryan L. Cross Inflammatory bowel disease affects over one million Americans and directly costs patients over six billion dollars a year. Current treatments manage the disease with variable success, and diagnosis requires invasive and sometimes inaccurate procedures like colonoscopies. But David Riglar, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard […]Read more "Engineering Probiotics to Sense and Treat Gut Disease"
Promising New Stroke Therapy Comes from Inhibition of miR-155: Imagine a treatment preventing further cell death in the brain following a stroke. Then throw in some anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects as an added bonus. Sound too good to be true? Dr. Tamara Roitbak from the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico Health […]Read more "Live Better after Stroke, and Fight Cancer Too"
In a manner somewhat reminiscent of Jurassic Park, scientists have cloned the full genomes of two woolly mammoths. The actual resemblance to Jurassic Park is scant to none however, because the DNA was obtained from actual preserved mammoth tissue as opposed to extraction from amber, and the researchers had a different goal in mind than […]Read more "Woolly Mammoth Genomes Provide New Clues to Their Extinction"
The Science Week in Review: March 29, 2015 This past week’s big science stories include the discovery of a new giant salamander-like beast from the Late Triassic period with a toilet-seat-shaped face, good news about the Ebola epidemic, and this weekend’s feature story about the launch of US Astronaut Scott Kelly on the beginning of […]Read more "The Science Week in Review – March 29, 2015"