Tag: Genetic-surprises

Augmented Bodies

Designer Babies: the Kids of the Future?

What if you had the choice of sparing your child from diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or autism? Scientists are working on new DNA techniques that will allow you to choose embryos with edited genes. This gene technology can lower the risk of severe illness as well as increase certain desired factors, like a higher I.Q., athletic ability, eye and hair color and gender.

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Chinese space mangoes
Food Technology

A Truly Exotic Fruit: the Space Mango

So far we know quite little about the effects space has on humans, different countries, organizations and researchers are emphatically trying to explore foreign planets to find our new next habitat. With the space mango it’s the other way around: modified in space and planted on planet Earth!

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gene therapy cure chronic disease
Augmented Bodies

Gene Therapy Cures Chronic Disease

Gene therapy has been there for decades. The idea is beautiful, one single treatment to get rid of horrific diseases forever. Before gene therapy was introduced diseases such as severe combined immune deficiency or SCID could only be treated with bone marrow transplant, which is a very pricey and delicate solution. Recently gene therapy has proven to work on this dreadful disease.

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gene modification gives insight in the work of an ants tribe
Manufactured Animals

GM Ants Show How Insect Societies Work

Ants, they can be as annoying as impressive. Not just because they can carry 50 times their own body weight, but also for their cooperative work in the colony that rightly grants their little city the name “super organism”. A few of those ants have now been genetically modified for a research, and the results are astonishing. Ants social behavior is strongly dependent on their sense of smell, who would have thought that?

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C-Sections Caused an Evolutionary Change
Guided Growth

C-Sections Caused an Evolutionary Change

The female pelvic canal is not so well designed for giving birth compared to other primates. Therefore obstructed labour used to be a high death factor. Luckily, the introduction of Caesarean section in the fifties saved the life of many mothers and babies. Though C-section has an unexpected side effect on human evolution: newborn heads are getting bigger, while the mothers birth canals are becoming smaller.

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Manufactured Animals

Gene-Edited Micropigs Will Be Soon Sold As Pets

Earlier this year, a group of Chinese scientists published a paper about the modification of the genome of human embryos with the cutting-edge powerful technique called CRISPRs. The research arose ethical debates among scientists. Last September, Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) has revealed another study that caused a new wave of disputes and concerns among scientists, ethicists and animal welfare organizations: they will start selling genetically engineering miniature pigs as pets.

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Hypernature

Genome Editing – Bringing the Übermensch to a Shelf Near You

Last April, a Chinese group of researchers published a paper that set the scientific world ablaze in a fierce debate. The paper was about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo.
Scientists warned that altering the human genome line without thoroughly considering and researching into the consequences could bring about unintended, unpredictable and possibly terrifying results.

From dangerous mutations and painful deaths to political opportunism and genetic-social engineering, it is easy to imagine terrifying and dystopian outcomes to this technological advance. And  it’s all due to CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

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Biopolitics

Recreating Woolly Mammoth DNA

Bioengineering might soon enable us to bring long gone animals back to life, à la Jurassic Park. Recently, a team of scientists at Harvard University managed to insert wooly mammoth DNA into the genome of its closest relative – the Asian elephant.

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Designed-by-Evolution

Scientists Created “Alien-DNA”

The genetic material of all creatures on earth is saved in the biomolecule Deoxyribonucleic Acid, the DNA. It consists of four components: the bases Adenin (A), Thymin (T), Guanin (G) and Cytosin (C). These appears as pairs in the combinations of AT and GC. Now, a team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California, led by chemical biologist Floyd Romesberg, extend the alphabet with two new created ‘foreign’ building-blocks, called X and Y 

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