Tag: Genetic-surprises

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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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Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo

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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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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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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Fish Fins vs Bones

After investigating how to regrow bones with silk, biologists found out that zebrafish, a tropical fish native to the Himalayan region but very common in tanks, could be studied for the same purpose. In fact, this aquatic species has the amazing ability to regenerate lost appendages, such as fins.

Researchers at the University of Oregon discovered that this process is applicable to human bones as well.

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All-Natural E-nemies

Chemistry teacher James Kennedy sat down to show us that if we speak in terms of good and evil, Mother Nature’s products are far sneakier and complex than the lab’s. He virtually listed all the ingredients of non-GM fruits (excluding pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides or other contaminants), to reveal 13 E-numbers “naturally” packed in your morning blueberries, together with flavorings and fresh air.

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antibiotic resistence

Forward to the Dark Ages: Our Horrifying Post-Antibiotic Future

Before the 1940s, the most simple, everyday maladies – a bug bite, a broken bone, a sore throat – could result in swift and sudden death, cutting down people even in the prime of their lives. This was the era before antibiotics became a cornerstone of modern medicine. Now, thanks to overprescription of antibiotics, the massive overuse of antibiotics in factory-style farming, and stalled antibiotic research, we’re rapidly returning to the pre-penicillin era. Bacteria have evolved resistance to our best and, right now, our only, weapons.

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