It’s not always obvious where a new technology will end up.
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A scientific breakthrough in a vacuum may be free of ethical implications. But many developments can be used for good or evil, or both. There's a fine balance on what to control and to what extent.
Will your cellphone be able to communicate with bacteria in your body?
Bacteria image via www.shutterstock.com.
New research works out how to translate between the language of biology – molecules – and the language of microelectronics – electrons. It could open the door to new kinds of biosensors and therapeutics.
Photosynthesis can teach scientists a lot about solar technologies.
Individual light-harvesting protein complexes have a remarkable ability. Light, which is normally effectively harvested, is also used to finely control how much of it should be harvested.
The black mamba is one of the most notorious venomous snakes in the world.
One way to tackle the snakebite antivenom crisis may be through biotechnological innovation to make antivenoms more cost-effective, easier to produce, and more efficacious against snakebites.
Science communication puts research under the microscope.
Science communication has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 60 years. It plays a crucial role in democratising science and making it less mysterious.
Will China be the first to genetically enhance future generations?
Regulations, funding and public opinion around genetically enhancing future generations vary from country to country. Here's why China may be poised to be the pioneer.
Developments in miniaturisation can give us point-of-care tests for grave conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Somatic embryogenesis is only used in selected agroforestry industries like sugarcane.
Smarter plant breeding practices are crucial in a world where climate change, deforestation and species reduction are an increasing problem.
People get suspicious when ethically fraught science is discussed behind closed doors.
DNA image via www.shutterstock.com.
A recent closed meeting about building synthetic genomes raised suspicions about just what scientists were planning, away from the public eye.
A patent has far-reaching implications for future research.
U.C. Berkeley and the Broad Institute are fighting to control the patents on the revolutionary gene-editing technology. But there's a lot more at stake than just who gets the credit and licensing fees.
Even talking to a colleague at an academic conference overseas could have harsh ramifications.
Researchers face stiff fines or even jail time if they inadvertently communicate with foreign colleagues about matters deemed to have a military use.
A few genetic tweaks can solve a lot of problems.
Genetically modified animals can help to feed the world's burgeoning population, but there is still a lot of misinformation concerning its safety.
Why are half of European Union members opting out of GMO crops? Hint: it's not about food and environmental safety.
Part of the ongoing debate: some papaya growers in Hawaii have planted a strain that has been genetically modified to resist a virus.
What explains the huge gap between US and European consumers on GMO foods? A short history helps explain.
Bashing drugmakers can be an easy way to score political points.
Clinton, who named drug companies among her enemies in this week's debate, is pushing populist-inspired policies that could hamper the flow of new medicines.
Will we see DNA in the mainframe?
A DNA-powered PC may not be on the horizon, but DNA can still compute even if it can't build a computer.
Science in the Cinema this year sorted fact from fiction in the 1982 cult classic Bladerunner.
Medical research can be complex and difficult to understand, but cinematic representations of mad scientists who speak gobbledygook add to the confusion. An annual event separates fact from fiction.
Astronaut Cady Coleman harvests one of our plants on Space Shuttle Columbia.
Plants on the International Space Station must figure out how to grow in a completely novel environment. Their adaptability hints at how they'll react to changes here on Earth – or in future space outposts.
Biomedical science has made our lives immeasurably better, but it’s time to accept that too much medicine can be as harmful as too little.
By forgetting that medicine postpones death rather than saving lives, we persuade ourselves it might somehow keep extending our life and come to view death as a failure of medicine.
Vitamin A-enhanced GM Golden Rice has become a flashpoint for campaigners despite its health benefits.
MPs call for a revamp of GM regulations, after finding "no greater inherent risk" with GM crops compared to conventional ones.