Decoding all the DNA in a patient’s biological sample can reveal whether an infectious microbe is causing the disease.
Superfast DNA analysis is now being used to crack medical mysteries when physicians can't figure out whether an infectious microbe is causing the disease.
When it comes to reproduction, couple have more choices than ever before.
A ban on clinical trials involving gene editing rules out the controversial procedure done in China. But it also prevents procedures that could offer couples a chance for healthy children without genetic disorders.
Leeches suck blood because it is a very good food for them. Some leeches only need to feed once a year.
The short answer is that leeches need blood to grow and reproduce. But it's in their interests to do it carefully, without causing too much pain, and in spots that are hard to find.
Modern science clashes with the idea that the rise of Homo Sapiens was a fluke.
Spider glue is actually a specialized silk protein.
The glue that gives spider webs their stickiness is a form of spider silk protein. Researchers can imagine cool uses for a synthetic version – but had to wait for the tricky glue gene to be sequenced.
He Jiankui claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies: twin girls whose DNA he said he altered.
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
News of the gene-edited babies excludes images of the children's mother. Cutting her out of the picture underscores the idea that the mother is obsolete and babies can be created in the lab.
Two-footed walking, large human brains and using stone tools are all examples of evolution.
Understanding our evolution can tell us a lot about the health challenges we face today.
Researchers have discovered a lineage of yeast species that ignores the laws of cell growth.
Yeast isn't just important for the foods we consume. A rogue lineage of yeast species that evolves faster than any other is revealing secrets that may help illuminate the molecular causes of cancer.
Web of flies.
Spiders use different types of silk for different purposes – and not all of them are as strong as steel.
Activated platelets (purple) on their way to heal a wound.
Platelets heal wounds. But they also seem to play a paradoxical role in both promoting and inhibiting the growth of solid tumors.
Yolks are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins packaged up by the female animal for an embryo.
Emily Nunell/The Conversation CC-NY-BD
A yolk allows a developing animal to stay in an egg longer, boosting its chance of survival. The downside is the mother has to work hard finding extra food so her body can create a nutritious yolk.
Nails help us scratch an itch, but also pick up tiny things.
The short answer is we have evolved to have nails because they help us pick things up (like food) and pick things off (like bugs).
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research?
Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
Gene editing a fertilized human embryo.
Scientists worldwide are calling for a moratorium on gene editing in germline cells. But what is a germline cell? How does it differ from other cells in our body? Why does it matter if we edit them?
A critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.
Mathematic models are becoming more sophisticated and now they could actually predict how likely a species is to die out.
Scientific testing has zeroed in on the advantages of a zebra’s striped coat.
How the zebra got its stripes is not only a just-so story, but an object of scientific inquiry. New research suggests that stripes help zebras evade biting flies and the deadly diseases they carry.
A recent report warned that insects 'could vanish by the end of the century'. Here's why that would cause a collapse of nature.
How seeds came to be.
This is the story of how seeds came together bit-by-bit over a really long time, as plants evolved.
There are over 100 species of wild coffee, but only a few supply the world's morning caffeine kick. Sadly, climate change and disease could be about to change that.
Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash
Ants have something similar to blood, but it's called haemolymph. Some insects use it in unusual ways. When threatened by a predator, blister beetles can squirt haemolymph from their knees.