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?
Cows at the University of California, Davis beef research facility. Photo credit:
Alison Van Eenennaam/ University of California, Davis
According to current regulations, animals that have been genetically edited, like pigs or cows, are considered drugs. What are the consequences of such rules on American livestock and agriculture?
Let’s worry about the future of Brexit, not its prehistory.
When you share your genetic data – even with the NHS – you don't know where it will end up, or how it will be used.
Revolutionary technologies like CRISPR are founded on discoveries uncovered through basic research that attracts very little attention.
United Soybean Board/flickr
On average, important new lab techniques like CRISPR take 23 years to develop – but there is a public expectation that scientific breakthroughs occur quickly and efficiently.
The NHS's plan to offer genome sequencing to the general public, for a fee, raises many important questions.
Genes aren't destiny, but you don't need epigenetics to make the case.
A portable DNA sequencer in action.
Researchers have increasingly turned to DNA sequencing to help identify and track diseases like Ebola.
Scientists edge closer to truly personalised medicine thanks to advances in genome sequencing.
The issues surrounding the use of genetic data are complex.
image created by James Hereward and Caitlin Curtis
Police have powerful new genetic tools. How are we going to regulate their use? A Genetic Data Protection Act is one solution to ensure confidence in the way DNA is accessed and used.
One way to tackle this violent crime is through DNA profiling.
Self-examination DNA collection techniques can help women bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.
We previously thought mitochondrial DNA could only be passed on by mothers.
‘Amphy’ has features of both simple and more complex forms of life – and so can help us understand important steps in evolution.
The marine creature amphioxus allows scientists to explore some of the steps that took place as simple creatures evolved to become complex animals.
Eighty years ago, Seabiscuit trounced Triple Crown winner War Admiral.
The US went crazy for Seabiscuit when he won his famous 1938 match race against War Admiral. Now researchers are investigating the thoroughbred's DNA to see what made him such an unlikely success.
The chances of your genetic data being recorded by the state depend on who you are.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren recently released the results of a DNA test to support her claim to Native American ancestry.
The question of whether a person can "become" Aboriginal after discovering ancestry through a DNA test is more complicated in Australia.
Some Harlequin ladybugs,
Harmonia axyridis, have black elytra with two large red spots. Others have two additional red spots backwards, or are decorated with a dozen small red spots. Conversely, there are ladybugs with red elytra, decorated with 20 black spots. All these ladybugs belong to the same species.
B. Prud’homme, J. Yamaguchi
Where do the pretty colours of the harlequin ladybug come from? A single gene draws the colour patterns of this familiar insect.
Determining the structure of the DNA was the beginning of the gene therapy journey.
Once genetic lesions for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and haemophilia were identified, the idea of replacing or correcting defective genes grew into what we now call "gene therapy".
Our risk of cancer is determined by a complex mix of genes, environment and lifestyle factors.
Claudia van Zyl
As we age, our DNA accumulates damage, which can increase our risk of developing
cancer. But our cells work hard to guard against cancer – new research explains how.
A three-banded clownfish (
Amphiprion ocellaris) navigates the anemones of the Andaman Coral Reef, India.
Our children all know the little clownfish Nemo, star of the Pixar film. But why does he have three stripes, rather than one or two? Developmental and evolutionary biology are revealing the answer.