Facing down a future with no bananas.
Every single Cavendish banana plant worldwide is genetically identical. This vast monoculture sets them up for disastrous disease outbreaks. But researchers have ideas on how to protect the crop.
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions?
Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.
The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
Our knowledge of diseases is growing exponentially, but turning knowledge into cures is proving to be a tricky business.
A new study shows that by using genomics, you can cut down the lengthy process of testing for drug-resistance TB to a matter of days.
Ed Hutchinson/University of Glasgow
Understanding how the flu virus copies itself could open a way to killing it.
Pipette tips with reaction mixture to amplify DNA.
It seems like a no brainer to edit out genetic disease...until we pause to consider what would be lost.
The misunderstood genome.
The movie Gattaca's warnings about using advances in genetics for eugenics proved wide of the mark. It's time people woke up to this.
How has a retrovirus survived intact within the human genome for millennia, and how has it affected us?
Scientists used to think that the 98% of human DNA that didn't encode proteins was junk. They don't think that anymore.
Slowly giving up its secrets.
Many of the genes and transcripts associated with schizophrenia are only found in humans, which makes studying the disorder difficult. But scientists are slowly making progress.
Cutting and pasting DNA – it’s a bit like fitting in LEGO blocks.
Bush 41 Library/Flickr
The biology and ethics of gene editing, explained by scientists.
It’s a lot for a person to puzzle out… call in the computers!
Modern biological research relies on big data analytics. Vast reservoirs of memory and powerful computing ability mean machines find patterns and make meta-analyses and even predictions for scientists.
Understanding the DNA of tumours allows researchers to target treatment to each individual.
Personalised medicine is based on the idea that by understanding the specific molecular code of a person’s disease, and particularly its genetic makeup, we can more accurately tailor treatment.
The California two-spot octopus, Octopus bimaculoides, has distinctive blue ‘eye’ spots on either side of its head.
Roy Caldwell/UC Berkeley
A peek inside the genome of the octopus gives some hints as to what makes it such a remarkable creature is so many ways.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations prompted Angelina Jolie to have a preventative double mastectomy and surgery to remove both ovaries.
What if you could take a simple test to reveal your individual risk of developing a range of cancers and hundreds of other diseases?
Sequencing the genome.
We are entering a new age of genome sequencing, but we have to draw some ethical lines
Australia’s Federal Court last year rejected Ms D'Arcy’s appeal and ruled companies could patent genes they isolated.
The High Court challenge is the last resort for Ms D'Arcy's test case against companies patenting human genes and has implications for patients, clinicians and researchers.
Epigenetic molecules play a different melody on different people’s genomes, and this might be contributing to some developing autism.
The epigenetic 'musicians' that play our genomes in different ways might help us understand the causes of autism.
Genetic techniques are helping scientists work out how to stop invasive species before they rack up huge environmental and financial costs.
Unlocking the sequence.
The compact system that can cut the process of sequencing the Ebola virus from weeks to days.