Keyword: geneticengineering

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  • Joule Unlimited On Track To Beat All Known Biofuel Processes

    03/02/2011 2:44:33 PM PST · by Wonder Warthog · 73 replies
    BioFuel Daily ^ | 2/25/2011 | Staff Writers
    Joule Unlimited has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company says it can manipulate the organism to produce the renewable fuels on demand at unprecedented rates, and can do it in facilities large and small at costs comparable to the cheapest fossil fuels. Joule's process directly yields hydrocarbons that are fungible with existing diesel infrastructure, unlike the biodiesel product that is produced from algal oil. Highlights include: Based on empirical measurements, Joule can directly produce 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre annually,...
  • Modest but Meaningful Protection from Human Embryo Genetic Manipulation

    12/17/2015 5:54:12 PM PST · by Kaslin · 2 replies ^ | December 17, 2015 | David A. Prentice
    Genetically-manufactured babies, gene-manipulated human embryos, human-animal chimeras, human clones—all science fiction, right? No, these various types of laboratory-manufactured human embryos are already reality. Last spring, Chinese scientists announced they had experimented with genetic manipulation of human embryos, and scientists in the U.S. want to join in the experiments, also recently approved in law in the U.K. At a recent Washington, D.C. conference, instead of thoroughly debating the ethical concerns, American, British, and Chinese genetic engineers discussed the "glorious potential" of gene-modified humans seeking ways to further, not hinder, experimentation. The headlong rush ignores concerns for safety, ethics, alternatives, and public...
  • Algae has been engineered to kill cancer cells and leave healthy cells unharmed

    11/24/2015 10:23:18 PM PST · by Mellonkronos · 6 replies ^ | November 12, 2015 | SIGNE DEAN
    [This is really encouraging!]"Algae has been engineered to kill cancer cells and leave healthy cells unharmed" 90% of cancer cells destroyed! Scientists have genetically engineered tiny algae to kill up to 90 percent of cancer cells in the lab, while leaving healthy ones unharmed, and the treatment has also been shown to effectively treat tumours in mice without doing damage to the rest of the body. Developing medicine that only attacks tumour cells and leaves the rest of the body alone is one of the biggest challenges in cancer drug therapy. Such targeted chemotherapy helps to avoid some of the...
  • Reprogramming Cancer Cells Back to Normal Cells

    08/28/2015 10:15:36 AM PDT · by Mellonkronos · 10 replies
    Neuroscience News ^ | August 26, 2015
    [If this pans out, it would not only be one of the great advances in medical history but also would show what genetic research can actually do!]Cancer researchers dream of the day they can force tumor cells to morph back to the normal cells they once were. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy. The finding, published in Nature Cell Biology, represents “an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer,” says the study’s senior investigator, Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department...
  • DARPA Wants to Create Synthetic Organisms to Terraform and Change the Atmosphere of Mars

    06/27/2015 8:25:48 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 60 replies
    Hacked ^ | 6/25/15 | Giulio Prisco
    DARPA Wants to Create Synthetic Organisms to Terraform and Change the Atmosphere of Mars Biotech, Space, Synthetic Biology June 25, 2015 by Giulio Prisco 435SHARES TwitterLinkedinFacebook The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) believes that it's on the way to creating synthetic organisms capable of terraforming Mars into a planet that looks more like Earth, Motherboard reports.Speaking at a recent biotech conference hosted by DARPA, Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) said: For the first time, we have the technological toolkit to transform not just hostile places here on Earth, but to go into space not...
  • 'Designer babies' debate should start, scientists say

    01/19/2015 4:56:26 PM PST · by garjog · 20 replies
    BBC News ^ | 18 January 2015 | By James Gallagher
    Dr Tony Perry, a pioneer in cloning, has announced precise DNA editing at the moment of conception in mice. He said huge advances in the past two years meant "designer babies" were no longer HG Wells territory. Other leading scientists and bioethicists argue it is time for a serious public debate on the issue. Designer babies - genetically modified for beauty, intelligence or to be free of disease - have long been a topic of science fiction.
  • Scientists create first ‘designer’ chromosome

    03/29/2014 3:06:10 AM PDT · by blueplum · 20 replies
    Herald Sun ^ | March 29, 2014 2:02am PDT | AFP
    SCIENTISTS have created the first man-made chromosome for a complex-celled organism — a feat hailed as a big step towards acquiring the controversial ability to redesign plants or animals. A synthetic chromosome was inserted into a brewer’s yeast cell, which functioned as normal — the key test of success, the international team has reported in the journal Science. “Our research moves the needle in synthetic biology from theory to reality,” said Jef Boeke, director of the New York University’s Institute for Systems Genetics, who was a member of the research team. :snip: “It is the most extensively altered chromosome ever...
  • How Do You Kill 11 Million People?

    11/06/2013 2:09:18 PM PST · by Nachum · 103 replies
    youtube ^ | 10/26/2012 | TheDrawShop
    This whiteboard animation shows what happened when Hitler lied to get elected and people don't care or pay attention to the lies of their leaders, until they do care...and at that point, it is too late. Parts of this video are narrated by a man who served as a German soldier and a German woman who lived right by the railroad tracks the cattle trains ran on that carried the Jews to their deaths. Based on Andy Andrews' book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Produced by This is real, don't be fooled. This is happening.
  • GM Debate Not Settled, Say European Scientists 'Genetically modified foods'.

    11/04/2013 10:55:03 AM PST · by KeyLargo · 128 replies
    Epoch times ^ | Oct 24, 2013 | Justina Reichel,
    GM Debate Not Settled, Say European Scientists Controversy erupts after World Food Prize awarded to Monsanto By Justina Reichel, Epoch Times | October 24, 2013 In the wake of biotech giants Monsanto and Syngenta being awarded the World Food Prize, a European coalition of scientists is challenging claims that the debate around genetically modified foods is settled and that GM foods are safe. The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, which consists of more than 90 scientists, academics, and physicians, released a statement Monday in response to “sweeping claims” that GM products are safe. “We strongly reject...
  • Is Your Food Being 'Poisoned'?

    06/11/2013 3:59:23 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 102 replies ^ | June 11, 2013 | Chuck Norris
    The Oxford English Dictionary defines "poison" as "a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed." The legal definition of the term is "any product or substance that can harm someone if it is used in the wrong way, by the wrong person, or in the wrong amount." The medical condition of poisoning is even broader: It can be caused by substances that are not even legally required to carry the label "poison." Therefore, can food become poisonous? Of course it can if it is infected, tampered with or altered...
  • Is Opposition to Genetic Engineering Moral?

    11/26/2012 7:20:14 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 8 replies
    National Review ^ | 11/26/2012 | By Henry I. Miller & Drew L. Kershen
    There's an old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. That certainly seems to be true for many breakthroughs in genetic engineering. Here are several particularly egregious examples.1. "Biopharming" --- a new way to make drugsDiarrhea is the number-two infectious killer of children under the age of five in developing countries, surpassed only by respiratory diseases. It accounts for roughly 2 million deaths a year. But thanks to a simple but ingenious innovation by an emerging biotech company, Ventria Bioscience, those numbers could become a relic of the past, like mortality from smallpox and bubonic plague.Since the 1960s, the...
  • Suicide-Bombing Bacteria Could Fight Infections

    08/19/2011 11:39:20 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 16 August 2011 | Sara Reardon
    Enlarge Image Guerrilla tactics. Biologists have created synthetically engineered E. coli (left) that explode and kill pathogenic P. aeruginosa (right). Credit: CDC Like any good military unit, infectious bacteria have access to numerous weapons and efficient communication systems. But like soldiers in the field, they're also susceptible to suicide bombers. Researchers have used the tools of synthetic biology to create an Escherichia coli cell that can infiltrate foreign bacteria and explode, killing off the pathogens along with itself. The project, says bioengineer Chueh Loo Poh of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, was "inspired by nature," particularly by quorum sensing,...
  • Down with Gene Tyranny! Freeing ourselves from our genes

    02/24/2011 1:33:28 PM PST · by neverdem · 21 replies
    Reason ^ | February 22, 2011 | Ronald Bailey
    The idea of using genetic engineering to enhance human beings scares a lot of people. For example, at a 2006 meeting called by the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Richard Hayes, the executive director of the left-leaning Center for Bioethics and Society, testified that “enhancement technologies would quickly be adopted by the most privileged, with the clear intent of widening the divisions that separate them and their progeny from the rest of the human species.” Deploying such enhancement technologies would “deepen genetic and biological inequality among individuals,” exacerbating “tendencies towards xenophobia, racism and warfare.” Hayes concluded that allowing...
  • Scientists Create Synthetic Organism

    05/30/2010 9:37:12 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 25 replies · 532+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 5/21/2010 | Robert Lee Hotz
    Heralding a potential new era in biology, scientists for the first time have created a synthetic cell, completely controlled by man-made genetic instructions, researchers at the private J. Craig Venter Institute announced Thursday. "We call it the first synthetic cell," said genomics pioneer Craig Venter, who oversaw the project. "These are very much real cells." Created at a cost of $40 million, this experimental one-cell organism, which can reproduce, opens the way to the manipulation of life on a previously unattainable scale, several researchers and ethics experts said. Scientists have been altering DNA piecemeal for a generation, producing a menagerie...
  • Bacteria turn carbon dixoide into fuel

    11/15/2009 6:10:01 PM PST · by neverdem · 25 replies · 1,481+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 15 November 2009 | Lewis Brindley
    US researchers have genetically modified bacteria to eat carbon dioxide and produce isobutyraldehyde - a precursor to several useful chemicals, including isobutanol, which has great potential as a fuel alternative to petrol. The modified bacteria are highly efficient and powered by sunlight, so a future goal is to set up colonies near to industrial plants. This would allow greenhouse gases to be recycled into useful chemical feedstock - supplying several hydrocarbons that are typically obtained from petroleum.  Liao and his team used genetically modified cyanobacteria to produce isobutyraldehyde from carbon dioxide Cyanobacteria and microalgae that consume CO2 have been identified for...
  • So. Calif. to Hear How Darwin Was Wrong

    11/03/2009 11:45:42 AM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 108 replies · 2,040+ views
    ChristianNewsWire ^ | November 3, 2009
    SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- While many people continue to believe in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, a group of scientists will present overwhelming scientific evidence against Darwin's speculations. "If Charles Darwin knew 150 years ago what we know today, he likely would not have published Origin of the Species," said John Baumgardner, Ph.D., whose organization, Logos Research Associates, will lead the two-day "Darwin Was Wrong" conference Nov. 13-14 at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. "We can perhaps excuse Darwin, given his ignorance about the true complexity of living organisms and about genetics," said Dr. Baumgardner, a geophysicist...
  • Plant geneticist: ‘Darwinian evolution is impossible’

    10/05/2009 9:03:40 AM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 120 replies · 3,730+ views
    Creation Magazine ^ | Don Batten, Ph.D.
    Plant geneticist Dr John Sanford began working as a research scientist at Cornell University in 1980. He co-invented the ‘gene gun’ approach to genetic engineering of plants. This technology has had a major impact on agriculture around the world...
  • Next Generation Bio-Weapons:Genetically Engineering and Bio Weapons

    09/28/2009 1:10:59 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 1,395+ views
    'The Gathering Biological Warfare Storm' ^ | unknown | Michael J. Ainscough
    The history of warfare and the history of disease are unquestionably interwoven. Throughout the history of warfare, disease and non-battle injury have accounted for more deaths and loss of combat capability than from actual battle in war itself. The most striking example is the great influenza pandemic during World War I that killed 20 million people or more worldwide in 1918.1 Although this was a naturally occurring event, what if a country could create a biological agent that could yield the same catastrophic loss of life on the enemy? That, in essence, is the potential effect of applying genetic engineering2...
  • Scientists devise new way to modify organisms - Yeast cell surrogate may help scientists to...

    08/22/2009 3:16:32 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies · 989+ views
    Nature News ^ | 20 August 2009 | Erika Check Hayden
    Yeast cell surrogate may help scientists to engineer synthetic life.A modified genome from one bacteria has been inserted into another.J. Craig Venter Institute. Scientists have devised a way to modify an organism that was previously impossible to genetically engineer in the lab.The method, developed by researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and San Diego, California, could aid the development of biomaterials and biofuels by helping scientists to genetically engineer species that have so far been beyond their reach. It could also aid the Venter institute's project to create synthetic life. In their paper, published today in...
  • Sugar hit triggers bug's drug slug - An engineered bacterium can deliver a therapeutic...

    08/22/2009 1:41:45 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies · 936+ views
    Nature News ^ | 21 August 2009 | Mico Tatalovic
    An engineered bacterium can deliver a therapeutic protein straight to the gut when fed with xylan.Could genetically-engineered bacteria help to banish gastrointestinal woes?Punchstock A gut-dwelling bacterium has been genetically engineered to deliver a dose of therapeutic protein on demand.Protein production in the engineered bacterium is switched on only when its host eats the complex sugar xylan. Tests on mice that had colonies of the bacteria in their guts showed that the expressed protein can successfully treat an inflammatory bowel disease called colitis.The research, to be published in the journal Gut1, has potential as an alternative method for delivering drugs to...
  • Microbe Evolution Gets a Push

    07/30/2009 1:29:11 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies · 575+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 27 July 2009 | Robert F. Service
    Enlarge ImageTailored evolution. Targeting genetic changes to specific regions of a genome allows researchers to rapidly evolve microbes.Credit: H. Wang et al./Nature Improved DNA sequencing technology is making reading genomes faster and cheaper every day. But modifying genes in microbes and other organisms still requires slow and painstaking effort. Now, researchers report that they've come up with a new way to modify the genomes of billions of microbes simultaneously and then finger the ones with the most interesting changes. Because the technique will likely work with most types of genomes, it could turbocharge efforts to engineer microbes to produce...
  • Researchers rapidly turn bacteria into biotech factories

    07/26/2009 5:11:54 PM PDT · by decimon · 12 replies · 263+ views
    Harvard Medical School ^ | Jul 26, 2009 | Unknown
    BOSTON, Mass. (July 26, 2009) — High-throughput sequencing has turned biologists into voracious genome readers, enabling them to scan millions of DNA letters, or bases, per hour. When revising a genome, however, they struggle, suffering from serious writer's block, exacerbated by outdated cell programming technology. Labs get bogged down with particular DNA sentences, tinkering at times with subsections of a single gene ad nauseam before moving along to the next one. A team has finally overcome this obstacle by developing a new cell programming method called Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering (MAGE). Published online in Nature on July 26, the platform...
  • Engineered DNA counts it out - Man-made gene network can tally a series of three

    06/02/2009 11:27:16 PM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies · 1,343+ views
    Science News ^ | May 28th, 2009 | Laura Sanders
    Graceful waltzers can count to three, and now stretches of man-made DNA can do it too. Researchers have built a series of genes and put them into bacterial cells, enabling the cells to tally events. The new counters may endow engineered cells with previously impossible functions, the team reports in the May 29 Science. The engineered counters may be used to monitor toxins in the environment or keep track of the number of times a cell divides. The system can even be programmed to destroy the cell that holds it after a certain number of events. “This is the first...
  • Amateurs Try Hand At Genetic Engineering At Home

    12/25/2008 9:08:29 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies · 778+ views
    yahoo ^ | Dec 25, 2008 8:00 am US/Pacific | ap
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ― The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering — a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories. In her San Francisco dining room lab, for example, 31-year-old computer programmer Meredith L. Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence...
  • Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home

    12/25/2008 3:10:18 PM PST · by CE2949BB · 1 replies · 634+ views
    AP via Google ^ | December 25, 2008 | Marcus Wohlsen
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering — a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories.
  • Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home

    12/25/2008 12:46:21 PM PST · by sionnsar · 51 replies · 1,652+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 12/25/2008 | Marcus Wohlsen
    <p>SAN FRANCISCO – The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself.</p> <p>Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering — a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories.</p>
  • Dignitas Personae

    12/12/2008 12:06:09 PM PST · by annalex · 32 replies · 716+ views
    The Vatican ^ | 12.12.2008 | The Roman Curia
    Regarding the Instruction Dignitas PersonaeAim In recent years, biomedical research has made great strides, opening new possibilities for the treatment of disease, but also giving rise to serious questions which had not been directly treated in the Instruction Donum vitae (22 February 1987).  A new Instruction, which is dated 8 September 2008, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, seeks to provide some responses to these new bioethical questions, as these have been the focus of expectations and concerns in large sectors of society.  In this way, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seeks both...
  • Another UW arsonist sentenced to federal prison

    08/19/2008 10:56:56 AM PDT · by jazusamo · 23 replies · 197+ views
    Seattle PI ^ | August 19, 2008 | Paul Shukovsky
    A Spokane woman was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison in the May 2001 firebombing of the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture. Lacey Phillabaum, 33, of Spokane, is one of five people -- members of a domestic terrorist group called the Earth Liberation Front -- who were accused by federal prosecutors of the arson attack that destroyed the building along with precious samples of rare and endangered plants species being cultivated for reintroduction into the Cascades. The ELF cell, dubbed "The Family," acted on the erroneous belief that a scientist at the center was doing the...
  • Cow-human cross embryo lives three days

    04/03/2008 5:14:26 AM PDT · by dr.zaeus · 14 replies · 120+ views
    The Herald Sun ^ | 04/03/2008 | Grant McArthur
    HUMAN-cow embryos have been created in a world first at Newcastle University in England, hailed by the scientific community, but labelled "monstrous" by opponents. A team has grown hybrid embryos after injecting human DNA into eggs taken from cows' ovaries, which had most of their genetic material removed...
  • Famed geneticist creating life form that turns CO2 to fuel

    03/01/2008 4:17:06 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 80 replies · 2,648+ views
    Yahoo! News ^ | February 28, 2008
    MONTEREY, California (AFP) - A scientist who mapped his genome and the genetic diversity of the oceans said Thursday he is creating a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce fuel. Geneticist Craig Venter disclosed his potentially world-changing "fourth-generation fuel" project at an elite Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, California. "We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy," Venter told an audience that included global warming fighter Al Gore and Google co-founder Larry Page. "We think we will have fourth-generation fuels in about 18 months, with...
  • Kangaroo farts could ease global warming

    12/06/2007 12:59:22 AM PST · by malamute · 87 replies · 1,433+ views and Agence France-Presse ^ | December 06, 2007 11:56am | Australia Herald Sun
    AUSTRALIAN scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say. Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas. -snip- Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that's nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering. -snip-
  • Adding Color Untangles the Brain’s Gray Secrets

    11/05/2007 11:34:15 PM PST · by neverdem · 6 replies · 257+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 6, 2007 | BENEDICT CAREY
    For an organ that has been scanned millions of times by experts using high-end imaging technology, the brain remains in large part a shrouded landscape, as lost in darkness as the ocean floor. One reason has less to with the brain’s complexity than its uniformity: it contains billions of identical-looking cells, most sprouting multiple identical-looking branches to other cells, near and far. A needle in a haystack at least looks different from the strands around it; finding and mapping large numbers of neurons is more like working out the root system beneath a tropical rain forest. But last week, researchers...
  • US scientists engineer 'mighty mice'

    11/01/2007 7:42:24 PM PDT · by Nachum · 46 replies · 121+ views ^ | 11/01/2007 | staff
    US researchers have engineered a line of "mighty mice" whose human equivalent would have similar abilities to the bicycling champion Lance Armstrong, according to research published Thursday. The breed of mice can run six kilometers (four miles) at a speed of 20 meters (yards) per minute for up to six hours without stopping, according to Richard Hanson, a biochemistry professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. "They are metabolically similar to Lance Armstrong biking up the Pyrenees; they utilize mainly fatty acids for energy and produce very little lactic acid," said Hanson, the senior author of the article...
  • I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer

    10/07/2007 6:01:33 PM PDT · by beavus · 5 replies · 328+ views
    Gaurdian Unlimited ^ | October 6 2007 | Ed Pilkington
    Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth. The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California, will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species and could unlock the door to new...
  • Synthetic chromosome developed

    10/06/2007 5:30:52 AM PDT · by CarrotAndStick · 23 replies · 671+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 6 Oct 2007, 1536 hrs IST | PTI
    LONDON: Controversial US scientist Craig Venter claimed to have constructed a synthetic chromosome using chemicals made from the laboratory, a step towards the creation of first new artificial life form on Earth. "This landmark will be a very important philosophical step in the history of our species. We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before," sources reported on Saturday, quoting Venter as saying. He is expected to announce the discovery -- a feat of bio-engineering never previously achieved -- within weeks. According...
  • Scientists Create 12-Headed Jellyfish (gene manipulation alert!)

    08/03/2007 8:25:45 AM PDT · by NYer · 33 replies · 830+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | August 1, 2007 | Charles Q. Choi
    Jellyfish with up to a dozen heads have been created in the laboratory by carefully monkeying with a few genes. The genetic experiments could shed light on how natural colonies of other multi-headed organisms first originated, including some that build coral reefs. Researchers targeted so-called Cnox genes, which help control how the bodies of jellyfish are laid out as their embryos develop. These genes are closely related to Hox genes, which play a similar role in humans. How they did it They experimented on the European hydromedusa (Eleutheria dichotoma), collected from the south of France. (In Greek mythology, the Hydra...
  • Genetic Engineers Who Don’t Just Tinker

    07/08/2007 11:38:42 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies · 485+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 8, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    FORGET genetic engineering. The new idea is synthetic biology, an effort by engineers to rewire the genetic circuitry of living organisms. The ambitious undertaking includes genetic engineering, the now routine insertion of one or two genes into a bacterium or crop plant. But synthetic biologists aim to rearrange genes on a much wider scale, that of a genome, or an organism’s entire genetic code. Their plans include microbes modified to generate cheap petroleum out of plant waste, and, further down the line, designing whole organisms from scratch. Synthetic biologists can identify a network of useful genes on their computer screens...
  • Scientists Transplant Genome of Bacteria

    06/29/2007 9:53:49 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies · 270+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 29, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Scientists at the institute directed by J. Craig Venter, a pioneer in sequencing the human genome, are reporting that they have successfully transplanted the genome of one species of bacteria into another, an achievement they see as a major step toward creating synthetic forms of life. Other scientists who did not participate in the research praised the achievement, published yesterday on the Web site of the journal Science. But some expressed skepticism that it was as significant as Dr. Venter said. His goal is to make cells that might take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and produce methane, used...
  • First designer babies to beat breast cancer (couples allowed to select screened embryos)

    04/25/2007 11:44:25 PM PDT · by Stoat · 21 replies · 674+ views
    The Times (U.K.) ^ | April 26, 2007 | Mark Henderson
    April 26, 2007     First designer babies to beat breast cancer   Mark Henderson, Science Editor   Two couples whose families have been ravaged by breast cancer are to become the first to screen embryos to prevent them having children at risk of the disease, The Times has learnt. Tests will allow the couples to take the unprecedented step of selecting embryos free from a gene that carries a heightened risk of the cancer but does not always cause it. The move will reignite controversy over the ethics of embryo screening. An application to test for the BRCA1...
  • Disturbing trend: Designer children designed to be disabled

    04/02/2007 4:13:47 PM PDT · by wagglebee · 126 replies · 2,087+ views
    LifeSiteNews ^ | 4/2/07 | Joseph A. D'Agostino/Population Research Insititute
    FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, April 2, 2007 ( - For a number of years now, a great deal of discussion has taken place among scientists and in the popular media about the genetic engineering of children. Will it soon be possible, for prices widely affordable at least to the upper-middle class, to guarantee that children have a high IQ, or excellent athletic ability, or be over 6 feet tall, or have blond hair and blue eyes? Is it right to commodify children in this way, and have parents choosing options as they do with cars? And wouldn’t it be boring to...
  • British Government Drops Plans to Ban Human/Animal Hybrids

    02/27/2007 4:25:46 PM PST · by wagglebee · 32 replies · 572+ views
    LifeSiteNews ^ | 2/27/07 | Hilary White
    LONDON, February 27, 2007 ( – The British government’s plans to ban the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos are over after a group of 45 scientists, ethicists and politicians published an open letter in January saying that a ban would hold back the advancement of British science.   The Times reports that the government is now dropping plans to ban the experiments and will instead offer funding for a public debate before new legislation is drafted.   The open letter, published in the Times in response to the government’s December 2006 announcement that it planned to draft legislation to ban...
  • An Early Environmentalist, Embracing New ‘Heresies’

    02/26/2007 11:41:13 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 581+ views
    NY Times ^ | February 27, 2007 | JOHN TIERNEY
    Stewart Brand has become a heretic to environmentalism, a movement he helped found, but he doesn’t plan to be isolated for long. He expects that environmentalists will soon share his affection for nuclear power. They’ll lose their fear of population growth and start appreciating sprawling megacities. They’ll stop worrying about “frankenfoods” and embrace genetic engineering. He predicts that all this will happen in the next decade, which sounds rather improbable — or at least it would if anyone else had made the prediction. But when it comes to anticipating the zeitgeist, never underestimate Stewart Brand. He divides environmentalists into romantics...
  • Idea of 'designer' babies with defective genes stirs ethics questions

    01/20/2007 9:02:08 AM PST · by KantianBurke · 33 replies · 827+ views
    CNN ^ | January 19, 2007 | AP
    CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- The power to create "perfect" designer babies looms over the world of prenatal testing. But what if doctors started doing the opposite? Creating made-to-order babies with genetic defects would seem to be an ethical minefield, but to some parents with disabilities -- say, deafness or dwarfism -- it just means making babies like them. And a recent survey of U.S. clinics that offer embryo screening suggests it's already happening. Three percent, or four clinics surveyed, said they have provided the costly, complicated procedure to help families create children with a disability. Some doctors have denounced the...
  • Cool down ? you may live longer

    11/07/2006 7:38:34 PM PST · by annie laurie · 17 replies · 631+ views ^ | 03 November 2006 | Roxanne Khamsi
    The refrigerator is used to lengthen the life of your food, and a new study suggests a similar principle could prolong your life, too. Researchers have found that lowering the body temperature of mice by just 0.5?C extends their lifespan by around 15%. In the future, people might be able to take a drug to achieve a similar effect on body temperature and enjoy a longer life, they say. ... Bruno Conti at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, US, and colleagues designed genetically engineered mice with a specific brain-cell defect in a region called the lateral hypothalamus. The...
  • Many U.S. Couples Seek Embryo Screening (designing the dream child Alert!)

    09/21/2006 12:56:38 PM PDT · by NYer · 6 replies · 426+ views
    My Way ^ | September 20, 2006 | MARILYNN MARCHIONE and LINDSEY TANNER
    Boy or girl? Almost half of U.S. fertility clinics that offer embryo screening say they allow couples to choose the sex of their child, the most extensive survey of the practice suggests. Sex selection without any medical reason to warrant it was performed in about 9 percent of all embryo screenings last year, the survey found. Another controversial procedure - helping parents conceive a child who could supply compatible cord blood to treat an older sibling with a grave illness - was offered by 23 percent of clinics, although only 1 percent of screenings were for that purpose in 2005....
  • Human Cloning: Sooner than you think?

    06/05/2006 3:54:23 PM PDT · by ritewingwarrior · 33 replies · 518+ views
    UK Telegraph ^ | June 5, 2006 | UK Telegraph
    Is the cloning of human babies' tissue an insult to god? Posted at: 22:01 A proposal to create babies that are both cloned and genetically altered to prevent serious hereditary disease has been outlined by the leader of the team that created Dolly the sheep, re-igniting the debate on the moral implications of cloning human beings. Ever since news that Dolly had been cloned from an adult cell made headlines around the world, Prof Ian Wilmut has repeatedly said he is "implacably opposed" to cloning a human being. But in his forthcoming book After Dolly, serialised in The Daily Telegraph,...
  • Healthy Bacon: Will It Take Genetic Engineering, Cloning?

    03/27/2006 5:13:06 AM PST · by Abathar · 22 replies · 349+ views
    The Indy Channel ^ | March 27, 2006 | AP
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Lots of people think bacon is good -- but good for you? Scientists said the key to accomplishing that may be a microscopic worm. Geneticists have mixed DNA from a type of roundworm and pigs to produce swine with significant amounts of omega-three fatty acids -- the kind believed to stave off heart disease. Earlier experiments have succeeded in manipulating animals' fat content, but most never made it out of the lab because of taste problems. While boosting omega-threes doesn't decrease the fat content in pigs, the fatty acids are also important to brain development and may...
  • As 'organic' goes mainstream, will standards suffer?

    05/18/2006 6:00:09 AM PDT · by Momaw Nadon · 33 replies · 913+ views
    The Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo! ^ | Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | Amanda Paulson
    CHICAGO - Buying organic milk these days - or organic apples, eggs, or beef - no longer has to mean an extra trip to a Whole Foods supermarket or the local co-op. Organic products now line the shelves at Safeway and Costco. And Wal-Mart - already the nation's largest organic-milk seller - says it wants to sell more organic food. Large companies including Kraft, General Mills, and Kellogg own sizable organic- and natural-food brands. Now, they are developing organic versions of their own products, too. Still, while some organic-food fans welcome its broadening appeal and availability, others worry that the...
  • Biotech Firm Raises Furor With Rice Plan (human gene)

    05/14/2006 5:24:52 PM PDT · by decimon · 9 replies · 369+ views
    Associated Press ^ | May 14, 2006 | PAUL ELIAS
    SAN FRANCISCO - A tiny biosciences company is developing a promising drug to fight diarrhea, a scourge among babies in the developing world, but it has made an astonishing number of powerful enemies because it grows the experimental drug in rice genetically engineered with a human gene. Environmental groups, corporate food interests and thousands of farmers across the country have succeeded in chasing Ventria Bioscience's rice farms out of two states. And critics continue to complain that Ventria is recklessly plowing ahead with a mostly untested technology that threatens the safety of conventional crops grown for food. "We just want...
  • Groups Protest Genetic Engineering

    01/13/2006 9:20:29 PM PST · by proud_yank · 6 replies · 309+ views
    kgmb9 ^ | January 12, 2006 | Colette P. Fox
    A conference in Waikiki sparked a protest today over an industry that's beginning to thrive in Hawaii - biotechnology. Police monitored a small group of Native Hawaiians and environmentalists who gathered to protest practices in genetic engineering. Across the street, more than 300 people gathered from around the Pacific Rim to share ideas and compare progress in the larger field of biotech. "The biotech industry isn't paying any attention to the serious risk to human health and the environment of their experiments," said Isaac Moriwake of Earthjustice. "The result is they're turning the people of Hawaii and the lands of...