Sunday, May 26

Genetics

It sounds like science fiction: A citizenry genetically engineered to be democratic. It’s not implausible. Last month, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report touting the promise of a biological engineering technique called gene drive—particularly for dealing with public health problems such as the Zika virus, malaria, and dengue fever. Last year, Anthony James, […]

A few years ago, molecular biologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, along with a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, were the first to file a patent for CRISPR-Cas9. It’s a DNA-editing technology adapted from the prokaryote immune system. Cas9 is a protein that can seek out and “cut” targeted gene strands […]

“Add little to little and there will be a big pile.” —Ovid When we build complex technologies, despite our best efforts and our desire for clean logic, they often end up being far messier than we intend. They often end up kluges: inelegant solutions that work just well enough. And a reason they end up being […]

A group of Hasidic Jews walking the streets of Brooklyndiluvi.com Anna i Adria via Wikipedia In 1983, Yosef Eckstein an ultra-orthodox rabbi in Brooklyn, New York, had reason to be happy: His wife had just given birth to their fifth child. But the couple’s happiness was short-lived: The child was soon diagnosed with Tay–Sachs disease, […]

For many people, 1969 felt like a year when technology could solve all of our problems, a sentiment that reached a crescendo with the Apollo 11 moon landing. But back on Earth, Michael Kaback was a faculty member in pediatrics1 at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, and he was frustrated. Kaback had helped some of his […]

Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) uses the VLA (Very Large Array) to look for alien signals. But that’s not the only way. Warner Brothers When people think about SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, they imagine messages sent via radio—Jodie Foster tuning antennas, hoping to pick up signals from the “billions and billions” of star systems […]

Microscope image showing selection of an embryo for IVFScience Photo Library – ZEPHYR via Getty Images For women who have trouble conceiving, being told they’ll need assistance is often accompanied with a sense of dread: what they hoped would be a natural, quick, and inexpensive process (what’s cheaper than natural conception?) can change into a […]

In January, the pharmaceutical company Roche paid more than a billion dollars to buy about half of a small company called Foundation Medicine. Foundation has not invented any new drugs or life-saving devices. Most insurance companies won’t pay for its main product, and like a lot of biotech companies, it loses money. The big bucks are […]

Editors Picks
The Sina Times white logo
Copyright © 2009-2024 The Sina Times.