Wednesday, May 22

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 […]

On Saturday afternoon, while I really should have been working on other things, this happened: What’s going on here? It might be obvious if you have a background in biology, but there’s a lot of context, and science, behind that tweet. It all started last Friday, when astrophysicist and popular science personality Neil deGrasse Tyson […]

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