All posts tagged with biotech

Link: So easy to match DNA to names

less than 1 minute read

Forensic genealogy is now mainstream. From Bloomberg Businessweek, a report by Kristen Brown: “A Researcher Needed Three Hours to Identify Me From My DNA”.

DNA genealogy and forensic cold cases

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This year there have been some amazing new leads in “cold cases” by using a new kind of DNA approach, using public genealogy websites to look for people who ...

Link: DNA conspiracy theories

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In a post this week on the Anthropology News site of the American Anthropological Association, the sociologist Joan Donovan describes her work on DNA identit...

Link: DNA conspiracy theories

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In a post this week on the Anthropology News site of the American Anthropological Association, the sociologist Joan Donovan describes her work on DNA identit...

Link: Pääbo wins award

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Some nice coverage of Svante Pääbo in the Washington Post on the occasion of him winning one of the 3-million dollar “Breakthrough Awards” last week: “3 scie...

Link: The weird world of Kevin Folta

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This is so weird: “Seed Money: How Kevin Folta got entangled with Monsanto, created a shady podcast alter ego, and spurred a hot public debate over conflicts...

A voice against mammoth cloning

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In the UK, a documentary program called “Woolly Mammoth: The Autopsy” has recently run, featuring an international team of scientists involved in a recent ma...

Sequencing baby Khan

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MIT Technology Review has an article this week about Razib Khan’s efforts to sequence his baby son in utero: “For One Baby, Life Begins with Genome Revealed”.

The DNA portrait artist

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Twitter gets results! A group of geneticists (honestly, including me) were kvetching on Twitter about this NPR story: “Litterbugs Beware: Turning Found DNA I...

Everyday genomes

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From the Guardian, a pause to consider how ordinary complete genome analysis has become: “Genome research: discovery as an everyday event”.

Mitochondria from another mother

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This seems a newsworthy story by Ian Sample at the Guardian: “Britain ponders ‘three-person embryos’ to combat genetic diseases”.

Privacy of genetic research participants

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Misha Angrist, writing in Nature News comments (“Genetic privacy needs a more nuanced approach”) on the recent study that demonstrated the possibility of fin...

Send in the clones

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I didn’t comment on the Neandertal cloning kerfuffle this week. Now that it’s sort of died down, I’ll provide a link to a Knight Science Journalism Tracker s...

Finding sequencing methods in the library

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Jay Shendure and Erez Lieberman Aiden have a recent review in Nature Biotechnology that provides some recent data on the falling cost and increased use of ge...

Recantation of a former genetic know-nothing

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The text of this lecture by Mark Lynas is remarkable (“Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference, 3 January 2013”). Lynas gained prominence as a critic of genetic...

Metaphyseal fusion

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Holly Dunsworth, whom readers will remember from my previous links to her work in genetics education, recounts a personal experience to show how the “inciden...

High coverage second thoughts

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Vicki Lewis writes a worthwhile post: <a href=http://blogs.plos.org/dnascience/2012/11/01/why-i-dont-want-to-know-my-genome-sequence/”>”Why I Dont Want...

The cost of sequencing

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In all the stories about the lowering cost of DNA sequencing, this NY Times contribution has to be the most heartbreaking: “Infant DNA Tests Speed Diagnosis ...

Fearfully genetic

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Holly Dunsworth comments on an NPR report on personal genomics: “Be afraid of fear, not personal genomics”.

Mailbag: What to read, for newbies

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I don’t usually front-page my mailbag entries, but I thought I would start doing it with a few: partly to remind myself to post them more often, and partly b...

Grasping the genomic palantir

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Gina Kolata writes in the New York Times about the conundrum faced by research scientists who inadvertently discover the health risks of their research parti...

If snowflakes could talk

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Cool thing of the week: Little tiles of DNA, programmed by sequence to bind themselves into letters, numbers and other text-messaging necessities: “DNA drawi...

Sex, steroids and sport

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The Guardian is giving us some pre-London-Olympic buildup, including an interesting article about the impact of strategies to make female athletes more like ...

Gene doping mice

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Andy Coghlan reports on work using viral vectors to amp up mouse muscles, a form of “gene doping”, in New Scientist: “Blood tests won’t stop gene cheats”.

Finding the scary genes

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John Lauerman reports in BusinessWeek on his experience participating in the Personal Genome Project:

Ancestry perspective from 23andMe

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Stanford geneticist Joanna Mountain recounts some of the experience she brings to 23andMe in her role as Senior Director of Research: “Solving mysteries via ...

Genotyping the intro class

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Holly Dunsworth, at the University of Rhode Island, is undertaking a unique project with her undergraduate course this semester, providing 23andMe genotyping...

Genetics and privacy

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“Harvard prof Henry Louis Gates Jr. hunting for great-great grandfather”

The Mayflower criminal registry

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Of some interest with respect to DNA databases and privacy concerns: “DNA links 1991 killing to Colonial-era family”.

A quick look at your Neandertal fraction

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The 23andMe blog, the Spittoon, has a description of their new technique to use 23andMe SNPs to estimate any customer’s fraction of Neandertal: “Find your in...

Sequence the old, fast

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The Archon Genomics X Prize is a $10 million contest to see what company or organization can develop a low-cost accurate sequencing technology. The AP’s Malc...

Exome sequencing as a stopgap

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The new Genome Biology has a perspective piece by Jacob Tennessen and colleagues, titled “The promise and limitations of population exomics for human evoluti...

Anodyne DTC genetics

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The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed by Matt Ridley, on the topic of possible regulation of consumer genetic testing. He writes that after years of relative ...

Delete the troubling data

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Misha Angrist turns on the sarcasm filter for a proposal to discard raw data that may trouble research subjects (“If you want to destroy my sweater”):

I'm a genetic libertarian

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Much news coming out of the FDA public meeting on direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetics. Dan Vorhaus was at the proceedings and reports on them (“Looking Ahead A...

FDA-DTC genetics meeting

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been holding a meeting about Direct-to-Consumer genetic testing. Daniel MacArthur has been following the proceeding...

Data minding

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Dan MacArthur reads the American Medical Association’s letter to the FDA about direct-to-consumer genetics testing, and doesn’t like what he sees (“American ...

Finding hidden incest

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Another unexpected result of gene chips: Identifying hidden incest in the course of routine tests for developmental disabilities:

Paying for personalized medicine

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Virginia Hughes writes about the challenges on the business side of personalized medicine: “Genomics Revolution(s)”. She builds the topic up from a few peopl...

No worries, DNA testers

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I’ve started teaching my course in anthropological genetics again this semester. I’ll be posting relevant material here every so often, particularly as we co...

Genomes too cheap to meter

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Matthew Herper is a science and medicine contributing writer at Forbes.com. He has just written a series of posts themed as “Gene Week”, focusing on advances...

Genes and drugs

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Nature Reviews Genetics this month has published a panel conversation between five experts on pharmacogenomics Altman:pharmacogenomics:2010. If you’re intere...

Open data genomics

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Nature this week carries a story by Ewen Callaway titled, “The rise of the genome bloggers”. The main subject is Dienekes Pontikos, whose “Dodecad Ancestry P...

No more gene patents

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This is a surprise: The U.S. federal government’s position now opposes gene patents:

Ancestry unzipped

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One of the incredible benefits of the open source approach to genomics is that non-practitioners have a chance to see how interpretations are built. Sometime...

Genomics by press release

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The Spandrel Shop: “When did announcing science become the same as publishing science?”

Mailbag: Neandertal backbreeding

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In your blog, you have commented on the prospect of re-creating a neandertal from a "completed" genome.....I agree with your views and predictions.

Frozen zoo

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The Observer has a nice article describing the “Frozen Zoo” of samples kept by the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

Adopt a Neandertal

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Kyle Munkittrick of the “Science Not Fiction” blog argues, “Yes, we should clone Neanderthals.”

Personal genomics debacle?

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Daniel MacArthur is reporting on today’s big showdown between Congress and genomics testing companies: “A sad day for personal genomics.”

Berkeley DNA comments

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Marie-Claire Shanahan has written on A Blog Around the Clock an essay discussing the Berkeley genetic test:

Berkeley DNA tests revisited

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I wrote about the UC Berkeley genetic testing of incoming freshmen earlier this spring. The summer is halfway over and the saliva kits have been sent. Now Sc...

Sergey Brin and genetic research

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While I was out of town, Wired ran a long article about Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his quest to find the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease. There i...

UC-Berkeley genetic tests for freshmen

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I’m not sure which tags to apply to this story. I’m torn between “colossally-bad-ideas” and “university-auditions-for-big-brother”.

Whole genome action

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Daniel MacArthur writes a thoughtful summary of a new study of the DNA of Stephen Quake: “What can you learn from a whole genome sequence?”

Gene patents at risk

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A Federal court has thrown out Myriad Genetics’ patents on tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, risk factors in breast and ovarian cancer:

NIH genetic test registry

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The National Institutes of Health directorate this week announced the creation of a new database for tracking and providing public information about commerci...

This weeks' genomes

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Actress Glenn Close joins the ranks of the genomed; Daniel MacArthur discusses the celebrity genomics trend.

Deep versus wide genomes

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Remember Genome 10K? Well, here’s a new study by Michel Milinkovitch and colleagues, that points out the deficiencies of comparative data from 1X genomes:

23andMe

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From Razib: “Creative destruction in the personal genomics industry?”

Texas newborn DNA experimentation

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A couple of weeks ago, the Texas Tribune reported on an investigation of the archiving of blood samples taken from newborn infants: “DNA Deception”.

Sequencing news

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Daniel MacArthur reports from the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology meetings are full of little snippets of next-generation sequencing news; good if ...

Cancer and personalized drugs

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Amy Harmon reappears in the NY Times science page this week, with a series on the clinical trials of a targeted cancer drug (“A Roller Coaster Chase for a Cu...

Synthetic code

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The Oscillator’s Christina Agapakis reviews some work in synthetic biology – “Expanding the genetic code”

BioBricking

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A couple of long stories in the New York Times Magazine this weekend caught my interest. One of them covers the emerging world of university competitions in ...

Drug discovery and GWA

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Gene Expression’s p-ter makes an interesting point about weak genome-wide associations and drug development.

Bioethics pair

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A pair of articles in my browser tabs refer to bioethics.

Gene-a-dope

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Science gives us a “policy forum” this week on gene doping. The lead author, Theodor Friedmann, is the chair of the “Gene Doping Expert Group” at the World A...

The Church of personal genomics

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I complained mightily about the problems I had getting George Church’s essay (“The Genome Generation”). Church is the major organizer of the Personal Genome ...

Blood reboot

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I pointed out the new treatment protocol for the sickle cell trait last week. In the interest of complete coverage of hemoglobinopathies, I’ll link to Scienc...

Complete genomes

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John Timmer gives a great summary of the new paper in Science covering the Complete Genomics sequencing method.

Common traits and GWA

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Worth reading: Daniel MacArthur comments on 23andMe’s reporting of genome-wide associations coming from their customer surveys of traits. The skinny:

The sixth sense

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Quinn Norton started wearing a vibrating compass to her leg to experiment with sense augmentation: “My New Sense Organ”

Is your genome worth guarding?

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Katrina Voss wrote in New Scientist a couple of weeks ago: “Your genome isn’t that precious – give it away”. After discussing legislative efforts to provide ...

Norman Borlaug

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Yesterday, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug died. This AP story reviews his life and accomplishments. Without question, Borlau...

Mailbag: Race, words and definitions

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I believe this problem with the word "race" which biologists have needs to be handled as a communication problem. The way that biologists use the term is, li...

Modern genomics and race

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Another little thing from that Anne Wojcicki interview that I linked last week – she fielded a question about race:

Free credit reports and consumer genetics

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The Freakonomics blog has a long question-and-answer with Anne Wojcicki, of 23andMe. It’s interesting to see how she takes reader questions – many of the an...

Machine memory

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John Zogby polled Americans on whether they’d like to become cyborgs. Some of the questions are about brain implants for health, others for information or “e...

IRB DTC RFI

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The Genomics Law Report is an interesting newish blog from the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson. Dan MacArthur pointed me there.

Breaking legs for science

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William Saletan tells the story of a woman who didn’t like being 5 foot 1 inches tall, so she went to Russia to have her legs broken and stretched for 6 mont...

Genetic testing by Amway

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Daniel MacArthur has been indispensable lately – if you are interested in consumer genetics, check out his post on Amway’s “Heart Health” genetic tests. The ...

Genome data access and funding models

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Mike the Mad Biologist checks in with an interesting post on “The Double Standard of Genomic Data Release and the Role of Incentives”. The question: why do l...

How the FOXP2 transgenic mice squeak

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Nicholas Wade today covers a new study by Wolfgang Enard and colleagues, in which they generated transgenic mice expressing the human-derived version of FOXP...

Biohacking

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Word of the day: biohacking.

Turning ACGT into poetry

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The Economist has a “special report” on personalized medicine, focusing on the business of the current set of sequence providers. Generally speaking, Dan Mac...

Will Wolfram make bioinformatics obsolete?

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I was talking with a scientist last week who is in charge of a massive dataset. He told me he had heard complaints from many of his biologist friends that to...

Neandertal: The Resurrection

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Friday morning, I got back to teaching after my trip this week. So I filled my students in a bit about the Neandertal genome. One of them had been reading th...

Bringing back the overkill

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New Scientist has a primer on extinct animals that might be candidates for resurrection by cloning. My preference is the short-faced bear:

A gene doping summit

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The AP’s Howard Fendrich reports on an American Enterprise Institute conference about gene doping:

Frankenteeth on the horizon

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Joel Garreau (Radical Evolution) covers the future genetics beat for the Washington Post. In today’s edition, he has an interesting article about tooth regen...

Population genomics rising

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Genetic Future has been on fire lately, with various announcements from and about genomics testing companies. More on that later. Today, he reflects upon the...

Magic indistinguishable from genomics

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ThinkGene has a nice critical post reviewing some of deCODE Genetics’ advertising. The main idea is that genetic tests as yet provide almost no information w...

Bobsleds, no; sprinting, yes

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If you’re interested in athletic performance and genetics, read Daniel Macarthur on ACTN3, sprinting, and Jamaica:

Gene Wiki

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Larry Moran comments on the Gene Wiki. (If you haven’t read about it, check out this AP article, or the PLoS Biology paper). Larry has written before about t...

Cybernetics and the brain-controlled robot

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An interesting story from Popular Mechanics about progress in cybernetics, titled “Mind control stories.” It starts with the macaque controlling a robot arm ...

How much data in your genome

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Daniel Macarthur, of Genetic Future, reviews the amount of information required to store genomic information. Naturally, you’d probably think it was around 1...

Becoming bionic

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A couple of months ago, the Washington Post ran an article by Michael Chorost, who has written a book about his experience with a cochlear implant. I meant t...

The road to prophylaxis

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Jane Brody writes about hereditary cancers, and genetic testing. It's sort of a self-education kind of piece. The theme is the extreme: radical surgeries th...

Shining glowing people

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Sarah-Kate Templeton of the London Times has reported that a Cornell University group created a genetically-modified human embryo:

"Blood Matters" review

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The NY Times is running a review by Jennifer Senior of the new book, Blood Matters, by Masha Gessen. The book details Gessen's journey through modern-day ge...

Should we want to live longer?

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I've been lecturing about various genetic enhancement strategies in my genetics course the last two weeks. Today's lecture concerned clinical trials for gen...

Einstein's brain and Watson's genome

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This week's Nature includes a report on the sequencing of James Watson's complete genome by a new process developed by 454 Life Sciences. I just had to conv...

Zimmer on E. coli and bioterror

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I very much liked Carl Zimmer's Slate piece about foodborne pathogens and their lessons for defending against bioterrorism. Zimmer has a book about E. coli ...

The future of genetics is corny

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Elizabeth Pennisi's story about maize genomics is a good reminder for why biology will continue to grow in importance toward our understanding of human hist...

The cloning of the bulls

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Here's an AP story about cloning bullfighting bulls. Yes, I know, "bullfighting bulls" is redundant, but what else are you supposed to call them? I suppose ...

DNA testing and health insurance

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Amy Harmon brings several patients' stories to this article, "Fear of insurance trouble leads many to shun or hide DNA tests."

Hunting for your child's DNA doppelganger

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Maybe you believe you have an identical twin somewhere. Or if not a twin, at least someone who looks a lot like you, a doppelganger. Someone who looks like ...

Drugging brains, young and old

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I read two interesting articles today on brain performance-enhancing of one kind or another. Denise Grady of the New York Times contributes a long article a...

The future of robot love affairs

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I've been telling people this week that there is some sense to which the evolutionary future will be determined by the cultural impact of technological chan...

They clone horses, don't they?

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"Horse racing editor" Mike Brunker checks in with an excellent MSNBC article on cloning in the horse racing world. Racing officials are, so far, against it,...

Searching for Christopher

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They'll never tire of trying to find Columbus' hometown. So the NY Times' Amy Harmon tracks the story:

DNA tests split immigrant families

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I missed this story about immigration and DNA testing when it was printed earlier this year. The story looks at some personal stories of immigrants who have...

Full frontal genomes

7 minute read

In Erika Check's Nature article on celebrity genomes, she includes a passage in which Francis Collins points out a problem with public access to private ge...

The blood that would not rest

8 minute read

The International Herald Tribune is running a story by Larry Rohter about the dispute over rights to blood samples taken from Brazil's Karitiana tribe more ...

Doggie doo DNA detectives

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A few months ago, a particularly egregious neighbor dog left a gift on our lawn -- while my fascinated girls watched out the window. Naturally, I ran outsid...

So, it's dog corn next.

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Amy Harmon explains some dog genetics in the NY Times today, in an article focused on whippets. The problem is that undesirable characteristics of some bree...

Whose genes are doped for Beijing?

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Gretchen Reynolds reports in the NY Times on the gene therapy treatment Repoxygen as a means of athletic enhancement:

Global biopharming

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Planting time has arrived in most of the country -- even here in zone 4 -- so you may be reading those seed packets carefully. This paragraph may catch your...

Filling in the blanks

1 minute read

AP reporter Matt Crenson has a story on the "twisted path" of one man's DNA-aided search for his biological father.

Plant drug introgression

1 minute read

This is a nice little article in the times by "collaborative problem solving" director Denise Caruso A NEW generation of genetically engineered crops that p...

"I need a cure soon"

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Writer Amy Harmon has a touching article in today's NY Times, profiling the yearlong adjustments faced by a 23-year-old woman who tested positive for the Hu...

Genetics versus energy costs

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Either this continues today's Kansas theme, or this week's genetics theme. In either case, it's nice to see some attention to agricultural genetics and its ...

DDT and the malaria wars

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I'll be lecturing on hemoglobinopathies again this week, and I stumbled across this 2001 article by Malcolm Gladwell, profiling Fred Soper and the early 20t...

Grass on the run

2 minute read

Genetically engineered creeping bentgrass has been found growing miles from a test plot where it was planted two years ago, according to a NY Times story:

DOE genomics

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Linked on Evolgen, I found this post from Nobel Intent that gives a quick summary of reasons the U.S. Department of Energy is in the genomics business. It's...

Castrati literati

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What greets my RSS reader this morning? Why, this Reuters article:

They didn't sign on for this

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I got pointed to this Ronald Bailey article in Reason, which describes the approaches of some ethicists to the prospect of "genetic enhancement" of humanity...

Honda brings robot mental control

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It seems clear that we have only one hope against superintelligent fearless killer mice: Robots that carry out our telepathic commands!

Breastfeeding via rice

1 minute read

On the topic of biotechnology, this AP article describes Ventria Bioscience's field tests of rice altered with a human gene:

Sister vs. sister

3 minute read

I think this Times article by bioethicist Robert Klitzman is chilling:

Genes for the masses

3 minute read

The Boston Globe has a story about geneticist George Church and his quest to bring whole-genome sequencing below $1000.

Taint of the quagga

5 minute read

Slate has an interesting slide-show by Jon Lackman about efforts to resurrect the quagga. The quagga was either a species or subspecies of Plains zebra, liv...

Zimmer on bioinformatics

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Carl Zimmer has a very nice post describing recent work in bioinformatics, with a view toward explaining what the field is and how it works.

Belt on up to the smart bar

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I draw your attention to an essay by neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga in the current Scientific American Mind. It's a long and thoughtful consideration of t...

Over 4000 human genes patented

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National Geographic News has a story about the ubiquity of gene patenting, following on an analysis in Science (subscription required) by Kyle Jensen and Fi...

Hepatitis B and sex ratio at birth in Asia

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After yesterday's post on sex selection, a reader sent me a link to a BusinessWeek article from earlier this year that discusses a new hypothesis for the el...

How much sex selection is there?

3 minute read

I discuss biotechnology and society in my genetics course, and today I wandered across this working paper discussing sex control of offspring, including sel...