Genetics

11:20am

Wed March 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

Catalog Of Gene Markers For Some Cancers Doubles In Size

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 11:41 am

A microscopic image of prostate cancer. Researchers have found new genetic markers that flag a person's susceptibility to the disease, as well as breast and ovarian cancer.
Otis Brawley National Cancer Institute

The largest gene-probing study ever done has fished out dozens of new genetic markers that flag a person's susceptibility to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

The 74 newly discovered genetic variants double the previously known number for these malignancies, all of which are driven by sex hormones.

Underscoring the sheer magnitude of the findings, they're contained in 15 scientific papers published simultaneously by five different journals. The Nature group of journals has collected them all here.

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9:57am

Tue March 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Sequencing Of HeLa Genome Revives Genetic Privacy Concerns

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:32 am

A micrograph of HeLa cells, derived from cervical cancer cells taken from Henrietta Lacks.
Tomasz Szul/Visuals Unlimited, Inc. Getty Images

Last week, scientists announced they had sequenced the full genome of the most widely used human cell line in biology, the "HeLa" cells, and published the results on the web. But the descendents of the woman from whom the cells originated were never consulted before the genetic information was made public, and thus never gave their consent to its release.

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4:56am

Fri March 15, 2013
The Picture Show

It's Called 'De-Extinction' — It's Like 'Jurassic Park,' Except It's Real

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 7:30 am

The bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, lived high in the Pyrenees until its extinction in 2000. Three years later, researchers attempted to clone Celia, the last bucardo. The clone died minutes after birth. Taxidermic specimen, Regional Government of Aragon, Spain
Robb Kendrick National Geographic

Sorry to disappoint, but science writer Carl Zimmer says we're not going to bring back dinosaurs. But, he says, "science has developed to the point where we can actually talk seriously about possibly bringing back more recently extinct species."

It's called "de-extinction" — and it's Zimmer's cover story for National Geographic's April issue.

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10:14am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Highest Bidder Will Get DNA Pioneer's Nobel Medal

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:43 pm

Francis Crick in 2003, the year before his death, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego.
Denis Poroy AP

This is no ordinary family heirloom.

The granddaughter of English scientist Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA who passed away in 2004, is putting his Nobel Prize medal up on the auction block.

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1:59pm

Tue February 19, 2013
The Spotlight

Should We Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies?

Nita Farahany and Lee Silver argue against the motion "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies" during an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
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What if, before your children were born, you could make sure they had the genes to be taller or smarter? Would that tempt you, or would you find it unnerving?

What if that genetic engineering would save a child from a rare disease?

As advancements in science bring these ideas closer to reality, a group of experts faced off two against two in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the proposition: "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies."

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