What happens when you mash up Big Data, genomics, and a whole lot of Holstein dairy cows? You get the best bull in America. In The Atlantic today there’s a great piece on Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie, the Holstein bull that science says is the best among America’s 8 million dairy cows.
The world’s first transgenic sheep produced via a simplified cloning technique, known as handmade cloning (seriously), is here. Peng Peng, named for the two principal scientists doing the cloning (who happen to have the same name), was successfully delivered back on March 26 and is developing so well that researchers have deemed him ready for the spotlight.
For more than two years, Stanford University geneticist Michael Snyder donated his living body to science. He and fellow researchers examined his DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, creating an incredibly detailed profile of his personal “omics.” They watched in real time and at the molecular level as viruses attacked his cells, and they figured out, to their shock, that he was prone to developing type 2 diabetes.
Susannah Tringe spends a fair bit of her work time, currently for the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, in the fragrant, murky wetlands of California’s Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Thriving microbial communities there could be the key to understanding how wetlands mitigate or exacerbate greenhouse-gas levels in our atmosphere. Tringe is cataloging the genetic fingerprints of the entire microbial ecosystem to determine how these wetlands work and if we can tailor them while restoring drained wetlands to absorb more greenhouse gas than they emit.
For the first time, scientists using a combination of gene-editing technologies have corrected mutations in a patient’s own induced stem cells. The breakthrough could pave the way toward reprogramming a person’s own cells to cure genetic diseases, rather than using transplanted organs and drug therapies.
The naked mole rat isn’t a particularly handsome devil, but there’s more to life than being pretty--like living ten times longer than other mammals your size, withstanding extremely harsh conditions without breaking a sweat, or beating cancer. The naked mole rat does all of these things without really trying, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that British researchers are sequencing the un-cuddly rodent’s genome looking for clues to its longevity and fortitude.
Scientists hoping to save the Tasmanian devil from the strange and contagious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) have turned to genomics to help them save species before the disease wipes it out completely. Researchers have conducted whole-genome analyses of two Tasmanian devils to develop a model by which to select healthy specimens to be kept in captivity so that the species might carry on.
You still can’t use Flash on it, but at least the iPad now allows you to swipe, pinch, and scroll through the entire human genome. A new app from the Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia lets users travel through the entire human genome--all 3 billion base pairs of it.
Plant and human genome researchers have uncovered myriad pathways toward understanding health and longevity, determining genes that code for things like disease tolerance and nutrient needs. A new bug gene-sequencing project aims to do the same — only the goal is to find genomic Achilles’ heels, to help people kill insects more easily.
How does one build a dinosaur? There’s the much-celebrated Crichton/Spielberg method, in which you extract dino DNA from a preserved prehistoric mosquito. But there are problems with this approach, says paleontologist Jack Horner in a recent TED Talk, and besides: there are plenty of spare dinosaur parts laying around our modern world from which to build a dinosaur. We just need to find the right ones.
There's no doubt humans are a musical species, although whether there's a genetic basis for our musicality is still up for debate. A UK team put that question into literal terms Tuesday night in London.
Over the weekend, the New London Chamber Choir offered three performances of "Allele," a 20-minute, 40-part choral work in which the members sing their own genetic codes.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.