Tag: genetics

Ancient Mayan human sacrifices involved twins

Although Mayan written sources clearly document human sacrificial rituals, many details about the Mesoamerican civilization’s ceremonial victims remain unknown. Thanks to new genetic analysis, however, archeologists are piecing together the intricate religious and agricultural rites—and they are as revealing as they are grim. Centrally located in the northern Yucatán Peninsula, Chichén Itzá is considered one […]

Law enforcement collected over 1.5 million people’s DNA since 2020

A new investigation published today by Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy & Technology reveals the Department of Homeland Security has amassed 1.5 million people’s DNA in recent years thanks to a potentially unconstitutional and predatory legal amendment targeting marginalized communities—a 5,000-percent increase compared to its database’s previous two decades of existence. This genetic material is […]

Ancestry and the National Archives are digitizing tens of millions of records

The National Archives is partnering with the genealogy company Ancestry to digitize and index tens of millions of US records related to the military, immigration history, and Indigenous communities over the next 5 years. Announced on Thursday, organizers intend to make an initial 65.5 million documents available online within two years, including World War II […]

Gene-edited pigs immune to deadly virus could arrive on farms by next year

US farmers are closer than ever to raising genetically edited pigs immune to one of the animal’s deadliest diseases. But while millions of dollars could be saved with livestock impervious to highly virulent, diverse strains of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), animal rights groups maintain the cutting-edge idea isn’t an ethical solution, but yet […]

Meet ‘anthrobots,’ tiny bio-machines built from human tracheal cells

Xenobots—a new classification of robots built from biological cells—evolved from theory to reality in only a few short years. Not long after first proposing the concept, researchers successfully harvested material from frog embryos to create their first multicellular biobots in 2020. From the outset, their xenobots could move, record data, collect materials, heal themselves, and […]

Spider silk stronger than Kevlar spun by an unlikely source

Researchers have coaxed common silkworms to spin a more durable, eco-friendlier spider silk—all it took was a few genetic modifications and hundreds of thousands of silkworm egg microinjections. Synthetic commercial fabrics like nylon are notoriously harmful to the environment because of the carbon footprint from their production processes, as well as their tendency to shed […]