science
I Tried a DNA-Optimised Skin-Care Routine – and I Was Allergic to It

The pitch was a skin-care routine designed especially for me, genetically optimised to give me the skin I was “born to have.” The reality was decidedly more itchy, flaky, and red. Read More >>

dna testing
I DNA Tested My Cat and She Was Not Happy About It

I was crawling around on the floor, chasing my cat, Avalanche, as she artfully wriggled away from me over and over again to gnaw at the piece of tape I had stuck to her grey and white fur. Avalanche had unwittingly become a victim of journalistic inquiry: I wanted to explore the latest fad in consumer DNA testing, genetic analysis for pets. But rather than somehow coax my cat to spit in a tube, Basepaws required that I stick a piece of tape to Avalanche’s body, then “gently” pull it off. Except it turns out that there is no way to gently rip tape off of an animal completely covered in two-inch-long fur. My cat was furious with me for hours. Read More >>

science
Report: A DNA Testing Company Could Not Tell the Difference Between Human and Dog DNA

Dog may be man’s best friend, and even genetically similar to humans, to boot, but there are enough key differences that it shouldn’t be too hard to distinguish between human and doggy DNA. Read More >>

biohacking
I Spent a Weekend With Cyborgs, and Now I Have an RFID Implant I Have No Idea What to Do With

Jeffrey Tibbetts prepped for implantation and scrubbed in, methodically sudsing up to his elbows, scraping the dirt from under his fingernails and scouring his hands with a rough brush to render his body sterile before donning a pair of beige latex surgical gloves. Read More >>

genetics
Largest Study of Its Kind Identifies 44 Genetic Risk Factors for Depression

Depression is a tricky beast. Symptoms vary widely from person to person, as does the response to treatment. But there’s no question that genetic makeup plays an important role, and understanding the genetic architecture of depression could help us better understand how to treat it. Read More >>

science
How a Massive Effort to Sequence Genomes of 1.5 Million Species Could Help Preserve Life on Earth

In what will undoubtedly be the largest genomic sequencing effort of all time, an international consortium of researchers is organising a massive effort to collect and sequence the DNA of Earth’s 1.5 million known eukaryotes, the domain of organisms that includes animals, plants, and fungi. Read More >>

science
Forget the Double Helix – Scientists Discovered a New DNA Structure Inside Human Cells

Guided by the work of Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the the twisted-ladder structure of DNA in 1953, a finding that gave rise to the modern field of molecular biology. It was by understanding DNA’s double-helix form that science was able to begin unravelling the many mysteries of genetic code. Read More >>

23andme
23andMe Is Working to Make DNA Data More Diverse

When you mail off a sample of your spit to find out about your ancestry, companies like 23andMe compare your DNA to other people around the world, seeing how closely your genes match the genes of people in, say, Norway, in order to deduce whether your ancestors might have been Norwegian, too. Read More >>

crispr
This Gene-Editing Breakthrough Could Provide Hyper-Specific Cancer Diagnoses

Ever since researchers first discovered that bacterial immune systems could be hijacked to selectively change DNA in living creatures, CRISPR gene-editing technology has been limited by the boundaries of the cell wall. CRISPR allows scientists to cut and paste little bits of DNA, swapping out even single letters of DNA to correct disease-causing genetic mutations. But—at least until now—all of that cutting and pasting has gone on inside cells. Read More >>

science
This Tattoo Only Becomes Visible When It Detects Early Signs of Disease

In the future, tattoos may no longer be mere decorative statements for the body, but useful biomedical devices that can alert us when something’s not quite right. Read More >>

science
Researchers Trying to Map Every Cell in the Human Body Release First Data Set

Science textbooks will tell you that the human body has just a couple hundred types of cells. But efforts to catalogue all the cells in the human body suggest that number is a multiple many, many times larger. Read More >>

genetics
Genetics Research is Failing Most of The World’s Population

In the late 1990s, as Esteban Burchard was finishing up his medical training at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, newspaper headlines blared warnings about what appeared to be a growing asthma epidemic. Read More >>

science
An Indian State Is Building a Massive, Blockchain-Based DNA Database

India’s eighth largest state is seeking to build a blockchain-based DNA database of all 50 million of its citizens. Read More >>

science
Scientists Edit Thousands of Genes at Once With Upgraded CRISPR

When the gene-editing technology CRISPR first made a splash back in 2012, it foretold a future in which curing diseases might simply involve snipping out problematic bits of genetic code. Of course, innovation is rarely so straightforward. Read More >>

science
23andMe CEO Compares DNA Tests to at-Home Pregnancy Tests, but It’s Not That Simple

In a provocative opinion published Monday in STAT, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki argues that home DNA test customers don’t need experts to help them interpret genetic health risk reports. Wojcicki compares her company’s health reports, which tell people whether they are at risk of developing certain diseases, to at-home pregnancy tests. Read More >>