science
This Rogue Company Wants People to Inject Themselves With Untested Drugs 

Aaron Traywick paced the stage like a caged lion. In a few minutes, he would drop trou in front of an audience and thrust a needle containing a highly experimental herpes treatment into his left thigh. For now, though, he stood alone in the spotlight, his slight frame cast in harsh silhouette and face fixed in meditative concern. He had been wearing the same oversized navy suit with a red fabric flower on the lapel for the past three days. Read More >>

biohacking
Watch This Guy Inject Himself With an Untested Herpes ‘Cure’

Last Sunday at the BodyHacking Con in Austin, Aaron Traywick joined the rarefied ranks of those who have experimented on themselves in the name of science. Only Traywick is not a scientist—he is the CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, a rogue biotech firm working with biohackers to develop treatments outside of FDA oversight and regulation. Read More >>

science
The UK is Officially Letting Doctors Create a 3-Parent Baby

The modern era of the so-called “three-parent baby” has officially kicked off, and it will begin here, in the UK. Read More >>

science
The First US Human CRISPR Trials Could Start Any Day Now

The first U.S. human trial using CRISPR to treat disease could kick off any day now. The trials, led by the University of Pennsylvania, will use the gene-editing tool to modify immune cells, prompting them to attack three different types of cancer. Read More >>

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Why CRISPR-Edited Food May Be in US Supermarkets Sooner Than You Think

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this approval was that the USDA did not ask that the inventors of the plant endure the usual regulatory hoops required to sell biotech crops. The next month, a drought-tolerant soybean variety developed with CRISPR also got a quick pass from the USDA. Read More >>

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Could Gene Therapy One Day Cure Diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes, the body engages in warfare with itself, the immune system mistakenly treating the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas as a harmful invader, destroying the cells along with the body’s ability to regulate sugar. Typically diagnosed in youth, it has no cure, and patients face a lifetime of insulin injections and complications. Read More >>

science
In 2018, We Will CRISPR Human Beings

Ever since 2012, when researchers first discovered that bacterial immune systems could be hijacked to edit DNA in living creatures, CRISPR has been hailed as a maker of revolutions. This was the year that prediction felt like it was starting to come true. US scientists used the CRISPR gene editing technique to treat a common genetic heart disease in a human embryo. Many more diseases were successfully treated in mice using CRISPR. Hell, a particularly enthusiastic biohacker even spontaneously injected himself with muscle-growth genes while giving a talk at a conference. Read More >>

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Would Mutant Species Solve Our Environmental Woes—Or Set Off a Global Catastrophe?

Genetic engineering is often derided as “playing God.” No technology approaches that metaphor more closely than the gene drive. A powerful and controversial technology, a gene drive is a form of genetic engineering that allows researchers in a lab to override the rules of natural selection. Read More >>

science
The Most Life-Changing Breakthroughs in Genetics of 2017

It was a big year for the building blocks of life. Here are the most significant breakthroughs in genetics research of 2017. Read More >>

science
With No Cure in Sight, CRISPR Could Offer Hope for ALS

Genetic engineering offers the promise of treating genetic disorders by correcting disease-causing DNA, but when the defective genes are located in cells deep inside the body, how do you actually deliver a cure? Read More >>

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Why DARPA is Investing Big in Gene Drives

A powerful and controversial new genetic engineering technology called a gene drive offers the potential to drastically reshape our world by overriding natural selection. And the US military’s research arm is among one of the technology’s biggest research funders. Read More >>

science
A Modified CRISPR Could Treat Common Diseases Without Editing DNA

The unassumingly named CRISPR/Cas9 is a technology that stands to remake the world as we know it. By allowing scientists to more easily than ever cut and paste all those As, Cs, Ts, and Gs that encode all the world’s living things, for one thing, it could one day cure many devastating diseases. Read More >>

science
This Temporary Tattoo Is Made From Living Cells

It’s a little more high-tech than the tattoos you might remember from your school days. Read More >>

science
The US Department of Defence Is Developing Plants That Are Spies

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to bioengineer plants so that the military can turn foliage into spies. Read More >>

crispr
Could the Whole CRISPR Patent Kerfuffle Have Been Completely Avoided?

For the better part of the last three years, the introduction of the most powerful gene editing technology ever invented has been marred by a nasty patent battle. The two groups of scientists involved, each contributing significantly to the future of genetic engineering, are pitted against each other in a bitter contest for glory and fortune. Read More >>