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Genetic Modification & Alterations

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Field test of GMO algae sparks outrage. Scientists from the University of California at San Diego and Sapphire Energy released results Thursday from the first open-pond trials of genetically engineered microalgae.

Field test of GMO algae sparks outrage

The study, along with research and development of genetically modified (GMO) algae for biofuels, is occurring ahead of adequate regulatory oversight, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s process to establish and update regulations for genetically engineered algae to protect human health and the environment. “This study confirmed that genetically engineered microalgae grown in open ponds will escape and spread into the environment. Once this genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back,” said Dana Perls, senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “Not only is it impossible to contain GE algae in open air production, but there are currently no adequate regulations which fully address its risks to our environment, from lab to final product.

Microalgae are essential ecosystem regulators. Mice Get Freakishly Large Brains Thanks to Human DNA - Motherboard. Super-intelligent lab mice are a common trope of science fiction, ranging from the heartrending Flowers for Algernon tale to the beloved Pinky and the Brain TV series.

Mice Get Freakishly Large Brains Thanks to Human DNA - Motherboard

But today, scientists announced that they have boosted brain size in mice for real, using human DNA as a catalyst. "Many others have tried this and failed," co-author Gregory Wray said in a statement. "We've known other people who have looked at genes involved in brain size evolution, tested them out, and done the same kinds of experiments we've done and come up dry.

" The Duke team tracked down this elusive sequence by comparing the genomes of humans and chimpanzees. They further narrowed the focus to include only sequences that were significantly different between the species, which revealed 106 "enhancer" sequences—meaning that these short bits of DNA interact with neighboring genes and control their activity.

Scientists Hold Secret Meeting to Consider Creating a Synthetic Human Genome. George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and an organizer of the proposed project, said there had been a misunderstanding.

Scientists Hold Secret Meeting to Consider Creating a Synthetic Human Genome

The project was not aimed at creating people, just cells, and would not be restricted to human genomes, he said. Rather it would aim to improve the ability to synthesize DNA in general, which could be applied to various animals, plants and microbes. Genetic editing and the tyranny of opinion - Policy Forum. Dramatic developments in genetic technology have enormous potential for human health, but the heated debate this technology causes goes beyond safety and into moral arguments, writes Russell Blackford.

Genetic editing and the tyranny of opinion - Policy Forum

CRISPR-Cas9 is a dramatic development in genetic technology. It is a powerful, relatively simple, and increasingly precise technique for editing the DNA of living organisms. Its potential application to human beings was highlighted in April 2015, when researchers in China reported their experiments on non-viable human zygotes. The paper by Puping Liang and others was published in the scientific journal Protein & Cell. Gizmodo. Holocaust exposure induced intergenerational effects on FKBP5 methylation - Biological Psychiatry. To view the full text, please login as a subscribed user or purchase a subscription.

Holocaust exposure induced intergenerational effects on FKBP5 methylation - Biological Psychiatry

Click here to view the full text on ScienceDirect. Figure 1. Earth - Chicken grows face of dinosaur. Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid is believed to have crashed into Earth.

Earth - Chicken grows face of dinosaur

The impact wiped out huge numbers of species, including almost all of the dinosaurs. One group of dinosaurs managed to survive the disaster. Today, we know them as birds. The idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs has been around since the 19th century, when scientists discovered the fossil of an early bird called Archaeopteryx. It had wings and feathers, but it also looked a lot like a dinosaur. But these early birds didn't look the same as modern ones. Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome. Photo A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited.

Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome

The biologists fear that the new technique is so effective and easy to use that some physicians may push ahead before its safety can be assessed. Scientists develop biological safety lock for containment of modified organisms. Researchers have developed E. coli bacteria that can't survive without specially-supplied synthetic amino acids (Image: Shutterstock) It's been the premise of many a sci-fi/horror movie ... a genetically-modified organism is created in the lab to help the human race, but instead it gets loose and wreaks havoc in the outside world.

Scientists develop biological safety lock for containment of modified organisms

Well, scientists from Harvard and Yale are working to make sure that such a scenario can't take place – at least, not with one of the bacteria most commonly used in biotech research. Teams from both universities have produced genetically-altered E. coli bacteria that can't live without special amino acids, which can only be obtained from a lab. In separate studies, both teams used an already-modified strain of E. coli developed by a group led by Harvard's Prof. George Church. Using different methods, the teams further modified that strain to incorporate synthetic amino acids in numerous locations throughout its genome. Share About the Author.