Colorful bio-engineered bacteria could end fashions obsession with toxic dyes

Colorful bio-engineered bacteria could end fashions obsession with toxic dyes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The dye in your jeans, and most of your clothes, comes from countries whose dead rivers run red and blue, but now there’s a way to put an end to it, for good.   Throughout the fall of 2012, Marie-Sarah Adenis and Thomas Landrain toiled...

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Scientists hunt for “Kryptonite to stop CRISPR,” the world’s most powerful gene editing tool

Scientists hunt for “Kryptonite to stop CRISPR,” the world’s most powerful gene editing tool

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In time the cost and ease of modifying any living organisms genome and genetic makeup, for better and worse, will fall to almost zero, and as gene editing tools become democratised and sought after by Bio-Terrorists, researchers are trying to find the technology’s Kryptonite –...

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Scientists have unlocked the secret to whole body regeneration

Scientists have unlocked the secret to whole body regeneration

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Humans genetic ability to regenerate body parts naturally was “turned off” millions of years ago, but now scientists have found a switch that turns it on – in worms.   When it comes to regeneration some animals are capable of amazing feats. For example, if...

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World first as scientists get the “Extinction Gene” to work in mammals

World first as scientists get the “Extinction Gene” to work in mammals

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Gene drives over rule the laws of genetic inheritance, which means you can cure inherited genetic diseases forever, wipe out the entire human population, and everything in between.   The phrase Gene Drive often sends a shudder down a scientist’s spine, one of awe and...

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Genetic engineering breakthrough turns chickens into egg laying medicine factories

Genetic engineering breakthrough turns chickens into egg laying medicine factories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to produce drugs and medicines cheaply is important, and this breakthrough breaks grounds on all kinds of fronts.   Ordinarily, when scientists want to produce proteins to use in medicine they have to use techniques that are costly and complex. Recently, however, in...

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Scientists fix a genetic flaw to boost crop yields by 40 percent

Scientists fix a genetic flaw to boost crop yields by 40 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By 2050 we will need to feed 10 billion people, but increasingly we have the technology to ensure noone goes hungry.   Scientists keep playing about with the process of photosynthesis, such as removing it’s natural sunblock, to boost crop yields by up to 30...

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RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A revolutionary new way to deliver mRNA into the body in aerosol form makes genetically editing faulty genes easier than ever before.   Recent there have been some almost miraculous medical breakthroughs, from treating patients with inherited genetic diseases with in vivo gene therapy treatments...

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US military genetics program to turn marine life into giant living sensor networks

US military genetics program to turn marine life into giant living sensor networks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we learn more about the genetic code and how to modify it organisations around the world are starting to look into new ways of turning nature to their advantage.   A few months ago I wrote about how DARPA, the bleeding edge research arm...

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Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyborg bacteria could be used to replace today’s silicon solar panels with higher efficiency, lower cost panels that help accelerate the renewable energy revolution.   Although most life on Earth relies upon photosynthesis as its sole source of energy, the process has a weak link...

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World first as researchers hack a computer using modified DNA

World first as researchers hack a computer using modified DNA

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we increasingly become masters of manipulating the makeup of life criminals will find new, innovative ways, to breach computer systems and cause havoc.   We are increasingly becoming masters of manipulating the building blocks of life, whether it’s creating new “alien” life forms that...

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Healthcare breakthrough turns bacteria into cyborgs and drug factories

Healthcare breakthrough turns bacteria into cyborgs and drug factories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When bad bacteria multiply people get sick, but now scientists are getting closer to being able to just “switch” them off and it could lead to a healthcare revolution.   For some time now many experts have believed that one of the ways we can,...

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An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The question of whether or not to use gene drives, an extinction technology, to eradicate pests and invasive species is divisive but it looks set to get the go ahead.   Scientists working with US conservation group Island Conservation say they’ve managed to establish an...

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