Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s most powerful genetic technology – one that could cure disease, and at the same time wipe out entire species in the blink of an eye – has just been green lighted by the UN, and now the genies about to come out of...

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Promising HIV vaccine moves to human trials

Promising HIV vaccine moves to human trials

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF HIV is a stubborn virus and while scientists have managed to “rip” it out of patients noone has yet managed to create a vaccine for it, we’re hoping that is about to change   HIV is a stubborn disease but over the past year scientists...

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The ultimate bioweapon, scientists have developed an Extinction Gene

The ultimate bioweapon, scientists have developed an Extinction Gene

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists now have the knowledge and the tools they need to create, and deliver, Doomsday genes which can selectively target and exterminate entire species.   Here’s a question that occurs only to madmen and geneticists… How do you get a gene that kills a species...

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DARPA wants to use genetically modified bugs to rejuvenate dead and dying crops

DARPA wants to use genetically modified bugs to rejuvenate dead and dying crops

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Global food production is already being stretched by Earths growing population with the price of staple foods increasing by over 20% in just the past few years alone, as a consequence companies, governments and institutions are looking for new ways to increase yields in a...

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Photosynthesis breakthrough crams millions of years of plant evolution into months

Photosynthesis breakthrough crams millions of years of plant evolution into months

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have used gene editing to turn off specific plant genes to boost plant growth by 15%, if transplanted into rice, maize and wheat this could help reduce famine and hunger in the world without the need to use extra fertilisers or chemicals.   Scientists...

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Modern farmers grow bacteria to grow better crops

Modern farmers grow bacteria to grow better crops

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Traditional chemical intensive farming methods change the ecology of our planet on a massive scale, by moving from chemicals to mocrobials farmers might be able to grow better crops, more productively and more sustainably.   In the back of Indigo’s Boston headquarters, a start up whose...

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Scientists lay out plans to build an artificial human genome by 2036

Scientists lay out plans to build an artificial human genome by 2036

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When scientists can create artificial genomes they will be able to create new designer organisms, and humans, with entirely new, engineered properties and abilities.   Scientists have put forward plans for a follow up to the Human Genome Project (HGP) with a proposal to create...

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Brazil releases billions of genetically modified Mosquitos to combat Zika

Brazil releases billions of genetically modified Mosquitos to combat Zika

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There will always be questions about the viability and impact of releasing genetically modified organisms into our environment but with billions of mosquitos being released it might already be a moot point   Every Saturday morning, Maria do Carmo Tunussi goes door to door asking...

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Top scientists met in secret to discuss creating the first artificial humans

Top scientists met in secret to discuss creating the first artificial humans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Synthetic biology opens the door for custom designed humans whose only parents are a computer.   Scientists can already produce viable artificial human eggs and sperm but earlier this month they took everything one step further when an invite only group of about 150 experts convened...

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Inside Ginkgo, the gene factory where robots help make new weird synthetic organisms

Inside Ginkgo, the gene factory where robots help make new weird synthetic organisms

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Creating new lifeforms sounds like fun and they taste great too.   Raising glasses of genetically modified beer, the synthetic biologists at Ginkgo Bioworks celebrated the launch of their new automated lab last month and you can take a virtual tour of their facility here. By...

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Geneticists are creating a new form of life that is resistant to all known viruses

Geneticists are creating a new form of life that is resistant to all known viruses

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Geneticists are now capable of creating new forms of life that are completely resistant to all known viruses.   Geneticists have made a step forward in ‘recoding’ the genome as we know it, replacing 62,214 DNA base pairs in a synthetic E. coli genome and...

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