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Cow Embryos Reveal New Type of Chromosome Chimera

I’ve often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It’s a period that we know very little

Eliza Gets Her Gene Therapy

Keeping a little girl at home for 722 days may seem cruel, but for the O’Neill family, it was a demonstration of astonishing bravery and love. Glenn and Cara O’Neill had isolated their daughter Eliza

Gene Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes: Preclinical Promise

Despite eclectic ways of delivering insulin to control blood glucose level in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), no approach precisely replicates what happens in the body. Gene therapy may hold the answer. T1D is

How Kevin Spacey is Altering Our Genes

Ridiculous headline? It’s just about as ridiculous as the one that circulated widely late last week: “Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases.” So proclaimed a news

No Pain and Extreme Pain From One Gene

The family from northern Pakistan is one of the strangest to appear in the scientific literature. At its center is a 10-year-old, a street performer who walked on hot coals and inserted daggers through his

Second Gene Therapy Nears Approval in Europe: Lessons for CRISPR?

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has been around not even 4 years, and people are avidly discussing its promises and perils (see “The Public and the Gene Editing Revolution” in today’s New England Journal of Medicine). That’s great. But

Redhead Gene Doubles Melanoma Risk, Without Sun

Variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene impart the red hair, fair skin, and freckles of a Prince Harry, Wilma Flintstone, or Donald Trump – and also poorer protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and therefore

Gorilla Genome 2.0: Lessons for the Clinic?

The unveiling of a new and improved gorilla genome sequence this week in Science isn’t a “first,” but the differences between it and gorGor3, from 2012, echo clinical situations that can arise when genetic information is incomplete. First,

If you build it, she will come

I paraphrased a quote from Field of Dreams for the title of this post, but you get the gist. If you build the opportunity, women will come be a part of it. We ran an event for young women last year to get them interested in STEM fields as a career. Cut to me now sifting through […]


Is looking at all the compiled data for a manuscript and seeing very few items on the punch list that need to get wrapped up before its ready to head off for submission.   Construction term for the few nagging items/tasks that need to be completed in order to receive final payment.

Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genome 3.0 Evokes Classic Experiments

J. Craig Venter and his colleagues ?at Synthetic Genomics Inc update their efforts to create a “hypothetical minimal genome” in this week’s Science. “JCVI-syn3.0,” or syn3.0 for short, is about 531,000 base pairs organized into 473 genes,

From Denisovan DNA to Future Humanity

The idea that the genomes of those of us without African ancestry harbor some DNA from Neanderthals has inspired cartoons and jokes, and I got a lot of flak when DNA Science covered the discovery of

Save my bacon...

Drugmonkey didn't tag me in his meme challenge but fucke it, why not? Here's my list of characters to get me out of a jam. 1&2. Damien Scott and Michael Stonebridge 3.      Carrie Mathison 4.      Mr. Rogers 5.      Jack Bauer

Need Help Interpreting Direct-To-Consumer DNA Test Results? Ask a Genetic Counselor

Can health care providers adequately explain results from direct-to-consumer (DTC) DNA tests to patients? “Consumer Perceptions of Interactions With Primary Care Providers After Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomic Testing,” a study published March 1, suggests a disconnect between

Bringing Genomics to High School Students: A Survival Guide

(This week DNA Science has a guest post from Sergio Pistoi, a science writer and molecular biologist from Italy.) When I gave my first conference about genomics in a high school, I thought of what

Rare Disease Day 2016: Huntington’s Disease Update

Things do happen for a reason. The editors of PLOS asked me weeks ago to post today, Rare Disease Day, about Huntington’s disease (HD). I wondered why, because although HD is a rare disease, it’s

14 Things that Cost the Same as a Gene Therapy Clinical Trial

Several of the families I write about say that it takes about $3-5 million to fund a phase 1 clinical trial for a handful of patients to test a gene transfer protocol. A phase 1 trial

CRISPR Clarifies Split-Hand/Foot

While James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, calls genome editing a “national security threat”, bioethicists warn of CRISPR-created superbabies, and prominent researchers argue whether patents trump papers, I prefer to quietly look at applications of the technology that aren’t

Help Young, Blind Musician Meet Bruce Springsteen!

Last March, my husband Larry and I attended the annual gala for the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation, near Philadelphia. During the cocktail hour, someone was singing at the piano, “Born to Run.” I turned to

CF Rx: Exercise

We can’t change our genes – yet – but we can alter our environments to ease life with an inherited illness. Meet two young people whose love of dance, running, yoga, and more is helping

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