Industrial Biotech

Glowing trees, no more colonoscopies and other wonders of synthetic biology


The world of synthetic biology can make many things possible. We could have trees that glow in the dark, eliminating the need for streetlights; probiotic nanobots that explore our intestines making colonoscopies obsolete; tire treads that regenerate; and photosynthetic animals. Read more here.

How Are GMOs Created?


Curious about how a GMO is made? How scientists create GMOs is one of the top questions we get about GMOs. This video shows how GMOs are made, through the story of the Hawaiian Rainbow Papaya. Watch here.

The trials of Juno


IN THE pharma business, Juno Therapeutics, a small firm based in Seattle, is just a stripling. It is three years old, has not a single drug approval to its name but is nonetheless valued at $2.8 billion. That value is derived from the fact that it is on the forefront of the most promising area […]

British breeders to benefit from Spanish Wagyu genetics


One of the world’s newest breed associations has effectively doubled in size overnight after welcoming Spanish cattle into its livestock registration system. The British and Irish Wagyu Breeders Association (WBA) has this week announced that Spanish breeders of pure-bred and crossed Wagyu cattle can benefit fully from going through the WBA registration book, in the hope […]

Pigs’ genetic code altered in bid to tackle deadly virus


Researchers have made an advance in the fight against a deadly virus that affects pigs. The team used advanced genetic techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to African Swine Fever – a highly contagious disease that kills up to two-thirds of infected animals. The new pigs carry a version of a gene that […]

Lies the Organic Industry Tells: Two Types of GMOs

Two Types of GMOs

A 2013 documentary claiming to explore how genetically engineered food affects our health and environment, GMO OMG spouts fallacies that anti-GMO activists still love to wield in 2016. The film follows director, producer and father Jeremy Seifert as he examines the relationship between genetically modified food and his three young children. With organic and non-GMO […]

Now Assembled Right, Genome Might Lessen the Bed Bug’s Bite

Bed Bugs Genetics

Although an old nursery rhyme tells us not to let the bed bugs bite, it neglects to say how we might protect ourselves. For that sort of information, we turn to science, which has been preoccupied of late with the question of how bed bug infestations keep getting worse. Most recently, science has been examining […]

Gene Drives Offer New Hope Against Diseases and Crop Pests

A woman in Tanzania under a mosquito tent with a relative who was being treated for malaria. With gene drives, it may be possible to kill off a mosquito population or make the population resistant to malaria parasites. Credit Uriel Sinai for The New York Times

Biologists in the United States and Europe are developing a revolutionary genetic technique that promises to provide an unprecedented degree of control over insect-borne diseases and crop pests. The technique involves a mechanism called a gene drive system, which propels a gene of choice throughout a population. No gene drives have yet been tested in […]

Open Season is Seen in Animal Gene Editing

animal gene editing

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Other than the few small luxuries afforded them, like private access to a large patch of grass, there was nothing to mark the two hornless dairy calves born last spring at a breeding facility here as early specimens in a new era of humanity’s dominion over nature. But unlike a vast […]

If You Want A Superstar Horse, Start by Hacking its DNA


You should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but you just might want to look in its genes. Just as humans artificially bred bulldogs from domesticated wolves, they’ve also tampered with equines, selecting particular horses for their pedigrees, athletic abilities, and looks. Read more here.

More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering

More tomatoes, faster Accelerating tomato engineering

Tomatoes are already an ideal model species for plant research, but scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) just made them even more useful by cutting the time required to modify their genes by six weeks. Read more here.

Stop Bashing G.M.O. Foods, More Than 100 Nobel Laureates Say


More than 100 Nobel laureates have a message for Greenpeace: Quit the G.M.O.-bashing. Genetically modified organisms and foods are a safe way to meet the demands of a ballooning global population, the 109 laureates wrote in aletter posted online and officially unveiled at a news conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Opponents, they say, are […]

Gene-edited cattle produce no horns

better cow

Nearly 80% of U.S. dairy cows have their horns removed each year to protect their handlers and fellow cattle. But the practice, which is both painful and expensive, has come under increasing scrutiny from animal rights activists. Now, science may be coming to the rescue: A group of researchers announced last week that they successfully edited […]

Once again, U.S. expert panel says genetically engineered crops are safe to eat


Almost 2 years ago, a group of 20 scientists began hashing out a consensus on the risks and benefits of genetically engineered (GE) crops. Since the launch of their study, sponsored by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the public debate around the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and whether to label them […]

Farming amoebae carry around detoxifying food


The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has both solitary and communal life stages. As long as food is abundant, it lives on its own, but when food is scarce the amoebae seek one another out. Together they form a slug that migrates toward the light and then a fruiting body that disperses spores from atop a […]

GM crop planting declines for the first time


TREND WATCH: The area planted with genetically modified crops globally declined for the first time in 2015. The 1% decline — the first in the technology’s 20-year global commercial history — was primarily due to an overall decrease in both GM and non-GM crops caused by low commodity prices, says the International Service for the […]

Why Nestle is acting like a drug company

03/22/2016 -Cambridge, MA- (left - right) Stefan Catsicas, (cq) Global Head of Research and Development at Nestlé, left, and Greg Behar, (cq) CEO of Nestlé Health Science , right, pose for a portrait during an interview at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA on March 22, 2016. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: Business reporter: Ambrose

By REBECCA ROBBINS @rebeccadrobbins MARCH 30, 201 Nestlé, the global food behemoth known for selling chocolate and frozen pizza, has been acting a lot like a big drug company lately. Its Nestlé Health Science subsidiary, which develops nutritional products to improve health, is pouring money into companies targeting conditions like gut infections, muscle loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. It just opened […]

Gene-edited ‘micropigs’ to be sold as pets at Chinese institute

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Cutting-edge gene-editing techniques have produced an unexpected byproduct — tiny pigs that a leading Chinese genomics institute will soon sell as pets. BGI in Shenzhen, the genomics institute that is famous for a series of high-profile breakthroughs in genomic sequencing, originally created the micropigs as models for human disease, by applying a gene-editing technique to […]