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E.g., 12/17/2017
E.g., 12/17/2017
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  • Editor's Note

    2017 delivered humility, and proved our potential

    The Top 10 science stories of 2017, selected by Science News staff and presented in this year-end issue, have the potential to make you feel small and certainly humble. Our No. 1 story of the year takes place an unfathomably distant 130 million light-years away, where a neutron star smashup produced, by some estimates, 10 Earth masses worth of gold — wow! That’s enough for many trillions of...

    12/13/2017 - 08:46 Science & Society, Astronomy, Genetics
  • Year in Review

    CRISPR gene editing moved into new territory in 2017

    Scientists reported selectively altering genes in viable human embryos for the first time this year. For nearly five years, researchers have been wielding the molecular scissors known as CRISPR/Cas9 to make precise changes in animals’ DNA. But its use in human embryos has more profound implications, researchers and ethicists say.

    “We can now literally change our own species,” says...

    12/13/2017 - 08:30 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    Not all of a cell’s protein-making machines do the same job

    PHILADELPHIA — Protein-manufacturing factories within cells are picky about which widgets they construct, new research suggests. These ribosomes may not build all kinds of proteins, instead opting to craft only specialty products.

    Some of that specialization may influence the course of embryo development, developmental biologist and geneticist Maria Barna of Stanford University School of...

    12/12/2017 - 07:00 Cells, Genetics
  • News

    CRISPR/Cas9 can reverse multiple diseases in mice

    A new twist on gene editing makes the CRISPR/Cas9 molecular scissors act as a highlighter for the genetic instruction book. Such highlighting helps turn on specific genes.

    Using the new tool, researchers treated mouse versions of type 1 diabetes, kidney injury and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the team reports December 7 in Cell. The new method may make some types of gene therapy easier...

    12/07/2017 - 12:25 Genetics, Biomedicine
  • News

    Bats in China carry all the ingredients to make a new SARS virus

    Viruses in bats may have mixed and matched genes to create the virus that gave rise to the deadly SARS outbreak in 2003, a new study suggests. And it could happen again. All of the ingredients needed to create a new SARS virus are found among viruses currently infecting horseshoe bats, researchers report November 30 in PLOS Pathogens.

    The viruses “are poised to cause future outbreaks,”...

    11/30/2017 - 14:00 Genetics, Microbiology, Animals
  • Science & the Public

    Parents may one day be morally obligated to edit their baby’s genes

    A doctor explains to a young couple that he has screened the pair’s in vitro fertilized embryos and selected those that had no major inheritable diseases. The couple had specified they want a son with hazel eyes, dark hair and fair skin. Then the doctor announces that he has also taken the liberty of eliminating the “burden” of genetic propensities for baldness, nearsightedness, alcoholism,...

    11/28/2017 - 07:00 Science & Society, Genetics
  • Rethink

    Bones show Dolly’s arthritis was normal for a sheep her age

    In the scientific version of her obituary, Dolly the Sheep was reported to have suffered from severe arthritis in her knees. The finding and Dolly’s early death from an infection led many researchers to think that cloning might cause animals to age prematurely.

    But new X-rays of Dolly’s skeleton and those of other cloned sheep and Dolly’s naturally conceived daughter Bonnie indicate that...

    11/23/2017 - 09:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News

    Current CRISPR gene drives are too strong for outdoor use, studies warn

    Gene-editing tools heralded as hope for fighting invader rats, malarial mosquitoes and other scourges may be too powerful to use in their current form, two new papers warn.

    Standard forms of CRISPR gene drives, as the tools are called, can make tweaked DNA race through a population so easily that a small number of stray animals or plants could spread it to new territory, predicts a...

    11/16/2017 - 15:00 Genetics, Conservation
  • Feature

    How Asian nomadic herders built new Bronze Age cultures

    Nomadic herders living on western Asia’s hilly grasslands made a couple of big moves east and west around 5,000 years ago. These were not typical, back-and-forth treks from one seasonal grazing spot to another. These people blazed new trails.

    A technological revolution had transformed travel for ancient herders around that time. Of course they couldn’t make online hotel reservations....

    11/15/2017 - 12:00 Archaeology, Anthropology, Genetics
  • News

    Ancient European farmers and foragers hooked up big time

    Thousands of years ago, hunter-gatherers native to Europe and incoming farmers from what’s now Turkey got up close and personal for a surprisingly long time, researchers say. This mixing reshaped the continent’s genetic profile differently from one region to another.

    Ancient DNA from foragers and farmers in eastern, central and western Europe indicates that they increasingly mated with...

    11/10/2017 - 07:00 Anthropology, Archaeology, Genetics