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E.g., 10/16/2018
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  • News

    Genealogy databases could reveal the identity of most Americans

    Protecting the anonymity of publicly available genetic data, including DNA donated to research projects, may be impossible.

    About 60 percent of people of European descent who search genetic genealogy databases will find a match with a relative who is a third cousin or closer, a new study finds. The result suggests that with a database of about 3 million people, police or anyone else with...

    10/12/2018 - 16:12 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    Gene editing creates mice with two biological dads for the first time

    For the first time, researchers have created mice with two dads. No female contributed to the rodents’ genetic makeup.

    This unusual reproduction took place in a lab where researchers gathered fathers’ stem cells, and used them to produce embryos that were implanted into surrogate mothers. The technique required scientists to edit the animals’ genes in order for the mice to mature enough...

    10/11/2018 - 12:02 Cells, Development
  • Science Visualized

    See these dazzling images of a growing mouse embryo

    A new microscope is giving researchers an unprecedented view of how mammals are built, cell by cell.

    Light sheet microscopes use ultrathin laser beams to illuminate sections of a specimen while cameras record those lit-up sections. Previous iterations of the device have captured detailed portraits of living zebra fish and fruit fly embryos as they develop. Kate McDole, a developmental...

    10/11/2018 - 11:00 Cells, Development, Animals
  • News

    Speeding up evolution to create useful proteins wins the chemistry Nobel

    Techniques that put natural evolution on fast-forward to build new proteins in the lab have earned three scientists this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.

    Frances Arnold of Caltech won for her method of creating customized enzymes for biofuels, environmentally friendly detergents and other products. She becomes the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry since it was first awarded...

    10/03/2018 - 18:46 Chemistry, Microbiology
  • News

    Discovery of how to prod a patient’s immune system to fight cancer wins a Nobel

    Stopping cancer by removing brakes on the immune system has earned James P. Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University in Japan the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

    “Allison’s and Honjo’s discoveries have added a new pillar in cancer therapy,” Nobel committee member Klas Kärre said in an Oct. 1 news conference...

    10/01/2018 - 14:30 Cancer, Physiology
  • News

    Gene editing can speed up plant domestication

    Gene editing can speed up plant domestication, taming wild vines, bushes and grasses and turning them into new crops.

    Editing just two genes in ground cherries (Physalis pruinosa) produced plants that yielded more and bigger fruit, researchers report October 1 in Nature Plants. Those edits mimic changes that occurred in tomato plants during domestication, bringing the sweet tomato...

    10/01/2018 - 11:00 Plants, Genetics, Molecular Evolution
  • News

    Smuggling a CRISPR gene editor into staph bacteria can kill the pathogen

    Bits of DNA that make bacteria dangerous can be co-opted to bring the microbes down instead.

    Stretches of DNA called pathogenicity islands can jump between bacteria strains, introducing new toxin-producing genes that usually make a strain more harmful. Scientists have now modified pathogenicity islands by replacing the toxin-producing genes with genes that, in mice, disabled or killed...

    10/01/2018 - 09:00 Genetics, Immune Science
  • Science Ticker

    Cancer immunotherapy wins the 2018 medicine Nobel Prize

    James P. Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University in Japan have won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for advances in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer.

    All previous types of cancer therapy were directed at the tumor cell, but Allison’s and Honjo’s approach was to remove brakes that keep the immune system in check, unleashing...

    10/01/2018 - 06:42 Physiology, Cancer
  • News in Brief

    In China, a deadly strain of bird flu now easily infects ducks

    Some ducks in China now carry a deadly strain of bird flu.

    Highly pathogenic versions of H7N9 — a bird flu strain that’s proven particularly deadly to people — and H7N2 viruses have turned up in ducks in the Fujian province. These viruses replicate easily in the ducks and can kill them, researchers report September 27 in Cell Host & Microbe. The discovery is worrisome because the...

    09/27/2018 - 11:00 Microbiology
  • Feature

    Emily Balskus uses chemical logic to study the microbiome

    Emily Balskus, 38Chemistry and microbiologyHarvard University

    Chemist Emily Balskus of Harvard University is out to expose the crimes and misdemeanors of microbes living in the human gut. She’s shown, for example, how a common gut bacterium interferes with a heart failure treatment: The microbe breaks down the medication before the drug can do its job.

    Balskus, 38, originally...

    09/26/2018 - 08:34 Microbiology, Chemistry, Health