genetic modification

14 Stories

We've Just Entered the World of Mutant Ants

Scientists for the first time alter their behavior by manipulating genes

(Newser) - Scientists have successfully altered a major behavior of two species of lab ants by deleting a single gene. As the Washington Post reports, the journal Cell has just published two papers chronicling the journeys of the first so-called mutant ants. One team reports on how one mutation removed a key... More »

Roses May Soon Smell Much Sweeter

Gene could be reactivated to give scentless roses a sweet smell

(Newser) - Breeding over hundreds of generations has helped roses look better and live longer, but at the expense of their sweet-smelling scent, reports the AP . After all, those buying bouquets don't really care about a flower's ability to attract pollinators. A new study in the journal Science , however, may... More »

FDA May Allow Babies With 3 Parents

Observers cite concerns about 'designer babies'

(Newser) - An advisory panel to the FDA is investigating the merits of a technique dubbed "three-parent IVF," a method opponents worry could lead to so-called "designer babies," the Washington Post reports. The method in question aims to help mothers who carry risky DNA mutations—causing blindness or... More »

New Source of Human Breast Milk: Cows?

Genetic engineers in China face criticism from health, animal advocates

(Newser) - Scientists in China have genetically altered some 300 cows to produce "human" milk, the Telegraph reports. Using cloning techniques, scientists inserted human genes into cow embryos and implanted the embryos in mother cows. Scientists say the resulting dairy cows produced milk with "much higher nutritional content" than regular... More »

Bad Driving Is in the Genes

Study says 30% can't help being lousy on the roads

(Newser) - Certain people—perhaps up to 30% of the population—may be fated by their genetic makeup to be bad drivers, a new study suggests. Researchers tested a small group of people on a driving simulator and found that subjects with a particular gene variant weren't so hot at keeping up... More »

FDA Approves Drug Made From Gene-Tweaked Goats

Landmark decision could signal start of large-scale 'pharming' for drugs

(Newser) - An FDA decision to approve a drug made from genetically engineered goats is being called a milestone decision likely to lead to many more "pharm animals," the Boston Globe reports. Biotech firm GTC says the milk from a single genetically modified goat can produce as much of the... More »

Sensitive Swiss Ban Plant Humiliation

Genetic research must not violate the dignity of wheat

(Newser) - Swiss scientists eager to carry out genetic experiments on plants can’t be rash—they must first consider the how their actions make that tulip feel. Government-backed ethicists studied the effects of such experimentation on plants’ dignity; they found that it was wrong to hurt plants for no reason, or... More »

Italian Cooks Up Eggplant and Tomato Tree

Hardy hybrid said to yield better produce than nature intended

(Newser) - A Sicilian amateur botanist claims to have developed a plant hybrid that functions as the world’s first tomato/eggplant tree, ANSA reports. Taking advantage of the fact that all three share the same genus, Giuseppe Marino grafted tomato and eggplant tissue onto a devil’s fig shrub, a hardy plant... More »

Cheap Malaria Drug Holds Promise for Millions

It's based on 2000-year-old herbal remedy

(Newser) - The lives of millions of children  may be saved by a new technique for producing a malaria drug at a 10th of the cost of current treatments, making it accessible the world's most impoverished people, reports the Independent.  The technique involves inserting a dozen synthetic genes into yeast cells,... More »

Environment, Bioethics Under Vatican's Scrutiny

Church updates Catholic morality for modern, globalized life

(Newser) - Catholics must guard against "new sins" such as polluting the environment and using genetic modification, the Vatican says. Their church has updated the concept of sin for the contemporary world, paying special attention to the expanding and morally murky world of bioethics, a top official from the Apostolic Penitentiary,... More »

Lab Creates Speedy, Lean Mighty Mouse

Modified critters have voracious appetites but manage to stay thin

(Newser) - Scientists have made speedy super mice by flipping a genetic switch, reports the Guardian. The mice can run 30 times as far as regular mice, and they live longer and breed later. They also eat 60% more food than average mice but manage to stay leaner and possibly more resistant... More »

"Skinny Gene" Found in Mice

Scientists discover a "volume control" for fat production

(Newser) - A gene dubbed "adipose," identified more than 50 years ago in fruit flies, has now been found to regulate  thinness, or its opposite, in worms and mice, according to a study in the journal Cell Metabolism.  Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have determined... More »

Modified Corn Could Be Killing The Bees

"Built-in pesticides" linked to disappearing honeybees

(Newser) - Genetically modified corn is the culprit in the disappearance of honeybees, according to a theory offered by a beekeeping expert, says Salon.  In a German study, the corn itself, which contains built-in pesticides, didn't kill the bees, but it seems to have damaged their intestines, making them vulnerable to... More »

Modified Mosquitoes Could Fight the Spread of Malaria

(Newser) - Genetically modified mosquitoes that cannot pass on malaria may help reduce the spread of the disease that now causes a million deaths a year, mostly children. A new study shows that the lab-designed bugs could out-breed their natural competition, eventually driving them out altogether and eliminating the route through which... More »

14 Stories