genetic engineering

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One Serving of Cotton, Please; Hold the Poison

Genetic engineering unlocks protein that could feed millions

(Newser) - Scientists have developed a novel genetic engineering technique that makes the protein-rich seeds of the cotton plant easily edible, Time reports. The entire plant, including the seeds, produces a toxic chemical called gossypol that protects it from insects and microbes. “People, pigs, chickens—none of us can stomach gossypol,... More »

Rumors as Virulent as Swine Flu Itself

Theories implicate everyone from Smithfield Foods to al-Qaeda as responsible

(Newser) - Rumors about the origins of the swine flu outbreak are spreading faster than the virus itself, with theories ranging from a group of slaughtered pigs in China to an al-Qaeda conspiracy, Reuters reports. China’s government was actually prompted into making a formal statement by international media reports suggesting that... More »

Assassin Cells Slay Hidden HIV

Human trials set next year

(Newser) - A promising new treatment for AIDS may be in the works, with the discovery that genetically engineered immune cells can detect and destroy HIV even when the virus tries to hide by mutating. The so-called “assassin” cells, created from the T-cells of an HIV patient, have worked their magic... More »

100M-Year-Old DNA Regions Baffle Experts

Mice, humans share mysterious code immune to evolution

(Newser) - Certain regions of mammalian DNA with no discernible purpose have one perplexing characteristic in common: They have survived, without mutation, for as long as 100 million years, LiveScience reports. Scientists speculate that the areas have some deep purpose, but for now they know only that they are “ultraconserved regions,... More »

Gene Tweak Could Grow Crops in Toxic Soil

(Newser) - Scientists have made a breakthrough that could dramatically boost the world's food production by making more land farmable, Wired reports. A slight change to a single gene allows plants to thrive in earth made toxic by aluminum, which currently renders nearly half of the world's soil useless for growing crops.... More »

Genetic Hiccup Causes Obesity In Mice: Study

Evolutionary relic in humans could be fixed by drug or gene therapy

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered an immune system pathway in the brain that they think is the root cause of diseases related to obesity, Reuters reports. When mice were overfed, the hypothalamus secreted a compound that suppressed the conversion of food into energy, and led to inflammation associated with heart disease and... 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 »

Science Could Crack Peanut Allergy: Expert

Researcher predicts cure, or genetically modified nut

(Newser) - Scientists are working to help those with peanut allergies and may even replace nuts with a tasty, genetically modified snack, one expert says. "There are multiple types of studies that are ongoing now," said Dr. Wesley Burks of Duke University. "I think there's some type of immunotherapy... More »

New Tech Spins Silk Like a Spider

Process is a step towards manufacture of the super-strong material

(Newser) - A German team has created a device that spins silk like a spider, producing material five times stronger than steel. The fiber produced is of poor quality, but the new process is a step toward the goal of cheap, artificial spider silk. "It adds a piece to the puzzle... More »

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