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By folding DNA into a virus-like structure, MIT researchers have designed HIV-like particles that provoke a strong immune response from human immune cells grown in a lab dish. Such particles might eventually be used as an HIV vaccine.

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Could you become a 'natural' blonde by altering your genes?

Exploring how a small change in your DNA sequence can make you a natural blonde.

A few weeks after preparing them, Dr Catherine Guenther checked her mouse embryos and knew that she had identified the source of a blond-haired mutation in human DNA.

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Can synthetic biology protect us from coronavirus? And the next one?

The National Institutes of Health hopes synthetic biology can engineer vaccines that outperform nature.

(Photo: U.S. Department of State)
  • The first coronavirus vaccines will enter Phase 2 testing soon but won't be ready for another 18 months.
  • Synthetic biology may offer a "universal coronavirus vaccine" that can be quickly modified to combat future mutated forms.
  • Despite promising lab tests, synthetic vaccines remain speculative; we'll need to live with COVID-19 during the interim.
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'One among millions': DNA is not the only genetic molecule

A recent computer analysis found that millions of possible chemical compounds could be used to store genetic information. This begs the question — why DNA?

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  • The central dogma of biology states that genetic information flows from DNA to RNA to proteins, but new research suggests that this may not be the only way for life to work.
  • A sophisticated computer analysis revealed that millions of other molecules could be used to function in place of the two nucleic acids, DNA and RNA.
  • The results have important implications for developing new drugs, the origins of life on Earth, and its possible presence in the rest of the universe.
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Serious problem found with gene-edited celebrity cows

The FDA calls out creators of genetically tweaked hornless bulls.

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  • Hornless bull clones turn out to have questionable genomes.
  • Scientists were so confident they didn't even look for transgenic DNA.
  • No one's sure what to do with the offspring.
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