As of the beginning of this year, researchers at the MIT Technology Review estimate 26 million people have added their DNA data to the genealogical databases of the four major Direct-To-Consumer DNA companies. Between the quest for ancestral links and genetic health insights, the DNA test business is booming. While most people only send a sample to one DNA testing company, a…
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Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a resolution yesterday (July 15) calling for global collaboration in developing guidelines for the use of gene editing technologies in the context of reproduction. The senators specifically pledge their support for the international commission established in May by the US National Academy of Medicine, the US National Academy of…
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It matters that the first patients were identical twins. Nancy and Barbara Lowry were six years old, dark-eyed and dark-haired, with eyebrow-skimming bangs. Sometime in the spring of 1960, Nancy fell ill. Her blood counts began to fall; her pediatricians noted that she was anemic. A biopsy revealed that she had a condition called aplastic anemia, a form of bone-marrow…
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One doctor says it’s becoming the “Wild West” of medicine. Private clinics are opening nationwide claiming stem cells will cure everything from arthritis to macular degeneration, autism to erectile dysfunction. The Food and Drug Administration says many of those claims are just not true. Norman Wohlken found out the hard way. His osteoarthritis makes walking painful. He read an ad for…
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Bringing Cell Science Resources to the Classroom

Ashley Ziemer loved high school biology. After finishing this year’s class, taught by Tom Martinez at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Illinois, she says wants to major in biology in college. “I just find it so amazing how everything is connected,” said Ziemer, describing what she just finished learning about cells in her junior year. “All the different parts…
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Paul Allen was one of the most intellectually curious people I’ve ever known. Ever since we were kids, he seemed to be interested in just about everything. Paul was just as comfortable discussing Shakespeare and playing the guitar as he was talking about computers. As an adult, Paul continued to embrace that curiosity. It influenced every part of his life—including…
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Contract research organizations (CROs) or contract research management organizations (CRMOs) may not seem as appealing as working in R&D for a big pharma company or being in on the ground floor of a biotech startup, but it can have a lot of advantages—including plenty of career opportunities. “We can never find enough people really in any of the functional areas…
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US President Donald Trump’s administration is ending fetal-tissue research by government scientists and placing restrictions on academic researchers seeking grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for studies involving fetal tissue. The administration said on 5 June that it will set up an ethics-review board to evaluate each NIH grant application that would support research with fetal tissue, which…
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) would get a 7% budget increase, and NASA a 3.8% bump, under a 2020 spending bill approved today by an appropriations panel of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill rejects cuts to those and other federal research agencies proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration. The bill includes $73.9 billion in funding for the departments of commerce…
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