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Designer Genes

Genetic engineering is one of the most fascinating corners of scientific inquiry right now, but the headlines you see daily aren't telling the full story. So, we asked scientists on the cutting edge to share their perspectives on the breakthroughs that will shape our future.

Featuring 20 articles by 11 scientists

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The risks and rewards of genetic engineering, animated

Pioneering biologist David Baltimore on the ethical quandary of engineering 'cures'

A new study shows that some are 'immune' to CRISPR. What does it mean for biology's breakthrough editor?

It's complicated, and the road from lab to clinic is long

Alireza Edraki

Evolutionary Biology

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Comment 3 peer comments

Why I'm quitting GMO research

Constantly confronting people who think my research will harm them is profoundly distressing

Devang Mehta

Synthetic Biology

ETH Zurich

Comment 3 peer comments

Earth's weirdest creatures are genetic treasure chests

From the axolotl's regenerating limbs to naked mole rat cancer resistance, new sequencing is uncovering new possibilities

Josh Peters

Biological Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Comment 1 peer comment

What ancient corn farmers can teach us about engineering crops for climate change

In the era of GMO crops, farmers can learn old lessons of diversity

Lab-grown leather and spider silk are the future of your wardrobe

Burgeoning startups are hacking cells to create 'unnatural' and 'smart' clothing

Abrahim El Gamal

Marine Chemical Biology

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Comment 1 peer comment

The Mother's Curse: how a French kingโ€™s legacy revealed a loophole in evolution

New research with roots in colonial Canada suggests new wrinkles in ideas of evolution

Devang Mehta

Synthetic Biology

ETH Zurich

CAR-T could revolutionize cancer treatment. It can also be fatal

Nearly 70 years after the invention of chemotherapy, new treatments still come with dangerous risks

Kevin Pels

Chemical Biology

The Scripps Research Institute

Dear Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT: don't patent CRISPR

Everyone should benefit from this once-in-a-lifetime discovery

The next revolution in food is being held up by regulation

The FDA's slow processes are keeping safe, environmentally friendly products off the shelves

Kate Krueger

Cell Biology

New Harvest

Why GMO labeling laws won't help US consumers make better decisions

It's not if your food was modified that matters. It's how

Andrew Scarpelli

Molecular Biology

National Louis University

This biologist believes we should embrace human gene editing

It could free millions from preventable, predetermined suffering

Devang Mehta

Synthetic Biology

ETH Zurich

Feeding the world as the climate changes will depend on genetic engineering

CRISPR and other tech could help us produce more food, but only if we drop the GMO stigma

How CRISPR proteins work together to capture foreign DNA

A biologist writes the CRISPR explainer you've been looking for

Alireza Edraki

Evolutionary Biology

University of Massachusetts Medical School

3D-printed organs could help us heal faster and live longer

Researchers made waves last year by successfully implanting new jaws in rats

Kate Krueger

Cell Biology

New Harvest

Why 'designer babies' won't be here anytime soon

Human embryos are uniquely resistant to inserting foreign DNA via CRISPR

Jay Bassan

Chemical Cancer Biology

University of Toronto

The breakthrough behind those 'pure blue' chrysanthemums was pure luck

Sometimes, the most delightful findings are the most unexpected

Andrew Scarpelli

Molecular Biology

National Louis University

Diabetes is a much stranger disease than I realized

We don't really know what causes diabetes, but it involves these misshapen proteins infecting each other

Dan Samorodnitsky

Biochemistry

Carnegie Mellon University

How scientists use light to manipulate cells with the flick of a switch

Optogenetics lets us probe the inner workings of cells with unprecedented precision

Jackie Grimm

Molecular Biology

Princeton University