Genomes have a lot of moving parts. Some stretches of DNA try to assimilate and copy themselves in novel places, likely as a way to induce adaptive or harmful mutations. But primates in particular have evolved mechanisms to harness these jumping genes, and new evidence shows how active and ongoing this back and forth battle is.
The question of the degree to which genes control intelligence has been so controversial that many geneticists avoid pursuing it and federal funding has been scarce. Research has turned up a few genes linked to IQ but the impact of any single gene is minute, the environment plays a huge role and the complexity of what makes us smart remains elusive. Yet, behavioral evidence and twin evidence strongly point to the heritability of talents and intelligence.
Scientists are looking to create genetically engineered spider webs—which pound for pound is stronger than steel—to make products that might be used in the automobile industry.
Scientists and layman alike have long touted the estimate that microbial cells outnumber humans by 10 to 1. While that may be true, more modern estimates point to a range from one bacterial cell to one human or one hundred to one. How did the myth get started and why is it so hard to dispel?
Recent reports on so-called “superweeds” lay out the problem of herbicide resistant weeds, but mistakenly identify it as a “GMO” problem and fail to suggest solutions.
Consumer Reports finds genetically engineered corn in “natural” junk food labeled “No GMO”—and in the process spreads unnecessary fear about crop biotechnology. CR’s investigation underscores why voluntary labeling and third party verification beat mandatory labeling.
The Center for Food Safety makes the case that GMO crops have “failed”, citing “myths” circulated by proponents. Specifically they make the case that the promise to “feed the world” has been hampered by delays and dead ends. But all ambitious breeding programs have faced similar challenges.
The National Academy of Sciences’ has posted videos of the presentations and discussions from the September 15-16 genetically engineered crop panel, which includes the talk by the GLP’s Jon Entine.
Genomic test results must now be shared with patients. That’s the good news. It’s also the bad news.
Could a mutated form of E. Coli resulting from the cloning process used in creating GMOs get into the gut of a person or animal that eats a transgenic plant and poison them, as many anti-GMO activists claim? What is E coli and what are the risks of genetically modifying it?