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Genetics

Radioactive drugs strike cancer with precision

The tumor-seeking radiopharmaceuticals are charting a new course in oncology, with promise for targeted treatments with fewer side effects

A scientific mission to save the sharks

Despite increasing protection measures, these fish are among the world’s most endangered animals. New tests to detect species being traded, as well as population studies, aim to help save them.

Cleaning up cow burps to combat global warming

New tools for lowering methane emissions from livestock are on their way

Spots, stripes and more: Working out the logic of animal patterns

More than 70 years ago, mathematician Alan Turing proposed a mechanism that explained how patterns could emerge from bland uniformity. Scientists are still using his model — and adding new twists — to gain a deeper understanding of animal markings.

Hunting sky islands for genetic clues to climate resilience

OPINION: Isolated mountaintops are hotbeds of evolutionary adaptation and great places to study how climate change affects ecosystems

CRISPR gene editing: Moving closer to home

With the first medical therapy approved and systems like CRISPR-Cas showing up in complex cells, there’s a lot going on in the genome editing field. Here’s our primer.

We urgently need data for equitable personalized medicine

OPINION: A massive bias in medical studies toward men of European origin means that genetic variants in understudied populations don’t get the focus they deserve

Genes and heart disease: Finally making the link

Polygenic risk scores — a patient’s chance, based on tiny DNA variants, of developing cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and more — are coming to clinics. But there are kinks to iron out and accuracy remains an issue.

New Zealand’s quest to save its rotund, flightless parrots

DNA sequencing, GPS tracking and tailored diets are slowly restoring the endangered kākāpō

Neanderthals: More knowable now than ever

They have held our fascination ever since we first identified their remains. Today, thanks to new artifacts and technologies, findings about our closest relatives are coming thick and fast.

Untangling the genetics that underlie our facial features

After turning up hundreds of genes with hard-to-predict effects, some scientists are now probing the grander developmental processes that shape face geometry

The remaining frontiers in fighting hepatitis C

A scientist whose work was key to identifying, studying and finding treatments for this life-threatening virus discusses the scientific journey and challenges that persist

Where the heck did all those structures inside complex cells come from?

Scientists agree that eons ago, a bacterium took up residence inside another cell and became its powerhouse, the mitochondrion. But there are competing theories about the birth of other organelles such as the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum.

The extraordinary case of the ferocious female moles

Their genital anatomy, musculature and aggressiveness have made them a model for studying the phenomenon of female masculinization — and demonstrate that sometimes, it’s not easy to tell the difference between male and female

Clever DNA tricks

As cells divide, they must copy all of their chromosomes once and only once, or chaos would ensue. How do they do it? Key controls happen well before replication even starts.

Nature, nurture and randomness

OPINION: More than genes and upbringing determine animal personalities: There’s a good dose of chance in the mix, too.

Hope for haploinsufficiency diseases

Genetic conditions like Dravet syndrome, which causes severe childhood epilepsy, are hard to tackle with traditional gene therapy. New approaches in the works include using antisense therapy to boost mRNA splicing.

Saliva: The next frontier in cancer detection

Scientists are finding tumor signals in spit that could be key to developing diagnostic tests for various types of cancer

Navigating the ethics of ancient human DNA research

Paleogenomic research has expanded rapidly over the past two decades, igniting heated debate about handling remains. Who gives consent for study participants long gone — and who should speak for them today?

Color is in the eye, and brain, of the beholder

The way we see and describe hues varies widely for many reasons: from our individual eye structure, to how our brain processes images, to what language we speak, or even if we live near a body of water 

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