Researchers in Massachusetts are testing a unique coronavirus vaccine candidate that uses an established type of gene therapy to trigger an immune response that could stave off the virus, The vaccine project is the only one that attempts to use a small dose of a harmless “…

“Megaphages” discovered by accident in Bangladesh have now been found all over, from pigs in Denmark to spit samples in California.   These enormous viruses carry as many as 735,000 DNA letters compared to a normal phage’s average 52,000—prompting researchers to rethink…

The controversial molecular engineer George Church is dreaming up a dating app to match users based on their DNA—and he insists it’s a far cry from eugenics. Rather than being coercive, Church argues, the app would expand users’ options.   The app doesn’t even exist yet,…

In France, genetic ancestry kits so popular elsewhere are banned and punishable with $4,000 fines. Nathalie Jovanovic-Floricourt and fellow genetics enthusiasts are lobbying to get that law changed—but until then, she’s helping manage a black market for the tests. She…

Using consumer DNA testing, adults conceived through artificial insemination are tracing paternity back to the doctors that inseminated their mothers.  More than 20 “doctor daddy” cases worldwide illuminate what may have been a dubious trend in early fertility practices.…

China’s push to lead the world in genome editing is partially about need: Feeding 1.4 billion people is easier with drought resistant CRISPR-engineered crops that yield more food.   While investing billions in biotech, China hasn’t yet spelled out commercial regulation and…

25 years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates’s route to philanthropy was carved out by learning about scores of child deaths from diarrhea: “We were surprised, then we were outraged, then we were activated.” In their annual letter, the pair lay out some surprises of 2018:

Despite decades of investigation, no one really knows why hotspots of certain cancers exist. For example, a worldwide average of 5.9 people per 100,000 develop esophageal cancer each year, but in Malawi that number is 24 in 100,000.   To solve these mysteries, the…

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing kits like 23andMe inform buyers of their predisposition to a host of illnesses but they don’t cover assessments, next steps or even psychological support following troubling or confusing results—services traditionally provided by genetic…

Genetics influence a person’s susceptibility to substance abuse disorder but understanding epigenetic factors may be key in fighting opioid dependence.