Genetic Science

Genetics is the study of cellular science. It furthers our understanding of how DNA and the genetic make-up of species and can lead to cures for diseases and shape our future.

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Thought Experiment: What's Our Transhuman Path Beyond Earth?

Ever think about what an interplanetary human race might be like? We let our imaginations tackle that question in this thought experiment.

Kuwait to Collect DNA Samples From All Tourists, Visitors and Citizens

The Gulf country says collecting genetic DNA samples will help combat crime and terrorism. What if info is stolen? And can a government be trusted to not cross the line?

There's a Genetic Reason Why Labrador Retrievers Are Obsessed With Food

A new study shows the DNA of Labs may make them beg, scavenge and pay attention to food more intently than other breeds. And there are implications in that for humans.

How CRISPR Gene Editing Works

Genetic modification just became fast, easy and cheap, thanks to CRISPR technology which allows you to take out bad genes out of DNA — like for diseases — and insert good ones. Learn all about gene editing at HowStuffWorks.

MC1R Gene May Have a Hand in How Old You Look

Researchers have found if you have certain versions of the MC1R gene, you look about two years older than you really are. And no amount of spray-on tan can change that.

Is Knowing Your Full Genome a Right or a Privilege?

You want to know what your 6 billion letters of genetic code say about you, and one company wants to tell you. Will it ever get the chance?

The Fight Over GMO Labeling Rages on Capitol Hill

There's no federal standard for tagging food that's been made with genetically modified ingredients. And U.S. lawmakers are divided as to what that would look like.

Yes, You Can be Allergic to Vibrations

Scientists are discovering why some people break out into hives from physical contact like clapping hands or running.

The Gene Editing Debate Is on, Compliments of CRISPR

Whenever scientists decide to get together and argue their side, it often means that the technology in question is a game-changer. That technology is gene editing.

From GATTACA to GAPTACAZ: Adding Letters to the Genetic Alphabet

Scientists are successfully expanding the building blocks of DNA, helping us better understand where life comes from – and where we could make it go.

Can twins sense each other?

We love stories of twins who can sense each other's pain or know what the other is thinking. But is there really such a thing as "twinspiration" or is just coincidence?

How Transhumanism Works

Fast-forward 60 years. Imagine looking at yourself in the mirror. My, you look amazing, and goodness you run a speedy ultramarathon for someone so "old." Is this what transhumanism is all about?

10 Misconceptions About GMOs

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) really bad for the environment and your health or just victims of bad publicity? We'll look at the pros and cons of this controversial subject.

How Gene Therapy Works

Gene therapy is easy to describe on paper but much trickier to implement in human cells. Still, there are success stories. And 'bubble boy' disease, aka severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, is one of them.

How BRCA Genes Work

We learned about BRCA1 in 1994. BRCA2 came along the following year. Fast-forward two decades and what do we really know about these two human genes and their connection to ovarian and breast cancers?

Are mental illnesses genetic?

You might inherit your mother's dimples or your father's eyes. You may have your maternal grandmother's laugh. But can you also genetically inherit mental illness?

Is the DNA between genes really junk?

If the vast majority of our DNA isn't coding for any protein, then what the heck is it doing there? For a while, scientists thought it was just sitting around and not doing anything. Now they know better.

How Gene Patents Work

Did you know that elements of your genetic code are patented? Companies and researchers can actually lay claim to sequences of genetic code. Is that as scary as it sounds?

Could genetic enhancement eventually make humanity dumber?

The human brain, the most complex structure in the known universe, gets more capable with time. Could genetic enhancement, a form of bioengineering that may one day allow parents to choose specific traits for their children, impede human evolution?

What causes DNA mutation?

When traffic lights are functioning, drivers (usually) behave. Break a light, and everything comes to a standstill. Broken traffic lights are like DNA mutations, but lightning isn’t the culprit in this situation.

Is genius genetic?

What does it take to be considered a genius? Were the Mozarts and Monets of the world born with it? Or did their environment shape who they became?

What are the likely outcomes of mankind's new knowledge of the human genome?

After scientists announced the first draft of the human genome, people began to wonder how our new understanding of DNA would change life. Several research institutes stated the accomplishment would revolutionize science and modern medicine -- but how, exactly?

Genetics at Work Pictures

What's more fun than looking at pictures of DNA and celebrities? Check out Dolly, dimples and dominant and recessive traits in this fun gallery charting how genetics play out in humans (and a few animals).

How are genes turned off and on?

One day you can digest dairy, and the next, milk makes you sick. The culprit behind this crime against milk? Gene regulation. But how do certain traits just switch off?

Is there a gene for every disease?

We have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. That means a lot of opportunities for mistakes, and some of these mutations lead to disease. But it's a little more complicated than that.