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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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.

By Elizabeth Sprouse

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?

By Elizabeth Sprouse

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?

By Marianne Spoon

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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).

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?

By Elizabeth Sprouse

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.

By Elizabeth Sprouse

Chimps share almost 99 percent of our genetic makeup. What makes up that tiny, 1 percent difference? What are the things that differentiate us from other great apes?

By Tom Scheve

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Stem cells hold the promise of helping us treat a host of diseases and conditions, from spinal cord injuries to Parkinson's. And yet the use of these special cells is quite controversial -- because of where they come from.

By Molly Edmonds

Scientists use agricultural biotechnology to create crops that resist pests and fight off disease. But some people are squeamish about eating these genetically modified crops. Are their fears justified?

By Jonathan Strickland

Wouldn't it be nice to grow crops that grew 50 percent more than current varieties? How about a strain of vegetables that were safe from insects without using pesticides? Agricultural biotechnology can do that.

By Jonathan Strickland

Neanderthals and humans coexisted for thousands of years, but the relationship between the two species was always a bit dysfunctional. Could we get reacquainted with our evolutionary peers?

By Robert Lamb

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You yearn to peer out the window of an SUV and watch a Tyrannosaurus rex lumber into a clearing. Your home movie of said event would be a YouTube sensation. Could it ever happen?

By Robert Lamb

We've been raised with the belief that death is inevitable, so we must consider the legacy of what we'll leave behind. But what if you had unlimited time to pursue your life's work? What if you didn't have to die?

By Molly Edmonds

An Arctic frog can spend weeks frozen solid. But once things warm up, the frog thaws out and goes about its normal business. Could people do the same?

By Molly Edmonds

Can humans live forever? No, but thanks to the discovery of the Hayflick limit, we know that cells can conceivably divide forever without dying.

By Josh Clark

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As you read this, your telomeres may be growing shorter, signaling your imminent demise. Could these chromosome caps hold the key to long life without causing cancer?

By Robert Lamb

Doctors always want your blood, but one day, a health care professional may ask you to open up and say, "Ptooey!" Why? Your spit holds a mother lode of biological information.

By William Harris

More than 50 years have passed since Watson and Crick untangled the structure of DNA and five years have elapsed since scientists finished sequencing the entire human genome. What have we figured out about our genetic material?

By Jacob Silverman

How would you like to be the person responsible for changing science and Western civilization? With the "Origin of Species," Charles Darwin did. How did this English gent become the reluctant ambassador of evolution?

By Robert Lamb

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Who hasn't fantasized about bigger biceps? Killer abs? A rear end you could bounce a quarter off? But would you tamper with your genes to achieve that buff body?

By Susan L. Nasr

That bowling ball of white meat in your oven is a far cry from its wild ancestors. How did a single breed of top-heavy, dim-witted birds come to dominate the turkey market?

By Maria Trimarchi

You might think of a sewing machine as that dusty thing that your mom would pull out to help you make a homemade Halloween costume. That's not quite the same device that has scientists so excited.

By Susan L. Nasr

You know how scientists labored to map the human genome? Well, they're back at it, only this time, they're studying what causes those thousands of genes to switch on and off.

By Robert Lamb

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The field of epigenetics investigates how environment, nutrition and social conditions affect gene expression. Does that mean DNA isn't destiny?

By Robert Lamb

Ever hear that urban legend about waking up without your kidney? Would organ thieves have to find a new line of work if cloned organs became a reality?

By Cristen Conger