Latest Expert Analysis

GENeS publishes comments from researchers on scientific developments and breaking news. Expert analyses of peer-reviewed studies are a complementary resource to standard press releases, providing background, scientific context, contacts and leads for stories, while expert reactions to breaking news feed into rolling coverage.

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April 18, 2016

How should gene-edited crops be regulated? National Academies meeting seeks answers

On Monday, April 18 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are holding their first meeting to consider the regulation of future biotechnology products, including gene-edited crops. Continue reading

April 11, 2016

Search of over 500,000 genomes yields thirteen individuals apparently resistant to severe genetic diseases

Thirteen individuals with genetic mutations that cause severe diseases but whose medical records indicate they are healthy have been identified in a sample of over half a million genomes. Publishing in Nature Biotechnology, the study authors say such ‘resilient’ individuals … Continue reading

April 8, 2016

Second paper to report gene-editing in human embryos published

The second paper reporting gene-editing in nonviable human embryos from IVF clinics has been published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. Continue reading

April 5, 2016

Transplanted pig heart kept beating in a baboon for over two years

Transplanted pig hearts have been kept alive in baboons for longer than ever before, according to research in Nature Communications, with one heart lasting 945 days. Continue reading

March 31, 2016

Epigenetic changes in developing fetuses linked to smoking during pregnancy

Smoking while pregnant can cause epigenetic changes to the DNA of newborns, according to a large scale meta-analysis of thirteen previous studies. The authors say their results could help explain the higher risks of health problems such as birth defects and cancer in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. Continue reading

March 29, 2016

‘Vegetarian’ gene variant, more common in India, makes up for fatty acids in meat

A genetic variant that helps the body make long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in meat and fish, is more common among traditionally vegetarian populations according to research published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Continue reading

March 24, 2016

Venter Institute researchers reduce the genome of a synthetic cell down to genes essential for life

Craig Venter and colleagues have created a synthetic bacterial cell containing only the genes necessary for life, according to a paper in Science. The researchers say their method can be used to study the core functions of life and construct cells with desired properties. Continue reading

March 22, 2016

What we know about Elizabethkingia, the bacteria causing deaths in Wisconsin and Michigan

The CDC is investigating what it calls  ’the largest recorded outbreak’ of a rare bloodstream bacterial infection which has resulted in the death of seventeen patients in Wisconsin and one patient in Michigan since November 2015. The bacteria Elizabethkingia anopheles, is commonly … Continue reading

March 16, 2016

Senate vote on bill for labeling genetically engineered food

The U.S. Senate vote today on a bill that would set a national standard for voluntary labeling of genetically engineered foods. The bill would block states from passing labeling laws unless they comply with the voluntary standard. Continue reading

March 15, 2016

DNA tests don’t motivate healthy behavior, finds review of research

People are unlikely to change their behavior when told they have a genetic risk for common diseases like type 2 diabetes or heart disease, according to a systematic review in The BMJ. Continue reading