Sep 25, 2015

Some secrets of cheese fungi revealed in genome study

Makers of Roquefort and Camembert could benefit from a new genetic study of 14 fungal species found in cheeses, French researchers said Thursday. But the study, published in the journal Current Biology, also raises questions about food safety due to the transfer of genes ...

Sep 11, 2015

Drug genes transferred from plant to plant

Researchers on Thursday said they have identified the genes that enable an endangered Himalayan plant to produce a chemical vital to making a widely used chemotherapy drug, and inserted them into an easily grown laboratory plant that then produced the same chemical. The endangered ...

Genome study reveals how the woolly mammoth thrived in the cold

Jul 3, 2015

Genome study reveals how the woolly mammoth thrived in the cold

Woolly mammoths spent their lives enduring extreme Arctic conditions including frigid temperatures, an arid environment and the relentless cycle of dark winters and bright summers. An exhaustive genetic analysis of these bygone Ice Age giants and their living cousins, Asian and African elephants, has ...

Secret to restoring the scent of roses is found

Jul 3, 2015

Secret to restoring the scent of roses is found

Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. These days, many kinds of roses have little fragrance. But a new discovery might change that. A study of roses that do have a strong scent revealed a previously unknown chemical process ...

Jun 26, 2015

Scientists crack gene secret that lets poppies make morphine

Scientists have identified a key gene used by poppies to make morphine, paving the way for better methods of producing the medically important drug, potentially without the need for cultivating poppy fields. The latest finding follows recent success in engineering brewer’s yeast to synthesise ...

Jun 25, 2015

Early Europeans interbred with Neanderthals: study

Around 45,000 years ago, the only humans who lived in Europe were Neanderthals. Some 10,000 years later, if the sketchy fossil record is right, the Neanderthals had been replaced by our ancestors, and one of the greatest mysteries in anthropology was born. Were the ...

China's big biotech bet starts to pay off

Jun 10, 2015

China's big biotech bet starts to pay off

Years of pouring money into its laboratories, wooing scientists home from overseas and urging researchers to publish and patent is starting to give China a competitive edge in biotechnology, a strategic field it sees as ripe for “indigenous innovation.” The vast resources China can ...

May 23, 2015

Ethics of gene-editing technology debated

The leading U.S. scientific organization, responding to concerns expressed by scientists and ethicists, has launched an ambitious initiative to recommend guidelines for new genetic technology that has the potential to create “designer babies.” The technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to edit virtually any gene ...