January 7, 2007 |
EVERY YEAR SINCE 1996, the online salon Edge has e-mailed a question to scientists and thinkers about the state of the world. This year's question was: "What are you optimistic about?" Below are excerpts of some of the responses. For full responses (and those of other contributors), go to www.edge.org.
May 30, 2011 |
Instead of sending its employees to space, NASA is building them an office of the future closer to home. The curvy, space-age building at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley incorporates technology used by astronauts and will be one of a few structures in the state that can generate more electricity than it consumes. Construction won't be complete until mid-July, but the federal government is already calling the $20-million facility its green building of the year. It has a name only government officials could love — the Sustainability Base — but it is generating a lot of buzz among businesses and government agencies trying to be more green.
January 18, 2013 |
Scouring information available to anyone with an Internet connection, a team of genetic sleuths deduced the names of dozens of supposedly anonymous people who had their DNA analyzed for scientific and medical research. The snooping feat, which took advantage of genealogy websites that let people compare their DNA to search for relatives, was in full compliance with federal privacy regulations. Experts said it underscored a stark reality about genetic privacy in the age of social media: Don't count on it. "Nobody can promise privacy," said Mildred Cho, who heads up Stanford University's Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics, and wasn't involved with the study.
December 13, 2000 |
Leaders of the publicly led drive to crack the human genetic code have quietly refused to submit the research paper describing their findings to the same scientific journal as their private-sector rivals, puncturing a truce announced with great fanfare in June by President Clinton. The move revives one of the fiercest rivalries of modern science, which pits the publicly led Human Genome Project against biotech upstart Celera Genomics.
February 12, 2001 |
If you think about the genetics of cancer, it's no wonder that chemotherapy doesn't always work. Recent books show how, when a therapeutic chemical hits and damages malignant cells, the cells often ignore their own self-destruct mechanism because of a genetic mutation that has made them "deaf" to this command. That's why some scientists have placed their hopes on creating viral "smart bombs" to open their ears.
July 9, 2009 |
Dr. Francis S. Collins, the geneticist who discovered the causes of half a dozen diseases, oversaw the government's efforts to map the human genome and wrote a now-famous book presenting scientific evidence for a belief in God, will be nominated to head the National Institutes of Health, the White House confirmed Wednesday. "My administration is committed to promoting scientific integrity and pioneering scientific research, and I am confident that Dr.
June 13, 2012 |
After five years of toil, a consortium of several hundred U.S. researchers has released a detailed census of the myriad bacteria, yeasts, viruses and amoebas that live, eat, excrete, reproduce and die in or on us. Described in two papers in Nature and a raft of reports in other journals, the data released Wednesday describe microbes of the skin, saliva, nostrils, guts and other areas of 242 adults in tiptop health. The $170-million, federally funded Human Microbiome Project also cataloged the genes contained within this zoo of life.
June 27, 2000 |
Everybody has a particular way of entering a room. Francis Collins' is to come in quietly behind controversial figures. In 1992, Collins took charge of the publicly led Human Genome Project after James D. Watson, the voluble co-discoverer of DNA's structure, quit in a spat with his government superiors. He was pushed farther into the limelight when J. Craig Venter, the mercurial president of Celera Genomics, announced his determination to beat Collins' team to cracking the genetic code.
December 8, 2000 |
The prestigious journal Science is on the verge of striking an unusual bargain: In return for the right to publish a path-breaking paper on the human genetic code, it would allow the paper's biotech company authors to make their supporting data accessible only to those who promise not to use them for commercial or certain other purposes.
April 5, 2000 |
Monsanto Co. said Tuesday that it has completed "a working draft" of the genetic code of the rice plant--paving the way for improved nutrition, crop yields and drought tolerance, traits needed to feed a growing world population. It is the first plant genome to reach this advanced stage of completion, and scientists say it is especially significant because almost half of the world's people, most of them in Asia, depend on rice as the main staple in their diet.