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The rise of DNA testing: you might find out more than you bargained for 

DNA testing is in fashion right now, most recently in the headlines because the documentary ‘Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey’ revealed that the legendary TV presenters are in fact distant cousins, and they both descend from the Vikings. The biggest brands of mail-in DNA kits, such as 23andMe, offer details about your ethnicity and family […]

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Science

How crowdsourcing DNA solved the mystery of Huskies’ blue eyes

The piercing blue eyes of a Siberian Husky finally have a genetic explanation thanks to crowdsourcing of dog DNA. Researchers from a company called Embark compared the genetic codes from over 6,000 dogs and found that a duplication in chromosome 18 results in vibrant blue eyes. This duplication is mainly found in Siberian Huskies, suggesting […]

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Science

How to feed 10 billion mouths: preparing for 2050

In about 30 years, the world’s population will have increased by nearly half. Expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the rising number will continue to put pressure on the demand for food. At the same time, there has been an increasing loss of crops and livestock, due to genetic concerns and climatic factors. These […]

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Science

The next generation of CRISPR-Cas9 begins

Being only announced five years ago, CRISPR-Cas9 still feels like a revolutionary new technique – but the next generation of CRISPR-Cas9 technology has already been created. A team of scientists from the Broad Institute, the USA, headed by David Liu, have recently published research in Nature detailing their next step in CRISPR-Cas9 technologies; their attempt […]

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News

Protection against genetic discrimination: a necessary concern?

With developments in genetic screening, and the increase in employers asking for increasingly invasive access into applicants’ private lives in the US, it should come as no surprise that there is growing concern over allowing companies access to your genetic information. Genetic testing can be a powerful tool for doctors to look for high-risk genes […]

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Science Science

Scientists discover the root cause of baldness

A new study, based on genetic material from over 52,000 men, and in fact the largest ever to look at male hair loss, has found nearly 300 genes that contribute to the well known condition. Prior to this, only a few genes relevant to male pattern baldness had been identified. The study’s results have shown, […]

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Features

The Donation Debate: Sperm donors and anonymity

Approximately one in seven couples in the UK have fertility problems. An estimated 7,000 patients receive treatment with donated eggs and sperm every year and 2,000 children are born annually as a result of this process. Although the British Fertility Society has cited an increased demand for donations in recent years, the supply remains worryingly […]