An illustration of the coronavirus in front of a strand of DNA

Can We Protect Against Coronavirus by Rewriting Our Genomes?

Genome recoding could offer new modes of virus resistance, but the technology raises serious ethical concerns.
Pear seedlings from a book about Luther Burbank

The Marvelous Experiments of Amateur Plant Breeders

Over 100 years ago, a horticulturalist introduced hybrid plants to California gardeners. Up sprouted a movement of amateur experiments in plant biology.
A box for a 23andMe test kit

The Woman Scholar Who Foresaw the Dangers of DNA Testing

In 2003, Christine Rosen wrote that "[w]e may come to know too much about ourselves to truly live in freedom."
Mouse embryo

Get Ready For Human-Animal Hybrids

New progress in stem-cell research raises some thorny ethical questions.
Bilateral Gynandromorph Cardinal

The Mysterious Gynandromorph

Gynandromorphy is an extremely rare condition in which an animal is half male and half female. It's most visible in birds and butterflies.

Love, Sex, and Cyanide—The Private Life of a Toxic Butterfly

Heliconian butterflies choose mates with similar wing patterns. Their genes make them do it.
An Eastern Lowland Gorilla infant

When Endangered Wildlife Gets Inbred

The endangered eastern lowland gorilla populations are now so small that the species is facing a new threat: loss of genetic diversity.

Why Do Some People Have Curly Hair and Others Straight?

Either environmental or sexual selective pressure began acting on hair after humans began dispersing out of Africa.
Cousin marriage Queen Victoria

The Genetics of Cousin Marriage

It's conventional wisdom that procreation between first cousins is unhealthy. But what are the actual genetic risks?
gene edited pigs

You May Soon Be Eating These Gene-Edited Pigs

Scientists have produced pigs that can resist a billion dollar animal virus.