Cystic fibrosis was once a mysterious disease that killed infants and children. Now it could be the key to healing millions with genetic diseases of every type—from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to diabetes and sickle cell anemia. […Learn More]
Introducing a 10-phase, 500-year vision for the future of space exploration, genetic engineering, and the human species—on Earth and on other planets.
As the only species aware that life on Earth has an expiration date, we have a moral duty to land on, to live on, and to extend life to other planets. […Learn More]
The untold story of how hereditary data in mental hospitals gave rise to the science of human heredity
In the early 1800s, a century before there was any concept of the gene, physicians in insane asylums began to record causes of madness in their admission books. Almost from the beginning, they pointed to heredity as the most important of these causes. […Learn More]
The next frontier in technology is inside our own bodies.
Synthetic biology will revolutionize how we define family, how we identify disease and treat aging, where we make our homes, and how we nourish ourselves. This fast-growing field—which uses computers to modify or rewrite genetic code—has created revolutionary, groundbreaking solutions such as the mRNA COVID vaccines, IVF, and lab-grown hamburger that tastes like the real thing. […Learn More]
ORIGIN is the story of who the first peoples in the Americas were, how and why they made the crossing, how they dispersed south, and how they lived based on a new and powerful kind of evidence: their complete genomes. ORIGIN provides an overview of these new histories throughout North and South America, and a glimpse into how the tools of genetics reveal details about human history and evolution. […Learn More]
A provocative and timely case for how the science of genetics can help create a more just and equal society
In recent years, scientists like Kathryn Paige Harden have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health―and in ways that matter for educational and economic success in our current society. […Learn More]
An anthropologist visits the frontiers of genetics, medicine, and technology to ask: Whose values are guiding gene editing experiments? And what does this new era of scientific inquiry mean for the future of the human species? […Learn More]
In this New York Times bestseller and longlist nominee for the National Book Award, “our greatest living chronicler of the natural world” (The New York Times), David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology affect our understanding of evolution and life’s history.
In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. […Learn More]
A biography of J. B. S. Haldane, the brilliant and eccentric British scientist whose innovative predictions inspired Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
J. B. S. Haldane’s life was rich and strange, never short on genius or drama—from his boyhood apprenticeship to his scientist father, who first instilled in him a devotion to the scientific method; to his time in the trenches during the First World War, where he wrote his first scientific paper; to his numerous experiments on himself, including inhaling dangerous levels of carbon dioxide and drinking hydrochloric acid; to his clandestine research for the British Admiralty during the Second World War. […Learn More]
A trailblazing biologist grapples with her role in the biggest scientific discovery of our era: a cheap, easy way of rewriting genetic code, with nearly limitless promise and peril.
Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. Not, that is, until the spring of 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the new gene-editing tool CRISPR—a revolutionary new technology that she helped create—to make heritable changes in human embryos. […Learn More]