Scientists unlock the future of beer


The prospect of yeast-by-design is tantalizing for many researchers in the brewing industry.

Man-made yeasts could irreversibly change everything from the biofuel to the brewing industry. A team of geneticists led by Jef Boeke at Johns Hopkins University is genetically engineering a yeast from scratch, as part of the Synthetic Yeast 2.0 project. They have designed and written a code made up of roughly 11 million letters of DNA—the As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that write the book of life—which they are synthesizing and subbing in for a yeast’s natural DNA.

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New drug cures mice of Down Syndrome in a single dose

With one dose, the brains of the mice grew normally and those mice showed learning abilities like that of their un-affected peers.

There has been good news in medicine recently. Not only is there a vaccine to prevent HIV/AIDS in the works, but scientists at John Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health have also recently used a new drug to cure Down Syndrome in baby mice with just one dose. And although the drug has not yet been tested on humans, it still qualifies as an amazing achievement.



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Artificial Life Created in a Laboratory for the First Time

Dr Craig Venter, a multi-millionaire pioneer in genetics, and his team have managed to make a completely new “synthetic” life form from a mix of chemicals.  They manufactured a new chromosome from artificial DNA in a test tube, then transferred it into an empty cell and watched it multiply – the very definition of being alive.


Most ‘Test Tube’ Kids Are Healthy and Normal


Elizabeth Carr, right, the USA’s first “test tube baby” graduates from college in 2004.

Over 30 years after the world greeted its first “test-tube” baby with a mixture of awe, elation and concern, researchers  are finding only a few medical differences between these children and kids conceived in the traditional way.


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How Down Syndrome Protects Against Cancer

How Down Syndrome Protects Against Cancer

 Using customized stem cells, researchers showed that Down syndrome protects against cancer by preventing tumors from forming their own blood vessels. 

For decades scientists have known that people with Down syndrome, who have an extra copy of chromosome 21, get certain types of cancer at dramatically lower rates than normal. Now, partly by using stem cells derived from the skin of an individual with Down syndrome, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have pinpointed the gene that appears to underlie the cancer-protective effect.

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