116 results for “Genetic-surprises”

‘Listen’ to your genetic heritage: Curate a playlist based on your DNA

Ruben Baart
September 27th 2018

Genealogy services have exploded over the past few years, and Spotify is capitalizing on the boom by providing curated playlist based on users’ DNA. Here's what you should know.

If you could listen to your DNA, what would it sound like?…

Orange Petunias Banned in Europe

Julie Reindl
June 13th 2017
GM varieties of petunia are not authorized for cultivation in the EU.

Designer babies: the kids of the future?

Megan Ray Nichols
May 5th 2017
What if you had the choice of sparing your child from diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or autism?

A Truly Exotic Fruit: the Space Mango

Julie Reindl
April 10th 2017
Scientists sent mango embryos to space lab in order to let them develop new genetic traits.

Gene Therapy Cures Chronic Disease

Elle Zhan Wei
March 14th 2017
Gene therapy can cure up to 200 different diseases and the list is growing.

GM Ants Show How Insect Societies Work

Julie Reindl
March 10th 2017
Scientists gene modify ants in order to find out more about their social behavior.

C-Sections Caused an Evolutionary Change

Mathilde Nakken
December 20th 2016
C-sections have an unexpected side effect on human evolution. Newborn heads are getting bigger, while the mothers birth cannals are becoming smaller.

Genome Editing – Bringing the Übermensch to a Shelf Near You

Daniel Fraga
September 28th 2015

Last April, a Chinese group of researchers published a paper that set the scientific world ablaze in a fierce debate. The paper was about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo.
Scientists warned that altering the human genome line without thoroughly considering and researching into the consequences could bring about unintended, unpredictable and possibly terrifying results.

From dangerous mutations and painful deaths to political opportunism and genetic-social engineering, it is easy to imagine terrifying and dystopian outcomes to …

Recreating Woolly Mammoth DNA

Yunus Emre Duyar
April 4th 2015
Scientists at Harvard University inserted wooly mammoth DNA into the genome of the Asian elephant.

Beautiful Wallpapers Created with Vaccine

Yunus Emre Duyar
February 17th 2015
Created by Vik Muniz and Tal Danino, Flowers uses livers cells treated with smallpox vaccine in order to create floral patterns.
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Genealogy services have exploded over the past few years, and Spotify is capitalizing on the boom by providing curated playlist based on users’ DNA. Here's what you should know.

If you could listen to your DNA, what would it sound like?

This weekend Spotify announced it has partnered with the world’s largest for-profit genealogy company, AncestryDNA, to launch a new feature which curates your own personal playlist based on your DNA. These genetically-curated playlists will link your Spotify account to your DNA test results, combining the music streaming platform’s personalized recommendations with 'top tracks' based on your genetic heritage.

All you have to do is to sign up for the genealogy platform, send in your saliva sample, and the DNA dealer will input the data into Spotify’s musical generator, which will simply select the playlist with historic music from the countries that feature in your DNA results.

That’s right, thanks to the modern miracle of corporate synergy, you can let your $99 AncestryDNA info dictate a custom clutch of tunes for your next road trip. But what's really at stake here?

The lucrative rise of DNA testing

For centuries, genealogists have relied on oral and written records to trace their family trees. But around the turn of the millennium, the age of DIY genetics testing took off and a growth industry was born. Today industry estimates suggest that roughly 1 in 25 adult Americans have access to their genetic data.

Sure, on the one hand this provided genealogists and family historians with an opportunity to use well-established scientific methods to prove relationships and ancestry, but on the other hand, it created a marketplace.

Make no mistake, this market is expected to be worth £261m by 2022 and is being applied to a broad spectrum of sectors including ancestry, health, beauty, and dating. Some firms in America even provide DNA testing for pets, so dog owners can pinpoint the exact breed makeup of their four-legged friend.

It’s a market largely dominated by large firms, such as AncestryDNA, which last year announced they’d reached four million users on their database, and 23andMe, backed by Facebook billionaire Yuri Milner and Google Ventures. But what about the security implications…

Is DNA the new data?

The public’s fascination with ancestry has led to a boom in businesses specialising in DNA, but it requires the transfer of sensitive information: your genetic data.

The rise of consumer genetics tests has brought up a number of privacy concerns, since they deal with information that’s fundamental and unique to every individual. It poses the question: When you spit into a tube and submit your sample, who has access to that information - and who ultimately owns your DNA?

Therefore it’s important to get a clear picture of who owns that information and who will be able to see it. I mean, we are good at clicking ‘agree’ and not reading the terms of service, right? From there, it’s a matter of how far such terms go.

Then there’s also the question of what it truly means to trust a tech company like Spotify to recommend songs based on your genetic origins, or how DNA could get shared with other companies without your consent.

The fact is, we don’t know how our genetic sequence will be used in the years to come, who will be able to access it, and on what terms. Who knows, in the near future, DNA may be the hottest new currency around.

So for now, you may consider holding off on sharing yours.

[post_title] => 'Listen' to your genetic heritage: Curate a playlist based on your DNA [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => spotify-playlist-dna [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-10 17:41:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-10 16:41:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=91224 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 74674 [post_author] => 1317 [post_date] => 2017-06-13 07:33:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-13 05:33:21 [post_content] => You would be surprised to hear that planting orange petunias is illegal. While at first this might sound like one of the most useless laws, there is a good reason behind it. Let's start by saying that petunias simply cannot get that orange color naturally.Garden enthusiasts are usually not aware of the secret the orange petunia keeps. By way of gene modification, the flower is synthetically given its 'natural' color by mixing its genes with the ones of the corn, and this might be a problem. Researchers said that genetically modified plants had been shown to harm butterfly populations, as well as creating 'super-weeds'. Petunias are especially known for attracting butterflies, which is where the problem comes in.The second problem the unregulated spread of GM petunias all over Europe. Without being labeled as gene modified they sneak into supply chains and our backyards. When looking for pictures of orange petunias, hundreds of them come up, proving that the Frankenstein flowers found their way into our nature. So in case you recently bought a bunch of orange petunias, you might want to check with the color palette of nature, as these flowers are showing us that real nature is not orange.Source: The Telegraph [post_title] => Orange Petunias Banned in Europe [post_excerpt] => GM varieties of petunia are not authorized for cultivation in the EU. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => orange-petunias [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 07:33:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 05:33:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=74674/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 74379 [post_author] => 872 [post_date] => 2017-05-05 10:40:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-05 08:40:40 [post_content] => What if you had the choice of sparing your child from diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or autism? Scientists are working on new DNA techniques that will allow you to choose embryos with edited genes. This gene technology can lower the risk of severe illness as well as increase certain desired factors, like a higher I.Q., athletic ability, eye and hair color and gender.This gene-editing technology, Crispr-Cas9, snips mutant genes with natural enzymes. These modifications are permanent, so once a mutant gene is gone, any offspring from that child will not have the mutant gene. Scientists are running clinical trials now and the Francis Crick Institute in the United Kingdom is testing the technique on embryos in the early stages.Another reproductive technique uses mitochondrial transfer, allowing a third parent to submit their DNA for use in place of faulty genes that may cause a miscarriage or other issues. Women struggling with carrying their babies full-term or women with infertility issues may be open to this new advancement.Although women only have a specific number of eggs to use, a technique known as in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) can create large amounts of eggs from other cells in the body, including skin cells. With IVG, same-sex couples could have biological children or single parents could reproduce without a partner.Will the public accept gene modification? In the past, the public viewed in vitro fertilization (IVF) in a negative light but eventually, the benefits outweighed the criticism and the technique became acceptable. Just like with IVF, these new DNA techniques require answers to ethical questions to avoid the possibility of “egg farming” or reproducing a superior set of people.With the advancement of gene modification, the public may soon embrace the new DNA techniques to bypass fatal diseases and increase their children’s quality of life.Sources: The Guardian, NBC NewsThe Embryo Project Encyclopedia  [post_title] => Designer babies: the kids of the future? [post_excerpt] => What if you had the choice of sparing your child from diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or autism? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => designer-babies-kids-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-14 16:17:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-14 15:17:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=74379/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 72632 [post_author] => 1317 [post_date] => 2017-04-10 10:05:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-10 09:05:56 [post_content] => So far we know quite little about the effects space has on humans, different countries, organizations and researchers are emphatically trying to explore foreign planets to find our new next habitat. With the space mango it's the other way around: modified in space and planted on planet Earth!In 2016 Chinese scientists sent mango embryos with the Shenzhou 11 to the space laboratory Tianong-2 in order to modify the genes and experiment with the DNA. A new strain of mangoes was bred under uncommon conditions, this procedure is also known as "space breeding". Micro-gravity, radiation, sterile conditions and some assets that can only be found in space made it possible for the exotic fruit to evolve new genetic characteristics.The mango is not the first fruit genetically changed in space, China has been been doing space breeding for two decades already! Frits and vegetables tested before developed superior strains. Interestingly, the cells are not changed manually by human hand but by the conditions they are exposed to. Space breeding is selective breeding, which means the existing genes are transformed independently by the plant itself. After being in space, the mangoes returned to our planet to be cultivated in earthly laboratories. The project leader Peng Longrong presented the visible effects: "Space mangoes are expected to be insect-resistant, of higher quality and provide more output" he said.What scientists hope to achieve with space breeding, is better features in fruits and vegetables such as increased size, extended freshness, higher restistance to pesticide, environmental and parasite threats. In the future it might be possible to breed animals or even humans in space. A true alien then?[caption id="attachment_73031" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Shenzhou-11's with the returned to Earth with the mangoes. Shenzhou-11's return to Earth with the space mangoes.[/caption]Source: Sputniknews. Image:Japanbrand, Yibada [post_title] => A Truly Exotic Fruit: the Space Mango [post_excerpt] => Scientists sent mango embryos to space lab in order to let them develop new genetic traits. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => truly-exotic-fruit-space-mango [to_ping] => [pinged] => http://japan-brand.jnto.go.jp/foods/fruits/105/ [post_modified] => 2017-04-10 10:08:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-10 09:08:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=72632/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 71841 [post_author] => 1324 [post_date] => 2017-03-14 10:22:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-14 09:22:35 [post_content] => Gene therapy has been there for decades. The idea is beautiful, one single treatment to get rid of horrific diseases forever. Before gene therapy was introduced diseases such as severe combined immune deficiency or SCID could only be treated with bone marrow transplant, which is a very pricey and delicate solution. Recently gene therapy has proven to work on this dreadful disease.A three months old baby named Levi was diagnosed with SCID. This is a disease that causes immune cells in blood to gradually go from low to total loss. The patient's body is in an extremely vulnerable state and even a small infection can be fatal. Levi's parents were waiting for a match for bone marrow transplant, when his mother found out about an experimental treatment at Boston Children’s hospital involving gene therapy. The treatment consists of an infusion into the baby's body containing a virus that essentially finds the deficiency in the genes and “repairs" it. The therapy turned Levi into a perfectly healthy kid.The CRISPR treatment (a method of gene therapy) is claimed to be cheap and very stable. While gene treatment can already handle up to 200 different disease, this is merely the beginning. In the US, fertility facilities already put gene therapy (PGD) of an embryo prior to transfer into a womb onto a price list. The list of diseases they are able to treat is long, but the prices of the procedure are less heart-warming.Does this mean we will be able to cure cancer? Maybe. At the moment gene therapy covers diseases that are controlled by deficiencies in one gene, such as SCID. But Alzheimer's, diabetes and heart failures are harder to tackle, since these conditions are linked to multiple genes. And the exact genes involved can vary from person to person. For now, let's cheer for little Levi and the fact this therapy brought hope to more families.Source: MIT Technology Review [post_title] => Gene Therapy Cures Chronic Disease [post_excerpt] => Gene therapy can cure up to 200 different diseases and the list is growing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => gene-therapy-chronic-disease [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-14 10:30:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-14 09:30:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=71841/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 72087 [post_author] => 1317 [post_date] => 2017-03-10 09:56:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-10 08:56:35 [post_content] => Ants, they can be as annoying as impressive. Not just because they can carry 50 times their own body weight, but also for their cooperative work in the colony that rightly grants their little city the name "super organism". A few of those ants have now been genetically modified for a research, and the results are astonishing. Ants social behavior is strongly dependent on their sense of smell, who would have thought that?The interest in the development of the social actions of an organism, their way of reproducing by having a few or one part of the whole group do all the reproduction in order to sustain the big whole, ranges from insects as ants and bees to the humans, and already interested biologists like Charles Darwin. Group Insects genes, give huge insight on how their social behavior functions. Getting to those genes or better said, disrupting their genes is a very difficult task and makes gene modification almost impossible. Due to ants sensitive eggs and the life cycle of one single insect, it is hard to genetically modify a decent amount of offsprings.One ant species, called the raider ant, has a deficiency of queens, usually responsible for reproduction. In the case of the raider ant, every single individual breeds eggs. Interestingly those eggs develop as clones, which allow the scientists to modify a whole stem with the help of CRISPR. After 10.000 tries in two years and interesting findings about how to breed functioning eggs and their reintroduction into the tribe, the research team interrupted the protein producing a gene responsible for an ant working odor recognition.With their 350 odor receptors, ants are highly attuned to use them as their communication tool. In comparison, a fruit fly has 46 odor receptors and a human approximately 400. As this amount of receptors is truly high for an insect, scientists assumed it had to do with their behavior. After their birth, the transgenic ants immediately started to move around, which an uncommon behavior, as an ant usually  spend its first month motionless in its nest. “To see these baby ants running around is just utterly bizarre” the scientist say. Not just the fact that those newly created ants would not loose time to discover their surroundings, they also could not smell the footpaths of their colleges. Both facts are crucial for a tribe survival and keeps their co-working intact.The modifications didn’t just have consequences on their odor reception, but also on their way of laying eggs and in their brains development. The gene modification literally killed the formation of brain clusters which also happened to gene modified mice. These results help the research of the intricate behavior of social species, as we humans are as well. If we don’t want to disrupt our odor perception we should now think about how far gene modification should transform our lifes and if so, in which ways.Source: Sciencemag [post_title] => GM Ants Show How Insect Societies Work [post_excerpt] => Scientists gene modify ants in order to find out more about their social behavior. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => genetically-modified-ants-explain-the-evolution-of-insect-societies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-13 10:00:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-13 09:00:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=72087/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 69498 [post_author] => 936 [post_date] => 2016-12-20 10:30:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 09:30:43 [post_content] => The female pelvic canal is not so well designed for giving birth compared to other primates. Therefore obstructed labour used to be a high death factor. Luckily, the introduction of Caesarean section in the fifties saved the life of many mothers and babies. Though C-section has an unexpected side effect on human evolution: newborn heads are getting bigger, while the mothers birth canals are becoming smaller.“We predict that this weak directional selection has led to a 10 to 20 per cent increase in the rate of fetopelvic disproportion since the regular use of Caesarean sections” says lead author Dr Philipp Mitteroecker, member of the research team. "Disproportion may further increase. But I don't think that one day every baby needs to be delivered by C-sections. The selection towards larger babies is limited by the mother's metabolic capacity and also attenuated by modern medical treatment". This study shows how a new medical technique led to an accidental evolutionary change in the human DNA. The next step might be the redesign of the female body, so the baby fits again. Losing the created evolutionary change seems to be a pity. Because who knows, maybe bigger skulls also lead to smarter children?Source: The Independent. Image: Terra [post_title] => C-Sections Caused an Evolutionary Change [post_excerpt] => C-sections have an unexpected side effect on human evolution. Newborn heads are getting bigger, while the mothers birth cannals are becoming smaller. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => c-sections-caused-evolutionary-change [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-22 16:02:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-22 15:02:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=69498 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57050 [post_author] => 859 [post_date] => 2015-09-28 19:37:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-28 17:37:41 [post_content] => Last April, a Chinese group of researchers published a paper that set the scientific world ablaze in a fierce debate. The paper was about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo. Scientists warned that altering the human genome line without thoroughly considering and researching into the consequences could bring about unintended, unpredictable and possibly terrifying results.From dangerous mutations and painful deaths to political opportunism and genetic-social engineering, it is easy to imagine terrifying and dystopian outcomes to this technological advance. And  it's all due to CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.Genetic manipulation can now be performed on plants, bacteria and animals. Discovered a few years ago, CRISPRs are - to put it succinctly - elements of a system that protects bacteria and other single-celled organisms from viruses. They acquire this immunity by incorporating genetic information from the attacking bodies. For millions of years of evolution, CRISPRs took pieces of genetic information from one being's genome and inserted it into that of another.This method happens to also represent a quick, cheap and effective way for editing genome, artificially, in the lab.So, in order to edit DNA, one no longer requires thousands of dollars, human resources nor sophisticated laboratories. With CRISPRs, a lab needs only an RNA fragment - priced at about 10$ - and a set of common chemicals and enzymes for about 30$. On the lab, CRISPRs then uses a specific enzyme - Cas9 - that lodges itself on a particular location within a strand of DNA. From there on, the process unfolds in a way that either removes or inserts sequences into the DNA strand - intentionally.The convenience and affordability of CRISPR has revolutionized and democratized genetic research in an unparalleled way. Hundreds of labs worldwide are now experimenting with CRISPR based projects, and a sort of "genetic gold rush" is well underway, with major research institutions seeking to grab a hold of CRISPR related patents. Big fundings are also pouring, with leading institutions acknowledging the commercial potential of these findings. Yet, this is also the scary part.Ethical problems appear when we consider the prospects of genome modification. On one side, millions of cases where diseases have genetic roots could be dealt with effectively. On the other, the risk of mutations and unintentional side effects also looms close by. New and unimagined diseases could result from tweaking with the script of life. On the hands of those with foul intentions, these tools could result in a powerful, amplified form of biological warfare and terrorism.On another hand, the commodification of the most basic blocks of human constituency could end up becoming a reality. We could very well be looking at a future where we can purchase the possibility to choose how we want our children to be. Yet no one is prepared for a future in which trait selection becomes as widespread and easy as picking some milk off a shelf on a supermarket. Biological inequalities may end up reflecting economic ones, with wealthier people being able to access higher quality service and eventually children with higher intelligence and beauty (at least according to the standards of contemporary culture).There is no legislation in regards to DNA editing, and very little investigation has been done. There is no institutionalized way to manage the potential risks of these developments. No laws, no rights nor duties. It's an open field, and as such, it's fair game for multinational research companies looking to become the big fish in a new lake.As such, it is as if we are, on the issue of genetic engineering as well as on so many others nowadays, way beyond the point of no return. Many equate genetic engineering with the Original Sin of the book of Genesis - the sin that caused the downfall of Man.Human nature is now on the brink of becoming biologically manipulatable. In little over ten thousand years, we went from natural selection to artificial selection, and now may be on the brink of intentionally interfering with the genome of the following generations. The Ubermensch of this new era will be conceived on a lab.Source: Singularity HUB [post_title] => Genome Editing - Bringing the Übermensch to a Shelf Near You [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => genome-editing-bringing-ubermensch-shelf-near [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-09-28 19:37:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-09-28 17:37:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=57050 [menu_order] => 531 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44110 [post_author] => 835 [post_date] => 2015-04-04 15:35:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-04-04 13:35:24 [post_content] => Bioengineering might soon enable us to bring long gone animals back to life, à la Jurassic Park. Recently, a team of scientists at Harvard University managed to insert wooly mammoth DNA into the genome of its closest relative - the Asian elephant.Woolly mammoths might have first appeared 400,000 years ago, but they did not disappear from mainland Eurasia and North America until about 10,000 years ago. A small population of mammoths have been discovered to have lived for another 6,000 years on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. Luckily, the icy lands where these animals used to live preserved their bodies in remarkable conditions. However, their DNA have deteriorated over the years with the presence of microbes and water.Scientists have been able to extract fragmentary DNA samples from these frozen fossils, but they still have to find enough samples in order to carry out cloning experiments. However, genetics professor George Church and his team at Harvard are using the Asian elephant in order to recreate the mammoth DNA. The team compares the DNA of the mammoth with that of its closest relative in order to find the essential differences between the two. Later, they proceed to cut specific parts of the elephant genome and insert the desired mammoth genes.“We prioritized genes associated with cold resistance, including hairiness, ear size, subcutaneous fat and, especially, hemoglobin -the molecule in red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body" Church told the Sunday Times. "We now have functioning elephant cells with mammoth DNA in them. We have not published it in a scientific journal because there is more work to do, but we plan to do so”.Although there are ethical concerns about the experiment, Church believes that a large population of mammoths could actually be useful to the Arctic tundra. "The Siberian permafrost is melting with climate change, but research suggests large mammals could stabilize it” he said.Story via IFL Science. Image via Shutterstock Related post: Occasionally Extinct and Virtually Alive [post_title] => Recreating Woolly Mammoth DNA [post_excerpt] => Scientists at Harvard University inserted wooly mammoth DNA into the genome of the Asian elephant. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => recreating-woolly-mammoth-dna [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-04-03 16:19:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-04-03 14:19:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=44110 [menu_order] => 712 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42815 [post_author] => 835 [post_date] => 2015-02-17 15:53:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-02-17 14:53:05 [post_content] => Anti-vaccination movement is a hot topic these days. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently sponsored a series of artworks, named The Art of Saving a Life, in order to overcome the fear of vaccination. One of these artworks, called Flowers, creates beautiful wallpapers out of smallpox vaccine.Designed by Vik Muniz and Tal Danino, Flowers uses livers cells treated with smallpox vaccine in order to create floral patterns. With the MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia, the artists base their work on the same method used for their previous project called Colonies (pictured below). In order to make these images,they create a silicon stamp of the pattern. Then, this stamp is placed on a petri dish coated with collagen. When cells are added to the dish, they stick only to the collagen around the silicon stamp, thus creating the patterns.muniz_0002_Layer-3Danino is hoping this artwork might have practical implications in science for studying spatial and temporal behaviors of cells. “There is a danger to working with pathogens and cancer cells in the lab, but we have rigorous safety standards and practices to minimize risk” he said. For more information on the making of the project, you can check the video below.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbTZpCcWLsk[/youtube]Story and images via Wired [post_title] => Beautiful Wallpapers Created with Vaccine [post_excerpt] => Created by Vik Muniz and Tal Danino, Flowers uses livers cells treated with smallpox vaccine in order to create floral patterns. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => beautiful-wallpapers-created-with-vaccine [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-02-16 18:03:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-02-16 17:03:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=42815 [menu_order] => 771 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 91224 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2018-09-27 10:59:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-27 09:59:52 [post_content] =>

Genealogy services have exploded over the past few years, and Spotify is capitalizing on the boom by providing curated playlist based on users’ DNA. Here's what you should know.

If you could listen to your DNA, what would it sound like?

This weekend Spotify announced it has partnered with the world’s largest for-profit genealogy company, AncestryDNA, to launch a new feature which curates your own personal playlist based on your DNA. These genetically-curated playlists will link your Spotify account to your DNA test results, combining the music streaming platform’s personalized recommendations with 'top tracks' based on your genetic heritage.

All you have to do is to sign up for the genealogy platform, send in your saliva sample, and the DNA dealer will input the data into Spotify’s musical generator, which will simply select the playlist with historic music from the countries that feature in your DNA results.

That’s right, thanks to the modern miracle of corporate synergy, you can let your $99 AncestryDNA info dictate a custom clutch of tunes for your next road trip. But what's really at stake here?

The lucrative rise of DNA testing

For centuries, genealogists have relied on oral and written records to trace their family trees. But around the turn of the millennium, the age of DIY genetics testing took off and a growth industry was born. Today industry estimates suggest that roughly 1 in 25 adult Americans have access to their genetic data.

Sure, on the one hand this provided genealogists and family historians with an opportunity to use well-established scientific methods to prove relationships and ancestry, but on the other hand, it created a marketplace.

Make no mistake, this market is expected to be worth £261m by 2022 and is being applied to a broad spectrum of sectors including ancestry, health, beauty, and dating. Some firms in America even provide DNA testing for pets, so dog owners can pinpoint the exact breed makeup of their four-legged friend.

It’s a market largely dominated by large firms, such as AncestryDNA, which last year announced they’d reached four million users on their database, and 23andMe, backed by Facebook billionaire Yuri Milner and Google Ventures. But what about the security implications…

Is DNA the new data?

The public’s fascination with ancestry has led to a boom in businesses specialising in DNA, but it requires the transfer of sensitive information: your genetic data.

The rise of consumer genetics tests has brought up a number of privacy concerns, since they deal with information that’s fundamental and unique to every individual. It poses the question: When you spit into a tube and submit your sample, who has access to that information - and who ultimately owns your DNA?

Therefore it’s important to get a clear picture of who owns that information and who will be able to see it. I mean, we are good at clicking ‘agree’ and not reading the terms of service, right? From there, it’s a matter of how far such terms go.

Then there’s also the question of what it truly means to trust a tech company like Spotify to recommend songs based on your genetic origins, or how DNA could get shared with other companies without your consent.

The fact is, we don’t know how our genetic sequence will be used in the years to come, who will be able to access it, and on what terms. Who knows, in the near future, DNA may be the hottest new currency around.

So for now, you may consider holding off on sharing yours.

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