Tag Archives: genetics

August 22

Is evolution the missing link to understanding mental health?

The human brain has been shaped over hundreds of thousands of years, with evolution selecting for traits that helped our species survive and thrive. So why do we still have so many genes that make us struggle? Why did our remarkable cognitive capacity come with such a susceptibility to disorder?

April 25

Immune to pain: new insights into chronic pain treatment

[En español] Jo Cameron, a Scottish woman in her mid-60s, was seemingly happy and healthy other than a problem with her hip. Now and then, it would give way and prevent her from walking straight. She had brought it up to her doctor, but because she wasn’t in pain, the issue was dismissed. It wasn’t […]

January 10

A Look at CRISPR and the First Genetically-Modified Humans

Cracking Pandora’s Box – New Tools and New Frontiers In November of 2018, Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed to the world that he had orchestrated the genetic modification and birth of two twin girls in China[1]. Psuedonymed Nana and Lulu, these newborns are the first known human babies to be born following modification of their […]

February 01

A Recipe for the Brain

How confident would you be in making a Victorian Tennis Cake, given a set of ingredients and the recipe? What about with a vague list of instructions instead of a detailed recipe? If you’ve ever watched The Great British Baking Show, this concept is familiar to you as the “technical challenge”. Britain’s best amateur bakers […]

December 28

Machines Comparing Circuitry (or, Understanding Our Uniquely Human Brain)

I became fascinated by the brain because I was – and continue to be – fascinated by humans. Why are we so obsessed with other people’s lives, including (sometimes especially) those whom we’ve never met? How are we able to communicate such complex emotions with a raise of an eyebrow or even just a glance? […]

July 20

Genomes, Circuits, and the Roundworm: C. Elegans as a Model Organism

A nematode can do much to help our understanding of human biology.

April 20

A Crisp(r) Explanation of Biology’s Coolest New Tool

[En español] If perusing the headlines is a regular part of your daily routine, you’ve probably noticed that one acronym has been exceedingly popular in the Science and Technology section for last couple of years: CRISPR. Even once you figure out what CRISPR stands for – Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats – it’s not […]

March 28

Genetically programmed, but with options

This is a guest post by Adam Calhoun (@neuroecology), a very talented science writer and fellow member of UCSD Neurosciences.  Australia has been having a problem with discarded beer bottles. It turns out that the Australian Jewel Beetle finds these bottles so attractive that they will mate with them until they die from dehydration. The bottles, […]