research

National Academy of Sciences Wades into CRISPR-Cas9 Debate

In response to growing concerns about the potential application of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine are convening an international summit this fall to “explore the scientific, ethical, and...

Are Scientists Selfish?

We often hear that scientists hoard data, refusing to share information even when doing so might speed advances to patients in dire need. It’s not just about sharing results on the fly—once a project has...

How Nanotech Flower Design Informs the Future of Materials Science

You might not think that a guy who says he spends his day getting lost "in a microworld of flowers or corals that you made yourself" is making a major contribution to science. But Wim...

Is Inequality an Unavoidable Consequence of Innovation?

The economics of innovation and its impact on society was the theme of the annual economists' pow-wow in Toronto last weekend, the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference. And there was no presumption that it...

Talking with the Government’s $1,000 Genome Man

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the tremendous progress in making DNA sequencing so cheap that scanning a person’s genome could cost just $1,000. This pricing free-fall has occurred markedly faster than with...

$10 Million Genomics X Prize Is Canceled

The X Prize Foundation has canceled its Archon genomics challenge, which would have awarded $10 million next month to the first team to generate medical grade sequences of 100 whole genomes for $1,000 or less...

With $35 Million and a Fan in Bill Gates, ResearchGate Tackles Social Networking for Scientists

Social networking for scientists has been tried before, but not until recently have we seen investors placing big bets in this area. Earlier this year, the academic networking site Mendeley was acquired by scientific publisher...

Why Medical Research Does Big Data Wrong

Medicine is among many sectors waiting to be transformed by big data, we often hear. Conducting global studies of disease progression, integrating health records electronically, or analyzing petabyte-size banks of DNA sequence data should hasten...

How Shining Light in the Brain Could Control Addiction

Imaging studies of cocaine addicts’ brains typically show low activity patterns in the region that is key to impulse control, the prefrontal cortex. The same goes for rodents that have been turned into cokeheads in...

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