In 2010, scientists plopped the genetic material of one Mycoplasma bacterium into another type to create the self-replicating cells shown above. Six years later, they've come out with an even simpler synthetic organism that has fewer genes. Thomas Deerinck, NCMIR/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Thomas Deerinck, NCMIR/Science Source

Scientists Build A Live, No-Frills Cell That Could Have A Big Future

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/471307905/471762419" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Geneticists found clues to a disease of iron storage in the remains of several Bronze Age inhabitants of what's now Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland. Chrisgel Ryan Cruz/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption
Chrisgel Ryan Cruz/Flickr

Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues found an enzyme in bacteria that makes editing DNA in animal cells much easier. Cailey Cotner/UC Berkeley hide caption

toggle caption
Cailey Cotner/UC Berkeley

In Hopes Of Fixing Faulty Genes, One Scientist Starts With The Basics

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/354934248/355769320" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Vera Wojtesta was one of 300 babies flagged by New York's newborn screening program as at risk of having life-threatening Krabbe disease. Ben Shutts/Courtesy of the Wojtesta family hide caption

toggle caption
Ben Shutts/Courtesy of the Wojtesta family

Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limbo

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/255226663/256482209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This micrograph shows a single mitochondrion (yellow), one of many little energy factories inside a cell. Keith R. Porter/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Keith R. Porter/Science Source

Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/229167219/230639900" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Artist's representation of DNA. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto.com

Supreme Court Asks: Can Human Genes Be Patented?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/177035299/177290770" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

When researchers looked at the genetic sequences of 179 individuals, they found far more defects in the patterns of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs than they expected. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto.com

Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/166648187/166682767" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An image of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University removing the nucleus from the mother's cell before it's inserted into the donor's egg cell. Courtesty of Oregon Health & Science University hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesty of Oregon Health & Science University

Geneticists Breach Ethical Taboo By Changing Genes Across Generations

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/163509093/163573374" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sara Terry and her son, Christian, in Spring, Texas. After sequencing Christian's genome, doctors were able to diagnose him with a Noonan-like syndrome. Eric Kayne for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Eric Kayne for NPR

Doctors Sift Through Patients' Genomes To Solve Medical Mysteries

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/160957147/161729662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans. kennymatic via Flickr hide caption

toggle caption
kennymatic via Flickr

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/161484592/161502076" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Watson, now 84, says sequencing helped explain his past sensitivity to certain drugs. But he didn't want to know everything his sequenced genome revealed about his health future. Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Scientists See Upside And Downside Of Sequencing Their Own Genes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/160955379/161391318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript