Scientists have the ability to use DNA from three adults to make one embryo. But should they? A. Dudzinski/Science Source hide caption

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Chris Nickels for NPR

The skull of a chicken embryo (left) has a recognizable beak. But when scientists block the expression of two particular genes, the embryo develops a rounded "snout" (center) that looks something like an alligator's skull (right). Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar hide caption

toggle caption Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

The Two-Way

How Bird Beaks Got Their Start As Dinosaur Snouts

Hoping to help trace the history of how velociraptors evolved into birds, researchers at Harvard and Yale may have tracked a key beak transformation to two genes.

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The CRISPR enzyme (green and red) binds to a stretch of double-stranded DNA (purple and red), preparing to snip out the faulty part. Illustration courtesy of Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley hide caption

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

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Genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a field in Oregon. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas. Danny Johnston/AP hide caption

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The Salt

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

An Oregon farmer discovered genetically engineered wheat growing in his field. Nobody knows how it got there. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S.

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"Child-robot with Biomimetic Body" (or CB2) at Osaka University in Japan in 2009, where the android was slowly developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, mimicking a mother-baby relationship. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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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

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