Controlling genes by thought, DNA sequencing in 90 minutes, and cellular memory.

  biotech computing cybernetics data dna eeg forensics genetic_engineering genetics hardware law_enforcement optogenetics sequencing storage

A couple of years ago the field of optogenetics, or genetically engineering responsiveness to visible light to exert control over cells was born. In a nutshell, genes can be inserted into living cells that allow certain functions to be switched on or off (such as the production of a certain hormone or protein) in the presence or absence of a certain color of light. Mostly, this has only been done on an experimental basis to bacteria, to figure out what it might be good for. As it happens to turn out, optogenetics is potentially good for quite a lot of …

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It's only fitting that his genome was first.

  dna genetics history james_watson sequencing

The genome of Dr. James Watson, who figured out the structure of DNA with Francis Crick, was the first genome to be completely sequenced from start to finish (the results of the Human Genome Project are actually composited from a number of anonymous humans - thank you, HIPAA), which means that each pair of nucleotides in his genetic structure was determined, mapped to a gene, and placed in its proper place in the DNA strand. You can think of it as reverse engineering human DNA because they figured out what everything in there is supposed to do... a copy of his …

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