Location, location, location: how methylation relates to mutations

When it comes to mutations, location counts. Mutations, which are alterations to an organism’s DNA sequence, can have effects ranging from causing cancer to fueling evolution, depending on when and where they occur. And mutations don’t strike at random—they affect some regions of the genome many orders of magnitude more frequently than others. Of the

Biosensing at the bedside: Where are the labs on chips?

The past year saw a high profile failure in the emerging field of point-of-care diagnostics. Here’s a science-focused take on why. In October of 2015, biotechnology enthusiasts and investors across Silicon Valley reacted with varying degrees of shock and disappointment as the Wall Street Journal reported that promising diagnostics startup Theranos was hiding serious flaws

“Nuclear energy” and “innovation” in the same sentence?

Start-up culture, exemplified by rapid development of new technology and entrepreneurship, is not associated with the United States’ nuclear energy industry. Nuclear power plants in the United States, whose average age is thirty-five years, are considered antiquated energy source in the eye of the public. The Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp, held here at the University of California,

Beyond the Controversy: How CRISPR is Changing Biology

How CRISPR/Cas9 Permanently Modified Molecular Biology

CRISPR/Cas9, a new, easy, and rapid genome editing technique, is at the center of heated debates over gene therapy, human embryo manipulation, and genetically-modified crops. While the most controversial applications of CRISPR/Cas9 likely will not affect the general public for years, this technique immediately and irreversibly changed the landscape of both basic and applied molecular biology research. Fast and easy

Global Warming Games to Shrink Mountains

Can Mountains 'Grow' and 'Shrink' at the Same Time?

In elementary school, we learn that jagged mountains like the Himalayas are young and growing, while smoother mountains like the Appalachians are older, eroding, and shrinking. And most of the time this is true. But we are entering a very special part period of geologic history. If we play the correct semantic games, we may