Report Finds Microplastic in 93% of Bottled Water Tested, But Don’t Freak Out Yet

Testing of 259 plastic water bottles from nine counties revealed microplastic particles in water from 242 of the bottles, according to a new report. The test has prompted the World Health Organization to review the issue, though there is no firm evidence that the presence of microplastics would make bottled water unsafe to drink. Continue reading Report Finds Microplastic in 93% of Bottled Water Tested, But Don’t Freak Out Yet

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How Editing RNA—Not DNA—Could Cure Disease in the Future

DNA is the code of life, and so advances that allow us to edit that code have unlocked vast potential, from simply editing away the buggy code of disease, to engineering animals that don’t spread illness, to, maybe one day in a distant future, creating so-called designer babies. But editing another essential molecular component of our biology—RNA, the messenger used by cells to turns DNA instructions into proteins—also holds great promise. Continue reading How Editing RNA—Not DNA—Could Cure Disease in the Future

Ancient Human Groups Mated With the Mysterious Denisovans at Least Twice

Genetic analysis suggests two populations of Denisovans—an extinct group of hominids closely related to Neanderthals—existed outside of Africa during the Pleistocene, and that both of these populations interacted and interbred with anatomically modern humans. Continue reading Ancient Human Groups Mated With the Mysterious Denisovans at Least Twice

The Genetics of Depression Are Different for Men and Women

There may not be a single depression gene, but there’s no question that our genetic makeup is an important factor in whether or not we get depressed. And our sex, it turns out, can be a factor in how those genes are expressed. In men and women diagnosed with major depressive disorder, the same genes show the opposite changes. In other words, the molecular underpinnings of depression in men and women may be different. Continue reading The Genetics of Depression Are Different for Men and Women