Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Dante Ramos Globe Columnist June 08, 2018 In Greater Boston, sequencing and editing human DNA is easy. But getting you to work on time? Forget it. Unless Massachusetts can use CRISPR to take the pessimism and parochialism out of its politics, a commute to red-hot Kendall Square from Allston-Brighton and points westward will remain a mighty struggle.Fortunately, state representatives Mike Moran of Brighton and Alice Peisch of Wellesley are trying to re-engineer the dialogue on Beacon Hill — at least a little bit. They’re leading a new caucus of all the House members along the rail corridor from Kendall Square to Worcester. By presenting a united front, they can lobby the state to think big about West Station, a potentially game-changing Allston transit hub that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation wants to delay — while also pushing for … [Read more...] about In Boston, we’ll decode your DNA, but transit is hopeless?
Decode your dna
Detectives trying to identify the infamous Zodiac Killer hope to use the same DNA-tracing technology that recently lead to an arrest in another decades-old serial killer case in California.But first, they need to obtain a profile of one of California's most elusive criminals. The Vallejo Police Department has submitted two envelopes that contained letters from the Zodiac Killer to a private lab in hopes of finding his DNA on the back of the stamps or envelope flaps that may have been licked.Results from the advanced DNA analysis, which previously had not been available in the case, are expected to be returned as early as the next few weeks. "They were confident they would be able to get something off it," Vallejo police Detective Terry Poyser told the Sacramento Bee. Poyser said he hoped the same technique that lead to an arrest in the Golden State Killer case could be used if a complete profile of the Zodiac is obtained. Authorities arrested Joseph DeAngelo last month on suspicion of … [Read more...] about DNA profile sought to solve mystery of Zodiac Killer
LOS ANGELES — Maverick Coltrin entered the world a seemingly healthy 8-pound boy. But within a week, he was having seizures that doctors could neither explain nor control. They warned that he would probably die within a few months.“I remember my world just came crashing down,” said his mother, Kara Coltrin, 24.In October, Coltrin and her husband, Michael, began taking hundreds of photos of their son, hooked up to tubes and his skin purplish gray. Family rushed to San Diego from across the country to meet him before he died.Then, in a last-ditch effort, doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego decided to analyze his DNA in case it could reveal what was wrong.In one of his genes, they found a mutation that had caused a seizure disorder. The attacks could now be controlled with a few medicines.Today, Maverick is a chubby 6-month-old who bounces on his mom’s knee. He narrows his eyes at strangers, drawing his thick brows together, before easing into a … [Read more...] about Decoding your baby’s DNA: It can be done. But should it be?
NEW YORK (AP) — So you want to have a baby.Would you like a dark-haired girl with a high risk of someday getting colon cancer, but a good chance of above-average music ability?Or would you prefer a girl with a good prospect for high SAT scores and a good shot at being athletic, but who also is likely to run an above-average risk of bipolar disorder and lupus as an adult?How about a boy with a good shot at having musical ability and dodging asthma, but who also would be predisposed to cataracts and type 2 diabetes?Confused? You're just getting started. There are dozens more choices for which of your embryos should be placed in the womb to become your child.That's the future a biomedical ethics expert envisions for 20 to 40 years from now — soon enough that today's children may face it when they start their own families."The majority of babies of people who have good health coverage will be conceived this way," predicts Henry Greely, a Stanford University law professor who … [Read more...] about Ethicist foresees choosing your baby from dozens of embryos
The debate of nature versus nurture is never simple, and one reason is because nature influences nurture. A father’s genetically predisposed anxiety will affect the environment he creates for his daughter, even if he doesn’t pass down the trait itself to his happy-go-lucky child. Scientists are now quantifying these effects in humans, and showing how the genes your parents don’t pass on can still influence you. The key to today’s research, published in the journal Science, is a dataset of information from 20,000 Icelanders that included people and their parents. It has not only genetic data, but information about educational attainment (as measured by how many years of schooling someone received). Half of our DNA comes from each parent, so having DNA for all three makes it possible to separate what is directly inherited from what isn’t. Combined, the variants that weren’t passed down had an effect about 30 percent as big as the genes that were when … [Read more...] about Here’s how you’re influenced by the genes you didn’t inherit from your parents