Biotech firms fear US court's DNA ruling

The US Supreme Court ruled that Myriad Genetics Inc. cannot patent the BRCA genes, which are tested to check a woman's risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Photo: AP

The court ruled that Myriad Genetics, which sells expensive tests for the genetic markers for cancer, could not claim patents on the DNA it identified in the 1990s to develop the tests.

Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 4:07am

Mysteries of myopia may soon become clear

A study aims to find genes that make us short-sighted and may reveal why so many people of Asian descent are affected. Photo: Dickson Lee

Two professors are hoping to discover why Asians are nearly three times more likely to be short-sighted than Westerners. They are taking part in a global study which has revealed that both groups share similar myopic-related genes. And they say the data will lead towards the development of genetic tests for short-sightedness, clinically known as myopia.

3 Jun 2013 - 6:22am

Video: Mutant cockroaches develop mechanism to evade sugar traps

The head of a male German cockroach. The insect's taste hairs, which extend from its face, antennae and mouth, contain sweet and bitter detectors that help some cockroaches avoid traps baited with glucose. Photo: Handout

In an evolutionary twist, some German cockroaches have developed a genetic mechanism that makes sugar taste bitter – allowing them evade sugary bait set out to kill them. 

27 May 2013 - 10:01am

Scripture under the microscope

Scripture under the microscope

You've always thought of the Bible as an early science text. You'd like to compare its factual content with what modern experts have to say.

5 May 2013 - 4:10pm

Scientists say reviving extinct species is possible, but question its ethics

Extinct species may one day be cloned from preserved tissues, such as this dodo bone. Photo: AFP

Woolly mammoths stomp through the Siberian tundra as the giant moa strides the forest floor of New Zealand and Tasmania's dog-like "tigers" stalk their prey under the cover of night.

28 Apr 2013 - 4:58am

Short Science, April 21, 2013

Dads are as good as mums in recognising their baby's cries.

One of the world's most popular aquarium fishes has joined the rat, the mouse, fruit fly and nematode worm in the roll call of creatures whose DNA has been sequenced to help fight disease among humans.

21 Apr 2013 - 4:39am

Sunday Science

Green activists hand out masks to pedestrians on The Bund in Shanghai last week. Photo: Reuters

A look at what's on the SCMP's weekly science page: face masks amid heavy air pollution; cancer and evolution; and space science.

18 Feb 2013 - 10:23pm

Three medical leaps that could transform disease treatments

Graphic: SMP

More than once last year, researchers described leaps in medical science that were so breathtaking, and held so much potential for patients, that they immediately joined the list of fields to watch in the year ahead. In most cases, the work was, and is, at an early stage and its success far from certain. But some may go down in history for transforming how medicine is done.

6 Jan 2013 - 2:48am

Finding the Higgs boson tops scientific achievements this year

Finding the Higgs boson, and the year's other triumphs

From landing the Curiosity rover on Mars after a 350-million-mile journey, to the discovery of the world's most wanted subatomic particle, the top 10 scientific achievements of 2012 have been nominated by the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, showing the march of human knowledge in genetics, physics, cosmology, medicine and nanoscience.

30 Dec 2012 - 3:54am

How we live affects our descendants' genes, epigenetics shows

How we live affects our descendants' genes, epigenetics shows

Is smoking a sin?

The First Commandment of the Bible states: "For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me ... "

Should we be cursed because of the sins of our forefathers until the third and fourth generations?

25 Nov 2012 - 3:32am

Short Science, November 11, 2012

What some believe to be a female Bigfoot. Photo:AP

1,000 Genomes Project results published

11 Nov 2012 - 2:53am

Genetic switches likely to help fight disease

Genetic switches likely to help fight disease

One of the biggest scientific research projects in recent years has just unveiled its results. The Encode consortium, consisting of 442 researchers working in 32 institutes around the world, has spent the last five years studying a representative 1 per cent of our genome.

9 Sep 2012 - 2:34am

Scientists rebuild genome of girl from 50,000 years ago

Scientists have rebuilt the entire genetic make-up of a girl who lived and died in a Siberian cave more than 50,000 years ago.

The young woman belonged to a long extinct group of humans called Denisovans, their existence known only from meagre fossil remains uncovered at the Denisova cave in the Altai mountains in 2008.

1 Sep 2012 - 4:42am

Chinese scientist helps team illuminate gene behind rare eye disease

A team of international researchers, led by a scientist based in Hangzhou, has pinpointed a previously unknown cause of a rare eye disease.

15 Aug 2012 - 11:03pm

Too much sun results in RNA damage to your skin cells

We are reminded time and time again of how much sunburn hurts. But what exactly happens during this reddish and painful experience?

10 Jul 2012 - 12:00am