The ability to alter DNA using CRISPR technology and insert genes into species may not be indication of Haldane’s world becoming reality, but it raises issues about the direction in which science is heading

In 1923 the geneticist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane made a speech to the “Heretics” society at Cambridge University. He later expanded and published (...)

A gallery assistant at the Royal Observatory, adjusts the minute hand of a turret clock inside the observatory, in Greenwich,  London. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA.

It is the time of year when we all begin to be thankful for the “grand stretch in the evening”. The signs of spring are not just daffodils and bird ch(...)

A reconstruction of a Neanderthal man at a museum in Halle, Germany. We now know that Neanderthals are our closest ancestor and probably interbred with humans. File photograph: Sebastian Willnow/AFP/Getty Images

When you imagine a Neanderthal you probably think of the classic image of the “cave man”: heavy brow, monkey-like face, stooping posture, shaggy hair,(...)

Braces no longer a familiar aspect of adolescence as dentists and orthodontists see the adult’s mouth as just as malleable as the child’s

In an article on an 18th-century tooth-puller, historian Colin Jones claimed that “the list of Great Dates in Dentistry is largely unknown, I wager, o(...)

A car under  debris  after an earthquake off the island of Kos, Greece, in July  2017. Photograph: Reuters/Costas Baltas

Google and Harvard University have just announced new research in seismology using artificial intelligence. Researches have “trained” computers using (...)

An electric kettle changes electrical energy into heat, which is just another form of energy; the heat then boils the water. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

During the recent heat wave I realised just how assimilated to Ireland I have become. No, it wasn’t because I complained that the temperature was too (...)

Someone diagnosed with HIV at age 20 is, with treatment, expected to live to 73.

There is no legal obligation on a person with HIV to disclose their status, nor is there a law that provides a specific penalty for knowingly transmit(...)

 Vicky Phelan arriving at the Dáil. She succesfully sued a US laboratory after she received incorrect results from a cervical cancer test. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Cancer screening is in the news for all the wrong reasons. The CervicalCheck scandal will be added to a rich strand of medical history examining the w(...)

In Alfred Crosby’s ‘The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492’, published in 1972, he argued for a different way of looking at the impact of the voyages of discovery on both the Americas and Europe

A few weeks ago, the historian Alfred Crosby died at the age of 87. He may not be well known to readers of science pages but he should be: he pioneere(...)

Many women reacted strongly to Anton Mesmer’s magnetic therapies; some of them convulsing or falling unconscious.

In 1778 Anton Mesmer arrived in Paris. He had left Vienna under a cloud when his new practice of animal magnetism raised objections among medical prac(...)

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