Dr. Barry Starr
Dr. Barry Starr is a Geneticist-in-Residence at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA and runs their Stanford at The Tech program. The program is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Stanford Department of Genetics and The Tech Museum of Innovation. Together these two partners created the Genetics: Technology with a Twist exhibition.
Dr. Barry Starr's Latest Posts
Scientists were able to engineer a version of the bird flu that can spread between mammals, the first step towards turning this virus into a pandemic. This research is controversial as it has created something that is potentially dangerous.
A group of scientists has replaced a natural chromosome in yeast with an artificial one. This won't only make a more useful yeast, but it also opens the door to redesigning the DNA of more complicated beasts like plants and animals (or us) and maybe even to resurrecting extinct species like the passenger pigeon or wooly mammoth.
Evaluating your whole genome sequence to determine your health risks is not yet up to snuff. But as imperfect as it is, you still might see something that could save your life.
A group of scientists has reported that they have been able to make current treatments for post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) better and longer lasting in mice. The hope is that these findings may one day pave the way for better treatments for the 7-8% of people who suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.
Scientists can now make precise, specific changes in the DNA of primates using a new technology first identified in bacteria. Not only will this usher in an age where animal models for human diseases are more useful, but it also means that we are very close to being able to do the same thing in people.
Scientists have just done something that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago—they have sequenced the entire set of DNA from a 7000 year old Spaniard. And this isn’t all. They have also managed to learn that he was most likely a dark-skinned, blue or green-eyed man who had trouble digesting milk as an adult.
Six out of every thousand people are estimated to be identical twins. This means that there are a lot of children being fathered by identical twins and that these twins are involved in a good number of crimes too. And until recently, none could be identified from just their DNA. This has all changed in a new study where scientists were able to reliably use DNA to tell two identical twins from each other.
Imagine a world where your experiences can be passed on to the next generation. Scientists don’t yet know if this happens in people, but they have now confirmed in a new study that this sort of thing does happen in mice.
In response to a letter from the FDA, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing company in Mountain View, California called 23andMe has agreed to stop providing health data on new purchases of its $99 genetic tests.
Some men are unknowingly raising kids that are not biologically related to them, but until recently, the numbers were uncertain. Now that DNA testing is becoming cheaper and easier, better data has become available.
Parents can and do have children who look very different from themselves, but lack of understanding of genetics have led to authorities taking children away from them.
If scientists are allowed to perform a simple genetic engineering procedure, they will be able to offer a reprieve to a small group of women who are condemned to pass certain fatal genetic diseases to each and every one of their children.
Imagine if instead of digging oil up out of the ground and refining it into gasoline, we could just have bacteria make it for us in a big vat somewhere. Researchers from South Korea have done just that -- engineered bacteria to make gasoline -- but many challenges remain before large scale production becomes viable.
Scientists have struggled for a long time to explain why 85-90 percent of people are right-handed. They’ve known genetics plays an important role in people occasionally ending up left-handed, but they also know it is not the whole story.
Ever since AIDS emerged as a deadly disease in the early 1980’s, scientists have been looking for a cure. And now, using a very precise set of DNA scissors, they may finally be taking baby steps towards one.
A group of Chinese scientists has come up with a chemical way to turn regular old mouse cells into cells that act just like embryonic stem (ES) cells. This finding has the potential to unleash the awesome potential of ES cells without any of the moral baggage and/or health risks usually associated with them. Since […]
Scientists have been puzzled for years about why obese people are at a higher risk for certain cancers. A new study in mice suggests that gut bacteria specific to the obese may be to blame.