Efforts to make heritable changes to the human genome are fraught with uncertainty. Here’s what it would take to make the technique safe and acceptable.

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Rapid alteration of gene pools could fight disease – and harm ecosystems.

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A technology called a ‘terminator’ was never going to curry much favour with the public. But even Monsanto, the agricultural biotechnology giant in St Louis, Missouri, was surprised by the furore that followed when it patented a method for engineering transgenic crops to produce sterile seed, forcing farmers to buy new seed for each planting. In 1999, Monsanto’s chief executive pledged not to commercialize terminator seeds.

Clinical trials are crumbling under modern economic and scientific pressures. Nature looks at ways they might be saved.

When the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this month that it did not have the authority to oversee a new variety of genetically modified (GM) Kentucky bluegrass, it exposed a serious weakness in the regulations governing GM crops. These are based not on a plant's GM nature but on the techniques used for its genetic modification. With changing technologies, the department says that it lacks the authority to regulate newly created transgenic crops.

Technological advances remove basis for government oversight of genetically modified crops.


The pharmaceutical industry is seeking stronger ties with academia in a bid to speed up drug development.


Draft regulations will pave the way for copycat antibodies and other large molecules.

Of the many climate-change catastrophes facing humankind, the anticipated spread of infectious tropical diseases is one of the most frequently cited

Across the United States, researchers are firing up experiments to determine how rising temperatures could reshape the nation's forests. The studies encompass the pines and maples of eastern forests in Massachusetts and North Carolina, the spruce and fir of northern Minnesota, and the alpine tundra ecosystem above the treeline in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.