Telomeres (tinted red) protect chromosomes like the plastic tips on shoelaces. The length of telomeres may be a marker for longevity.

Can Your Genes Predict When You Will Die?

New research suggests we can defy genetic destiny

Pardis Sabeti's many talents range from music to genetics.

Pardis Sabeti, the Rollerblading Rock Star Scientist of Harvard

The recipient of the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for natural sciences blazed a new view of how to treat infectious diseases via genetics


Sinfully Delicious Apples That You Should Never Try to Eat

Inspired by the work of Cornell scientists, Los Angeles-based Jessica Rath creates sculptures and photographs of the autumn fruit

This summer, DNA 11 established the very first genetics lab devoted to art.

Genetics Lab or Art Studio?

DNA 11, based in Ottawa, has built the first high-tech genetics laboratory devoted solely to art making


A Water Flea Has More Genes Than You Do

Black jaguars, like the cub on the left, have a mutation that causes them to produce more of the pigment melanin than spotted jaguars do.

Evolution in Black and White

The alternative color forms of some animals are providing new insights into how animals adapt and evolve

Jocelyn Kaiser graduated from Princeton University with a degree in chemical engineering.  She now writes for Science magazine and is the author of Gene Therapy in a New Light, which appears in Smithsonian's January 2009 issue.

Jocelyn Kaiser on "Gene Therapy in a New Light"

Irmgard, Jake and Jane at Plitt reunion

Clan-Do Spirit

A genealogical surprise led the author to ask: What does it take to be one of the family?

Grizzly bear near Obsidian Creek in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bear Hair

Scientists collect hairs from Yellowstone grizzly bears to conduct genetic studies


Personal Genome Project

These holidays, give the people who have everything the one thing they don't: a map of their own DNA

The African American DNA Roots Project is a molecular anthropology study designed to match African American lineages with those in West Africa, a region from which many slaves were taken.

Family Ties

African Americans use scientific advances to trace their roots

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

A Nobel laureate holds forth on flies, genes and women in science


Medical Sleuth

To prosecutors, it was child abuse - an Amish baby covered in bruises, but Dr. D. Holmes Morton had other ideas

35 Who Made a Difference: Edward O. Wilson

Vindicated for his controversial sociobiology? Yes. Satisfied? Not yet

35 Who Made a Difference: Wes Jackson

In Kansas, a plant geneticist sows the seeds of sustainable agriculture

Building A Better Banana

It is the world's No. 1 fruit, now diseases threaten many varieties, prompting a search for new hybrids of the "smile of nature"

Researchers study identical twins—who develop from a single egg that splits after fertilization and therefore have the same genes—to learn how genes influence traits of predispose people to disease.

Twin Science

Researchers make an annual pilgrimage to Twinsburg, Ohio, to study inherited traits


Kenyon's Ageless Quest

A San Francisco scientist's genetic research renews the ancient hope for a way to slow aging

Grace Levy, 95, of Lunenburg, quit school at 13 to clean houses: "My Dad said you've gotta work."

Puzzle of the Century

Is it the fresh air, the seafood, or genes? Why do so many hardy 100-year-olds live in yes, Nova Scotia?

Endothelial cells under the microscope

Brave New World

Everything you wanted to know about stem cells, cloning and genetic engineering but were afraid to ask

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