Genetics is the branch of science concerned with genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms. It seeks to understand the process of trait inheritance from parents to offspring, including the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behaviour in the context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), gene distribution, and variation and change in populations.

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News and Comment

  • Comments & Opinion |

    The Qatar Genome Program was established to interrogate the genomics and genetics of populations in the Middle East. Improving precision medicine strategies and building long-term research capacity are both key aims of the initiative.

    • Hamdi Mbarek
    •  & Said I. Ismail
  • Editorial
    | Open Access

    Recent advances in genome editing technologies have redefined our ability to probe and precisely edit the human genome and epigenome in vitro and in vivo. More specifically, RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas systems have revolutionized the field due to their simplicity in design and adaptability across biological systems. This Collection highlights results in CRISPR/Cas technology that increase the efficiency of precision genome editing, and allow genetic manipulation in model systems traditionally intractable to site-directed gene modification.

    • Maura McGrail
    • , Tetsushi Sakuma
    •  & Leonidas Bleris
    Scientific Reports 12, 20497
  • Comments & Opinion |

    It has been 25 years since the release of GATTACA, a film that tells the story of a credible near future in which society’s inequalities, formerly associated with race and class, have been replaced with new prejudices based on genetic determinism. Here we compare GATTACA’s fictional technologies with reality’s state of the art, assessing the legal protections afforded in today’s society against GATTACA’s dystopian future in which personal freedom and privacy rights are substantially curtailed by genomic innovations. We further discuss how GATTACA’s prescient forewarnings are still relevant today in light of the current trajectory of genomic science and technology.

    • Dov Greenbaum
    •  & Mark Gerstein