The CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system allows scientists to permanently alter the human genome faster and more precisely than ever before (see Sep 2014 news; May 2016 news). What if scientists wanted to make a temporary change, by targeting RNA instead? In the October 25 Science, researchers led by Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of MIT and...
  • No, We Can’t Control Hurricanes from Space

    As Hurricane Irma winds down — and a message from a Florida sheriff – saying that shooting guns at the storm would not turn it aside — brings to mind the question of why we can’t control hurricanes. The short answer is that we can’t control weather at any...
  • South African child remains AIDS free without ongoing drug treatment, researchers say

    A South African child born with HIV has surprised experts by appearing to be effectively cured of the AIDS virus after just a year of treatment, followed by 8½ years drug free. Patients with HIV would normally need to stay on antiretroviral (ART) drugs for the rest of their...
  • Anti-CRISPR proteins decrease off-target side effects of CRISPR-Cas9

    CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing is based on a tactic bacteria developed to protect themselves from viruses.  #Research now shows that the countermeasure viruses came up with — inhibitory proteins referred to as anti-CRISPRs — can be used to improve CRISPR-Cas9 as a gene-therapy tool, decreasing off-target gene editing that could...
  • SpaceX delivers for Intelsat on heavyweight Falcon 9 mission

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rumbled into the sky Wednesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, flexing the rocket’s muscles and lofting a massive Intelsat satellite to orbit supporting wireless communications, television broadcasting and trans-Atlantic data relays. Recovering from back-to-back countdown aborts earlier in the week, the two-stage,...
  • Cutting H-1B Visas Endangers Scientific Progress For Everyone

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S recent executive order calling for a sweeping review of the H-1B visa program has raised alarm in STEM-related industries that rely heavily on an international supply of high-skilled labor.  Current policy for H-1B visas, which permit highly skilled foreigners to work in the US temporarily, prohibits...
  • Cities drive animals and plants to evolve

    Ever seen a raccoon unlatch a garbage can in search of leftovers? Or shimmy across power lines to get from one rooftop to another? If so, you’ve witnessed an animal adapting its behavior to city life. That’s been going on since people started building cities thousands of years ago....
  • Scientists Hack a Human Cell and Reprogram It Like a Computer

    CELLS ARE BASICALLY tiny computers: They send and receive inputs and output accordingly. If you chug a Frappuccino, your blood sugar spikes, and your pancreatic #cells get the message. Output: more insulin. But cellular computing is more than just a convenient metaphor. In the last couple of decades, biologists...
  • Scientists make giant leap in age-old pursuit of longer, healthier life

    Scientists have found a way to reverse the ageing process, extending the lifespan of mice by 20 per cent and raising the prospect of an anti-ageing treatment for humans within a decade. The discovery has attracted the attention of US space agency #Nasa , which is keen to protect...
  • Stephen Hawking says Earth may be doomed in 1,000 years

    Stephen Hawking has a simple message for humanity: Haul your butt to Mars(and beyond). In a speech delivered this week at the Oxford Union, the legendary scientist says humanity can only survive another thousand years or so on Earth thanks to growing threats that include climate change, nuclear war,...

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