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01 / 05
Gene Editing’s Next Big Targets

Axios | Science & Technology

Gene Editing’s Next Big Targets

“The potential of CRISPR gene-editing technology was realized six months ago, when the Food and Drug Administration approved the first therapy that uses the system to treat sickle-cell anemia. Now, scientists are setting their sights on more complex molecular targets.

If researchers can perfect gene editing tools and program site-specific editing, the technology could be adapted to treat even more kinds of diseases, as well as create more resilient plants and livestock.”

From Axios.

The Guardian | Space

Scientists Design Spacesuit That Turns Urine into Drinking Water

“A sci-fi-inspired spacesuit that recycles urine into drinking water could enable astronauts to perform lengthy spacewalks on upcoming lunar expeditions.

The prototype, modelled on the ‘stillsuits’ in the sci-fi classic Dune, collects urine, purifies it and can return it to the astronaut through a drinking tube within five minutes.

The suit’s creators hope it could be deployed before the end of the decade in Nasa’s Artemis programme, which is focused on learning how to live and work for prolonged periods on another world.”

From The Guardian.

The Guardian | Scientific Research

Researchers Reconstruct Mammoth’s Genetic Code in Unprecedented Detail

“Researchers have reconstructed the genetic code of the woolly mammoth in unprecedented detail after discovering fossilised chromosomes in the skin of a 52,000-year-old carcass preserved in the Siberian permafrost.

The mammoth’s lavish mane led researchers to name it after Chris Waddle, the mulleted former England footballer. It became freeze-dried on death, a process that preserved the 3D structure of the chromosomes in the animal’s skin.

Armed with the ancient genetic material, scientists were able to assemble the mammoth genome, determine that it had 28 pairs of chromosomes, and see genes that were switched on or off, details that are crucial for understanding what it meant to be a mammoth.”

From The Guardian.

BBC | Scientific Research

The Sperm Whale ‘Phonetic Alphabet’ Revealed by AI

“From elephants to dogs, modern technology is helping researchers to sift through enormous datasets, and uncover previously unknown diversity and complexity in animal communication. And Ceti’s researchers say they, too, have used AI to decode a ‘sperm whale phonetic alphabet’.

In 2005, Shane Gero, biology lead for Ceti, founded The Dominica Sperm Whale Project to study the social and vocal behaviour of around 400 sperm whales that live in the Eastern Caribbean. Almost 20 years – and thousands of hours of observation – later, the researchers have discovered intricacies in whale vocalisations never before observed, revealing structures within sperm whale communication akin to human language.”

From BBC.

Forbes | Science & Technology

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Prepares to Implant Second Human Patient

“Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink will one day bestow ‘cybernetic superpowers’ on people and allow them to control robots with their mind, the tech billionaire claimed Thursday, offering a futuristic and unrealistic forecast for the opaque company’s next steps after he delivered a rare update and revealed plans to implant a second human patient within ‘the next week or so.'”

From Forbes.