New Gene Editing Tool for Millions of Edits

There is a new gene-editing tool called Retron Library Recombineering (RLR) that makes this task easier that has been developed by George Church and his team. RLR generates up to millions of mutations simultaneously, and “barcodes” mutant cells so that the entire pool can be screened at once, enabling massive amounts of data to be …

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Prime Genome Editing System Could Accelerate Disease Cures

A new type of gene editing enables more precise editing than CRISPR. Prime editing combines two key proteins and a new RNA to make targeted insertions, deletions, and all possible single-letter changes in the DNA of human cells. Prime Editing is capable of directly editing human cells in a precise, efficient, and highly versatile fashion. …

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Genetic enhancement will be many times more powerful than steroids

Clinical trials of CRISPR gene editing, when they start this year (2017), will edit existing cells in adults using an injection of a viral vector. It seems likely that CRISPR, or some improved version of it, will be established to be both safe and effective in the near future. Professor Stephen Hsu provides an analysis …

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Fene engineering stored a digital movie in the genomes of living bacteria

Researchers use expensive machinery to develop ways to harness DNA as a synthetic raw material to store large amounts of digital information outside of living cells. In 2016, a team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) led by Wyss core faculty member George Church built the first molecular …

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Fourth Yangjiang unit enters commercial operation

Unit 4 of the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in China’s Guangdong province has completed commissioning tests and now meets the conditions for entering commercial operation, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced on March 15, 2017. The loading of fuel assemblies into the core of the 1080 MWe CPR-1000 pressurised water reactor was completed on 21 November …

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China developing reusable rocket that will be able to send manned missions to the moon

China is developing an advanced new rocket. This spaceship is expected to be able to be operable both in the lower orbit of Earth, as well as capable of landing humans on the moon. It will also have rooms for several astronauts per Zhang Bainan, chief designer of manned spacecraft at China Aerospace Science and …

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Pathnet is Deepmind’s step to a super neural network for creating an artificial general intelligence

For artificial general intelligence (AGI) it would be efficient if multiple users trained the same giant neural network, permitting parameter reuse, without catastrophic forgetting. PathNet is a first step in this direction. It is a neural network algorithm that uses agents embedded in the neural network whose task is to discover which parts of the …

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Multiple Iranian missile tests and separate incidents with US and Iranian ships

Iran test-fired Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles about 155 miles away, destroying a targeted floating barge in one case. Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile in February, in apparent violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution; the incident led to U.S. economic sanctions against 13 people and 12 businesses in Iran. The sanctions came with a …

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Achieving Zero Hunger

Eradicating world hunger sustainably by 2030 will require an estimated additional $267 billion per year on average for investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection, so poor people have access to food and can improve their livelihoods, a new UN report says. This would average $160 annually for each person living in …

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US Army ramping up combat lasers on trucks and at forward bases

The US Army’s aim is to develop an 18-kilowatt laser for the M1131 Stryker Fire Support Vehicle (FSV) by 2018. The FSV is the vehicle that calls for friendly artillery, so it sort of makes sense that it would be responsible for shooting down enemy artillery. It has a thermal imager/day camera that could help …

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Gallium Nitride almost as wear resistant as diamond

Gallium nitride (GaN) has emerged as one of the most important and widely used semiconducting materials. Its optoelectronic and mechanical properties make it ideal for a variety of applications, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), high-temperature transistors, sensors and biocompatible electronic implants in humans. Four Lehigh engineers have reported a previously unknown property for GaN: Its wear …

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