✂️ Gene scissors 🅾️ "O" skills 🍏 Fruit fly hack

✂️ Gene scissors 🅾️ "O" skills 🍏 Fruit fly hack

CRISPR (pronounced "crisper") might sound like a fast food menu item, but it's actually a revolutionary gene-editing technology.

The best news, hacks, & facts from the past week!
July 8, 2022
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Hope everyone had a relaxing 4th! Did you know the Declaration of Independence wasn't signed on July 4th? Me neither. I just Googled "fun July 4th facts" and that came up.

Apparently the Declaration was adopted on July 4th, 1776 but wasn't signed until a month later. Procrastination much?!

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Shiny new "gene scissors"

image: chemistryworld

CRISPR (pronounced "crisper") might sound like a fast food menu item, but it's actually a revolutionary gene-editing technology.

In 2012, biochemists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier discovered how to utilize enzymes to to make highly specific changes in the DNA of a living organism. Potential implications were vast - everything from disease avoidance to genetically engineering "designer babies" became conceivable at that point.

However, since it's inception, this "molecular scissor" technology has proven a bit finicky. It typically works for less than 10 percent of cells and can cause off-target cell mutations. Put simply, it hasn't been ready for prime time.

That may be changing soon, though, thanks to a team of biologists at Cal San Diego who recently developed a new form of CRISPR that can more efficiently insert correct DNA sequences with far fewer errors (existing CRISPR techniques had a ~1% error rate; this technique's rate is 100X lower).

The method uses a variant of the enzyme Doudna and Charpentier discovered that softly cuts or “nicks” one strand of the DNA double helix, rather than bluntly cutting both DNA strands. The researchers tested this new approach in fruit flies to correct a mutation that turned their eyes white instead of red. The new enzyme corrected eye color in up to 65% of cells, resetting eye color to red.

Bottom line: we're seemingly close to being able to "Control-Alt-Delete" many diseases.


“O” skills, sand battery, evolution rewrite…

image: leaderpubs

New research suggests that some people are born with exceptional perception skills. Folks with this ability - dubbed "o" - are much better at object-recognition tasks.


A recent study suggests the human brain "practices" newly learned info while asleep (known as “replay”). These findings could lead to new therapies for neurologic conditions.

Green Energy

A Finnish research team developed the world’s first commercial-scale "sand battery" that can be used to store power generated from renewable sources for months at a time.


Newly-found, human-like fossils in South Africa may be over a million years older than previously thought, a study found. The discovery could rewrite human evolutionary history.


Want to sound more intelligent and attractive? New research suggests that speaking more slowly and in a lower tone (respectively) might do the trick.


Shoo fruit fly, shoo!

image: reddit

Found yourself dealing with a fruit fly infestation? Don’t dial pest control just yet.

There’s a simple and effective way to evict these unwelcome guests using DIY fruit fly traps. All it takes is a few kitchen supplies and a couple minutes of your time.

In a bowl, combine:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 6 drops of dish soap

Place the bowl near the fruit flies’ main hub and watch in astonishment as these pesky buggers start appearing belly-up in the bowl. You should see a few bugs in the bowl at ten minutes, more at 45 minutes, and a whole bunch at five hours.

  1. As a child, you trust your parents’ driving. As an adult, you’re terrified of it.
  2. The first person who inhaled helium must have been relieved the effects wore off.
  3. Someone vividly remembers something you said, which you've completely forgotten.
  4. Trying to carry groceries in one trip is one of the most effortful forms of laziness.
  5. Superheros must at some point get bored of their outfit.

Ali Ibn Abu Talib: “One moment of patience, in a moment of anger, can save a thousand moments of regret.”

Today I learned that "lemonade" is typically carbonated in the UK, Ireland, Central Europe, and Australia. (more here)

verdant [vur-dnt] - adjective
green with grass or other rich vegetation
She walked through the verdant valley.

Q: What was the first feature-length animated movie ever released? (Hint: Disney movie)
A: (see below next section)

image: twitter

TRIVIA ANSWER: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

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