Doctors used CRISPR to edit genes of cells inside a patient’s eye, hoping to restore vision to a person blinded by a rare genetic disorder. A similar strategy might work for some brain diseases.

 

For the first time, scientists have used the gene-editing technique CRISPR to try to edit a gene while the DNA is still inside a person’s body. The groundbreaking procedure involved injecting the microscopic gene-editing tool into the eye of a patient blinded by a rare genetic disorder, in hopes of enabling the volunteer to see. They hope to know within weeks whether the approach is working and, if so, to know within two or three months how much vision will be restored.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.npr.org

Coronavirus can kill, but experts are still puzzling over how deadly the disease it causes truly is. Seoul’s aggressive screening regime might hold the answer.

 

Within a month of confirming its first case of Covid-19 on January 20, South Korea had tested nearly 8,000 people suspected of infection with the new coronavirus that causes the disease. A little over a week later, that number had soared to 82,000 as health officials mobilized to carry out as many 10,000 tests each day Neighboring Japan on the other hand, tested only a fraction of that number, with fewer than 2,000 people checked on any given day since the beginning of its outbreak in late January. So far, more than 6,000 cases have been confirmed in South Korea and over 1,000 in Japan, if you include the  Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in the Port of Yokohoma.
 
In the United States, where the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 100, health authorities had as recently as this week tested fewer than 500 people in total, hindered by legal and technical barriers to mass screening.
 
Which is where South Korea’s massive testing effort can come in, providing a valuable reference point for public health experts around the world who are starved of hard data – offering potentially the most comprehensive picture yet of the threat posed by Covid-19 to the general public.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.scmp.com

Astronomers have validated their first exoplanet with the Habitable Zone Planet Finder instrument on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, one of the world’s largest telescopes, located at The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory.

 

About twice the size of Earth and possibly 12 times as massive, the planet could be similar to Neptune, but in miniature. Called G 9-40b, it orbits a small star called a red dwarf about 100 light-years from Earth. It completes a full orbit every six Earth days.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: news.utexas.edu

Dr. Hun-Gi Jung and his research team at the Center for Energy Storage Research of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President Lee Byung Gwon) have announced the development of silicon anode materials that can increase battery capacity four-fold in comparison to graphite anode materials and enable rapid charging to more than 80% capacity in only five minutes. When applied to batteries for electric vehicles, the new materials are expected to more than double their driving range.

 

The batteries currently installed in mass-produced electric vehicles use graphite anode materials, but their low capacity contributes to electric vehicles’ having a shorter driving range than vehicles with internal combustion engines. Consequently, silicon, with an energy storage capacity 10-times greater than graphite, has drawn attention as a next-generation anode material for the development of long-range electric vehicles. However, silicon materials have not yet been commercialized because their volume expands rapidly and storage capacity decreases significantly during charge and discharge cycles, which limits commercialization. A number of methods have been suggested for enhancing the stability of silicon as an anode material, but the cost and complexity of these methods have prevented silicon from replacing graphite.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: eurekalert.org

The FT has enlisted the help of readers, researchers and entrepreneurs to find 50 new ideas that will shape the world in the future.

 

 

Read all 50 ideas

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.ft.com

ESA’s Solar Orbiter is now on its way to the sun, beginning a nearly two-year journey.

 

A new sungazing spacecraft has launched on a mission to chart the sun’s unexplored polar regions and to understand how our star creates and controls the vast bubble of plasma that envelops the solar system.

 

At 11:03 pm ET on February 9, 2020, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter rocketed away from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The spacecraft now begins a nearly two-year convoluted journey — getting two gravity assists from Venus and one from Earth — to an orbit that will repeatedly take it a bit closer to the sun than Mercury gets.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencenews.org

Jigsaw, a technology incubator at Google, has released an experimental platform called Assembler to help journalists and front-line fact-checkers quickly verify images.How it works: Assembler combines several existing techniques in academia for detecting common manipulation techniques, including changing image brightness and pasting copied pixels elsewhere to cover up something while retaining the same visual texture.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.technologyreview.com

Original announcement

 

In a population of animals or plants, genetic diversity can decline much more quickly than species diversity in response to various stress factors: disease, changes to habitat or climate, and so on. Yet not much is known about fish genetic diversity around the world.

 

Help on that front is now on the way from an international team of scientists from French universities and ETH Zurich. They have produced the first global distribution map for genetic diversity among freshwater and marine fish. Furthermore, they identified the environmental factors that are instrumental in determining the distribution of genetic diversity. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.eurekalert.org