A virus that inserts itself into the genome of a type of banana plagues plantations in Africa, but CRISPR gene editing can be used to eliminate the viral DNA. Genome editing has been used to destroy a virus that lurks inside many of the bananas grown in Africa. Other teams are trying to use it to make the Cavendish bananas sold in supermarkets worldwide resistant to a disease that threatens to make it impossible to grow this variety commercially in future.


An Australian team has already genetically engineered the Cavendish to make it resistant by adding a gene from a wild banana. But because of the opposition to GM food worldwide, this variety may never be grown commercially. Using CRISPR is seen as preferable because some countries including the US do not regard genome edited plants as transgenic, depending on what has been done. Because the Cavendish is a sterile mutant that can only be propagated by cloning, there is no way to breed resistant varieties. Instead, several teams worldwide are trying to use CRISPR to make it resistant to Tropical Race 4.


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

SailDrone makes wind powered + solar powered ocean drones to understand planetary systems affecting humanity. The company designs, manufactures, and operates their global fleet sail-drones — monitoring the state of the planet in real time. Their data sets can be used by commercial enterprise, research institutions, or private groups on specific missions.


SailDrone is making world history by offering high resolution, ocean data collection at-scale. Their sail-drone is 20 feet long, 18 feet high above the water, weighs 600 pounds. It can operate indefinitely: the wind is propulsion that pushes it along, a solar power panel charges the batteries that run the on-board computers + communications equipment.



Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.kurzweilai.net

Aiming a laser beam at an aircraft isn’t a harmless prank: The sudden flash of bright light can incapacitate the pilot, risking the lives of passengers and crew. But because attacks can happen with different colored lasers, such as red, green or even blue, scientists have had a difficult time developing a single method to impede all wavelengths of laser light. Today, researchers report liquid crystals that could someday be incorporated into aircraft windshields to block any color of bright, focused light.



Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight radio observatories spanning the globe, has set its sights on a pair of behemoths: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center, and an even more massive black hole 53.5 million light-years away in galaxy M87. In April 2017, the observatories teamed up to observe the black holes’ event horizons, the boundary beyond which gravity is so extreme that even light can’t escape. After almost two years of rendering the data, scientists are gearing up to release the first images in April, 2019. 


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

Nearly one in two children with cancer are never diagnosed and may die untreated, according to a new model proposed in a study published in The Lancet Oncology by Zachary Ward and colleagues from Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In fact, the model estimates that there were 397.000 childhood cancer cases globally in 2015, while only 224,000 had been previously recorded as diagnosed that year, leading ultimately the researchers to say that over 43% of childhood cancer cases were undiagnosed. But there was substantial regional variation: it ranges from 3% in both Western Europe (120 undiagnosed cases out of 4,300 total new cases) and North America (300 of 10,900 cases), to 57% (43,000 of 76,000 new cases) in Western Africa. With such path, at current levels of health system performances, If no improvements are made, the study authors estimated that nearly three million out of 6.7 million total cases will be missed between 2015 and 2030.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: cancerworld.net

Projection mapping is one of the most recent visual technologies that so far has been out of reach for consumers. The company Lightform is hoping to change that with its projector-mounted scanner and software. We get our hands on the Lightform device to see how it maps objects and environments in front of it–like a replica movie prop–and go through the software to learn how to create striking augmented visuals on top of the real world.


How it works

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