A letter published in a scientific journal last year challenged the safety of promising gene-editing tool CRISPR, unnerving researchers and investors alike. Now, a smattering of recent studies have redeemed the technology by showing how CRISPR can more precisely target disease. The stocks of biotech firms invested in CRISPR tumbled last May after scientists published results showing that when they used CRISPR to cure blindness in mice, it resulted in not just a few but more than a thousand unintended effects. This suggested that if CRISPR were to be used to cure disease in humans, it could potentially result in disastrous side effects. It was a bucket of cold water on an industry intent on using CRISPR to curing countless diseases such as sickle cell anemia and muscular dystrophy. Needless to say, the research did not go over well. Then last month, another set of researchers replicated the study, finding the initial alarm was over-exaggerated—the result of sloppy science. Now, … [Read more...] about After a Few Hiccups, All Bets Are on CRISPR Again
Lighting design lab
On the night of July 4th, 2016, scientists successfully maneuvered a basketball court-sized probe into the orbit of the largest planet in the solar system. Some at the Florida launch cheered, some breathed a sigh of relief. But for NASA’s Heidi Becker, this could have been the mission’s end. “Yes, we were in orbit,” she told me. “But were we alive?” Did her team’s experiments survive the five-year, 1.74-billion-mile journey? Would they be able to take data? Would they be able to navigate the ship around the planet? Jupiter is more than huge. It’s a ball of gas, flinging more particles around its magnetosphere with higher energies than any physics experiment can recreate here on Earth. It is utterly inhospitable to our technology. Humans who hoped to get a closer look at this gas giant somehow had to build a spacecraft to withstand the harshest radiation environment around any planet in our solar system. Becker prepared the ship, … [Read more...] about Meet the Woman Who Guides NASA’s Juno Probe Through Jupiter’s Killer Radiation
Heroic Medics Keep Toll From Rising Even Higher; School Closings Drove Many Blacks to Leave City’ 700 Honor Editor, Historian Lerone Bennett Jr.” Bethel McKenzie Named SPJ Executive Director In Debate Over Arming Teachers, What About Race? Idea of Cultural Affinity Escapes Assigning Editors Stephanie Mehta Named Editor of Fast Company Grayson Mitchell, Reporter, Political Adviser, Dies Diversity Means Native People Telling Own Stories L.A. City Hall Exhibit Honors Black Journalists 95 Years Ago, SCOTUS Ruled Indians Aren’t White Short Takes Heroic Medics Keep Toll From Rising Even Higher; School Closings Drove Many Blacks to Leave City “During the Great Migration, Chicago was one of the most desirable destinations for African Americans seeking opportunities,” the Weekly Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, summarized Monday. “But since 2000, the city’s black population has declined by more than 250,000. … [Read more...] about Reporters Uncover ‘Real Story’ Behind Chicago’s Gun-Death Stats, Black Flight From the City
Vibranium’s the lifeblood of the Black Panther universe—the metal that helped propel Wakanda into a hyper-advanced technological society and granted Black Panther his superheroic abilities via a Vibranium-mutated heart-shaped herb. The Wakandan strain, sheared off a meteorite hundreds of years ago, has a number of useful properties—primarily, its ability to store more energy than any known terrestrial substance. As armor, it renders its wearer unstoppable; as sneaker material, it can neutralize leaps from tall buildings. Could such a substance ever actually fall from the sky? Are there planets out there that could, plausibly, harbor vast quarries of Vibranium-like materials? And if not, how far along are we in inventing those materials, or similar ones? For this week’s Giz Asks we reached out to a number of materials scientists for some answers—and while most denied the possibility of a Vibranium analogue existing on another planet (let alone our own), all … [Read more...] about Can Black Panther’s Vibranium Ever Be Real?
Like many other Americans with functioning metabolisms and internet connections, I found myself completely sucked in by the ‘80s sci-fi throwback Netflix series Stranger Things, binge-viewing the whole damn thing while getting up only to void regular urine, fear-urine, and excitement-urine. Plus, my trained auto-journalist eye cunningly noticed something: there are many wonderful cars in the series, and most of them are wildly appropriate for the characters who drive them. Warning: this post contains some spoilers. The series is set in 1983, a glorious time in American history when Joe Piscopo didn’t quite as much resemble the Hulk’s slightly uglier brother and when phones were ridiculous, camera-less things anchored to walls with thin, curly wires. Being set in 1983 means that the cars used in the series needed to be carefully selected; one Prius scooting by in the background and everything would be ruined for everyone, forever. In general, I think the car-casters … [Read more...] about The Cars Of Stranger Things Are As Perfect As The Show, Except For One Mistake
Thermostats are just one of the many household items to get a smart upgrade in the recent push toward home automation and interconnectivity. Is it worth getting a smart thermostat though? Read on as we review the Nest Learning Thermostat and tell you what we think after three months of living with it. What Is the Nest Learning Thermostat? The Nest Learning Thermostat is the creation of Nest Labs, a home automation company located in Palo Alto co-founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers (it isn’t coincidental that the Nest has a sophisticated system hidden beneath a very simple interface is such and iPod’esque way). The company was later acquired by Google and is now a Google property. It’s shaped like a modernized version of a traditional round-dial thermostat and eschews the box shape of late 20th century programmable thermostats designs (and the later smart thermostat designs that kept the large rectangular shape). Among all the features … [Read more...] about Should You Buy Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat?
Running new wires and physically extending your home network in existing construction is a hassle at best and a nightmare at worst. You don’t need to fish cable and tear up dryway to run new cable; you can use your home’s electrical wiring as a high speed home network. Read on as we show you how. What Is Powerline Networking? Most of us think of the electrical wiring in our homes as a one-trick pony (albeit with a very valuable trick): the wires deliver the power that makes modern life possible and very comfortable. There’s another trick those very wires are capable of, though, and when you’re dreading the thought of running network cable through your walls, punching holes in the drywall for new drops, and otherwise spending a weekend (or longer) on a network renovation it can be a real life saver. In addition to simple power transmission the electrical wiring in your home can be used to transmit data when coupled with the right hardware. How is this possible? … [Read more...] about How to Easily Extend Your Home Network with Powerline Networking
For nearly 20 years, I’ve been sitting in the same piece of shit: a gray swivel chair that I got at Target as a teenager. It creaks if you look at it; it’s covered in enormous amounts of my hair. It does not do my body any favors. Very possibly it has been exacerbating my depression. This is stupid—my job is almost entirely working on the computer, and I play a lot of video games, so sitting in this chair is the main activity I do, every single day of my life, for far longer than I care to admit. All this is vastly preferable to the shame of owning a gaming chair, which I do now. Bloggers are offered free shit all the time. I’ll try just about any product that purports to bolster my gaming skills, like esports training apps or sketchy gamer drugs. The apps and drugs were useless. And I figured the same would go for DXRacer’s Valkyrie gaming chair: another product that made big promises wrapped up in tons of gamer branding that wouldn’t deliver on its … [Read more...] about My Hideous, Comfortable Gamer Chair Fills Me With Existential Dread
When tickets for Black Panther first went on sale late last month, we here at The Root just knew it was our duty, as the unofficial news source of Wakanda, to be there on the first night. Luckily, our Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton was able to score tickets so that we could be there to give you our impressions of the film (Though we’re not too spoilery, if you’re afraid to know too much, it might be better to see the movie first). Danielle Belton, Editor-in-Chief For most of Black Panther, I couldn’t believe what I was watching. An African nation that was never colonized? Two black women talking to each other about their mission and not, I dunno, either not talking at all or talking about a man? Moments that went on forever where no white characters spoke or were summarily chastised for speaking? Black women who were fully realized characters with agency and their own beliefs? Black men who were completely confident and actualized in their ideals, even if the … [Read more...] about We Went to Opening Night of Black Panther and Now We Want to Live in Wakanda Forever
The human body is made up of trillions and trillions cells. And of those trillions of cells, there are hundreds of different types, each with its own specific function, from forming your tissue and organs to reproduction and fighting off infections. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients, and create energy. Basically, it’s all about the cell. But what is actually going on inside all of those cells when they’re doing their cellular thing? The answer to that question could help us better understand aging and disease. To get a peek inside the cell, scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have developed a sort of “black box” for both human and bacterial cells. Much like how an aircraft’s flight recorder, or black box (which is usually actually orange), stores data from a flight, this cellular black box can store information about events in a cell’s life. Their work appears in a new study out Thursday in the journal Science. … [Read more...] about Scientists Made a ‘Black Box’ for Recording Data From Human Cells