Science

CRISPR Babies

Chinese scientist He Jiankui claims to have made the first gene-edited babies using CRISPR. In a clinical trial, create embryos through in vitro fertilisation from couples where the father was HIV-positive. The team then edited the embryos using CRISPR to deactivate the CCR5 gene, which the HIV virus uses to gain entry into human cells. News of the trial has been condemned by scientists as irresponsible.

First Ionic Flight

Inspired by the shuttlecraft of Star Trek, researchers at MIT have successful performed the first ionic flight of a solid state fixed wing aircraft using electroaerodynamic thrust! layers of wires underneath the wings create a 20,000 Volt differential between the front and the rear wires, with cause charged electrons to travel through the air from the positive wires to the negative wires. The charged particles push air particles over the wing as they travel, creating a small amount of lift.

Dandelion Flight

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have discovered a method of flight used by dandelion seeds that has never before been observed in nature. The seed's bristles form ring shaped air bubbles above the seed as air passes through and these bubbles, called "the separated vortex ring" create resistance and act as a parachute, allowing the dandelion seed to travel on the air up to a kilometer in distance.

IPCC Climate Change Report

We have 12 years to stop catastrophic climate change. The IPCC released their Global Warming of 1.5°C report which may well turn out to be one of the most important documents of modern times. The report describes the predicted effects of a 1.5°C increase in global temperature above the pre-industrial average versus a 2°C increase, written by 91 co-authors across 40 countries and backed by 6000 scientific references.

Apollo 11 MOCR

The Internet Archive have released a collection of communications recordings from the Apollo 11 mission. The recordings contain hours of everyday mundane (if you can call space travel mundane :-p) communications between the astronuats and ground control.

Musical Chemical Detector

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have discovered the chemical detection abilities of an African musical instrument called a mbira. The instrument uses metal times connected to a wooden sounding board which produce a musical tone when plucked. The research has discovered that using a hallow U-shaped tine filled with different liquids produce notes of different frequencies. These differences can be used to detect different liquid samples such as sodium chloride or non-toxic glycerol.

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