Sign of the times. Unfortunately for the people hoarding toilet paper during the coronavirus outbreak, toilet paper does absolutely nothing to protect you from coronavirus.
Photo captured by @kyleivanblake via IMGUR.
CRISPR-Cas9 is the cutting-edge genomic technology that essentially lets you target exact sequences in DNA and then cut into them like a knife and insert or remove a gene. You may remember it from that Chinese scientist who successfully (but controversially) implanted gene-edited embryos into a woman who then gave birth to live lab babies. More often, it’s used to create things like malaria-resistant mosquitoes or mushrooms that don’t brown as fast.
But it does have a lot of practical medical potential, too. It’s already been used to remove HIV from a patient’s genome. And now, after CRISPRing out a blindness-causing gene from mice, scientists have now successfully scaled-up this procedure to work in a live human body. From NPR:
In this new experiment, doctors at the Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Ore., injected (into the eye of a patient who is nearly blind from a condition called Leber congenital amaurosis) microscopic droplets carrying a harmless virus that had been engineered to deliver the instructions to manufacture the CRISPR gene-editing machinery.
The goal is that once the virus carrying the CRISPR instructions has been infused into the eye, the gene-editing tool will slice out the genetic defect that caused the blindness. That would, the researchers hope, restore production of a crucial protein and prevent the death of cells in the retina, as well as revive other cells — enabling patients to regain at least some vision.
The procedure, which takes about an hour to perform, involves making tiny incisions that enable access to the back of the eye. That allows a surgeon to inject three droplets of fluid containing billions of copies of the virus that has been engineered to carry the CRISPR gene-editing instructions under the retina.
Essentially, this means they’re using the CRISP technology to remove the one mutated gene in the person’s DNA that is responsible for the defect that causes this specific kind of blindness. While it’s too early to know if it actually worked — the human body will still need some time to re-map itself and adjust to its new genes — but the potential to make these kinds of changes in live human bodies is huge.
Image: Public Domain
“The 15 m high visitor’s tower provides you with a 360-degree view from the tower of Dresden’s Town Hall and reveals the extent of the destruction in the panorama by Yadegar Asisi, almost 3,000 m² in size.”
Image: YouTube screengrab
Source: Comic for 2020.03.06
“There are bugs and they will bite on your face.” — a bad review about Sequoia National Park
This is hilarious. Designer Amber Share discovered that there were one-star reviews for all 62 of our National Parks and decided to illustrate and hand letter travel posters for them “as a way to put a positive, fun spin on such a negative mindset.” She calls her Subpar Parks series a “snarky love letter to the National Parks System” and it’s absolutely delightful.
If you would just pave all of the hiking trails, we wouldn’t have this problem, @cuyahogavalleynps. . . . . #cuyahogavalleynationalpark #naturalohio #goparks #weareparks #nationalparkgeek @nationalparkservice #nationalparksusa #illustrationnow #passiontopaid #passiontopaid2019 #usnationalparks
A post shared by Subpar Parks (@subparparks) on Feb 26, 2020 at 7:31am PST
Call me McKayla Maroney because I am unimpressed, @grandcanyonnps. #handlettering #handlettering #illustration #handdrawntype #passiontopaid #passiontopaid2019 #nationalparks #grandcanyon @nationalparkservice
A post shared by Subpar Parks (@subparparks) on Dec 18, 2019 at 6:44am PST
images via Amber Share, used with permission
When a plane is in trouble, the pilots dump all its its fuel before making an emergency landing. This is controversial; though fuel usually dissipates before reaching ground, it’s a dangerous pollutant all the same and sometimes it gets dumped close enough to humans that it puts them at risk.
This 1984 film, of a test of jet fuel formulated to resist igniting, shows why pilots dump it. NASA and the FAA loaded a retired training jet with test dummies, then remote-piloted it to a crash landing in the Mojave desert. It comes down rough but stays in one piece as it plows through earthworks and obstacles. If it were out of gas, chances of everyone surviving would be good. But with a full tank?
Spoiler: the fuel ignites. As one commenter puts it, “proponents of antimisting kerosene did not have a great day.”
The test went generally according to plan, and produced a spectacular fireball that required more than an hour to extinguish. The FAA concluded that about one-quarter of the passengers would have survived, that the antimisting kerosene test fuel did not sufficiently reduce the risk of fire, and that several changes to equipment in the passenger compartment of aircraft were needed.
Source: Coronavirus Name
Source: Stargazing 3