Michael Downey

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The Crispr Quandary

One day in March 2011, Emmanuelle Charpentier, a geneticist who was studying flesh-eating bacteria, approached Jennifer Doudna, an award-winning scientist, at a microbiology conference in Puerto Rico. Charpentier, a more junior researcher, hoped to persuade Doudna, the head of a formidably large …

Genetics

Scientists Can Now Sequence DNA In Zero Gravity

A useful skill for long space flights<p>DNA analysis is essential for evaluating human health and discovering the makeup of new substances. If humans were to spend long stretch of time in space, they would need to be able to sequence DNA. But scientists had never attempted the process in zero …

Handheld DNA reader revolutionary and democratising, say scientists

An inexpensive handheld device that can read strands of DNA has been hailed as revolutionary by scientists who tested the product.<p>The palm-sized sequencer gives researchers the power to analyse DNA almost anywhere, and could help track disease outbreaks, run checks on food, and combat the …

Genetics

Artificial Skin Could Help Amputees Feel What They're Touching

Researchers have developed a thin artificial skin that they hope could be used to help amputees feel what they’re touching with prosthetic hands or limbs.<p>It’s an unusual combination of a stretchy, rubber-based plastic and carbon nanotubes, with electrodes applied using an inkjet printer. It …

Prosthetic Limbs Could Have Artificial Skin That Really Feels

It can transmit different amounts of pressure, just like real skin<p>Many of us take our sense of touch for granted, perhaps because we can never turn it off, but it’s surprisingly complex. An intricate network of nerves brings different types of information about an object, like its temperature or …

Stanford University

Viruses Can Be Genetically Modified To Transmit Energy

Viral solar panels could be most efficient ever<p>Plants absorb sunlight and convert it to energy with nearly perfect efficiency—none of the energy goes to waste. Electrical engineers are always striving for that kind of efficiency, but nowhere is it more pronounced than in solar panels. Even the best …

Ramanujan's notebooks spark 'taxi-cab' discovery - Futurity

In 1918, dying math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan noted that the number on a taxi, 1729, was interesting. Now, more discoveries have surfaced from his …

States That Declined To Expand Medicaid Face Higher Costs

The 22 states that didn't expand Medicaid eligibility as part of Obamacare last year saw their costs to provide health care to the poor rise twice as fast as states that extended benefits to more low-income residents.<p>It's a counterintuitive twist for those states whose governors, most Republicans …

The 12 Best Superfoods You’ve Never Heard Of

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