Scientists have had an enormous breakthrough in biology. They have found a gene that acts like a surgical knife on other genes. CRISPR has unlocked the ability to target and edit the genome of living cells. To it's advantage it is also the cheapest and is nearing human trials. Cancers, genetic defects and diseases could be a thing of the past. Science magazine gave it the "Breakthrough of the Year," over the Pluto flyby and even the discovery of a new human ancestor, Homo Naledi.
Would "designer babies" be a good thing? Could genetic mutations get out of hand? This method could be used to prevent mosquitoes from spreading malaria, but how would that effect the ecosystems containing them?
I believe our future is truly bright, and it will be bright for everyone, not just a few.
On the not-so-bright-side in science news, a bug in the software used to create the images of your brain during an fMRI scan, has put at risk the past 15 years worth of brain research, covering up to 40,000 research studies. A study published in the journal of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) found that the software used to generate the fMRI images from 499 healthy patients, up to 70% of the time, were lighting up areas of the brain that should not have been lit up in the images. This could be a huge setback in brain research.
As the technology improves the simulations could allow us to one day simulate the entire bodies chemistry,
allowing pharmaceuticals to be tested in virtual reality before being approved. Quantum computing technology is becoming more and more viable all the time.
- If you want to catch up on some other life changing tech coming our way within the next few years, like Nutrigenomics, Neuromorphic Engineering, or even Sythentic Biology? Five Emerging Technologies.
- "Neutrinos could be the reason why antimatter hasn't blown up the Universe."
- Jupiter's moon Ganymede found to have more water than the Pacific.