Author: JohnValbyNation

Beyond Cas9: 4 Ways to Edit DNA

Crispr scientists are, essentially, muggers in lab coats. When they need a new pair of DNA-slicing scissors, called a nuclease, they just steal one from a germ. But repurposing microbial machinery isn’t so simple: Some nucleases are too big; some are too blunt; some don’t work well inside human cells. So, as Crispr wends its…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave

The internet is full of videos of thoughtful people setting things on fire. Here’s a perennial favorite: Cleave a grape in half, leaving a little skin connecting the two hemispheres. Blitz it in the microwave for five seconds. For one glorious moment, the grape halves will produce a fireball unfit for domestic life. Physicist Stephen…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

Eyes and Ears 3D-Printed From Flesh Could Boost Our Senses

Electronics often don’t mesh well with flesh and blood. Cochlear implants can irritate the scalp; pacemaker wires dislodge; VR headsets weigh heavily on the face. That’s why, for the past six years, Michael McAlpine has been Frankensteining alternatives. A mechanical engineer at the University of Minnesota, he creates prototypes of bionic body parts with nice,…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0