A New Startup Wants to Use Crispr to Diagnose Disease

In 2011, biologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier published a landmark paper introducing the world to Crispr. The arcane family of bacterial proteins had a talent for precisely snipping DNA, and one of them—Cas9—has since inspired a billion-dollar boom in biotech investment. Clinical trials using Cas9 clippers to fix genetic defects are just beginning, so…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming

This story originally appeared on CityLab and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Gotham Greens’ boxed lettuces have been popping up on the shelves of high-end grocers in New York and the Upper Midwest since 2009, and with names like “Windy City Crunch,” “Queens Crisp,” and “Blooming Brooklyn Iceberg,” it’s clear the company is selling a story as…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

The Physics of Leia Using the Force

Now that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out on DVD (and digitally), I think it's safe to discuss one very interesting scene in the spirit of May the Fourth. However, there is a chance you haven't seen it—so this is your spoiler alert. In this scene, Leia's ship is attacked by the First Order.…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

The Race to Save Arctic Cities As Permafrost Melts

This story originally appeared on CityLab and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. In Russia, buildings are sagging and crumbling. In Greenland, a wildfire broke out last year. And in Alaska, entire villages may be relocated because the land upon which they’re built is no long trustworthy. All across the North, the very ground is changing, and the…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

This story originally appeared on CityLab and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Northern England is set to get a whole lot greener. On Sunday, the UK government unveiled plans for a vast new forest spanning the country from coast to coast. Shadowing the path of the east-west M62 Highway, the new forest will create a broad green…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0

Watch SpaceX Launch NASA's Next Earth-Observing Satellites

SpaceX is flexing its ridesharing muscles today as its flagship rocket—the Falcon 9—prepares to loft two sets of spacecraft: a pair of Earth-observing satellites for NASA and a set of five Iridium Next communications satellites. NASA’s identical twin spacecrafts, together dubbed the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On, will orbit the Earth in tandem, mapping…

By JohnValbyNation March 20, 2019 0