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Mars in 4K. Crispr use inside body. Scientists say they have used the gene editing tool Crispr-Cas9 inside a person’s body for the first time, a new development in efforts to operate on DNA to treat diseases.

crispr use inside body

A patient recently underwent a procedure at the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland for an inherited form of blindness, the companies that make the treatment announced on Wednesday. They would not give details on the patient or when the surgery occurred. It may take up to a month to see whether the procedure worked to restore vision. If the first few attempts seem safe, doctors plan to test the technique on 18 children and adults. “We literally have the potential to take people who are essentially blind and make them see,” said Charles Albright, the chief scientific officer at Editas Medicine, a Massachusetts-based company developing the treatment with Dublin-based Allergan.

Doctors think they need to fix between one-tenth and one-third of the cells to restore vision. Mutant enzyme recycles plastic. A mutant bacterial enzyme that breaks down plastic bottles for recycling in hours has been created by scientists.

mutant enzyme recycles plastic

The enzyme, originally discovered in a compost heap of leaves, reduced the bottles to chemical building blocks that were then used to make high-quality new bottles. Existing recycling technologies usually produce plastic only good enough for clothing and carpets. The company behind the breakthrough, Carbios, said it was aiming for industrial-scale recycling within five years. It has partnered with major companies including Pepsi and L’Oréal to accelerate development. Quantum supremacy. For Google it was a historic announcement: a declaration that it had won the race to achieve “quantum supremacy” – the moment that a futuristic quantum computer performed a task that stumped even the most powerful standard computer in the world.

quantum supremacy

But for all the fanfare, which saw Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai compare the feat to building the first rocket to reach space, the claim has sparked a bunfight. The tech firm’s rival, IBM, was swift to dismiss the excitement. Google has not, it asserts, achieved the highly prized goal of quantum supremacy. Google published its claim in the journal Nature on Wednesday after an earlier report on the work appeared briefly on a Nasa website last month.

3 days fasting. Des chercheurs d'une équipe de l'Université de Californie du sud (USC) affirment avoir trouvé le moyen de contraindre le corps humain à se régénérer.

3 days fasting

Une découverte annoncée comme «capitale». Jeûner pendant 72 heures peut permettre de reconstruire l’ensemble du système immunitaire même chez les personnes âgées ou gravement malades telle est la conclusion de cette nouvelle étude scientifique. Si jeûner est considéré comme néfaste pour l’organisme par les nutritionnistes, priver le corps de nourriture pendant trois jours contraindrait ensuite la moelle osseuse à produire de grandes quantités de globules blancs qui combattent les infections. Cette découverte peut être particulièrement utile aux malades dont le système immunitaire a été affaibli, par exemple les cancéreux traités par des chimiothérapies. Selon les chercheurs d’USC, jeûner lance un processus de régénération.

Un cas de chimérisme. © Kristin Klein. En temps normal, l'histoire, racontée sur le site Buzzfeed, pourrait n'être que la mise au jour d'un banal cocufiage. Elle commence ainsi : Monsieur et Madame X (ils ont voulu rester anonymes) sont américains et ont un fils, né en juin 2014. Or l'on s'aperçoit que ce dernier est du groupe sanguin AB alors que ses parents sont tous les deux du groupe A. Un test de paternité effectué à partir de cellules de Monsieur X récoltées à l'intérieur de sa joue confirme qu'il n'est pas le père. La conclusion la plus élémentaire conduit à penser qu'à moins qu'il y ait eu un improbable échange d'enfant à la maternité sur le mode La vie est un long fleuve tranquille, Madame X a trompé son mari avec un monsieur qui a fourni le B au bébé. Les résultats sont à tomber par terre. Voici ce qui s'est très probablement passé : dans le ventre de sa mère, Monsieur X avait un faux jumeau – porteur, dans son groupe sanguin, du fameux B dont tout est parti.

Minding your mitochondria. Cosmic dawn. Astronomers have detected a signal from the first stars as they appeared and illuminated the universe, in observations that have been hailed as “revolutionary”.

cosmic dawn

The faint radio signals suggest the universe was lifted out of total darkness 180m years after the big bang in a momentous transition known as the cosmic dawn. The faint imprint left by the glow of the earliest stars also appears to contain new and unexpected evidence about the existence and nature of dark matter which, if confirmed by independent observatories, would mark a second major breakthrough.

“Finding this minuscule signal has opened a new window on the early universe,” said Judd Bowman of Arizona State University, whose team set out to make the detection more than a decade ago. “It’s unlikely we’ll be able to see any earlier into the history of stars in our lifetime.” In practice, detecting this signal has proved hugely challenging, however, and has eluded astronomers for more than a decade.

Earth from NASA. Scale of the universe. Andromeda.