Photo by Brandable Box on Unsplash

I love ordering things online, because I love getting packages in the mail (and I bet I’m not the only one!). But what if your order couldn’t be delivered? Maybe it didn’t fit in the box, or it couldn’t get to your house. And even if it did get to you, it might cause you harm.

This is one of the barriers to using CRISPR, a gene editing tool, to treat cancer. There just aren’t good delivery systems.

CRISPR can be used to enhance T cells and improve their cancer fighting abilities, or even to kill cancerous cells.

But in…

Source: Harvard

Gene editing technology has erupted since the advent of CRISPR-cas9. And as with any technology, while there is great potential for good, people are also concerned about the lasting impacts gene editing could have on humanity.

One of the areas of great concern is germline editing. This area has a lot of ethical considerations society must discuss. But first, what is germline editing?

Germline Editing

There are two types of cells- somatic cells and germ cells. Most of the cells in your body are somatic cells- like your skin cells, or blood cells. …

A Bacteriophage | Source: NIH

A virus could save your life.

I know, I probably sound crazy. But a type of virus known as bacteriophages has actually saved people’s lives before, such as Tom Patterson’s life in 2016.

So what would a bacteriophage, or phage, save your life from?

The answer: a superbug.

Rise of the Superbugs

Superbugs is the term used to describe microbes that are resistant to antibiotics. These superbugs are becoming a huge problem; currently, 50,000 people die each year in just Europe and the U.S. from antibiotic resistant infections.

Marcus Aurelius, a large historical figure in stoicism. | Source: Wikipedia

Stoicism often gets the reputation of being a practice where you suppress your emotions. And you might be thinking, yeah, thanks but no thanks, I like having emotions.

But it’s not exactly that. And it’s about so much more than just your emotions.

When practicing stoicism, you don’t suppress your emotions. Instead, you evaluate them with reason. Ask, is this a rational and useful emotion? If not, then you don’t want to let it control your decisions. Don’t be a slave to your emotions.

I learned a lot about stoicism last month, and there were four main points that stuck…

+ Replicating deleting genes on Benchling

CRISPR could provide a cure for cancer | Source: The Scientist

1 in 3 people in the U.S. will develop cancer.

Every minute, someone in the U.S. dies from cancer.

That’s a problem.

Gene editing could help solve it.

Gene Editing and Cancer

Last year, a research paper was published which detailed the results of a phase I clinical trial that had been conducted to test editing cancer patient’s T cells using CRISPR-cas9.

In the trial, three genes were knocked out in the T cells- TRAC, TRBC, and PDCD1. TRAC and TRBC code for the alpha and beta chains, respectively, of the endogenous T cell receptor, and PDCD1 codes…

© Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Imagine a world where cancer isn’t deadly. Where diseases like sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease are all things of the past.

Now imagine a world where an elite group are smarter, stronger, and more physically attractive than the rest. Governments have armies which can feel no pain. Children are designed by their parents.

Both of these futures have become possible with CRISPR (an acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats; more on that in a bit), a revolutionary gene editing technology which has enabled researchers to easily and cheaply edit the DNA of any living organism…

The Problems with Current Meat Production Methods

Source: Sagacious News

Scientists are currently working on creating vegetarian meat.

Wait, what?!

Ok, whether it’s vegetarian is debatable. But scientists are working on developing meat which wouldn’t require the slaughtering of an animal.

Now, you might be wondering: what’s the point? What’s wrong with normal meat that doesn’t come from a lab?

There are actually many problems with the current meat industry that can be solved by lab-grown meat. The two main ones are:

· Ethical Issues

· Environmental Problems

Ethical Issues

Imagine standing in a room, packed with people. At first it might be bearable, but…

Did it go well? Um… Did I learn a lot? You bet.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

This past weekend, I participated in an artificial intelligence (AI) hackathon, which was a part of The Knowledge Society (TKS). TKS is a program for teens, which trains them to impact billions using emerging technology.

Saturday morning, I was excited for the hackathon, submissions being due that evening at 7:00.

By 7:00, I was stressed and frustrated. How did this change occur?

First of all, I want to say that my team members were all amazing. I highly respect all of them, and the circumstances weren’t any one…

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

A WAYMO Self-Driving Car Photo: Wikipedia

In the 60s and 70s, one of the first autonomous vehicles was created, called the Stanford cart. However, for it to make a 1-meter location change, it could take up to a quarter of an hour. Autonomous vehicles have greatly advanced since then, but how close are we now?

Unfortunately, the Victoria Transport Policy Institute estimates that it won’t be until 2045 for half of new cars to be self-driving. The delay is caused in part by the needed time to develop the artificial intelligence to be capable of safely driving. Although most experts consulted…

Samantha Hatcher

Teen lover of biotech, reading, and dogs. Innovator at TKS.

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