CRISPR, Leonardo, Russia, England, Gender


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How To Edit A Human

Tom Whipple | 1843 | 20th July 2018

Informative and well-constructed account of CRISPR gene-editing technology; how it was discovered and developed, primarily by Jennifer Doudna, but also by others who are contesting its legal ownership; and what will follow from CRISPR’s widespread use. “In the next five to ten years, CRISPR plants will almost certainly reach supermarkets. Eventually, a CRISPR baby will be born. The technology is too easy. There is no world government to stop its use; many argue no one should do so anyway” (5,050 words)

Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do List

Jonathan Crow | Open Culture | 27th July 2018

Items from a to-do list found in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and dating from about 1490. “Get the master of arithmetic to show you how to square a triangle. Get the Brera Friar to show you De Ponderibus. Draw Milan. Examine the Crossbow of Mastro Giannetto. Ask Maestro Antonio how mortars are positioned on bastions by day or night. Find a master of hydraulics and get him to tell you how to repair a lock, canal and mill in the Lombard manner” (540 words)

Deadly Spiral

Daria Litvinova | Coda | 30th July 2018

AIDS-related deaths in the European Union have fallen by three quarters over the past decade, to fewer than 1,000 a year. In Russia they have almost doubled, to more than 31,000 in 2016. Out of a million people known to be living with HIV in Russia, only one-third receive medication. The Russian crisis is largely the product of poor healthcare, public stigma, suspicion of modern medicines, limited sex education, hostility to needle exchanges, and a small but vocal culture of AIDS denialists (4,060 words)

The Decline Of Northern England 1780–2018

Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins | Vox EU | 29th July 2018

Interesting if true. “The decline of northern England is entirely a product of the sorting of migrants by ability over the last 200 years. Migrants out of the north have had high abilities, and migrants into the north low abilities. The disadvantages observed among those in the north are compensated by the advantages seen among those with northern surnames in the south. The poor performance of northern England does not represent any missed opportunity” (1,190 words)

Gender Nation Glossary

GLAAD | Refinery 29 | 1st June 2018

Dictionary of current terms capturing gradations and aspects of gender and sexual orientation. “Asexual” describes “people who do not experience sexual attraction”, whereas “lithromantic” describes “someone who can feel romantic attraction toward others and also enjoy being in romantic relationships, but only in theory”. Bigender people “identify with two distinct genders, such as man/woman or woman/androgyne” but unlike “gender fluid” people, they “don’t exist on a spectrum” (5,320 words)

Video of the day Egypt

What to expect:

Travelogue. Impressions from three weeks in Egypt, by Nhi Dang (3’13”)

Thought for the day

One never notices what has been done, only what remains to be done
Marie Curie

Podcast Wonderbrain | American Scholar

Stephanie Bastek talks to neuroscientist Helen Thomson about people with unusual mental conditions
(18m 00s)

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