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Ryan Cross, Chemistry World Emboldened by recent success stories of human gene therapy trials in children and infants, researchers are now pushing to treat diseases before birth. Some scientists are excited by the idea of using fetal gene therapy to fix genetic conditions that can't be treated after birth, but others raise questions about the technique's feasibility and practicality in humans.
One of the major fundamental questions in physics concerns the presence or absence of free will in the universe, or in any physical system, or subset, within it.Physics is based on the idea that nature is mechanistic, which means that it works like a machine. A machine is just a system, and therefore, by definition, it is a collection of elements, each of them with a specific, possibly different function, all working together to achieve a specific purpose, general to the whole machine.
Ricki Lewis, Genetic Literacy Project On June 26th, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of crisis pregnancy centers that were challenging a California law, the Reproductive Fact Act, requiring clinic personnel to inform women of all family planning options including abortion. The 5-to-4 vote put First Amendment rights of workers whose religion is against abortion above the rights of pregnant women to be told that California provides free or inexpensive family planning information, including abortion.
Ethan Siegel, Forbes The Universe is all there ever was, all there is, and all there will ever be. At least, that's what we're told, and that's what's implied by the word "Universe" itself. But whatever the true nature of the Universe actually is, our ability to gather information about it is fundamentally limited.It's only been 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, and the top speed at which any information can travel the speed of light is finite.
Karen K. Ho, Columbia Journalism Review New Yorker contributing writer Maria Konnikova has made the jump from amateur to full-time poker professional, complete with a sponsorship from the online poker site PokerStars. As PokerNews reported in May, she extended her year-long book leave from the magazine after winning more than $140,000 cash in two major tournaments this year, as well as a $30,000 credit for a future tournament.
Carolyn Gramling, SN About 540 million years ago, the oceans were an alien landscape, devoid of swimming, or nektonic, creatures. Some scientists have hypothesized, based on fossil evidence, that swimmers suddenly dominated in the oceans during the Devonian Period, between 419 million and 359 million years ago. But an in-depth study of marine fossils now suggests that this so-called Devonian Nekton Revolution never actually took place.
Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Today marks the 100th anniversary of the execution of Nicholas II and his family, an event that toppled Russia's Romanov dynasty. Yesterday, as the country was preparing to commemorate their deaths, Russian investigators announced that new DNA testing had confirmed that remains attributed to last tsar and his family are in fact authentica finding that may pave the way for the deceased royals to be buried with full rites by the Orthodox Church, according to Agence France-Presse.
Hannah Thomasy, Massive For decades, scientists have suspected that there is a connection between poor sleep and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease. People with Alzheimer's often have low quality sleep, and the same thing has been found in animals with the disease. Similarly, older adults who slept for less time, or had poor quality sleep, had higher levels of beta amyloid, a plaque-forming protein linked to Alzheimer's disease, in the brain.
Virginia Morell, Science Mag As far as we know, only four species experience menopause: humans, killer whales, short-fin pilot whales, and false killer whales. So how did this rare biological process, which leaves females unable to bear children, evolve? A new study of one species without menopausethe bottlenose dolphinmay hold some of the answers.
Jude Gonzalez, Horizon Traces of long-forgotten human settlements claimed by the sea thousands of years ago are being uncovered by researchers along the coastlines of Europe.The discoveries, both on land and underwater, are helping to fill in some of the blanks about Europe's prehistory and are offering insights into how our species responded to global climate change in the past.Around 8,500 years ago, after the end of the last ice age, global warming triggered huge rises in sea levels due to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets that had covered much of the northern hemisphere.