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Home / Science / Top stories: a shocking CRISPR claim, a landing on Mars, and a geneticist's approach to gene-editing controversy science

Top stories: a shocking CRISPR claim, a landing on Mars, and a geneticist's approach to gene-editing controversy science



(from left to right): Mark Schiefelbein / AP PHOTO; JPL-CALTECH / NASA; © KEN RICHARDSON

8, 15:20

CRISPR bomb: Chinese researcher claims that he created genetically modified Gemini

. This week, on the eve of the International Human Genome Summit in Hong Kong, China, He Jiankui A Chinese researcher shocked many with the claim that his team had used CRISPR-Cas9 to reconstruct the DNA of a recently born twin girl Crippling key receptor on white blood cells and making it HIV-resistant. The claim, which was published in a scientific article, encountered a firestorm of criticism. Some scientists and bioethicists described the work as "premature," "ethically problematic," and even "tremendous." The Mars mission was fortunate: NASA lander landed in a sand-filled crater and made it easier to study the interior of the planet

NASA's InSight probe survived its shattering descent through the thin atmosphere of Mars and successfully landed on the surface this week of the planet. Although InSight did not meet the target country bull's target, the ground crater into which the vehicle was placed provides a good environment for the lander to use instruments to study the interior of the planet.

"I feel obliged to be balanced." Well-known biologist defends gene editorial scientist

This week, only one of the most prominent scientists voiced against He Jiankui, the Chinese researcher who claimed to have created the first genitalized children: the geneticist George Church, whose Harvard University Laboratory was a pioneer in the development of CRISPR, the genome editor that developed embryonic cells in the controversial experiment. Although Church has reservations about his actions, he also says that the rage around the experiment was extreme.

Watch as humpback whales bring thousands of fish to dinner.

The humpback whale has one of the largest mouths in the world – and an appetite to match. The bus-sized mammals can eat up to 2,500 kilograms of fish a day, and a new study shows how they can catch those huge numbers: by opening their mouths half out of the water, they form small ponds that many fish misunderstand for sanctuaries. After gathering enough in the whales' mouths, they clamp their jaws together for a light snack.

Spider mothers spotted milk breastfeeding their offspring

Do you have milk? The researchers observed jumping spider mothers, who deposited milk droplets around the nest for their offspring to sip. After a few days, the baby spiders got up at the entrance of their mother's birth canal to suckle, and they added milk to their sexual maturity. This level of long-term parental care is virtually non-existent in insects or species outside large social mammals such as humans and elephants.


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