Walter Isaacson is writing a book about CRISPR. He’s got company

first_img CRISPR advances are coming fast. Here’s your guide [email protected] “My belief now is that the technology that will affect the first half of the 21st century most is biotech,” Isaacson said. “And so by telling the narrative story of the advances in biotechnology that began, at least the way I picked it, from the discovery of the structure of DNA to the present, it’s not just a book about policy and morals, but about the absolute breathtaking beauty of science.”Fans of Isaacson’s work should know it’s a little premature to think about preorders. His process usually boils down to two years of research and two years of writing, he said, and he started digging into CRISPR just six months ago.Closer on the horizon is the working-titled “Editing Mankind,” from three-time author Kevin Davies. Supported by a 2017 award from the Guggenheim Foundation, Davies set out to document CRISPR’s evolution from a bacterial curiosity to a ubiquitous scientific tool, explaining the many characters and biological nuances at play. The idea is to be “widely accessible but at the same time still convey the scientific details and drama that will interest people in the field,” he said.Davies’s book, sold to Pegasus, has a publication date set for April, which means he has a lot of writing to do this summer.“The deadline is looming fast, so I may have to pull a George R.R. Martin and ask for some extra time,” said Davies, executive editor of the recently debuted CRISPR Journal. “Though I don’t have his leverage, unfortunately, so we’ll how that turns out.” About the Author Reprints Related: The six letters that forever changed science will soon be the subject of thousands of words as a burst of new books on CRISPR genome editing make their way toward a retailer near you.One, from famed biographer Walter Isaacson, promises a sweeping narrative that goes from that double helix discovery to those CRISPR’d kids in China. Another will pick apart the potential of eradicating infectious diseases, while a third aims to make the underlying science understandable, and yet another asks whether any of this playing God business is ethically sound.It’s a crowded field, but one free of competitive acrimony. While the laboratories behind the genome-editing technology have fought it out in court, the corresponding book writers have mostly exchanged supportive emails and phone calls. And each believes the vast implications of CRISPR make room for a multitude of books.advertisement National Biotech Reporter Damian covers biotech, is a co-writer of The Readout newsletter, and a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. Leave this field empty if you’re human: Michael Specter is in a similar spot on the subject of deadlines. Over the past few years, the longtime New Yorker staff writer has gone from labs in eastern Massachusetts to villages in West Africa, gathering string on the undeniable benefits and risks of genetic engineering. His as-yet-untitled book will delve into how society should grapple with CRISPR’s unprecedented power. To him, the allure of, say, eradicating malaria with edited mosquitos or curing a rare disease with CRISPR is too strong for scientists ignore, but so too are the potential risks.“Down the road, the more mastery we have over life — the way we’ll be able to play with and eventually make the components of living beings — is going to be a fundamental issue in our world,” said Specter, who is an adjunct professor of bioengineering at Stanford University. “It can be great. It can be helpful. But it can be scary as hell. It can do terrible things. We need to have that conversation. And what I want with this book is to be part of that conversation.”First, he needs to deliver a manuscript to his editor at Crown Publishing Group by the end of the summer, “or else my child will suddenly inherit my house,” he said, presumably joking.Specter and his fellow CRISPR authors said they’ve had no trouble getting a line on the field’s pioneering scientists, including the Broad Institute’s Feng Zhang and the University of California’s Jennifer Doudna, who have been open and available despite the nagging fact that their respective institutions are engaged in a patent fight.For Baylis, the bioethicist, the challenge hasn’t been reaching sources but rather deciding when to stop writing. Her book, “Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing,” was all but finished when, in November, He Jiankui told the world that he had not only modified a pair of human embryos but implanted them into a woman who carried the twins to term. That forced Baylis into a monthslong “massive rewrite,” she said, and finishing the project meant ignoring incremental news that broke in the meantime.Unlike the other books in progress, Baylis’ effort is less to explain how we got here than to probe where we go next. Related: Isaacson’s approach is more like a survey of culinary history. The author, best known for his biographies of Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, among others, said his fascination with CRISPR is a natural outgrowth of those earlier works. The first half of the 20th century was shaped by physics, Isaacson said, inspiring his book about Einstein. The second half was written by information technology and the ever-shrinking microchip, which is what led him to his 2011 biography, “Steve Jobs.”advertisement Please enter a valid email address. Privacy Policycenter_img Walter Isaacson, the famed biographer, is among a number of authors working on books about gene editing and CRISPR. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images By Damian Garde July 2, 2019 Reprints Patent office reopens major CRISPR battle between Broad Institute and Univ. of California In the LabWalter Isaacson is writing a book about CRISPR. He’s got company “It’s like we’re all writing cookbooks, but we have different goals and agendas,” said Françoise Baylis, a Dalhousie University bioethics professor whose book will come out in September. “Some are concerned with different fruits and vegetables; some are looking at different ethnic cuisines; and some are offering advice on how to eat on $5 a day.” @damiangarde NewslettersSign up for The Readout Your daily guide to what’s happening in biotech. Back in 2015, she was part of the international committee that gathered to set some rules on the ethical limits of genome editing. The result was a deceptively simple framework: Tinkering with human embryos can only be OK if the benefits outweigh the risks, and if there’s a broad societal consensus that doing so is worthwhile. The issue, according to Baylis, is that no one really knows what those things mean, and her book is meant to shed light on the great swaths of gray that get ignored in black-and-white ethical debates.“What I really wanted to do was write a publicly accessible book that would encourage people to think more broadly about the issues that I think are in play,” she said. “I’m trying to make space for a conversation that doesn’t not reduce everything to the science and that does not reduce everything to this narrow harm-benefit ratio. I’m trying to expand the conversation.”Her book, out on Harvard University Press in September, will begin what looks to be a metronomic publishing schedule for genome-editing nonfiction in the coming years. But Baylis, like Isaacson, isn’t worried about a flooded market or CRISPR-fatigued readers.“There’s about 50 books on Donald Trump that will come out, and gene editing is 100 times more interesting than Donald Trump,” Isaacson said. “So, you do the math.” Damian Garde Tags biotechnologyCRISPRlast_img read more

Massive Cane Replanting Programme Underway

first_imgThe Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has embarked on a massive cane planting and replanting exercise to expand local sugar cane production to some 1.4 million tonnes by 2018.This is being undertaken through the Cane Expansion Fund, which forms part of Government’s efforts to revitalise the sugar cane industry.Speaking to journalists recently at a press conference at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens offices in St. Andrew, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, said the objective is to significantly increase sugar cane yield from the current 574,000 tonnes over the next five years.“We are aiming to increase cane yields to above 70 tonnes of cane per hectare from the current average of 50 tonnes (cane farmers) and bring an estimated 8,000 hectares of new land into production,” he informs.Jamaica’s sugar cane sector remains a major contributor to the local economy and the social well-being of citizens. In terms of foreign currency earnings, the sugar sector earns an estimated US$90 million on average, each year. As such, sugar is the largest foreign exchange earner in the agricultural sector. It is also the largest employer in the sector accounting for about 18 per cent of jobs.“We cannot forget the sterling contribution of sugar to the education, health and sporting capacity of this country,” Mr. Clarke says.In spite of the positive contribution of the sugar sector in many areas, there are significant challenges, which must be dealt with, he says.“In short, our industry output is low, our productivity is low and our costs are high. These are some of the key challenges we are now tackling head-on,” the Minister informs.He notes, for instance that in 1965, the industry produced over 600,000 tonnes of sugar compared to 128,000 tonnes during the 2012/13 period. National average cane yield, last crop, was 48.2 tonnes per hectare. “Our technical experts at the Sugar Industry Research Institute (SIRI) tell us that we should really be falling no lower than 80 tonnes of cane per hectare in order to reap the full benefits of our investment of time and money,” Mr. Clarke informs.He notes that the goal of overcoming these challenges forms the basis for the Cane Expansion Fund, which was set up by the Sugar Transformation Unit and implemented by the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA).To further bolster the expansion exercise, the Ministry has ensured that increased funds are made available for investment in the sugar sector. “We have estimated that an amount of $4 billion will be required to achieve our targets,” Mr. Clarke reveals.He said the Cane Expansion Fund is expected to provide an estimated $3 billion on a revolving basis over the next four to five years to plant and replant cane, provide land preparation and harvesting equipment, and support the installation of sub-surface drip irrigation in Clarendon and St. Catherine.Already, the Ministry has injected a total of $1.77 billion into the Fund.In order to provide even greater incentive for cane expansion, as of July 8, this year, the Government has increased the loan rates for cane planting and replanting from $200,000 per hectare to $250,000 per hectare for irrigated areas, and from $190,000 per hectare to $220,000 per hectare for non-irrigation areas.The programme also aims to ensure that cane farmers will have sufficient funding to cover and complete a high quality land preparation exercise in line with SIRI recommendations.“Cane farmers, with the support of SIRI and the ALL-CANE Extension Officers will ensure that all cane establishment operations meet the highest standard of quality,” Mr. Clarke says.He further notes that in order to improve the policy environment within which producers operate, a review of the structure of the SIA and the SIRI was undertaken by PriceWaterHouseCoopers. Mr. Clarke informs that deliberations with sugar stakeholders are progressing very well “and we intend to commence implementation shortly”.The Cane Expansion Fund forms part of a strategy between the Government and the European Union (EU) under its Budget Support to the Sugar Sector Programme. The programme is funded by the EU at a cost of $9 billion and aims to improve the competitiveness of the sugar sector while, at the same time, strengthening social resilience in sugar-dependent areas affected by the transformation of the industry. Advertisements Story HighlightsMassive exercise to expand local sugar cane production to some 1.4 million tonnes Jamaica’s sugar cane sector remains a major contributor to the local economy The sugar sector earns an estimated US$90 million on average, each year RelatedCane Roads to be Rehabilitated for $404 Million FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail center_img RelatedGovernment Reaffirms Commitment to Jamaica’s Sugar Industry RelatedJAS to Push for Agricultural Wardens Massive Cane Replanting Programme Underway AgricultureSeptember 9, 2013Written by: Athaliah Reynolds-Bakerlast_img read more

Premium / CMA CGM’s swoop to take nearly 25% of CEVA is ‘a banker’s dream’

first_img Subscription required for Premium stories In order to view the entire article please login with a valid subscription below or register an account and subscribe to Premium New Premium subscriber REGISTER A banker’s dream, when he leads a challenging deal that aims for a top-end valuation, is to be able to share news with his investors that could render it a deal to remember.So, can you imagine what kind of boost the arrangers of an IPO can get when a listing is launched along with the announcement that a trade buyer is snapping up a large stake in the business?Enter CMA CGM and CEVA Logistics: quite simply, today’s announcement that the ocean … By Alessandro Pasetti 20/04/2018 << Go back Reset Your Password Please Login Forgotten your password? Please click here Please either REGISTER or login below to continuecenter_img LOGIN Email* Email* © Hieronymusukkel & CEVA Premium subscriber LOGIN Password* Resetlast_img read more

South Dakota State eliminates Colorado State from NIT, 86-76

first_imgFORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — George Marshall scored 24 points and five of his team’s 12 3-pointers, leading South Dakota State past Colorado State 86-76 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night.Deondre Parks added 17 points and Jake Bittle, 15, for South Dakota State (24-10), regular season co-champions of the Summit League.J.J. Avila led Colorado State (27-7) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Bejarano had 17.The Rams, still reeling from an NCAA Tournament snubbing, led for only 90 seconds of the game. Bejarano’s layup (2-0) and a rebound basket by Tiel Daniels (4-3) were the only leads.Parks’ basket off a sharp cut gave South Dakota State the lead for good. The Jacks controlled the tempo and made 17-of-35 shots to take a 47-38 edge into intermission.Marshall displayed his aggressiveness early in the second half after Daniel Bejarano’s 3-pointer had drawn Colorado State (27-7) within 49-47. Marshall scored nine points over a three-minute span to push the lead back to 61-48.The lead reached 80-65 on a reverse layup by Marshall. Colorado State could get no closer than 10 and that with 59 seconds left.South Dakota State will take on Vanderbilt in the second round on Friday.last_img read more

Thirsty koala drinks entire water bottle from generous cyclist

first_imgMatt Sully (NEW YORK) — A concerned cyclist took a pit stop during his ride through Adelaide, Australia, to help out a thirsty koala. Matt Sully posted a video on Facebook, where he is seen squirting some water on the ground near the lethargic looking marsupial before allowing it to drink straight from his water bottle.  “This little guy called ‘Slurpy’ was so thirsty he emptied my entire bottle,” Sully wrote in the post.Sully said the temperature was “like a furnace” during his ride last Thursday and he’d never experienced heat like that. He rode with Bubba’s Cycling Tours and said it was a “great experience” and was glad they were “in the right place at the right time” to help out the animal.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more

Sylva Man Charged with Child Rape

first_imgBilly Joe Young, 54, of Snowdrift Lane, is charged with felony first-degree rape of a child, felony child sex offense, and six counts of indecent liberties with a child. Young is in jail on $600,000 bond.His next court date is April 12, 2017.Young has a record dating back to 1990 when was convicted in Macon County of a felony Indecent Liberty with a Child and a Felony Crime Against Nature.last_img

Vicito News: Personalized News Aggregation Via IM

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting josh catone 1 Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Product Reviews#web center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Vicito News is a new personalized news aggregation service that operates over instant messenger using an IM robot. The service currently works with AIM, Google Talk, and Windows Live Messenger. Vicito is something akin to Google News alerts for IM — you tell the service what to watch for, and it updates you at preset intervals via instant messenger when it finds new news matching your query.Vicito would fall under the single stream aggregation category of news aggregators, in that it combines news from multiple sources about a specific topic into a single stream. You set up Vicito entirely through IM by telling the bot what keywords you want to track, how many stories you want maximum per update, and how frequently you want updates.I told Vicito to track stories related to “baseball” and this afternoon I compared the results to those from SportsSpyder’s MLB page. Not surprisingly, they were both dominated by news about the trade of Johan Santana — baseball’s top pitcher — to the New York Mets. Somewhat surprisingly, though, I actually found Vicito’s news to be more varied. Beyond Satana I was getting stories about Roger Clemens visits the Astros training camp, pitcher Andy Pettitte, and Major Leaue Baseball’s umpire background check policy that were nowhere to be found amid the Santana noise (or were buried) on SportsSpyder.Tracking “yankees” news on Vicito.A lot of that might have to do with the source list. Vocito right now is drawing from 750 large and mainstream news sources that cover the gamut in terms of topic. SportsSpyder, on the other hand, is drawing from specialized sources that deal exclusively with baseball — so certainly the overlap and number of reporters covering the same big story will be greater.But the experience does highlight one major problem with single stream aggregators like these: there is a lot repetition. Because Vicito is just posting a river of news that matches your search query, you end up getting the same story from multiple source. Unlike with meme-style aggregators like Google News or Techmeme (or perhaps, more on topic, Ballbug), which group similar stories, Vicito’s stream loses some appeal once you’ve seen the same story 5 times.Nat Burke, founder of Vicito, is aware that eventually some sort of filtering will be necessary. “As we continue to grow our source volume, having something to weed out the noise will become essential,” he told me. “What eventual form that takes is up in the air at this point.”Even with the noise problem, though, Vicito remains a useful service for getting breaking, topically filtered, news updates over IM. If instant messenger is your preferred method of communication, then you might find some utility in Vicito. Vicito is free to use, with a premium for-pay package that ups the limit on the number of news stories you can receive per update and how often.last_img read more

Man City vs Bayern Munich: Pellegrini’s men face mission impossible in UCL

first_imgMan City need to beat Bayern Munich to stay alive in the Champions LeagueBayern Munich is already through to the second round of the Champions League, and Manchester City is hoping that will help their own chances of advancing.City needs to beat the Bundesliga champions at home on Tuesday to boost its hopes of making it out of the group.A draw would still be enough for the English champions to remain in the competition if CSKA Moscow and Roma also draw at the same time.Here are some things to know about tonight’s games:WELL-STOCKED SQUADUnbeaten Bayern is coasting through the season despite a host of injuries that would have seriously disrupted less well-stocked rivals.Bastian Schweinsteiger’s return from a nagging knee problem is a timely one with Philipp Lahm, Javi Martinez, David Alaba, Thiago Alcantara, Holger Badstuber, Claudio Pizarro and backup goalkeepers Tom Starke and Pepe Reina all injured. Jerome Boateng picked up a knock in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Hoffenheim but should recover to face his former side.The injuries have not hampered Bayern so far. Only three goals conceded in 12 Bundesliga games is a club record, and Bayern already holds a seven-point league lead.”We’ve got lots of injuries but we can still put out a top side,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.Xabi Alonso has made an immediate impact since joining from Real Madrid, Thomas Mueller is in form and Mario Goetze is displaying his vast potential in his second season at the club.advertisementWith nothing but pride at stake, Pep Guardiola is likely to field an experimental side against City while conserving energy for more important matches ahead.CITY HANGING INManchester City will take heart from its 3-2 win over Bayern last season, when it ended the German side’s Champions League record of 10 straight victories. Again, Bayern was already assured of topping the group and had nothing but pride to play for.City, which came from behind to edge Swansea 2-1 on Saturday, is still looking for its first Champions League win of the campaign and looks like it will exit the competition at the group stage for the third time in four attempts.”We’re really lucky in the Champions League because with two points and two games left we can still qualify if we win our two games,” City midfielder Samir Nasri said. “We need a big reaction. We need a huge performance, because a team like us can’t go out in the first round of the Champions League. So we have to win this game.”Roma and CSKA are both two points ahead of City, which visits Roma for its final group game.THINKING OF HOENESSBayern hasn’t forgotten former president Uli Hoeness, who is serving a 3 1/2-year sentence for tax evasion.Bayern midfielder Franck Ribery told Kicker magazine that he went to visit the 62-year-old Hoeness at the Landsberg am Lech prison in southern Germany.”It was the least I could do. It was important for me, because Hoeness is still a person I very much respect,” Ribery said. “He did a lot for me and you don’t forget that.”Hoeness publicly supported Ribery when the Frenchman faced charges – of which he was later acquitted – that he had sex with an underage prostitute in 2009.”I’m very sad. But he made a good impression. I hope he’ll be out soon,” Ribery said.Bayern has said that Hoeness will take a job in the club’s youth department if he secures day parole in January.LJAJIC IN FORMWith Roma forward Adem Ljajic coming into form, coach Rudi Garcia could consider giving the Serbia international his first Champions League start in Moscow.Ljajic has made two substitute appearances in Europe’s elite club competition but scored in Roma’s past two Serie A matches.”He’s on another level,” said teammate Radja Nainggolan, who scored the other goal in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Atalanta. “He just needs consistency and he’s working really hard for that.”He’s had a lot of criticism and he’s always answered on the pitch. He made the difference.”Ljajic was punched by his coach at Fiorentina, Delio Rossi, after protesting a substitution in May 2012. Rossi was fired, and the next season, Ljajic scored a career-high 11 goals for Fiorentina but again had problems with his coach, Sinisa Mihajlovic.Since transferring to Roma before last season, Ljajic appears to have settled down.Roma is level on points with CSKA, which it beat 5-1 in its opening match.last_img read more

2014 X-Blades National Touch League

first_imgFollowing months of intense preparation, Australia’s best Touch Footballers will converge on the C.ex Coffs International Stadium in Coffs Harbour this week to compete in the 2014 Touch Football Australia X-Blades National Touch League (NTL) and Elite Eight Series. The event will feature 117 teams spanning the breadth of the country across 12 divisions, all striving for national championships honours; commencing on Wednesday, 12 March through to finals day on Saturday, 15 March. The Elite Eight Series, which was first played in 2011 and is now in its third installment, will feature the best-of-the-best Men’s and Women’s players in Australia.  The Elite Eight Series will feature eight teams in both the Men’s and Women’s divisions vying for respective national titles: four teams from New South Wales (reigning Men’s champions, Country Mavericks, reigning Women’s champions, Mets, Scorpions and Rebels); three from Queensland (South Stingrays, Country Outlaws and Chiefs); and one from the rest of Australia (the Alliance).The NTL, which is conducted in parallel to the Elite Eight Series, returns again to its original home, Coffs Harbour. Prior to last year, Coffs Harbour previously hosted the event from its inception in 1997 through to 2008, with the venue set to also host the 2014 and 2015 NTL events, as well as the 2015 Federation of International Touch World Cup in April/May next year. Teams from seven states in Australia as well as seven international teams, from Japan (four teams) and Papua New Guinea (three teams), will compete in the NTL event.  Approximately 2,000 participants will take part in the event, with divisions ranging from T League (teams with a combination of up to 10 under 20’s players and six over 20’s players) through to Men’s 55’s.You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 X-Blades National Touch League in the following ways:Websiteswww.ntl.mytouchfooty.comwww.austouch.com.auSocial MediaFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2014)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated Links2014 X-Blades NTLlast_img read more