Most people have heard of gene therapy, especially when research was ramping up during the 1990s. But few have any idea about how gene therapy actually works and where it is today. That’s because the science of gene therapy is kind of technical and the mass media don’t do technical, so we rarely get that side of the story. It’s in the same category as understanding how bioluminescence works, or how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I hate Rubik’s cubes, as much as I hate figuring out where the apostrophe goes in the plural possessive of Rubik’s. Rubickses’ cubes? That could work.
It’s an important and popular fact that DNA makes your world go around. Evolution has come up with some mind-boggling complex processes to record biological data, replicate it in all living cells, and execute that code in order to create and maintain life. Today I want to give you a glimpse of the amazing facility of DNA.
Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest science fiction writers in history, as well as a professor of biochemistry and a prolific author of non-fiction. His best loved works include the Foundation series set in the distant future where humans have colonised the galaxy, and a book of interlinked short stories called I, Robot which he developed into an extensive series of humanity and morality tales during the dawn of the robotic era.
Facebook has taken a lot of flack lately. And it’s not about to let up. Besides the revelations that most users – about 2 billion people – have had their profiles scraped and sold for commercial and political ends, now the very nature of social media is being exposed as potentially damaging to your mental health. But how could a website hurt you psychologically, let alone one that’s populated by news and photos from your friends?
In the spirit of challenging conventional wisdom, here’s how traditional proverbs stand up to scientific scrutiny.
How jellyfish have sex is really alien and unintuitive, at least in the eyes of humans. If they had vocal chords, or brains, or cognitive processing abilities, jellies would argue that they’re an ancient group of animals who mastered sexual reproduction a long time before us, and we’re the ones who are frankly odd-balling it with our penises and vaginas and miserable, painful childbirth.