Quickies

Quickies: Curing genetic diseases, are trolls winning, and the effect of human noise on whale songs

  • Can we cure genetic diseases without slipping into eugenics? – “George Q. Daley, of Boston Children’s Hospital, said that CRISPR raises the fundamental issue of whether we are willing to “take control of our genetic destiny.” Are we ready to edit our children’s genomes to perfection, as in the movie Gattaca? Could the government someday pass laws banning certain genetic constitutions or requiring others?” From Will.
  • Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the internet – “The foundations of the Internet were laid on free expression, but the founders just did not understand how effective their creation would be for the coordination and amplification of harassing behavior. Or that the users who were the biggest bullies would be rewarded with attention for their behavior.” From Amy.
  • What would happen in the ocean if we went quiet? – “…modern North Atlantic right whales have shifted their calls up an entire octave over the past half century or so, in an attempt to be heard over the unending, and steadily growing, low-frequency drone of commercial shipping. Where right-whale song once carried 20 to 100 miles, today those calls travel only five miles before dissolving into the din.” Via.
  • Newly discovered dinosaur had bird-like wings – “A newly identified species of feathered dinosaur is the largest ever discovered to have a well-preserved set of bird-like wings, a study suggests.”
  • Cute Animal Friday! Puppies running for dinner, the same way over and over as they grow up. This sweet baby kangaroo just kills me with her facial expressions.
  • Featured image by Flickr user Paulus Maximus.

Amanda

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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2 Comments

  1. July 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm —

    This former future paleontologist loves reading about feathered dinosaurs. But the article is yet another example of bad headline writing. Yes, “velociraptor’s cousin could fly” is a catchy title for the pictures, but it directly contradicts the text of the article, which clearly states that Zhenyuanlong suni probably couldn’t fly. Oh well, at least we can be assured that sensationalist headlines are not the exclusive province of the American press.

  2. July 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm —

    Thank you for sharing the article about eugenics. It summarized my incomplete ideas about the experiment, and then went even further. I wish I had read that before having a discussion about it.

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