Interesting stuff that crossed my feed lately:
- We know more about the topography of the Moon and Mars than we do about our own planet, because so much of Earth’s surface is covered by water. Saildrone is deploying uncrewed, autonomous surface ships to map the ocean floor.
- Vaccine rollout is accelerating, but I still don’t know where or when I’ll get mine. No clear plan has been articulated here in California. That’s common across the country. It’s nice to see the state of New Jersey publishing so much data about its activity to date. We need to go faster, but NJ is exemplary in its transparency.
- I’m a long-time fan of CRISPR, the gene-editing tool. It doesn’t work, though, on mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria are the organelles that provide power to every cell in your body. You inherit them exclusively from your mother, which is why your mom is slightly more than half of everything you are. Dr. David Liu at the Broad Institute has figured out a way to cross the mitochondrial wall and make targeted edits inside it.
- 45,500-year-old art on a cave wall in Sulawesi likely by Homo sapiens. Kicker: “To make handprints, the artists would have had to place their hands on a surface then spit pigment over it, and the team are hoping to try to extract DNA samples from residual saliva.”