The Audacity of Solving Grand Challenges
In the Human Genome Project, multiple countries and thousands of scholars proved how a "grandly large project" could be completed if it has "a very defined goal."
Is humanity really capable of tackling grand challenges? Just look at the example of the Human Genome Project.
The mapping of the human genome was an audacious task, explains Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. "It would require an industrialization, a scientific effort that was really unusual for biomedical research." Green points out that biomedical researchers typically have laboratories of half a dozen people. "They work on profoundly difficult problems and they like to explore. They like to ask big questions," Green says.
The Human Genome Project was very different. It had to be a very focused effort with a very defined agenda: Sequence the human genome. The story of this project is told through a current exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian called "Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code."
In the video below, Green, who collaborated with the Smithsonian on the exhibition, describes how multiple countries and thousands of scholars proved how a "grandly large project requiring many people" could be completed if it has "a very defined goal."
Watch the video here:
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.
- A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
- The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
- Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
- The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
- French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
- Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.
Photo credit: Jie Zhao / Getty contributor
- Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
- Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
- A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.