Robots Who Battle Genetic Disease

When you consider that the first human genome was completed a decade ago for billions of dollars, D.N.A. sequencing has come a long way, fast. Now robots sequence genes for less.

One California company is automating the gene sequencing process in hopes of making it easier to find mutations that predispose individuals to certain diseases. "Complete Genomics, a start-up in Mountain View, California, is already the world's largest human genome sequencing factory. In a room half the size of a tennis court sit 16 robots that sequenced the genomes of 800 people last year. Going full tilt, they can now churn out 400 genomes a month. The current price, offered to researchers and pharma companies but not yet to private individuals, is $9,500 per genome; place an order for 1000 or more, and it drops to $5,500."

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

Videos
  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
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