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."
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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