“CRISPR” stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system which forms the basis for the popular CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology.
CRISPR-Cas9 is a genome editing tool that is creating a buzz in the science world. It is faster, cheaper and more accurate than previous techniques of editing DNA and has a wide range of potential applications.
Johns Hopkins University researchers developed a robotic surgical system called the Smart Tissue Automation Robot (STAR). It features a 3D imaging system and a near-infrared sensor to spot fluorescent markers along the edges of the tissue to keep the robotic suture needle on track. Unlike most other robot-assisted surgical systems, it operates under the surgeon’s supervision, but without hands-on guidance.
Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed an amazingly simple device that allows heat to flow temporarily from a cold to a warm object without an external power supply. Intriguingly, the process initially appears to contradict the fundamental laws of physics.
you put a teapot of boiling water on the kitchen table, it will
gradually cool down. However, its temperature is not expected to fall
below that of the table. It is precisely this everyday experience that
illustrates one of the fundamental laws of physics – the second law of
thermodynamics – which states that the entropy of a closed natural
system must increase over time. Or, more simply put: Heat can flow by
itself only from a warmer to a colder object, and not the other way
Scientists from around the world have unveiled the first image of a supermassive black hole.
The black hole image was recorded using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale network of eight radio telescopes around the world. The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87 (M87), a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster.
Black holes are extraordinary cosmic objects with enormous masses but extremely compact sizes. The presence of these objects affects their environment in extreme ways, warping spacetime and superheating any surrounding material.
Creating the EHT was a formidable challenge which required upgrading
and connecting a worldwide network of eight pre-existing telescopes
deployed at a variety of challenging high-altitude sites. These
locations included volcanoes in Hawai`i and Mexico, mountains in Arizona
and the Spanish Sierra Nevada, the Chilean Atacama Desert, and
The EHT observations use a technique called very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) which synchronises telescope facilities around the world and exploits the rotation of our planet to form one huge, Earth-size telescope observing at a wavelength of 1.3mm. VLBI allows the EHT to achieve an angular resolution of 20 micro-arcseconds — enough to read a newspaper in New York from a café in Paris.