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A Breathtaking New GIF Shows CRISPR Chewing Up DNA
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
CRISPR is the set of molecular scissors that's changing the world. It's an enzyme that cuts DNA, and scientists figured out in 2012 that they could deploy it for cheap, effective gene editing: Just tag the CRISPR molecule with a bit of RNA (a slim sliver of genetic material that sticks to DNA) to guide it, and it can cut out and "rewrite" any snippet of DNA its wielders would like to target. Researchers have been playing with CRISPR for years, tackling HIV, deleting genetic diseases from the cells of experimental human embryos and raising the possibility of cross-species organ transplants.
UN climate envoys agree on way forward, despite Trump
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Negotiations to bolster the climate-saving Paris Agreement, crafted over two decades, closed in Bonn Saturday, deflated but not derailed by Donald Trump's rejection of the treaty and defence of fossil fuels. The US President's decision to yank the United States from the hard-fought global pact cast a long shadow over the talks, which ran deep into overtime. Negotiations were marked by revived divisions between developing countries and rich ones.
Senate Judiciary: Jared Kushner Withheld Emails on WikiLeaks and 'Russian Backdoor Overture'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The panel asked him to provide emails sent to him involving WikiLeaks and a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite"
Religion That Worships Artificial Intelligence Wants Machines To Be In Charge Of The Planet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A newly established religion called Way of the Future will worship artificial intelligence, focusing on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence” that followers believe will eventually surpass human control over Earth. The first AI-based church was founded by Anthony Levandowski, the Silicon Valley multimillionaire who championed the robotics team for Uber’s self-driving program and Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google.
Sicilian Mob Boss Salvatore 'Toto' Riina Has Died While Serving 26 Life Sentences
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Sicilian mobster was serving 26 life sentences for murder convictions
Obama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection of Paris Agreement
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Obama-era official who helped deliver the 2015 Paris Agreement, lashed out Thursday at the Donald Trump administration's "wrongheaded" decision to abandon the first-ever pact committing all countries to limiting climate change. Todd Stern, who was Barack Obama's special envoy for climate change, said he was "annoyed, frustrated" by the new president's rejection of a deal that took the world's nations more than two decades to negotiate. "It's completely wrongheaded thing to do," Stern, who left the state department in 2016, told AFP on the sidelines of a UN climate conference in Bonn which he attended as an observer.
Trump puts decision to allow elephant hunting trophy imports ‘on hold’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Elephants use their trunks to smell for possible danger in Kenya. WASHINGTON — President Trump, overruling a rule change by his Interior Department, said on Friday that he would keep in place for the time being a ban on importing elephant hunting trophies  from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Trump announced the move on Twitter Friday evening after a day of uncertainty and protests over the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service that the ban, intended to conserve shrinking African elephant populations, would be lifted.
Roy Moore's Wife: He Will Not Step Down From Senate Race
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
She has repeatedly defended him
Stromatolites: Earth's Most Ancient Life Forms Have Just Been Discovered Alive in Tasmania
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Stromatolites were likely the first living organisms on Earth, with fossil records dating these strange creatures back 3.7 billion years. Today, stromatolites are rare, mostly existing in fossil form, but scientists were shocked to find living ones hidden away in a untouched swamp in Tasmania, where they likely have thrived for the past few million years. Stromatolites aren't what comes to mind when you think of life.
Killings of Transgender People Hit a Record High in 2017, Advocacy Groups Say
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"A legacy of intolerance, hate and discrimination"
People on Twitter Are Upset That President Trump Lifted an Elephant Trophy Ban
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump lifted a ban on elephant trophies and the internet is spreading photos of Donald Trump Jr.'s post-elephant kill pose.
NASA Wants to Put More People in Space for a Year
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scott Kelly's year in space was only the beginning.
Scientists Can Now Tell How Much Glaciers Melting Will Affect Specific Cities
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
New York will be most affected by the northeastern part of the Greenland ice sheet
UN climate talks enter extra time, unnerved by pro
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
UN negotiations to bolster the Paris Agreement, crafted over more than two decades to avert climate catastrophe, dragged into extra time Friday, unnerved by Washington's rejection of the process and defence of fossil fuels. Delegates said the talks were stalled mainly on finance, reviving a divide between rich and developing nations at the talks. The world's poorer nations, often at the forefront of the effects of climate change, need money to make the costly shift away from atmosphere-fouling coal, and to shore up their defences against weather extremes.
Venezuela's Ousted Chief Prosecutor Says President Nicolas Maduro Is Responsible for 8,000 Murders
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Luisa Ortega leads a campaign from exile to discredit Maduro's government for human rights abuses
See How the Earth Has Changed Over the Past 20 Years in This NASA Timelapse
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A new 20-year NASA timelapse taken from space shows in just a few minutes how life on Earth shapes the planet year by year.
The Investigation Into Chemical Attacks in Syria Is Fizzling Out After a Security Council Showdown
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Russia vetoed a resolution to extend the mandate of investigators
'Let the Battle Begin.' Roy Moore's Campaign Lashes Out at His Accusers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Alabama candidate will "fight to the death," his chief strategist said
Cremated Remains of the 'Buddha' Discovered in Chinese Village
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The cremated remains of what an inscription says is the Buddha, also called Siddhārtha Gautama, have been discovered in a box in Jingchuan County, China, along with more than 260 Buddhist statues. The translated inscription on the box reads: "The monks Yunjiang and Zhiming of the Lotus School, who belonged to the Mañjuśrī Temple of the Longxing Monastery in Jingzhou Prefecture, gathered more than 2,000 pieces of śarīra [cremated remains of the Buddha], as well as the Buddha's teeth and bones, and buried them in the Mañjuśrī Hall of this temple," on June 22, 1013. At the site where the statues and Buddha remains were buried, archaeologists also found the remains of a structure that could be from the Mañjuśrī Hall.
Doubts surface about key witness in Uranium One probe of Clinton
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Federal officials have serious questions about the credibility of a key witness in congressional investigations of Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One sale.
Navy grounds air crew that made vulgar drawing in sky
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The air crew who used their U.S. Navy warplane to create a vulgar sky writing above the town of Okanogan, Washington, this week have been grounded, the U.S. Navy said Friday.
Zimbabwe's new liberation struggle
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In Africa, a popular Twitter hashtag in recent days has been #Zimbabwe. It is rare for Africans to witness a dictator like Robert Mugabe being sidelined so easily by close associates, especially after 37 years in power. Just as compelling for Africans is the sudden lifting of mental chains among millions of Zimbabweans.
Wounded vets force disability rethink in Ukraine
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As he approaches the finish line of the Marine Corps 10K race, Vadym Svyrydenko breaks into a broad smile: He has picked out the blue and yellow of his country’s national flag amongst the red, white, and blue. Back home he is spearheading a campaign to bring people with disabilities out of the shadows where they have long been hidden, and to help them carve out new lives. “We are getting more boys who were severely wounded and are showing them that rehabilitation through sport is effective,” the 44-year-old former soldier says as he recovers from his race.
Congress has an 'et tu?' moment as it grapples with sexual harrassment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Now, it’s the US Capitol – where a wave of complaints about sexual abuse and harassment have flooded the stately halls and engulfed a sitting senator, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota. Women lawmakers and aides say inappropriate sexual behavior has long been “pervasive” on the Hill, largely kept in the shadows amid an insular, old-boys-club culture that persists to this day. “I was of a generation of survivors that never said a word,” Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D) of New Hampshire told reporters after she and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to make it easier to file sexual harassment complaints in Congress.
In Latin America, no more women presidents – for now
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In a part of the world known for its rampant machismo, the recent Presidenta period marked a hopeful turning point for Latin America. There have been signs of progress in gender equality in many nations, but some women are disappointed that Bachelet and her fellow women leaders did not do more. “At one point Latin America had four women presidents at the same time,” in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Costa Rica, says Farida Jalalzai, who teaches politics at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Whether by Coup or by 'Correction,' Mugabe's 37
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The president and first lady are under house arrest
Toxic algae: Once a nuisance, now a severe nationwide threat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Competing in a bass fishing tournament two years ago, Todd Steele cast his rod from his 21-foot motorboat — unaware that he was being poisoned. A thick, green scum coated western Lake Erie. And Steele, ...
When Will We Find Aliens? NASA Is Studying Earth to Find Signs of E.T. On Distant Planets
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"The Earth will always be our best studied case of a habitable exoplanet," Stephen Kane, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Riverside, wrote during a Reddit AMA. Right now, the easiest characteristic for astronomers to spot about an alien planet is whether it falls in what's nicknamed the habitable zone, the distance from a star where a planet is the right temperature to hold liquid water on its surface. We can take amazing photographs of Earth—and then we can study them as if they were terrible photographs of exoplanets.
U.S. soybeans escape yield losses after signs of chemical damage
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A weed killer blamed for damaging millions of acres of U.S. crops this summer did not reduce yields for most of the soybeans checked by BASF SE , which makes a version of the herbicide, the company said on Friday. BASF, the world's third-largest maker of crop chemicals, investigated 787 complaints involving soybeans that showed signs of damage linked to sprayings of the herbicide that contains a chemical known as dicamba, according to the company.
Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned After Monica Lewinsky Affair, Democratic Senator Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“I think that is the appropriate response," Gillibrand told the New York Times.
Rare pic of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett surfaces
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A grainy 19-century photo of Billy the Kid and his killer Pat Garrett, bought at a flea market for $10, could potentially be worth millions of dollars.
Oklahoma Science Teacher, 22, Charged with Rape of Teenage Student After Police Barge In
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sheriff's deputies barged in on a tryst she had allegedly set up with the teenage student
Doubts surface on key witness in 'Uranium One' probe of Clinton
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Federal officials have serious questions about the credibility of a key witness in congressional investigations of Hillary Clinton’s role in the ‘Uranium One’ sale.
US needs corporate tax reform. Does the GOP deliver it?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Ask Americans what bothers them the most about taxes, and they typically don’t talk about their own tax bill. Polls this year suggest that roughly two-thirds of Americans believe corporate taxes should go up. As the Senate Finance Committee voted Thursday to move its tax bill to the floor, the measure was stirring controversy on several fronts – not least because it makes its tax cuts for average Americans temporary, and it uses that phaseout to help finance a permanent tax cut for corporations.
Rose McGowan Arraigned on Felony Cocaine Charges
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
She claimed drugs were planted to discredit her
Repealing the Obamacare Individual Mandate Could Complicate Tax Reform. Here's How
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Some Republicans don't like tying tax reform and health care together
Rural Americans say everyday life hurt by slow internet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
State officials are looking for a solution after Verizon declined $140 million in federal help.
Time travel is possible, says astrophysicist (but there’s a catch)
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It's a bit more complicated than using a flux capacitor, mind
Huge Underwater Castle With Ancient ‘Fairy Chimneys’ Discovered at the Bottom of Turkey’s Lake Van
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers studying a vast lake in Eastern Turkey have unearthed the remains of a 3,000-year-old castle buried beneath its waters. Tahsin Ceylan, an underwater photographer and videographer, Mustafa Akkuş, an academic from Van Yüzüncü Yıl University’s fishery faculty, Murat Kulakaç, a diving instructor and Cumali Birol, a diver, plunged into Lake Van, Turkey's largest lake, to discover its secrets, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
UN climate talks wind down, deflated but not derailed by Washington
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
UN negotiations to activate the Paris Agreement, designed to avert a climate catastrophe, were wrapping up Friday deflated, but not derailed, by Washington's rejection of the process and its defence of fossil fuels. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the hard-fought global pact cast a long shadow over the talks, marked by revived divisions between developing countries and rich ones. With a wary eye on America, which still has negotiators at the forum it has spurned, envoys from nearly 200 countries got on with the business of designing a "rule book" for enacting key provisions in the agreement which enters into force in just three years' time.
Finnish police rap deputy minister for hiding in car boot in government crisis
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Finnish police reprimanded a man for traveling in a car boot to hide his meeting with Prime Minister Juha Sipila during a government crisis last summer, saying this was breach of the traffic code. A police statement did not name the man in the boot, but in effect indicated the traveler was State Secretary Samuli Virtanen, who is also the deputy to Foreign Minister Timo Soini. The meeting took place in June, a day after Virtanen's co-ruling Finns party had elected anti-immigration hardliners as its new leaders.
Navy plane traces obscene sky drawing over Washington town
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Residents of the town of Okanogan, Washington, got quite an air show courtesy of the U.S. Navy.
Lawsuit: Couple detained after hibiscus mistaken for pot
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SARVER, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania couple is suing the police and an insurance company because they say they were handcuffed for hours in a patrol car after their hibiscus plants were confused for marijuana.
NYC taxi drivers camp it up in playful pinup calendar
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City cabbies have been called a lot of things over the years ... courteous, reckless, sometimes rude. But sexy?
Phoenix man tries turning locomotive into a runaway train
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix man was close to turning a locomotive into his own runaway train.
Mumbai museum challenges Indians' self image
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Such intriguing juxtapositions, unexpected stories, and global connections form the essence of an ambitious new exhibition that recounts India’s history and its engagement with the world through 200 objects. Recommended: How well do you know India?
World's first human head transplant has been 'successfully carried out'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A controversial surgeon has successfully carried out the operation on a corpse