In a petri dish in the bowels of Harvard Medical School scientists have tweaked three genes from the cells of an Asian elephant that help control the production of hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen. Their goal is to make these genes more like those of an animal that last walked the planet thousands of years ago: the woolly mammoth.
"Asian elephants are closer to mammoths than either is to African elephants, yet quite different in appearance and temperature range," notes Harvard geneticist and technology developer George Church. "We are not trying to make an exact copy of a mammoth, but rather a cold-resistant elephant."
But what if the new—and fast advancing—techniques of genome editing allowed scientists to engineer not only cold-resistance traits but also other characteristics of the woolly mammoth into its living Asiatic relatives? Scientists have found mammoth cells preserved in permafrost. If they were to recover cells with intact DNA, they could theoretically “edit” an Asian elephant’s genome to match the woolly mammoth’s. A single cell contains the complete genetic instruction set for its species, and by replicating that via editing a new individual can, theoretically, be created. But wouldsuch a hybrid—scion of an Asian elephant mother and genetic tinkerers—count as a true woolly mammoth?
In other words, is de-extinction a real possibility?
The answer is yes. On January 6, 2000, a falling tree killed the last bucardo, a wild Iberian ibex, which is a goatlike animal. Her name was Celia. On July 30, 2003, Celia's clone was born. To make the clone scientists removed the nucleus of a cell from Celia intact and inserted it into the unfertilized egg cell of another kind of ibex. They then transferred the resulting embryo to the womb of a living goat. Nearly a year later theydelivered the clone by cutting her from her mother.
Although she lived for a scant seven minutes due to lung defects, Celia’s clone proved that not only is de-extinction real, "it has already happened," in the words of environmentalist Stewart Brand, whose San Francisco-based Long Now Foundation is funding some of this de-extinction research, including Church's effort as well as bids to bring back the passenger pigeon and heath hen, among other candidate species. Nor is the bucardo alone in the annals of de-extinction. Several viruses have already been brought back, including the flu variant responsible for the 1918 pandemic that killed more than 20 million people worldwide.
What iPad Apps are most useful for student learning and engagement? We have listed our top apps that promote CREATIVITY and ORIGINALITY. Please help rank the most useful, leave a comment, and add to this list of the BEST apps for art education! | Dropbox, ArtRage, iMovie, Percolator, Amaziograph, iMotion HD, SketchBook Express, Paper by FiftyThree, Evernote, and Keynote
A Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) describe a new vision for science learning and teaching that is catalyzing improvements in science classrooms across the United States. Achieving this new vision will require time, resources, and ongoing commitment from state, district, and school leaders, as well as classroom teachers. Successful implementation of the NGSS will ensure that all K-12 students have high-quality opportunities to learn science. Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards provides guidance to district and school leaders and teachers charged with developing a plan and implementing the NGSS as they change their curriculum, instruction, professional learning, policies, and assessment to align with the new standards. For each of these elements, this report lays out recommendations for action around key issues and cautions about potential pitfalls. Coordinating changes in these aspects of the education system is challenging. As a foundation for that process, Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards identifies some overarching principles that should guide the planning and implementation process. The new standards present a vision of science and engineering learning designed to bring these subjects alive for all students, emphasizing the satisfaction of pursuing compelling questions and the joy of discovery and invention. Achieving this vision in all science classrooms will be a major undertaking and will require changes to many aspects of science education. Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards will be a valuable resource for states, districts, and schools charged with planning and implementing changes, to help them achieve the goal of teaching science for the 21st century.
"We have launched WizIQ Recordor: an amazing lecture-recording software designed exclusively for your teaching needs. This software lets you convert your PowerPoint presentations into synchronized video lectures, publish them to WizIQ (add them to Content Library), and share them with your students right from your desktop- something which no other software has enabled you to do until now. And yes, it’s absolutely free!
"WizIQ Recordor (yes, it’s spelt with an “OR” not “ER”. No pun intended!) runs as an add-in to Microsoft PowerPoint and works seamlessly with WizIQ. Install this add-in and a few clicks is all it takes to create an effective MP4 video lecture using your presentation. This add-in allows you to record your live audio and sync it with presentation slides."
Combining projection mapping and a pop-up book, Marco Tempest tells the visually arresting story of Nikola Tesla -- called “the greatest geek who ever lived” -- from his triumphant invention of alternating current to his penniless last days.
Most climatologists, ecologists, and even the World Bank have all reached a consensus that climate change is occurring. Experts and policymakers alike have attributed rising concentrations of carbon dioxide to net warming, but finding straightforward evidence of this can be difficult. Now, a team of researchers claims that they have identified, for the first time, how global warming is related to the amount of carbon emitted in a mathematical proof.
Solar power just hit one of its biggest milestones, in more ways than one. First Solar recently finished building Topaz, a 550-megawatt plant that represents the largest active solar farm on the planet.
Atoms with the same number of protons belong to the same element. Atomic nuclei with the same number of protons and different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. The elements up to uranium (element 92) exist in nature (except for technetium ). The elements heavier than uranium are man-made. All elements are arranged in the periodic table of the elements. Their positions in the periodic table correspond to their proton number; elements in the same column (i.e., in the same group) feature similar and electronic shell structure, which characterizes the chemical behavior of an element. An element's position in the periodic table and thus provides information on its chemical behavior, e.g., as a metal or an inert gas.If atomic nuclei have too many protons (all of which repel each other) or have an this ratio is unfavorable proton to neutron ratio, the nuclei are not stable but undergo radioactive decay. The elements up to the element fermium (which has atomic number 100) can be produced at research reactors by irradiating a target of a heavy element with neutrons. The target atoms capture a neutrons and subsequently decay through β--emission, thus forming an element with the next higher proton number. This process can be repated, up to fermium.As there are no isotopes of fermium which decay through β--emission, no elements with higher proton number can be synthesized by this method.The heavier an atom is, the more protons are contained in its nucleus. With increasing proton number, the repulsive force of these protons will eventually lead to immediate disintegration of the nucleus. The elements with a proton number higher than 103 can only exist due to nuclear shell effects and are called the superheavy elements. A topic of intense research concerns the question of the heaviest possible element. To date, all elements up to element 112 as well as elements 114 and 116 are officially recognized as discovered, and reports about the observation also of element 113,115, 117, and 118 are also published. It is currently not clear, which element is the heaviest one that can exist.The production of 265Sg and its separation in GARIS was perfected in preparatory work led by Dr. Hiromitsu Haba from RIKEN Nishina Center (RNC) and his team. In this nuclear reaction, a few Sg atoms per hour can be produced.Seaborgium hexacarbonyl – Why is it so special?Carbon monoxide (CO) is known to form complexes with many transition metals. In 1890, Ludwig Mond, Carl Langer and Friedrich Quincke reported of the first synthesis of a carbonyl complex – nickeltetracarbonyl ( Ni(CO)4; see here). In this compound, the nickel (Ni) atom is surrounded by 4 carbon monoxide molecules (CO).In this type of molecule, coordination bonds (rather than covalent bonds) form between the metal and the carbon monoxide.The carbon monoxide ligands bind to the metal by forming a so-called σ-donation bond, and a π-backbond from the metal to the carbon monoxide ligand establishes. In the σ-donation bond the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of the CO donates electron density into the σ-symmetric orbitals of the metal (s or p1/2 or dz2 orbitals). In the π-backbonding, electron density for the π-symmetric d-orbital is donated to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the CO-ligand. The σ-donation bond is the strongest bond, while the π-backbond is slightly weaker.Synthesis of carbonyl complexes with fusion products directly behind the target in a CO-containing atomosphere is not possible, as the primary beam would pass the gas and create a plasma. This would destroy the CO molecules. Therefore, only our new approach to perform chemical experiments behind a separator like TASCA or GARIS allows the synthesis and study of this compound class.Chemistry experiments with superheavy elements - with periodic numbers higher than 104 – are difficult to perform. First, scientists have to produce the element artificially in a particle accelerator. The production rates are really low, usually lower than a few atoms per day. Furthermore, these atoms are very instable, and survive in the best case less than 10 seconds. However, science is still very interested to investigate the characteristics of these superheavy elements, since they allow to test the influence of Einstein's relativity theory on chemistry. The high number of positively charged protons in the atomic nucleus of superheavy elements accelerate the electrons in the different shells to extremely high velocities - close to 80% of the speed of light. Due to the relativistic effects at these speeds, electrons are much heavier than when they are at rest, which in turn should have some influence on the chemical properties of the superheavy atom. These effects will be compared with elements that possess a similar atomic structure but are lighter. Such studies will be of enormous interest to all basic chemists in the world.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald