New Scientist Weekly
#121: Creation of artificial life; gene therapy saves children’s lives; new understanding of chronic pain
Synthetic cell membranes have been fused with protein machinery from living cells to create an artificial membrane. Could this be a precursor to the creation of artificial life? The team discusses its potential and limitations.
Babies with severe genetic conditions are being cured by new gene replacement therapies, allowing them to overcome fatal diseases. There are a number of different treatments which have seen success, and the team finds out how they work.
The DNA of two people who were killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii has been sequenced. The team finds out how the DNA from 79 AD managed to survive the heat of the volcano, and what the findings tell us about the lives of these two people.
Solar sails - a method of harnessing the sun’s light for space travel - are usually quite clumsy, so a NASA-funded team is developing a new more agile type of solar sail. The team finds out how they’re overcoming the problem.
Haider Warraich, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, discusses his new book ‘The Song of Our Scars: The Untold Story of Pain’, which addresses “modern medicine’s failure to understand pain”.
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