Safe for consumption: Japan has announced that they will allow the sale of gene edited foods without having to undergo lengthy evaluation procedures so long as specific criteria are met. Japanese scientists concluded that CRISPR use in agriculture poses minimal threat. “There is little difference between traditional breeding methods and gene editing in terms of safety,” Hirohito Sone, an endocrinologist at Niigata University who chaired the expert panel, told NHK. http://bit.ly/2OjWKOY

A different kind of registry: A World Health Organization expertises panel concluded that here is an urgent need for the formation of a registry that tracks the use gene editing techniques on human germline genomes. While short on specific details, the committee said that the registry “should include both germline experiments and the less ethically fraught studies that modify the genomes of humans in ways that are not inheritable.” http://bit.ly/2Oh4aSN

China’s cloned dogs: Meanwhile, Sinogene, a biotechnology company in Yunnan Province, China, has cloned a police dog with the purpose of mass producing the cloned dog. Sinogene hopes to achieve “volume production” of cloned police dogs in order to reduce training times, the company’s deputy general manager Zhao Jianping told the Global Times. For the time being, the process is cost-prohibitive. http://bit.ly/2Oh4aSN

Riding the bubble: Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck has been awarded the 2019 Abel Prize for her work in the fields of analysis, geometry and mathematical physics. One of her most influential works entailed a process called bubbling. Her collaboration with mathematician Jonathan Sacks studied how soap films arrange themselves into shapes that minimize their energy. https://go.nature.com/2OhShMv

Why does he hate science?: President Donald Trump continues his war on science. This time his proposed 2020 budget would slash funding at the National Science Foundation across the board. According to Nature, “The biggest decreases would hit funding for research in Antarctica and the Arctic, the geosciences, maths and physical sciences.” https://go.nature.com/2OhTkvV

Sleep for a better tomorrow: An article in the New York Times describes how problems sleeping can negatively affect a professional baseball player’s performance. When first baseman Dominic Smith reported to spring training, the New York Mets’ Head trainer, Brian Chiklo, had him get tested at a local sleep center. “After he managed to drift off, the test revealed that Smith stopped breathing 90 times every hour, a sign of sleep apnea,” the article says. The doctors addressed Smith’s breathing problems and his on field performances improved significantly. https://nyti.ms/2Of9QwO

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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