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The idea of scientists tinkering with the genes of babies was once the provenance of science fiction, but now it’s apparently entered the realm of reality: On Nov. 26, Chinese scientist He Jiankui reported the historic live births of twin girls whose genes he had edited. The goal may have been noble: to use CRISPR to alter their genes to include a variant protective against transmission of HIV.

What began as an expedition to record the inscriptions of ancient Egyptian quarry workers produced a remarkable discovery about the Great Pyramid at Giza. My colleagues and I in the Anglo-French joint archaeological mission to the ancient quarry site of Hatnub recently revealed the existence of a well-preserved haulage ramp dating to the time of the Great Pyramid, roughly 4,500 years ago.

The midterm elections are widely expected to usher in this century’s “year of the woman” – an explosion of women entering government.

Massachusetts will likely elect its first black woman to Congress, Arizona is poised to send its first woman to the U.S. Senate, and fully 50 percent of Democratic congressional nominees this year are women.

If you’ve ever thought your poo is just a bunch of dead cells, think again. Most of it is alive, teeming with billions of microbes. Here’s what studies in healthy adults reveal makes up our poo.

Water

Our feces is largely (75%) made up of water, although this differs from person to person.

Modern life has many benefits. Transport, comfy furniture, smartphones, TV, the internet, dentistry and advanced medicine would be at the top of most people’s lists. Our bodies also show signs of responding positively to modern life. In almost every part of the world, we are much taller than we used to be. We also live much longer, with life expectancy inching towards 80 in many wealthy countries, while everyone “knows” ancient humans usually died in their twenties. But what I discovered while researching my book, is that things are more complex than that.

Comic books of the 1950s and 1960s made a point of their potential to terrify, with anthologies from Entertaining Comics, such as Haunt of Fear, Vault of Horror, and Tales of the Crypt, boasting covers with straplines such as “Within these pages dwell creatures from the terrifying beyond!”