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Just a few years ago, molecular biologists hoping to alter the genome of their favorite organisms faced an arduous task and likely weeks of genetic tinkering.

Today, those scientists can quickly destroy or edit a gene with a new technology called CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)/Cas9.

CRISPRs were interesting mainly to microbiologists until 2012 when a team figured out they could combine crRNA and tracrRNA into a single, artificial guide RNA, which they could then use to aim the DNA-slicing enzyme at a sequence of their choosing.

The implications were thrilling...

Amber Dance at PNAS has the history.
It's hard to imagine that people on food stamps are buying lobsters and crab but Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin want to make sure it happens a lot less: a new bill would require that two thirds of food be from a restricted list like beef, pork, poultry, potatoes, dairy products and foodstuffs available under the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. 
Norm Borlaug, “Father of the Green Revolution,” got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work advocating science to feed the poor. Because of his work, a strain of “miracle rice” 10 times more productive than its predecessors was in fields across Asia, third world grain production has tripled since the 1960s, and India is now a major rice exporter. 

Borlaug was the prototype for a science-based environmentalist but today, environmentalism is instead a Political Action Committee and their positions have nothing to do with food or helping the poor, and are instead progressive self-identification and creating a First World idyll certain to doom the developing world.
Back in 1982, the Almeida Family was saddened to learn that their beloved pet, Manuela, a young red-footed tortoise, had gone missing.

Their house was under renovation at the time, so the family just assumed that the slow-moving animal had slipped out through a gate left open by the construction crew -- disappearing into the forest near their home in Realengo, Brazil.

The truth was far more odd. 

Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Everyone recognizes that the public needs honest answers about genetically-modified foods - oddly corporations are the ones least likely to defend science. Not only will they not defend them, they go even farther and won't do anything more than pay generic public relations firms after the latest bit of fear and doubt hits the media.
Unless you are a hippie growing organic, vegetarian, free-range chickens in Oregon, you probably recognize that nature is out to kill you. But nothing is out to kill you like nature in Australia.

But Aussies can find a positive in anything and baby spiders that build streamers of silk which they use to surf the winds as high as 3 kilometers off the ground and then cover buildings and fields get called “Angel Hair.”

A home surrounded by spiderwebs as floodwaters rise around Wagga Wagga in 2012. Photo: Reuters
The food industry is one of the few businesses that haven't been mired in oppressive regulations and government micromanagement - at least outside San Francisco and New York City - but a new set of regulations are trying to change that as well.

Despite any evidence that it will do any good, the Obama administration is expected to all but ban trans fat in a final ruling as soon as next week, even though it has been banned in some places and has shown no benefit. In New York City, diabetes rose after the ban.
Because everyone knows that the best part of waking up is staying in sweatpants all day and eating cereal while watching Warner Herzog documentaries, the chilled out folks on the West Coast are pairing your morning cup of joe with marijuana to start the day.

Yahoo! Finance reports that a Seattle pot shop is selling pods of “premium infused coffee” for $10 a pop. Each pod contains 10 mg of THC and fits in standard single-serve coffee makers.

Recreational marijuana use is legal there, and of course they love their coffee.
Joe’s Big Idea on NPR. hosted by Joe Palca, had an interview with Caltech astrophysicist Shrinivas Kulkarni who, at one point, said “Many scientists are I think, secretly, are what I call ‘boys with toys.’”
Palca repeated that for him, “Boys with toys.”
“And I think there’s nothing wrong with that, except...," Kulkarni went on.
“Boys with toys,” Palca said again.
 “’re not supposed to say that”, Kulkarni finished. 
Five small studies indicate antibiotics can cure some patients with appendicitis; about 70 percent of patients who took pills did not need surgery.

Antibiotics Resurface as Alternative to Removing Appendix - Gina Kolata, New York Times
For year we have been told that Millennials, born after 1982, wanted healthier, nutritious food and it had to come in microwave pouches that were recyclable and in all ways environmentally terrific.

Millennials were also being told that, by companies selling all of those features - at highly inflated prices.
After the U.S.started vaccinating kids for measles in the 1960s, children predictably stopped getting measles.

What happened next had not been predicted - childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted. Even deaths from infections like pneumonia were cut in half. The same phenomenon happened again, in England, and then across Europe and it still happens today when developing countries introduce the measles vaccine.

Why children stopped dying at high rates from numerous and varied infections following introduction of the measles vaccine has been a mystery - but a team of researchers think they have solved it. (Subscription required)
The public relations machine behind government-financed alternative energy corporations talk a lot about solar power in Germany, but the numbers don't add up. Germany didn't want to stand against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine because they need their natural gas from fracking and now the French are complaining about pollution wafting over the border from Deutschland due to coal and oil.

They know it is not their own CO2, they are 85 percent nuclear.
Are all of the forces we know just parts of a single, unified force? How is the Higgs boson so light? What is dark matter? Is the world made up of the tiny, vibrating strings described by string theory?

Does every fundamental particle we know about have a hidden partner - a superparticle - that we have yet to meet? A popular hypothesis known as Supersymmetry predicts that they do but the first run of the LHC came and went without any of these partner particles turning up.

Fortunately for theoretical physicists  there are millions of possible models consistent with natural Supersymmetry and physicists will never build enough particle accelerators to eliminate them all. 
We've been running the Food Demand Survey (FooDS) and each monthly survey has over 1,000 respondents. I took the first years' data, which consists of responses from over 12,000 individuals. This sample is potentially large enough to begin to make some more comprehensive statements about how vegetarians might differ from meat eaters in the US.
Oprah Winfrey, who made Dr. Oz famous by proclaiming him America's Doctor®, is dumping "The Daily Dose With Dr. Oz," a 'radio minute' produced by Oprah's Harpo Productions.
Though Dr. Oz made a valiant effort at rehabilitating his reputation by appearing contrite in an NBC interview and conceding that his stethoscope and medical scrubs are to be taken as simple props, since his goal on "The Dr. Oz Show" is not to discuss medicine, but his bullying of detractors on his own program didn't go without notice.

He may claim anyone who disagrees with him is a shill - though when it comes to GMOs, everyone in science is a shill - but he asks the audience to ignore his many efforts to become a corporate spokesperson in his own right.  And it isn't really a defense if the people on your side are anti-science activists like Lisa Graves, Joel Fuhrman and Gary Ruskin.
In a talk at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in Frisco, archaeologist Sonia Harmand of Stony Brook University in New York described the discovery of numerous tools at the site of Lomekwi 3, just west of Lake Turkana in Kenya, about 1000 kilometers from Olduvai Gorge. In 2011 they spotted what Harmand called unmistakable stone tools on the surface of the sandy landscape and immediately launched a small excavation.

The result: Stone flakes dated to 3.3 million years ago, 700,000 years older than the oldest-known tools to date and hundreds of thousands of years before our genus Homo even arrived.

“The artifacts were clearly knapped [created by intentional flaking] and not the result of accidental fracture of rocks,” Harmand told the meeting.
Is there still bias in academic science? There is definitely unequal representation in some areas. The social sciences, for example, is 70 percent women while physics is 70 percent men, but there is no evidence that either gender is being blocked out.

Instead, there is second order sociological claims of stereotype threat, with the NSF funding games like Gender Bias Bingo, but there is little evidence that there is still bias - instead, studies for years have shown that women have been over-represented in hiring. The numbers remain unequal because academics get tenure, and people are working longer than ever, so men still have more jobs - but when new jobs open up, women have been more likely to get them.
 India has once again had enough of Greenpeace. They suspended froze Greenpeace India’s bank accounts and essentially labeled them fifth columnists who put a political agenda of the best interests of Indian people.

If not for the rapes on buses if women are out after 9PM it sounds like they are interested in joining the developed world - science is a competitive advantage, something that Europe has forgotten in its conservative efforts to retreat into the past.