Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.
This week: Scientists “delete” HIV from human cells, a simple synthetic cell could help us understand the most basic aspects of genetics, self cleaning textiles that could replace washing machines, a device that turns your smart phone into a 3d printer, and building a moon colony in just 6 years.
Scientists Eliminate HIV-1 DNA from Human T Cells
Using the much-touted CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing method, scientists have demonstrated how they can edit HIV out of human immune cell DNA, and in doing so, can prevent the reinfection of unedited cells too.
If you haven’t heard of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique before, get ready to hear a whole lot more about it in 2016, because it’s set to revolutionize how we investigate and treat the root causes of genetic disease. It allows scientists to narrow in on a specific gene, and cut-and-paste parts of the DNA to change its function.
Artificial Cell Reveals Genes Essential to Life
We have even further to go to understand life than we thought.
The world’s first minimal genome, whittled down by gene elimination to the tiniest possible stash of DNA capable of supporting life, suggests that we don’t know the functions of almost a third of those essential genes.
Self Cleaning Textiles Spell the End of the Washing Machine
Same shirt. Different day.
This might have been the mantra of a team of researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia who recently used nanostructures to create a textile that cleans itself when exposed to light.
“There’s more work to do to before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles,” says Dr Rajesh Ramanathan, co-author of the study published in the March 2016 issue of Advanced Materials Interfaces.
3D Printing From Your Smart Phone
Despite the technology being cheaper and more accessible than ever, you probably don’t have too many people in your life (if any) who actually use a 3D printer for real. That may change, thanks to a new 3-D printer that works with your phone.
3-D printing has been around since the mid-1980’s, which was first invented using a stereolithography technique. A commercial apparatus of this kind could sell for up to $100,000. Even with devices becoming more compact and easy-to-use over the years, many people still find 3-D printers out of their budget.
But there’s no escape from a future that doesn’t involve an incredible variety of 3-D printing applications.
We Can Colonize the Moon By 2022
By 2022 (that’s just six years from now), and with $10 billion—which is cheaper than a single US aircraft carrier—the Earth could already set up a small colony on the moon.
“The big takeaway is that new technologies, some of which have nothing to do with space—such as self-driving cars and waste-recycling toilets—are going to be incredibly useful in space, and are driving down the cost of a moon base to the point where it might be easy to do,” Chris McKay says in a Popular Science issue.
Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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