Follow Up: CRISPER Co-Inventor Responds to Claim of First Gene-Edited Babies

Yesterday I featured a story about a controversial and unethical experiment that claimed to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies. Here is a rebuttal relayed by Stephen Johnson of Big Think:

One scientist who disagreed with He is Dr. Jennifer Doudna, a professor of chemistry and molecular & cell biology at UC Berkeley and co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. In a statement published on UC Berkeley’s website, Doudna said that He and his colleagues should “fully explain their break from the global consensus that application of CRISPR-Cas9 for human germline editing should not proceed at the present time.” She said the public should consider the following points:

The clinical report has not been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Because the data have not been peer reviewed, the fidelity of the gene editing process cannot be evaluated.
The work as described to date reinforces the urgent need to confine the use of gene editing in human embryos to cases where a clear unmet medical need exists, and where no other medical approach is a viable option, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.


Lightbulb, Finally

We want what’s new, what’s next, what’s in the future, what’s something no one knows about. You want to be part of the club, part of something new. The cutting edge, an early adopter.

That’s what I want to find and share with you, on here. Things that fit that mold; informative material about inventive and interesting things.

I just fully realized that listening to this, this presentation by Seth Godin, one of many people who influence me. I’ve watched this dozens of times and it finally clicked, I know what I want to do.


Discovered How Terrible AMP Pages Are

I apologize to anyone who had to read any of my past articles on an AMPs version of this website. Why in the world would I want that? Sure it loads faster, and SEO experts are against not enabling, but it looks terrible and it strips down the entire identity of the website.

The way I found out how terrible it looked is by clicking on a link to one of my articles, on my twitter profile. It looked like this on my iPhone. Ugly and unappealing.

It gets better. If I wanted to share that link it would show up as the AMPs mobile version of the website for those on mobile, but it will redirect to my main site if the person I was sharing with was on a desktop. Then when I disable AMPs in my settings, it makes the link completely useless. Redirects to a 505 page. Lovely. What a mess, I’m glad I caught it!

MIT Engineers Fly First-Ever Plane With No Moving Parts

Jennifer Chu writing for the MIT News Office:

Instead of propellers or turbines, the light aircraft is powered by an “ionic wind” — a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard the plane, and that generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight.

“This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system,” says Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. “This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions.”


My Audience is Just Me

John Gruber talking to Recode awhile back:

“My audience is just me,” Gruber said of his Daring Fireball site, on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “It’s somebody out there who’s exactly like me and isn’t writing Daring Fireball.”

One of my inspirations is John Gruber and Daring Fireball, and his attitude towards his content is how look at creating.


Tesla Customer Was Accidentally Granted Admin Privileges on the Official Tesla Forum

Joseph Cox writing for Motherboard:

Tesla accidentally granted a random customer control over its official forums when the customer complained about their delayed Tesla vehicle delivery. That access allowed the customer the ability to edit or delete anyone else’s posts, as well as see the contact information for the forum’s 1.5 million users.

This bizarre story starts with Dan, the CEO of travel website, who recently posted on the Tesla owners’ forum about some of the delivery issues with his car. Oddly, when Dan tried to edit the post, the thread disappeared entirely, according to a blog post Dan published over the weekend. It turned out Dan didn’t have an “owners” account, and could only make one thread on the forum per day. He contacted customer support to solve the issue.

“So I called Tesla and asked the agent to please list me as an owner on the Tesla Forums,” Dan wrote. “The agent had no idea what ‘forums’ meant. I explained that they were on, but sure enough, there is no link on Tesla’s site to the forums. I said to type in and the agent said she would pass on my request to her IT department.”

The IT department, it seems, may have taken the request a bit too literally.

A short while later, Dan noticed he “had the ability to edit and delete everyone’s posts! Then I looked at the top of the page and noticed the admin bar. Something very strange was going on here,” his post continues.

“But this was much bigger than that. I clicked on the People option and was able to view the contact information of over 1.5 million account holders,” Dan adds. He was even able to search for particular people, and found neighbours and friends with Teslas, Dan claims. He believes he found Elon Musk’s own account, who last logged in some three and a half years ago.

“Clearly he prefers Twitter,” Dan wrote. At one point, Dan accidentally removed thousands of threads when he republished, and then unpublished, his rogue thread that had started the series of events in the first place.