Dealing with the misconceptions around the R0 of COVID-19

Reading Time: 7 minutes This post will try to rip apart some misconceptions around the basic reproduction number of an infection defined as R0 and, more precisely, the R0 of COVID-19, the new Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. You’ll learn to debate my imaginary nemesis Chad who has no clue about R0 and COVIDD-19 but likes to pretend.…

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By Santiago February 13, 2020 0

1 year after birth: are CRISPR-designed babies the future?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The German news site interviewed me about a week ago about the possibilities and risks of the CRISPR gene-editing technology. The reason for this piece was the first anniversary of the CRISPR designed babies, the twins (with the pseudonyms Lulu and Nana).  In short, a Chinese researcher and former associate professor at the Southern…

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By Santiago December 4, 2019 0

Should we fight fake fire with fire? Creating better scientific stories and anecdotes

Reading Time: 6 minutes Using anecdotes in a scientific context may be a double-edged sword. Still, we need captivating strategies to replace pseudoscientific stories with better ones without losing accuracy and trust. The time my niece got a triple vaccine shot Let me tell you about the time my niece received a triple vaccination shot. She was about a…

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By Santiago November 19, 2019 0

Modifying multiple genes and hoping to treat diseases with CRISPR-Cas12a

Reading Time: 4 minutes A Swiss team figured out how to modify multiple genes in one cell using the gene-editing CRISPR-system Cas12a. What do the findings mean for disease treatment strategies? In May, during our Amsterdam S.H.I.T. Show, we talked about the gene-editing CRISPR-Cas systems and how they enable you to cut DNA almost anywhere you want. The tools…

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By Santiago September 19, 2019 0

Blue is for Girls, Pink is for Boys

Reading Time: 6 minutes “Is it a boy or a girl?” The first question we ask about a new baby. But can we honestly answer it? Or is this distinction between male and female sex or gender trickier than we think? In our society, we accept that genitalia determines our sex and gender: if you are born with a…

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By Joana Silva August 22, 2019 1

S.H.I.T. Show to the people! (an update)

Reading Time: 4 minutes OK, so we arranged our first ever Science&Health Informal Talk (S.H.I.T.) Show in Amsterdam. We uploaded pictures from it on our social media, but where’s that written update we promised you?? Sorry for the delay, but it’s summer here. Plus, the preparation for the event took some time and accumulated our responsibilities outside the Ivory…

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By Santiago July 17, 2019 0

The Upcoming S.H.I.T. Show and How It All Started, Interviewing the Organizers

Reading Time: 5 minutes In case you haven’t heard, the Ivory Embassy is organizing the upcoming Science & Health Informal Talk Show (or simply the S.H.I.T. Show). The event DNA Manipulation: Treating Diseases and Designing Babies with CRISPR takes place in Amsterdam on May 23rd and will highlight the implications of CRISPR-Cas – a new biotechnological tool that can…

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By Santiago May 21, 2019 0

Epigenetics: the making of a concert

Reading Time: 4 minutes Epigenetics: the making of a concert Epigenetics is important for the development of an organism. It’s also an important process in cancer, and a potential target in the battle against it. Word has it that epigenetics is “hot” as fudge in research. It’s the present and future they say. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom;…

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By Santiago January 31, 2019 0

Genome edited CRISPR babies are born

Reading Time: 3 minutes It finally happened. The first CRISPR edited babies were recently born! Or that’s the claim at least. He Jiankui, a scientist from the Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen claims to have disabled a gene important for HIV infections. He edited embryos using CRISPR, which he then used for in vitro…

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By Santiago November 27, 2018 0