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Find Out How a Baby Can Have Three Biological Parents

Last April 6, a baby was born with three sets of DNA – from his father, his mother, and a donor.

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Genetically speaking, you need two people of opposite sexes to create a baby. You need the mother’s egg cell and the father’s egg cell. At least, this is the only method we know of to create a child. However, it’s now possible to create a human baby using three sets of DNA!

A Jordanian couple sought the help of pioneering scientist John Zhang to have a baby. The couple has already had two children who tragically died due to a deadly genetic disease. The mother carries the genetic mutation for Leigh syndrome, which prevents the nervous system from developing properly. She doesn’t suffer from this disease, but she is capable of passing down this disease to her children.

The mutation for this disease lies in the mitochondrial DNA, which can only be passed down the maternal line. It’s made up of a number of genes that aren’t the same as the ones in nuclear DNA, which is in every cell in the body.

John Zhang found a method to allow the couple to have a child with minimal chance of suffering from Leigh syndrome.

John Zhang found a method to allow the couple to have a child with minimal chance of suffering from Leigh syndrome.

Zhang’s solution to the couple’s problem is a process called spindle nuclear transfer, wherein the nucleus of the mother’s egg is inserted into the egg of a donor whose egg cell nucleus has been removed. This then creates a new egg with the mother’s nuclear DNA and the donor’s healthy mitochondrial DNA. It was then fertilized by the father’s sperm before being placed in the mother’s womb.

Naturally, this raises some moral and ethical questions, but Zhang firmly believes that he is doing the right thing.

Upon analysis, it was shown that the baby boy, who was born last April 6, had only about 1% of the mutation for Leigh syndrome in his DNA. And due to the tiny amount, doctors hope this will allow the baby boy to avoid the deadly condition. In addition, since the baby is male, it means he won’t be passing down the mitochondrial DNA to any of his children.

Sci/Tech

Is The Big One Happening Soon? San Andreas Fault Earthquake Prompts Concerns

The United States Geological Survey office recorded around 200 small quakes along the San Andreas Fault in California over the past days.

People in California have learned to live with the risk of earthquakes. They go on with their lives, but they're always conscious of the fact that the dreaded "Big One" would hit.

California takes earthquake drills very seriously.

California takes earthquake drills very seriously.

Source: ABC 7 News

"But over the last week, anxieties were particularly heightened," reports the Los Angeles Times.

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Sci/Tech

This Guy Used a GoPro and a Balloon to Film the Edge of Space

How far can a GoPro and a balloon go?

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"I want to be an astronaut!"

This is a common conversation among kids, and it isn't at all bad. I mean, kids are kids and they have every right to dream, just like everybody else. The thing is, not everyone who ever dreamt of becoming an astronaut gets to fulfill their dream (Come on, Astrophysics and Quantum Mechanics of the Interstellar Medium? I won't survive even a day of college!).

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Sci/Tech

These Wind Turbines Harness Wind Energy From Unpredictable Typhoon Winds!

With Japan’s rising energy needs, this inventor created a wind turbine to harness energy from typhoons!

Natural disasters are hardly ever a cause for celebration. Disasters like typhoons, earthquakes, monsoons, and floods are rarely ever welcomed because of the destruction they leave in their wake. However, due to the fact that Japan is no newbie to these forces of nature (with 6 typhoons in just 2016 alone!), they have invented a wind turbine that can harness the energy of these natural disasters.

"Typhoons are normally nothing but a disaster," says Atsushi Shimizu, inventor of the world's first typhoon turbine. His durable device looks like an eggbeater, but it packs a powerful punch! It was constructed originally to counteract Japan's energy shortage, which has been an issue since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Shimizu says, "Japan actually has a lot more wind power than it does solar power, it's just not utilized."

Atsushi Shimizu demonstrates how these eggbeater-shaped turbines are a better alternative to traditional wind turbines.

atsushi-shimizu

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