A story started circulating last week focusing on zinc finger nucleases. These are enzymes that cut DNA in a very specific way, allowing for a new, different means of altering genes in vitro and possibly in vivo. Genetic treatments are the exciting future medicine we all hope for, especially with the genetic disorders that are inborn and uncorrectable otherwise. The ability to correct disorders by correcting the body at the genes is exciting, so this story generates lots of interest. Read it yourself here.
The surface of the planet we live on is approximately 71% liquid water, and the average adult is about 65% water. The understanding of life centers on liquid water: without water, we assume there is no life. It is the most common solvent in labs, and when it is contaminated, it is the cause of so many deaths that it sets nations back by centuries. I am passionate about water safety and ending the world water crisis, so every Wednesday will be Water Wednesday. Look for articles, infographics, or links to water-related issues. These may be like today's infographic on water in labs, it may be a chemistry lesson on water, it may be articles about specific water-born illnesses or pathogens that are, for some portion of their lifespan, dependent upon water to mature, infect, or breed. It may be about water purity, or water safety, it may be cautionary, informational, or even, occasionally, just fun. But Wednesdays will be dedicated to the liquid that brings us life.