Future Gist 42
Woolly Mammoth Resurrection, SpaceX's First All-Private Mission, Reversing Alzheimer's, and mRNA Cancer therapy.
🦣Lab-grown woolly mammoths could walk the Earth in six years if geneticist's new start-up succeeds: Yes, you read that right. The startup known as Colossal, spearheaded by Havard geneticist George Church and Ben Lamm, seeks to recreate the woolly mammoth using genetic engineering. It isn’t quite resurrection, as it is recreation since they plan to make use of modified Asian elephants. The Asian elephant is itself under the threat of extinction due to Herpes and human contact. They hope to make use of gene editing to create elephants that are resistant to the Herpes virus, and whose modified characteristics resembling the ancient and long-extinct woolly mammoth could help curb some of climate change’s worst effects in their ecosystem. Very ambitious stuff. (1266 words)
🧑🏿🚀Inspiration4: Why SpaceX’s first all-private mission is a big deal: There’ve been two previously well-documented and hyped space trips in the past year. The one by Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic, as well as Bezos’ Blue origin. SpaceX has in many ways been the flagbearer of space-oriented missions in the past decade. Led by the eccentric Elon Musk, SpaceX revitalized our desire for a world beyond our own. Now, it seeks its first private space-flight today carrying ordinary people. The passengers will remain in orbit for 3 days in a shuttle fully controlled by mission control. If there is anything that signifies the Space Age we currently live in, it is this. (1100 words)
🧠Hyperbaric oxygen therapy reverses hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv (TAU) discovered that they could make use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to reverse signs of Alzheimer’s, increase blood flow in the brain, and as a consequence, improve cognitive functioning. Their discovery supposedly hints at the potential to curb the disease entirely by introducing said therapy very early; that is before symptoms of the disease rear their head. (764 words)
💉mRNA cancer therapy now in human trials after shrinking mouse tumours: I’ve been covering a lot of mRNA-oriented biotech development in the past few weeks primarily because it seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. If there’s been one thing this pandemic has blessed us with, it is the renewed focus on the potential of a technology that a large part of industry and VC had omitted for a while now. Crises really do have that ability as Kuhn had noted. Now it seems as if this renewed focus on mRNA may bless us with the most effective cancer treatment ever. BioNTech, the company that gave us the groundbreaking Pfizer Covid vaccine, has entered human testing after discovering that an mRNA-based treatment reduced tumors in mice dramatically! (375 words)
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