5 things to read instead of

One of the best-known scientists of the 21st century, namely Craig Venter, has been under fire in the news this week. First off, he’s been facing backlash from critics, saying his company is “selling a product by scaring people.” But that’s not all, he’s also being named in a sweeping gender discrimination lawsuit against biotech company Synthetic Genomics, where Venter is co-founder.

Let’s stop the hating – instead, we give you five things to read with a special shoutout to Francis Crick who predicted how our genes work 60 years ago! Read about his predictions, CRISPR talk, Zombie Caterpillars and more below. 

The Lecture that Changed Biology  

Sixty years ago this week, one of the greatest British scientists, Francis Crick, gave a lecture in London in which he accurately predicted how genes work, setting the course for the genetic revolution we are now living through. Here, evolutionary biologist Professor Matthew Cobb from Manchester University unpicks the predictions that set a new course for how we understand the very stuff we are made from. 

Five Ways to Get CRISPR into the Body 

The gene-editing tool CRISPR has the potential to treat – and possibly cure – any number of diseases. But in order for CRISPR to work, it needs to find its way to the right part of the body. 

To do that, researchers are engineering some surprising delivery techniques to make CRISPR work safely and effectively.

To Advance Medicine’s Future, the NIH Tries to win the Trust of Communities Mistreated in the Past

The National Institutes of Health would like six vials of your blood, please: If scientists would like to take a urine sample, measure your waistline, and have access to your electronic health records and data from the wearable sensor on your wrist. And if you don’t mind sharing, could they have your Social Security number?

New Antibody Attacks 99% of HIV Strains

Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates. It’s built to attack three critical parts of the virus – making it hard for HIV to resist its effects. 

Caterpillars Turned into Exploding Zombies

Caterpillars are being killed by a ‘zombie’ virus that spreads when its victims explode, splashing goo over other grubs feeding nearby. The baculovirus “brainwashes” the animal’s natural instinct to hide away from sunlight, making it climb to the top of plants where it eventually explodes.