SciNews May 2

Modifying human embryos, the mechanics of the Nepal earthquate, Tesla’s Power Wall and so much more… This eclectic collection of current science news stories is brought to you by STAOBlog.

SciNews is published every Monday and Thursday. Stay tuned for more.

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 In World First, Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos. Discover

Chinese researchers have officially taken science into some uncomfortable territory. Researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou have edited the genomes of human embryos, Nature reported in an exclusive Wednesday. The study, which was published in the journal Protein & Cell, confirms rumors that some scientists were conducting these ethically dubious experiments. Read More…


Brain on display. Science News

Studying the human brain requires grandiose thinking, but rarely do actual theatrical skills come into play. In her latest stint as a video star, MIT neuroscientist Nancy Kanwisher does not buzz saw her skull open to give viewers a glimpse of her brain. But she does perhaps the next best thing: She clips off her shoulder-length gray hair and shaves her head on camera. Read More…



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Tesla to make batteries that store energy for homes, businesses.  Globe and Mail

Tesla Motors Inc. on Thursday unveiled Tesla Energy – storage systems or batteries for homes, companies and utilities that will expand its business beyond electric vehicles and tap into a fast-growing area of the energy industry.  Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company’s goal was to “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy on an extreme scale.” He introduced the products to a crowd of business partners and journalists at a Tesla facility near Los Angeles.  Read More…




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WATCH: Chile’s Eruption Produces Dramatic Lightning. Discover

Chile’s Calbuco Volcano awoke from a four-decade slumber Wednesday, and you could say it woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The 90-minute eruption was a chilling demonstration of Earth’s power. Calbuco spewed a column of ash 7 miles into the sky, causing some 5,000 people in the area to evacuate for their safety. And as magma lit up the night sky, Calbuco showed the world why ancient cultures forged spiritual connections to these events.Read More…


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NASA’s New Horizons detects surface features, possible polar cap on Pluto. Science Daily

For the first time, images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft are revealing bright and dark regions on the surface of faraway Pluto — the primary target of the New Horizons close flyby in mid-July. Read More…


How The Deadly Nepal Earthquake Happened [Infographic].  Scientific American

Between 55 million and 40 million years ago, the northern edge of what is now India began to slam into the giant slab of Earth’s crust that today carries Nepal and Tibet. This ancient collision had a terrible after-effect this past Saturday: The deadly earthquake, centered in Nepal, which had an estimated death toll of nearly 4,000 people as of Monday evening. Read More…