New Gene Editing Tool Corrects Mutations in Mitochondrial DNA

the-scientist.com – An enzyme pulled from toxic bacteria can enter the organelle and perform single-nucleotide DNA swaps.

Source: Beverly Y. Mok, et al. A bacterial cytidine deaminase toxin enables CRISPR-free mitochondrial base editing. Nature, 2020.

Study reveals science behind traditional mezcal-making technique

eurekalert.org – Researchers reveal for the first time why bubbles are a good gauge of alcohol content in mezcal, a traditional Mexican spirit.

Source: G. Rage, et al. Bubbles determine the amount of alcohol in Mezcal. Scientific Reports, 2020.

Researchers want to create the first universally accepted list of species

zmescience.com – This could help to address biodiversity challenges.

Source: Stephen T. Garnett, et al. Principles for creating a single authoritative list of the world’s species. PLOS Biology, 2020.

Typhoid Mary Was a Real, Asymptomatic Carrier Who Caused Multiple Outbreaks

discovermagazine.com – In the early 1900s, Mary Mallon worked as a cook — and spread typhoid fever to the families she worked for.

Source: Enrico Lavezzo, et al. Suppression of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the Italian municipality of Vo’. Nature, 2020.

Coconut oil actually threatens more species than palm oil, study shows

zmescience.com – Making an environmentally conscientious spending choice just got more difficult.

Source: Erik Meijaard, Jesse F. Abrams, Diego Juffe-Bignoli, Maria Voigt, Douglas Sheil. Coconut oil, conservation and the conscientious consumer. Current Biology, 2020.

Your 1-year-old dog isn't 7 human years old, contrary to the traditional math. It's more like 30 years old, new research shows.

businessinsider.com – A new study finds that puppies age more quickly than older dogs do, and that dogs' aging rate slows over time. So our dogs are older than we think.

Source: Tina Wang, et al. Quantitative Translation of Dog-to-Human Aging by Conserved Remodeling of the DNA Methylome. Cell Systems, 2020.

AI for self-driving cars doesn’t account for crime

futurity.org – AI for self-driving cars may need fixes to deal with ethical gaps. Namely, what happens if people triy to use an automated vehicle to do something bad?

Source: Veljko Dubljević. Toward Implementing the ADC Model of Moral Judgment in Autonomous Vehicles. Science and Engineering Ethics, 2020.

Earth's magnetic field can shift 10 times faster than scientists thought

upi.com – New simulations suggest Earth's magnetic field can change directions 10 times faster than previously thought.

Source: Christopher J. Davies, Catherine G. Constable. Rapid geomagnetic changes inferred from Earth observations and numerical simulations. Nature Communications, 2020.