CRISPR’s next-gen competitor

Daily Edition • July 3, 2024


It’s the season of pool parties, potlucks, and picnics. But with the increase of social events so too comes higher-than-normal grocery bills — meaning now is a great time to brush up on money-saving grocery shopping tips. We especially love this article from Time magazine, filled with practical (and in some cases surprising) advice, including how often to hit the store and which days to do your hauls.

Must Reads


“Bridge Editing” Could Be More Powerful Than CRISPR, Scientists Say

You likely already know about CRISPR, the revolutionary gene-editing technology that’s led to innovations in biology, medical treatments, and agriculture. What’s less known is another powerful system called “bridge editing,” which potentially goes a step further by allowing scientists to “recombine and rearrange DNA in a programmable way,” according to the Arc Institute in California — or in other words, bridge different pieces of DNA.

“The bridge recombination mechanism solves some of the most fundamental challenges facing other methods of genome editing,” Arc senior researcher Matthew Durrant, who led a recently published study on bridge recombination, said in a press release. “The ability to programmably rearrange any two DNA molecules opens the door to breakthroughs in genome design.”

The release noted the editing could allow scientists to “mix and match any target and donor DNA sequences of interest,” enabling them to remove faulty DNA and insert new, functional genetic material.

“We’re excited about the potential to do much broader genomic changes beyond what we can currently do with CRISPR,” study co-author Patrick Hsu told New Scientist. “We think this is an important step towards the broader vision of genome design.” Watch this short video to see how bridge editing works.

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All Aboard! The Napa Valley Wine Train Got an Environmental Makeover

Many visit Northern California’s Napa Valley for its bounty of wineries, but the Napa Valley Wine Train makes the ride across the region an experience in itself. The iconic train is now making headlines for retaining its famously vintage flair while adding a more sustainable twist.

Per CBS News, the train updated its engine to diesel, “the cleanest in its class worldwide,” in an effort to protect the surrounding environment. The locomotive is among a small group using this type of engine (renamed “1864” to honor the year the rail line was founded), which produces nearly zero emissions. The results are a more peaceful, quieter experience for passengers (Think: less black billowing smoke and less noise when the train runs).

“It’s nice driving this in the valley and not having a cloud of smoke,” said engineer Artemus Rogerson. “People would complain sometimes about the train going by, so it’s just nice having this.”

Looking ahead, the plan is to have the entire fleet of trains going green by next year. “It’s a slow-moving industry,” said General Manager Nathan Davis. “But when we move, we get momentum, and we just keep plowing ahead.” Check out the train.


This Chicago Teacher Is Helping Get More Black Youth on the Baseball Field

In the 1970s, about 15% of the MLB was made up of Black baseball players. Now, that number has dropped to a record low of 6%. This is exactly what Earnest Horton, also known as Coach E of Guru, is trying to change.

Horton is a Chicago-based public school teacher and the founder of Black Baseball Media, an organization dedicated to fostering inclusion in baseball. From hosting baseball exposure tournaments to offering free camps and workshops, Horton is all about introducing Black youth to the sport and giving them “the chance to shine.”

“It’s time for everybody to get their boots on the ground. It’s time to unite,” Horton told CBS News. “We can’t just sit on the sideline and complain about it.”

The coach and educator also helps players from predominantly underserved communities get exposure to college scouts while building awareness of Black baseball players thriving in the sport. “Seeing is believing,” Horton said.

Black Baseball Media already has success stories to point to, as two of its members will be playing college ball. As Horton wrote in a recent Instagram post, “The talent is definitely out here.”

In Other News

  1. California will make financial literacy a requirement for high schoolers, so they can “prepare for their financial futures as early as possible,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  2. To help prevent falls in older adults, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released new guidelines with recommended exercises targeting gait and balance.
  3. Paul McCartney’s personal archive of photos he snapped in 1964 takes fans down memory lane — and shows Beatlemania in full force.
  4. For the first time at Northwestern Medicine, a patient received a kidney transplant while awake and saw what their new organ looked like before it was placed inside the body.
  5. No crab left behind: Conservationists are on a mission to protect the crustaceans that have called Rome’s underground canals home for centuries.

Something We Love

Ripa Ripa Swim Shorts

Ripa Ripa is redefining Italian swimwear. The brand’s classic swim shorts, inspired by the aesthetics of the Mediterranean and the 1960s, were redesigned for a more elegant, tailored look and a comfortable fit. The soft, brushed fabric is quick-drying and has a distinctive cotton feel — and many of the patterns are drawn by hand.

Recommendations are independently selected by our team but may result in a commission to Nice News which helps keep our content free.

Inspiring Story

Seeing the world through his eyes

Completing a manuscript is no small feat for anyone, and Howard Wicks did just that under extraordinary circumstances: using only his eyes to type. The 29-year-old was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome after he suffered a stroke as a teen that left every muscle in his body paralyzed, except those in the eye region. Recently, Wicks finished a 50,000-word autobiography with the help of an eye-tracking device. “It was a cathartic experience,” he said.

Photo of the Day

In a scene shared by the Department of the Interior that looks straight out of a watercolor painting, the pink salt flats at the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico showcase their pretty cotton candy-like hue, the result of algae, bacteria, salt, and water. Check out more pink destinations around the world.

Shaving Never Felt So Good

There’s a lot to like about Western Razor: The products are 100% made in the USA, plastic-free, easy to use, and help you save money in the long run thanks to affordable replacement blades. The razors aren’t just high-quality, they’re “give it to your grandkid” quality — embodying the company’s commitment to delivering the best shaving products around.*

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Odds & Ends

🏠 So that’s why millennials love gray home decor

☂️ A museum for umbrella covers? Why not!

👗 Clothing donation made easy*

🐶 World’s best doggie grandpa

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Quote of the Day

“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”


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