Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
Breaking silos, nudging communities: The SITE4Society adventure
UNU-MERIT's Site4Society (S4S) aims to foster home-grown social innovation. It starts from the premise that knowledge need not be cold or aloof, but can in fact serve various social challenges. In the case of S4S, we address the clear lack of networks between academics from different disciplines and between social scientists and the rest of the world ? on the SDGs in particular. So the main aim is to break open silos and start unconventional conversations through interactive workshops.

For our second S4S event held last week we hosted speakers from across the local innovation system, including Brightlands (an institution supported by the Limburg government to nurture start-ups), sustainably.io (getting to be a start-up), DSM corporate sustainability division (a Dutch multinational present in 50 countries), GoodGood (a social enterprise), LOCOtuinen (a cooperative), Bandito Espresso (a social enterprise) and Maastricht University (an academic institution!). Find out more about this initiative by clicking the link below.
See: https://www.merit.unu.edu/breaking-silos-nudging-communities-the-site4society-adventure/



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    Precise chemical surgery has been performed on human embryos to remove disease in a world first, by researchers from Sun Yat-sen University in China.

    Using a technique called base editing they corrected a single error out of the three billion 'letters' of our genetic code. They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia. The embryos were not implanted. The team says the approach may one day treat a range of inherited diseases.

    Base editing alters the fundamental building blocks of DNA: the four bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. They are commonly known by their respective letters, A, C, G and T. All the instructions for building and running the human body are encoded in combinations of those four bases.

    The potentially life-threatening blood disorder beta-thalassemia is caused by a change to a single base in the genetic code - known as a point mutation. The team in China edited it back. They scanned DNA for the error then converted a G to an A, correcting the fault.

    The study opens new avenues for treating patients and preventing babies being born with beta-thalassemia, and other inherited diseases, according to the researchers.

    BBC News    September 28, 2017