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

 
Africa bridging the digital divides: New policy note
Information and communication technology is developing rapidly in Africa – but there are worrying trends, such as a growing digital divide between men and women, and between urban and rural areas. These are the basic findings of a new policy note by Prof. Samia Nour, an affiliated researcher at UNU-MERIT.
See: https://www.merit.unu.edu/africa-bridging-the-digital-divides-new-policy-note/



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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