Health

Health

CRISPR DNA editing may cause serious genetic damage, researchers warn

CRISPR-Cas9, the gene-editing tool that is currently the darling of biotech and many other fields, may not be quite as miraculous as early tests suggested. A new study finds that what scientists thought of as a scalpel may be more like a felling axe, causing damage hundreds of times what was previously observed. Before anyone panics and checks out the window for mutated monstrosities, it should be said right away that this isn’t a nightmare scenario by any means: the tool can still be used in many ways safely, and the clinical repercussions of the damage are unexplored. But this unexpected limitation of a tool so widely applied will almost certainly put a chill on its use. CRISPR, as a quick reminder, is basically a molecule that cleanly and reliably snips bases out of DNA strands paired w...

MASTURBATION: Mortal sin moral disorder?

•Masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act that constitutes a grave moral disorder  -Excerpt from the Persona Humana: Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics Masturbation has benefits for both men and women but the problem is that people can be addicted to it and it sometimes causes collapse of relationships By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna Guests at a highbrow housewarming party in Lagos were taken aback recently when the host’s middle-aged brother who had probably had a few drinks too many, at one point, loudly announced that he enjoyed masturbating. “I love to masturbate, but it’s not just me. Everybody masturbates. There’s nothing wrong with doing it, but just keep it to yourself, okay?” He yelled with a grin. The embarrass...

Chowly is raising $5.8 million to help restaurants manage on-demand delivery orders

Chowly, a point-of-sale system for restaurants, has raised nearly $4.7 million, according to an SEC filing. The company is targeting a total raise of $5.8 million. The round is led by MATH Venture Partners with participation from Valor Equity, Chicago Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners and others. Chowly had previously raised just $700,000 from MATH Venture Partners, Domenick Montanile and others. Chowly aims to help restaurants better manage the influx of delivery orders they receive from a variety of services, such as Grubhub, Delivery.com and Chownow. In May, Square launched a point-of-sale system for restaurants that integrates on-demand delivery platform Caviar. Down the road, Square said it envisions third-party applications from companies like Postmates, UberEats and DoorDash.

A new $124 million for Brazil’s Movile proves that investors still see promise in Latin American tech

Brazil’s macroeconomic picture may be gloomy, but technology investors still see hope in the nation’s burgeoning technology sector — and a recent $124 million financing for the mobile conglomerate Movile is the latest proof that that the pace of investment isn’t slowing down. Brazil was already the hottest spot for technology investment throughout Latin America — with Sao Paulo drawing in the majority of the record-breaking $1 billion in financing that the region’s startups attracted in 2017. And with this latest funding for Movile, led by Naspers, that trend looks likely to continue. Indeed, Naspers investments in Movile (supplemented by co-investors like Innova, which participated in the most recent round) have been one of the driving forces sustaining the Brazilian startup community. In...

Medical care scheduling startup Doctolib acquires MonDocteur

What do you do when you’ve raised nearly $100 million and you want to grow as quickly as possible? In Doctolib’s case, the startup is acquiring its main competitor MonDocteur. Together, the two companies work with tens of thousands of doctors and get tens of millions of unique visitors every month. Doctolib has developed an online scheduling platform for all sorts of doctors, from your physician next door to the hospital in the big city. Instead of creating integrations with existing calendars and software solutions, Doctolib is replacing your doctor’s scheduling system altogether. After signing up, you can create your profile and manage your calendar from Doctolib directly. This way, patients can look at their doctor’s calendar on Doctolib’s website and find a time slot that works for eve...

Technology in healthcare is moving from mainframes to iPhones

Justin Butler Contributor New technologies are often first manifested in behemoth machines that may take up entire rooms, only to be miniaturized as the technology matures. We have witnessed this shift over the last 70 years in computers, and an analogous trend is now underway in healthcare. Startups across the world are transforming capabilities that were once relegated to specialty labs with large, expensive capital equipment and highly trained technicians. For example, in the early 2000s, Celera Genomics used nearly 300 DNA sequencers and 7,000 processors, and cost nearly $100 million to complete the sequence of one human genome. Today, an entire human genome can be run on a desktop machine for less than $1,000. Beyond DNA sequencing, new companies focusing on everything from flu to str...

Scientists find method to help target HIV virus in human cells

Scientists from Australia and Britain have discovered a new method which may help to target the HIV virus as it makes its way to infecting cells. Scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, led by Associate professor Till Bocking,described on Tuesday how the HIV virus forms a protein shell called a capsid, to protect itself from thehosts defence mechanism as it infects the nucleus of a cell. Using a new microscope technique developed at UNSW, the team discovered that the HIV virus uses a molecule fromthe host cell to strengthen its capsid. HIV “It’s like a switch, when you bind this molecule, you stabilise the capsid, and release the molecule to openit up,” Bocking said. The molecule, called inositol hexakisphosphate, is abundantly present in...

Instacart hires its first chief communications officer, Dani Dudeck

Instacart, the grocery delivery platform valued at $4.2 billion, has today announced that it has hired its first chief communications officer in Dani Dudeck. Dudeck has been in the communications world for the past 15 years, serving as VP of Global Communications at MySpace for four years and moving to Zynga as CCO in 2010. At Zynga, Dudeck oversaw corporate and consumer reputation of the brand before and after its IPO, helping the company through both tremendous periods of growth and a rapidly changing mobile gaming landscape. Dudeck joins Instacart at an equally interesting time for the company. Though Instacart is showing no signs of slowing down — the company recently raised $200 million in funding — the industry as a whole is seeing growing interest from incumbents and behem...

Family planning, birth spacing key to sustainable healthy population – NPopC

The National Population Commission (NPopC) says Family Planning (FP) is a pathway to achieving Demographic Dividend (DD) in the country. The commission also said FB was fundamental to the realisation of 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and strategic for national progress.Chief Eze Duruiheoma, the Chairman of NPopC, said this at news conference as part of activities to commemorate 2018 World Population Day on Monday in Abuja. The theme for this year’s event is “Family Planning as a Human Right’’. He noted that the theme was a reminder to the first proclamation on FP as a Human Right made on May 13, 1968, at the conclusion of the United Nations International Conference on Human rights. According to him, 20 years after, the 1994 International Conference on Populati...

NAFDAC calls for compliance to Breast Milk Substitute Marketing Code

Prof Mojisola Adeyeye The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called for compliance to the Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) Code, saying it is affecting infant nutrition. Prof. Mojishola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, made the call at a day sensitisation workshop in Lagos, on “Compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes’’. Adeyeye said that this would protect optimal infant and young child feeding through promotion, protection and support for exclusive breastfeeding. The workshop was organised by Fhi360- Alive and Thrive Team, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Adeyeye said: “The importance of appropriate infant and young child feeding and its resultant effect on nationa...

Female cleric seeks dissolution of marriage over alleged blackmail

Ibadan – An female cleric, Christiana Ali, has asked an Ile-tuntun Customary Court in Ibadan to dissolve her 25- year-old marriage to her husband, Isiaka, over alleged blackmail. In her petition to the court, the plaintiff said that her husband had destroyed her church by spreading negative information about her conduct. Petition for marriage divorce “My union with Isiaka has been engulfed in unhappiness and frustration. “This is due to the fact that he has continually blackmailed me before my congregation in church that I am adulterous. “Isiaka’s attitude has now led to the complete collapse of my church. ” In the past two years, we haven’t spoken to each other and I don’t want to continue with him as a wife. “In fact, Isiaka has threatened to harm me if I leave his h...

Gear for making outdoor fitness more enjoyable

Makula Dunbar Contributor More posts by this contributor The best home Wi-Fi and networking gear Worthwhile gadget upgrades for the tech-obsessed Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch earn affiliate commissions.      Exercising outdoors comes with space, terrain and, if you’re lucky, a nice breeze that you don’t get in a gym. While fitness fanatics care most about completing a good workout, having the right gear to help with keeping track of progress — and getting on with your day when you’re done — makes a big difference. We’ve gathered some of our favorite fitness wearables, headphones and accessories that improve and make outdoor workout routines more enjoy...