New CRISPR-based tool inserts large DNA sequences at desired sites in cells

Building on the CRISPR gene-editing system, MIT researchers have designed a new tool that can snip out faulty genes and replace them with new ones, in a safer and more efficient way.

Using this system, the researchers showed that they could deliver genes as long as 36,000 DNA base pairs to several types of human cells, as well as to liver cells in mice. The new technique, known as PASTE, could hold promise for treating diseases that are caused by defective genes with a large number of mutations, such as cystic fibrosis. Source: MIT News

Former FBI Lawyer Who Approved FISA Warrant To Spy On Trump Helped Censor Hunter Biden Laptop Story

James Baker, the former FBI lawyer involved in approving the faulty Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant used to spy on the Trump campaign, also helped censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, according to a series of tweets posted by Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk released the so-called “Twitter Files” Friday afternoon, detailing how the social media platform suppressed a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020. The Daily Caller News Foundation verified the authenticity of the laptop soon after the NY Post published the story. The Twitter data released Friday shows executives working with Biden officials to suppress the story, according to Taibbi.

Baker, who served as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel at the time, argued it was “reasonable to assume” the materials “may have been” hacked and said “caution is warranted,” according to Taibbi’s tweets. Source: Daily Caller

Donald Trump Slams ‘Corrupt’ U.S. as He Jumps on Musk’s Twitter Reveal

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday weighed in on the report about how Twitter decided to censor a New York Post story involving Hunter Biden’s laptop in the run up to the 2020 presidential election, saying that “we are living in a very corrupt country.”

On Friday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk vowed to reveal “what really happened” with the Hunter Biden laptop story “suppression” after the social media platform blocked users from sharing the newspaper’s article because it violated its distribution of hacked materials policy.

In a series of tweets dubbed the “Twitter files,” independent journalist Matt Taibbi posted a series of internal discussions at the behest of Musk, which allegedly reveal how Twitter staff “at highest levels of the company” made the decision to block the New York Post story, but without the knowledge of then-CEO Jack Dorsey. Source: NewsWeek

Senate Republicans Want to End Biden Policy of Expelling Troops Who Refuse COVID Vaccine

Don’t sacrifice U.S. military readiness for the sake of the “inept bureaucratic policy” on mandatory COVID vaccinations, a group of Republican senators is telling their leaders.

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders, the thirteen senators pressed for an amendment to the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting the expulsion of troops who refuse the COVID vaccine and reinstating those who already have been kicked out.

They say the NDAA shouldn’t advance without the amendment. But it’s not clear if the senators have the support of McConnell, without whom the amendment won’t succeed. Source: CNS News

CBS News Verifies Hunter Laptop is Authentic

“Just the sheer volume of what we’re dealing with. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to fabricate. It accumulated over time, which is consistent with normal, everyday use of a computer,” conveyed a digital forensic expert hired by CBS News to verify the NY Post original story that was labeled as fake news just weeks before the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

Elbit’s micro-suicide drone swarms can hunt enemies in urban combat

A new drone from Israel’s Elbit Systems called Lanius combines a number of technologies that put it at the forefront of how drones are transforming war.

At the same time, reports about the drone may raise questions about how this technology may make war more controversial as “robots” play a larger role in it.

The more armies and defense companies invest in new technology that enables combat to take place remotely — without soldiers interacting with civilians, for instance — the more it seems like “robot wars.” Source: Jerusalem Post

As Turkey gears up for Syria, Iraq invasion, can the US stop them? – analysis

Turkey is gearing up for a new invasion of Syria and possibly expanded campaigns in Iraq, claiming it is a fight against terrorism. A recent bombing in Ankara was blamed on Kurdish groups in Syria, but it appears Ankara arrested a perpetrator who is not linked to any Kurdish group.

Ankara’s threats are not new. It has been threatening and carrying out invasions of Syria, often targeting Kurdish areas, routinely since 2016. Turkey’s policy in Syria is not just about attacking Kurds; it is also about reducing the US’s role in Syria.

That means Ankara’s real conflict is partly with the US and that Washington is the only powerful country that might reasonably prevent another Turkish invasion. History shows Ankara has been demanding to invade and destroy Kurdish areas of Syria since 2016, and the US generally has been able to slow down or prevent these invasions. Source: Jerusalem Post

A new tick-borne disease is killing cattle in the US

In the spring of 2021, Cynthia and John Grano, who own a cattle operation and sell performance horses in Culpeper County, Virginia, started noticing some of their cows slowing down and acting “spacey.” They figured the animals were suffering from anaplasmosis, a common infectious disease that causes anemia in cattle. But Melinda McCall, their veterinarian, had warned them that another disease carried by a parasite was spreading rapidly in the area.

After a third cow died, the Granos decided to test its blood. Sure enough, the test came back positive for the disease: theileria. And with no treatment available, the cows kept dying. In September, by which time the couple had already lost six cows and seven calves, Cynthia noticed a cow separated from the herd. She was walking up to it when it suddenly charged at her and knocked her over, breaking her shoulder blade. By that afternoon, the cow was dead.

Cattle owners like the Granos are not alone. Livestock producers around the country are confronting this new and unfamiliar disease—if they can detect it in their herds at all—without much information. Researchers still don’t know how theileria will unfold in the United States, even as it quickly spreads west across the country. If states can’t get the disease under control, then nationwide production losses from sick cows could significantly damage both individual operations and the entire industry. Source: MIT Technology

Republicans Tie Hunter Biden to Human Trafficking, Announce Probe

House Republicans announced an investigation into President Joe Biden’s family, including his son Hunter Biden, on Thursday just a day after winning control of the lower chamber of Congress in the midterm elections.

Republican Representative James Comer, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said during a press conference that the probe looked at Hunter Biden’s business dealings and Joe Biden’s alleged involvement in them. At one point, he alleged that one Suspicious Activity Report (SAR), a type of document that banks have to file with the Treasury Department, “connects Hunter Biden and his business associates to international human trafficking, among other illegal activities.”

“The SAR shows that Hunter Biden was conducting business with suspected human traffickers,” Comer said. “The money gained through influence peddling was funneled to a suspected criminal enterprise, again, one linked to human trafficking.” Source: NewsWeek