Latest Inventions made in the World due to STEM Education. 

“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” Edward Teller 

Knowledge knows no boundaries- it is the torch which has helped illuminate the world we had resided in for centuries. Contemporary society requires dependency on STEM education- these four fields deserve special attention as a collective entity.  

Here are a few latest inventions, providing an edge to science and technology.

LEAPER- novel gene editing rival 

Researchers from the Peking university came up with an alternative to CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9) gene editing technique which had been triumphantly engineered to manipulate whole genomes in a variety of organisms. This technology is considered safe and with limited side effects since it targets RNA (ribonucleic acid) rather than DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), hence the name ‘leveraging endogenous ADAR for programmable editing of RNA.’ Moreover, it requires a single component, aRNA (specially engineered RNA) for nucleoside conversion- making it relatively simple. It is provided with low unwanted immune rejection and easy delivery to target. The ADAR technology is being applied to retinal degeneration (blindness due to outer retinal dysfunction).

Genetically modified mosquitos

With more than 200 types of wild mosquitos buzzing freely around the world, the type that’s common in most countries is Aedes, aegypti, commonly known for causing dengue, zika, yellow fever, malaria and chikungunya. GM mosquitos have had their genes altered (gene drive technology)- promised to the change the antagonistic relation and to become harmless (albeit still blood-sucking) companions of humans. Such modifications in Anopheles mosquito, inhibit its ability to transmit the Plasmodium parasite into other beings. However, such mosquitos require a supportive human population- willingness to be bitten to help them reproduce and increase their population. Field rests are being completed in parts of Brazil, Panama, the Cayman Island and India. The approach is not to tend or vaccinate human population, rather make mosquitos invincible. 

Latest Inventions made in the World due to STEM Education
Latest Inventions made in the World due to STEM Education

Light controlling genetic activity of neurons  

Scientists at Buffalo university managed to use light to control activity of genes, essential in the human physiological processes. “Optogenetic” tools have long been implemented in basic and clinical neuroscience to comprehend the mysterious role of neurons within the neural network. Recently, genetically encoded molecules known as opsins, when targeted to a certain neuron in the brain, stimulates their activity to be driven or silenced by light. Such is the precision and resolution of this tool that individual cells and even region of cells can be examined. It paves the way to cure psychological disorders like schizophrenia and had been providing insight into a wide range of behavioral processes.  

Such tools are being explored as components of prototype of correcting various human disorders. And a useful solution is almost, always found in living organisms. With more technological advancements, the time is not far when with every rising sun there would be a new scientific discovery.   

By; Areena Suhail Khan

COMSATS Islamabad


Latest Research and Innovations in Genetics: Summer 2019

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