Human embryos edited to stop disease

Human embryos edited to stop disease

Scientists have, for the first time, successfully freed embryos of a piece of faulty DNA that causes deadly heart disease to run in families. It potentially opens the door to preventing 10,000 disorders that are passed down the generations. The US and South Korean team allowed the embryos to develop for five days before stopping the experiment. The study hints at the future of medicine, but also provokes deep questions about what is morally right….

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Sperm count drop 'may lead to human extinction'

Sperm count drop 'may lead to human extinction'

Humans could become extinct if sperm counts in men continue to fall at current rates, a doctor has warned. Researchers assessing the results of nearly 200 studies say sperm counts among men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, seem to have halved in less than 40 years. Some experts are sceptical of the Human Reproduction Update findings. But lead researcher Dr Hagai Levine said he was “very worried” about what might happen in…

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India internet shutdowns 'violate human rights'

India internet shutdowns 'violate human rights'

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said India needs to cease “arbitrary restrictions” on internet and phone services. The organisation said state governments had imposed 20 temporary internet shutdowns in 2017. Authorities say they shut internet and telecommunications services to stop rumours during times of unrest. But the rights group said arbitrary internet shutdowns “violated India’s obligations under international human rights law”. Kashmir social media ban criticised Heat wave in India: Frustration, rumours and memes Indian…

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Theresa May: Human rights laws could change for terror fight

Theresa May: Human rights laws could change for terror fight

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May has said she will change human rights laws if they “get in the way” of tackling suspected terrorists. The PM said she would make it easier to deport foreign terror suspects and “restrict the freedom and movements” of those that present a threat. Labour said it was “not the message that we should be sending”. Security has dominated the final days of the general election campaign…

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Google AI defeats human Go champion

Google AI defeats human Go champion

Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo artificial intelligence has defeated the world’s number one Go player Ke Jie. AlphaGo secured the victory after winning the second game in a three-part match. DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis said Ke Jie had played “perfectly” and “pushed AlphaGo right to the limit”. Following the defeat, Ke Jie told reporters: “I’m a little bit sad, it’s a bit of a regret because I think I played pretty well.” In Go, players take turns…

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Caesarean sections 'affect human evolution'

Caesarean sections 'affect human evolution'

The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact on human evolution, say scientists. More mothers now need surgery to deliver a baby due to their narrow pelvis size, according to a study. Researchers estimate cases where the baby cannot fit down the birth canal have increased from 30 in 1,000 in the 1960s to 36 in 1,000 births today. Historically, these genes would not have been passed from mother to child as both…

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AI predicts outcome of human rights cases

AI predicts outcome of human rights cases

An artificial intelligence system has correctly predicted the outcomes of hundreds of cases heard at the European Court of Human Rights, researchers have claimed. The AI predicted the verdicts to an accuracy of 79%, according to the scientists involved. AI is increasingly being used in fields such as journalism, law and accountancy. But critics said no AI would be able to understand the nuances of a legal case. The study, which was conducted by researchers…

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Limit to human life may be 115 (ish)

Limit to human life may be 115 (ish)

Human life spans may be limited to a maximum of about 115 years, claim US scientists. Their conclusions, published in the journal Nature, were made by analysing decades of data on human longevity. They said a rare few may live longer, but the odds were so poor you’d have to scour 10,000 planet Earths to find just one 125-year-old. But while some scientists have praised the study, others have labelled it a dismal travesty. Life…

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