The same technology that can create “glow in the dark” mice – CRISPR – may soon be the answer to everyone’s prayers when it comes to curing cancer, eliminating genetic disorders, and may even promote our self-understanding!

Image: Three Mice that have been genetically modified to glow in the dark

Source: Wikimedia

Do you know about CRISPR, and that it signals a new day dawning for all of us? It’s so strange that most of us barely know about this new technology that will transform human history.

We’ll chalk that up to two problems: the science world does a poor job of communicating with us, and the 24-hour news cycle can’t seem to celebrate anything positive anymore.

But we are happy to say we will address both those issues today on Ever Widening Circles! Today we will take you on a two-pronged journey.

First, we will discover a solution to a global problem of communication. When experts are trying to explain complex systems to the rest of us, they rarely adjust their explanations to fit the knowledge level of the listener, so we tune them out, often against our own best interest.

Thanks to a brilliant video made by Wired Magazine, we can learn about CRISPR from exactly the right starting point in our knowledge base, and it will be easy to see how important it is that scientists learn to tailor their explanations to their various listener levels.

Secondly, we will share with you a fantastic 5-minute video that will make you the smartest person in the room when it comes to knowing about the new technology that may actually change the future of human suffering in astounding ways.

Image: Coast Guard Graduates in white suits toss their hats in the air

NEW LONDON, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016 graduates and receives their commissions as officers from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson during their commencement ceremony May 18, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

In our first video, feel free to drop out when the scientist reaches a level well beyond the point you are at, but do listen for a bit longer so you can see how important this “attention of the listener’s level” should be.

Here’s biologist Neville Sanjana, getting us up to speed on the very thing that makes us who we are, flaws and all!

(This video gets very technical after about 6 minutes, but there is some good conversation about the ethics of this technology at around 5 minutes so hang in there at least that long! Our second video today will be eye-opening no matter what level you are at!)

Via: Wired 1

Great! So hopefully you have a little more basic knowledge about CRISPR, and you see why it is so important that “experts” start a concerted effort to communicate better with the public.

I suspect we will all just keep hearing about all the horrors in the world if the 24-hour news cycle can’t find experts who can speak to us in an uplifting and compelling way. We don’t need to know much to understand fear, anger, and disorder.

But “order”, that’s a different matter. Understanding and accepting how insights and innovations fit in the order of things requires a solid knowledge base and an even wider worldview. I’m not sure we see much evidence of that these days.

So let’s broaden our base on at least this one subject today:

Here is an amazing video made by The Royal Society, a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, and it is also the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. They totally “get” this communication issue. It’s really well done and gives us exactly what we need to know to appreciate how CRISPR may eventually change all our lives!

Wow! We might actually end the tyranny of defects in our DNA and solve thousands of other problems that might make the world a better place.

In fact, this may signal the opening of one of the most important eras of science in human history. And hopefully, we can all enter this unfolding world with an appreciation for what’s possible, if we can find some experts who are also gifted communicators.

Here are a few we’ve already discovered and written about here at Ever Widening Circles:

17 minutes

Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity

When Chris Hadfield released his cover of David Bowie's song Space Oddity filmed on the ISS, it captured the attention of the world. Let's take a moment to celebrate this iconic and beautiful video!

Read More

And two more greats in science communication!

17 minutes

How Bill Nye Became the “Science Guy”

Sometimes, learning the backstories of our favorite heroes can be a great reminder that we all have the power to change the world! Here's the story behind one of the great science icons.

Read More

17 minutes

Why Spend Public Funds on “Curiosity-Driven Science”?

In tough economic times, have you ever heard someone rant about how worthless some science research can be? Here's what I'm going to add to that conversation next time! Take a look...

Read More

Take some time with the great folks in those articles. You will be inspired to expand your own base from which to launch your own journeys of thought!

Oh… and there are four more I can recommend at the bottom of this page. (Never a dull moment here at Ever Widening Circles!)

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

Interested in learning a bit more?

Head on over to EWC’s Science archive and find an article that jumps out at you!

Science on EWC

Don’t be afraid to dive in deep! Enjoy expanding your knowledge about this world!

Notes:

  1. “Biologist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty – CRISPR | WIRED.” YouTube, Wired, 24 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=sweN8d4_MUg.
  2. “What Is Gene Editing and How Does It Work?” YouTube, The Royal Society, 4 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPDb8tqgfjY.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.