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Technology and CRISPR

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein

Sidney and Rose take a deep dive into technology, the history and the future. In her segment, Breaking Boundaries, Sidney talks about how tech platforms are fueling political polarization. With the creation of technology and the rise of the digital age, a significant decline in investigative journalism has occurred as people turn to television and social media as their focus for news. While social media giants have gone out of their way to deny that their algorithms contribute to the promotion of disinformation and extremism, research says otherwise .Their teen guest, Varsha Shankar, presents an easy digestible description of CRISPR or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, a gene editing mechanism that can be thought of as a copy and paste for genes. CRISPR deploys an enzyme called Cas9 to cut and edit our DNA strands. Because of its wide range of abilities, CRISPR has had a significant impact on disease treatment and other medical innovations. The discussion included the new research in CRISPR’s potential to treat malaria and cancer patients. In Biteshare, Rose informs us about the small print on social media platforms such as Instagram that relinquish rights. Telehealth and telemedicine are positive aspects of technology as is the ability to order food for delivery, especially for those who do not have transportation or as a result of the pandemic. The health app on the Apple watch is one of her preferred ways to keep informed about her daily exercise, sleep patterns, and general health. Both hosts stress the importance of being aware of the issues surrounding social media. While it does have its benefits, there are also significant drawbacks to social media, especially if you use it as a news source. Make sure to fact check the information you’re receiving and try to actively seek out and consider viewpoints that may differ from your own.

BIO: Varsha Shankar

Varsha Shankar is a senior at Leland High School in San Jose, CA. She is very passionate about genetics research, particularly CRISPR technology. She has conducted research on CRISPR's applications to genetic diseases and key proteins in cancer pathways and 2 different Stanford University research labs, and has published articles and given talks to international audiences about various concepts in genetics. In addition to science, she is a part of her school's Speech and Debate team and enjoys Indian classical vocal music and dancing.

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