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Ten influential scientists of nature in the year: Deng Hongkui, China's gene editor

via:博客园     time:2019/12/18 15:43:17     readed:632

Today, nature has released the top 10 scientific figures that will affect the world in 2019. Among them, Deng Hongkui, from the joint center of life sciences of Peking University Tsinghua University, was selected for his research in CRISPR gene editing. Today, Xin Zhiyuan will introduce these ten scientific figures to you.

Today, nature has released the top 10 scientific figures that will affect the world in 2019. Among them, Deng Hongkui, from the joint center of life sciences of Peking University Tsinghua University, was shortlisted for his research in CRISPR gene editing.

The top ten scientific figures in nature are:

  • Canadian astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi, using innovative technology to track fast radio bursts;
  • Jean Jacques muyembe tamfum, director of the National Institute of biomedical research of Congo, fighting against Ebola;
  • Yohannes Haile Selassie, an Ethiopian paleoanthropologist, found that the key discovery is to rewrite the human evolution pedigree;
  • Wendy Rogers, an Australian bioethicist, focuses on the ethical issues of organ transplantation.

Next, Xin Zhiyuan will introduce these ten scientific figures.

Deng Hongkui:CRISPR gene editor

CRISPR gene editing technology can be safely used in adults with HIV infection, a Chinese scientist said.


In September 2019, Professor Deng Hongkui and others published an article CRISPR edited stem cells in a patient with HIV and acute lymphocytic leukemia, reporting the first case of editing CCR5 gene in HSPCs by crispr-cas9 and successfully transplanting it to patients suffering from HIV and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The transplantation treatment made the patients' acute lymphoblastic leukemia completely relieved and carried CCR 5 mutant donor cells can survive for up to 19 months in the recipient, and the feasibility and safety of this method are preliminarily explored.

This means that for the first time in the world, Chinese scientists use CRISPR / cas9 to conduct gene editing of artificial blood stem cells, so as to reconstruct a long-term stable hematopoietic system in animal models, so as to obtain the ability to resist AIDS and leukemia.

John Martinis:Quantum builder

Physicists led Google to unveil for the first time a quantum computer that might perform better than traditional computers.


In October of this year, 77 authors collaborated on a weighty paperQuantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor

Correspondence authorJohn MartinisAnd colleagues describe the technological progress in the realization of quantum hegemony. They developed a54 qubits processor(sycamore processor), which uses quantum superposition and quantum entanglement to increase the computing space exponentially compared with that of classical bits. Because one qubit can't work effectively, the processor only uses 53 qubits.

The error correction process developed by the research team can guarantee high fidelity (up to 99.99%). To test the system, the team designed a task to sample random numbers generated by quantum circuits. For classical computers, the difficulty of this task will increase with the number of quantum bits in the quantum circuit. Finally, the quantum processor collected 1 million samples from the quantum circuit in about 200 seconds, and today's most powerful supercomputer takes about 10000 years to complete this task.

Nenad Sestan: restart the brain, redefine life and death

The neuroscientist removed the dead pig brain and redefined life and death.


Sestan remained calm and immediately did two things: he shut down the experiment and contacted the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded the study, and bioethicists at Yale University. Over the next few months, experts have looked at potential moral pitfalls, such as whether the brain can become conscious and whether doctors need to rethink the definition of brain death.

Sestan foresees moral problems and takes some protective measures. Before starting the experiment, the team decided to anesthetize the brain with blockers to prevent synchronous firing of neurons, which is a prerequisite for consciousness.

Once they were convinced that the experiment was ethical, the researchers resumed the experiment. They presented the results to nature. But before the paper was published, Sestan publicly presented relevant data at the NIH neuroethics conference. Despite protests, the story was reported by the media.

Since the paper was published in April, the team has been busy receiving media and scientists' inquiries, so no further experiments have been carried out. Sestan hopes to focus on the questions he initially asked and explore, for example, how long the brain can last, whether the technology can save other organs for transplantation, and so on.

The Amazon rainforest is in chaos, and the scientist has become a hero to the Brazilian government.


Victoria Kaspi: endless exploration of space

Astronomers who use new radio telescopes to track down rapid radio bursts.


In the past 25 years, Victoria Kaspi has used many of the world's top telescopes for basic astronomical discoveries. In 2017, she participated in the construction of Canada's hydrogen intensity mapping experiment (chime), an ultra-high-performance interference radio telescope, connecting it to a powerful computer.

This year, Kaspi and dozens of other astronomers have achieved results. With chime, the most powerful device in the world to capture the rapid radio burst (FRB), astronomers are expected to solve the problem of signal origin.

Kaspi has played an important role in empowering chime with a strong FRB detection capability. The telescope was originally designed to map hydrogen radiation from distant galaxies to answer questions about the early universe. However, with the implementation of the project in the early 2010's, the new field of FRB signal acquisition is also emerging. The earliest FRB was discovered in 2007. In 2013, astronomers reported four other FRBS, confirming that this is indeed a real phenomenon that needs to be explained.

However, Kaspi, who was the lead researcher at chime FRB, succeeded in doing so. Her connections and reputation in the scientific community have enabled her to build a large and diverse team with more research funding.

Kaspi is dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. She won Canada's highest science award in 2016, the Gerhard Herzberg Canada science and engineering Gold Award, and hired students and postdoctoral researchers from the chime program with a $1 million ($760000) grant.

Ssandra Diaz: a defender of biodiversity

The ecologist reassessed the global ecosystem and called for action.


The platform's 1500 page final report says most of the global goals in biodiversity and sustainable development will not be achieved unless countries around the world make major changes, such as abandoning the idea that economic growth must continue.

Jean Jacques muyemub tamfum: 43 years against Ebola

The co discoverer of the Ebola virus is facing the 10th battle against Ebola in 43 years.


Now, 43 years after the discovery of the Ebola virus, muyembe is leading Congo's response to the most volatile Ebola epidemic to date. Since August 2018, the epidemic has killed more than 2200 people in the northeast of the country, and the region has been in armed conflict and turmoil for more than 20 years.

Muyembe has provided rich experience for the prevention and control work in this area, and is committed to cutting-edge scientific research. Since 1995, he has been leading the development of key public health measures to control the outbreak of Ebola. He realized that one of the most important steps to deal with Ebola is to communicate with the people in the community in order to gain the trust of the people and let them know how to protect themselves.

Muyembe proposed a method of burying the body deep to minimize the risk of infection. And launched an investigation, with a view to launching effective drugs and vaccines against Ebola virus. During the outbreak, he took blood from Ebola survivors and injected eight infected people in the hope that the antibodies would eliminate the virus. Seven of the eight survived.

Last month, a 680 person controlled clinical trial led by his team showed that patients who had been treated with antibody drugs shortly after Ebola infection had a 90% survival rate. One of the drugs, mab114, was obtained from antibodies in the blood of survivors he recruited during the Kikwit outbreak. Nancy Sullivan, an immunologist at the National Institutes of health, attributed the success to muyembe's determination at the time.

After the outbreak, muyembe is determined to solve his last problem before retiring. His team has been collecting animals from areas where the virus has spread to humans to track how the disease spreads between species.

Yohannes Haile-Selassie:Source Hunter

A paleontologist has discovered a well preserved 3.8 million year old skull, shocking the human family tree.


As a major contributor to this study, Yohannes Haile Selassie is considered to be one of the most talented fossil discoverers in the field. He found many treasures in the woranso Mille project, where Pliocene human fossils are scattered, which is a critical period for the evolution of human beings and their close relatives Australopithecus from 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago.



Greta Thunberg:Climate catalyst

A young Swedish girl unleashed the anger of her generation, pushing climate science to the forefront.


Scientists have spent decades warning about climate change, but they are not as global as Thunberg did this year. The 16-year-old Swedish girl is better than them, and many people are cheering her on.

On December 11, time announced that Thunberg was named time's person of the year 2019. On December 13, Thunberg was selected as one of the most influential women in 2019.

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