Also: Using CRISPR to create tomorrow’s antibiotics, and a remarkable look at the future of telepathy

NASA shares spooky space photos just in time for Halloween

(Doha Madani, NBC News, 10/29/19)

NASA. Image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, two galaxies are colliding over 700,000,000 light years from Earth.

NASA’s Twitter feed shared two pictures from space that would not look out of place on any haunted house set. The first is a picture of the sun from 2014, taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and highlights the magnetic fields of the sun’s atmosphere. The second image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope this year, shows two galaxies colliding to form a ghostly “space face.”

Is Crispr the Next Antibiotic?

(Knvul Sheikh, The New York Times, 10/29/2019)

In order to combat the growing threat of antibiotic and antiviral resistance, scientists are looking into CRISPR gene editing to create drugs that can more effectively target dangerous microbes. Biologist David Edgell and his team programmed a Cas9 enzyme to target a strain of Salmonella, causing the bacteria to, in essence, self-destruct. Using CRISPR technology to build targeted drugs could alleviate the side effects from killing non-target bacteria, as well as creating more effective drugs to fight antibiotic resistant strains.

Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans

(Robert Martone, Scientific American, 10/29/19)

“Electrical activity from the brains of a pair of human subjects was transmitted to the brain of a third individual in the form of magnetic signals, which conveyed an instruction to perform a task in a particular manner. This study opens the door to extraordinary new means of human collaboration while, at the same time, blurring fundamental notions about individual identity and autonomy in disconcerting ways.”

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker