Jay Keche


column  •  May 22, 2016 5:45 pm

COLUMN: Extra special K

Depression is a difficult problem to solve.We don’t fully understand what causes it and therefore we have difficulty developing treatments for it.


Gene editing is the hottest new technique in biotechnology. Even though biologists have been editing the genes of organisms for the past two decades, a hot new development has revolutionized the way it is accomplished. This breakthrough is known as “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats” – or CRISPR for short. Unlike older methods of editing genes – which could cost 1000s of dollars – biologists are able to edit the genes of nearly any organism for about $30 using CRISPR. CRISPR was originally a mechanism that bacteria used to defend themselves from their enemies.


The phrase “this is your brain on drugs” may conjure up images of eggs frying thanks to a classic anti-drugs ad campaign, but neuroscience has recently shown that this is far from the truth.  A team of researchers led by Dr. David Nutt at Imperial College London recently published the first images of brains on the psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD, in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.