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Yale may have just turned institutional investing on its head with a new diversity edict - techcrunch

Yale may have just turned institutional investing on its head with a new diversity edict

It could be the long-awaited turning point in the world of venture capital and beyond. Yale, whose $32 billion endowment has been led since 1985 by the legendary investor David Swensen, just let its 70 U.S. money managers across a variety of asset classes know that for the school, diversity has now moved front and […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Facebook and Twitter CEOs to testify before Congress in November on how they handled the election - techcrunch

Facebook and Twitter CEOs to testify before Congress in November on how they handled the election

Shortly after voting to move forward with a pair of subpoenas, the Senate Judiciary Committee has reached an agreement that will see the CEOs of two major social platforms testify voluntarily in November. The hearing will be the second major congressional appearance by tech CEOs arranged this month. The Republican-led Senate Judiciary committee is chaired […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
The RIAA is coming for the YouTube downloaders - techcrunch

The RIAA is coming for the YouTube downloaders

In ye olden days of piracy, RIAA takedown notices were a common thing — I received a few myself. But that’s mostly fallen off as tracking pirates has gotten more difficult. But the RIAA can still issue nastygrams — to the creators of software that could potentially be used to violate copyright, like YouTube downloaders. […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Uber and Lyft defeated again in court - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Uber and Lyft defeated again in court

A California court weighs in as Prop. 22 looms, Google removes popular apps over data collection practices and the Senate subpoenas Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. This is your Daily Crunch for October 23, 2020. The big story: Uber and Lyft defeated again in court A California appeals court ruled that yes, a new state […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint - techcrunch

Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint

This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
The short, strange life of Quibi - techcrunch

The short, strange life of Quibi

“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.” With that, the […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
OnePlus’s 8T handset brings faster charging and a 120Hz display for $749  - techcrunch

OnePlus’s 8T handset brings faster charging and a 120Hz display for $749 

OnePlus continues its twice-yearly smartphone cycle with today’s arrival of the 8T. The latest device isn’t a huge upgrade over April’s OnePlus 8, but continues the company’s longstanding tradition of offering some of the most solid Android handsets at a reasonable price point. The cost has edged up a bit in recent years, but $749 […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
CA appeals court upholds ruling that Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees - techcrunch

CA appeals court upholds ruling that Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees

Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees, an appellate court ruled yesterday evening. However, the decision will be stayed for 30 days after the court issues the remittitur, which has not happened yet. That means depending on how ballot measure Proposition 22 goes, this case may not end up being the deciding factor […]
techcrunch - 19 hours ago
Calling Brussels VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC - techcrunch

Calling Brussels VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

TechCrunch is embarking on a major new project to survey the venture capital investors of Europe, and their cities. Our <a href=”https://forms.gle/k4Ji2Ch7zdrn7o2p6”>survey of VCs in Brussels will capture how the city is faring, and what changes are being wrought amongst investors by the coronavirus pandemic. (Please note, if you have filled the survey out already, […]
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
Google removes 3 Android apps for children, with 20M+ downloads between them, over data collection violations - techcrunch

Google removes 3 Android apps for children, with 20M+ downloads between them, over data collection violations

When it comes to apps, Android leads the pack with nearly 3 million apps in its official Google Play store. The sheer volume also means that sometimes iffy apps slip through the cracks. Researchers at the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC), a non-profit watchdog based out of Boston, found that a trio of popular and […]
techcrunch - 23 hours ago
Huawei reports slowing growth as its operations “face significant challenges” - techcrunch

Huawei reports slowing growth as its operations “face significant challenges”

Huawei announced earnings results today showing that its growth has slowed significantly this year as the Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone giant said its “production and operations face significant challenges.” While Huawei did not specify trade restrictions in its brief announcement, the company has been hit with a series of commercial trade restrictions by the […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M Series C, plans to enter the ‘buy now, pay later’ space - techcrunch

Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M Series C, plans to enter the ‘buy now, pay later’ space

Lunar, the Nordic challenger bank that started out life as a personal finance manager app (PFM) but acquired a full banking license in 2019, has raised €40 million in Series C funding from existing investors. The injection of capital follows a €20 million Series B disclosed in April this year and comes on the back […]
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France rebrands contact-tracing app in an effort to boost downloads - techcrunch

France rebrands contact-tracing app in an effort to boost downloads

Don’t call it StopCovid anymore. France’s contact-tracing app has been updated and is now called TousAntiCovid, which means ‘everyone against Covid’. The French government is trying to pivot so that it’s no longer a contact-tracing app — or at least not just a contact-tracing app. Right now, TousAntiCovid appears to be a rebranding more than […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
India’s Flipkart buys over $200 million stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail - techcrunch

India’s Flipkart buys over $200 million stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail

Flipkart is acquiring a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion as the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce firm makes further push into the fashion category in one of the world’s largest retail markets. The e-commerce group will pay $203.8 million for its stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, a conglomerate that operates over 3,000 stores including […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Senate subpoenas could force Zuckerberg and Dorsey to testify on New York Post controversy - techcrunch

Senate subpoenas could force Zuckerberg and Dorsey to testify on New York Post controversy

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of issuing subpoenas for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Thursday, meaning that there might be two big tech CEO hearings on the horizon. Republicans in the committee declared their interest in a hearing on “the platforms’ censorship of New York Post articles” after social networks limited […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Representatives propose bill limiting Presidential internet ‘kill switch’ - techcrunch

Representatives propose bill limiting Presidential internet ‘kill switch’

A pair of U.S. Representatives — one from each party — are proposing a law that would limit the President’s ability to shut down the internet at will. That may not strike you as an imminent threat, but federal police disappearing protestors into unmarked vans probably didn’t either, until a couple months ago. Let’s keep […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Quibi says it will shutdown in early December - techcrunch

Quibi says it will shutdown in early December

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Extra Crunch Partner Perk: Get 6 months free of Zendesk Support and Sales CRM - techcrunch

Extra Crunch Partner Perk: Get 6 months free of Zendesk Support and Sales CRM

We’re excited to announce an update to the Extra Crunch Partner Perk from Zendesk. Starting today, annual and two-year Extra Crunch members that are new to Zendesk, and meet their startup qualifications, can now receive six months of free access to Zendesk’s Sales CRM, in addition to Zendesk Support Suite, Zendesk Explore and Zendesk Sunshine. […]
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Daily Crunch: Facebook Dating comes to Europe - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Facebook Dating comes to Europe

Facebook’s dating feature expands after a regulatory delay, we review the new Amazon Echo and President Donald Trump has an on-the-nose Twitter password. This is your Daily Crunch for October 22, 2020. The big story: Facebook Dating comes to Europe Back in February, Facebook had to call off the European launch date of its dating […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Here’s why Intel’s stock just dropped 10% after reporting earnings - techcrunch

Here’s why Intel’s stock just dropped 10% after reporting earnings

The third-quarter earnings cycle is just getting underway, but we’ve already seen a few companies post numbers that investors did not like. Netflix missed on several metrics yesterday and was punished, and today Intel is joining the video streaming giant in stock-market purgatory. Intel shares are off around 10% in after-hours trading after the chip […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
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techcrunch
Jennifer Doudna sees CRISPR gene-editing tech as a Swiss Army knife for COVID-19 and beyond

Jennifer Doudna sees CRISPR gene-editing tech as a Swiss Army knife for COVID-19 and beyond

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR, thinks the biotech tool could be an essential one for combating COVID-19 and future pandemics. Due to its capacity to be “reprogrammed” like software, CRISPR could eventually be integral to countless tests and treatments.

In an interview at Disrupt 2020, Doudna was all optimism for the technique, which has already proven to be extremely useful in less immediately applicable situations.

“One thing that’s so intriguing about the whole CRISPR technology, it’s a toolbox and there’s many ways to repurpose it for manipulating genomes, but also for detection, even getting virus materials and the kinds of reagents that you need for an effective vaccine,” she explained.

This is all because of CRISPR’s main asset: its ability to home in on incredibly specific sequences or structures and manipulate them. Certainly one way to use that is to snip out a potentially harmful bit of DNA, but that bit could also be amplified for easy detection.

“This is an opportunity to take a technology that naturally is all about detecting viruses that’s what CRISPR does in [its native environment] bacteria and re-purposing it to use it as a rapid diagnostic for coronavirus,” Doudna said.

The advantages CRISPR offers are threefold, Doudna explained: first, it’s a “direct” method of detection. Current tests rely on enzymes and proteins that are indirect evidence of infection, which limits their reliability and timing you can’t, for instance, detect the virus before it starts producing that secondary evidence. CRISPR detects RNA from the viral genome itself.

“We’re finding in the laboratory that that means that you can get a signal faster, and you can also get a signal that is more directly correlated to the level of the virus,” she said.

Second, the sequence that the CRISPR complex searches for can easily be changed. “That means that scientists can reprogram the CRISPR system trivially, to target different sections of the Coronavirus to make sure that we’re not missing viruses that have mutated,” Doudna said. “We’re already working on a strategy to co-detect influenza and coronavirus; As you know it’s really important to be able to do that, but also to pivot very quickly to detect new viruses that are emerging.”

Very long GIF of a CRISPR Cas-9 protein seeking, finding, and snipping out a piece of DNA. Image credits: UC Berkeley

“I don’t think any of us thinks that viral pandemics are going away,” she continued. “The current pandemic is a call to arms, we have to make sure that scientifically we’re ready for the next attack by a new virus.”

And third, a CRISPR-based test wouldn’t be manufactured the same materials as other tests, making it easier to manufacture alongside them. Managing supply chains effectively will be crucial for getting vaccines, tests, and treatments to people as quickly as possible.

The barrier to CRISPR however is not theoretical but practical: It’s still more or less lab-bound because therapies using the technology are still very much under review. It is in clinical trials in some forms and COVID-19-related applications could be fast tracked but its novelty means it will be slower to reach those who need it. Not to mention the cost.

“This underscores what I think is one of the key challenges that we face in this in this age of advancing biotechnologies,” said Doudna. “That is, how do we make a technology like like CRISPR affordable and accessible to a lot of people? I’d like to see a day when CRISPR is the standard of care for treating a rare genetic disease, and it’s going to take some real R&D to get there.”

Perhaps one of the avenues for advancement will be the newly discovered sibling technique, CRISPR Cas- (that’s a “phi”), which works similarly but is much more compact, owing to its origin as, apparently, a countermeasure by viruses that invade CRISPR-bearing bacteria. “Who knew they carried around their own form of CRISPR?” mused Doudna. “But they do, and it’s a very interesting protein, because it’s very small compared to the original formats for CRISPR that allow that allows a much, much smaller protein to be able to do [this] kind of editing.”

Doudna had much more to say about the possibilities for the technique of which she was one of the chief creators. You can see watch the rest of the interview below.

sauce: techcrunch
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