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Gene Therapy Breakthrough Has Restored Hearing in Children



Two children using paper cups and a string to play the telephone game

Gene Therapy Breakthrough

China has successfully used gene therapy to rewrite the chapters of young children born with genetic hearing loss. This groundbreaking treatment is the first time that gene therapy has successfully restored hearing, and the first recipients of it have been children.

Of all the things we take for granted, our 5 senses top the list. Imagine being born without the gift of hearing, unable to enjoy the beauty of music or the liveliness of laughter. Imagine living your life in complete silence and missing out even on the gentle swoosh of wind blowing through trees. 

4 in every 1000 children are born with complete hearing loss and 20% lose their sense of hearing by the tender age of 12 owing to illnesses or trauma. This brilliant advancement has reached heights nobody thought it would.

“Any improvement in a patient’s hearing is a complete victory. It is remarkable if we can do anything to help patients reduce hearing loss. We understand this is a first step in their clinical research and also a very important step,” mentioned Lawrence Lustig, a medical expert at Columbia University in the United States.

Gene Therapy for Hearing loss

Gene therapy works by replacing a defective or missing gene with a functional and healthy gene added externally into the cells of the patient. The study of gene therapy is used to treat both acquired and inherited genetic disorders.

The gene therapy breakthrough from China is effective in individuals who have defects in a specific protein known as otoferlin. Otoferlin plays an important role in the inner part of the ear which contains almost 16,000 hair cells. 

These hair cells, which look like a comb, vibrate upon receiving different frequencies of sound and send a signal to the brain which helps in perceiving and processing sound. Each hair cell is tuned to a different frequency, pertaining to 16,000 different frequencies, which allows us to differentiate between the wide range of sounds we hear from our environment. 

Without otoferlin, these hair cells cannot produce the chemicals needed to convey auditory information to our brains, leaving those affected in a world of complete silence, unable to perceive the rich tapestry of sound that surrounds us.

The new treatment adds a functional version of the defective otoferlin gene to patients, enabling them to regain their ability to hear. While the treatment is only done for these rare cases, many are confident that this breakthrough could be the start of many.


Of the couple of children who have undergone this groundbreaking gene therapy, Yiyi’s story shines the brightest. Yiyi was born with a complete genetic hearing loss and had been heavily reliant on an electronic hearing device, but her journey represents the transformative power of this innovative treatment.

Once Yiyi’s parents heard about the new treatment, they enrolled her in gene therapy. Doctors used a virus to replace the DNA cells in Yiyi’s inner ear and it resulted in a miraculous recovery of the otoferlin protein. 

In less than a month, Yiyi could hear for the first time. Once relying on her friends to wake her up, Yiyi can now hear the bell chime indicating the end of nap time. The young girl can also hear the sound of her mother’s voice without relying on lip-reading or electronic hearing devices. 

Is Gene Therapy on the Rise?

Gene therapy is the next step in medicine. Between 1989 and 2015 there were 2335 gene therapy trials either completed or in the drug development pipeline worldwide. And now, there are over 5000. This means that the amount of gene therapy research has more than doubled in the last 8 years from the last 26 consecutive years before that.

China became the first country in history to approve the commercial production of gene therapy by creating Gendicine, the first approved gene therapy product ever, and a therapy that has been successful in treating cancer. Now, the current $9 billion market is expected to reach $24 billion by 2028.

A happy mother and her child listening with headphones on


We are living in a world where science continues to break boundaries and make miraculous discoveries, be it in terms of technology, medicine, or even architecture. 

Humans have been able to produce things that once seemed impossible, such as restoring movement after spinal injuries.

Children born completely deaf are now able to hear thanks to the brand-new treatments that our inspirational doctors are able to come up with. 

But children are not only being saved; they are also the ones saving others.

Just very recently, a 14-year-old boy has successfully created a solution to skin cancer in the form of a soap bar.

And just as the field of gene therapy is revolutionizing medicine, the study of environmental DNA, led by scientists like Dr. Darren Chooneea, is shedding new light on the intricate connections between genetics and our ever-changing environment.

As many of our stories have shown, no challenge arises without its solution already existing, at least in some form.

It is for this reason that you should never look at challenges and declare them impossible. For all we know, there could be infinite possibilities for a given situation or circumstance.

All we need to do is remain open-minded, embrace hope, and sometimes, be willing to take a risk.

Sehaj Juneja is a content writer with a background in business and management. With diverse life experiences she brings a unique perspective to her writing, combining her passion for literature with a keen eye for detail.


3D Printed Organs Save Woman’s Life and Accidentally Pave Way for Biology-Powered Artificial Intelligence



Women showing a heart symbol with her hands in front of 3d printed organs

A Great Advancement for 3D Printed Organs

3D printing in hospitals is nothing new, but for the first time in history, a woman received a 3D printed windpipe that became a fully functional without the need for immunosuppressants.

Immunosuppressants are used during organ transplants to keep the body from attacking the organ that it see’s as foreign. This means that the organ the woman received was organic and personalized for her, as if she had it her entire life.

This mind-blowing news shows that we are now closer than ever to being able to create full-scale, functional, and complicated 3D printed organs like a heart or lung.

But what about creating a brain?

3D Printing and Organoid Intelligence

Organoid Intelligence, or OI, is an emerging field of study that is focused on creating bio-computers by merging AI with real brain cells called organoids. Organoids are miniature and simplified versions of organs grown in a lab dish. They mimic some of the functions of fully grown organs, like brains. The idea behind OI is that by increase the cells organoids contain, they may begin to function like fully grown brains, and can then be used alongside computers to enhance Artificial Intelligence.

It turns out that the world’s first 3D printed windpipe was so successful that we are now closer than ever to creating the world first organoid intelligent bio-computer.

Here’s why.

The World’s First 3D Printed Windpipe

Transplant patients usually have to take a long course of immunosuppressants that help the body accept the organ. The body see’s the organ as foreign, and so the immune system begins to attack the new organ, which can lead to more complicated health problems.

The woman in her 50’s who received the 3D printed windpipe did so without any immunosuppressants. In just 6 months after the operation, the windpipe healed and began to form blood vessels, and of course, more cells.

The current goal of scientists in the field of Organoid Intelligence is to increase organoids from 100,000 cells to 10 million, and this begs the question:

Can 3D printing help build bio-computers by creating better organoids?

Can 3D Printing Help Build Bio-Computers?

The worlds first 3D printed windpipe shows that advances in 3D printing can create better functioning organs, and this implies that we can also create more intricate organoids to help in the field of Organoid Intelligence and eventually create bio-computers.

Its important to understand the distinction between 3D printing an organ and printing something like a tool or musical instrument.

The difference between printing an organ and printing a non-biological structure depends on the ink being used in the 3D printer.

3D printing non-organic structures will require ink that can be made from plastic, plastic alternatives like PLA, metal, and ceramics. On the other hand, 3D printed organs are made from ink called “bio-inks” that are a mixture of living cells and biocompatible substances like the ones mentioned above.

In the case of the 3D printed windpipe, the ink used was partly formed from the stem and cartilage cells collected from the woman’s own nose and ear. It was because of this bio-ink that the woman’s body did not reject the organ.

The Problem With 3D Printed Organs

Organs created with bioprinting need to function like real organs for the body to safely use them, and this does not happen right away.

The 3D printed organs need to go beyond just a printed structure and become living. They need to form tissues and cells that help create biological functionality, and forming these cells take time.

The problem with 3D bioprinting is that the ink used for the printer needs to be effective at doing this, and if it is not, the organ may not stay functional.

The ink used for the 3D-printed windpipe was made from part bio-ink and part polycaprolactone (PCL), a synthetic polyester material.

PCL is a used in the 3D ink for the purposes of maintain the structure of the windpipe, while the bio-ink is used to help the 3D printed organ to become fully biological in time so that the body can use it.

The PCL maintains the structure while the bio-ink does it’s thing.

The problem with PCL is that it is biodegradable and won’t last forever. In fact, doctors don’t expect the 3D-printed windpipe to last more than five years.

The Solution is Better Bio-ink

The 3D printed windpipe was not just made using PCL, but it contained bio-ink made from living cells too. The hope is that the living cells in the 3D printed organ—which came from the bio-ink—will assist the patient’s body in creating a fully functional windpipe to replace the PCL’s function.

If the organ begins to form cells and tissue by itself, then the function of PCL will be replaced by the biological function of the organ that is growing.

The organ becomes real!

Bio-Ink helps the 3D printed organ mimic it’s natural environment of cells and eventually become a real organ.

3D Printing Organs Will Save Lives

Every year, thousands of people need a lifesaving organ transplant. These transplants cost hundreds of thousand of dollars, and many people who need them don’t make it passed the waiting list.

3D Printing organs could give people the incredible opportunity to receive the help they need when they need it, saving thousands of lives annually, and millions of lives in the long run.

As advances are made in 3D Bioprinting, they will also be made in areas of Organoid and Artificial Intelligence, which shows that the progress being made in one place will once again shine its way to another.

3d printed organ. A brain being created by 3d printers.

IC Inspiration:

If we can create better forms of bio-ink and produce fully functional organs using 3D printing, we will fundamentally change the entire health care system.

17 people die every single day waiting for an organ transplant, many of whom can’t afford the transplant in the first place.

The biggest hope in the world for everyone that is affected by this is that organs can be produced when they are needed, ending the transplant shortage and saving the incredible lives of millions of people in the future.

We have seen from this story that personalized organs made from a patients own cells can stop the bodies rejection of organs. This shows us that there will come a time when there will be no need for immunosuppressants therapy.

Even more amazing is that doctors use 3D printing to practice performing a surgery so that they can sharpen their skills before the surgery. This also helps them find better pathways for performing the surgery.

Think about it… If you can’t use a real organ to practice on, then 3D organs are the next best thing.

The production of organs, the irrelevancy of immunosuppressants, and more efficient surgery will eventually drive down the prices of transplants, and 3D printing organs in the future will not only save lives, but it will also increase the quality of those lives afterwards.

That is the sort of world we can create. It’s amazing to think of all the good that is being done right here, right now.

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Father Son Bond Creates Buzz: The Flow Hive Success Story 



flow hives

Flow Hive

Flow Hive is the most revolutionary invention in beekeeping in history.

The innovation allows beekeepers to tap into honey directly from the hive without the mess and expensive processing equipment inherent in traditional beekeeping.

However, the invention goes beyond simply streamlining the harvesting process. The idea of Flow Hive started when founder Cedar Anderson was just a boy. He wanted to save the bees from being crushed when harvesting honey, and he and his father eventually created a very successful business from it.

How Does Flow Hive Work?

Before Flow Hive, the extraction process of honey involved breaking the hive to get to the honeycomb cells, manually removing the beeswax to get to the honey, and then using an extractor to collect the honey.

By comparison, Flow Hive uses Flow Frames, which the honey bees fill with wax and form honey on. When honey is formed, a Flow Key is inserted and rotated, which allows honey to flow right out of the Flow Frame and into a cup or jar, similar to turning on a faucet.

No breaking, no mess, no expensive processing equipment, and for those who would like to save the bees, no disturbed bees.

A Father and Son Bond is an Incredible Thing

Flow Hive’s are like a mini house that even the most spirited bees would be happy to call their home. Founders Stuart Anderson and his son Cedar come from three generations of beekeepers. This culture formed a father-son bond, creating the most innovative invention in beekeeping history.

How Did Flow Hive Start?

Flow Hive started in the mind of Cedar when he was just a child who felt bad that so many bees were being crushed while harvesting honey.

Imagine, a young boy raised to admire the social creatures that have sustained his family’s livelihood for three generations, and some of those very creatures are being harmed in the process.

A child’s innocence is a remarkable thing, but who would have known that it would become such a lucrative business?

“The first idea was simply that there must be a better way, and I’d been thinking about that from a very young age.”

That idea—brought about by a feeling in a young boy’s heart—eventually created the prototype which broke crowdfunding records.

Within 10 minutes on Indiegogo, they had surpassed their goal of raising $70,000, and within 15 minutes, they had already raised $250,000.

The campaign raised a total of $14,959,087, making it one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in history.

golden honey in jars


Did you know that bees are an endangered species?

While learning about Honey Flow, I was particularly interested in why people become beekeepers in the first place.

A prominent theme went along these lines: “I noticed that I would only see one bee whenever I was outside enjoying the beautiful summer day, and I wanted to change that.”

Upon hearing this three times from individuals who don’t know one another, I began to really understand the disposition that almost seems to be an intrinsic part of the beekeeping culture.

To some, the absence of bees means not getting stung. But to others, it is something much deeper: it is the absence of purpose.

Bees have a purpose, and beekeepers create an environment where the bees can carry out their life’s purpose, so their purpose behind beekeeping is worthy of an inspiring click!

But did you know that not all bees are endangered?

The truth is that honeybees are abundant, but native bees are endangered.

Human industrial activities have affected all bees, but honeybees have been able to flourish because so many people have taken to beekeeping. So, while human activity has caused bees to become endangered, human activity has also caused them to flourish in abundance.

But despite this, honeybees compete with wild bees for resources, and the difference in the numbers of the two species can further push native bees toward extinction.

We are capable, yes! But with awareness, we can truly make the difference that we want.

There are 20,000 species of bees, and only one that makes honey, but while there has been so much attention given to honeybees, we are among amazing people who dedicate their lives to solving the real issues.

If you would like to gain more knowledge about endangered native bees and even come to know how we can save the bees, then inspiration is just a click away!

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2024 Signals a Clean Energy Future Despite Hottest Year Ever



2024 Signals a Clean Energy Future Despite Hottest Year Ever

Rising Heat Rising Hope

There is a lot of gloom and doom when people speak about the future of climate change, but a clean energy future is happening right now, and the journey that led up to is remarkable.

There are some really good reasons to be hopeful about the future of renewable energy and climate change, it just needs to be looked at from a clear and new perspective.

Let’s start with 2023.

2023 Was the Hottest Year on Record

In 2015, 194 nations came together and set a goal to limit the global rise in temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. In 2023, global temperature rose to 1.45°C above pre-industrial levels. While it did not reach 1.5°C, 2023 was the hottest year on record for Earth.

2024 is the Tipping Point for Clean Energy

1.5°C is considered the tipping point for climate change. Some scientists regard this number as the point where global warming begins to have the strongest effect on the Earth. While this might seem like a catastrophe, the world is beginning to see a shift toward a clean energy future. 2023 was the hottest year on record, but it was also the year where renewable energy grew by 50%. This growth is expected to rise in 2024 and further into the future.

Rarely do good things happen without a little bit of adversity—even flowers bloom from soil and manure. A clean energy future is happening right now, and things could not have happened any better. Here’s why.

Why Did Global Warming Happen?

Global warming is the result of burning fossil fuels, and fuel was necessary for advancing the human race. The history of modern civilization is marked by industrial revolution. The first revolution transitioned the world from an agrarian economy to a manufacturing economy. This had a major impact in advancing medicine and sanitation, both of which largely determine life expectancy. It is because of the industrial revolutions that the average life expectancy has nearly doubled in the last century.

But the backbone of the industrial revolution is fuel. Without it, climate change wouldn’t be a problem and the need for renewable energy would not exist. However, life expectancy would be very low, and technology would not have progressed.

You probably would not even be here right now, but you are, and you should be hopeful!

Clean Energy Future

Even though 2023 was the hottest year on record, data shows that the market size of renewable energy is constantly increasing every year. This forecasts a clean energy future on the horizon, and it is marked by lower costs of energy as well as a better quality of life.

Source: Statista

Something that shoots up consistently year after year is often too good to be true. In fact, this is exactly what the Berny Madoff Ponzi scheme looked like.

Clean energy future looks so good on graph, that it is hard to believe it is real
Madoff’s Sentry Fairfield—The best-looking investment fund ever. $7 billion was invested, and nobody ever saw their money again.

The future of renewable energy looks like the Berny Madoffs Ponzi scheme on paper. It looks so good, that if I gave it to you as an investment fund, it would be completely bogus because it would be too good to be true.

If you ever see an investment graph that shoots up like this, run! But now that you’re seeing it as real progress, you should be happy! It shows that a clean energy future is closer than you think.

Clean Energy is Now Cheaper Than Fuel

While the use of renewable energy has increased, its cost has decreased at about the same rate.

In 2010, the cost of wind energy was 95% higher than fuel-power. Now, its price is more than 50% lower than the cheapest fuel-powered option.

In 2010, Solar energy was 710% more expensive than fuel-power. Now, it’s price is more than 29% lower than the cheapest fuel-fired solution.

How Much Money Can Clean Energy Save?

Renewable energy saved $56 billion in 2022 in the U.S. alone. This amounts to more than $1 trillion saved by 2050. Data shows that the learning rate for solar and wind technology has been remarkable. These Improvements can further increase the $56 billion figure. It is estimated that by the year 2050, nearly $11 Trillion worldwide will be saved by transitioning to renewable energy.

Why is the Price of Clean Energy Going Down?

The price of clean energy is going down because the learning rate of the renewable energy sector is increasing. People are learning how to create and manage infrastructures like solar panels and wind turbines in a more efficient way. This efficiency reduces the cost associated with renewable energy and makes the use of clean energy more widespread.

In other words, things are getting better because people are getting smarter.

What is the Future of Renewable Energy?

We are currently in the fourth industrial revolution—the revolution of the Internet and renewable energy. The future of renewable energy is that it will create the next industrial revolution in a shorter amount of time than the previous one. This is because the internet is increasing the rate of technological advancement. Technology is what leads to revolutions, and it is growing faster than any other time in history.

History is Predicting a Clean Energy Future

Revolutions mean progress, and each of the 4 industrial revolutions have used fuel as its backbone. The only thing that changed was the kind of fuel that was used, and each revolution used a cleaner source of fuel. Moreover, each industrial revolution happened faster than the previous. History is predicting a clean energy future.

  • Industrial Revolution 1765: Coal- Coal is the worst fuel and contains much more carbon than gas. Consider that CO2 emissions weigh more than the fuel that creates it, and it becomes clear to see why coal is the dirtiest fuel.
  • Industrial Revolution 1870: Gas- After coal mines came cars. Car's need gas, and although gas has been used as the primary source of energy, it is much cleaner than coal.
  • Industrial Revolution 1969: Nuclear- Nearly a century later, nuclear energy was created. Nuclear does not emit any CO2, and therefore, is much cleaner than the first two revolutions.
  • Industrial Revolution 2000: The Internet & Renewable Energy

It took 105 years to go from coal to gas, 99 years from gas to nuclear, and only 31 years from Nuclear to renewable. How long until the next revolution? If history is any indicator, then it will be less than three decades.

A clean energy future is closer than you think, and the progress that has been made is mind-blowing. Be hopeful!

what is the future of renewable energy? Clean energy future


A clean energy future is built on a not so clean past, but we have come a long way. Very rarely can humans get things right the first. Life, much like history, is a process.

Here's the fact: humans are not rational beings... We are rationalizing beings.

We make sense of things as they happen because we only understand what those things truly are after they have happened. We can't be rational enough to know the future, but we learn afterwards.

Fuel has gotten us so far, and the world of information often paints a gloomy picture without appreciating the progress. Here's a question:

Can we make sense of something before it happens?

Renewable energy came after fuel, but was it even possible to start with renewable energy?

If not, then could things have been any better?

Heroes are not born, they are made. Humans were born to make history, and even though there are downsides, this progress shows that a brighter and cleaner future may not be so far off.

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