• The biggest CRISPR announcement yet… and Bleeding Edge readers are the first to know
  • The next time we land on the moon, it will be to stay
  • Elon Musk’s master plan for space

Dear Reader,

In a somewhat humorous turn of events, Google employees are now up in arms. They discovered that their employer is surveilling them…

Hidden within the cavernous halls of Google’s headquarters, top management tasked a secret team with developing a surveillance tool. It is masked as a calendar extension in Google’s Chrome browser.

The purpose is to monitor meetings of 100 people or more. Why?

Because large meetings like that can indicate that employees are planning to protest Google’s business practices. It may also hint at plans for creating a workers’ union.

This calendar extension reports any employee who sends a calendar invite to more than 100 people. The plans are to install the surveillance tool on the computers of employees in such a way that it cannot be removed.

Of course, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is claiming that these employees’ accusations are “categorically false.”

The company line is that it only designed the surveillance tool to make employees mindful of the number of people invited to a meeting, implying that too many people present would be counterproductive.

Yeah, right.

We shouldn’t believe the company for one second.

What’s humorous about this situation is that Google employees make a living by surveilling everything other people do.

If we have Gmail, Google reads every email that we send and receive, looking for behavioral data on us. It physically tracks our locations day and night through smartphone applications. Google knows where we eat, sleep, shop, play, and exercise.

Google surveils all of us…

Perhaps now some of its employees understand how that feels…

The biggest CRISPR announcement yet…

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard just revealed an incredible innovation in CRISPR genetic editing technology. We have written a lot about CRISPR recently (catch up here and here)… And this is the biggest story of the year by far.

A new research paper, released days ago, discusses a new form of CRISPR called “prime editing.” And researchers believe it can cure about 89% of all known diseases that genetic mutations cause. That’s right – this is our best tool yet in the fight to cure all human disease.

And that’s because prime editing can change sequences in DNA essentially without limitation. It can change any nucleotide from one “letter” to another. Here’s what I mean…

The Structure of DNA and RNA

Source: Live Science

We can see in this image that nucleotides containing nitrogen bases make up every strand of DNA. They are Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), Adenine (A), and Thymine (T). These are the letters I am referring to.

A genetic mutation occurs when these letters are in the wrong sequence. Prime editing can put them back into the right sequence.

And what makes this form of CRISPR so powerful is that it can edit multiple mutations at once. In fact, researchers at the Broad Institute made 44 successful changes in DNA at one time using this method. And they believe they can double this number…

That means prime editing can be used for very complex genetic diseases. These are diseases that require many edits, like Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

This is a big step. Up to this point, the companies working in this space have been targeting therapies that address less-complex mutations or sometimes just a single mutation.

Given the developmental stage of CRISPR technology, this is a smart place to start. And the prime editing technique gives us the ability to address more complex genetic mutations. In other words, we now have a fuller tool kit to go cure all human disease.

So this news has the entire industry buzzing right now. We will see research and development accelerate from here.

And at least one new company has already formed from this new research. It controls the patents that come from this research through a deal with the Broad Institute. It holds all the key intellectual property for CRISPR prime editing.

Obviously, that will make the company a force in this space.

The name of that company is Prime Medicine… and Bleeding Edge readers are some of the first to know about it.

The Moon race is heating up…

Blue Origin just assembled a team to get back to the Moon by 2024. That’s in line with President Trump’s national challenge.

As a reminder, Blue Origin is the space technology company that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founded and funded. We talked about this company back in May. That’s when it unveiled its new lunar lander called the Blue Moon.

Jeff Bezos Unveils Blue Moon

Source: Blue Origin

Blue Origin has now taken the lead in the Moon race by assembling an impressive group of partners. It signed agreements with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper.

Lockheed Martin will design the reusable ascent vehicle for the launch. Northrop Grumman will develop the landing system and transfer vehicle to get from the Moon’s orbit down to its surface. Draper will provide descent guidance and flight aviation technology. And, of course, Blue Origin has the Blue Moon lunar lander.

What’s incredible is that Blue Origin, a startup company, is taking the lead initiative. It is organizing and leading the massive incumbents, who are joining the team of this energetic upstart.

That’s been a theme we’ve talked about all year. Early stage companies are leading the charge back to space. And they are using private capital as their funding. It’s just an incredible story.

This time around, we’re going to the Moon to stay…

The real goal of SpaceX’s Starlink system…

More from outer space…

Elon Musk’s SpaceX just filed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to launch 30,000 more satellites as part of its Starlink system.

This is SpaceX’s satellite network in low Earth orbit. The stated goal is to create a satellite net around the Earth that can provide communications access to anywhere on the planet.

Just to be clear, Starlink is not intended to compete with mobile phone networks or land-based internet networks. Satellite networks just aren’t as fast. They have latency and bandwidth issues. But they are great for people living in remote areas and for ships out at sea… where no other coverage is available.

SpaceX’s plan for 30,000 more satellites is incredible. The company just deployed its first 60 satellites in May. And it already has approval to launch 12,000. Adding another 30,000 to this would make the largest satellite constellation ever.

And I believe I know what Musk’s master plan is here…

I believe SpaceX is establishing what will essentially be a backhaul network for space. We can think of it as a routing network between space and Earth. Consider this…

Most satellites are launched into low Earth orbit because it is cheaper to get them there. But low Earth satellites are not geostationary. They move around the Earth at high speeds as it rotates… which means the same satellite does not stay above the same geographic location. And that means Earth-bound communications must constantly flow through different satellites and base stations around the world.

Well, with a massive Starlink network, any satellite could communicate directly with any point on Earth. The Starlink system would essentially be an important relay network between Earth’s orbit (space) and Earth itself.

That’s what I see as SpaceX’s master plan. The company would then sell Starlink services to governments and corporations that need to maintain a connection to their satellites in low Earth orbit in real time.

It’s an ambitious plan, but if SpaceX can get a Tesla Roadster into space, send a manned mission around the Moon, and build a spaceship to Mars, I’m inclined to believe that it will get the Starlink network up and running as well.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge