Short Film: Agent 327

Agent 327 thus feels like a charming throwback to the recent past, when animation schools were routinely graduating tradesfolk prepared to join the ranks at Pixar, Disney, or Dreamworks. It is a slick, action-comedy with a bright and conventional aesthetic that happens to be impeccably executed. If you miss the days when French schools were pumping out charmingly broad slapstick work like Oktapodi several times a year, you’ll get a kick out of this short, 4min piece.

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Scientists are using gene editing to try to slow cancer growth

When you think of gene editing technologies like CRISPR, you might imagine editing genes that relate to height, eye color, or our risk of getting certain diseases. But in truth, our DNA and RNA are full of countless proteins whose jobs have tiny yet important effects on our health. Some, for example, are heavily involved in the cell cycle, which regulates how all cells grow and divide—including cancer cells. A group of researchers out of the University of Rochester Medical Center recently used the CRISPR gene editing technique to try to eliminate one of the key proteins that allow cancer cells to proliferate out of control. While it’s just a first-of-its-kind study, the researchers think that in the future, it could be incorporated into a therapy to treat the disease.

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Learning to read as an adult might change the way your brain works

The phrase, “reading is fundamental,” is a slogan, a meme, and the name of a children’s literacy nonprofit. For those of us who can read, especially with a fluidity that feels almost like an extension of our own thinking, the expression’s rationale is simple: the foundation of our composed world is the written word. After all, the ability to read is necessary to send a text, apply for a job, or even to identify our favorite products after they’ve undergone yet another rebranding. Illiteracy in the modern world is like trying to navigate the high seas with neither a knowledge of the stars, a map or a compass—possible, but needlessly difficult. But new researchsuggests that learning to read does more than make life easier: it literally changes how the brain works by increasing connectivity between its regions.

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WATCH THIS INSANE TWIN-TURBO LAMBORGHINI HURACAN SET HALF-MILE WORLD RECORD OF 250 MPH

While we are thrilled by the stunning speed demonstrated by the Lamborghini Huracan Performante in setting a new Nurburgring lap record for street cars, the tuners at North Carolina’s Underground Racing were gunning for an even bigger number, hitting 250.27 mph to set a new half-mile world record. Watch it here:

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6 Black Explorers That Will Transform How You See the Ancient World

West African Ruler Abubakari II Brought Africans to America Before Columbus

Christopher Columbus wasn’t responsible for Africans ultimately coming to America. Abubakari II voyaged to America almost 200 years before the Italian colonizer, as scholar Gaoussou Diawara says in his book, “The Saga of Abubakari II.”  In the 14th century, Abukari II, also known as Mansa Qu, ruled Mali, which experts believe was one of the richest and largest empires in the world. Diawara says, in 1311, the monarch handed his ruling duties over to his brother, Kankou Moussa, so Abubakari could explore across the Atlantic Ocean.

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