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Trulia Neighborhoods lets you see crowdsourced local reviews of an area before you move in

It can be overwhelming to get a sense of what a neighborhood is like before moving there just by consulting multiple websites to piece together general information. To help, real estate website Trulia is launching Neighborhoods as a guide for buyers and renters. The tool features crowdsourced local reviews and photos to offer a better sense of a particular area, down to parent reviews of schools, insights on commute, and local safety.

Users can also read up on other intangible factors like vibe, noise levels, and local insights that are harder to research through Google.

Neighborhoods builds upon Trulia’s What Locals Say feature that launched earlier this year. Users can read resident insights like how much street parking is available, and whether a park is dog-friendly. So far, more than 15 million locals have submitted reviews and feedback.

The feature also builds on Trulia’s Local Legal Protections tool, which lets homebuyers know if their new home is in an area that has laws to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Neighborhoods also has an “Inside the Neighborhood” feature, which uses the now ubiquitous stories format to display photos and information about parts of a city.

Trulia Neighborhoods is available nationally, and currently offers original photography and drone footage for 300 neighborhoods including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Austin, and Chicago.

Trulia plans to add photos for 1,100 more neighborhoods throughout the end of this year.

CRISPR creates new species with single giant chromosome

For at least the last 10 million years every yeast cell used to make beer or found in slice of bread has had 16 chromosomes. But now–thanks to CRISPR technology and some DNA tinkerers in China–there are living yeast with just one. Genome organizer: We humans have our genes arranged onto 46 chromosomes, yeast use 16, and there’s even a fern plant with 1260 of them.

That’s just the way it is. And no one is quite sure why. The big one: Do we really need so many chromosomes?

That’s what Zhogjun Qin and colleagues at the Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology in Shanghai wanted to know. With CRISPR, the gene-editing tool, Qin’s team chopped out the button-like centromeres that hold each stringy chromosome together, then started fusing them together. The result: organisms with 8, 4, 2, and even finally just one “single giant chromosome.”

Is this a new species? Good question. Yeast with fewer chromosomes can’t mate very well or at all with regular ones, but they did fine with their own numerical kind. This may indeed be the start of a separate, man-made species.

What it’s for: Scientists want to explore why cells have chromosomes at all and so the weird new yeast could help. But the work is also a demonstration of “large-scale genome engineering” say the Chinese team. The ultimate end goal of these experiments?

Using technology to create human-designed life forms of kinds never seen before.

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