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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Nov 15, 2014

Scientists Link Autism To These Toxic Chemicals During Fetal Development

Posted by in category: biotech/medical
by Arjun Walia — Collective Evolution

fetus

The cause of autism is still unknown, but we are definitely closer to figuring it out. A new study published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, from researchers at the University of Chicago revealed that autism and intellectual disability (ID) rates are linked with exposure to harmful environmental factors during congenital development.

Essentially what happens is during pregnancy… there are certain sensitive periods where the fetus is very vulnerable to a range of small molecules – from things like plasticisers, prescription drugs, environmental pesticides and other things. Some of these small molecules essentially alter normal development. Autism appears to be strongly correlated with rate of congenital malformations of the genitals in males across the country, this gives an indicator of environmental load and the effect is surprisingly strong. The strongest predictors for autism were associated with the environment; congenital malformations on the reproductive system in males.” (1)Andrey Rzhetsky, professor of genetic medicine and human genetics at the University of Chicago

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Nov 14, 2014

Injected Bacteria Shrink Tumors in Rats, Dogs and Humans

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Johns Hopskins Medicine

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/Bacterium-Causes-Tumors-in-Rats-Dogs-and-Even-Humans-to-Shrink-454994-2.jpg

A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.

In its natural form, C. novyi is found in the soil and, in certain cases, can cause tissue-damaging infection in cattle, sheep and humans. The microbe thrives only in oxygen-poor environments, which makes it a targeted means of destroying oxygen-starved cells in tumors that are difficult to treat with chemotherapy and radiation. The Johns Hopkins team removed one of the bacteria’s toxin-producing genes to make it safer for therapeutic use.

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Nov 13, 2014

Fully functional immune organ grown in mice from lab-created cells

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine

Fibroblasts transformed into induced thymic epithelial cells (iTEC)  in vitro (left, iTEC in green).  iTEC transplanted onto the mouse kidney form an organised and functional mini-thymus (right, kidney cells in pink, thymus cells in dark blue).

Scientists have for the first time grown a complex, fully functional organ from scratch in a living animal by transplanting cells that were originally created in a laboratory. The advance could in future aid the development of ‘lab-grown’ replacement organs.

Researchers from the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Edinburgh, took cells called fibroblasts from a mouse embryo and converted them directly into a completely unrelated type of cell — specialised thymus cells — using a technique called ‘reprogramming’. When mixed with other thymus cell types and transplanted into mice, these cells formed a replacement organ that had the same structure, complexity and function as a healthy native adult thymus. The reprogrammed cells were also capable of producing T cells — a type of white blood cell important for fighting infection — in the lab.

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Nov 12, 2014

Nanosheet burn dressing clings to uneven skin

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

By — Gizmag

Tokia University researchers have developed a nanosheet material that clings to irregular ...

Even with advances in gels and dressings, burns remain a difficult injury to treat. This applies particularly to parts of the body where the skin bends around bones and joints, creating surfaces unfavorable to most types of bandaging. But researchers from Japan’s Tokai University have developed a new ultra-thin material that clings to those trickier locations, serving to ward off infectious bacteria.

The researchers liken the material as akin to cling wrap in its ability to adhere to not only flat surfaces without any adhesives, but also irregular surfaces that can be prone to dog-eared Band-Aids and curling gauze.

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Nov 1, 2014

‘I was blind… now I have bionic eyes’

Posted by in categories: bionic, biotech/medical

Oct 17, 2014

Alchemy vs Networks: The cure for ageing will come — but it will not be something physical

Posted by in categories: aging, biotech/medical, complex systems, evolution, life extension, transhumanism

Since ancient times people have been searching for the secret of immortality. Their quest has always been, without exception, about a physical item: a fountain, an elixir, an Alchemist’s remedy, a chalice, a pill, an injection of stem cells or a vial containing gene-repairing material. It has never been about an abstract concept.

Our inability to find a physical cure for ageing is explained by a simple fact: We cannot find it because it does not exist. It will never exist.

Those who believe that someday some guy is going to discover a pill or a remedy and give it to people so that we will all live forever are, regrettably, deluded.

I should highlight here that I refer to a cure for the ageing process in general, and not a cure for a specific medical disease. Biotechnology and other physical therapies are useful in alleviating many diseases and ailments, but these therapies will not be the answer to the basic biological process of ageing.

Continue reading “Alchemy vs Networks: The cure for ageing will come — but it will not be something physical” »


Oct 13, 2014

2014 Longevity and Genetics Conference – Keynote Aubrey de Grey

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, DNA, events, genetics, life extension, science

Western Canada’s most futurist-oriented longevity organization, the Lifespan Society of British Columbia, has organized a first-class life extension conference, which will take place later this fall in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Longevity and Genetics Conference 2014 offers a full-day of expert presentations, made accessible to a general audience, with keynote on the latest developments in biorejuvination by Aubrey de Grey of SENS Research Foundation. The conference will be interactive, with a panel session for audience questions, and VIP options for further interaction with speakers.

ImageofAubreydeGrey

Aubrey de Grey

Who will be there? In addition to Aubrey de Grey, there are four other speakers confirmed thus far: Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Head of Cancer Genetics at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency, Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research, and co-author of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging, Dr. Clinton Mielke, former Mayo Clinic researcher and founder of the quantified self platform “infino.me”, and lastly, one of futurism’s most experienced and dedicated radical longevity advocates, Benjamin Best, who is currently Director of Research Oversight at the Life Extension Foundation. This conference is a multi-disciplinary event, engaging several points of interest and relevance in the longevity space, from the cellular, genetic science of aging, to the latest epidemiological and even demographic research. You can also expect discussion on personalized medicine and quantified self technologies, as well as big picture, sociological and philosophical, longevity-specific topics.

All around, the 2014 Longevity and Genetics conference, set to take place Saturday November 15, has a lot to offer, as does the host city of Vancouver. A recent study has indicated that a majority of Canadians, 59%, are in favor of life extension technology, with 47% expecting that science and technology will enable living until 120 by 2050. The Lifespan Society of British Columbia is keeping that momentum and enthusiasm alive and growing, and I’m glad they have organized such a high-calliber event. Tickets are currently still available. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.

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Oct 9, 2014

Dying Twice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

Dying Twice

Of course, Ebola can be stopped: By rigorously restricting locomotion for the population. But this presupposes heavy support networks. At the present moment in time, this strategy is still feasible. However, since the disease is spreading exponentially in both number and area, very soon the resources of aid-giving nations will be overtaxed. Then the Big Dying from Ebola will be accompanied by the Big Dying from hunger and thirst due to restricted locomotion without the necessary support services.

There exist institutions that could help. But they all do not know what “dying twice” means:
FIRST: from having become untouchable and unapproachable;
SECOND: from thirst, hunger and the pangs of the disease which are intolerably ugly and stenching.
Mothers do not mind. But where are all the mothers for the dying? Even Jesus’ mother was there at the cross.

Since the disease is doubling every 3 weeks (only at some places the rate is slowed due to restricted locomotion), someone must make a “war plan.” I am sure some wonderful organizations have already done so, but they must join forces, resources and above all: information.
One joint plan must be negotiated, maybe under the auspices of the Vatican?, or the CDC?, or Castroland? It need not be the money-stripped United Nations. Only: SOON!

Continue reading “Dying Twice” »


Oct 4, 2014

Organs-on-Chips emulate human organs, could replace animals in tests

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

By — GizMag

Emulate's lung-on-chip, seen here, is lined with human lung and blood vessel cells

The search for more efficient tests of pharmaceuticals without animal models is taking a stride forward, with a new technology being developed in the US called Organs-on-Chips. The new miniature platform and software, which mimic the mechanical and molecular characteristics of human organs, were developed by bioengineers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

The device, about the size of a small computer memory stick, is created using microchip-manufacturing techniques. It features a porous flexible membrane that separates two channels at the center of the device. The channels are filled with living human cells and tissues cultured in a fluid that mimics the environment inside the human body. Micro-engineering and automated instrumentation allows the system to perform real-time analysis of biochemical, genetic and metabolic functions within single cells.

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Oct 1, 2014

The Abolition of Medicine as a Goal for Humanity 2.0

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, bionic, biotech/medical, ethics, futurism, genetics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, medical, philosophy, policy, transhumanism

What follows is my position piece for London’s FutureFest 2013, the website for which no longer exists.

Medicine is a very ancient practice. In fact, it is so ancient that it may have become obsolete. Medicine aims to restore the mind and body to their natural state relative to an individual’s stage in the life cycle. The idea has been to live as well as possible but also die well when the time came. The sense of what is ‘natural’ was tied to statistically normal ways of living in particular cultures. Past conceptions of health dictated future medical practice. In this respect, medical practitioners may have been wise but they certainly were not progressive.

However, this began to change in the mid-19th century when the great medical experimenter, Claude Bernard, began to champion the idea that medicine should be about the indefinite delaying, if not outright overcoming, of death. Bernard saw organisms as perpetual motion machines in an endless struggle to bring order to an environment that always threatens to consume them. That ‘order’ consists in sustaining the conditions needed to maintain an organism’s indefinite existence. Toward this end, Bernard enthusiastically used animals as living laboratories for testing his various hypotheses.

Historians identify Bernard’s sensibility with the advent of ‘modern medicine’, an increasingly high-tech and aspirational enterprise, dedicated to extending the full panoply of human capacities indefinitely. On this view, scientific training trumps practitioner experience, radically invasive and reconstructive procedures become the norm, and death on a physician’s watch is taken to be the ultimate failure. Humanity 2.0 takes this way of thinking to the next level, which involves the abolition of medicine itself. But what exactly would that mean – and what would replace it?

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