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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Apr 29, 2016

AI, Bioenhancement, and the Singularity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

A beautiful story about Ray Kurzweil and Bill Joy meeting and discussing Singularity many years ago.


There may be such a thing as a social fabric, or just a tapestry of individual interactions. Either way, we should worry about biotech-super-charged transhumanism, which is on a tear.

Apr 28, 2016

Gene therapy reverses sight loss and is long-lasting

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A genetic therapy has improved the vision of patients who would otherwise have gone blind.

A clinical study by British scientists has shown that the improvement is long-lasting and so the therapy is suitable to be offered as a treatment.

The researchers will apply for approval to begin trials to treat more common forms of blindness next year.

Apr 28, 2016

Long in the tooth, or just a redhead?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The results pointed to MC1R, known previously as a gene for red hair and freckles.

Scientists say they have made a leap in knowing why some people retain their youthful looks while others age badly.

The new study is the first time that “a gene has been found that explains, in part, why some people look older and others younger for their age”, Manfred Kayser, a professor of forensic molecular genetics at Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a senior author on the study, said in a statement.

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Apr 28, 2016

Researchers Identify Potential HIV Vaccine Possibility With ‘Looped’ Antibodies

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing

Scientists are now one step closer to neutralizing HIV.

In a study conducted at Vanderbilt University and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers isolated antibodies with a loop-like structure that binds tightly to HIV and disables it. Unlike traditional vaccines, which jump-start an immune response by exposing the patient to a pathogen, this newly discovered method could work even in people who have not previously been exposed to by the virus.

Using computer modeling, the researchers identified the amino acid sequences that bound most tightly to HIV and re-engineered them in an optimal sequence that simulated vaccination.

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Apr 28, 2016

DNA used to build the world’s smallest thermometer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

DNA used in a thermometer.


A thermometer 20,000-times smaller than a human hair has been developed by researchers using DNA that is capable of measuring temperatures within living cells.

The thermometer, unveiled this week in the journal Nano Letters, was built by scientists at the University of Montreal and is expected to improve human understanding of nanotechnologies.

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Apr 28, 2016

Now, a brain map to help decode inner thoughts

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Cool


New York: Scientists have built a “semantic atlas” or a brain map that identifies areas that respond to words having similar meanings. The finding can help give voice to those who cannot speak such as victims of stroke, brain damage or motor neuron diseases.

Apr 28, 2016

New Brain Map Shows Where Words Are Stored Inside Your Head

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

New keys unlock how words are stored in our brains.


Researchers have created a new map of the human brain which shows where we organize words depending on their meaning—and it could help us read minds more accurately than ever.

Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, have published an interactive version of the map online. It allows you to explore the whole brain, clicking around to see where different types of words—from social and spatial, to violent and visual—are stored.

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Apr 28, 2016

Math points to 100-times faster mapping of gene activity

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, mathematics

New research by UCSF scientists could accelerate – by 10 to 100-fold – the pace of many efforts to profile gene activity, ranging from basic research into how to build new tissues from stem cells to clinical efforts to detect cancer or auto-immune diseases by profiling single cells in a tiny drop of blood.

The study, published online April 27, 2016, in the journal Cell Systems, rigorously demonstrates how to extract high-quality information about the patterns of in individual cells without using expensive and time-consuming technology. The paper’s senior authors are Hana El-Samad, PhD, an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF, and Matt Thomson, PhD, a faculty fellow in UCSF’s Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology.

“We believe the implications are huge because of the fundamental tradeoff between depth of sequencing and throughput, or cost,” said El-Samad. “For example, suddenly, one can think of profiling a whole tumor at the single cell level.”

Apr 28, 2016

New genetic tools to boost productivity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics

There’s a precision genetic tool being put to work in crop breeding that offers benefits for future elite, high-performing crops. Pioneer is moving forward with work on a commercial hybrid.

With CRISPR-Cas it’s possible to do precision gene insertions (or deletions) in a crop genome that boost productivity or enhance other traits. This isn’t a GMO because the work done involves traits from the same species — corn gene into a corn plant, for example.

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Apr 28, 2016

Spanish scientists create human sperm from mature skin cells in search for infertility solution

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Scientists in Spain say they have created human sperm from skin cells, which could eventually lead to a treatment for infertility.

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