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Aug 27, 2015

Anti-cancer vaccine uses patient’s own cancer cells to trigger immune responses

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Cancerous melanoma cells, shown with their cell bodies (green) and nuclei (blue), are nestled in tiny hollow lumens (tubes) within the cryogel (red) structure. (credits: Thomas Ferrante, Sidi A. Bencherif / Wyss Institute at Harvard University)

A new biologically inspired “injectable cryogel whole-cell cancer vaccine” combines patient-specific harvested cancer cells and immune-stimulating chemicals or biological molecules to help the body attack cancer. It has been developed by scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

This new approach is simpler and more economical than other cancer cell transplantation therapies, which harvest tumor cells and then genetically engineer them to trigger immune responses once they are transplanted back into the patient’s body, the researchers say.

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Aug 27, 2015

Political polarization on Twitter depends on the issue | Phys.org

Posted by in category: media & arts

politicalpol

““To some extent, social media platforms can promote democratic deliberation and the exchange of ideas from different perspectives,” says Barberá. “Even for the most divisive topics, such as the 2012 presidential election, we did not see a perfect division on Twitter — while people may encounter political views that they agree with, they’ll encounter divergent opinions as well.””

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Aug 27, 2015

PGC-1α Modulates Telomere Function and DNA Damage in Protecting against Aging-Related Chronic Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

An interesting paper that uses ALA to shore up telomerase activity, loss of telomeres inhibition of P53 expression and mitochondrial dysfunction in one go. They use ALA (alpha lipoic acid) to induce PGC-1α in this case though PGC1-alpha seems to be a potential target for intervention as I understand that ALA is difficult to deliver to cells. In this case this involves the vascular system and atherosclerosis.

http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(15)00825-6

Short telomeres and Mitochondrial dysfunction are increasingly implicated as being closely linked as this 2012 Dephino paper demonstrates in the aging heart:

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Aug 26, 2015

Listening

Posted by in categories: entertainment, neuroscience

LISTENING, the award-winning debut feature from visionary director Khalil Sullins, is a psychological thriller about penniless grad students who invent mind-reading technology that destroys their lives. David, Ryan, and Jordan hope the telepathy invention will solve all their problems, but the bleeding-edge technology opens a Pandora’s box of new dangers, as the team discovers that when they open their minds, there is nowhere to hide their thoughts. Secrets and betrayals surface, and the technology is stolen by a covert government agency with a hidden agenda. With no one left to trust, David is forced against his friends in a life-or-death battle over not only the privacy of the human mind, but the future of free will itself.

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Aug 26, 2015

The 2015 Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists | The Buckminster Fuller Institute

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, science, sustainability, water

challenge-banner-website

“Now in its 8th annual cycle with the strongest applicant pool yet, including the most diverse pool of program entrants to date creating change in 136 countries, The Fuller Challenge remains the only award specifically working to identify and catalyze individuals and teams employing a whole systems approach to problem solving.”

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Aug 26, 2015

Can We Reprogram Cancer Cells Back To Normal?

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

Most cancer-busting strategies focus on removing cancerous cells. While this approach has proved extremely effective on many patients, most treatments have unpleasant side effects and there are many strains which prove extremely challenging to remove. An alternative model to this is to alter instead of remove — fixing cancerous behaviour by ‘reprogramming’ cells that go rogue; essentially swiss finishing school for cellular miscreants. A study published in Nature Cell Biology now provides hope that this tactic could in fact work in many cancers.

Researchers from Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have found that adhesion proteins, which act like a glue sticking cells together, actually interact with a cell’s ‘microprocessor’. This processor creates molecules called miRNAs, which regulate multiple genes and essentially activate or de-activate different behavioural programs (like commands in computer programming). When healthy cells bump into a neighbour and begin to glue together, these adhesion proteins normally influence both cells — tuning down growth pathways. In cancer, the lab found this adhesion is perturbed; de-regulating miRNA production and enabling rampant growth. When scientists corrected these miRNA levels, the growth was arrested.

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Aug 26, 2015

This guy is running for president with the goal of using science to cure death and aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, geopolitics, life extension, transhumanism

A new story on transhumanism from Tech Insider which is Business Insider’s new tech site:


This presidential candidate wants you to live forever.

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Aug 26, 2015

The Air Force Wants You to Trust Robots–Should You?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Research and development in human–robot trust is the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, but faith in machines can often be misplaced.

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Aug 26, 2015

This startup can grow metal like a tree, and it’s about to hit the big time

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

A little know startup in Seattle could do for metal what 3D printing is doing for other materials like plastic.

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Aug 25, 2015

Sci-Tech Universe: Black Holes are Escapable, Hawking Says

Posted by in category: cosmology

Matter that drops into a black hole is gone forever, right? Not so, declares Stephen Hawking.

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