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Apr 2, 2023

Predicting neuroblastoma outcomes with molecular evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, mathematics

A research team led by the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, has discovered that the genetic sequence of a tumor can be read like a molecular clock, traced back to its most recent common ancestor cell. Extracting the duration of tumor evolution can give an accurate predictor of neuroblastoma outcomes.

In a paper published in Nature Genetics titled “Neuroblastoma arises in early fetal development and its evolutionary duration predicts outcome,” the team details the steps they took in identifying a genomic clock tested against a sequenced population combined with analysis and mathematical modeling, to identify evolution markers, traceability and a likely origin point of infant neuroblastomas.

Cancer cells start out life as heroic healthy tissues, with the sort of all for one, one for all, throw yourself on a grenade to save your mates–type attitude that is taking place throughout the body every day. At some point, something goes wrong, and a good cell goes bad.

Apr 2, 2023

New IVF method: More expensive, not more effective

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, information science

The use of time-lapse monitoring in IVF does not result in more pregnancies or shorten the time it takes to get pregnant. This new method, which promises to “identify the most viable embryos,” is more expensive than the classic approach. Research from Amsterdam UMC, published today in The Lancet, shows that time-lapse monitoring does not improve clinical results.

Patients undergoing an IVF treatment often have several usable embryos. The laboratory then makes a choice as to which embryo will be transferred into the uterus. Crucial to this decision is the cell division pattern in the first three to five days of embryo development. In order to observe this, embryos must be removed from the incubator daily to be checked under a microscope. In time-lapse incubators, however, built-in cameras record the development of each embryo. This way embryos no longer need to be removed from the stable environment of the incubator and a computer algorithm calculates which embryo has shown the most optimal growth pattern.

More and more IVF centers, across the world, use time-lapse for the evaluation and selection of embryos. Prospective parents are often promised that time-lapse monitoring will increase their chance of becoming pregnant. Despite frequent use of this relatively expensive method, there are hardly any large clinical studies evaluating the added value of time-lapse monitoring for IVF treatments.

Apr 2, 2023

First single molecule microscopic visualization of the full-length human BRCA2 protein binding to DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Using a self-built inverted microscope complete with laser optical tweezers to capture DNA, Yale Cancer Center and University of California Davis researchers for the first time created a visualization of the full-length human BRCA2 protein at the single molecule level.

Mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, can significantly increase an individual’s lifetime risk of developing cancer. Approximately one in every 400 people carry a BRCA gene mutation accounting for a significant proportion of cancer that is heritable. The study was published on March 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“If you carry a BRCA mutation, you have this incredibly high risk for breast and , and also for men, prostate and ,” said Yale Cancer Center member and co-author of the paper, Ryan Jensen, Ph.D., who is also an associate professor of therapeutic Radiology at Yale School of Medicine.

Continue reading “First single molecule microscopic visualization of the full-length human BRCA2 protein binding to DNA” »

Apr 2, 2023

Trojanized Tor browsers target Russians with crypto-stealing malware

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, cybercrime/malcode

A surge of trojanized Tor Browser installers targets Russians and Eastern Europeans with clipboard-hijacking malware that steals infected users’ cryptocurrency transactions.

Kaspersky analysts warn that while this attack is not new or particularly creative, it’s still effective and prevalent, infecting many users worldwide.

While these malicious Tor installers target countries worldwide, Kaspersky says that most are targeting Russia and Eastern Europe.

Continue reading “Trojanized Tor browsers target Russians with crypto-stealing malware” »

Apr 1, 2023

Scientists Found a ‘Leak’ in Photosynthesis That Could Fill Humanity’s Energy Bucket

Posted by in category: energy

Researchers believe they’ve found a way to tap deeper into one of nature’s most impressive, life-sustaining mechanisms.

Apr 1, 2023

Bill Monroe: A threatened species clogs up rivers as another arrives

Posted by in category: futurism

Geologists have confirmed that our world will be getting a brand new ocean according to new research published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Apr 1, 2023

Scientists Have Just Found An Untouched Civilization In The Amazon Jungle

Posted by in category: futurism

There are a number of places on earth that remain shrouded in mystery, despite the best efforts of scientists to explain them. Some of these places are locations where strange things have happened for centuries, while others are relatively new. But one thing is for sure – they all remain a mystery.

Apr 1, 2023

DARPA wants a Spec Ops plane with a set of insane characteristics — and it wants it fast

Posted by in category: transportation

It can take off vertically with a lead-up (defined as the length of runway needed for take-off) of less than 300 feet, hover in austere environments, and fly forward at more than 450 miles per hour. And, by the way, it’s probably a fixed-wing plane.

That, at least, is the idea behind DARPA’s SPRINT X-plane, a project in the beginning stages of development for use by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently called for proposals for a plane with a mind-bending set of capabilities. According to the March solicitation, DARPA wants a scaled demonstrator ready to fly within the next three-and-a-half years.

SPRINT, naturally, stands for “SPeed and Runway INdependent Technologies.”

Continue reading “DARPA wants a Spec Ops plane with a set of insane characteristics — and it wants it fast” »

Apr 1, 2023

“Rock” Containing Stunning Agate Turns Out To Be 60-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Egg

Posted by in category: futurism

Back in 1,883, a pretty agate mineral was registered to the Natural History Museum’s Mineralogy Collection. Around 15 centimeters (6 inches) across, almost completely spherical but otherwise unassuming, the specimen has remained in the collection for the last 175 years, until a chance finding revealed it to be a dinosaur egg.

The specimen’s pretty colors of light pink and white interior caught the eye of Robin Hansen, one of the Mineral Curators at the museum who helped prepare the specimen when it was selected to go on display in 2018. Then a trip to a mineral show in France helped reveal the significance of the rock.

‘While I was looking around the show, a dealer showed me an agatised dinosaur egg, which was spherical, had a thin rind, and dark agate in the middle,” recounts Hansen in a statement. “That was the lightbulb moment when I thought: ‘Hang on a minute, that looks a lot like the one we’ve just put on display in the Museum!’”

Continue reading “‘Rock’ Containing Stunning Agate Turns Out To Be 60-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Egg” »

Apr 1, 2023

Oxygen-Ion Batteries Are Safe, Cheap To Produce, and Last Forever

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Li-ion batteries power almost everything these days, but their star is waning as more promising chemistries are developed. Scientists at the Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) in Austria have invented a new battery type that uses abundant materials. The Oxygen-ion battery is cheap to produce and can last forever.

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