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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Apr 21, 2017

Daisy Robinton — The Fight Against Aging

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, food, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Primarily talking about CRISPR.


Daisy Robinton explores bioengineering and its potential to end ageing.

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Apr 17, 2017

We Must Prepare for CRISPR Bioterror Threats

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, government

  • An advisory council has urged the U.S. to establish a new body that creates plans for national biodefense and to set aside a $2 billion standby fund to address emerging bioterror threats.
  • As gene editing technology advances, the potential for its use as a weapon increases, and preparing for such threats before they happen is of the utmost importance.

Though the technology promises seemingly innumerable ways to positively impact human life, gene editing is truly a double-edged sword, with nearly as many potentially negative consequences as benefits. Now, an advisory council to President Obama is urging the government to start creating countermeasures for the negative use of emerging biotechnologies.

This month, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) wrote a letter to President Obama recommending measures to address this potential for harm using new technologies. It advocates funding new research into antibiotic and antiviral drugs to combat resistance and having a $250 million fund for the stockpiling of vaccines.

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Apr 13, 2017

Star Trek’s Tricorder Now Officially Exists Thanks To A Global Competition

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

Oscar Wilde once said that life imitates art, and science and engineering is often no exception to this. Science fiction certainly provides science types with plenty of inspiration for inventions, including holograms, teleportation, and even sonic screwdrivers.

Star Trek’s all-purpose medical device, the Tricorder, has also inspired a fair few people to recreate its near-magical ability to instantly diagnose a patient. As it happens, the non-profit X-Prize Foundation were so keen to get one invented that they started a global competition to see if any mavericks would succeed.

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Apr 13, 2017

Gene editing opens doors to seedless fruit with no need for bees

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

Gene-edited seedless tomatoes don’t need pollinating to produce fruit – which could come in useful at a time when bees are on the decline.

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Apr 12, 2017

Scientists Hacked a Cell’s DNA and Made a Biocomputer Out of It

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

“These re-engineered organisms will change our lives over the coming years, leading to cheaper drugs, ‘green’ means to fuel our cars and targeted therapies for attacking ‘superbugs’ and diseases, such as cancer,” wrote Drs. Ahmad Khalil and James Collins at Boston University, who were not involved in the study.


Our brains are often compared to computers, but in truth, the billions of cells in our bodies may be a better analogy. The squishy sacks of goop may seem a far cry from rigid chips and bundled wires, but cells are experts at taking inputs, running them through a complicated series of logic gates and producing the desired programmed output.

Take beta cells in the pancreas, which manufacture and store insulin. If they detect a large spike in blood sugar, then they release insulin; else they don’t. Each cell adheres to commands like these, allowing us—the organism—to operate normally.

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Apr 9, 2017

These Species Can Recode Their Own Genetics

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Technically, an animal could use RNA editing to change the nature of its proteins without completely altering the underlying DNA instructions. This makes the cephalopods’ ability to do it a very interesting phenomenon, but it’s unclear as to why the species requires this much RNA editing. Many of the edited proteins were found in the animals’ brains, which is why scientists think the editing and their brainpower could be linked.


More than any other species on earth, octopuses are particularly smart—they can solve puzzles, use tools, and communicate using color. Now scientists are saying they’re also capable of editing their RNA.

A team of scientists led by Joshua Rosenthal at the Marine Biological Laboratory and Noa Liscovitch-Braur and Eli Eisenberg at Tel Aviv University have discovered that octopuses and squid are capable of a type of genetic alteration called RNA editing. The process is rare among other species, leading scientists to believe that the cephalopods have evolved to follow a special kind of gene recoding.

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Apr 6, 2017

The future of the Earth through the eyes of futurists. Photo

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, genetics, neuroscience, transhumanism

Transhumanism stuff out in these stories: http://z-news.link/the-future-of-the-earth-through-the-eyes-of-futurists-photo/ & http://yemcentral.com/2017/03/29/would-robots-make-better-po…an-humans/ & https://player.fm/series/lions-of-liberty-podcast/287-zoltan…nd-liberty


Futurism, or more precisely, futurology, is the study of possible hypotheses, probable and preferred options for the future. To understand what futurists predict in the improvement of the human condition, consider the progress happening in the field of science, medicine and computing.

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Apr 5, 2017

Age-Reversal Research at Harvard Medical School

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

Interview with George Church.


Harvard researcher Dr. George Church has developed an innovative gene editing technology called CRISPR/Cas9 that could transform senescent cells. He predicts this technology may reverse aging in humans. Life Extension Foundation® assisted by providing Dr. Church with gene sequencing data from its super-centenarian project.

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Mar 30, 2017

How The Power Of Synthetic Biology could reshape the world

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

Mushroom buildings, jurassic park and terraforming.

Did you ever hear about synthetic biology? No? Imagine that we could alter and produce DNA from scratch just like an engineer. Doesn’t it sound like one of the greatest interdisciplinary achievements in recent history?

Think about it, a bio-technologist is doing more or less the work of a programmer but instead of using a computer language he’s doing it by arranging molecules embedded in every living cell. The outcome, if ever mastered, could reshape the world around us dramatically.

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Mar 27, 2017

Scientists convert spinach leaves into human heart tissue — that beats

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

If an overhyped vegetable existed before marketers coined the term superfood — and long before Oprah Winfrey chatted up acai berries with Dr. Oz — look no further than spinach. (Here’s to Popeye, eating the stuff by the can to inflate his biceps.) Spinach alone, of course, won’t pump anyone up. But it does have a few physical properties of the type that excite biomedical engineers. Spinach grows a network of veins, for instance, that thread through its leaves in a way similar to blood vessels through a human heart.

These leafy veins allowed researchers at Massachusetts’s Worcester Polytechnic Institute to give a new meaning to heart-healthy spinach. The tissue engineers, as they reported recently in the journal Biomaterials, stripped green spinach leaves of their cells. The spinach turned translucent. The scientists seeded the gaps that the plant cells left behind with human heart tissue. Heart cells, in clusters, beat for up to three weeks in this unusual environment.

The inspiration for the human-plant fusion came over lunch — and, yes, the leafy greens were involved — when WPI bioengineers Glenn Gaudette and Joshua Gershlak began to brainstorm new ways to tackle a deadly medical problem: the lack of donor organs. Of the more than 100,000 people on the donor list, nearly two dozen people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant.

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