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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 93

Feb 29, 2016

Human Babies from CRISPR Pigs

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

New genetic technologies like CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and synthetic biology are leading us to entirely new definitions of disease. Now “patients” include people who want children who lack some of their own genes, or have additional ones that they themselves lack. Also among the new patients are people who in the past were too old to have children as well some women who get sick from pregnancy and childbirth, or even the idea of them. Technological advances on the horizon may eventually offer treatment for such conditions.

In February 2015 the British Parliament approved production of “three-parent” children by transferring the nucleus of one woman’s egg into the nucleus-less (“enucleated”) egg of a second woman to avoid the propagation of certain rare “mitochondrial” diseases, Though there were acknowledged risks of the unprecedented procedure (including the possibility of producing novel birth defects), the argument that prevailed was that some mitochondrial diseases are so devastating that it should be tried in the narrowly defined group of prospective mothers carrying defective mitochondria.

Not long afterward, news articles began to appear discussing use of the technique for an entirely different purpose. The procedure’s inventor, the Oregon Health & Science University biologist Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, was now proposing to treat infertility in older women by transferring their egg nuclei into the enucleated eggs of younger women.

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Feb 28, 2016

“Genetic Scissors” Can Completely Eliminate HIV From Cells

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

Thanks to the cocktail of drugs that make up antiretroviral therapy, HIV is no longer a death sentence. But there are downsides to antiretroviral therapy—taking the treatment for many years is expensive, increases drug resistance, and could cause adverse reactions in a patient. And, because the virus stays in reservoirs in the body, the disease can continue to progress in patients if they stop taking their medication.

Now a team of German researchers has found an enzyme that can “cut” the viral DNA out of a cell’s genetic code, which could eradicate the virus from a patient’s body altogether. The proof-of-concept study, published this week in Nature Biotechnology and reported by Ars Technica, was done in mice, but the researchers believe that their conclusions show that this DNA-snipping enzyme could be used in clinical practice. And if it can cut HIV’s genetic code out of a patient’s body, the technique could be a cure for the disease.

The researchers created the DNA-snipping enzyme called Brec1 using directed evolution, an engineering technique that mimics proteins’ natural evolution process. They programmed the enzyme to cut DNA on either side of a sequence characteristic of HIV—a difficult task since the DNA of organisms and of the virus itself mutates often. Still, the researchers identified a well-conserved sequence, then they tested how reliably the enzyme could snip out that sequence in cells taken from HIV-positive patients, in bacteria, and in mice infected with the human form of HIV. After a number of tweaks, Brec1 would cut only that sequence of DNA, patching up the cell’s genetic code once the HIV sequence was cleaved out. After 21 weeks, the cells treated with Brec1 showed no signs of HIV.

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Feb 28, 2016

Gene therapy to save the world

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

The most recent Liz talk. According to her in this vid her first test results of telomere length are next month.


Liz Parrish, the Founder and CEO of BioViva Sciences USA Inc, is best known for recently becoming the first person to be treated with gene therapy to reverse aging.

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Feb 26, 2016

Building Living, Breathing Supercomputers

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, supercomputing

The substance that provides energy to all the cells in our bodies, Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), may also be able to power the next generation of supercomputers. The discovery opens doors to the creation of biological supercomputers that are about the size of a book. That is what an international team of researchers led by Prof. Nicolau, the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at McGill, believe. They’ve published an article on the subject earlier this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), in which they describe a model of a biological computer that they have created that is able to process information very quickly and accurately using parallel networks in the same way that massive electronic super computers do.

Except that the model bio supercomputer they have created is a whole lot smaller than current supercomputers, uses much less energy, and uses proteins present in all living cells to function.

Doodling on the back of an envelope

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Feb 24, 2016

Vacation Rentals on the Moon? NASA Plans Human Outpost in Space

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, habitats, space

Scientists see cislunar outpost as critical to advancing future Mars missions.

NASA researchers based in Colorado are devising efforts to build a human outpost in cislunar space — the region around the moon. Unfortunately for fans of space tourism, these outposts are not designed to be the Airbnb of tomorrow. Rather, the habitats are to be used as in-between points to facilitate travel to near-Earth asteroids or Mars.

Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Projects are researching life-support needs, updating astronaut radiation protection, and rethinking communication systems, to enhance the habitability of orbital communities parked in cislunar space.

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Feb 22, 2016

Breaking Through the Bacteria Barrier

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

Breaking the bacteria barriers.


If that field is at just the right magnitude, it will open up pores within the cell membrane, through which DNA can flow. But it can take scientists months or even years to figure out the exact electric field conditions to reversibly unlock a membrane’s pores.

A new microfluidic device developed by MIT engineers may help scientists quickly home in on the electric field “sweet spot” — the range of electric potentials that will harmlessly and temporarily open up membrane pores to let DNA in. In principle, the simple device could be used on any microorganism or cell, significantly speeding up the first step in genetic engineering.

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Feb 16, 2016

Experts predict dinosaurs could return to Earth

Posted by in category: bioengineering

Anyone remember growing up watching on Saturdays “Land of the Lost” — well your kids or even grandkids may get to experience it in real life in 2050.


BOFFINS have predicted the future in a new study and claim extinct species such as dinosaurs and the dodo could be revived.

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Feb 16, 2016

The Magic of Microbes: ONR Engineers Innovative Research in Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

By Warren Duffie, Office of Naval Research

An exciting new scientific frontier-synthetic biology-took center stage as a celebrated scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently spoke at the headquarters of the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

As part of a Distinguished Lecture Series celebrating ONR’s 70th anniversary, world-class scientists, researchers and experts from diverse fields will be speaking at ONR in 2016. Dr. Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering, inaugurated the lecture series with a look at the revolutionary potential of synthetic biology.

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Feb 15, 2016

Where Artificial Intelligence Is Now and What’s Just Around the Corner

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, cybercrime/malcode, internet, robotics/AI, security, virtual reality

I believe that AI holds a lot of promise and many great things; however, we have to correct some very critical issues 1st before compound a huge issue that we have today. And, that is Cyber Security and re-establish trust with our consumers and customers. Without these 2 being fully addressed; you will compound these two challenges with AI plus run the risk of having an IoT that most people will not wish to use due to hackers, bad data, etc. Not to mention lawsuits for Wi-Fi connected robotics that were hacked and injured or worse some innocent person.

I believe need to ensure priorities are in order before we make things worse.


Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once.

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Feb 14, 2016

Robots may take over most human jobs by 2045: Expert

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, economics, employment, robotics/AI

I find this a bit of a stretch. Maybe some jobs; however, not all and there will be (like any new technology, etc.) new career fields created.


“Can the global economy adapt to greater than 50 per cent unemployment? Will those out of work be content to live a life of leisure?” Vardi noted.

“I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?” he said.

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