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Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 2

Aug 3, 2019

Exclusive: Lux Capital Raises More Than $1 Billion Across Two New Funds to Invest in Companies Building a Sci-Fi Future

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, finance, nuclear energy

Lux Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm, has raised more than $1 billion across two new funds to back companies on “the cutting edge of science.” The firm raised $500 million for its sixth flagship early-stage fund and another $550 million for an opportunity fund focused on growth-stage investments. Limited partners include global foundations, university endowments, and tech billionaires.

Lux also announced a new hire: Deena Shakir, formerly of GV (Google Ventures), has joined as an investment partner.

To the regular person, Lux’s investments are considered moonshot. The firm has backed entrepreneurs that are working on everything from neurostimulation to nuclear energy to synthetic biology. During my last interview with co-founder and managing partner Josh Wolfe, I actually called one of his portfolio companies “freaking crazy.”

Aug 2, 2019

Two-dimensional (2-D) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with a microfluidic diamond quantum sensor

Posted by in categories: biological, quantum physics, space

Quantum sensors based on nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond are a promising detection mode for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy due to their micron-scale detection volume and noninductive-based sample detection requirements. A challenge that exists is to sufficiently realize high spectral resolution coupled with concentration sensitivity for multidimensional NMR analysis of picolitre sample volumes. In a new report now on Science Advances, Janis Smits and an interdisciplinary research team in the departments of High Technology Materials, Physics and Astronomy in the U.S. and Latvia addressed the challenge by spatially separating the polarization and detection phases of the experiment in a microfluidic platform.

They realized a of 0.65±0.05 Hz, an order-of-magnitude improvement compared with previous diamond NMR studies. Using the platform, they performed 2-D correlation spectroscopy of liquid analytes with an effective detection volume of ~40 picoliters. The research team used diamond as in-line microfluidic NMR detectors in a major step forward for applications in mass-limited chemical analysis and single-cell biology.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful and well-established technique for compositional, structural and functional analysis in a variety of scientific disciplines. In conventional NMR spectrometry the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is strongly dependent on the external field strength (B0). As the spectral resolution increased, the B0 increased as well, motivating the development of increasingly large and expensive superconducting magnets for improved resolution and SNR, resulting in a two-fold increase in field strength within the past 25 years.

Aug 2, 2019

The next step in AI? Mimicking a baby’s brain

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

The phrase “positive reinforcement,” is something you hear more often in an article about child rearing than one about artificial intelligence. But according to Alice Parker, Dean’s Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a little positive reinforcement is just what our AI machines need. Parker has been building electronic circuits for over a decade to reverse-engineer the human brain to better understand how it works and ultimately build artificial systems that mimic it. Her most recent paper, co-authored with Ph.D. student Kun Yue and colleagues from UC Riverside, was just published in the journal Science Advances and takes an important step towards that ultimate goal.

The AI we rely on and read about today is modeled on traditional computers; it sees the world through the lens of binary zeros and ones. This is fine for making complex calculations but, according to Parker and Yue, we’re quickly approaching the limits of the size and complexity of problems we can solve with the platforms our AI exists on. “Since the initial deep learning revolution, the goals and progress of deep-learning based AI as we know it has been very slow,” Yue says. To reach its full potential, AI can’t simply think better—it must react and learn on its own to events in . And for that to happen, a massive shift in how we build AI in the first place must be conceived.

To address this problem, Parker and her colleagues are looking to the most accomplished learning system nature has ever created: the . This is where comes into play. Brains, unlike computers, are analog learners and biological memory has persistence. Analog signals can have multiple states (much like humans). While a binary AI built with similar types of nanotechnologies to achieve long-lasting memory might be able to understand something as good or bad, an analog brain can understand more deeply that a situation might be “very good,” “just okay,” “bad” or “very bad.” This field is called and it may just represent the future of artificial intelligence.

Jul 30, 2019

Scientists Find One Billion Year Old Fungi, Earth’s Oldest

Posted by in category: evolution

Scientists recently found one billion-year-old fungi in Canada, changing the way we view evolution and the timing of plants and animals here on Earth.

The fossilized specimen was collected in Canada’s Arctic by an international team and later identified to be the oldest fungi ever found, sitting somewhere between 900 million and 1 billion years old. The research, published recently in Nature, changes how we view eukaryotes colonizing the land.

The fossilized fungi were analyzed and researchers found the presence of chitin, a unique substance that is found on the cell walls of fungi. The specimen was then age dated using precise measurements of radioactive isotope ratios within the sample.

Jul 30, 2019

The journal club hosted by Dr. Oliver Medvedik returns for July and takes a look at the new SIRT6 evolutionary biology paper by Dr. Vera Gorbunova and collaborators

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

The journal club hosted by Dr. Oliver Medvedik returns for July and takes a look at the new SIRT6 evolutionary biology paper by Dr. Vera Gorbunova and collaborators, showing a relationship between enhanced SIRT6 function and longevity.


Abstract DNA repair has been hypothesized to be a longevity determinant, but the evidence for it is based largely on accelerated aging phenotypes of DNA repair mutants. Here, using a panel of 18 rodent species with diverse lifespans, we show that more robust DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, but not nucleotide excision repair (NER), coevolves with longevity. Evolution of NER, unlike DSB, is shaped primarily by sunlight exposure. We further show that the capacity of the SIRT6 protein to promote DSB repair accounts for a major part of the variation in DSB repair efficacy between short- and long-lived species. We dissected the molecular differences between a weak (mouse) and a strong (beaver) SIRT6 protein and identified five amino acid residues that are fully responsible for their differential activities. Our findings demonstrate that DSB repair and SIRT6 have been optimized during the evolution of longevity, which provides new targets for anti-aging interventions.

Literature

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Jul 29, 2019

Watch my “7 Signs of Longevity Revolution” keynote at Barclays

Posted by in categories: evolution, life extension

Longevity investor and visionary Sergey Young, founder of Longevity Vision Fund and Innovation Board Member of XPRIZE Foundation, delivers “7 Signs of Longevity Revolution” keynote at Barclay’s recent “Accelerating Evolution” conference, discussing recent developments in the longevity industry.

Watch to find out the forecasts for the industry’s trajectory of growth in the coming years, the increasing emergence of practical, real-world applications in the longevity sphere and how Longevity Vision Fund striving to be on the very forefront of the ongoing Longevity Revolution that is already happening around us today.

#longevity #lvf #longevityvisionfund #lifeextension #longevityrevolution #sergeyyoung #barclays

Jul 25, 2019

Transforming biology to design next-generation computers, using a surprise ingredient

Posted by in categories: biological, computing

Purdue University researchers turned to biology to help in the design of next-generation computers. Credit: Purdue University/Shelley Claridge WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Moore’s law — which says the number of components that could be etched onto the surface of a silicon wafer would double every two years — has been the subject of recent debate. The quicker pace of computing advancements in the past decade have led some experts to say Moore’s law, the brainchild of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in the 1960s, no longer applies. Particularly of concern, next-generation computing devices require features smaller than 10 nanometers — driving unsustainable.

Jul 24, 2019

Towards a light driven molecular assembler

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, nanotechnology, physics

A team of chemists built the first artificial assembler, which uses light as the energy source. These molecular machines are performing synthesis in a similar way as biological nanomachines. Advantages are fewer side products, enantioselectivity, and shorter synthetic pathways since the mechanosynthesis forces the molecules into a predefined reaction channel.

Chemists usually synthesize molecules using stochastic bond-forming collisions of the reactant molecules in solution. Nature follows a different strategy in biochemical synthesis. The majority of biochemical reactions are driven by machine-type protein complexes that bind and position the reactive molecules for selective transformations. Artificial “molecular assemblers” performing “mechanosynthesis” have been proposed as a new paradigm in chemistry and nanofabrication. A team of chemists at Kiel University (Germany) built the first artificial assembler, that performs synthesis and uses light as the energy source. The system combines selective binding of the reactants, accurate positioning, and active release of the product. The scientists published their findings in the journal Communications Chemistry.

The idea of molecular assemblers, that are able to build molecules, has already been proposed in 1986 by K. Eric Drexler, based on ideas of Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics. In his book “Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology” and follow-up publications Drexler proposes molecular machines capable of positioning reactive molecules with atomic precision and to build larger, more sophisticated structures via mechanosynthesis. If such a molecular nanobot could build any molecule, it could certainly build another copy of itself, i.e. it could self-replicate. These imaginative visions inspired a number of science fiction authors, but also started an intensive scientific controversy.

Jul 22, 2019

Molecular assembler finally created

Posted by in category: biological

Ribosomes are the main engines of creation of the proteins on which the body depends. Now, an artificial analog of the biological ribosome has been designed and synthesized by Professor David Leigh FRS and his team in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester.

Jul 17, 2019

Bottomonium particles don’t go with the flow

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, particle physics

A few millionths of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was so dense and hot that the quarks and gluons that make up protons, neutrons and other hadrons existed freely in what is known as the quark–gluon plasma. The ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can recreate this plasma in high-energy collisions of beams of heavy ions of lead. However, ALICE, as well as any other collision experiments that can recreate the plasma, cannot observe this state of matter directly. The presence and properties of the plasma can only be deduced from the signatures it leaves on the particles that are produced in the collisions.

In a new article, presented at the ongoing European Physical Society conference on High-Energy Physics, the ALICE collaboration reports the first measurement of one such signature—the elliptic flow—for upsilon produced in lead–lead LHC collisions.

The upsilon is a bottomonium particle, consisting of a bottom (often also called beauty) quark and its antiquark. Bottomonia and their charm-quark counterparts, charmonium particles, are excellent probes of the quark–gluon . They are created in the initial stages of a heavy-ion collision and therefore experience the entire evolution of the plasma, from the moment it is produced to the moment it cools down and gives way to a state in which hadrons can form.

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