Blog

Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 4

Sep 9, 2019

Warning to tourists as toxic slime that can ‘kill you in seconds’ swamps French beaches

Posted by in category: biological

FRANCE’S tourist beaches are being overrun with toxic slime which experts say can kill sunbathers and swimmers within seconds.

The green algae releases poisonous gases when trodden on causing those nearby to faint and suffer cardiac arrest, say reports.

At least three people and dozens of animals have already died, but some fear other deaths may have been mistakenly passed off as drownings.

Sep 8, 2019

The skull of humanity’s oldest known ancestor is changing our understanding of evolution

Posted by in category: evolution

The recent discovery of a 3.8m-year-old cranium (skull without the lower jaw) is the hottest topic of conversation among palaeoanthropologists right now. But fossils are found all the time, so why is the cranium of this small, old man so important? It turns out the discovery is changing our view of how early hominin species evolved – and how they led to humans. To understand how, let’s start at the beginning.

In 1995, researchers found several partial jaws, isolated teeth and limb bones in Kenya, dated between 4.2m and 3.9m years old, and assigned them to a brand new species: Australopithecus anamensis. All these fossils were found in sediments associated with an ancient lake – “anam”, which means lake in the local language. A number of additional specimens were then found in Ethiopia, thought to belong to the same species.

The primitive features of A. anamensis have led to the widespread view that this species is the ancestor of Australopithecus afarensis, a younger hominin from Tanzania, Ethiopia and perhaps Kenya, dated between 3.8m and 3m years old. The most iconic fossil of A. afarensis is probably the partial skeleton known as Lucy, which was for a long time viewed as the oldest known human ancestor.

Sep 7, 2019

Strange life-forms found deep in a mine point to vast ‘underground Galapagos’

Posted by in category: biological

Something odd is stirring in the depths of Canada’s Kidd Mine. The zinc and copper mine, 350 miles northwest of Toronto, is the deepest spot ever explored on land and the reservoir of the oldest known water. And yet 7,900 feet below the surface, in perpetual darkness and in waters that have remained undisturbed for up to two billion years, the mine is teeming with life.

Many scientists had doubted that anything could live under such extreme conditions. But in July, a team led by University of Toronto geologist Barbara Sherwood Lollar reported that the mine’s dark, deep water harbors a population of remarkable microbes.

The single-celled organisms don’t need oxygen because they breathe sulfur compounds. Nor do they need sunlight. Instead, they live off chemicals in the surrounding rock — in particular, the glittery mineral pyrite, commonly known as fool’s gold.

Sep 6, 2019

Biological age of humans reversed by years in groundbreaking study, scientists suggest

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Small study is ‘not rock solid’ but could have huge consequences for ageing, experts say.

Sep 3, 2019

Undercover evolution: Our individuality is encrypted in our DNA, but it is deeper than expected

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

Providing a glimpse the hidden workings of evolution, a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that embryos that appear the same can start out with surprisingly different instructions.

“We found that a lot of undercover evolution occurs in ,” said Joel Rothman, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, who led the team.

Indeed, although members of the same species are identical across the vast majority of their genomes, including all the genetic instructions used in development, Rothman and his colleagues found that key parts of the assembly instructions used when embryos first start developing can differ dramatically between individuals of the same species.

Sep 2, 2019

Quantum Darwinism spotted in diamond spins

Posted by in categories: evolution, quantum physics

A handful of spins in diamond have shone new light on one of the most enduring mysteries in physics – how the objective reality of classical physics emerges from the murky, probabilistic quantum world. Physicists in Germany and the US have used nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres in diamond to demonstrate “quantum Darwinism”, whereby the “fittest” states of a system survive and proliferate in the transition between the quantum and classical worlds.

In the past, physicists tended to view the classical and quantum worlds as being divided by an abrupt barrier that makes a fundamental distinction between the familiar macroscopic (classical) and the unfamiliar microscopic (quantum) realms. But in recent decades that view has changed. Many experts now think that the transition is gradual, and that the definite classical states we measure come from probabilistic quantum states progressively (although very quickly) losing their coherence as they become ever more entangled with their environment.

Quantum Darwinism, put forward by Wojciech Zurek of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, argues that the classical states we perceive are robust quantum states that can survive entanglement during decoherence. His theoretical framework posits that the information about these states will be duplicated many times and disseminated throughout the environment. Just as natural selection tells us that the fittest individuals in a species must survive to reproduce in great numbers and so go on to shape evolution, the fittest quantum states will be copied and appear classical. This redundancy means that many individual observers will measure any given state as having the same value, so ensuring objective reality.

Sep 1, 2019

Elon Musk: Humanity Is a Kind of ‘Biological Boot Loader’ for AI

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, robotics/AI

On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma took the stage at the World AI Conference in Shanghai to debate artificial intelligence and its implications for humanity. As expected, Ma took a far more optimistic stance than Musk. Ma encouraged people to have faith in humanity, our creativity, and the future. “I don’t think artificial intelligence is a threat,” he said, to which Musk replied, “I don’t know, man, that’s like, famous last words.” An edited transcript of the discussion follows.

Elon Musk: What are we supposed to say? Just things about AI perhaps? Yeah. Okay. Let’s see.

Jack Ma: The AI, right? Okay, great.

Aug 30, 2019

The Regenerage Show — Episode 2 — “What Causes Biological Aging?” — Ira Pastor — Host

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Ira Pastor, CEO, Bioquark Inc., Hosting The Regenerage Show — Episode 2 — “What Causes Biological Aging?”

Aug 29, 2019

Scientists See Human-Like Brain Waves in Lab-Grown Mini-Brains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, neuroscience

One way that scientists can non-invasively study the human brain is by growing “mini-brains,” clusters of brain cells each about the size of a pea, in the lab. In a fascinating progression of this line of research, a team this week reports that they observed human-like brainwaves from these organoids.

Previous studies of mini-brains have demonstrated movement and nerve tract development, but the new study from researchers at the University of California San Diego, led by biologist Alysson Muotri, is the first to record human-like neural activity. In their paper, published in Cell Stem Cell on Thursday, the researchers write that they observed brain wave patterns resembling those of a developing human. This sophistication in the in vitro model is a step to enable scientists to use mini-brains to study brain development, model diseases, and learn about the evolution of brains, according to Muotri.

Aug 28, 2019

Trade Deal Or Not, China Is Investing Big In Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

The Hong Kong Science Park is one example of how national planning and strategic investment have enabled China’s Pearl River Delta region to become a global leader in transformative industries like synthetic biology. Will the US follow suit?

Page 4 of 9912345678Last