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Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 6

Apr 17, 2019

Scientists reveal connection between cancer and human evolution

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

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have discovered that gene mutations that once helped humans survive may increase the possibility for diseases, including cancer.

The findings were recently the cover story in the journal Research.

The team of researchers from BGU’s National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) set out to look for mutations in the genome of the , a part of every cell responsible for energy production that is passed exclusively from mothers to their children. The mitochondria are essential to every cell’s survival and our ability to perform the functions of living.

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Apr 17, 2019

How cancer was created by evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

The cells inside a tumour change and evolve just like animals in the wild. Understanding how this works could help us stop cancer in its tracks.

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Apr 16, 2019

Inside Arzeda’s synthetic biology lab, where industrial ingredients are brewed like beer

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, chemistry

Alexandre Zanghellini can’t help but think about what makes up the world around him. Sitting in a conference room, Zanghellini considered the paint on the walls, the table, the window shades, the plastic chairs. It’s all oil.

“The entire world is made from oil. We just don’t realize it,” he said.

Zanghellini’s job, as the CEO of Seattle-based synthetic biology company Arzeda, is to reconsider how we make the basic molecules that go into anything and everything in the human world. And he has a bias for processes that use living organisms. “The tools of biology, proteins, are better at doing chemistry than chemists,” he said.

Continue reading “Inside Arzeda’s synthetic biology lab, where industrial ingredients are brewed like beer” »

Apr 15, 2019

The discrete-time physics hiding inside our continuous-time world

Posted by in categories: evolution, finance, physics, space

Scientists believe that time is continuous, not discrete—roughly speaking, they believe that it does not progress in “chunks,” but rather “flows,” smoothly and continuously. So they often model the dynamics of physical systems as continuous-time “Markov processes,” named after mathematician Andrey Markov. Indeed, scientists have used these processes to investigate a range of real-world processes from folding proteins, to evolving ecosystems, to shifting financial markets, with astonishing success.

However, invariably a scientist can only observe the state of a system at discrete times, separated by some gap, rather than continually. For example, a stock market analyst might repeatedly observe how the state of the market at the beginning of one day is related to the state of the market at the beginning of the next day, building up a conditional probability distribution of what the state of the second day is given the state at the first day.

In a pair of papers, one appearing in this week’s Nature Communications and one appearing recently in the New Journal of Physics, physicists at the Santa Fe Institute and MIT have shown that in order for such two– dynamics over a set of “visible states” to arise from a continuous-time Markov process, that Markov process must actually unfold over a larger space, one that includes hidden states in addition to the visible ones. They further prove that the evolution between such a pair of times must proceed in a finite number of “hidden timesteps”, subdividing the interval between those two times. (Strictly speaking, this proof holds whenever that evolution from the earlier time to the later time is noise-free—see paper for technical details.)

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Apr 10, 2019

Chinese Scientists Gene-Hacked Super Smart Human-Monkey Hybrids

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, evolution, genetics, neuroscience

But not everyone is on board.

“The use of transgenic monkeys to study human genes linked to brain evolution is a very risky road to take,” University of Colorado geneticist James Sikela told the MIT Technology Review. “It is a classic slippery slope issue and one that we can expect to recur as this type of research is pursued.”

Pinpointing the gene’s role in intelligence could help scientists understand how humans evolved to be so smart, MIT Tech reports.

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Apr 10, 2019

You Are What You Eat: Neanderthals, Woolly Mammoths Apparently Shared Genetic Traits

Posted by in categories: biological, food, genetics

In a new study published in the journal Human Biology, archaeologists from the Tel Aviv University reveal the molecular similarities between Neanderthals and woolly mammoths by studying three case studies.


Scientists discover that two completely different species can evolve and develop the same genetic characteristics. In a landmark study, Neanderthals and woolly mammoths are found to be very similar to each other.

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Apr 7, 2019

Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

Posted by in categories: evolution, health, internet, neuroscience

“Why are we impatient? It’s a heritage from our evolution,” says Marc Wittmann, a psychologist at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany. Impatience made sure we didn’t die from spending too long on a single unrewarding activity. It gave us the impulse to act.


Not long ago I diagnosed myself with the recently identified condition of sidewalk rage. It’s most pronounced when it comes to a certain friend who is a slow walker. Last month, as we sashayed our way to dinner, I found myself biting my tongue, thinking, I have to stop going places with her if I ever want to … get there!

You too can measure yourself on the “Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome Scale,” a tool developed by University of Hawaii psychologist Leon James. While walking in a crowd, do you find yourself “acting in a hostile manner (staring, presenting a mean face, moving closer or faster than expected)” and “enjoying thoughts of violence?”

Continue reading “Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes” »

Apr 6, 2019

Sjaak Vink — CEO, TheSocialMedwork — IdeaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, education, finance, health, innovation, life extension

Apr 5, 2019

Microbes May Take Some of the Blame for the Reproducibility Crisis

Posted by in category: biological

Scientists find varied microbiota among the same strain of mice from four vendors—and that variability affects their susceptibility to infection.

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Apr 5, 2019

Evolutionary changes played a crucial role in industrialization, study finds

Posted by in categories: economics, evolution, genetics

Galor says the study results, published on Monday, April 1, in Nature Ecology & Evolution, lend credence to what he and a colleague had surmised in a highly influential 2002 paper — that during the pre-industrial era, the natural selection of those who were genetically predisposed toward having fewer children was instrumental in spurring industrialization and sustained economic growth.


In a study of 200 years of pre-industrial Quebecois genealogical history, researchers at Brown found that fertility-related changes in natural selection during the pre-industrial era paved the way for economic and technological progress.

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