Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 86

Jun 26, 2021

Embryos appear to reverse their biological clock early in development

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Eureka 😀

A new study suggests that the biological age of both mouse and human embryos resets during development.

Jun 23, 2021

The Army Might Really Build Walking War Machines

Posted by in categories: biological, military

Scientists have given the all-clear.

A new study from U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) scientists reveals there’s nothing stopping the military from producing walking combat vehicles—at least from a power perspective, anyway. The research shows legs use essentially the same amount of power as wheels or tracks, so there’s no disadvantage to using them.

In the PLoS ONE study, scientists say both artificial and biological locomotion systems—literally from 1 gram to 35-ton vehicles—have approximately the same power requirements to move a unit of mass over land. Animals or machines using legs, wheels, or tracks use the same amount of energy.

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Jun 21, 2021

Journal of The Royal Society Interface

Posted by in categories: biological, particle physics, quantum physics

Biological systems are dynamical, constantly exchanging energy and matter with the environment in order to maintain the non-equilibrium state synonymous with living. Developments in observational techniques have allowed us to study biological dynamics on increasingly small scales. Such studies have revealed evidence of quantum mechanical effects, which cannot be accounted for by classical physics, in a range of biological processes. Quantum biology is the study of such processes, and here we provide an outline of the current state of the field, as well as insights into future directions.

Quantum mechanics is the fundamental theory that describes the properties of subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, molecular assemblies and possibly beyond. Quantum mechanics operates on the nanometre and sub-nanometre scales and is at the basis of fundamental life processes such as photosynthesis, respiration and vision. In quantum mechanics, all objects have wave-like properties, and when they interact, quantum coherence describes the correlations between the physical quantities describing such objects due to this wave-like nature.

In photosynthesis, respiration and vision, the models that have been developed in the past are fundamentally quantum mechanical. They describe energy transfer and electron transfer in a framework based on surface hopping. The dynamics described by these models are often ‘exponential’ and follow from the application of Fermi’s Golden Rule [1, 2]. As a consequence of averaging the rate of transfer over a large and quasi-continuous distribution of final states the calculated dynamics no longer display coherences and interference phenomena. In photosynthetic reaction centres and light-harvesting complexes, oscillatory phenomena were observed in numerous studies performed in the 1990s and were typically ascribed to the formation of vibrational or mixed electronic–vibrational wavepackets.

Jun 20, 2021

Quantum computers are already detangling natures mysteries

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, climatology, computing, information science, nuclear energy, particle physics, quantum physics, sustainability

As the number of qubits in early quantum computers increases, their creators are opening up access via the cloud. IBM has its IBM Q network, for instance, while Microsoft has integrated quantum devices into its Azure cloud-computing platform. By combining these platforms with quantum-inspired optimisation algorithms and variable quantum algorithms, researchers could start to see some early benefits of quantum computing in the fields of chemistry and biology within the next few years. In time, Google’s Sergio Boixo hopes that quantum computers will be able to tackle some of the existential crises facing our planet. “Climate change is an energy problem – energy is a physical, chemical process,” he says.

“Maybe if we build the tools that allow the simulations to be done, we can construct a new industrial revolution that will hopefully be a more efficient use of energy.” But eventually, the area where quantum computers might have the biggest impact is in quantum physics itself.

The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, collects about 300 gigabytes of data a second as it smashes protons together to try and unlock the fundamental secrets of the universe. To analyse it requires huge amounts of computing power – right now it’s split across 170 data centres in 42 countries. Some scientists at CERN – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research – hope quantum computers could help speed up the analysis of data by enabling them to run more accurate simulations before conducting real-world tests. They’re starting to develop algorithms and models that will help them harness the power of quantum computers when the devices get good enough to help.

Jun 19, 2021

Death still the unconquerable equaliser

Posted by in categories: biological, government, life extension, robotics/AI

We may have progressed beyond drinking mercury to try to prolong life. Instead, by a British government estimate, we have what may be called the ‘immortality industrial research complex’ – using genomics, artificial intelligence and other advanced sciences, and supported worldwide by governments, big business, academics and billionaires – that’s worth US$110 billion today and US$610 billion by 2025.

We are living longer than at any time in human history. And while the search is on for increased longevity if not immortality, new research suggests biological constraints will ultimately determine when you die.

Jun 16, 2021

We arent living longer: Our improved lifespan is the result of not dying young

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

We probably cannot slow the rate at which we get older because of biological constraints, an unprecedented study of lifespan statistics in human and non-human primates has confirmed.

The study set out to test the ‘invariant rate of aging’ hypothesis, which says that a species has a relatively fixed rate of aging from adulthood. An international collaboration of scientists from 14 countries, including JosĂ© Manuel Aburto from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, analyzed age-specific birth and death data spanning centuries and continents. Led by Fernando Colchero, University of Southern Denmark and Susan Alberts, Duke University, North Carolina, the study was a huge endeavor requiring monitoring wild populations of primates over several decades.

Jose Manuel Aburto says, Our findings support the theory that, rather than slowing down death, more people are living much longer due to a reduction in mortality at younger ages. We compared birth and death data from humans and and found this general pattern of mortality was the same in all of them. This suggests that biological, rather than environmental factors, ultimately control longevity.

Jun 15, 2021

A Google AI Designed a Computer Chip as Well as a Human Engineer—But Much Faster

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, robotics/AI

AI has finally come full circle.

A new suite of algorithms by Google Brain can now design computer chips —those specifically tailored for running AI software —that vastly outperform those designed by human experts. And the system works in just a few hours, dramatically slashing the weeks-or months-long process that normally gums up digital innovation.

At the heart of these robotic chip designers is a type of machine learning called deep reinforcement learning. This family of algorithms, loosely based on the human brain’s workings, has triumphed over its biological neural inspirations in games such as Chess, Go, and nearly the entire Atari catalog.

Jun 13, 2021

Xenobots: Scientists create a new generation of living bots

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, robotics/AI, supercomputing

“These are novel living machines. They are not a traditional robot or a known species of animals. It is a new class of artifacts: a living and programmable organism,” says Joshua Bongard, an expert in computer science and robotics at the University of Vermont (UVM) and one of the leaders of the find.

As the scientist explains, these living bots do not look like traditional robots : they do not have shiny gears or robotic arms. Rather, they look more like a tiny blob of pink meat in motion, a biological machine that researchers say can accomplish things traditional robots cannot.

Xenobots are synthetic organisms designed automatically by a supercomputer to perform a specific task, using a process of trial and error (an evolutionary algorithm), and are built by a combination of different biological tissues.

Jun 12, 2021

Genetically engineered microbes convert waste plastic into vanillin

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics

Plastic bottle becomes industrially useful product thanks to biosynthetic transformation.

Jun 11, 2021

These Tiny Creatures Were Revived After 24,000 Years Frozen in The Siberian Permafrost

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry

For tens of thousands of years, a microscopic creature lay frozen and immobile underground in the Siberian permafrost.

Yet, when scientists thawed it out, the tiny multicellular animal didn’t just revive — it reproduced, suggesting that there is a mechanism whereby multicellular animals can avoid cell damage during the freezing process and wake up ready to rumble.

“Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism,” said biologist Stas Malavin of the Soil Cryology Laboratory at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Russia.

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