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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Jul 21, 2017

Re-engineering Macrophages to Eat Cancer Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Re-engineered macrophages to treat cancer.


Today we have a new study where researchers have created immune cells that ignore the way cancer tries to hide from detection.

Hiding in plain sight

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Jul 20, 2017

Dr. Elliott Small – AgeMeter The Functional Aging Biomarker System

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

Chronological age has been typically used as a way to gauge how someone is aging, however this is a poor measure indeed. People tend to age at different rates due to a variety of reasons, environment, diet, diseases in earlier life, stress, exercise and lifestyle all play a role in how a person ages.

Clearly a better way to measure aging is needed if we are to accurately assess how someone is aging for the purposes of health monitoring and research. One way to do this is to use functional aging as a way to determine how someone is aging.

Functional aging is defined as a combination of the chronological, physiological, mental, and emotional ages of a person that give an overall measure of their rate of aging.

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Jul 20, 2017

Building the Safe Genes Toolkit

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

DARPA created the Safe Genes program to gain a fundamental understanding of how gene editing technologies function; devise means to safely, responsibly, and predictably harness them for beneficial ends; and address potential health and security concerns related to their accidental or intentional misuse. Today, DARPA announced awards to seven teams that will pursue that mission, led by: The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; North Carolina State University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Riverside. DARPA plans to invest $65 million in Safe Genes over the next four years as these teams work to collect empirical data and develop a suite of versatile tools that can be applied independently or in combination to support bio-innovation and combat bio-threats.

Gene editing technologies have captured increasing attention from healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community leaders in recent years for their potential to selectively disable cancerous cells in the body, control populations of disease-spreading mosquitos, and defend native flora and fauna against invasive species, among other uses. The potential national security applications and implications of these technologies are equally profound, including protection of troops against infectious disease, mitigation of threats posed by irresponsible or nefarious use of biological technologies, and enhanced development of new resources derived from synthetic biology, such as novel chemicals, materials, and coatings with useful, unique properties.

Achieving such ambitious goals, however, will require more complete knowledge about how gene editors, and derivative technologies including gene drives, function at various physical and temporal scales under different environmental conditions, across multiple generations of an organism. In parallel, demonstrating the ability to precisely control gene edits, turning them on and off under certain conditions or even reversing their effects entirely, will be paramount to translation of these tools to practical applications. By establishing empirical foundations and removing lingering unknowns through laboratory-based demonstrations, the Safe Genes teams will work to substantially minimize the risks inherent in such powerful tools.

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Jul 18, 2017

Scientists Have Reversed Brain Damage in a 2-Year-Old Girl Who Drowned in a Swimming Pool

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

Researchers in the US have reported what they believe is a first-of-its-kind reversal of brain damage, after treating a drowned and resuscitated toddler with a combination of oxygen therapies.

The little girl, whose heart didn’t beat on her own for 2 hours after drowning, showed deep grey matter injury and cerebral atrophy with grey and white matter loss after the incident, and could no longer speak, walk, or respond to voices – but would uncontrollably squirm around and shake her head.

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Jul 18, 2017

Brain-like activity was observed in the immune system for the first time

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Via The Surg)

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Jul 18, 2017

The Edge of Medicine and Ageing — David Sinclair

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

David Sinclair. Of note in this lecture:

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Jul 18, 2017

AgeMeter: Physiological Biomarkers to Determine Functional Age

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Today Lifespan.io / Life Extension Advocacy Foundation has launched the fifth research project since we began 1.5 years ago. We are working with the Centers for Age Control Inc who plan to develop a multiple aging biomarker system to aid clinical research, healthcare providers and enthusiasts.

For more details check out the press release here: http://www.leafscience.org/introducing-agemeter/

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Jul 18, 2017

Altering Microglia Types to Combat Degenerative Eye Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Tweaking the types of microglia to favour a healing type over an inflammatory type has been the focus of a number of recent studies. This time the tremedous regenerative ability of zebrafish is the focus of research.


The evidence that the immune system, and in particular the various types of tissue resident macrophages play an important role in the regeneration of tissue continues to mount up.

The difference in the behaviour of these macrophages varies between species and may significantly contribute to the differences in regenerative capacity observed between slow regenerative species like mice and humans and species capable of robust rejuvenation such as salamanders and zebrafish. The latter two species being able to regenerate lost limbs and organs and the former two being far more limited.

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Jul 18, 2017

Neural stem cells steered by electric fields can repair brain damage

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Electrical stimulation of the rat brain to move neural stem cells (credit: Jun-Feng Feng et al./ Stem Cell Reports)

Electric fields can be used to guide transplanted human neural stem cells — cells that can develop into various brain tissues — to repair brain damage in specific areas of the brain, scientists at the University of California, Davis have discovered.

It’s well known that electric fields can locally guide wound healing. Damaged tissues generate weak electric fields, and research by UC Davis Professor Min Zhao at the School of Medicine’s Institute for Regenerative Cures has previously shown how these electric fields can attract cells into wounds to heal them.

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Jul 17, 2017

A New Technique Transforms Human Skin Into Brain Cells

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

“Microglia play an important role in Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the central nervous system. Recent research has revealed that newly discovered Alzheimer’s-risk genes influence microglia behavior,” Jones said in an interview for a UCI press release. “Using these cells, we can understand the biology of these genes and test potential new therapies.”

A Renewable Method

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