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Archive for the ‘evolution’ category

Aug 15, 2019

Generative Design: Alien Parts from Natural Evolution

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, energy, evolution, mathematics

We’re only a handful of months away from the year 2020, and with the way parts look and tech acts, it finally feels like we’re entering the future. It’s a future crafted by sophisticated 3D printers and machining centers, using materials provided by global-reaching supply chains and connected to an exponential rate of new superpowered gadgets. Nowadays, there’s really no reason to think any manufacturing feat is impossible. If something doesn’t exist, it’s just that we haven’t figured it out yet.

And this futuristic techtopia brimming with potential wouldn’t be possible if not for engineers—those dedicated, uber-creative folks plotting such a course, continuously improving the world around through the super power of… math.

Mathematics has been the indispensable fuel to make the impossible possible since at least the ancient Egyptians more than four thousand years ago. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the world’s oldest monument to its power. Amazingly, its geometrical elegance was calculated on papyrus scrolls, most of which have turned to dust long ago. Yet the universal language of math still speaks through its dimensions. And it will continue to do so for time immemorial.

Aug 15, 2019

The quest to unlock the secrets of the baby Universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, particle physics

The EOR will also provide an unprecedented test for the current best model of cosmic evolution. Although there is plenty of evidence for dark matter, nobody has identified exactly what it is. Signals from the EOR would help to indicate whether dark matter consists of relatively sluggish, or ‘cold’, particles — the model that is currently favoured — or ‘warm’ ones that are lighter and faster, says Anna Bonaldi, an astrophysicist at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation near Manchester, UK. “The exact nature of dark matter is one of the things at stake,” she says.


Radioastronomers look to hydrogen for insights into the Universe’s first billion years.

Aug 12, 2019

Did we evolve to see reality as it exists? No, says cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience, virtual reality

What is reality and how do we know? For many the answer is simple: What you see — hear, feel, touch, and taste — is what you get.

Your skin feels warm on a summer day because the sun exists. That apple you just tasted sweet and that left juices on your fingers, it must have existed. Our senses tell us that reality is there, and we use reason to fill in the blanks — that is, we know the sun doesn’t cease to exist at night even if we can’t see it.

But cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman says we’re misunderstanding our relationship with objective reality. In fact, he argues that evolution has cloaked us in a perceptional virtual reality. For our own good.

Aug 11, 2019

What is regenerative capacity of humans?

Posted by in categories: evolution, life extension

Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D., Vice President of New Technology Discovery for AgeX Therapeutics, discusses how primitive organisms have better regenerative capacity than more complicated organisms such as humans. In humans, Dr. de Grey notes, our best regenerative abilities are at the embryonic stage. During the Embryonic Fetal Transition, out ability to regenerate plummets and continues to diminish as we age. Dr. de Grey discusses the role evolution plays in this and how scientists may be able to “revive” our regenerative power. This video is part of a series from AgeX on research into aging and human longevity. For more information on Agex Therapeutics, please visit http://www.agexinc.com.

Aug 9, 2019

Virtual ‘universe machine’ sheds light on galaxy evolution

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, supercomputing

How do galaxies such as our Milky Way come into existence? How do they grow and change over time? The science behind galaxy formation has remained a puzzle for decades, but a University of Arizona-led team of scientists is one step closer to finding answers thanks to supercomputer simulations.

Observing real galaxies in space can only provide snapshots in time, so researchers who want to study how galaxies evolve over billions of years have to revert to . Traditionally, astronomers have used this approach to invent and test new theories of , one-by-one. Peter Behroozi, an assistant professor at the UA Steward Observatory, and his team overcame this hurdle by generating millions of different universes on a supercomputer, each of which obeyed different physical theories for how galaxies should form.

The findings, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, challenge fundamental ideas about the role dark matter plays in galaxy formation, how galaxies evolve over time and how they give birth to .

Aug 9, 2019

Ultracold quantum particles break classical symmetry

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

Many phenomena of the natural world evidence symmetries in their dynamic evolution which help researchers to better understand a system’s inner mechanism. In quantum physics, however, these symmetries are not always achieved. In laboratory experiments with ultracold lithium atoms, researchers from the Center for Quantum Dynamics at Heidelberg University have proven for the first time the theoretically predicted deviation from classical symmetry. Their results were published in the journal Science.

“In the world of classical , the energy of an ideal gas rises proportionally with the pressure applied. This is a direct consequence of scale symmetry, and the same relation is true in every scale invariant system. In the world of quantum mechanics, however, the interactions between the quantum particles can become so strong that this classical scale symmetry no longer applies,” explains Associate Professor Dr. Tilman Enss from the Institute for Theoretical Physics. His research group collaborated with Professor Dr. Selim Jochim’s group at the Institute for Physics.

In their experiments, the researchers studied the behaviour of an ultracold, superfluid gas of lithium atoms. When the gas is moved out of its equilibrium state, it starts to repeatedly expand and contract in a “breathing” motion. Unlike classical particles, these can bind into pairs and, as a result, the superfluid becomes stiffer the more it is compressed. The group headed by primary authors Dr. Puneet Murthy and Dr. Nicolo Defenu—colleagues of Prof. Jochim and Dr. Enss—observed this deviation from classical scale symmetry and thereby directly verified the quantum nature of this system. The researchers report that this effect gives a better insight into the behaviour of systems with similar properties such as graphene or superconductors, which have no electrical resistance when they are cooled below a certain critical temperature.

Aug 7, 2019

Japan approves experiments splicing human DNA with animal embryos

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

It seems like the next step in human evolution (or animal evolution depending on where you’re standing) will be man-made. According to a recent report by Nature, Japan’s government has just approved experiments that will splice human cells into animal embryos, and then implant said embryos into surrogate animals, in an effort to grow human-congruent organs that can be used for transplant purposes.

Heading the experiments at the University of Tokyo is Hiromitsu Nakauchi, who plans to nurture human cells in rat and mouse embryos before moving the developing fetus to yet another animal for gestation. The hope is that the embryo will develop into an animal with human cells, meaning that the organs inside the newly-grown beast could then be surgically placed inside sick individuals that need new hearts, livers, pancreases — you name it.

Aug 6, 2019

The evolution of Emotet: How to protect your network

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, evolution, finance

With over 350,000 new malware samples emerging every day, it’s difficult for any one strain of malware to make a name for itself. Any single malware sample whose name you know — be it Mirai, WannaCry, or NotPetya — speaks to a trail of devastation.

In 2019, people are also hearing another name: Emotet.

But Emotet has been around in one form or another since 2014, and its first major resurgence was in 2017. In the beginning, Emotet was just one trojan among many — a particularly run-of-the-mill banking trojan that did some damage before being researched, understood, and dismissed in a flurry of signature updates.

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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