Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 53

Mar 16, 2022

A talk by David Pearce for the Stepping into the Future conference 2022

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, evolution, health, neuroscience, transhumanism

Synopsis: No sentient being in the evolutionary history of life has enjoyed good health as defined by the World Health Organization. The founding constitution of the World Health Organization commits the international community to a daringly ambitious conception of health: “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing”. Health as so conceived is inconsistent with evolution via natural selection. Lifelong good health is inconsistent with a Darwinian genome. Indeed, the vision of the World Health Organization evokes the World Transhumanist Association. Transhumanists aspire to a civilization of superhappiness, superlongevity and superintelligence; but even an architecture of mind based on information-sensitive gradients of bliss cannot yield complete well-being. Post-Darwinian life will be sublime, but “complete” well-being is posthuman – more akin to Buddhist nirvana. So the aim of this talk is twofold. First, I shall explore the therapeutic interventions needed to underwrite the WHO conception of good health for everyone – or rather, a recognisable approximation of lifelong good health. What genes, allelic combinations and metabolic pathways must be targeted to deliver a biohappiness revolution: life based entirely on gradients of well-being? How can we devise a more civilized signalling system for human and nonhuman animal life than gradients of mental and physical pain? Secondly, how can genome reformists shift the Overton window of political discourse in favour of hedonic uplift? How can prospective parents worldwide – and the World Health Organization – be encouraged to embrace genome reform? For only germline engineering can fix the problem of suffering and create a happy biosphere for all sentient beings.…id-pearce/

Mar 13, 2022

The dark side of the universe: How black holes became supermassive

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

Black holes are among the most compelling mysteries of the universe. Nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole. And at the center of nearly every galaxy there is a supermassive black hole that’s millions to billions of times more massive than the sun. Understanding black holes, and how they become supermassive, could shed light on the evolution of the universe.

Three at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have recently developed a model to explain the formation of supermassive black holes, as well as the nature of another phenomenon: . In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, theoretical physicists Hooman Davoudiasl, Peter Denton, and Julia Gehrlein describe a cosmological phase transition that facilitated the formation of supermassive black holes in a dark sector of the .

A cosmological phase transition is akin to a more familiar type of phase transition: bringing water to a boil. When water reaches the exact right temperature, it erupts into bubbles and vapor. Imagine that process taking place with a primordial state of matter. Then, shift the process in reverse so it has a cooling effect and magnify it to the scale of the universe.

Mar 11, 2022

A DNA “Oracle” for Predicting the Future Evolution of Gene Regulation

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

Researchers created a mathematical framework to examine the genome and detect signatures of natural selection, deciphering the evolutionary past and future of non-coding DNA.

Despite the sheer number of genes that each human cell contains, these so-called “coding” DNA sequences comprise just 1% of our entire genome. The remaining 99% is made up of “non-coding” DNA — which, unlike coding DNA, does not carry the instructions to build proteins.

One vital function of this non-coding DNA, also called “regulatory” DNA, is to help turn genes on and off, controlling how much (if any) of a protein is made. Over time, as cells replicate their DNA to grow and divide, mutations often crop up in these non-coding regions — sometimes tweaking their function and changing the way they control gene expression. Many of these mutations are trivial, and some are even beneficial. Occasionally, though, they can be associated with increased risk of common diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, or more life-threatening ones, including cancer.

Mar 11, 2022

Future Evolution: How Will Humans Change in the Next 10,000 Years?

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, climatology, evolution, existential risks

READER QUESTION: If humans don’t die out in a climate apocalypse or asteroid impact in the next 10,000 years, are we likely to evolve further into a more advanced species than what we are at the moment? Harry Bonas, 57, Nigeria

Humanity is the unlikely result of four billion years of evolution.

From self-replicating molecules in Archean seas, to eyeless fish in the Cambrian deep, to mammals scurrying from dinosaurs in the dark, and then, finally, improbably, ourselves—evolution shaped us.

Mar 6, 2022

Detailed Supercomputer Simulation of the Universe Creates Structures Very Similar to the Milky Way

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics, supercomputing

In their pursuit of understanding cosmic evolution, scientists rely on a two-pronged approach. Using advanced instruments, astronomical surveys attempt to look farther and farther into space (and back in time) to study the earliest periods of the Universe. At the same time, scientists create simulations that attempt to model how the Universe has evolved based on our understanding of physics. When the two match, astrophysicists and cosmologists know they are on the right track!

In recent years, increasingly-detailed simulations have been made using increasingly sophisticated supercomputers, which have yielded increasingly accurate results. Recently, an international team of researchers led by the University of Helsinki conducted the most accurate simulations to date. Known as SIBELIUS-DARK, these simulations accurately predicted the evolution of our corner of the cosmos from the Big Bang to the present day.

In addition to the University of Helsinki, the team was comprised of researchers from the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) and the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy at Durham University, the Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics at Leiden University, the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, and The Oskar Klein Centre at Stockholm University. The team’s results are published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Feb 28, 2022

Largest bacterium ever discovered is longer than a housefly

Posted by in category: evolution

Biologists have discovered the largest bacterium ever found, with a single cell measuring a mammoth 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Visible to the naked eye, this new species has some bizarre characteristics that make it like a missing link in the evolution of complex cells like those in humans.

Most species of bacteria measure between one and five micrometers long, but the biggest previously known was Thiomargarita namibiensis, which tops out at 750 micrometers or 0.75 mm. But this newly identified species blows everything else out of the water – its average length is a whopping 9,000 micrometers (0.9 cm/0.4 in), with the largest recorded specimen reaching 2 cm. This single cell is longer than your everyday housefly.

This gigantic size completely upends the accepted scientific understanding of how big bacteria could possibly get. It was long believed that the size of bacteria was limited by the distance that the molecules they exchange with their environment could travel. If nutrients can’t make the journey from their membrane to their interior, and if toxins can’t do the reverse trip, the organism wouldn’t be viable.

Feb 19, 2022

Canaanite religion

Posted by in category: evolution

Study of the evolution of monotheism is instructive. Jolly Jehovah did not burst forth fully formed overnight. Prof Orly Goldwasser explains how Amen and Ra are “better” Gods than Set of Avaris, the first recorded monotheist deity in her 2006 paper on King Apophis. There is evidence of interchangeable identity between Set and Ba’al Hadad. “According to the Canaanite pantheon, known in Ugarit as ‘ilhm (=Elohim) or the children of El (cf. the Biblical “sons of God”), supposedly obtained by Philo of Byblos from Sanchuniathon of Berythus (Beirut) the creator was known as Elion (Biblical El Elyon = God most High), who was the father of the divinities, and in the Greek sources he was married to Beruth (Beirut = the city). This marriage of the divinity with the city would seem to have Biblical parallels too with the stories of the link between Melkart and Tyre; Yahweh and Jerusalem; Chemosh and Moab; Tanit and Baal Hammon in Carthage. El Elyon is mentioned as ‘God Most High’ occurs in Genesis 14.18−19 as the God whose priest was Melchizedek king of Salem.”

Canaanite religion is the name for the group of Ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries of the Common Era. Canaanite religion was polytheistic or monolatristic, worshiping one god while acknowledging the existence of others. The sources for Canaanite religion come either from literary sources written by the early Hebrews, or from archaeological discoveries. The Canaanite wrote on papyrus and.

Feb 19, 2022

Can a planet “think”? The bold idea gets new backing

Posted by in categories: alien life, climatology, evolution, sustainability

In a way, it could mean climate change is linked to an “immature technosphere”.

It’s called an epiphenomenon.

Continue reading “Can a planet ‘think’? The bold idea gets new backing” »

Feb 15, 2022

Stretchable Mesh Nanoelectronics for 3D Single‐Cell Chronic Electrophysiology from Developing Brain Organoids

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

There is a cyborg organoid platform developed by integrating “tissue-like” stretchable mesh nanoelectronics with 2D stem cell sheets. Leveraging the 2D-to-3D reconfiguration during organoid development, 2D stem cell sheets fold and embed stretchable mesh nanoelectronics with electrodes throughout the entire 3D organoid. The embedded electronics can then enable continuous electrical recording.

Scientists design stretchable mesh nanoelectronics, mimicking the mechanical and structural properties of brain organoids to build cyborg human brain organoids.

Using the 3D embedded stretchable electrodes, achieved reliable long-term electrical recording of the same hiPSC-derived neural tissue at single-cell, millisecond spatiotemporal resolution for 6 months, revealing the evolution of the tissue-wide single-cell electrophysiology over hiPSC-derived neuron development. Applying this technology to brain organoids at early developmental stages, they traced the gradually emerging single-cell action potentials and network activities.

Continue reading “Stretchable Mesh Nanoelectronics for 3D Single‐Cell Chronic Electrophysiology from Developing Brain Organoids” »

Feb 13, 2022

Breaking Cosmology: Too Many Disk Galaxies — “A Significant Discrepancy Between Prediction and Reality”

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

A study by the University of Bonn: Observations fit poorly with the Standard Model of Cosmology.

The Standard Model of Cosmology describes how the universe came into being according to the view of most physicists. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now studied the evolution of galaxies within this model, finding considerable discrepancies with actual observations. The University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Charles University in the Czech Republic were also involved in the study. The results have now been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Most galaxies visible from Earth resemble a flat disk with a thickened center. They are therefore similar to the sports equipment of a discus thrower. According to the Standard Model of Cosmology, however, such disks should form rather rarely. This is because in the model, every galaxy is surrounded by a halo of dark matter. This halo is invisible, but exerts a strong gravitational pull on nearby galaxies due to its mass. “That’s why we keep seeing galaxies merging with each other in the model universe,” explains Prof. Dr. Pavel Kroupa of the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn.

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