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Feb 20, 2024

New technique for revealing genetic repeats yields surprising insights into Huntington’s disease

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

Neurodegenerative diseases are among the most complex human ailments, and their exact causes and mechanisms are the subject of ongoing research and debate. When it comes to Huntington’s disease, steadily accumulating evidence over the past 30 years has led to a model of molecular events that explains several key features of the disease, including why it has an earlier onset in some people and why it causes symptoms such as involuntary movements and mood swings.

But two new complementary papers from The Rockefeller University suggest that this may not be the whole story.

Huntington’s is caused by somatic CAG expansions in which a triplet repeat of DNA bases in a mutated Huntingtin (mHTT) gene increase in number throughout life, leading to . As described in Nature Genetics and in Neuron, the Rockefeller scientists used a custom technique to reveal that these genetic repeats are unstable, and likely producing more toxic proteins, only in select brain . Moreover, some cells they studied proved surprisingly resilient to CAG repeat expansion.

Feb 20, 2024

Neuralink’s first human patient able to control mouse through thinking, Musk says

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, Elon Musk, neuroscience

Feb 20 (Reuters) — The first human patient implanted with a brain-chip from Neuralink appears to have fully recovered and is able to control a computer mouse using their thoughts, the startup’s founder Elon Musk said late on Monday.

“Progress is good, and the patient seems to have made a full recovery, with no ill effects that we are aware of. Patient is able to move a mouse around the screen by just thinking,” Musk said in a Spaces event on social media platform X.

Musk said Neuralink was now trying to get as many mouse button clicks as possible from the patient.

Feb 20, 2024

Exclusive: India seeks $26 billion of private nuclear power investments

Posted by in categories: government, nuclear energy

India will invite private firms to invest about $26 billion in its nuclear energy sector to increase the amount of electricity from sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions, two government sources told Reuters.

Feb 20, 2024

Watch this eerily silent vision of the future — where offices are filled with weird, AI-powered robots

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

In a new video, 1X’s EVE robots work together in silence in a test environment, performing actions such as sorting mail, handling objects and tidying up a child’s toys.

Feb 20, 2024

Quantum computing engineers perform multiple control methods in just one atom

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

Quantum computing engineers at UNSW Sydney have shown they can encode quantum information—the special data in a quantum computer—in four unique ways within a single atom, inside a silicon chip.

The feat could alleviate some of the challenges in operating tens of millions of quantum computing units in just a few square millimeters of a silicon quantum computer chip.

In a paper published in Nature Communications, the engineers describe how they used the 16 quantum ‘states’ of an antimony atom to encode quantum information.

Feb 20, 2024

CERN announces Small Hadron Collider for home use

Posted by in category: particle physics

CERN has announced that they are to release a cut-down version of their popular Hadron Collider for use in the home.

The Large Hadron Collider was built over twenty years ago, is housed in a 27-kilometre tunnel on the Switzerland – France border, and is used to smash particles together to see what happens.

The facility has proven tremendously successful, having smashed over thirty particles together since it was built.

Feb 20, 2024

WordPress Bricks Theme Under Active Attack: Critical Flaw Impacts 25,000+ Sites

Posted by in category: security

A critical security flaw in the Bricks theme for WordPress is being actively exploited by threat actors to run arbitrary PHP code on susceptible installations.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2024–25600 (CVSS score: 9.8), enables unauthenticated attackers to achieve remote code execution. It impacts all versions of the Bricks up to and including 1.9.6.

It has been addressed by the theme developers in version 1.9.6.1 released on February 13, 2024, merely days after WordPress security provider Snicco reported the flaw on February 10.

Feb 20, 2024

Anatsa Android malware downloaded 150,000 times via Google Play

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, finance, mobile phones

The Anatsa banking trojan has been targeting users in Europe by infecting Android devices through malware droppers hosted on Google Play.

Over the past four months, security researchers noticed five campaigns tailored to deliver the malware to users in the UK, Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic.

Researchers at fraud detection company ThreatFabric noticed an increase of Anatsa activity since November, with at least 150,000 infections.

Feb 20, 2024

Cactus ransomware claim to steal 1.5TB of Schneider Electric data

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, robotics/AI, sustainability

The Cactus ransomware gang claims they stole 1.5TB of data from Schneider Electric after breaching the company’s network last month.

25MB of allegedly stolen were also leaked on the operation’s dark web leak site today as proof of the threat actor’s claims, together with snapshots showing several American citizens’ passports and non-disclosure agreement document scans.

As BleepingComputer first reported, the ransomware group gained access to the energy management and automation giant’s Sustainability Business division on January 17th.

Feb 20, 2024

‘Stepping stone to Mars’: Minimoons may help us become an interplanetary species, says MIT astrophysicist Richard Binzel

Posted by in category: space

MIT researcher Richard Binzel has studied near-Earth asteroids for more than five decades and believes they could one day act as “space filling stations.”

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