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May 23, 2024

Is fundamental science a victim of its own success?

Posted by in category: science

Some think the reason fundamental scientific revolutions are so rare is because of groupthink. It’s not; it’s hard to mess with success.

May 23, 2024

Is prime editing ready for prime time?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Prime editing, a mightier version of CRISPR/Cas9 technology, has been part of rigorous research and development in recent years. Now, U.S. regulators have greenlit the first-ever clinical trial for this technology.

Massachusetts-based Prime Medicine received the go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after preclinical data showed that its candidate was able to correct mutations in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD).

CGD is a rare condition and affects around one in 200,000 people worldwide. It is caused by mutations in any of the six genes that code for the molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), which is responsible for carrying electrons within cells. White blood cells called phagocytes don’t function properly, and as a result, they fail to protect the body from bacterial and fungal infections.

May 23, 2024

Bone-marrow-homing lipid nanoparticles for genome editing in diseased and malignant haematopoietic stem cells

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

The ability to genetically modify haematopoietic stem cells would allow the durable treatment of a diverse range of genetic disorders but gene delivery to the bone marrow has not been achieved. Here lipid nanoparticles that target and deliver mRNA to 14 unique cells within the bone marrow are presented.

May 23, 2024

A new gene-editing system tackles complex diseases

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

The human genome consists of around 3 billion base pairs and humans are all 99.6% identical in their genetic makeup. That small 0.4% accounts for any difference between one person and another. Specific combinations of mutations in those base pairs hold important clues about the causes of complex health issues, including heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases like schizophrenia.

May 23, 2024

Neural networks: What it takes to build brain-like computers

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Although this is still an emerging area of research, a new study has announced a leap. Researchers from the Center for Neuromorphic Engineering at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have implemented an integrated hardware system consisting of artificial neurons and synaptic devices using hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) material.

They aimed to construct building blocks of neuron-synapse-neuron structures that can be stacked to develop large-scale artificial neural networks.

Continue reading “Neural networks: What it takes to build brain-like computers” »

May 23, 2024

The Artificial Intelligence Era Faces a Threat from Directed Energy Weapons

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, transportation

Autonomous and AI-enabled systems increasingly rely on optical and radio frequency sensors and significant computer power. They face growing vulnerabilities from directed-energy laser and microwave weapons.

By David C. Stoudt

In May the U.S. secretary of the Air Force flew in an F-16 that engaged in a mock dogfight over the California desert while controlled by artificial intelligence. Carmakers from San Francisco to Boston are jousting to deliver driverless cars. In Norway a crewless cargo ship carries fertilizer from port to port. On the land, sea and in the air, we face the coming of such autonomous platforms—some envisioned to benefit humanity, and others meant for destruction—available to everyone, to governments, businesses and criminals.

May 23, 2024

Chinese researchers successfully revive human brain frozen for 18 months

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryonics, neuroscience, space travel

In a stunning scientific feat in the field of cryonics, a team from Fudan University in Shanghai achieved a monumental breakthrough by successfully reviving a human brain that had been frozen for as long as 18 months. This record breaking achievement not only shatters previous records in cryogenic technology but has also been published in the esteemed academic journal Cell Reports Methods.

The team led by Shao Zhicheng created a revolutionary cryopreservation method, dubbed MEDY, which preserves the structural integrity and functionality of neural cells, allowing for the preservation of various brain tissues and human brain specimens. This advancement holds immense promise not only for research into neurological disorders but also opens up possibilities for the future of human cryopreservation technology.

Professor Joao Pedro Magalhaes from the University of Birmingham K expressed profound astonishment at the development, hailing the technology’s ability to prevent cell death and help preserve neural functionality as nothing short of miraculous. He speculated that in the future, terminally ill patients could be cryopreserved, awaiting cures that may emerge, while astronauts could be frozen for interstellar travel, awakening in distant galaxies.

May 23, 2024

A method to mitigate hallucinations in large language models

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Large language models (LLMs), artificial neural networks-based architectures that can process, generate and manipulate texts in various human languages, have recently become increasingly widespread. These models are now being used in a wide range of settings, to rapidly find answers to queries, produce content for specific purposes and interpret complex texts.

May 23, 2024

Upgrading brain storage: Quantifying how much information our synapses can hold

Posted by in category: neuroscience

With each flip you make through a deck of vocabulary word flashcards, their definitions come more quickly, more easily. This process of learning and remembering new information strengthens important connections in your brain. Recalling those new words and definitions more easily with practice is evidence that those neural connections, called synapses, can grow stronger or weaker over time—a feature known as synaptic plasticity.

May 23, 2024

Decoding gene regulation with CRISPR perturbations

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Two CRISPR tools for combinatorial genetic perturbations reveal gene regulatory networks.

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