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Apr 21, 2016

First gene therapy successful against human aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

American woman gets biologically younger after gene therapies.

Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of Bioviva USA Inc. has become the first human being to be successfully rejuvenated by gene therapy, after her own company’s experimental therapies reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening.

Telomere score is calculated according to telomere length of white blood cells (T-lymphocytes). This result is based on the average T-lymphocyte telomere length compared to the American population at the same age range. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells.

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Apr 21, 2016

Patents remind us that Magic Leap is powered by tiny projectors, not magic

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, computing, neuroscience

Over the past few days, Wired has published some articles that give us the closest look yet at the ambitious, enigmatic augmented reality company called Magic Leap. They’ve left us with both a lot of fascinating possibilities and a lot of questions, because most of Magic Leap’s technological explanations are couched in the language of either science fiction or, well, magic. As poetic as “[talking] to the GPU of the brain” and “dreaming with your eyes open” sounds, this is probably the clearest and most interesting description of Magic Leap’s work in the piece:

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Apr 21, 2016

Meet the Nanomachines That Could Drive a Medical Revolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, particle physics

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A group of physicists recently built the smallest engine ever created from just a single atom. Like any other engine it converts heat energy into movement — but it does so on a smaller scale than ever seen before. The atom is trapped in a cone of electromagnetic energy and lasers are used to heat it up and cool it down, which causes the atom to move back and forth in the cone like an engine piston.

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Apr 21, 2016

San Francisco adopts law requiring solar panels on all new buildings

Posted by in categories: business, law, solar power, sustainability

Tech capital is first major US city to require all new buildings of 10 storeys or under to have solar panels, reports BusinessGreen.

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Apr 21, 2016

New protein injection reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice in just one week

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

“IL-33 is a protein produced by various cell types in the body and is particularly abundant in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord),” says lead researcher, Eddy Liew from the University of Glasgow in the UK. “We found that injection of IL-33 into aged APP/PS1 mice rapidly improved their memory and cognitive function to that of the age-matched normal mice within a week.”

Before we go any further, we should make it clear that these results are restricted to mice only, and at this stage, we have no idea if they will translate at all in humans with Alzheimer’s.

And the odds aren’t great — one study put successful translation of positive results in mice to humans at a rate of about 8 percent, so we can never get too excited until we see how things fare in human trials.

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Apr 21, 2016

Scientists just got a step closer to creating a universal allergy treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Whether it’s hay fever, food allergies, or asthma that plagues you, there’s no denying that our immune system can be a real punishment when it’s not working properly.

Which is why it’s so exciting to hear that researchers might have just come up with a system that could, in theory, put an end to all allergies — simply by forcing our bodies to recognise harmless objects, such as peanuts or pollens, as friend, rather than foe.

I know what you’re thinking — that sounds too good to be true, right? Because scientists have been trying to find a way to stop our immune system freaking out over harmless things, such as cat hair and pollen, for decades, and so far, nothing’s really stuck.

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Apr 21, 2016

Plastic Eating Mushrooms!

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

These mushrooms EAT PLASTIC! Could this be a solution to our plastic problem?

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Apr 21, 2016

Hunting light dark matter with gamma rays

Posted by in category: cosmology

Science at OKC

Hunting light dark matter with gamma rays.

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Apr 21, 2016

Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, education, electronics, engineering, life extension, media & arts, neuroscience, Ray Kurzweil, singularity

Many think author, inventor and data scientist Ray Kurzweil is a prophet for our digital age. A few say he’s completely nuts. Kurzweil, who heads a team of more than 40 as a director of engineering at Google, believes advances in technology and medicine are pushing us toward what he calls the Singularity, a period of profound cultural and evolutionary change in which computers will outthink the brain and allow people—you, me, the guy with the man-bun ahead of you at Starbucks—to live forever. He dates this development at 2045.

Raymond Kurzweil was born February 12, 1948, and he still carries the plain, nasal inflection of his native Queens, New York. His Jewish parents escaped Hitler’s Austria, but Kurzweil grew up attending a Unitarian church. He worshipped knowledge above all, and computers in particular. His grandmother was one of the first women in Europe to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. His uncle, who worked at Bell Labs, taught Ray computer science in the 1950s, and by the age of 15, Kurzweil was designing programs to help do homework. Two years later, he wrote code to analyze and create music in the style of various famous composers. The program won him the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search, a prize that got the 17-year-old an invitation to the White House. That year, on the game show I’ve Got a Secret, Kurzweil pressed some buttons on a data processor the size of a small car. It coughed out original sheet music that could have been written by Brahms.

After earning degrees in computer science and creative writing at MIT, he began to sell his inventions, including the first optical character recognition system that could read text in any normal font. Kurzweil knew a “reading machine” could help the blind, but to make it work, he first had to invent a text-to-speech synthesizer, as well as a flatbed scanner; both are still in wide use. In the 1980s Kurzweil created the first electronic music keyboard to replicate the sound of a grand piano and many other instruments. If you’ve ever been to a rock concert, you’ve likely seen the name Kurzweil on the back of a synthesizer.

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Apr 21, 2016

The Latest in Science Fiction and Fantasy — By N.K. Jemisin | The New York Times

Posted by in categories: media & arts, science

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“In the Three Worlds, sentient nonhuman species are a dime a dozen, and the detritus of countless lost civilizations is embedded in a lush, magic-infused landscape.”

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