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Dec 2, 2023

Spatiotemporal control of RNA metabolism and CRISPR–Cas functions using engineered photoswitchable RNA-binding proteins

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

This protocol for the spatiotemporal control of RNA activity uses LicV, a synthetic, photoswitchable RNA-binding protein (RBP) that can bind to a specific RNA sequence in response to blue light irradiation, and provides an efficient and generalizable strategy for engineering photoswitchable RBPs.

Dec 2, 2023

Dopamine’s Role in Learning from Rewards and Penalties

Posted by in categories: chemistry, robotics/AI

Summary: Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, plays a vital role in encoding both reward and punishment prediction errors in the human brain.

This study suggests that dopamine is essential for learning from both positive and negative experiences, enabling the brain to adapt behavior based on outcomes. Using electrochemical techniques and machine learning, scientists measured dopamine levels in real-time during a computer game involving rewards and penalties.

The findings shed light on the intricate role of dopamine in human behavior and could have implications for understanding psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Dec 2, 2023

Shedding light on the synthesis of sugars before the origin of life

Posted by in category: chemistry

Pentoses are essential carbohydrates in the metabolism of modern lifeforms, but their availability during early Earth is unclear since these molecules are unstable.

A new study, published in the journal JACS Au and led by the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, reveals a chemical pathway compatible with early Earth conditions and by which C6 aldonates could have acted as a source of pentoses without the need for enzymes. Their findings provide clues about primitive biochemistry and bring us closer to understanding the Origins of Life.

The emergence of life on Earth from simple chemicals is one of the most exciting yet challenging topics in biochemistry and perhaps all of science. Modern lifeforms can transform nutrients into all sorts of compounds through complex chemical networks; what’s more, they can catalyze very specific transformations using enzymes, achieving a very fine control over what molecules are produced.

Dec 2, 2023

Diamond-stretching technique makes qubits more stable and controllable

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, energy, quantum physics

Researchers are claiming a breakthrough in quantum communications, thanks to a new diamond-stretching technique they say greatly increases the temperatures at which qubits remain entangled, while also making them microwave-controllable.

Quantum networking is an emerging field that uses weird quantum phenomena to send and receive information. These networks will be impossible to hack, and will use quantum entanglement to cover large distances, creating pairs of qubits which mirror each other’s quantum state without any physical connection.

Diamond-based qubits are capable of maintaining their state of entanglement for a decent length of time – but only provided they’re kept incredibly cold – just a hair above absolute zero. That limits their usefulness, because it’d mean you’d need a giant, energy-intensive cooling apparatus at every node of your quantum network.

Dec 2, 2023

Energy dissipation on magic angle twisted bilayer graphene

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

The authors present a series of correlated insulating states of twisted bilayer graphene that is detected using an atomic force microscope tip. An additional experiment demonstrates the coupling of a mechanical oscillator to a quantum device.

Dec 2, 2023

UK Biobank Releases Whole Genome Data from Half a Million People

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

After five years, more than 350,000 hours of genome sequencing, and over £200 million of investment, UK Biobank is releasing the world’s largest-by-far single set of human sequencing data—completing the most ambitious project of its kind ever undertaken. The new data, whole genome sequences of its half a million participants, will certainly drive the discovery of new diagnostics, treatments, and cures. Uniquely, the data are available to approved researchers worldwide, via a protected database containing only de-identified data.

This advance lies not only in the abundance of genomic data, but its use in combination with the existing data UK Biobank has collected over the past 15 years on lifestyle, whole body imaging scans, health information, and proteins found in the blood. The Pharma Proteomics Project was published last month in Nature, in the paper, “Plasma proteomic associations with genetics and health in the UK Biobank.

Looking forward, these data could be used to further advance efforts such as more targeted drug discovery and development, discovering thousands of disease-causing noncoding genetic variants, accelerating precision medicine, and understanding the biological underpinnings of disease.

Dec 2, 2023

Neuronal factors determining high intelligence

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity—factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence.

Dec 2, 2023

The Universe Began with a Bang, Not a Bounce, New Studies Find

Posted by in category: space

New research pokes holes in the idea that the cosmos expanded and then contracted before beginning again.

By James Riordon

Dec 2, 2023

What to know about anti-aging medication in development that could help dogs live longer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

The drug, LOY-001, works by interacting with a hormone that accelerates aging.

Dec 2, 2023

Anthrobots: Scientists build tiny biological robots from human tracheal cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Researchers at Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute have created tiny biological robots that they call Anthrobots from human tracheal cells that can move across a surface and have been found to encourage the growth of neurons across a region of damage in a lab dish.

The multicellular robots, ranging in size from the width of a human hair to the point of a sharpened pencil, were made to self-assemble and shown to have a remarkable healing effect on other . The discovery is a starting point for the researchers’ vision to use patient-derived biobots as new therapeutic tools for regeneration, healing, and treatment of disease.

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