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Dec 22, 2016

5 Reasons Trump Should Commit To A Crewed Lunar Return

Posted by in category: space travel

A few end of year thoughts on why the incoming Trump Administration should make a crewed lunar return its first priority.

A few reasons why the incoming Trump Administration should make a crewed return to the Moon its first space priority. NASA astronauts should once again trod the regolith.

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Dec 22, 2016

Could Dark Matter Be Powering The EMdrive?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, space travel


It might not work at all, but if the thrust is real and we detect no reaction, could the discrepancy be due to dark matter?

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Dec 22, 2016

The UN Just Gave Scientists the Green Light to Mess With Natural Selection

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics

Of all the potentially apocalyptic technologies scientists have come up with in recent years, the gene drive is easily one of the most terrifying. A gene drive is a tool that allows scientists to use genetic engineering to override natural selection during reproduction. In theory, scientists could use it to alter the genetic makeup of an entire species—or even wipe that species out. It’s not hard to imagine how a slip-up in the lab could lead to things going very, very wrong.

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Dec 22, 2016

Young microglia restore amyloid plaque clearance of aged microglia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Rejuvenating the immune system offers hope for Alzheimer’s patients and removal of plaques.

Alzheimer′s disease (AD) is characterized by deposition of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuroinflammation. In order to study microglial contribution to amyloid plaque phagocytosis, we developed a novel ex vivo model by co‐culturing organotypic brain slices from up to 20‐month‐old, amyloid‐bearing AD mouse model (APPPS1) and young, neonatal wild‐type (WT) mice. Surprisingly, co‐culturing resulted in proliferation, recruitment, and clustering of old microglial cells around amyloid plaques and clearance of the plaque halo. Depletion of either old or young microglial cells prevented amyloid plaque clearance, indicating a synergistic effect of both populations. Exposing old microglial cells to conditioned media of young microglia or addition of granulocyte‐macrophage colony‐stimulating factor (GM‐CSF) was sufficient to induce microglial proliferation and reduce amyloid plaque size. Our data suggest that microglial dysfunction in AD may be reversible and their phagocytic ability can be modulated to limit amyloid accumulation. This novel ex vivo model provides a valuable system for identification, screening, and testing of compounds aimed to therapeutically reinforce microglial phagocytosis.

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Dec 22, 2016

Incoming Star Could Spawn Swarms of Comets When It Passes Our Sun

Posted by in categories: existential risks, space

For years, scientists have known that Gliese 710 will come excruciatingly close to our Solar System in about a million years. An updated analysis suggests this star will come considerably closer than we thought, during which time it’s expected to spawn dangerous cometary swarms.

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Dec 22, 2016

CellAge Campaign Q&A: Are You a For-Profit Company? |

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Non-profit research ultimately benefits for-profit companies and is an essential part of the development chain of any therapy.

Companies like Unity Biotech have taken non-profit research and are developing it for-profit, this is the only way that therapies will make it to market and pay for the huge costs involved in development. You may have concerns that our current crowdfunding project is with a for-profit company so here is CellAge to answer this question.

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Dec 22, 2016

Classifying Aging As a Disease: The Role of Microbes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, life extension

The body is under constant invasion by microbes so rejuvenation of the immune system and reduction of imflammation is a big priority for rejuvenation biotechnology.

Recent publications have proposed that aging should be classified as a disease (Bulterijs et al., 2015; Zhavoronkov and Bhullar, 2015; Zhavoronkov and Moskalev, 2016). The goal of this manuscript is not to dispute these claims, but rather to suggest that when classifying aging as a disease, it is important to include the contribution of microbes.

As recently as ~115 years ago, more than half of all deaths were caused by infectious diseases, including pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal infections, and diphtheria (Jones et al., 2012). Since then, the establishment of public health departments that focused on improved sanitation and hygiene, and the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines allowed for a dramatic decrease in infectious disease-related mortality (Report, 1999). In 2010, the death rate for infectious diseases was reduced to 3% (Jones et al., 2012). Simultaneously, as infectious disease-related mortality rates have decreased, global lifespan has increased from ~30 to ~70 years (Riley, 2005).

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Dec 22, 2016

What’s the Buzz on Delivery Drones?

Posted by in category: drones

Millions of commercial drones may be in the air by 2020. This could make near-instant airborne delivery a reality. But what are the hidden costs? A multidisciplinary team of RAND experts is looking into it:

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Dec 22, 2016

Deep sea bacteria cured half of all prostate cancer suffers in trial

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Bacteria that lives on the ocean floor has been found to cure half of all male prostate cancer sufferers in a London trial. It’s injected into the bloodstream and could replace surgery.

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Dec 21, 2016

Artificial leaf could make a medicinal mini-factory

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, internet, sustainability

Leaves are kind of like nature’s power plants, converting incoming sunlight into energy for the plant to thrive on. Inspired by the real thing, scientists have previously created artificial leaves that function in much the same way as their natural counterparts to produce electricity and even liquid fuels. Now a team at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is using a similar system to produce chemicals, which could one day lead to solar-powered “mini-factories” that can produce drugs, pesticides and other chemicals almost anywhere.

To mimic the light-capturing molecules in leaves, the researchers turned to luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs), materials seen in solar-harvesting window technology and used to catch and amplify laser beams carrying data in Facebook’s drone-mounted internet projec t. These LSCs absorb incoming light, convert it to specific wavelengths and then guide the photons to the edges of the device.

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