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Jan 24, 2020

Group membership dictates the neural correlates of social optimism biases

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Optimism bias, i.e. expecting the future to hold more desirable than undesirable outcomes, also extends to people that we like or admire. However, it remains unknown how the brain generates this social optimism bias. In this study, respondents estimated the likelihood of future desirable and undesirable outcomes for an in-group and three out-groups: warm-incompetent, cold-competent, and cold-incompetent. We found a strong social optimism bias for the in-group and the warm out-group and an inverted pattern for the cold-incompetent out-group. For all groups, scores of social optimism bias correlated with the brain activity in structures that respondents differentially engaged depending on the target social group. In line with our hypotheses, evaluating the in-group recruited the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex, whereas evaluating the warm out-group engaged the posterior insula, mid cingulate cortex, and somatosensory cortices. These findings suggest different underlying cognitive mechanisms of social optimism bias for these groups, despite similar behavioural patterns. Thinking about the cold out-groups recruited the right anterior temporal lobe, and temporoparietal junction. Evaluating the cold-incompetent out-group additionally recruited the anterior insula, inferior frontal cortex and dorsomedial frontal cortex. We discuss these neuroimaging findings with respect to their putative cognitive functions.

Jan 24, 2020

Virus in Chinese outbreak is closest to one from bats, not snakes

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers say the virus spreading through China is in the same family as SARS and closest to one found in bats. Discovery: Today, researchers led by Zheng-Li Shi at the Wuhan Institute for Virology posted a paper describing the virus in detail for the first time, including a picture of the virus infecting cells. The new virus, dubbed nCoV-2019, is in the same family as SARS—a coronavirus that caused global mayhem starting in 2003—and even uses the same receptor to hack into a person’s lung cells, Li’s team found.

Discovery: Today, researchers led by Zheng-Li Shi at the Wuhan Institute for Virology posted a paper describing the virus in detail for the first time, including a picture of the virus infecting cells.

Jan 24, 2020

Genomics Pioneer: Travels World To Discover Which Countries’ Healthcare Money Goes Furthest and Why

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, life extension, neuroscience

Genomics and BioPharma Pioneer!! — On this ideaXme ( episode, I had the honor of being joined by Dr. William Haseltine — biologist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, known for his groundbreaking work on HIV/AIDS and the human genome, now focusing on the issues of healthcare costs, dementia care, and aging — #Ideaxme #Genomics #RegenerativeMedicine #BillHaseltine #Dementia #Biotechnology #Harvard #JamesWatson #WalterGilbert #DavidBaltimore #MIT #CraigVenter #Health #Wellness #Regeneration #Longevity #Aging #IraPastor #Bioquark #Regenerage

Ira Pastor, ideaXme exponential health ambassador, interviews Dr. William Haseltine, American biologist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, known for his groundbreaking work on HIV/AIDS and the human genome.

Continue reading “Genomics Pioneer: Travels World To Discover Which Countries’ Healthcare Money Goes Furthest and Why” »

Jan 24, 2020

Drone delivery service takes flight

Posted by in category: drones

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A Bahamian drone delivery service is rolling out its last-mile delivery service in the first quarter of this year with its inter-island offering expected within 12–15 months.

Fli Drone, a Bahamian firm authorized to perform drone delivery services, was founded by two former college classmates: Abaco native Robert Sweeting (Chief Executive Officer) and Arthur Frisch (Chief Technology Officer).

The company officially launched in 2018.

Jan 24, 2020

Ultrasonic Hands Could Give Robots a Lighter Touch

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A new prototype uses ultrasound waves to move objects.

Jan 24, 2020

Probiotics: What they are and how you might benefit from them

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

Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that can be consumed to offer health benefits.

The ability of certain microbes to confer health benefits on their host was recognized more than 100 years ago. In 1904, Elie Metchnikoff, a scientist at the Pasteur Institute, claimed that Bulgarian peasants lived longer by eating yogurt made from bacteria that served to ferment the milk. Parisians rushed out to buy yogurt in response.

However, the huge variety of bacteria living on the planet was not appreciated back then. More recently, the development of technology that identifies organisms from their DNA has allowed scientists to show that plants, animals, insects and humans can be hosts for many different types of microorganisms.

Jan 24, 2020

How smartphone apps changed the way people live in China

Posted by in categories: finance, food, mobile phones

Fast forward 10 years and Li’s life has completely changed. No longer in finance, he communicates via WeChat and uses apps on his iPhone XS to order food, hail taxis, pay bills, and shop.

Most of the apps that permeate the daily life of Li and hundreds of millions of other Chinese had their beginnings at the start of the decade.

The 2010s will be remembered as the decade when smartphone apps became ubiquitous, spawning new Chinese tech giants whose platforms forever changed the way people live.

Continue reading “How smartphone apps changed the way people live in China” »

Jan 24, 2020

Study reveals interplay of an African bat, a parasite and a virus

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

To better understand the dynamics of bats and potential threats to human health, Goldberg and his colleagues explored the relationship of an African forest bat, a novel virus and a parasite. Their work, described in a report published July 13 in Nature Scientific Reports, identifies all three players as potentially new species, at least at the molecular level as determined by their genetic sequences.

Many viral pathogens often have more than one or two hosts or intermediate hosts needed to complete their life cycles. The role of bat parasites in maintaining chains of viral infection is little studied, and the new Wisconsin study serves up some intriguing insights into how viruses co-opt parasites to help do the dirty work of disease transmission.

The parasite in the current study is an eyeless, wingless fly, technically an ectoparasite. It depends on the bat to be both its eyes and wings. And it plays host to a virus, as the current study shows. For the virus, the fly plays the role of chauffeur. “From a virus’s perspective, an ectoparasite is like Uber. It’s a great way to get around — from animal to animal — at minimal expense and effort,” Goldberg explains.

Jan 24, 2020

Coalition of states sue over rules governing 3D-printed guns

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, law enforcement

Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet.

New York Attorney General Tish James, who helped lead the coalition of state attorneys general, argued that posting the blueprints would allow anyone to go online and use the downloadable files to create unregistered and untraceable assault-style weapons that could be difficult to detect.

The lawsuit, joined by California, Washington and 17 other states, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. It is likely to reignite a fierce debate over the use of 3D-printed firearms and is the latest in a series of attempts by state law enforcement officials to block the Trump administration from easing the accessibility of the blueprints.

Jan 24, 2020

Who’s up for a little gut gardening?

Posted by in category: food

A new study from SDSU researchers suggests certain foods can be used to control the effects of biophage viruses.