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Sep 1, 2021

One tough bird: vulture’s genes help it thrive on rotting flesh

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

Circa 2015 Clues of the genetic material in vultures could give rise to humans that have immunity to nearly all bacteria and viruses.


WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A diet of putrid rotting flesh may not be your cup of tea, but to the cinereous vulture, found across southern Europe and Asia, it is positively delightful. This tough bird, it turns out, is genetically wired to thrive on the stuff.

Researchers on Tuesday said they have sequenced the genome of this big scavenger, also called the Eurasian black vulture, identifying genetic traits that account for a stalwart stomach and powerful immune system that let it carry on eating carrion.

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Sep 1, 2021

New gene therapies may soon treat dozens of rare diseases, but million-dollar price tags will put them out of reach for many

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

Why not eradicate disease for everyone?


Zolgensma – which treats spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease that damages nerve cells, leading to muscle decay – is currently the most expensive drug in the world. A one-time treatment of the life-saving drug for a young child costs US$2.1 million.

While Zolgensma’s exorbitant price is an outlier today, by the end of the decade there’ll be dozens of cell and gene therapies, costing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for a single dose. The Food and Drug Administration predicts that by2025it will be approving 10 to 20 cell and gene therapies every year.

Continue reading “New gene therapies may soon treat dozens of rare diseases, but million-dollar price tags will put them out of reach for many” »

Sep 1, 2021

Why Bill Gates Is Buying Up U.S. Farmland

Posted by in categories: economics, food, sustainability

Bill Gates made headlines for becoming the largest private farmland owner in the U.S. But he’s not the only one. Some of the wealthiest landowners including Jeff Bezos, John Malone and Thomas Peterffy are buying up forests, ranches and farmlands across the United States. Why? Watch the video to find out.

Investments in farmland are growing across the country as people, including the ultra-wealthy like Bill Gates, look for new ways to grow their money.

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Sep 1, 2021

HUGE *SOS STRANDED* sign found in REMOTE desert on Google Earth! How did they get there?

Posted by in category: futurism

⭐️ Don’t forget to subscribe, be safe out there… (SOS STRANDED)

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Sep 1, 2021

Doctors Claim to Have Discovered How to Reverse Cell Aging

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

In order to find a way to trick the body into making new B cells, the researchers probed one of the ways that the body naturally replenishes its supply. Patients undergoing treatment for multiple sclerosis had their MBC stock depleted, at which point their body rapidly started to produce new B cells.

The team identified the specific hormones that shut B cell production down again once stores were replenished, and realized that deactivating the hormone results in the body producing extra B cells left and right. And going forward, they hope to turn that hormonal trick into a new rejuvenating treatment for the elderly and immunocompromised.

“We found specific hormonal signals produced by the old B cells, the memory cells, that inhibit the bone marrow from producing new B cells,” Melamed told The Jerusalem Post. “This is a huge discovery. It is like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Sep 1, 2021

Astronomers Use “X-Ray Magnifying Glass” To Enhance View of Distant Black Holes

Posted by in category: cosmology

Astronomers have used an “X-ray magnifying glass” to study a black hole system in the early Universe. The amplification and magnification of light by an intervening galaxy allowed the detection of two distant X-ray-emitting objects. The objects are either two growing supermassive black holes.

Sep 1, 2021

Scientists Discover Opportunity To Disrupt SARS-CoV-2 Dynamics, Prevent COVID-19 Transmission

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A structural model of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as the virus fuses with host human cells reveals an opportunity to disrupt dynamics and halt transmission.

Scientists have simulated the transition of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein structure from when it recognizes the host cell to when it gains entry, according to a study published on August 31 2021, in eLife.

The research shows that a structure enabled by sugar molecules on the spike protein could be essential for cell entry and that disrupting this structure could be a strategy to halt virus transmission.

Sep 1, 2021

New Electronic Material: Engineers Create Double Layer of Borophene for First Time

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

New material maintains borophene ’s electronic properties, offers new advantages.

For the first time, Northwestern University engineers have created a double layer of atomically flat borophene, a feat that defies the natural tendency of boron to form non-planar clusters beyond the single-atomic-layer limit.

Although known for its promising electronic properties, borophene — a single-atom.

Sep 1, 2021

Efficacy and safety of baricitinib for the treatment of hospitalised adults with COVID-19 (COV-BARRIER): a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Baricitinib is an oral selective Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor with known anti-inflammatory properties. This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of baricitinib in combination with standard of care for the treatment of hospitalised adults with COVID-19.

In this phase 3 double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, participants were enrolled from 101 centres across 12 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Hospitalised adults with COVID-19 receiving standard of care were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive once-daily baricitinib (4 mg) or matched placebo for up to 14 days. Standard of care included systemic corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, and antivirals, including remdesivir. The composite primary endpoint was the proportion who progressed to high-flow oxygen, non-invasive ventilation, invasive mechanical ventilation, or death by day 28 assessed in the intention-to-treat population. All-cause mortality by day 28 was a key secondary endpoint, and all-cause mortality by day 60 was an exploratory endpoint; both were assessed in the intention-to-treat population. Safety analyses were done in the safety population defined as all randomly allocated participants who received at least one dose of study drug and who were not lost to follow-up before the first post-baseline visit. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials-gov, NCT04421027.


Although there was no significant reduction in the frequency of disease progression overall, treatment with baricitinib in addition to standard of care (including dexamethasone) had a similar safety profile to that of standard of care alone, and was associated with reduced mortality in hospitalised adults with COVID-19.

Continue reading “Efficacy and safety of baricitinib for the treatment of hospitalised adults with COVID-19 (COV-BARRIER): a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial” »

Sep 1, 2021

Mars rover sky watches, and spots a weird Martian moon

Posted by in category: space

While peering up at the hazy Martian sky, NASA’s Perseverance rover recently spotted one of Mars’ irregularly-shaped moons.