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May 9, 2020

Snake stem cells used to create venom-producing organoids

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience


Organoids have become an important tool for studying many disease processes and testing potential drugs. Now, they are being used in a surprising and unexpected way: for the production of snake venom. On January 23 in the journal Cell, researchers are reporting that they have created organoids of the venom glands of the Cape coral snake (Aspidelaps lubricus cowlesi) and that these glands are capable of producing venom.

“More than 100,000 people die from snake bites every year, mostly in developing countries. Yet the methods for manufacturing antivenom haven’t changed since the 19th century,” says senior author Hans Clevers of the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. “It’s clear there is a huge unmet medical need for new treatments.”

He adds: “Every snake has dozens of different components in their venom. These are extremely potent molecules that are designed to stop prey from running away. They affect systems as varied as the brain, neuromuscular junctions, blood coagulation, and more. Many of them have potential bioprospecting applications for new drugs.”

May 9, 2020

Could scientists create dragons using CRISPR gene editing?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Circa 2016 o,.o.

It is possible large, winged dragons could be created using cutting-edge genome editing, academics have suggested.

May 9, 2020

This “Mutant Enzyme” Can Break Down Plastic Bottles in Hours

Posted by in category: materials

The cost of producing the enzyme was just four percent of the cost of making brand new plastic using oil.

May 9, 2020

Cuttlefish change skin texture to blend in

Posted by in category: military

Crispr could lead to skin that color changes for humans in the military.

The masters of marine masquerade can morph from rough to smooth in less than a second.

May 9, 2020

Rubber “exoskeleton” lets liquid metal structures retain their shape

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, cyborgs

This could allow for nanosuit armor :3.

Imagine if there were a metallic device that could be transported all squished down into a compact ball, but that would automatically “bloom” out into its useful form when heated. Well, that may soon be possible, thanks to a newly developed liquid metal lattice.

Led by Asst. Prof. Pu Zhang, a team of scientists at New York’s Bingham University started by 3D printing lattice-type structures out of an existing metal known as Field’s alloy. Named after its inventor, chemist Simon Quellen Field, the alloy consists of a mixture of bismuth, indium and tin. It also melts when heated to just 62 °C (144 °F), but then re-solidifies upon cooling.

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May 9, 2020

Polar vortex 2020: Why is this happening to us

Posted by in category: futurism

After a mild winter, snow is coming to many parts of the U.S. The incoming polar vortex could set record low temperatures and high snowfalls for May.

May 9, 2020

How to Build AGI? (Ilya Sutskever) | AI Podcast Clips

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Full episode with Ilya Sutskever (May 2020):
Clips channel (Lex Clips):
Main channel (Lex Fridman):
(more links below)

Podcast full episodes playlist:

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May 9, 2020

Why Fear AI When You Can Become It? | Mind Uploading

Posted by in categories: biological, entertainment, robotics/AI

Hey all! I’ve recently made a video on how humans can one day become AI and how this can be good for individuals and humanity on its own! If you are interested, please give it a watch!

AI is oftentimes the ultimate bane of science-fiction. Artificial intelligence oftentimes becomes smarter than humanity and turns on us in sci-fi movies and films. However, what if people could become AI one day and use this to their advantage? And if so, would people choose to become AI? Here’s why I believe this may be possible and why people may actually voluntarily choose to become AI themselves- thus blurring the lines between computer science and biology.

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May 9, 2020

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment in Children With Kawasaki Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, policy

To determine the long-term cost-benefit of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment in Children with Kawasaki Disease (KD), a model was made to compare the total cost for management of these children with and without the use of IVIG. Long-term (10−21 years) follow-up of 594 KD patients treated in the pre-IVIG era reported by Kato, et al. was used to calculate cost using previous cost studies from Chulalongkorn Hospital. Reduction of CAA from 25 per cent to 4 per cent with IVIG treatment was assumed based on previous published data. Total cost was slightly lower for the non-IVIG treatment group compared to the IVIG treatment group (33,451,129 baht vs 35,001,195 baht) for the duration of follow-up in Kato’s model. Cost per effectiveness analysis showed more effectiveness in the IVIG treatment group (359,576 baht vs 383,614 baht). Net cost analysis similarly demonstrated lower costs in the IVIG treatment group (25,365,215 baht vs 33,451,129 baht). Incremental cost-effectiveness analysis demonstrated supplementary costs of 13,663 baht for one case in the reduction of coronary involvement and 387,517 baht for one life saved in the IVIG-treated group. Estimation of total costs for follow-up and treatment for healthy life (until 60 years old) was more expensive in the non-IVIG treatment than the IVIG treated group (75,482,803 baht vs 29,883,833 baht). The authors conclude that treatment of all KD cases in Thailand with IVIG is likely to result in lower cost and better outcome when compared to no treatment with the IVIG policy.

May 9, 2020

Nuclear fusion scientists just solved a major problem in harnessing plasma hotter than the Sun

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

Circa 2018 face_with_colon_three

Jong-Kyu Park and colleagues predicted a set of distortions that could control ELMs without any additional instabilities. They then tested these distortions at the Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR)—a ring-shaped magnetic fusion confinement device. Their experiments worked.

“We show for the first time the full 3D field operating window in a tokamak to suppress ELMs without stirring up core instabilities or excessively degrading confinement,” Park said. “For a long time we thought it would be too computationally difficult to identify all beneficial symmetry-breaking fields, but our work now demonstrates a simple procedure to identify the set of all such configurations.”

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