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Aug 11, 2016

The Chimera Quandary: Is It Ethical To Create Hybrid Embryos?

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

In Greek mythology, the Chimera is a monster that is part lion, part goat and part snake. Far from reality, sure, but the idea of mixing and matching creatures is real — and has ethicists concerned.

That’s because last week, the National Institutes of Health proposed a new policy to allow funding for scientists who are creating chimeras — the non-mythological kind. In genetics, chimeras are organisms formed when human stem cells are combined with tissues of other animals, with the potential for creating human-animal hybrids.

Pablo Ross of the University of California, Davis, inserts human stem cells into a pig embryo as part of experiments to create chimeric embryos.

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Aug 11, 2016

How Hackers Could Get Inside Your Head With ‘Brain Malware’

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, neuroscience

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle say that we need to act fast to implement a privacy and security framework to prevent our brain signals from being used against us before the technology really takes off…


Brain-computer interfaces offer new applications for our brain signals—and a new vector for security and privacy violations.

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Aug 11, 2016

Scientists have found a set of genetic switches needed to regrow limbs

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics

Could humans regrow limbs? Genetic switches for regenerating tissue are traced back 420 million years…


But ultimately the researchers hope to see if the mechanism could be exploited to allow humans to regenerate limbs themselves, although they warn it could be several decades before that is possible.

Dr Yin said: ‘It depends on the pace of discovery, which is heavily dependent on funding.’

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Aug 11, 2016

Russian scientists speed up human tissue regeneration with supermolecule

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Russian scientists said they have artificially produced a unique molecule that can rapidly regenerate damaged human tissue, boasting both antibacterial and antiviral defenses, as well as stem cell growth stimulation.

The peptide, Acegram, was developed at a laboratory in the Russian Ural city of Chelyabinsk.

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Aug 11, 2016

Biologics on-demand: DARPA and MIT look to manufacture on the battlefield

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The US Department of Defense has developed a portable, on-demand biopharmaceutical production system that could be used in warzones to make treatments at point-of-care.

The platform was developed as part of a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to provide far-forward-deployed Service members “what they need when they need it, obviating the need for individual drug stockpiling, cold storage, and complex logistics,” Tyler McQuade, program manager for DARPA’s Battlefield Medicine program, told Biopharma-Reporter.com.

The platform, developed in conjunction with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), consists of a biologics expression system engineered to secrete multiple therapeutic proteins and a millilitre-scale perfusion microfluidic platform.

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Aug 11, 2016

MI5 ‘mind reading unit’ foils potential terrorist attacks

Posted by in category: terrorism

Up to seven potential terror attacks across Britain have been uncovered and stopped over the past year by a special MI5 unit which reads the minds of would-be attackers, the agency says.

MI5’s Behavioural Science Unit (BSU), made up of criminologists, psychologists and other academics, was launched in 2004 to analyse suspects’ behaviours to determine whether they are about to carry out an attack.

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Aug 11, 2016

Toward practical quantum computers

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Built-in optics could enable chips that use trapped ions as quantum bits…


Researchers from MIT and MIT Lincoln Laboratory report an important step toward practical quantum computers, with a paper describing a prototype chip that can trap ions in an electric field and, with built-in optics, direct laser light toward each of them.

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Aug 11, 2016

Ready for a Human Hybrid? Human-Animal Chimeras May Now Be Possible

Posted by in category: futurism

There are calls to lift NIH’s restrictions on the controversial chimera studies. But are we ready for this most controversial study yet?

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Aug 11, 2016

Do thoughts come from your brain or a universal consciousness?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Neuroscientist Andrew B. Newberg provides the answer.

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Aug 10, 2016

How to turn green light blue

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The upconversion of photons allows for a more efficient use of light: Two photons are converted into a single photon having higher energy. Researchers at KIT now showed for the first time that the inner interfaces between surface-mounted metal-organic frameworks (SURMOFs) are suited perfectly for this purpose — they turned green light blue. The result, which is now being published in Advanced Materials (“Photon Upconversion at Crystalline Organic–Organic Heterojunctions”), opens up new opportunities for optoelectronic applications such as solar cells or LEDs.

Photon upconversion: energy transfer between the molecules is based on electron exchange

Photon upconversion: energy transfer between the molecules is based on electron exchange (Dexter electron transfer). (Image: Michael Oldenburg)

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