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Nov 29, 2019

A New Crispr Technique Could Fix Almost All Genetic Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Anzalone’s prime editor is a little different. Its enzyme is actually two that have been fused together—a molecule that acts like a scalpel combined with something called a reverse transcriptase, which converts RNA into DNA. His RNA guide is a little different too: It not only finds the DNA in need of fixing, but also carries a copy of the edit to be made. When it locates its target DNA, it makes a little nick, and the reverse transcriptase starts adding the corrected sequence of DNA letter by letter, like the strikers on a typewriter.

A less error-prone DNA editing method could correct many more harmful mutations than was previously possible.

Nov 29, 2019

Beating cancer: How viruses are being used to infect and kill tumours

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

We’ve long known that viruses can target cancers in our bodies. Now, thanks to gene editing, we’re using them as tumour search and destroy agents – and getting our immune systems to join the fight too.

Nov 29, 2019

Consider the axolotl: our great hope of regeneration?

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

It has long been understood, and by cultures too various to list, that salamanders have something of the supernatural about them. Their name is thought to derive from an ancient Persian vocable meaning ‘fire within’, and for at least 2,000 years they were believed to be impervious to flames, or even capable of extinguishing them on contact. Aristotle recorded this exceptional characteristic, as did Leonardo da Vinci. The Talmud advises that smearing salamander blood on your skin will confer inflammability. Not so. But the intuition that salamanders possess fantastical powers is not unfounded.

Like earthbound immortals, salamanders regenerate. If you cut off a salamander’s tail, or its arm, or its leg, or portions of any of these, it will not form a stump or a scar but will instead replace the lost appendage with a perfect new one, an intricacy of muscle, nerve, bone and the rest. It will sprout like a sapling. Science has been chopping up salamanders for more than 200 years with the aim of simply understanding the mechanics of their marvels, but more recently with the additional aim of someday replicating those marvels in ourselves. Might salamanders be the great hope of regenerative medicine?

The salamander in which regeneration is most often studied is an odd and endearingly unattractive Mexican species known as the axolotl. In addition to its limbs and extremities, the axolotl is known to regrow its lower jaw, its retinae, ovaries, kidneys, heart, rudimentary lungs, spinal cord, and large chunks of its brain. It heals all sorts of wounds without scarring. The axolotl also integrates the body parts of its fellows as if they were its own, without the usual immune response, and this peculiar trait has facilitated some of the more grotesque disfigurements it’s endured in the name of science. In experiments after the Second World War, East German scientists grafted small axolotls crosswise through the backs of larger ones. The animals’ circulatory systems came to be linked, and the researchers hailed the conjoined mutants as triumphs of collectivism.

Nov 29, 2019

Biorobot azionati dai muscoli potrebbero rivoluzionare la bioingegneria

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Lo sviluppo di biorobot autonomi compie un passo avanti grazie allo sviluppo di dispositivi robotici morbidi guidati dal tessuto neuromuscolare. Creati da un gruppo di ricerca dell’ Università dell’Illinois con a capo il professore di ingegneria meccanica e scienze meccaniche Taher Saif e il professore di bioingegneria Rashid Bashir, sono i primi biorobot semiautomatici capaci di muoversi autonomamente.

Nov 29, 2019

Age Backwards, Biohack Your Life and Be Superhuman | Dave Asprey and Lewis Howes

Posted by in categories: life extension, neuroscience

Thank you for watching this powerful interview with Dave Asprey!
Check out the show notes here:

Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely-popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the podcast Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Bulletproof Diet.

Continue reading “Age Backwards, Biohack Your Life and Be Superhuman | Dave Asprey and Lewis Howes” »

Nov 29, 2019

Regular fasting could lead to longer, healthier life

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Regular fasting is associated with lower rates of heart failure and a longer life span, according to two new studies.

Researchers sought to shed new light on the centuries-old debate about how affects health. Recent studies have shown it contributes to reductions in blood pressure, “bad” LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance, a condition that can raise blood sugar. A 2017 study showed alternate-day fasting was as effective as daily calorie restriction for losing weight and keeping the pounds off.

The new studies focused on data from patients evaluated for disease in Utah and other Rocky Mountain states. The research included hundreds of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, who typically fast one Sunday each month, for up to 24 hours.

Nov 29, 2019

Study shows extra virgin olive oil staves off multiple forms of dementia in mice

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

Boosting brain function is key to staving off the effects of aging. And if there was one thing every person should consider doing right now to keep their brain young, it is to add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to their diet, according to research by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM). EVOO is a superfood, rich in cell-protecting antioxidants and known for its multiple health benefits, including helping put the brakes on diseases linked to aging, most notably cardiovascular disease. Previous LKSOM research on mice also showed that EVOO preserves memory and protects the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.

In a new study in mice published online in the journal Aging Cell, LKSOM scientists show that yet another group of aging-related diseases can be added to that list—tauopathies, which are characterized by the gradual buildup of an abnormal form of a protein called tau in the . This process leads to a decline in mental function, or dementia. The findings are the first to suggest that EVOO can defend against a specific type of mental decline linked to tauopathy known as frontotemporal dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is itself one form of dementia. It primarily affects the hippocampus—the memory storage center in the brain. Frontotemporal dementia affects the areas of the brain near the forehead and ears. Symptoms typically emerge between ages 40 and 65 and include changes in personality and behavior, difficulties with language and writing, and eventual deterioration of memory and ability to learn from prior experience.

Nov 29, 2019

No, CBD isn’t right for everyone: CBD myths Canadians need to know

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

According to the World Health Organization, CBD “is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile,” but it’s not for everyone. CBD or cannabis-derived medicines can have contraindications with other drugs and can have side effects. A 2017 review of CBD studies said the most commonly reported are fatigue, diarrhea, and appetite or weight changes.

CBD is often touted as a cure-all, but that’s not the whole story. Learn everything you need to know about how CBD works—and how it doesn’t—here.

Nov 29, 2019

Ralph Merkle on Space Cryonics & Nanotechnology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryonics, nanotechnology, space travel

Alcor calls them “patients”, and right now, over 150 of these frozen souls are waiting for the future in vats of liquid nitrogen stored in Scottsdale, Arizona. We interview Dr. Ralph Merkle, a director at the Alcor Foundation and a respected pioneer in nanotechnology, to learn how recent advances in cryonics just may enable long-haul interstellar spaceflight sooner than you’d guess…

Nov 29, 2019

Exotic super magnets could shake up medicine, cosmology and computing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

Their unique blend of electric and magnetic properties was long thought impossible. Now multiferroics are shaking up fields from dark matter hunting to finding cancer.