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Mar 21, 2018

The politics of innovation

Posted by in categories: economics, innovation

Innovation is the latest social, political and economic battleground. Techno-optimists dismiss fears about innovation, typecasting non-believers as Luddites. The impact of recent technological changes, they believe, will be realised over time. Luddites, on the other hand, point to weaknesses in technology.


Policymakers are placing their faith on technological advancements to boost flagging growth. But it is founded more on hope than reality.

By Satyajit Das

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Mar 20, 2018

Targeting levels of specific protein could improve memory in aging, reduce symptoms of PTSD

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

A neural circuit mechanism involved in preserving the specificity of memories has been identified by investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI).

They also identified a genetic “switch” that can slow down #memory generalization — the loss of specific details over time that occurs in both age-related memory impairment and in post-traumatic stress disorder (#PTSD), in which emotions originally produced by traumatic experiences are elicited in response to innocuous cues that have little resemblance to the traumatic memory.

“The circuit mechanism we identified in mice allows us to preserve the precision or the details of memories over the passage of time in adult as well as aged animals,” says Amar Sahay of the MGH Center for #Regenerative Medicine and HSCI, corresponding author of a paper appearing in Nature Medicine. “These findings have implications for the generalization of traumatic memories in PTSD and for memory imprecision in #aging.”

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Mar 20, 2018

Drugs to vaccinate over-50s against Alzheimer’s could be here in a decade…with a £ 9bn price tag

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

D rugs to vaccinate everyone over the age of 50 against Alzheimer’s could be available within 10 years, but would cost the NHS £9 billion, a new report has shown.

New analysis commissioned by Alzheimer’s Research UK found that drugs to halt, slow or reverse the disease could be available in as little as three years with major vaccine and screening programmes possible within a decade.

But dementia experts warned that demand from patients would be ‘instant and huge’ and called on the NHS to act now to make sure funds were in place for when the breakthroughs occurred.

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Mar 20, 2018

Scientists aim to use lasers to turn light into matter

Posted by in categories: information science, particle physics

Scientists at Imperial College London are attempting to use powerful lasers turn light into matter, potentially proving the 84-year-old theory known as the Breit-Wheeler process. According to this theory, it is technically possible to turn light into matter by smashing two photons to create a positron and an electron. While previous efforts to achieve this feat have required added high-energy particles, the Imperial scientists believe they have discovered a method that does not need additional energy to function. “This would be a pure demonstration of Einstein’s famous equation that relates energy and mass: E=mc2, which tells us how much energy is produced when matter is turned to energy,” explained Imperial Professor Steven Rose. “What we are doing is the same but backwards: turning photon energy into mass, i.e. m=E/c2.”

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Mar 20, 2018

New material capable of detecting dark matter, scientists say

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

March 20 (UPI) — Scientists believe a new material, known as a scintillator, will expand the search for dark matter.

New analysis suggests the scintillator material is sensitive to dark matter particles with less mass than a proton, which should allow scientists to look for dark matter among a previously unexplored mass range.

Weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, describe dark matter particles with a mass greater than that of a proton. Scientists have tried to directly detect WIMPs using a variety of strategies, but with no success.

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Mar 20, 2018

The world’s oldest working planetarium

Posted by in categories: education, space

Dutch amateur astronomer Eise Eisinga might have left school at 12 years old, but he built an inch-perfect model of the solar system in his living room.

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Mar 20, 2018

So much for spring: Another historic storm is coming to paralyze the East Coast

Posted by in category: futurism

A foot or more of snow could fall in the 4th nor’easter in just 3 weeks, from Washington to Boston.

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Mar 20, 2018

U.K. doctors use stem cells to restore patients’ eyesight

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Researchers in the United Kingdom used stem cells to treat two people with age-related macular degeneration.

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Mar 20, 2018

Tradewind Bioscience attacks the physiology of tumors to treat cancer

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Cancer remains the one counterpoint to the march of medical progress that has scored human history over the last 200 years.

Last year 600,920 people in the U.S. died from cancer, and another 1.7 million received an initial diagnosis of the disease. Globally, one in six people die from cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

In the past decade, research in the field has expanded the possible treatments of the disease from surgery (which was the only option until the 20th century), radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.

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Mar 20, 2018

The Puzzle Of Quantum Reality

Posted by in category: quantum physics

13.7: Cosmos And Culture Despite the incredibly accurate predictions of quantum theory, there’s a lot of disagreement over what it says about reality — or even whether it says anything at all about it, says guest Adam Becker.

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