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Feb 19, 2019

Nano-droplets are the key to controlling membrane formation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Biological membranes, and man-made variants, consist of amphiphilic molecules, of which soap is an example. These molecules have a head that bonds with water, but a tail that turns away from water. You can imagine that a group of such molecules in water, preferably puts the tails together, and sticks the heads out, towards the water. Similar processes also dominate the creation of membranes. Often they are spherical, like liposomes, so you can, for example, put a medicine in it. And also the ultimate , the cell wall, is constructed in a similar way.

How nano-droplets self-assemble

Until now, the formation of ‘micelles’ was considered to be the first step in membrane formation. A micelle is an extremely small spherical structure (about 100 nanometers) of amphiphilic molecules—all with the tails inwards and the heads outwards. However, researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology discovered a different beginning: the formation of nano-droplets in with a higher concentration of amphiphilic molecules. At the interface of that drop, the amphiphilic molecules, as it were, take each others’ hands: first they form spheres, which then change into cylinders or plates, and then a closed membrane is created that encloses the nano-droplet. With this so-called ‘self-assembly’ process, the droplet has become a liposome.

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Feb 19, 2019

First private moon mission set for take off this week, to send selfie after April landing

Posted by in category: space travel

Israel’s ‘Genesis’ will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US, this Friday.

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Feb 19, 2019

The Government’s New Weather Model Faces a Storm of Protest

Posted by in category: government

The National Weather Service will soon introduce a new forecasting model, but meteorologists are saying it’s worse than its predecessor.

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Feb 19, 2019

Dementia eliminates the ability to daydream, sufferers are “stuck in the moment”

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Daydreaming, thinking about the past, planning for the future, or just letting your mind wander off from the current moment occupies our thoughts for a large part of every day. However, a new study has revealed patients suffering from a specific kind of early-onset dementia may have completely lost the ability to do this and seem perpetually “stuck in the moment”.

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Feb 19, 2019

Unraveling the Mystery of ‘Deadly Dreams’ Syndrome

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

In December 1981, the Centers for Disease Control (the name was amended to add “Prevention” in 1992) published a report detailing sudden, unexpected deaths during sleep among mostly young, male, Southeast Asian refugees in the United States. Thirty-three of those who died were from Laos, four were from Vietnam, and one was from Cambodia. “The abruptness of the deaths reported here is compatible with a cardiac dysrhythmia,” the report stated, “but the underlying mechanism remains unclear.” Proposed explanations included stress from immigration and resettlement, sleep abnormalities, undiagnosed heart defects, and dietary deficiencies, but nothing could be proven. So it began to be called sudden unexplained death syndrome, or SUDS, and was quickly recognized as a leading cause of death among young men from Southeast Asia.

What I left out is a recurring feature in which book authors are invited to share anecdotes and narratives that, for whatever reason, did not make it into their final manuscripts. In this installment, Sandeep Jauhar shares a story that didn’t make it into his latest book, “Heart: A History,” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux.)

Brugada syndrome is believed to be responsible for roughly 20 percent of deaths in patients with structurally normal hearts.

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Feb 19, 2019

Landmark research creates “universal” stem cells using CRISPR gene editing

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

In an incredible milestone, scientists have for the first time created “universal” stem cells by using CRISPR gene-editing technology to produce pluripotent stem cells that can be transplanted into any patient without generating an immune system response.

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Feb 19, 2019

A polariton filter turns ordinary laser light into quantum light

Posted by in category: futurism

An international team of researchers led out of Macquarie University has demonstrated a new approach for converting ordinary laser light into genuine quantum light.

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Feb 19, 2019

Talga reports positive test results on its graphene silicon Li-ion battery anode project

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Talga Resources has revealed new test results on the ongoing optimization of its graphene silicon Li-ion battery anode product, Talnode™- Si. According to Talga, the battery anode product returns further performance gains, now delivering ~70% more energy density than commercial graphite-only anodes.

The product reportedly provides a “drop in” solution for improving current Li-ion battery performance. Commercial samples under confidentiality and material transfer agreements are scheduled to commence delivery around the end of February 2019 — recipients are said to include some of the world’s largest electronic corporations.


For your convenience, a search was performed using the query ‘talga reports positive test results its graphene silicon li ion battery anode project talnode si’:

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Feb 19, 2019

Artificial intelligence alone won’t solve the complexity of Earth sciences

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, robotics/AI

One way to crack this problem, according to the authors of a Perspective in this issue, is through a hybrid approach. The latest techniques in deep learning should be accompanied by a hand-in-glove pursuit of conventional physical modelling to help to overcome otherwise intractable problems such as simulating the particle-formation processes that govern cloud convection. The hybrid approach makes the most of well-understood physical principles such as fluid dynamics, incorporating deep learning where physical processes cannot yet be adequately resolved.


Studies of complex climate and ocean systems could gain from a hybrid between artificial intelligence and physical modelling.

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Feb 18, 2019

These are the Russian-speaking Jewish Americans you never knew changed your life

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Clockwise from top left: ‘Hammer and Silicon’ authors Daniel Satinsky, Sheila Puffer, and Daniel McCarthy (Courtesy Sheila Puffer); scientist Slava Epstein (Adam Glanzman/ Northeastern University); Vladimir Torchilin, director of pharmaceutical biotechnology and nanomedicine at Northeastern University; anti-aging researcher at Harvard, Vadim Gladyshev (YouTube screenshot).


From cancer research to designing systems powering the Eiffel Tower, the unsung scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs found in the new book ‘Hammer and Silicon’ make an impact.

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