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Dec 2, 2019

H.I.V. Is Coming to Rural America

Posted by in category: health

San Francisco and Chicago have also seen their rates of new H.I.V. infections falling.

But while robust municipal health campaigns are creating downward H.I.V. trends in some of America’s largest cities, in much of rural America, an opposite trend is emerging. There have of course always been cases of H.I.V. in sparsely populated parts of the country, but in these places far from cities, the conditions that lead to H.I.V. transmission are now intensifying — and rural America is not ready for the coming crisis.

Indeed, in Appalachian West Virginia, the crisis has already arrived. A cluster of 80 new H.I.V. infections has been diagnosed since early last year in Cabell County.

Dec 2, 2019

3D printed corneas

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, innovation

Millions of people need new corneas. In a major breakthrough, researchers can now 3D print them.

Dec 2, 2019

Can we live forever? | Death Land #1

Posted by in category: life extension

What if you could cheat death and live forever? To people in the radical life extension movement, immortality is a real possibility. Leah Green spends a long weekend at RAADfest, a meeting of scientists, activists and ordinary people who want to extend the human lifespan. So is reversing your age a real possibility? And what’s behind this wish to live forever?
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Dec 2, 2019

What’s Up: December 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA

Posted by in category: space

What can you see in the December sky? Beautiful pairings of planets and the crescent Moon throughout the month, at sunrise and sunset. Here’s where and when to look to see Venus, Saturn and Mars.

More info and sky charts are available at

Dec 2, 2019

We are going to live longer; prepare now

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

Understanding the economic implications of changing demographics is essential for investors, said Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist speaking at the Fiduciary Investors’ Symposium at Harvard University. De Grey, who is also the chief science officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based biomedical research charity, warned gathered delegates that they need to urgently position for people living much longer.

“The implications will change your outlook on the future. You need to understand and believe the actual logic of what is coming,” he said.

He noted that medical advancement has eliminated many of the problems that used to kill people when they were young. For example, better hygiene saves lives the world over. In contrast, health problems in later life are still killing many of us in an enduring ageing process. Simply defined, this sees our metabolism generate damage over the years that cause accumulative changes over time. We can only tolerate so much change; inevitably we go down hill until we die, he said. Today the majority of medical effort is concentrated on geriatric medicine and managing the consequences of this ageing process. Yet attacking the consequences of something that is accumulating is the wrong way to approach the problem.

Dec 2, 2019

Neuroscientists Develop First Implantable Magnet Resonance Detector Brain Probe

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

A team of neuroscientists and electrical engineers from Germany and Switzerland developed a highly sensitive implant that enables to probe brain physiology with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution. They introduce an ultra-fine needle with an integrated chip that is capable of detecting and transmitting nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data from nanoliter volumes of brain oxygen metabolism. The breakthrough design will allow entirely new applications in the life sciences.

Dec 2, 2019

New Study Suggests Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Fight Toxic Proteins From Accumulating In The Brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A new mouse study suggests extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has the potential for fighting the build-up in the brain of toxic tau proteins that can lead to dementia.

Dec 2, 2019

PhDs: the tortuous truth

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The results of Nature’s fifth survey of PhD students bear out Kovacevic’s experience, telling a story of personal reward and resilience against a backdrop of stress, uncertainty and struggles with depression and anxiety. The survey drew self-selecting responses from more than 6,300 early-career researchers — the most in the survey’s ten-year history. The respondents hail from every part of the globe and represent the full spectrum of scientific fields.

Nature’s survey of more than 6,000 graduate students reveals the turbulent nature of doctoral research.

Dec 2, 2019

New algorithms to determine eigenstates and thermal states on quantum computers

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Determining the quantum mechanical behavior of many interacting particles is essential to solving important problems in a variety of scientific fields, including physics, chemistry and mathematics. For instance, in order to describe the electronic structure of materials and molecules, researchers first need to find the ground, excited and thermal states of the Born-Oppenheimer Hamiltonian approximation. In quantum chemistry, the Born-Oppenheimer approximation is the assumption that electronic and nuclear motions in molecules can be separated.

A variety of other scientific problems also require the accurate computation of Hamiltonian ground, excited and thermal states on a quantum computer. An important example are combinatorial optimization problems, which can be reduced to finding the ground state of suitable spin systems.

So far, techniques for computing Hamiltonian eigenstates on quantum computers have been primarily based on phase estimation or variational algorithms, which are designed to approximate the lowest energy eigenstate (i.e., ground state) and a number of excited states. Unfortunately, these techniques can have significant disadvantages, which make them impracticable for solving many scientific problems.

Dec 2, 2019

Samsung researchers: More efficient quantum dots without heavy metals

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics

A team at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology has announced that they have improved quantum dot (QD) technology for use in large displays by developing QDs that are both more efficient and have no heavy metals. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their work and their plans for the future. Alexander Efros, with the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington D.C. has published a companion piece in the same journal issue outlining the work by the team at Samsung.

Quantum dots are nanoscale semiconducting crystals that have unique optical and electronic properties due to quirks of quantum mechanics. Since their development in the 1980s, scientists have been finding many uses for them in optical devices. Unfortunately, as Efros notes, they suffer from two problems that have prevented them from being fully utilized. The first is that they are based on cadmium, a toxic heavy metal. The second is the QD phosphors that are used in display devices—they are not self- emissive, which means they need to be replaced by QD light-emitting diodes in order for them to be competitively efficient. Notably current Samsung QLED TV screens do not use the QLEDs as a source of light—instead, LCDs produce backlight which is then absorbed by a film of quantum dots. In this new effort, the group at Samsung has made progress towards addressing both problems.