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Dec 4, 2019

How we’re using CRISPR to fight cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Molecular biologist Fiona Behan reports on how the CRISPR gene-editing technique can find cancer’s weak points, identifying targets for new drugs.

Dec 4, 2019

The Pure Chaos of Magnetic Fields May Explain The Intense Shine of Black Holes

Posted by in category: cosmology

There’s some irony in the fact that the darkest objects in the sky — black holes — can be responsible for some of the Universe’s brightest light. Simulations of the magnetic fields surrounding black holes and neutron stars have now provided new insights into their astonishing brilliance.

Astrophysicists from Columbia University in New York have developed a model that shows how electrons taking a cosmic roller coaster-ride through magnetic turbulence can generate surprisingly energetic waves of radiation.

Applied to the swirling chaos surrounding dense objects such as black holes, it helps to explain why we see them glow with a ferocity that so far defies explanation.

Dec 4, 2019

Doctors bring dead donor heart back to life in US first

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A heart transplant team at Duke University, North Carolina, has become the first in the US to reanimate the heart of a deceased donor and transplant it into a recipient.

heart transplant Image Credit: Csaba Deli /

Dec 4, 2019

Digital immortality: Transhumanism may hold key to eternal life, along with multiple caveats & ethical dilemmas

Posted by in categories: life extension, neuroscience, transhumanism

Some people hope to cheat death by storing their consciousness digitally. Science isn’t quite there yet, but we’ve done enough brain and memory research to have immediate implications – and to start asking uncomfortable questions.

The idea of attaining de facto immortality by translating your brain into code and storing your personality as a digital copy online has been captivating people’s imagination for quite some time. It is particularly popular among transhumanists, people who advocate enhancing human intellect and physiology through the most sophisticated technology available.

As the most technologically advanced nations around the world pour resources into brain studies and yesterday’s science fiction becomes reality, it might seem that humanity is nearing a breakthrough in this field. Could the ability to become a “ghost in the shell” – like in the iconic cyberpunk Japanese manga, or the 2017 film – be just around the corner?

Dec 3, 2019

Scientists Finally Build Artificial Brain Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

The development could lead to personalized, responsive medical devices.

Dec 3, 2019

Company claims signs of success with CRISPR-edited stem cell transplants for two genetic diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Editing of hemoglobin gene leads two people with different conditions to no longer need regular blood transfusions.

Dec 3, 2019

Long Live the Multiverse!

Posted by in category: cosmology

The idea that our universe is just part of a much vaster cosmos has a long history—and it’s still very much with us.

Dec 3, 2019

We may finally know the answer to the biggest question, what happened before the Big Bang?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution

The current Lambda CDM model may explain a great deal about the evolution and the chronology of the events that occurred in our Universe but it doesn’t paint the complete picture.

We know of the cosmic inflation that happened followed by the Big Bang itself however how these two are coherently connected has so far defied all our attempts to explain.

During the inflationary period, within less than a trillionth of a second, our universe grew from an infinitesimal point to an octillion (that’s 1 followed by 27 zeroes) times in size, which was followed by a more conventional and gradual period of expansion, nevertheless violent by our standards, which we know as the Big Bang.

Dec 3, 2019

Using Balloons to Launch Rockets

Posted by in category: satellites

LEO Aerospace is developing a “Rockoon” system that will provide commercial launch services for microsatellites, as well as a platforms for conducting everything from scientific research to emergency rescues.

Dec 3, 2019

Artificial neurons which could replace lost brain cells in Alzheimer’s, developed by scientists

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

Artificial neurons which could be implanted in the brain to repair the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative conditions, have been invented by scientists.

The electronic cells, developed by teams at the University of Bath and a team of international collaborators, sit on a silicon chip and mimic the responses of biological neurons when triggered by the nervous system.

Neurons are specialised cells which transmit nerve impulses, allowing parts of the body to communicate, and are the core components of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system. They are also present around the heart.