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Jun 18, 2019

Tardigrade DNA inserted into human cells gives them X-ray resistance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

This is where it gets a little weird.

When the team treated human cells in culture with extract of tardigrade, the GFP-tagged proteins stuck to human DNA just like they stick to tardigrade DNA, and cheerfully started doing what they do best: tamping down oxidative stress. When X-rays hit human cells, they do two kinds of damage. X-rays can cause direct DNA strand breaks, which are mostly single-strand. When they strike water molecules, they can also excite them into producing reactive oxygen species, which also cause single-strand breaks. High enough doses of X-rays can cause double-strand breaks. The damage-suppressing protein Dsup went immediately to work on the culture of human cells, suppressing or repairing single-strand and double-strand breaks by about 40%.

Clearly this means we can consume water bears to gain their powers. The study authors remark that the gene portfolio of the tardigrade represents “a treasury of genes” to improve or augment stress tolerance in other cells. Plug-and-play genetics, anyone?

Jun 18, 2019

Breaks in the Perfect Symmetry of the Universe Could Be a Window Into Completely New Physics

Posted by in categories: physics, space

If this fundamental symmetry of the universe doesn’t hold, it could break open.

Jun 18, 2019

Watch Element 115 Full Episode

Posted by in categories: alien life, government

Could an exotic super heavy element provide the key to humanity’s future in the stars? According to physicist Bob Lazar, “Element 115” is the fuel source for an alien spacecraft he was hired to reverse-engineer by the U.S. government—and if we can harness its awesome power, it will change our world forever.

Jun 18, 2019

Harvard Scientists Make ‘Landmark’ Discovery in Synthesizing Anti-Cancer Molecules Found in Sea Sponges

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Harvard and Japanese scientists say they’ve made a “landmark” discovery in cancer drug development. In a new study published Monday, they say they have finally found a way to synthesize in bulk a complex class of promising cancer-fighting molecules derived from sea sponges. Their new strategy has already helped speed up research into these molecules, including a planned clinical trial in humans.

Called halichondrins, the molecules were originally discovered by Japanese researchers in the mid-1980s in sea sponges. It became quickly apparent that they were capable of aggressively fighting tumors in both mice and lab dishes containing human cells, and in a way different from other existing treatments.

Jun 18, 2019

Toyota May Introduce Solid-state Batteries for Electric Cars By 2020

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Toyota is working on potentially game-changing solid-state batteries, and they may arrive sooner than expected. The Japanese automaker’s R&D boss said Toyota hopes to unveil the batteries in 2020, two years ahead of schedule. Toyota plans to introduce more electric cars to its lineup.

Jun 18, 2019

A Glass Battery That Keeps Getting Better?

Posted by in category: futurism

A prototype solid-state battery based on lithium and glass faces criticism over claims that its capacity increases over time.

Jun 18, 2019

OK Go (@okgo) • Instagram photos and videos

Posted by in category: futurism

142.2k Followers, 4 Following, 1,241 Posts — See Instagram photos and videos from OK Go (@okgo)

Jun 18, 2019

Interview with Prof. Morgan Levine

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, life extension

Tam Hunt interviews Prof. Morgan Levine about her work with epigenetics and aging.


One of the biggest breakthroughs in biology in the last few decades has been the discovery of epigenetics. Rather than changing the genes themselves, epigenetics change how genes are expressed, allowing our cells to differentiate between their various types.

However, the epigenetics of our cells change over time. There is some debate over how much epigenetic alterations are a cause or a consequence of other age-related damage, but they are one of the primary hallmarks of aging.

Continue reading “Interview with Prof. Morgan Levine” »

Jun 18, 2019

Rules of brain architecture revealed in large study of neuron shape and electrophysiology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, neuroscience

To understand our brains, scientists need to know their components. This theme underlies a growing effort in neuroscience to define the different building blocks of the brain—its cells.

With the mouse’s 80 million and our 86 billion, sorting through those delicate, microscopic building blocks is no small feat. A new study from the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which was published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, describes a large profile of mouse neuron types based on two important characteristics of the : their 3D shape and their electrical behavior.

The study, which yielded the largest dataset of its kind from the adult laboratory mouse to date, is part of a larger effort at the Allen Institute to discover the ’s “periodic table” through large-scale explorations of brain . The researchers hope a better understanding of cell types in a healthy mammalian brain will lay the foundation for uncovering the cell types that underlie human brain disorders and diseases.

Jun 18, 2019

Dark centers of chromosomes reveal ancient DNA

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

Geneticists exploring the dark heart of the human genome have discovered big chunks of Neanderthal and other ancient DNA. The results open new ways to study both how chromosomes behave during cell division and how they have changed during human evolution.

Centromeres sit in the middle of chromosomes, the pinched-in “waist” in the image of a chromosome from a biology textbook. The centromere anchors the fibers that pull chromosomes apart when cells divide, which means they are really important for understanding what happens when goes wrong, leading to cancer or genetic defects.

But the DNA of centromeres contains lots of repeating sequences, and scientists have been unable to properly map this region.