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Mar 31, 2017

How to avoid the adverse reactions of senolytics through better design

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Another biomarker of senescent cells could be p16, a protein whose levels increase when cells stop dividing if old and also a protein whose gene is turned off in many human cancers.

Coming back to our topic – designing senolytics that avoid the apoptosis of young, healthy cells – the ideal senolytic should accomplish two things: –turn on p53 at increased levels to determine stubborn, senescent cells to commit suicide –do that on senescent cells only.

And in order to accomplish the second part, such a drug should be ‘programmed’ to only act on those cells where it recognizes senescence-associated biomarkers. There is no single biomarker today that stains positive or negative on all types of senescence cells, but increased levels of beta-galactosidase and p16 proteins could be a welcome start to identify old cells in vivo when designing such a drug.

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Mar 31, 2017

ARCA Unveils the World’s first Single-Stage-to-Orbit Rocket

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

Since the beginning of the Space Age, scientists have relied on multi-stage rockets in order to put spacecraft and payloads into orbit. The same technology has allowed for missions farther into space, sending robotic spacecraft to every planet in the Solar System, and astronauts to the Moon. But looking to the future, it is clear that new ideas will be needed in order to cut costs and expand launch services.

Hence why the ARCA Space Corporation has developed a concept for a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) rocket. It’s known as the Haas 2CA, the latest in a series of rockets being developed by the New Mexico-based aerospace company. If all goes as planned, this rocket will be the first SSTO rocket in history, meaning it will be able to place payloads and crew into Earth’s orbit relying on only one stage with one engine.

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Mar 31, 2017

No, We Can’t Say Whether Cancer Is Mostly Bad Luck

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A counter to the recent John Hopkins study which some media have interpreted as cancer being mostly due to bad luck which we shared earlier today.

And in the interest of comparison this article presents the other side of the argument and counters the John Hopkins study we reported on earlier today.

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Mar 31, 2017

Random mutations play large role in cancer, study finds

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

Genomic instability (mutations) has been suggested as being one of the primary hallmarks of aging and this research might support that idea. Researchers at John Hopkins report that around 66% of mutations in cancer cells are due to random errors with environment/lifestyle contributing 29% and 5% inherited.

“That finding challenges the common wisdom that cancer is the product of heredity and the environment. “There’s a third cause and this cause of mutations is a major cause,” says cancer geneticist Bert Vogelstein.”

“Such random mutations build up over time and help explain why cancer strikes older people more often. Knowing that the enemy will strike from within even when people protect themselves against external threats indicates that early cancer detection and treatment deserve greater attention than they have previously gotten, Vogelstein says.”

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Mar 31, 2017

Solar-Powered Graphene Skin Enables Prosthetics to Feel

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

The team tested their device on a prosthetic hand. When the skin patches on the skin were enabled, the prosthetic could touch and grab soft objects like a normal hand. But when the skin was not turned on, the hand crushed the objects.

The skin requires just 20 nanowatts of power per square centimeter, according to the paper. Right now, the energy captured by the photovoltaic cells has to be used immediately, but the team has another prototype in development that includes flexible supercapacitors to store excess energy.

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Mar 31, 2017

Research Suggests Periodic Fasting Might Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Fasting might help T1 diabetics according to new research.

Periodic fasting has long been demonstrated to have beneficial effects on autoimmune disorders, cancer prevention and treatments, cardiovascular disease and a myriad of other ailments. This most recent paper by Cheng et al. may add the treatment of Type 1 diabetes to that list[1]. If successful in humans it has the potential to reverse some or most of the loss of insulin producing cells within the pancreas. Just as remarkable, the treatment itself is relatively straightforward, consisting of a regimented protocol of periodic fasting-like conditions.

Generally speaking, Type 1 diabetes results from an autoimmune mediated depletion of insulin secreting pancreatic beta islet cells. In contrast, Type 2 results from lower cellular sensitivity to insulin. Type 2 is primarily caused by environmental factors such as poor diet.

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Mar 31, 2017

SRI International Receives U.S. FDA Clearance for Investigational New Drug Application Evaluating Novel Oral Treatment to Combat Radiation Exposure

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Creating oral formulations of intravenous (IV) medication is a daunting challenge. Scientists at SRI Biosciences are using advanced formulation tools and experience to overcome the challenges, with the goal of developing drugs that could easily be distributed to people if needed.

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Mar 31, 2017

A.I. Versus M.D

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

What happens when diagnosis is automated?

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Mar 31, 2017

How automation and artificial intelligence could transform backup software

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

HAL-like control of data backups may be science fiction, but some of the basic concepts are not so far removed from reality. The person in charge of strategy for Commvault is intrigued by these ideas.

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Mar 31, 2017

Chinese internet giant Tencent buys 5% of Tesla

Posted by in category: internet

Tencent, Asia’s second highest valued tech firm, has bought a five percent share in Tesla. According to a filing, the Chinese firm scooped up 8,167,for around $1.7 billion to become one of Tesla’s largest shareholders.

The news itself sent Tesla’s share price up three percent in pre-market trading. The purchase was arranged on March 17, and those now-Tencent-owned shares are worth around $2.2 billion at current market value.

Tencent is a prolific investor. It holds equity in Snap, this year’s hot tech IPO, among others following an early investment. While that interest in messaging makes sense since Tencent’s operates China’s dominant chat app — WeChat — it isn’t immediately clear whether the Tesla investment has strategic undertones. An alliance with Tencent could significantly boost Tesla’s efforts in China, which is already impressive. Chinese sales accounted for 15 percent of Tesla’s $7 billion revenue last year.

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