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Aug 18, 2016

Exclusive: Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The article overplays the alarmist tone a bit, but this is still an idiotic experiment.

If I understand correctly (the reporter didn’t explain it properly), he mutated the virus multiple times, until it no longer matches existing antibodies (i.e. somebody exposed would still become resistant — if they survived — and it is still possible to create new antiviral drugs that can target it); i.e. it is dangerous, but not invincible.

Given how long it takes to make new vaccinations for flue strains (and the cost of distributing them globally), this is still deeply irresponsible.

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Aug 18, 2016

Will Uber’s Fleet of Self-Driving Cars Save Lives?

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

Researchers estimate that driverless cars could, by midcentury, reduce traffic fatalities by up to 90 percent. Which means that, using the number of fatalities in 2013 as a baseline, self-driving cars could save 29,447 lives a year. In the United States alone, that’s nearly 300,000 fatalities prevented over the course of a decade, and 1.5 million lives saved in a half-century. For context: Anti-smoking efforts saved 8 million lives in the United States over a 50-year period.

The life-saving estimates for driverless cars are on par with the efficacy of modern vaccines, which save 42,000 lives for each U.S. birth cohort, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Globally, there are about 1.2 million traffic fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organization. Which means driverless cars are poised to save 10 million lives per decade—and 50 million lives around the world in half a century.

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Aug 18, 2016

DARPA Wants A New Anti-Drone Weapon By 2020

Posted by in categories: drones, terrorism

DARPA’s answer to terrorists and bad guy drones.

Lasers might be the best bet.

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Aug 18, 2016

EPJ Nonlinear Biomedical Physics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, physics

EPJ — Nonlinear Biomedical Physics is an open access journal, published under the brand SpringerOpen, dedicated to the application of nonlinear dynamics and integrative systems science to the quantitative modeling and understanding of how structure and function as well as dysfunctions and diseases emerge in complex biomedical matter and processes. Coverage is focused on the application-driven development of theoretical, experimental and computational techniques, including relevant methodologies, instrumentation and related advanced technology.

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Aug 18, 2016

Scientists Are Growing Living Biobots That Move Like Animals

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

This article originally appeared in the Conversation.

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Aug 18, 2016

Modifying a living genome with genetic equivalent of ‘search and replace’

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

Researchers including George Church have made further progress on the path to fully rewriting the genome of living bacteria. Such a recoded organism, once available, could feature functionality not seen in nature. It could also make the bacteria cultivated in pharmaceutical and other industries immune to viruses, saving billions of dollars of losses due to viral contamination. Finally, the altered genetic information in such an organism wouldn’t be able to contaminate natural cells because of the code’s limitations outside the lab, researchers say, so its creation could stop laboratory engineered organisms from genetically contaminating wildlife. In the DNA of living organisms, the same amino acid can be encoded by multiple codons — DNA “words” of three nucleotide letters. Here, building on previous work that demonstrated it was possible to use the genetic equivalent of “search and replace” in Escherichia coli to substitute a single codon with an alternative, Nili Ostrov, Church and colleagues explored the feasibility of replacing multiple codons, genome-wide. The researchers attempted to reduce the number of codons in the E. coli code from 64 to 57 by exploring how to eradicate more than 60,000 instances of seven different codons. They systematically replaced all 62,214 instances of these seven codons with alternatives. In the recoded E.coli segments that the researchers assembled and tested, 63% of all instances of the seven codons were replaced, the researchers say, and most of the genes impacted by underlying amino acid changes were expressed normally. Though they did not achieve a fully operational 57-codon E. coli, “a functionally altered genome of this scale has not yet been explored,” the authors write. Their results provide critical insights into the next step in the genome rewriting arena — creating a fully recoded organism.

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Aug 18, 2016

Time #20: is Fat Burning Due to 100 hz Vibration in Mitochondria?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

The blog take away: How is the key frequency of beta oxidation made in a mitochondria?Most people believe fat burning via beta oxidation is a fuel mediated mechanism but Dr. Doug Wallace’s data strongly suggests it is linked to the vibration state of the inner mitochondrial membrane. If so, how is the sun’s photoelectric abilities critical to this mechanism in mitochondria? Watch the video in the hyperlink closely from 50:00 – 59:00 for the clue.


Water surrounds each mitochondria in a cell with its MINOS layer. It is adjacent to the cytochrome 1 complex. Water has a high dielectric constant. It is 78 in bulk water, to be exact, Why is that critical? Well cytochrome one has a redox Fe-S couple that acts like a semiconductor for electrons. Electrons act differently in a semiconductor than they do when they are not captured by one. How much do you know about semiconductor integrated circuits? In a typical network in an integrated circuit, each network will include at least one driver, which must contain a source or drain diffusion and at least one receiver. This set up will consist of a gate electrode over a thin gate dielectric (look for a view of a MOS transistor on line if you’re unsure of this arrangement to get a visual.)

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Aug 18, 2016

Engineers program human cells to store complex histories in their DNA

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

Luv this.

MIT biological engineers have devised a way to record complex histories in the DNA of human cells, allowing them to retrieve “memories” of past events, such as inflammation, by sequencing the DNA.

This analog memory storage system—the first that can record the duration and/or intensity of events in human cells—could also help scientists study how cells differentiate into various tissues during embryonic development, how cells experience environmental conditions, and how they undergo genetic changes that lead to disease.

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Aug 18, 2016

Why Ray Kurzweil Believes We Are Becoming More God-Like [Video]

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, Ray Kurzweil

Ray believes we’re becoming gods.

People tend to ask Ray Kurzweil all manner of questions about technology and the future. But they also want to know about his own personal philosophy. In one session last summer, a questioner asked Kurzweil if he believes in God. Of course, many of us struggle with the question, he replied, and to him, it’s not unambiguous.

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Aug 18, 2016

Here’s 10 Theories That Will Make You Lose Your Mind

Posted by in category: biological

I consider myself a collector of sorts. I collect strange, bizarre notions and theories that warp traditional narratives about reality and existence. The following is a presentation of 10 of my favorite mind-blowing theories. There is compelling evidence for each, but you certainly don’t – and, for the sake of your sanity, probably shouldn’t – need to take them as gospel.

1. The Singularity: We will transcend biology and live as posthuman Gods.

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