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May 17, 2019

Researchers have identified the first human-specific fusion gene

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

University at Buffalo researchers have identified the first human-specific fusion gene—a hybrid of two genes—implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. The finding suggests that a neurotransmitter receptor, previously successful in animal studies but that failed in human trials for Alzheimer’s, might still turn out to be a valuable therapy.

In a paper published in February in Translational Psychiatry, the UB researchers reported that this human gene acts on a receptor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in memory and learning, and which is reduced in people with Alzheimer’s.

The fusion gene is CHRFAM7A, which is very common in people and has been implicated in many , such as schizophrenia and bipolar disease.

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May 17, 2019

Nanotechnology vs. cancer: How tiny particles sniff out the deadly disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia is currently devising a simple urine test that works just like a pregnancy test to detect cancer the moment it starts. In this video, Big Think contributor Susan Hockfield, president emerita of MIT, explains how the new technology works.

May 17, 2019

The Amazing Ways The Ford Motor Company Uses Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Ford Motor Company, ones of America’s oldest companies, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in many ways from the supply chain to production to used car sales to self-driving vehicles. The company prioritizes technology, and this focus is one reason it’s leading the path to the future.

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May 17, 2019

Elon Musk says SpaceX Starlink internet satellites are key to funding his Mars vision

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, space travel

Starship is designed to be a fully reusable launch system, and is intended to transport as many as 100 people at a time to and from the moon or Mars.

On the call Wednesday, Musk clarified that SpaceX’s recent fundraising rounds “have been oversubscribed.” He said SpaceX has the funding needed to build and launch enough Starlink satellites to begin using the network.

“At this point it looks like we have sufficient capital to get to an operational level,” Musk said.

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May 17, 2019

Scientists create mind-controlled hearing aid

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A mind-controlled hearing aid that allows the wearer to focus on particular voices has been created by scientists, who say it could transform the ability of those with hearing impairments to cope with noisy environments.

The device mimics the brain’s natural ability to single out and amplify one voice against background conversation. Until now, even the most advanced hearing aids work by boosting all voices at once, which can be experienced as a cacophony of sound for the wearer, especially in crowded environments.

Nima Mesgarani, who led the latest advance at Columbia University in New York, said: “The brain area that processes sound is extraordinarily sensitive and powerful. It can amplify one voice over others, seemingly effortlessly, while today’s hearing aids still pale in comparison.”

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May 17, 2019

This startup is planning a flying taxi service that costs about the same as normal taxis

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, transportation

A flying taxi that you can order through an app? This German company plans to make that a reality in the next six years.

Munich-based startup Lilium unveiled its five-seater electric air taxi prototype on Thursday. The Lilium Jet, which conducted its first flight earlier this month, is part of an app-based flying taxi service that the company expects will be “fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025.”

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (186 miles) in 60 minutes on a single charge, and will connect cities through a network of landing pads. Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through a smartphone app.

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May 17, 2019

Flying Cars Are Real—And They’re Not Bad for the Climate

Posted by in category: climatology

And they might be better for the climate than electric ones.

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May 17, 2019

Millions of people inhabit this ‘hidden continent’ that’s 94% underwater

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists say Zealandia meets all the requirements to qualify as a continent, even though 94% of it is underwater.

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May 17, 2019

CRISPR catches out critical cancer changes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In the first large-scale analysis of cancer gene fusions, which result from the merging of two previously separate genes, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, EMBL-EBI, Open Targets, GSK and their collaborators have used CRISPR to uncover which gene fusions are critical for the growth of cancer cells. The team also identified a new gene fusion that presents a novel drug target for multiple cancers, including brain and ovarian cancers.

The results, published today (16 May) in Nature Communications, give more certainty for the use of specific to diagnose and guide the treatment of patients. Researchers suggest existing drugs could be repurposed to treat some people with pancreatic, breast and lung cancers, based on the gene fusions found in their tumours.

Gene fusions, caused by the abnormal joining of two otherwise different , play an important role in the development of . They are currently used as diagnostic tools to predict how particular cancer patients will respond to drugs, as well as prognostics, to estimate the outcome for a patient given the best possible care. They are also the targets of some of the latest targeted treatments for cancer.

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May 17, 2019

Robert Zubrin Makes a Strong Case for Space Development

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, engineering, space

Greg Autry reviews Robert Zubrin’s new book, The Case for Space. The good doctor knows a lot more than just Mars. The book envisions a bright future for humanity in the solar system and beyond, backed by scientific, engineering and economic analysis from the expert who brought us the Case for Mars.

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