Menu

Blog

Page 8147

Apr 17, 2019

A biosynthetic dual-core cell computer

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

ETH researchers have integrated two CRISPR-Cas9-based core processors into human cells. This represents a huge step towards creating powerful biocomputers.

Controlling through gene switches based on a model borrowed from the digital world has long been one of the primary objectives of synthetic biology. The digital technique uses what are known as logic gates to process , creating circuits where, for example, output signal C is produced only when input signals A and B are simultaneously present.

To date, biotechnologists had attempted to build such digital circuits with the help of protein gene switches in . However, these had some serious disadvantages: they were not very flexible, could accept only simple programming, and were capable of processing just one input at a time, such as a specific metabolic molecule. More complex computational processes in cells are thus possible only under certain conditions, are unreliable, and frequently fail.

Continue reading “A biosynthetic dual-core cell computer” »

Apr 17, 2019

Facing up to injustice in genome science

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, science

There have been a number of efforts to increase genome diversity. In 2010, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Wellcome Trust in London launched the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, which supports Africa-led genome research. And last year, the NIH started enrolment for the All of Us research programme, which plans to collect DNA and health data from hundreds of thousands of people of varying ethnicities in the United States.


Researchers from under-represented groups are making genomics more inclusive by working with communities that have been overlooked or abused.

Read more

Apr 17, 2019

Self-Driving Car Tech Will Help Forensic Scientists Find Murder Victims

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Lidar, the radar-style detection system which works by bouncing laser light, is most commonly associated with self-driving cars. However, it may have another useful, albeit morbid, application: Helping find bodies which have been buried in unmarked graves.

Sound like something out of an episode of CSI? In fact, it’s a new piece of research coming out of Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where scientists have been investigating how lidar could be used a forensics tool to find missing murder victims — potentially even from an aircraft.

“Missing persons investigations pose a significant societal challenge, as well as a time-sensitive technological challenge,” Dr. Katie Corcoran, one of the researchers on the project, told Digital Trends. “Of the millions of missing persons worldwide who are unaccounted for, some are thought to be deceased and buried in unmarked graves. A gravesite can go unnoticed because of natural processes, where the site becomes covered with grass or leaves, for instance. Or the site could have been deliberately masked by a perpetrator trying to hide the body. In either case, the longer the gravesite goes unnoticed, the more difficult it is to locate.”

Continue reading “Self-Driving Car Tech Will Help Forensic Scientists Find Murder Victims” »

Apr 17, 2019

Did Cancer Evolve to Protect Us?

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A physics-based, “atavistic” model posits that cancer is a “safe mode” for stressed cells and suggests that oxygen and immunotherapy are the best ways to beat the disease.

Read more

Apr 17, 2019

Depressing Theory: Cancer May Be An Evolutionary Safeguard To Protect Our Species

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Living forever wouldn’t be good for the species. Did nature make a way to keep it from happening?

2 minute Read.

Read more

Apr 17, 2019

New phonon laser could lead to breakthroughs in sensing and information processing

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, quantum physics

The optical laser has grown to a $10 billion global technology market since it was invented in 1960, and has led to Nobel prizes for Art Ashkin for developing optical tweezing and Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for work with pulsed lasers. Now a Rochester Institute of Technology researcher has teamed up with experts at the University of Rochester to create a different kind of laser—a laser for sound, using the optical tweezer technique invented by Ashkin.

In the newest issue of Nature Photonics, the researchers propose and demonstrate a phonon using an optically levitated nanoparticle. A phonon is a quantum of energy associated with a and test the limits of quantum effects in isolation and eliminates physical disturbances from the surrounding environment. The researchers studied the mechanical vibrations of the nanoparticle, which is levitated against gravity by the force of radiation at the focus of an beam.

“Measuring the position of the nanoparticle by detecting the it scatters, and feeding that information back into the tweezer beam allows us to create a laser-like situation,” said Mishkat Bhattacharya, associate professor of physics at RIT and a theoretical quantum optics researcher. “The mechanical vibrations become intense and fall into perfect sync, just like the electromagnetic waves emerging from an optical laser.”

Continue reading “New phonon laser could lead to breakthroughs in sensing and information processing” »

Apr 17, 2019

Cold plasma can kill 99.9% of airborne viruses, study shows

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Dangerous airborne viruses are rendered harmless on-the-fly when exposed to energetic, charged fragments of air molecules, University of Michigan researchers have shown.

They hope to one day harness this capability to replace a century-old device: the surgical mask.

Continue reading “Cold plasma can kill 99.9% of airborne viruses, study shows” »

Apr 17, 2019

We Are Closer Than Ever to Merging Human Brains With The Cloud

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Humanity could be on the verge of an unprecedented merging of human biology with advanced technology, fusing our thoughts and knowledge directly with the cloud in real-time – and this incredible turning point may be just decades away, scientists say.

In a new research paper exploring what they call the ‘human brain/cloud interface’, scientists explain the technological underpinnings of what such a future system might be, and also address the barriers we’ll need to address before this sci-fi dream becomes reality.

At its core, the brain/cloud interface (B/CI) is likely to be made possible by imminent advances in the field of nanorobotics, proposes the team led by senior author and nanotechnology researcher Robert Freitas Jr from the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in California.

Continue reading “We Are Closer Than Ever to Merging Human Brains With The Cloud” »

Apr 17, 2019

Scientists reveal connection between cancer and human evolution

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

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have discovered that gene mutations that once helped humans survive may increase the possibility for diseases, including cancer.

The findings were recently the cover story in the journal Research.

The team of researchers from BGU’s National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) set out to look for mutations in the genome of the , a part of every cell responsible for energy production that is passed exclusively from mothers to their children. The mitochondria are essential to every cell’s survival and our ability to perform the functions of living.

Read more

Apr 17, 2019

How cancer was created by evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

The cells inside a tumour change and evolve just like animals in the wild. Understanding how this works could help us stop cancer in its tracks.

Read more