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Jan 19, 2019

Geothermal Heating Could Make Life Possible on the Super Earth Planet at Barnard’s Star

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

In 2018, scientists announced the discovery of a extrasolar planet orbiting Barnard’s star, an M-type (red dwarf) that is just 6 light years away. Using the Radial Velocity method, the research team responsible for the discovery determined that this exoplanet (Barnard’s Star b) was at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth and experienced average surface temperatures of about −170 °C (−274 °F) – making it both a “Super-Earth” and “ice planet”.

Based on these findings, it was a foregone conclusion that Barnard b would be hostile to life as we know it. But according to new study by a team of researchers from Villanova University and the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), it is possible – assuming the planet has a hot iron/nickel core and experiences enhanced geothermal activity – that this giant iceball of a planet could actually support life.

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Jan 19, 2019

Israeli research identifies mechanism that helps fight cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Research in immunotherapy identifies mechanism that helps fight lung cancer and melanoma.

In a breakthrough discovery, scientists from Harvard Medical School along with a team at Bar-Ilan University have uncovered a mechanism in which the immune system is capable of attacking cancer cells. This contributes greatly to research in immunotherapy, particularly in fighting lung cancer and melanoma (skin cancer). The research team was composed of Prof. Nick Hainin of Harvard Medical School and Prof. Erez Levanon of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan University, along with doctoral student, Ilana Buchumansky and many others.

The study was published two weeks ago in the journal Nature, detailing how scientists have uncovered a mechanism that assists the cell by leaving markers on human virus-like genes thereby preventing them from being recognized as viruses. When this channel is inhibited, the immune system can be utilized to destroy cancerous cells, particularly in the cases of lung cancer and melanoma. The immune system reacts when this path is blocked or shut off, and allows the body to destroy cancer cells at a more effective rate.

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Jan 19, 2019

Blue Origin to Launch 10th New Shepard Test Flight Monday

Posted by in category: space travel

Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital spaceflight system will fly again on Monday (Jan. 21), if all goes according to plan.

Blue Origin, which is led by billionaire Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, had originally aimed to launch the 10th uncrewed New Shepard test flight in mid-December but was thwarted by an issue with the infrastructure at the company’s West Texas test site. That problem has now been resolved.

New Shepard will now launch Monday at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT/9 a.m. CST), Blue Origin representatives said in a statement.

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Jan 19, 2019

New technologies enable better-than-ever details on genetically modified plants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Salk researchers have mapped the genomes and epigenomes of genetically modified plant lines with the highest resolution ever to reveal exactly what happens at a molecular level when a piece of foreign DNA is inserted. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS Genetics on January 15, 2019, elucidate the routine methods used to modify plants, and offer new ways to more effectively minimize potential off-target effects.

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Jan 19, 2019

Researchers develop flexible nanobots to deliver drugs inside your body

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Researchers have designed a flexible robot designed for drug delivery that’s small enough to flow through the bloodstream.

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Jan 19, 2019

Shailesh Prasad added a new photo

Posted by in category: futurism

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Jan 19, 2019

Blockchain Featured in Big Four Firm Deloitte’s Annual Tech Trends Report

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, internet

Blockchain ‘as disruptive as the Web’?


Blockchain is featured as a disrupting technology in the Tech Trends 2019 report published by Big Four audit and consulting firm Deloitte on Jan. 16.

According to one article in the report, “[a]dvanced networking is the unsung hero of our digital future,” and blockchain is cited as a part of it. The report — which mentions blockchain 25 times — notes that blockchain is among the technologies the importance of which is growing rapidly and still on its path towards mass adoption.

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Jan 19, 2019

A documentary

Posted by in category: education

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Jan 19, 2019

Artificially produced cells communicate with each other

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

Using a modular construction kit of tailor-made cell systems, the researchers hope to simulate various properties of biological systems in the future. The idea is that cells react to their environment and learn to act independently.

The first applications are already on the horizon: In the long term, artificial cell assemblies can be deployed as mini-factories to produce specific biomolecules, or as tiny micro-robot sensors that process information and adapt to their environments.

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Jan 19, 2019

Real-Life Expanding Brain Technique Is Blowing Some Minds

Posted by in category: neuroscience

It’s now possible to image an entire fly brain in just a few days, according to a new study—this might sound like a long time, but is in fact an incredible accomplishment, when you consider that the process would otherwise take weeks.

Brains aren’t easy to study—the human brain, for example, contains over 80 billion cells linked via 7,000 connections each, according to the new study published in Science. Even the far smaller fly brains are an incredible challenge to study comprehensively. The new research combines two microscopy methods to image and examine brains like never before.

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