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Mar 14, 2019

Fungi cause brain infection and memory impairment in mice

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

We are learning more about fungal infection and neurological diseases. Recently we learned of gingival diseases and Alzheimer’s. My wonder is how plants such as Moringa in one’s diet, that have antifungal properties, can help.


Fungal infections are emerging as a major medical challenge, and a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has developed a mouse model to study the short-term consequences of fungal infection in the brain.

The researchers report in the journal Nature Communications the unexpected finding that the common yeast Candida albicans, a type of fungus, can cross the blood-brain barrier and trigger an inflammatory response that results in the formation of granuloma-type structures and temporary mild memory impairments in mice. Interestingly, the granulomas share features with plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease, supporting future studies on the long-term neurological consequences of sustained C. albicans infection.

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Mar 14, 2019

How to Steal DNA With Sound

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, mobile phones

The latest Facebook hack should have shown everyone nothing is safe. Researchers have now shown how easy it is to steal data from people doing research.

Engineers at the University of California say they have demonstrated how easy it would be to snoop on biotech companies making synthetic DNAll you need is an audio recording, they say. Place a smartphone near a DNA synthesizer, record the sound, run the recording across algorithms trained to discern the clicks and buzzes that particular machine makes, and you’ll know exactly what combination of DNA building blocks it is generating.


Researchers devise method for snooping on DNA synthesis using acoustic recordings. But is it a real threat?

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Mar 14, 2019

Magnetic nano-probe explores individual cells from the inside

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

There’s a good chance that in the future, microscopic robots could be swimming and crawling their way through our bodies to deliver drugs or fight infections. While some of these have been capable of manipulating individual cells, researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a new way to get nano-scale probes inside cells, and precisely control them once they’re in there.

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Mar 13, 2019

Skin Repair Eliminates ‘Inflamm-Aging’ Linked to Chronic Disease

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

Thirty-three older adults between the ages of 58 and 95 applied the cream all over their bodies twice a day for 30 days. After a month, the researchers measured blood levels of three cytokines—interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha—that have all been implicated in age-related inflammatory diseases. Using the cream reduced the amount of all three cytokines compared to both the participants’ levels before using the cream and the levels of similarly aged adults who did not use the cream. In fact, using the cream lowered participants’ cytokine levels to be nearly equivalent with people in their 30s, suggesting that rejuvenating the skin can reverse “inflamm-aging.” The cream also improved skin hydration, lowered pH, and repaired the permeability barrier.


Skin is the body’s largest organ, and scientists at UC San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Administration (VA) Health Care System think it may be to blame for body-wide inflammation linked to numerous chronic diseases of aging. The good news is that properly caring for the skin with a moisturizing cream may lower inflammation levels and potentially prevent age-related diseases, according to a new clinical pilot study.

Two people holding coffee.
As humans get older, we experience a low-level of inflammation—dubbed “inflamm-aging”—driven by an increase in molecules in the blood called cytokines. This age-related inflammation has been linked to serious chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Scientists initially thought that the inflammation stemmed from the immune system or the liver, but a group of dermatologists at UCSF have a different theory.

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Mar 13, 2019

IBM made a quantum algorithm that could make AI more powerful

Posted by in categories: information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence can automatically sort out data, but it struggles for some particularly complex datasets – a quantum algorithm could do better.

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Mar 13, 2019

10 Space Science Stories

Posted by in categories: physics, science, space travel

Humanity will get its first good look at Ceres and Pluto, giving us science writers some new pics to use instead of the same half dozen blurry dots and artist’s conceptions. SpaceX will also attempt a daring landing on a sea platform, and long duration missions aboard the International Space Station will get underway. And key technology headed to space and on Earth may lead the way to opening up the window of gravitational wave astronomy on the universe. Here’s 10 sure-fire bets to watch for in the coming year from Universe Today:

1. LISA Pathfinder

A precursor to a full-fledged gravitational wave detector in space, LISA Pathfinder will be launching atop a Vega rocket from Kourou, French Guiana in July 2015. LISA stands for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, and the Pathfinder mission will journey to the L1 Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun to test key technologies. LISA Pathfinder will pave the way for the full fledged LISA space platform, a series of three free flying spacecraft proposed for launch in the 2030s.

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Mar 13, 2019

NIH and top scientists call for moratorium on gene-edited babies

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Researchers are alarmed by “rogue human experimentation” using CRISPR in China.

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Mar 13, 2019

Amazon Pulls 2 Books That Promote Unscientific Autism ‘Cures’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, sex

Good for Amazon.


Amazon has removed the online listings for two books that claim to contain cures for autism, a move that follows recent efforts by several social media sites to limit the availability of anti-vaccination and other pseudoscientific material.

The books, “Healing the Symptoms Known as Autism” and “Fight Autism and Win,” which had previously been listed for sale in Amazon’s marketplace, were not available on Wednesday. The company confirmed that the listings had been removed, but declined to discuss why or whether similar books would be taken down in the future.

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Mar 13, 2019

Serotonin can regulate gene expression inside neurons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

“Our findings represent a dramatic divergence from the current dogma, which works primarily on the premise that neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine act solely through the activation of their membrane receptors in the brain to regulate brain cell activity,” says Ian Maze, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, and Pharmacological Sciences, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and senior author of the paper. “We found actions of these brain chemicals that are independent of neurotransmission but critically important to their overall signaling, suggesting that our current understanding of these molecules is incomplete and requires further investigation.”


Findings could fundamentally change how scientists interpret the biological activities of serotonin.

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Mar 13, 2019

Made In Space Archinaut Program Reaches Major Milestone as Development Continues

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

The Made In Space Archinaut program has accomplished another exciting milestone. During recent testing at Northrop Grumman’s Space Park facilities in Redondo Beach, California, we successfully operated Archinaut’s core additive manufacturing and robotic assembly technology suite in a space-like environment. These operations took place in a thermal vacuum (TVAC) chamber, simulating the extreme temperature and vacuum pressure of what a satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) would be exposed to. The completion of this ground-based testing raises the technology readiness level (TRL) of the Archinaut platform and demonstrates that core Archinaut technologies are now prepared to operate in space.

The Archinaut platform looks to provide mission critical, space-optimized structures on orbit that would otherwise be too large to launch, using on-demand, adaptable manufacturing. With the marriage of additive manufacturing and robotic assembly, Archinaut enabled structures can range from:

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