Page 8520

Mar 24, 2016

Man’s unusual tumor halted his growth during teen years

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

When Jacob Barnes was 12, he mysteriously stopped growing. He watched as his friends began swapping out kid’s clothes for the men’s section and shaving in high school, but while they went through puberty, he just “stayed the same.”

“My family doctor was like ‘Jacob, something’s wrong, you look like you are 12, and you’re 16,’” he said.

In 2012, Barnes, who grew up an hour outside of Cleveland, was 17 and only 5-foot-2. He looked like he was in middle school, yet he was two years away from high school graduation.

Continue reading “Man’s unusual tumor halted his growth during teen years” »

Mar 24, 2016

China Likely To Beat NASA Back To The Moon

Posted by in category: space travel

Chinese taikonauts will likely beat NASA astronauts back to the lunar surface in as little as five to ten years, longtime lunar scientist and geologist Paul Spudis now tells me. If so, that will happen primarily by default, as the lunar surface continues to drop off NASA’s crewed destination radar.

Of course, that doesn’t preclude Russia, the European Space Agency (ESA), or numerous commercial space ventures — who have all expressed a desire to return astronauts to the lunar surface — from getting there sooner. But for now, Spudis thinks the Chinese are most likely to next make it happen.

Spudis, author of the forthcoming, “The Value of the Moon: How to Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon’s Resources,” emphasizes that he does not object to a “Chinese presence” on the lunar surface. Rather, he objects to the U.S.’ long absence from the lunar surface and what he sees as “our abdication” of responsibility in creating a permanent American presence in cislunar space — the space between the Earth and the Moon. Such a presence, he argues, would guarantee unhindered access to both space commerce and resources available beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Continue reading “China Likely To Beat NASA Back To The Moon” »

Mar 24, 2016

100 Wonders: Cave of the Crystals | Atlas Obscura

Posted by in category: science

“In 2000, two miners drilling an excavation tunnel below Chihuahua, Mexico discovered something truly astonishing.”

Mar 24, 2016

CRISPR Used to Target RNA in Live Cells For the First Time

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

WIKIMEDIA, ROBINSON RCRISPR-a bacterial immune response best known for its genome-editing applications in the lab-has yet again been adapted for scientific purposes, this time to track RNA within cells. Considering the case of synapses — the proteins required for these neural connections are produced from RNAs located at these contacts.

“Just as CRISPR-Cas9 is making genetic engineering accessible to any scientist with access to basic equipment, RNA-targeted Cas9 may support countless other efforts for studying the role of RNA processing in disease or for identifying drugs that reverse defects in RNA processing”, study coauthor David Nelles of the University of California, San Diego, said in a press release. Defective RNA transport is linked to a host of conditions ranging from autism to cancer and researchers need ways to measure RNA movement in order to develop treatments for these conditions. “Our current work focuses on tracking the movement of RNA inside the cell, but future developments could enable researchers to measure other RNA features or advance therapeutic approaches to correct disease-causing RNA behaviors”. But, Gene Yeo, Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego, and his team have applied the technique as a flexible means to targeting RNA in live cells.

Jennifer Doudna, the creator of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for DNA editing, also works out of the University of California research system, and is listed as a co-author for this study. A guide RNA, along with the addition of an oligonucleotide sequence, sent the Cas9 RNA-ward.

Continue reading “CRISPR Used to Target RNA in Live Cells For the First Time” »

Mar 24, 2016

Scientists Build A Live, No-Frills Cell That Could Have A Big Future

Posted by in categories: futurism, genetics

Scientists announced Thursday that they have built a single-celled organism that has just 473 genes — likely close to the minimum number of genes necessary to sustain its life. The development, they say, could eventually lead to new manufacturing methods.

Around 1995, a few top geneticists set out on a quest: to make an organism that had only the genes that were absolutely essential for its survival. A zero-frills life.

It was a heady time.

Continue reading “Scientists Build A Live, No-Frills Cell That Could Have A Big Future” »

Mar 24, 2016

A Brain Parasite Might Be Causing Road Rage

Posted by in categories: food, health, neuroscience

“We don’t yet understand the mechanisms involved — it could be an increased inflammatory response, direct brain modulation by the parasite, or even reverse causation where aggressive individuals tend to have more cats or eat more undercooked meat”.

The study looked at 358 adults, and found that chronic latent infection with T. gondii is associated with intermittent explosive disorder and increased aggression. Antibodies were collected between 1991 and 2008.

University of Chicago researchers say a parasite commonly spread from cats to humans may play a role in impulsive aggression. Approximately 16 percent of those in a “other psychiatric conditions” organisation had a infection, though reported identical exam scores in charge to a healthy group.

Continue reading “A Brain Parasite Might Be Causing Road Rage” »

Mar 24, 2016

Brain Stimulation System Can Teach You How to Fly

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Scientists and researchers at HRL Laboratories have created a brain stimulation device that can teach users how to fly a plane like an expert.

Read more

Mar 24, 2016

Modified NWChem Code Utilizes Supercomputer Parallelization

Posted by in categories: chemistry, climatology, evolution, materials, quantum physics, supercomputing

Quicker time to discovery. That’s what scientists focused on quantum chemistry are looking for. According to Bert de Jong, Computational Chemistry, Materials and Climate Group Lead, Computational Research Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), “I’m a computational chemist working extensively with experimentalists doing interdisciplinary research. To shorten time to scientific discovery, I need to be able to run simulations at near-real-time, or at least overnight, to drive or guide the next experiments.” Changes must be made in the HPC software used in quantum chemistry research to take advantage of advanced HPC systems to meet the research needs of scientists both today and in the future.

NWChem is a widely used open source software computational chemistry package that includes both quantum chemical and molecular dynamics functionality. The NWChem project started around the mid-1990s, and the code was designed from the beginning to take advantage of parallel computer systems. NWChem is actively developed by a consortium of developers and maintained by the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) located at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Washington State. NWChem aims to provide its users with computational chemistry tools that are scalable both in their ability to treat large scientific computational chemistry problems efficiently, and in their use of available parallel computing resources from high-performance parallel supercomputers to conventional workstation clusters.

“Rapid evolution of the computational hardware also requires significant effort geared toward the modernization of the code to meet current research needs,” states Karol Kowalski, Capability Lead for NWChem Development at PNNL.

Continue reading “Modified NWChem Code Utilizes Supercomputer Parallelization” »

Mar 24, 2016

Synthetic microbe lives with less than 500 genes

Posted by in category: biological

But function of many of these remains a mystery.

Read more

Mar 24, 2016

DNA Devices Perform Bio-Analytical Chemistry Inside Live Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, electronics, nanotechnology

Last summer, the team reported another achievement: the development of a DNA nanosensor that can measure the physiological concentration of chloride with a high degree of accuracy.

“Yamuna Krishnan is one of the leading practitioners of biologically oriented DNA nanotechnology,” said Nadrian Seeman, the father of the field and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry at New York University. “These types of intracellular sensors are unique to my knowledge, and represent a major advance for the field of DNA nanotechnology.”

Chloride sensor

Continue reading “DNA Devices Perform Bio-Analytical Chemistry Inside Live Cells” »