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Dec 13, 2018

Alzheimer’s could be triggered by medical procedures, study suggests

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The seeds of Alzheimer’s disease can be transmitted through medical procedures, scientists have found, leading experts to call for the monitoring of blood transfusions from the elderly and those with a family history of dementia.

In 2015, researchers at University College London discovered that people who developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) following treatments with human growth hormone also showed signs of Alzheimer’s in their brains after death.

The scientists tracked down vials of the same hormone and found that it did indeed contain misfolded amyloid-beta proteins, capable of setting off the deadly chain reaction which can lead to dementia.

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Dec 13, 2018

Historic Virgin Galactic Flight Reminds Us That ‘Space’ Is Just a Concept, Man

Posted by in category: space travel

Earlier today, Virgin Galactic sent its SpaceShipTwo commercial aircraft into space, a historic first for the private company. But at a maximum altitude of 51.4 miles (82.68 kilometers), the spaceplane fell 10.6 miles (17.32 kilometers) short of the Karman line—the internationally recognized boundary separating the atmosphere from space. Prompting the inevitable question: What the hell is space, anyway?

Before we nitpick Virgin Galactic’s achievement, let’s give credit where it’s due.

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Dec 13, 2018

Is a cancer vaccine on the horizon?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

For years immunotherapy has held huge promise. Finally, it seems to be coming to fruition with hopes for a cancer vaccine in the near future…

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Dec 13, 2018

The New Bad Tick Is Going to Take Over Half the United States, Study Finds

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, sustainability

A disease-carrying, newly invasive tick to the United States, the Asian longhorned tick, is poised to spread across much of North America, suggests a new study published Thursday in the Journal of Medical Entomology. According to the study, the tick might be able to live anywhere from Southeastern Canada to most of the eastern half of the U.S. and even parts of the West Coast.

The Asian longhorned tick, or Haemaphysalis longicornis, made an unwelcome splash last year, when researchers and health officials discovered it on a pet sheep in New Jersey. Any hopes that the discovery was an isolated incident faded away this year, with sightings of the tick popping up again in New Jersey and eight other states this past spring and summer (Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia). Since 2017, the tick has been found on pets, farm animals, and at least two people in the U.S., and it’s possible that it might have made its way here at least as early as 2010.

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Dec 13, 2018

Chinese scientists get first look at geometric phase effect in a chemical reaction

Posted by in category: physics

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics carried out a combined experimental and theoretical investigation of the H+HD to H2+D reaction. They got first look at geometric phase effect in a chemical reaction.

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Dec 13, 2018

New techniques better determine how ancient viral DNA influences human genes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

For decades after the discovery of DNA, researchers mostly thought of genetics in terms of genes, the pieces or sequences of DNA that encode instructions for building proteins in cells. Then scientists discovered that genes make up just 2 percent of our DNA and that most genetic complexity stems from the vast non-gene code, which influences when genes are turned on or off. Further, half of that non-gene code was found to come from insertions of viral DNA. Consequently, say the authors, genetic variation, and the potential for disease-causing mistakes, occurs in transposons as well as in genes.


New laboratory techniques can identify which of our genes are influenced by DNA snippets that are left behind in our genetic code by viruses, a new study finds.

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Dec 13, 2018

Branson’s Virgin reaches edge of space

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

The latest test flight by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic successfully rocketed to the edge of space and back.

The firm’s SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket ship reached a height of 82.7km, beyond the altitude at which US agencies have awarded astronaut wings.

It marked the plane’s fourth test flight and followed earlier setbacks in the firm’s space programme.

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Dec 13, 2018

What Is Cloud Computing (Computing As A Utility)

Posted by in category: computing

This video is the tenth in a multi-part series discussing computing. In this video, we’ll be discussing what cloud computing is and the fundamental change it brings in how we view and think about computing.

[0:27–2:19] Starting off we’ll discuss, the revolution the cloud computing paradigm, computing as a utility, brings to the field of computing, and similar transformations seen when electricity became a utility.

[2:19–5:24] Following that we’ll discuss, what exactly cloud computing is and the types of cloud computing: Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS), Platform As A Service (PaaS) and Software As A Service (SaaS) further extending to serverless architecture, Functions As A Service (FaaS).

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Dec 13, 2018

BTC plunge: Why I don’t worry

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

Join me for a quick review of the spikes & dips in the Bitcoin exchange rate. This time, it’s all about one very simple chart. [continue below graphic]…

The chart below shows a history of BTC price spikes, dips and recovery. Click to enlarge, then start at the top—and move down.

      • Consider the percent-pullback after each spike (red label)
      • Think about the stellar rebound after each drop (green label)

The table at right illustrates why I do not get too worked up over the plunge in the BTC exchange rate. There are no fundamental flaws in Bitcoin math or mechanisms, the market need for benefits conveyed by Bitcoin is terrific, and popular arguments against Bitcoin are severely flawed. Skeptics and Critics typically say this:

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Dec 13, 2018

Mars InSight Lander Seen in First Images from Space

Posted by in category: space

Here we are!

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