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Sep 20, 2017

How do you grow bone in a lab? Good vibrations

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, engineering

A team from the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, the West of Scotland and Galway have created a device that sends nano vibrations across mesenchymal stem cells suspended in a collagen gel.

The authors of the paper, published in the Nature Biomedical Engineering journal, found that these tiny vibrations turn the cells into a 3D model of mineralised bone ‘putty’. This putty isn’t quite as hard as bone at this stage. That’s where the body comes in.

“We add the bone putty to an anatomically correct, rigid living scaffold, that we made by 3D printing collagen,” says Matthew Dalby, professor of cell engineering at the University of Glasgow, and one of the lead authors of the paper. “We put lots of cells in the body so it has a chance to integrate this new bone. We tell the cells what to do in the lab, then the body can act as a bioreactor to do the rest.”

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Sep 20, 2017

Are We Killing Ourselves With Antioxidants?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Summary: The mitochondrial free radical theory of aging says that if we consume antioxidant supplements, we can repair the damage caused by free radicals. However, this recommendation is contradicted by a large body of evidence which shows that antioxidant supplements are often harmful. Researchers are discovering more effective ways to improve health by clearing our mitochondrial damage caused by free radicals.

Are you killing yourself in a bid to live a longer healthier life?

A growing body of evidence shows that if you take antioxidant supplements, and you are otherwise healthy, then you are wasting your money, and damaging your liver and nervous system.

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Sep 20, 2017

Insanely Concentrated Wealth Is Strangling Our Prosperity

Posted by in category: economics

Just like the game of Monopoly, which was created to illustrate the operation of laissez faire capitalism, there is always one big winner at the end of the game.

“Wealth concentration drives a vicious, downward cycle, throttling the very engine of wealth creation itself.”

“Because: people with lots of money don’t spend it. They just sit on it, like Smaug in his cave. The more money you have, the less of it you spend every year. If you have $10,000, you might spend it this year. If you have $10 million, you’re not gonna. If you have $1,000, you’re at least somewhat likely to spend it this month.”

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Sep 20, 2017

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, neuroscience

Now, some of the world’s largest tech companies are taking a cue from biology as they respond to these growing demands. They are rethinking the very nature of computers and are building machines that look more like the human brain, where a central brain stem oversees the nervous system and offloads particular tasks — like hearing and seeing — to the surrounding cortex.


New technologies are testing the limits of computer semiconductors. To deal with that, researchers have gone looking for ideas from nature.

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Sep 19, 2017

Someone checked and, yup, you can still hijack Gmail, Bitcoin wallets etc via dirty SS7 tricks

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, security

Two-factor authentication by SMS? More like SOS

Once again, it’s been demonstrated that vulnerabilities in cellphone networks can be exploited to intercept one-time two-factor authentication tokens in text messages.

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Sep 19, 2017

Equifax Officially Has No Excuse

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

A patch that would have prevented the devastating Equifax breach had been available for months. There’s no excuse for that.

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Sep 19, 2017

Can We Stop Mitochondria From Causing Cancer to Grow?

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Summary: A new report on mitochondria and cancer shows how our mitochondria help our cancers to grow. With its 37 genes, mitochondria are an attractive druggable target and researchers are looking it as an angle to develop powerful cancer cures. Cover Photo: FatCamera – iStock/Getty Images.

Scientists believe the cure for cancer lies within our mitochondria.

Once considered an academic backwater, researchers suddenly have a renewed interest in the metabolism of cancer cells and are focusing on the lowly mitochondrion. New research shows that the mitochondria within our bodies bend over backward to help cancer cells grow. Scientists are publishing increasing amounts of evidence showing that cancer-induced changes in our mitochondria contribute to the growth of cancer. As Dr. Dario C Altieri, Head of the Altieri Lab at the Wistar Institute said in a review in the July 2017 British Journal of Cancer.

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Sep 19, 2017

Thanks to Gene Thieves We Have ‘Alien DNA’ in Our Mitochondria

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

Most people don’t realize that all human beings have two sets of DNA in their bodies, the DNA inside our chromosomes, and a foreign DNA inside our mitochondria, that our ancestors stole from bacteria over a billion years ago.

Look into any of your cells, and you’ll see mysterious foreign DNA lurking inside your mitochondria, the tiny organelles that litter your cells. Recently, mitochondria have come under a growing scientific spotlight; scientists increasingly believe they play a central role in many, if not most, human illnesses. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, and when they falter, our cells lose power, just as a flashlight dims when its batteries weaken. Recently, researchers have linked mitochondria to an array of metabolic and age-related maladies, including autism, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular disease.

While our mitochondria did not come from another planet, they might as well have. Peer through a microscope, and you’ll swear that tiny aliens have invaded your cells. You are partially correct. Mitochondria appear out of place compared to the other structures within the cell. Something ‘alien’ has invaded our cells, eons ago, but it came from primordial bacteria, a distinctly terrestrial source.

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Sep 19, 2017

VTT Finland develops 3D printed device for advanced wound care

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer in the world. It is the primary compound in the cell walls of green plants, and is typically used to make paper and cardboard.

At the VTT Technical Centre of Finland, a state owned research and development non-profit, scientists have used nano-structured cellulose to make a 3D printable material.

The nanocellulose paste is now in development to make smart-dressings that heal and monitor skin wounds.

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Sep 19, 2017

Solid and liquid cats, didgeridoos and cheese disgust scoop Ig Nobel awards

Posted by in category: futurism

The annual awards ceremony for research that “first makes you laugh, then makes you think” took place at Harvard University on Thursday evening, with three bona fide Nobel laureates, including the British-born economist Oliver Hart, on hand to distribute prizes.


Scientists from around the globe gathered for annual ceremony celebrating research that ‘first makes you laugh, then makes you think’.

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