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Nov 26, 2016

Biologist discusses a synthetic metabolic pathway that fixes carbon dioxide and synthetic biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, sustainability

A synthetic metabolic pathway developed by Tobias Erb and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg converts CO2 from the atmosphere into organic matter more efficiently than plants are able to through photosynthesis. We asked the researcher what significance this process could have for climate protection, discussed the hurdles the research team had to overcome to achieve their goal, and looked at the new perspectives that synthetic biology opens up.

Does the synthetic metabolic pathway that fixes CO2 now represent an effective means of curbing climate change?

Firstly, we are aiming to understand the fundamental biological and chemical principles of how CO2 in gaseous form can be converted into organic molecules. Our primary motivation is not stopping . We are seeking to develop atmospheric CO2 as a source of carbon for the future using biological methods. Producing a CO2-neutral process or even one that removes CO2 from the atmosphere and has a positive impact on the climate would be a fantastic secondary effect.

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Nov 26, 2016

New Technique Can Potentially Help Slow And Reverse An Important Cause Of Aging

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

Led by Nikolay Kandul, senior postdoctoral scholar in biology and biological engineering in the laboratory of Professor of Biology Bruce Hay, the team developed a technique to remove mutated DNA from mitochondria, the small organelles that produce most of the chemical energy within a cell. A paper describing the research appears in the November 14 issue of Nature Communications. There are hundreds to thousands of mitochondria per cell, each of which carries its own small circular DNA genome, called mtDNA, the products of which are required for energy production. Because mtDNA has limited repair abilities, normal and mutant versions of mtDNA are often found in the same cell, a condition known as heteroplasmy.

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Nov 26, 2016

The ‘Computational Universe’ –“Contains Everything from an Apple Operating System to a Program for a Faster-Than-Light Starship”

Posted by in categories: computing, space travel

We have slim chance, suggests the British physicist Stephen Wolfram, of distinguishing an extraterrestrial artifact from a natural celestial object.

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Nov 26, 2016

Australia’s hypersonic plane for a new space race

Posted by in category: space travel

It’s been a long time since Australia was a player in space exploration. One man wants to change that – with the help of a plane that travels five times the speed of sound.

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Nov 26, 2016

Researchers put mouse embryos in suspended animation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Hitting the pause button on development in embryos has implications for understanding aging.

UC San Francisco researchers have found a way to pause the development of early mouse embryos for up to a month in the lab, a finding with potential implications for assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine, aging, and even cancer, the authors say.

The new study—published online November 23, 2016 in Nature —involved experiments with pre-implantation mouse embryos, called blastocysts. The researchers found that drugs that inhibit the activity a master regulator of called mTOR can put these early embryos into a stable and reversible state of suspended animation.

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Nov 26, 2016

Scientists to ‘reset’ blood proteins in attempt to slow ageing process

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Progress towards making a blood scrubber to calibrate the pro aging factors in blood. Irina Conboy has spent the last 20 years working on parabiosis and signalling factors in blood and this is yet another step forward for their research.

Whilst many are seeking the secret sauce in young blood the data suggests it is much more likely the case that old blood contains too many pro-aging factors eg, TGF-beta, TNF-a, IL-6, CD38 etc… The aim is now to filter old blood and calibrate such factors in order to promote a pro-youthful signalling environment. If only this device was small enough to wear or implant.

In what could be a fresh chapter in the never-ending story of the search for eternal youth, scientists are to tinker with people’s blood in the hope of slowing down the ageing process and preventing age-related diseases.

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Nov 25, 2016

The ingenious ONUSblue alcohol and drug detection patch

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law

The ONUSblue alcohol detection patch tells you when you’ve reached the legal threshold and has the potential to save millions of lives. The company’s product roadmap is even more interesting with the detection of marijuana, methamphetime and a range of illegal recreational substances to follow.

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Nov 25, 2016

This Is Exactly Why Nikola Tesla Told Us To Study The ‘Non Physical Phenomena’

Posted by in category: futurism

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” – Nikola Tesla.

If you google “parapsychology,” the first thing that will probably pop up is a Wikipedia entry loosely (and, in my opinion, rather offensively) defining it as a “pseudoscience.”

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Nov 25, 2016

Why the US Is Losing Ground on the Next Generation of Powerful Supercomputers

Posted by in categories: cosmology, supercomputing

“I feel the need — the need for speed.”

The tagline from the 1980s movie Top Gun could be seen as the mantra for the high-performance computing system world these days. The next milestone in the endless race to build faster and faster machines has become embodied in standing up the first exascale supercomputer.

Exascale might sound like an alternative universe in a science fiction movie, and judging by all the hype, one could be forgiven for thinking that an exascale supercomputer might be capable of opening up wormholes in the multiverse (if you subscribe to that particular cosmological theory). In reality, exascale computing is at once more prosaic — a really, really fast computer — and packs the potential to change how we simulate, model and predict life, the universe and pretty much everything.

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Nov 25, 2016

Genetic engineering: Who cleans up the mess?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, military

WASHINGTON – Scientists believe genetic engineering experiments have the potential to wipe out malaria and other illnesses that kill millions of people every year.

But they also acknowledge they could have unintended consequences that could be catastrophic.

So, over the next four years, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, dubbed DARPA, plans to develop a cleanup crew for engineered genes deemed harmful to the eco-system.

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