Menu

Blog

Page 8884

Jun 26, 2018

How Tech Companies Are Trying to Disrupt Terrorist Social Media Activity

Posted by in categories: internet, terrorism

Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism last year to prevent terrorists from exploiting their services.

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

New CRISPR-Gold technique reduces behavioral autism symptoms in mice

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

A remarkable new study has successfully used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique to edit a specific gene in mice engineered to have fragile X syndrome (FXS), a single-gene disorder often related to autism. The single gene edit in the live mice resulted in significant improvements in repetitive and obsessive behaviors, making this the first time gene editing has been used to effectively target behavioral symptoms related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

FXS is a genetic disorder associated with intellectual disability, seizures and exaggerated repetitive behavior. Previous studies have shown that the repetitive behaviors associated with FXS are related to a specific excitatory receptor in the brain that, when dysregulated, causes exaggerated signaling between cells.

The CRISPR technique homes in on the gene that controls that excitatory receptor, the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), and essentially disables it, dampening the excessive signaling the corresponds with repetitive behaviors. In mice treated with the new system, obsessive digging behavior was reduced by 30 percent and repetitive leaping actions dropped by 70 percent.

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

Experimental Drug Injection Causes the Brain to Grow New Neurons

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, neuroscience

For the first time ever researchers have had a breakthrough in creating a cocktail of drugs that caused new neurons to grow in the brains of mice.

In my last article I gave a detailed account on the debate of neurogenesis. While some neuroscientists claim that neurogenesis takes place within the adult mammalian human brain other researchers contest that idea claiming that new neurons stop developing at a very young age. Whichever side of the debate you are on one thing remains certain, that there are neurological diseases that leave negative impacts on cognitive function. This has left researchers looking for various ways to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain damage.

Continue reading “Experimental Drug Injection Causes the Brain to Grow New Neurons” »

Jun 26, 2018

Buzz Aldrin shares his latest space vision even as questions swirl about his state of mind

Posted by in category: space travel

Buzz Aldrin wants people to know that he has some cool new ideas about how to get to the moon — not just because they’re cool, but also because they show his mind is working.

“That’s not an inactive, incapacitated, dependent mind,” the 88-year-old Aldrin, who became one of the first humans to walk on the moon during 1969’s Apollo 11 mission, told me today during a wide-ranging telephone interview.

Continue reading “Buzz Aldrin shares his latest space vision even as questions swirl about his state of mind” »

Jun 26, 2018

Can you weigh the world? Revolutionary experiments in physics

Posted by in category: physics

Some go to great lengths to understand the world around us – here are three extraordinary experiments from the history of science.

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

The Right Chemistry, Fast: Employing AI and Automation to Map Out and Make Molecules

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, military, robotics/AI, space travel

Chemical innovation plays a key role in developing cutting-edge technologies for the military. Research chemists design and synthesize new molecules that could enable a slew of next-generation military products, such as novel propellants for spacecraft engines; new pharmaceuticals and medicines for troops in the field; lighter and longer-lasting batteries and fuel cells; advanced adhesives, coatings and paints; and less expensive explosives that are safer to handle. The problem, however, is that existing molecule design and production methods rely primarily on experts’ intuition in a laborious, trial-and-error research process.

DARPA’s Make-It program, currently in year three of a four-year effort, is developing software tools based on machine learning and expert-encoded rules to recommend synthetic routes (i.e., the “recipe” to make a particular molecule) optimized for factors such as cost, time, safety, or waste reduction. The program seeks to free chemists so that they may focus their energy on chemical innovation, rather than testing various molecular synthesis pathways. The program also is developing automated devices that uniformly and reproducibly create the desired chemical based on the software-generated recipe – this one-device, many-molecules concept is a departure from the traditional dedicated reactors in chemical production. Make-It research teams have recently demonstrated significant progress toward fully automated rapid molecule production, which could speed the pace of chemical discovery for a range of defense products and applications.

“A seasoned research chemist may spend dozens of hours designing synthetic routes to a new molecule and months implementing and optimizing the synthesis in a lab,” said Anne Fischer, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. “Make-It is not only freeing chemists to expend brain power in other areas such as molecular discovery and innovation, it is opening chemical synthesis and discovery to a much broader community of scientific researchers who will benefit from faster development of new molecules.”

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

China’s hypersonic military projects include spaceplanes and rail guns

Posted by in categories: drones, military, space travel

China’s hypersonic progress ranges from increasing scramjet testing and cheaper drones, to keeping its lead in railguns.

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

Has the Telomerase Revolution Arrived? Part One

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

Today, we have part one of a two-part interview with Dr. Michael Fossel, the driving force behind Telocyte, a new company focused on telomerase therapy for various diseases, and a strong advocate of telomerase therapy to treat human disease over the past three decades.

I interviewed Dr. Fossel as an individual thought leader in this field and not in his role representing Telocyte, so the opinions stated here are purely his own.

Born in 1950, Michael Fossel grew up in New York and lived in London, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Portland, and Denver. He graduated cum laude from Phillips Exeter Academy, received a joint B.A. and M.A. in psychology in four years from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and, after completing a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Stanford University in 1978, went on to finish his M.D. at Stanford Medical School in two and a half years. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship and taught at Stanford University, where he began studying aging with an emphasis on premature aging syndromes. Dr. Fossel was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University for almost three decades and taught the Biology of Aging at Grand Valley State University.

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

How your brain decides between knowledge and ignorance

Posted by in categories: food, information science, neuroscience

We have a ‘thirst for knowledge’ but sometime ‘ignorance is bliss’, so how do we choose between these two mind states at any given time?

UCL psychologists have discovered our brains use the same algorithm and neural architecture to evaluate the opportunity to gain information, as it does to evaluate rewards like food or money.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also finds that people will spend money to both obtain advance knowledge of a good upcoming event and to remain ignorant of an upcoming bad event.

Read more

Jun 26, 2018

Wendelstein 7-X achieves world record for fusion product

Posted by in category: particle physics

In the past experimentation round Wendelstein 7-X achieved higher temperatures and densities of the plasma, longer pulses and the stellarator world record for the fusion product. Moreover, first confirmation for the optimisation concept on which Wendelstein 7-X is based, was obtained. Wendelstein 7-X at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, the world’s largest fusion device of the stellarator type, is investigating the suitability of this concept for application in power plants.

Unlike in the first experimentation phase 2015/16 the plasma vessel of Wendelstein 7-X has been fitted with interior cladding since September last year. The vessel walls are now covered with graphite tiles, thus allowing higher temperatures and longer plasma discharges. With the so-called divertor it is also possible to control the purity and density of the plasma: The divertor tiles follow the twisted contour of the plasma edge in the form of ten broad strips along the wall of the plasma vessel. In this way, they protect particularly the wall areas onto which the particles escaping from the edge of the plasma ring are made to impinge. Along with impurities, the impinging particles are here neutralised and pumped off.

“First experience with the new wall elements are highly positive”, states Professor Dr. Thomas Sunn Pedersen. While by the end of the first campaign pulse lengths of six seconds were being attained, plasmas lasting up to 26 seconds are now being produced. A heating energy of up to 75 megajoules could be fed into the plasma, this being 18 times as much as in the first operation phase without divertor. The heating power could also be increased, this being a prerequisite to high plasma density.

Read more