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Jul 13, 2016

Illegal wildlife trade in Asia decimating species, warn scientists

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists criticize themselves for failing to do more to respond to Asia’s booming wildlife trade.

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Jul 13, 2016

Human genes engineered into GMO rice have being grown in Kansas

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Ready for the strange? Here you go.

If you aren’t already purchasing organic or GMO-free rice, you should be. Rice that has been engineered with actual human genes is on its way to a supermarket near you. In Junction City, Kansas, this human gene-tainted rice is being grown on 3,200 acres by the biotechnology company Ventria Bioscience.

Ventria began cultivating this rather horrifying product in 2006 with human liver genes. What exactly was the purpose of this, you ask? Their intention was to harvest the artificial enzymes produced by the rice and use them in pharmaceuticals. Ventria has taken one of the most widely grown and consumed crops and turned it into the base for new prescription drugs — all with USDA approval, of course.

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Jul 13, 2016

Viruses revealed to be a major driver of human evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

The constant battle between pathogens and their hosts has long been recognized as a key driver of evolution, but until now scientists have not had the tools to look at these patterns globally across species and genomes. In a new study, researchers apply big-data analysis to reveal the full extent of viruses’ impact on the evolution of humans and other mammals.

Their findings suggest an astonishing 30 percent of all adaptations since humans’ divergence with chimpanzees have been driven by .

“When you have a pandemic or an epidemic at some point in evolution, the population that is targeted by the virus either adapts, or goes extinct. We knew that, but what really surprised us is the strength and clarity of the pattern we found,” said David Enard, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and the study’s first author. “This is the first time that viruses have been shown to have such a strong impact on adaptation.”

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Jul 13, 2016

4 cyberattacks in 1 year make British rail network potential commuter deathtrap

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode


Britain’s railway network is notoriously overpriced, overcrowded, and experiences frequent delays. Now cyberattacks are threatening to turn the morning commute into a deathtrap as well.

The world’s oldest railway system has been the victim of four major cyberattacks in the past year alone, security experts claim.

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Jul 13, 2016

Report shows Boston’s ‘brain drain’ is worse than you think

Posted by in category: futurism

I can assure you for each person leaving Boston; there are at least 1 to 3 people leaving SV for places like NYC, Austin, Memphis, NC, and Boston due to the appeal of SV has worn off.

The “ Scoring Tech Talent” report shows that Boston has the largest brain drain out of 40 cities in the country, with more than 17,200 people with tech-focused degrees having left the city between 2011 and 2015.

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Jul 13, 2016

DNA Origami Used To Create A Miniaturized Version Of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, nanotechnology

The researchers say that the monochrome painting — a dime’s width across — is a proof-of-concept that the extremely precise technique can be used to build nanoscale chip-based devices like computer circuits, conductive carbon nanotubes, and for extremely efficient targeted drug delivery.

In order to reproduce the painting, the researchers used a technique first described by Rothemund and colleagues at IBM in 2009. The first step of the process involves folding DNA strands to create the desired shape, with short “staple strands” being used to literally staple the molecules. Then this pattern, which, at this stage, is floating in a saline solution, is poured into patches on a chip whose shapes match the DNA origami’s.

The folded DNA now acts as scaffolding onto which researchers then install fluorescent molecules inside microscopic light sources called photonic crystal cavities (PCC) — much like putting light bulbs into lamps.

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Jul 13, 2016

Quantum is Coming

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics

Google to run Chrome Canary experimentally for the next two years to address post-quantum cryptography.

Alphabet’s forthcoming Chrome Canary browser is just the “canary” in the coalmine—quantum computing is coming faster than you might think.

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Jul 13, 2016

Can technology help fashion clean up its act?

Posted by in category: economics

Tech making fashion industry cleaner and greener.

Suzanne Mancini, Rhode Island School of Design

Chemical waste, mass production and consumerism are all byproducts of an industrialized global economy.

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Jul 13, 2016

Repurposing the ribosome for synthetic biology

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

Over the past several years, Northwestern Engineering’s Michael Jewett did the seemingly impossible. He overcame the critical barrier to making mutant ribosomes, the core catalyst in cells that are responsible for life.

Now, with funding from the Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI) program, Jewett is ready to take this research to the next level. Along with a multi-school team, he plans to use engineer and repurpose the ribosome to make new kinds of polymers for flow batteries.

“We are in a new era of biomaterial design,” Jewett said. “So far, the ribosome has been this untouchable biomolecular machine — one that we couldn’t engineer or modify. Now, armed with recent advances in our ability to construct new versions, new applications may only be limited by our imagination.”

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Jul 13, 2016

GM-NASA RoboGlove amplifies grip of astronauts, factory workers

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, robotics/AI

Robotic glove doubles or triples the gripping force applied, reducing hand strain. Up next: full exoskeletons for more powerful workers.

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