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Feb 25, 2017

Scientists may have identified cell in eye that causes nearsightedness

Posted by in category: futurism

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 — Whether you’re nearsighted or not might come down to one particular type of cell in your retina, a new mouse study suggests.

Researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago report that this cell is highly sensitive to light and controls how the eye develops.

If it malfunctions and tells the eye to grow for too long, images don’t get focused in the retina as they should be, the researchers said.

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Feb 25, 2017

Computing with biochemical circuits made easy

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, satellites

Electronic circuits are found in almost everything from smartphones to spacecraft and are useful in a variety of computational problems from simple addition to determining the trajectories of interplanetary satellites. At Caltech, a group of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Lulu Qian is working to create circuits using not the usual silicon transistors but strands of DNA.

The Qian group has made the technology of DNA accessible to even novice researchers—including undergraduate students—using a software tool they developed called the Seesaw Compiler. Now, they have experimentally demonstrated that the tool can be used to quickly design DNA circuits that can then be built out of cheap “unpurified” DNA strands, following a systematic wet-lab procedure devised by Qian and colleagues.

A paper describing the work appears in the February 23 issue of Nature Communications.

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Feb 25, 2017

Quantum Self-Transformation: A Dream or Reality?

Posted by in category: quantum physics

A different spin on our own biosystem and Quantum.


There is a maddening and mysterious realm of the quantum, beyond our perception and even beyond logic. And yet, its proposed theory may hide answers to our most daring questions about life.

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Feb 25, 2017

Firing of veteran NIH scientist prompts protests over publication ban

Posted by in category: futurism

Citing protocol violations, institute won’t allow use of 25 years of data.

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Feb 25, 2017

Is Quantum Networking The End of Man-in-the-Middle Attacks?

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics, security

I currently have a lot of exciting information security writing and research that I’m engaged in. I’m eager to publish my ongoing work for my loyal readership! Meanwhile, if you really enjoy my writing for Tripwire, Alienvault, and Medium, consider supporting my Patreon. Like most people who write for the Internet for a living, I make very little money. Helping me buy groceries and public transit fare goes a long way, and every little bit counts. Thank you!

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Feb 25, 2017

MIT’s Annual Technology Review Reveals 10 Breakthrough Technologies For 2017

Posted by in categories: futurism, innovation

List from MIT Technology Review Explores the Most Remarkable Innovations of 2017, breakthroughs that may, or may not, change our future in dramatic ways.

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Feb 25, 2017

Financial Leaders: Make Your Mark on the Future at Exponential Finance

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, finance, information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI, singularity

From digital currency to machine learning, the financial industry is being rocked by exponential technologies. Blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, quantum computing, crowdfunding, and computing systems are allowing startups to solve consumer needs in new ways.

The downfall of the world’s largest institutions may not be imminent, but these new technologies are breaking up the previously rock solid foundation of finance, and allowing the fintech world to spring through the cracks. What’s happening now will rewrite the future of finance for years to come. By recognizing this reality and planning for it now, financial professionals can learn to thrive in an increasingly uncertain global economy.

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Feb 25, 2017

If You Can’t Find Dark Matter, Look First for a Dark Force

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

While cosmologists may be fascinated by what dark matter does, particle physicists are fascinated by what dark matter is. For us, dark matter should be—naturally—a particle, albeit one that is still lurking hidden in our data. For the last few decades, we’ve had a tantalizing guess as to what this particle might be—namely, the lightest of a new class of supersymmetric particles. Supersymmetry is an extension to the Standard Model of particles and forces that nicely addresses lingering questions about the stability of the mass of the Higgs boson, the unification of the forces, and the particle nature of dark matter. In fact, supersymmetry predicts a vast number of new particles—one for each particle we already know about. Yet while one of those new particles could constitute dark matter, to many of us that would be just a happy byproduct.

But after analyzing data from the first (2010–2012) and second (2015–2018) runs of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), we haven’t found supersymmetric particles yet—indeed, no new particles at all, beyond the Higgs boson. So, while we continue to hunt for supersymmetry, we’re also taking a fresh look at what our cosmology colleagues can tell us about dark matter. It is the strongest experimental evidence for new physics beyond the Standard Model, after all.

In fact, some might say that a principal goal of the LHC and future colliders will be to create and study dark matter. For that to happen, there must be a means for the visible universe and the dark universe to communicate with each other. In other words, the constituents of the particles that we collide must be capable of interacting with the putative dark-matter particles via fundamental forces. A force requires a force carrier, or boson. The electromagnetic force is carried by the photon, the weak nuclear force by so-called vector bosons, and so on. Interactions between dark matter and normal matter should be no different: They could happen by exchanging dark bosons.

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Feb 25, 2017

Cislunar Space: The Next 30 Years

Posted by in category: space

Updates, newsletters and special offers.

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Feb 24, 2017

The Long-Shot Bid to Put Crispr in the Hands of the People

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, government, law

Last week, the US Patent and Trademarks Office ruled on the most-watched patent proceeding of the 21st century: the fight for Crispr-Cas9. The decision was supposed to declare ownership of the rights to the revolutionary gene editing technique. But instead, the patent judge granted sorta-victories to each of the rival parties—a team from UC Berkeley and another with members from both MIT and Harvard University’s Broad Institute. That’s great for those groups (and their spin-off, for-profit gene editing companies with exclusive licenses). But it leaves things a bit murkier for anyone else who wants to turn a buck with gene editing.

The Crispr discoverers now have some authority over who gets to use Crispr, and for what. And while exclusive licenses aren’t rare in biotech, the scope of these do stand out: They cover all the 20,000-plus genes in the human genome. So this week, legal experts are sending a formal request to the Department of Health and Human Services. They want the federal government to step in and bring Crispr back to the people.

Crispr is new, but patent laws governing genetic engineering date back decades. In 1980, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that genetically engineered microbes were patentable, Congress passed something called the Bayh-Doyle Act. The law gives permission for universities to patent—and license—anything their researchers invented with public funds, making it easier to put those inventions back in the hands of citizens.

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