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Oct 4, 2017

Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming

Posted by in category: food

The shift will occur with the advent of cheap artificial meat. Technological change has often helped to catalyse ethical change. The $300m deal China signed last month to buy lab-grown meat marks the beginning of the end of livestock farming. But it won’t happen quickly: the great suffering is likely to continue for many years.


The suffering inherent in mass meat production can’t be justified. And as the artificial meat industry grows, the last argument for farming animals has now collapsed.

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Oct 4, 2017

New method for tissue regeneration using extracellular vesicles

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

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Oct 4, 2017

Jim Mellon talks to Dominic Frisby in Stuff That Interests Me

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

For this new book, Jim and Al have spent a year sifting through the cutting-edge research, visiting laboratories and interviewing key opinion leaders in the field of life extension. https://www.juvenescence-book.com/


My guest today on Stuff That Interests Me is one of Britain’s most successful investors, Jim Mellon.

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Oct 3, 2017

Gold nanoparticle used to replace virus in new CRISPR approach

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the University of California and the University of Tokyo has found a way to use the CRISPR gene editing technique that does not rely on a virus for delivery. In their paper published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the group describes the new technique, how well it works and improvements that need to be made to make it a viable gene editing tool.

CRISPR-Cas9 has been in the news a lot lately because it allows researchers to directly edit genes—either disabling unwanted parts or replacing them altogether. But despite many success stories, the technique still suffers from a major deficit that prevents it from being used as a true medical tool—it sometimes makes mistakes. Those mistakes can cause small or big problems for a host depending on what goes wrong. Prior research has suggested that the majority of mistakes are due to delivery problems, which means that a replacement for the virus part of the technique is required. In this new effort, the researchers report that they have discovered just a such a replacement, and it worked so well that it was able to repair a in a Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model. The team has named the CRISPR-Gold, because a gold nanoparticle was used to deliver the molecules instead of a virus.

The new package was created by modifying a bit of DNA to cause it to stick to a gold nanoparticle and then a Cas9 protein and also an RNA guide. The package was then coated with a polymer that served as a containment casing—one that also triggered endocytosis (a form of cell transport) and helped the molecules escape endosomes once inside the target cells. The molecules then set to work—the Cas9 cut the target DNA strand, the guide RNA showed what needed to be done and a DNA strand was placed where a mutation had existed. The result was a gene free of a mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Oct 3, 2017

Battle Bots

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

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Oct 3, 2017

IMF Head: Cryptocurrency could be the future. Really

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

IMF head Christine Lagarde said “it may not be wise to dismiss virtual currencies” like bitcoin and ethereum at bank of england conference.”=”

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Oct 3, 2017

Some Future 015

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, sustainability, transhumanism

New SomeFuture podcast out. My 45-min interview starts at 55 min and is on #transhumanism:


Introduction: (0:11–1:29)

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Oct 3, 2017

The Immune System Makes It Harder to Lose Weight as We Age

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Many of us have experienced the uphill struggle to control our weight as we get older. We cannot eat whatever we like and stay slim like when we were younger, our holiday indulgences refusing to go away. The battle of the bulge gets harder the older we get, and there was little we could do about it, but now science has come to the rescue and is starting to unravel the mystery of why we find it harder to lose weight as we get older.

A new study led by Professor Vishwa Deep Dixit at Yale University shows how both the nervous system and the immune system talk to each other and, in doing so, control metabolism and inflammation in the body[1]. This study sheds light on why older adults often find it difficult to burn stored belly fat, increasing the risk of a number of metabolic disorders.

Perhaps more intriguingly, the study also shows some potential approaches to targeting the problem, thus helping older adults to improve their metabolism, improve weight control and reduce the risk of metabolic disorders.

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Oct 3, 2017

To Combat Radical Violence in America, We Need Radical Medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, government, neuroscience, security, terrorism

With yesterday’s terrible shooting tragedy, I’m hearing lots of calls for more gun control to reduce violence in the US. But that’s essentially impossible to accomplish. There are 300 million guns in America. Congress faces a statistical impossibility to make a real dent in gun control and possession (politicians saying otherwise are playing you for votes—the gov is not going to go house to house to collect guns). HOWEVER, better ways to combat terrorism and gun violence could be achieved through better medicine and figuring out better ways to keep wounded peope alive. We should focus our energy and science money on treating trauma victims (and also on prevention of mental disease and sociopaths). Also, drones can be designed to seek out shooters in public places in 30 seconds and stop what they’re doing (instead of letting them shoot for 10 minutes). Why don’t major public venues and events have them yet? Ask you government? Demand better responses so our society is safer. Also, entreprenuers, get out there and do something about this. Hotels would pay big money for see-through-wall technology that would alert staff that someone has 20 weapons in a room. Lots of this tech is already here. All these terrorism and gun violence issues can be best figured out by tech and science. Stop sending prayers, and instead send some engineers and technologists to solve the problems. This tragic ongoing violence will continue until tech and science solves it.


“If you make the human body virtually indestructible, being wounded loses some of its relevance.”

America is reeling in shock from multiple shooting tragedies. The national feeling is that the violence is increasing in frequency and there’s no end to the angst.

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Oct 3, 2017

Nonviral CRISPR Delivery Using Gold Nanoparticles a Success

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology

Muscle from a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Fibrous scar tissue is in blue and healthy muscle is in pink. CONBOY LAB AND MURTHY LAB While promising, applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing have so far been limited by the challenges of delivery—namely, how to get all the CRISPR parts to every cell that needs them. In a study published today (October 2) in Nature Biomedical Engineering, researchers have successfully repaired a mutation in the gene for dystrophin in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy by injecting a vehicle they call CRISPR-Gold, which contains the Cas9 protein, guide RNA, and donor DNA, all wrapped around a tiny gold ball.

The authors have made “great progress in the gene editing area,” says Tufts University biomedical engineer Qiaobing Xu, who did not participate in the work but penned an accompanying commentary. Because their approach is nonviral, Xu explains, it will minimize the potential off-target effects that result from constant Cas9 activity, which occurs when users deliver the Cas9 template with a viral vector.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease of the muscles caused by a lack of the protein dystrophin. In about a third of patients, the gene for dystrophin has small deletions or single base mutations that render it nonfunctional, which makes this gene an excellent candidate for gene editing. Researchers have previously used viral delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 components to delete the mutated exon and achieve clinical improvements in mouse models of the disease.

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