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Jan 26, 2017

First 3D observation of nanomachines working inside cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Today scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) present a study in Cell (“The in vivo architecture of the exocyst provides structural basis for exocytosis”) where they have been able to observe protein nanomachines (also called protein complexes)—the structures responsible for performing cell functions—for the first time in living cells and in 3D. This work has been done in collaboration with researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland and the Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo in Seville.

3D observation of nanomachines in vivo

On the left, in vivo image of nanomachines using current microscopy techniques; on the right, the new method allows 3D observation of nanomachines in vivo and provides 25-fold improvement in precision (O. Gallego, IRB Barcelona)

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Jan 26, 2017

Sound waves create whirlpools to round up tiny signs of disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

DURHAM, N.C. — Mechanical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated a tiny whirlpool that can concentrate nanoparticles using nothing but sound. The innovation could gather proteins and other biological structures from blood, urine or saliva samples for future diagnostic devices.

Early diagnosis is key to successfully treating many diseases, but spotting early indicators of a problem is often challenging. To pick out the first warning signs, physicians usually must concentrate scarce proteins, antibodies or other biomarkers from small samples of a patient’s body fluid to provide enough of a signal for detection.

While there are many ways to accomplish this today, most are expensive, time-consuming or too cumbersome to take to the field, and they might require trained experts. Duke engineers are moving to develop a new device that addresses these obstacles.

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Jan 26, 2017

Neuroprosthetics: Brain Interface Applied in Neurology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, engineering, neuroscience, robotics/AI

The brain is the fattiest organ in your body made up of 60% fat, the dry part that is. 75% of your brain is actually water which houses 100,000 miles of blood vessels that use up 20% of all your oxygen and blood. It’s an amazing piece of hardware. Of all the moonshot projects out there, the ones that relate to augmenting the brain are perhaps the most fascinating. Companies like Kernel have actually succeeded in writing long-term memories to a chip – well, at least 80% of them. When that number hits 100%, the sky is the limit to what we can do with the brain.

If you want a graphic image of what the future holds, imagine a robotic arm on top of your table (no wires) moving its fingers or trying to grab something powered only by someone’s thought. After all those Terminator movies, this could be a bit creepy. You may not get Terminator at your doorstep just yet, but someone with neuroprosthesis might just be ringing your doorbell a few years from now.

Neuroprosthetics or neuroprosthesis is a field of biomedical engineering and neuroscience concerned with the development of neural prostheses which are a series of devices that can substitute your brain’s motor, sensory or cognitive functionality that might have been damaged as a result of an injury or a disease.

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Jan 26, 2017

Elon Musk wants humans to develop a direct cortical interface to transcede the limits of I/O

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, neuroscience

Elon Musk has set his sights upon how humans interact with the digital world. While we have a horizon with respect to input — output production is limited.

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Jan 26, 2017

How Automation is Going to Redefine What it Means to Work

Posted by in categories: economics, robotics/AI

In Brief The time for machines to take over most of humanity’s work is rapidly approaching. The world is woefully unprepared to deal with the implications that automation will have over the coming decades. Universal basic income is just beginning to be discussed, and automation has the potential to displace much of the world’s workforce. Many decisions have to be made, and quickly, if we hope to keep pace with innovation.

On December 2nd, 1942, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi came back from lunch and watched as humanity created the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction inside a pile of bricks and wood underneath a football field at the University of Chicago. Known to history as Chicago Pile-1, it was celebrated in silence with a single bottle of Chianti, for those who were there understood exactly what it meant for humankind, without any need for words.

Now, something new has occurred that, again, quietly changed the world forever. Like a whispered word in a foreign language, it was quiet in that you may have heard it, but its full meaning may not have been comprehended. However, it’s vital we understand this new language, and what it’s increasingly telling us, for the ramifications are set to alter everything we take for granted about the way our globalized economy functions, and the ways in which we as humans exist within it.

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Jan 26, 2017

New Drug Transforms the Immune System to Slow the Progress of Multiple Sclerosis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In Brief:

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million people around the world have MS.
  • A new drug, Ocrelizumab, is the first known drug shown to work against the primary progressive form of MS by altering the immune system to slow damage to the brain.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable and potentially disabling disease that cripples the central nervous system. It’s a widespread neurological condition that hits young adults, usually between the ages of 20 and 40, caused by an immune system disorder that mistakes a part of the brain as a hostile foreign object and attacks it. Though there are treatments available, particularly for its second state, multiple sclerosis remains incurable.

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Jan 25, 2017

51% of All Job Tasks Could be Automated

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Automation in the workplace has been one of the looming existential threats to American workers for years now. And with each new study published, the fear of robots, machines, and artificial intelligence coming to take our jobs ticks higher.

But a new report from McKinsey finds that the future of work and automation isn’t quite the zero-sum game when it comes to jobs as some perceive.

Right now, 51% of job activities could be automated with “currently demonstrated” technology, the McKinsey report says. The distinction is noteworthy: McKinsey isn’t saying half of all jobs can be automated with existing technology, but rather job tasks. Many jobs involve a blend of both the mundane and the intricate. Machines are excellent at handling rote, predictable tasks like repetitive physical labor and data collection and processing, making jobs like retail, foodservice, and manufacturing —a big theme in the 2016 campaign—most affected. As 51% of all working hours, these endangered activities make up $2.7 trillion in wages.

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Jan 25, 2017

Autonomous Cars Could Travel at the Speed of Sound

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Autonomous cars could be moving over 700mph thanks to Hyperloop.

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Jan 25, 2017

Aging Research Internships Available 7

Posted by in category: life extension

Are you an avid supporter of aging research and a keen longevity activist?
The Biogerontology Research Foundation is offering select summer internships for talented individuals. You’d join a passionate and supportive team in researching diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies; advising a panel of investors in developing a roadmap to promote longevity science and related technologies across the globe.

The advertised positions are 3 month internships, with the possibility of continuing afterwards. Free accommodation will be provided for in London, alongside a negotiable salary.

The Biogerontology Research Foundation is a UK based think tank dedicated to aging research and accelerating its application worldwide.

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Jan 25, 2017

How Physicists Quantum Teleported Information Over 62 Miles

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

Bringing us one step closer to a quantum Internet.

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