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Jan 14, 2017

Illumina wants to sequence your whole genome for $100

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

I got my autosomal DNA analysed for $50 by FTDNA recently. Not a full gene sequence though. You get NGS tests for about $400 now.


The first sequencing of the whole human genome in 2003 cost roughly $2.7 billion, but DNA sequencing giant Illumina has now unveiled a new machine that the company says is “expected one day” to order up your whole genome for less than $100.

Illumina’s CEO Francis deSouza showed off the machine, called the NovaSeq, onstage at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in downtown San Francisco today, telling the crowd the machine’s scanning speed could decipher an entire human genome in less than an hour.

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Jan 14, 2017

An Ultra-Rare Crystal Is Found in a Meteorite, Revealing a Bizarre Form of Matter

Posted by in categories: military, particle physics

In Brief

  • Just a few micrometers in diameter, this quasicrystal is the third to be found in this particular meteorite, but it differs from the other two in both structure and chemical composition.
  • While many applications have been discovered for synthetic quasicrystals, the rarity of naturally occurring ones has made them difficult to study.

A team led by Luca Bindi, a geologist from the University of Florence, has found an ultra-rare quasicrystal just a few micrometres wide in a meteorite that landed in Russia five years ago. The discovery has been detailed in Scientific Reports.

Two other quasicrystals have already been discovered in this particular meteorite, but the latest is different from its predecessors in both structure and chemical composition. This new quasicrystal is composed of aluminum, copper, and iron atoms structured in an arrangement very similar to the pentagon-based pattern of a soccer ball, a first of its kind in nature.

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Jan 14, 2017

Woman died from superbug resistant to all available antibiotics in U.S.

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The case serves as a “wake up call” that antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, experts say.

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Jan 14, 2017

A Direct Infusion Of Immune Cells Could Fight Cancer

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

A new way to treat brain cancer with our own immune cells.


Injecting genetically modified immune cells directly into the brain and spinal fluid has had remarkable effects on a deadly brain cancer

Glioblastoma is a particularly virulent form of brain cancer. Around 20,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year and the disease typically has poor survival rates. In a new case reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, a man has undergone experimental CAR-T therapy to treat the condition. CAR-T therapy is a branch of immunotherapy, the field taking cancer treatment by storm, and involves infusing genetically modified T cells back into a patient to target cancer cells.

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Jan 14, 2017

Microsoft just bought an AI startup that can outperform Facebook and Google

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired Maluuba, a Toronto startup focused on using deep learning for natural language processing. Deep learning is an approach to artificial intelligence currently in vogue that has driven incredible gains in the field over the last five years. As Microsoft wrote in the blog post announcing the purchase, “We’ve recently set new milestones for speech and image recognition using deep learning techniques, and with this acquisition we are, as Wayne Gretzky would say, skating to where the puck will be next — machine reading and writing.”

The Verge covered Maluuba in the summer of 2016, when the startup shared the results of an AI system that could read and comprehend text with near human capability, outperforming similar systems shown off by Google and Facebook. Along with acquiring the company, Microsoft has also established closer ties with Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in the field of deep learning who served as an advisor to Maluuba, and will now become and advisor to Microsoft’s AI division.

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Jan 14, 2017

Synthetic stem cells offer benefits of natural stem cells without the risks

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A synthetic cardiac stem cell (left) mirroring a real cardiac stem cell (right), offering therapeutic benefits without the associated risks (credit: Alice Harvey/NC State University)

Scientists have created the first synthetic version of a cardiac stem cell, offering therapeutic benefits comparable to those from natural stem cells — but without the risks and limitations, according to researchers from North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University in China.

The newly created synthetic stem cells cannot replicate. That means they could reduce some of the risks associated with natural stem-cell therapies — including tumor growth and immune rejection. The synthetic stem calls would also avoid the fragility of natural stem cells, which require careful storage and a multi-step process of typing and characterization before they can be used.

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Jan 13, 2017

Researchers Discover a Pomegranate Compound Could Increase Life Expectancy, Reduce Aging

Posted by in category: life extension

Scientists may be able to unlock the potential of a compound found in a common fruit, whose interaction with a certain gut bacteria helps ward off aging.

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Jan 13, 2017

This Material Could Reveal the Link Between Classical Physics and the Quantum Realm

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

https://youtube.com/watch?v=8BhG9ir4-4E

In Brief

  • Scientists are a little bit closer to unlocking the mystery of how the rules of the quantum realm translate to the rules of the classical physics of the observable world.
  • Experts predict that the materials used in this research, topological insulators, will play a key role in furthering this development.

It’s no surprise that quantum physics can be disorienting to the casual observer; after all, it does follow its own set of rules quite different from those of classical physics which rule over our everyday experience. In the quantum realm, things can and cannot be at the same time (to a certain extent) or are continually moving without spending energy. These don’t apply to the physics of macro-level matter.

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Jan 13, 2017

Driverless electric shuttle being tested in downtown Vegas

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Associated Press historical news archive articles dating back to 1985.

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Jan 13, 2017

Invasion Of The Mini Drones!

Posted by in category: drones

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