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Jul 25, 2023

Breaking barriers in drug delivery with better lipid nanoparticles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Many diseases can be successfully treated in the simple environment of a cell culture dish, but to successfully treat real people, the drug agent has to take a journey through the infinitely more complex environment within our bodies and arrive, intact, inside the affected cells. This process, called drug delivery, is one of the most significant barriers in medicine.

A collaboration between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, is working to break through some of the bottlenecks by designing the most effective lipid nanoparticles (LNPs)—tiny spherical pouches made of fatty molecules that encapsulate therapeutic agents until they dock with cell membranes and release their contents. The first drug to use LNPs was approved in 2018, but the delivery method rose to global prominence with the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID vaccines.

“It’s quite a smart system, because if you just deliver the RNA itself to the human body, the RNA is degraded by nucleases and cannot easily cross the cell membrane due to its size and charge, but the LNPs deliver it safely into the cell,” explained co-lead author Chun-Wan Yen, a senior Principal Scientist in Genentech’s Small Molecule Pharmaceutical Sciences group.

Jul 25, 2023

Researchers put a new twist on graphite

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

For decades, scientists have been probing the potential of two-dimensional materials to transform our world. 2D materials are only a single layer of atoms thick. Within them, subatomic particles like electrons can only move in two dimensions. This simple restriction can trigger unusual electron behavior, imbuing the materials with “exotic” properties like bizarre forms of magnetism, superconductivity and other collective behaviors among electrons—all of which could be useful in computing, communication, energy and other fields.

But researchers have generally assumed that these exotic 2D properties exist only in single-layer sheets, or short stacks. The so-called “bulk” versions of these materials—with their more complex 3D atomic structures—should behave differently.

Or so they thought.

Jul 25, 2023

Water Detected in Planet-Forming Disk Around Baby Star

Posted by in category: space

One of the most interesting baby planet systems in the Milky Way has just yielded a detection of water vapor.

And not just anywhere, either. In the extended disk of dust and gas that still clings to the star PDS 70, the James Webb Space Telescope detected the molecular signature of water in the region expected to form Earth-like worlds.

This could help us work out how Earth formed, and where its water came from; but it also is a tantalizing clue about the formation of other potentially habitable worlds out there in the wider galaxy.

Jul 25, 2023

Tesla to discuss factory plan for new $24,000 mass market EV

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, sustainability, transportation

According to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, representatives from Tesla are planning to meet India’s commerce minister this month to discuss the possibility of constructing a factory for producing an all-new $24,000 electric car. Tesla has expressed interest in manufacturing low-cost electric vehicles for both the local Indian market and exports. This meeting would mark the most significant discussions between Tesla and the Indian government since Elon Musk’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, where he expressed his intention to make a substantial investment in the country.

Jul 25, 2023

Record-Breaking Quantum Contextuality Observed in Single System

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

A team of scientists studied the single-system version of multipartite Bell nonlocality, and observed the highest degree of quantum contextuality in a single system. Their work was published in Physical Review Letters.

Physical Review Letters (PRL) is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Physical Society. It is one of the most prestigious and influential journals in physics, with a high impact factor and a reputation for publishing groundbreaking research in all areas of physics, from particle physics to condensed matter physics and beyond. PRL is known for its rigorous standards and short article format, with a maximum length of four pages, making it an important venue for rapid communication of new findings and ideas in the physics community.

Jul 25, 2023

Yes, Aging Backwards Is Possible. Here’s How to Do It

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Silicon Valley tech bro Bryan Johnson claims he’s shaved five years off his biological age. Longevity mastermind David Sinclair, Ph.D., says tests show his biological age is a full decade younger than the 53 candles on his birthday cake. Sixty-three-year-old functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman, M.D., say tests clock his biological age at a young 43. But can aging really be cured? Maybe not—but adopting or eschewing certain lifestyle habits to add years to your life.

When it comes to understanding how to reverse aging, there are tests on the market that claim to be able to help you do that. They calculate your ‘biological age’ to see how your body could be aging across various cell-level metrics versus the number of candles on your birthday cake.

But are these tests accurate?

Jul 25, 2023

Mind-reading machines are coming — how can we keep them in check?

Posted by in categories: habitats, neuroscience

Regulate scientists for hire and corporations especially. Regulate everyone as religion could be used as an excuse from exemption. There’s a local motorcycle gang that set to their club house in the town I live and it was listed as a religion. That’s a loophole.

Devices that can record and change brain activity will create privacy issues that challenge existing human-rights legislation, say researchers.

Jul 25, 2023

Chip Industry Sees Labor Shortages Threatening US Expansion Plan

Posted by in categories: computing, economics

The semiconductor industry warned that there won’t be enough engineers, computer scientists and technicians in the US to support a rapid expansion this decade, threatening efforts to boost the domestic chip economy.

Jul 25, 2023

TSMC to invest $2.9 billion in advanced chip packaging plant in Taiwan

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company plans to invest nearly $90 billion New Taiwan dollars (about $2.87 billion) in an advanced chip packaging plant in Taiwan, the company told CNBC on Tuesday.

It comes as global chipmakers seek to capitalize on the artificial intelligence boom. TSMC acknowledged last week that there is a strong demand for AI chips.

Jul 25, 2023

A fusion rocket designed to travel 500,000 mph is under construction

Posted by in categories: habitats, health, space travel

A British aerospace startup is working on a fusion rocket it says will slash the amount of time it takes astronauts to travel to Mars and beyond — allowing humans to explore places that are currently far out of reach.

The challenge: Long-term exposure to microgravity and cosmic radiation can cause serious health issues for astronauts. That means NASA needs to keep its future Mars missions short enough that astronauts come home healthy — less than 4 years should work.

Using our current rocket propulsion technology, though, it’s going to take seven months just to get astronauts to Mars. Factor in the amount of time to get back to Earth, and nearly a third of a Mars astronaut’s mission is just going to be dedicated to the commute.

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