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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Sep 27, 2020

Epigenetic Clocks: Which Has The Best Correlation For Aging and Age-Related Diseases?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

11 epigenetic clocks have been published since 2011, but which is best for predicting aging and age-related disease? In this video, I present findings from a recent publication, “Underlying features of epigenetic aging clocks in vitro and in vivo”, that compared data for 11 epigenetic clocks, and derived a new epigenetic clock, the meta-clock.

Sep 26, 2020

University Obtains New Patent for Poison Ivy, Oak Vaccine

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Circa 2019


OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has been issued its fourth patent for a product that could prevent the painful itching and rash due to exposure to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.

The compound is based on research conducted in the UM School of Pharmacy and at ElSohly Laboratories Inc. Hapten Sciences, a Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company, obtained a worldwide, exclusive license for the technology from the university in 2010 and has conducted extensive preclinical and clinical development work since then.

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Sep 26, 2020

China prepares to declare victory in global vaccine race — and assures the world theirs is safe

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

SinoVac has developed one of the four Chinese vaccines in last-stage human trials as Beijing throws open doors to new production facility.

Sep 26, 2020

Blood Test Analysis: 100 — 111y (Centenarians, Semi- and Super-Centenarians)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

In order to slow aging, it’s important to know how circulating biomarkers change during aging, and how these biomarkers are associated with risk of death for all causes. In this video, I discuss blood test data for the oldest old, including centenarians (100 — 104y), semi-centenarians (105 — 109y), and super-centenarians (110y+).

Sep 26, 2020

Humans live much longer than chimps due to a slower epigenetic ‘clock’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, life extension

Lil bits of info on DNA methylation, clocks.


Breakthrough advances in medicine and better nutrition have dramatically improved the longevity of the average human over the past two centuries. But that’s not to say that some couldn’t go on to live a long life even before the advent of modern medicine. As long as they were spared by disease, wars, and other risks that can bring an untimely death, humans could live to see their 70s, 80s, and even reach 100 years old as far back as ancient Rome.

The longevity of humans is somewhat exceptional among primates. Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, rarely make it past age 50, despite them sharing over 99% of our DNA. In a new study, researchers think they’ve found our secret: chemical changes along our genome that occurred around 7–8 million years ago when our ancestors branched away from the lineage of chimps.

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Sep 25, 2020

How China Is Closing In on Its Own Digital Currency

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, economics, mobile phones

While there’s no launch date yet, the People’s Bank of China is likely to be the first major central bank to issue a digital version of its currency, the yuan, seeking to keep up with — and control of — a rapidly digitizing economy. Trials have been held this year in a handful of cities and tests have started with some e-wallets and online apps, with the Covid-19 pandemic and need for social distancing providing a new sense of urgency. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, dealing in the digital yuan won’t have any presumption of anonymity, and its value will be as stable as the physical yuan, which will be sticking around too. Behind China’s rush is a desire to manage technological change on its own terms. As one PBOC official put it, currency isn’t only an economic issue, it’s also about sovereignty.

Not all the details are out, but according to new patents registered by the PBOC and official speeches, it could work something like this: Consumers and businesses would download a digital wallet onto their mobile phone and fill it with money from their account at a commercial bank — similar to going to an ATM. They then use that money — dubbed Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP — like cash to make and receive payments directly with anyone else who also has a digital wallet. Some questions remain, including the impact on Big Tech companies such as Ant Group Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. that already offer payment services.

Sep 25, 2020

World’s smallest fine particle air pollution sensor fits inside a phone

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, mobile phones, wearables

Air pollution involving very fine dust, such as PM2.5 particles, poses a serious threat to human health. Scientists in Austria have developed what they call the smallest particle sensor in the world, designed specifically to detect these harmful pollutants and offer a highly localized picture of air quality by being integrated into wearables and mobile devices.

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution contributes to more than four million premature deaths each year. While PM10 particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less can also make their way into their lungs, the finer PM2.5 particles are even more dangerous, as they can penetrate the lung barrier, slip into the blood stream and, through chronic exposure, cause severe forms of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, along with other health problems.

Concentrations of PM2.5 particles can be gauged through monitoring stations positioned around cities and regions, in fact the US Environmental Protection Agency uses a nationwide network of these stations to track air quality trends. But scientists from Austria’s Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) have been working on a more cost-effective, compact and versatile solution that can alert individual users of dangerous conditions in real time.

Sep 25, 2020

Using deep learning to control the unconsciousness level of patients in an anesthetic state

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, information science, robotics/AI

In recent years, researchers have been developing machine learning algorithms for an increasingly wide range of purposes. This includes algorithms that can be applied in healthcare settings, for instance helping clinicians to diagnose specific diseases or neuropsychiatric disorders or monitor the health of patients over time.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital have recently carried out a study investigating the possibility of using learning to control the levels of unconsciousness of patients who require anesthesia for a medical procedure. Their paper, set to be published in the proceedings of the 2020 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, was voted the best paper presented at the conference.

“Our lab has made significant progress in understanding how anesthetic medications affect and now has a multidisciplinary team studying how to accurately determine anesthetic doses from neural recordings,” Gabriel Schamberg, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “In our recent study, we trained a using the cross-entropy method, by repeatedly letting it run on simulated patients and encouraging actions that led to good outcomes.”

Sep 25, 2020

Astronauts that will launch on SpaceX’s third crewed flight are actively training to ride Dragon

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, entertainment, space travel

ESA Astronaut Pesquet revealed Crew-2 has been actively training for “Mission Alpha” aboard Crew Dragon. He shared photographs via Twitter of him training on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon simulator which involves learning how to control the spacecraft’s functions via a trio of touchscreen displays. – “Here’s the posse together, training on @SpaceX crew dragon. @Aki_Hoshide looking like a boss, and all of us wishing we had as cool socks as our awesome pilot @Astro_Megan. #MissionAlpha,” he wrote. During training, all astronauts are wearing face masks to protect each other from the coronavirus respiratory illness, pictured below.

Here’s the posse together, training on @SpaceX crew dragon. @Aki_Hoshide looking like a boss, and all of us wishing we had as cool socks as our awesome pilot @Astro_Megan. #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/UCDJvTcRgp— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) September 23, 2020

To familiarize with the spacecraft, the astronauts train with an interactive simulator and touchscreen interface that is a replica of Dragon’s cockpit. Earlier this year, SpaceX released an online game that allows players to try to dock the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the Space Station, using similar controls the astronauts will use during their voyage in space. You can play the online game on SpaceX’s website: Crew Dragon Simulator.

Sep 25, 2020

Researchers develop ‘Trojan horse’ approach to destroy cancer cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers took a silica nanoparticle designated as ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ by the US Food and Drug Administration and coated it with L-phenylalanine, and found that in lab tests with mice it killed cancer cells effectively and very specifically, by causing them to self-destruct.


Cancer cells are killed in lab experiments and tumor growth reduced in mice, using a new approach that turns a nanoparticle into a ‘Trojan horse’ that causes cancer cells to self-destruct, a research team at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found.

The researchers created their ‘Trojan horse’ nanoparticle by coating it with a specific amino acid — L-phenylalanine — that cancer cells rely on, along with other similar amino acids, to survive and grow. L-phenylalanine is known as an ‘essential’ amino acid as it cannot be made by the body and must be absorbed from food, typically from meat and dairy products.

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