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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 2290

Jun 1, 2016

World’s First Human Head Transplant Will Take Place in 2017

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero is firm on his promise to deliver the first human head transplant to the world. He says a Chinese man will be the first patient in 2017, and now all he needs is approval and funding. Other experts are highly skeptical.

Last year, Dr. Sergio Canavero created quite the ruckus (to put it mildly) when he vowed to be the first person to transplant a human head onto a deceased donor’s body. Yes, he is planning on attempting the world’s first human head transplant (or body transplant, depending on how you look at it).

In fact, it has been about a year since his initial proclamation, and the Italian neurosurgeon still stands firm on his declaration, despite claims from other experts that it is nothing but a PR Stunt (at best) or a hoax. Some have even hypothesized it’s all just a plot meant to promote Metal Gear Solid.

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Jun 1, 2016

DARPA Sees US Fighter Jets as First Thought-controlled Weapon

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, military, neuroscience

Imagine these fighter jets being equipped with the DARPA death laser that is being worked on. Very deadly mix.


The size of a matchstick, the stentrode can provide the “brain-machine interface” or BMI necessary for thought-controlled devices. Neural implants currently in use require invasive surgery.

Stentrodes can be attached to the brain using catheter angiography. This procedure passes the device through blood vessels in the neck and into the brain without cutting open the skull.

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Jun 1, 2016

Vitamin Found To Increase Lifespan and Halt Aging In Muscle Tissues

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Scientists have long used NAD+ as a powerful anti-aging tool. While trying to find a cure for aging, scientists increased the levels of NAD+ within the mitochondria. The mitochondria responded by increasing their performance and energy, which effectively neutralizes the effects of aging.

Lead researcher Johan Auwerx explained that “this work could have very important implications in the field of regenerative medicine,” adding that it may one day be possible to bypass surgery and repair the body with a dietary supplement.

Specifically, nicotinamide riboside “effectively delayed early- and late-stage disease progression, by robustly inducing mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue, preventing mitochondrial ultrastructure abnormalities and [mitochondrial DNA] deletion formation.”

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Jun 1, 2016

Israeli 3D printing startup pivots to print stem cells

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, nanotechnology

In an unusual move Nano Dimension, an Israeli company called focused on printing electricity-conducting nano-material ink, is expanding into the biotech sector.

Israel-Flag-Small Gedalyah Reback 1 day ago.

Nano Dimension, a 3D bioprinting company located in Ness Ziona, Israel, has successfully tested a prototype for a new type of printer that uses stem cells to produce 3D models. The trial was done in conjunction with Haifa-based Accellta.

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Jun 1, 2016

Researchers create high-speed electronics for your skin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics, habitats, internet, mobile phones, wearables

Make no mistake, today’s wearables are clever pieces of kit. But they can be bulky and restricted by the devices they must be tethered to. This has led engineers to create thinner and more powerful pieces of wearable technology that can be applied directly to the skin. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, have developed “the world’s fastest stretchable, wearable integrated circuits,” that could let hospitals apply a temporary tattoo and remove the need for wires and clips.

With its snake-like shape, the new platform supports frequencies in the .3 gigahertz to 300 gigahertz range. This falls in what is set to become the 5G standard. For a mobile phone, 5G enables faster speeds and greater coverage, but with epidermal electronics, engineers have discussed the possibility that wearers could transmit their vitals to a doctor without having to leave their home.

While the idea isn’t unique, the integrated circuits created by Ma and his team have a much smaller footprint than those developed by other researchers. Earlier transmission lines can measure up to 640 micrometers (or .64 millimeters), but UW–Madison’s solution is just 25 micrometers (or .025 millimeters) thick. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research also supports Ma’s research, suggesting that his wearable breakthroughs may help pilots of the future.

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May 31, 2016

TruthSift: A Platform for Collective Rationality

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, computing, disruptive technology, education, existential risks, information science, innovation, science, scientific freedom

“So there came a time in which the ideas, although accumulated very slowly, were all accumulations not only of practical and useful things, but great accumulations of all types of prejudices, and strange and odd beliefs.
Then a way of avoiding the disease was discovered. This is to doubt that what is being passed from the past is in fact true, and to try to find out ab initio again from experience what the situation is, rather than trusting the experience of the past in the form in which it is passed down. And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way. That is my best definition…Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.“
–Richard P Feynman, What is Science? (1968)[1]

TruthSift.com is a platform designed to support and guide individuals or crowds to rationality, and make them smarter collectively than any unaided individual or group. (Free) Members use TruthSift to establish what can be established, refute what can’t be, and to transparently publish the demonstrations. Anyone can browse the demonstrations and learn what is actually known and how it was established. If they have a rational objection, they can post it and have it answered.

Whether in scientific fields such as climate change or medical practice, or within the corporate world or political or government debate, or on day to day factual questions, humanity hasn’t had a good method for establishing rational truth. You can see this from consequences we often fail to perceive:
Peer reviewed surveys agree: A landslide majority of medical practice is *not* supported by science [2,3,4]. Scientists are often confused about the established facts in their own field [5]. Within fields like climate science and vaccines, that badly desire consensus, no true consensus can be reached because skeptics raise issues that the majority brush aside without an established answer (exactly what Le Bon warned of more than 100 years ago[6]). Widely consulted sources like Wikipedia are reported to be largely paid propaganda on many important subjects [7], or the most popular answer rather than an established one [8]. Quora shows you the most popular individual answer, generated with little or no collaboration, and often there is little documentation of why you should believe it. Existing systems for crowd sourced wisdom largely compound group think, rather than addressing it. Existing websites for fact checking give you someone’s point of view.

Corporate or government planning is no better. Within large organizations, where there is inevitably systemic motivation to not pass bad news up, leadership needs active measures to avoid becoming clueless as to the real problems [9]. Corporate or government plans are subject to group think, or takeover by employee or other interests competing with the mission. Individuals who perceive mistakes have no recourse capable of rationally pursuading the majority, and may anyway be discouraged from speaking up by various consequences[6].

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May 31, 2016

Can 3D printing brain tumours help fight cancer?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, neuroscience

Good question.


Tiny balls of cancerous cells are being printed off by researchers at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh who hope it can provide new ways of testing drugs and studying brain cancers.

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May 31, 2016

Use of next-generation gene sequencing in NICUs may improve diagnosis of rare diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The use of next-generation gene sequencing in newborns in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) may improve the diagnosis of rare diseases and deliver results more quickly to anxious families, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

“Next-generation sequencing has the potential to transform the practice of clinical genetics rapidly,” writes Dr. David Dyment, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), with coauthors. “In particular, newborns admitted to the NICU with rare and complex diseases may benefit substantially from a timely molecular diagnosis through next-generation sequencing.”

Children with suspected rare genetic diseases usually undergo a battery of tests to determine a molecular diagnosis. Current practice involves testing of specific genes or a panel of genes, and these tests are often done outside the country because of limited availability within Canada. This means it may be months or even years before a diagnosis is made.

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May 31, 2016

Gene Duplication: New Analysis Shows How Extra Copies Split the Work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Word cloudThe human genome contains more than 20,000 protein-coding genes, which carry the instructions for proteins essential to the structure and function of our cells, tissues and organs. Some of these genes are very similar to each other because, as the genomes of humans and other mammals evolve, glitches in DNA replication sometimes result in extra copies of a gene being made. Those duplicates can be passed along to subsequent generations and, on very rare occasions, usually at a much later point in time, acquire additional modifications that may enable them to serve new biological functions. By starting with a protein shape that has already been fine-tuned for one function, evolution can produce a new function more rapidly than starting from scratch.

Pretty cool! But it leads to a question that’s long perplexed evolutionary biologists: Why don’t duplicate genes vanish from the gene pool almost as soon as they appear? After all, instantly doubling the amount of protein produced in an organism is usually a recipe for disaster—just think what might happen to a human baby born with twice as much insulin or clotting factor as normal. At the very least, duplicate genes should be unnecessary and therefore vulnerable to being degraded into functionless pseudogenes as new mutations arise over time.

An NIH-supported team offers a possible answer to this question in a study published in the journal Science. Based on their analysis of duplicate gene pairs in the human and mouse genomes, the researchers suggest that extra genes persist in the genome because of rapid changes in gene activity. Instead of the original gene producing 100 percent of a protein in the body, the gene duo quickly divvies up the job [1]. For instance, the original gene might produce roughly 50 percent and its duplicate the other 50 percent. Most importantly, organisms find the right balance and the duplicate genes can easily survive to be passed along to their offspring, providing fodder for continued evolution.

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May 31, 2016

Cannabis use linked to gene mutation

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Pot can cause serious illness due to its gene altering effects.


Scientists from The University of Western Australia have identified how using cannabis can alter a person’s DNA structure, causing mutations which can expose them to serious illnesses, and be passed on to their children and several future generations.

Although the association between use and severe illnesses such as cancer has previously been documented, how this occurs and the implications for was not previously understood.

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