Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 2

Sep 13, 2023

Decoding the Universe’s Ghost: Project 8 Is Closing In on the Elusive Neutrino

Posted by in categories: evolution, particle physics

The humble neutrino, an elusive subatomic particle that passes effortlessly through normal matter, plays an outsized role among the particles that comprise our universe. To fully explain how our universe came to be, we need to know its mass. But, like so many of us, it avoids being weighed.

Now, an international team of researchers from the United States and Germany leading an ambitious quest called Project 8 reports that their distinctive strategy is a realistic contender to be the first to measure the neutrino mass. Once fully scaled up, Project 8 could help reveal how neutrinos influenced the early evolution of the universe as we know it.

In 2022, the KATRIN research team set an upper bound for how heavy the neutrino could possibly be. That milestone was a tour-de-force accomplishment that has been decades in the making. But these results simply narrow the search window. KATRIN will soon reach and may one day even exceed its targeted detection limits, but the featherweight neutrino might be lighter still, begging the question: “What’s next?”

Sep 12, 2023

Fundamental Biology Overturned: New Discovery Challenges Long-Held Views on “The Second Brain”

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

Following your gut. Losing your appetite. A gutsy move. Though we often consider the gut as merely a digestive tool, these common expressions reflect the central role the gut plays in a much wider range of essential functions.

The entire digestive tract is lined by the enteric nervous system (ENS), a vast network of millions of neurons and glial cells—the two primary cell types also found in the central nervous system. While often called the second brain, the ENS not only generates the same neurotransmitters but actually predates the evolution of the central nervous system in the brain.

The functions of the ENS are crucial to life and extend far beyond digestion, as it regulates immunity, gut secretions, and enables complex, bi-directional communication between the gut and the brain. This is why a happy gut co-exists with a happy brain, and why digestive issues can lead to changes in mood and behavior.

Sep 6, 2023

It’s reassuring to think humans are evolution’s ultimate destination — but research shows we may be an accident

Posted by in category: evolution

We may have become the most complex living creature in part by accident and replication of error.

Sep 6, 2023

The evolution of AAVs in cell and gene therapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

AAV development for cell and gene therapy in 2023 is being impacted by manufacturing and regulation challenges, however advancing technologies offer opportunity, according to leaders in the field.

As proven by recent regulatory approvals sweeping the cell and gene therapy industry, particularly within Europe and the US, these pioneering treatments have demonstrated great capacity in helping to resolve hard-to-treat diseases.

Sep 6, 2023

Supermassive black hole accretion disk seen ‘on the edge’ for 1st time

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution

Astronomers have observed the outer edge of a disk of matter surrounding a feeding supermassive black hole for the first time.

These observations could help scientists better measure the structures that surround these cosmic monsters, understand how black holes feed on those structures and put together how this feeding influences the evolution of galaxies that house such phenomena.

Sep 5, 2023

Michael Russel: On the Emergence of Life Through “Negative” Entropy Trapping

Posted by in category: evolution

Dr Michael Russel’s lecture at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, May 2011. The topic of the symposium was “Origin of Life and Molecular Evolution”. Check our YouTube channel for more exciting science videos! For more information, visit

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Sep 5, 2023

Scientists Discover ‘Pure Math’ Is Written Into Evolutionary Genetics

Posted by in categories: evolution, genetics, mathematics

Mathematicians delight in the beauty of math that so many of us don’t see. But nature is a wonderful realm in which to observe beauty born out of mathematical relationships.

The natural world provides seemingly endless patterns underpinned by numbers – if we can recognize them.

Luckily for us, a motley team of researchers has just uncovered another striking connection between math and nature; between one of the purest forms of mathematics, number theory, and the mechanisms governing the evolution of life on molecular scales, genetics.

Sep 3, 2023

Earth’s ancient breath: Study links atmospheric oxygen and mantle chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, evolution

An international team of scientists has found a crucial link between the chemistry of Earth’s deep mantle and its early atmosphere. The study uncovers new insights into the evolution of life on our planet and the surge of atmospheric oxygen.

The scientists focused their investigation on magmas formed in ancient subduction zones, areas where portions of Earth’s crust sink back into the mantle.

The experts examined a critical juncture in Earth’s history known as the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), which occurred between 2.1 and 2.4 billion years ago.

Sep 2, 2023

Michael Levin: “Non-neural, developmental bioelectricity as a precursor for cognition”

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

Plenary Talk by Michael Levin on “Non-neural, developmental bioelectricity as a precursor for cognition: Evolution, synthetic organisms, and biomedicine” at the Virtual Miniature Brain Machinery Retreat, September 16, 2021. Introduction by William Baker.

Michael Levin.
Director of the Allen Discovery Center.
Tufts University.

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Aug 31, 2023

The collective intelligence of cells during morphogenesis as a model for cognition beyond the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, ethics, evolution, neuroscience

Michael Levin talk for the Mind, Technology, and Society (MTS) talk series at UC Merced on January 23, 2023. Abstract: Each of us makes the remarkable journey from the physics and chemistry of a quiescentunfertilized egg to that of a complex human being. How can we understand the continuousprocesses that scale up minds from the tiny physiological competencies of single cells to the large-scale metacognitive capacities of large brains? Here, I will describe a framework known as TAME-Technological Approach to Mind Everywhere — which enables identifying, understanding, andrelating to unconventional cognitive agents. I will use the example of the collective intelligence ofcells during morphogenesis to illustrate how we can begin to widen the lessons of multiscale neuroscience well beyond neurons. This will be essential as we head into a future that will bepopulated by a wide range of evolved, designed, and hybrid beings with novel bodies and novelminds. I will conclude with a case study of our new synthetic biorobot (Xenobots) and a discussionof the implications of these ideas for evolution, biomedicine, and ethics.

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