Archive for the ‘food’ category

Jul 12, 2019

Ageing Debate between Vadim Gladyshev & Aubrey de Grey on Damage Repair

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

Is comprehensive damage repair feasible? A debate at Undoing Aging 2019 between Vadim Gladyshev, Harvard Medical School and Aubrey de Grey, SENS Research Foundation.


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Jul 11, 2019

Scientists make progress in understanding the gut microbiome’s role in individual response to diet

Posted by in category: food

A new study, led by Dr. Dan Knights from the University of Minnesota (USA), has found that the gut microbiome responds more to particular foods than to combinations of nutrients and that microbiome responses to diet are personalized.

The researchers studied the impact of habitual diet on the gut microbiome in 34 subjects for 17 consecutive days. Both the fecal microbiome and the participants’ diet were sampled every day through shotgun metagenomic sequencing and daily 24-hour dietary records, respectively.

Although the relative abundance of gut microbial species showed a high variation within and between individuals, functional traits tended to remain stable across individuals. In contrast, a specific group of functions related to stress response, the conversion of nitrate to nitrogen and the conversion of formate to methane showed a high interindividual variability that did not correlate with nutrient and food intake.

Jul 9, 2019

Scientists successfully edit a long-locked part of plant DNA, improving crop security

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, security

Think of DNA and chances are the double helix structure comes to mind, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Another major part is mitochondrial DNA, and in plants that’s even more important – and so complex that scientists haven’t yet been able to edit the genes in there. Now a team of Japanese researchers has managed to do just that, which could help improve the genetic diversity of crops.

Jul 8, 2019

New research sheds light on a possible cause of autism: processed foods

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience

The more we learn about the microbiome, the more the pieces are fitting together.

Jul 8, 2019

The Junk Food Effect

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away for much longer. C02 pollution is sucking the nutrients out of our healthiest foods. #YEARSproject

Jul 8, 2019

How algae could help solve some of the world’s biggest problems

Posted by in category: food

Here’s a billion-dollar question. How do we transform our systems of food production and distribution, so that we can produce food much closer to where it’s consumed and therefore reduce food miles, food waste and our impact on the environment?

Jul 8, 2019

Robot uses machine learning to harvest lettuce

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

A vegetable-picking robot that uses machine learning to identify and harvest a commonplace, but challenging, agricultural crop has been developed by engineers.

The ‘Vegebot’, developed by a team at the University of Cambridge, was initially trained to recognise and harvest iceberg lettuce in a lab setting. It has now been successfully tested in a variety of field conditions in cooperation with G’s Growers, a local fruit and vegetable co-operative.

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Jul 7, 2019

The moon in 2069: Top space scientists share their visions for lunar lifestyles

Posted by in categories: food, space

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Fifty years ago this month, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission transformed the idea of putting people on the moon from science fiction to historical fact. Not much has changed on the moon since Apollo, but if the visions floated by leading space scientists from the U.S., Europe, Russia and China come to pass, your grandchildren might be firing up lunar barbecues in 2069.

“Definitely in 50 years, there will be more tourism on the moon,” Anatoli Petrukovich, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, said here today during the World Conference of Science Journalists. “The moon will just look like a resort, as a backyard for grilling some meat or whatever else.”

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Jul 4, 2019

Cancer cell’s “self eating” tactic may be its weakness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, food

Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Cancer cells use a bizarre strategy to reproduce in a tumor’s low-energy environment; they mutilate their own mitochondria! Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) also know how this occurs, offering a promising new target for pancreatic cancer therapies.

Why would a cancer cell want to destroy its own functioning mitochondria? “It may seem pretty counterintuitive,” admits M.D.-Ph. D. student Brinda Alagesan, a member of Dr. David Tuveson’s lab at CSHL.

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Jul 4, 2019

Buddhism And The Freedom of The Will

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience, space

A South Indian philosopher sometimes called the “second Buddha,” Nagarjuna stands ambivalently at the beginnings of Mahayana philosophy. His arguments are subtle, sophisticated, and complex. Their interpretation is made more difficult because they are written as beautifully crafted quatrains whose density require extra concentration. As a transitional thinker, Nagarjuna is taken by some commentators (David Kalupahana and Jay Garfield) as continuing the Pali tradition and by others (Frederick Streng and T. Wood) as making a clean break with it. The latter school of interpretation reads Nagarjuna’s quatrains as thoroughly dialectical refutations of any positive thesis, even the minimalist claims of Pali realism. There is general consensus that the Yogacara school of Vasubandhu and Asanga reject Nagarjuna’s views, whatever they are, in favor of an objective idealism roughly similar to Hegel’s. Unfortunately, we do not have space to deal with Yogacara except only in an indirect way.

As we have seen, Pali Buddhists do not deny the appearance of an empirical self (jiva); rather, they deny that, corresponding to this appearance, there is anything enduring, separate, or independent. These may just be three different ways of saying the same thing, but since they represent three different types of Buddhist arguments, they merit separate presentations. First, there is no self that endures. What we see is constantly changing and there is nothing that stays the same. The traditional argument here proceeds by elimination: the physical bodies change; feelings, beliefs, desires, and intentions all change; consciousness is intermittent; and our self-conceptions change over time. None of the things we can point to as the self remains the same. Therefore the self does not endure. The argument is similar to the one given by Hume.

Second, the self is not separate from the causes and conditions that give rise to it. A standard metaphor for this comes from the Dhammapada, a Pali text from the 3rd century BCE. The appearance of a rainbow arises out of a certain combination of mist and light. Remove either one of these and the rainbow no longer exists. Similarly, the appearance of a self arises out of conditions: oxygen, food, parents, etc. Without them, there would be no self. This argument can be made on a general level, as just done, or on a particular level. You wouldn’t be the person you are if your family, friends, and acquaintances all weren’t the people they are, if you hadn’t had the experiences you’ve had, lived in the society you live in, etc. If we define the constellation of these conditions as one’s “world,” we can say that the self cannot be separated, either practically or logically, from the world in which it exists.

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