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Archive for the ‘food’ category

Nov 21, 2019

Fossils Of Prehistoric Legged Snake Explain The Evolution Slithering Reptiles

Posted by in categories: evolution, food

Due to a lack of fossil records, the early evolution of snakes has been a mystery, until now. Paleontologists have discovered new fossils of the prehistoric legged snake, Najash that has helped solve the mystery of how this creepy-crawly evolved into the slithering reptile it is today.

Researchers have examined the fossils of Najash rionegrina, a rear-limbed snake from the Late Cretaceous period. it has been named after the Biblical legged snake, Nahash, who tempted Eve and Adam to eat the forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis. Found in Patagonia, Argentina, the fossil has revealed that snakes not only had limbs 100 million years ago but also had cheekbones (jugal bone).

The study published in Science Advances reveals how snakes evolved from their lizard ancestors. Fernando Garberoglio from the Fundación Azara at Universidad Maimónides, Buenos Aires explained, “Our findings support the idea that the ancestors of modern snakes were big-bodied and big-mouthed—instead of small burrowing forms as previously thought.”

Nov 20, 2019

Yogurt and fiber diet may cut lung cancer risk

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

“This inverse association was robust, consistently seen across current, past, and never smokers, as well as men, women, and individuals with different backgrounds,” she adds.

Shu says the health benefits may be rooted in their prebiotic (nondigestible food that promotes growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines) and probiotic properties. The properties may independently or synergistically modulate gut microbiota in a beneficial way.

The research appears in JAMA Oncology. Additional coauthors are from Seoul National University and Vanderbilt.

Nov 20, 2019

Intermittent fasting increases longevity in cardiac catheterization patients

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

While Intermittent fasting may sound like another dieting craze, the practice of routinely not eating and drinking for short periods of time has shown again to lead to potentially better health outcomes.

In a new study by researchers at the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, researchers have found that cardiac catheterization patients who practiced regular intermittent lived longer than patients who don’t. In addition, the study found that patients who practice intermittent fasting are less likely to be diagnosed with .

“It’s another example of how we’re finding that regularly fasting can lead to better health outcomes and longer lives,” said Benjamin Horne, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute.

Nov 20, 2019

Directional control of self-propelled protocells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Synthetic protocells can be made to move toward and away from chemical signals, an important step for the development of new drug-delivery systems that could target specific locations in the body. By coating the surface of the protocells with enzymes—proteins that catalyze chemical reactions—a team of researchers at Penn State was able to control the direction of the protocell’s movement in a chemical gradient in a microfluidic device. A paper describing the research appears November 18, 2019 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

“The is to have drugs delivered by tiny ‘bots’ that can transport the drug to the specific location where it is needed,” said Ayusman Sen, the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Chemistry at Penn State and the leader of the research team. “Currently, if you take an antibiotic for an infection in your leg, it diffuses throughout your entire body. So, you have to take a higher dose in order to get enough of the antibiotic to your leg where it is needed. If we can control the directional movement of a drug-delivery system, we not only reduce the amount of the drug required but also can increase its speed of delivery.”

One way to address controlling direction is for the drug-delivery system to recognize and move towards specific emanating from the infection site, a phenomenon called chemotaxis. Many organisms use chemotaxis as a survival strategy, to find food or escape toxins. Previous work had shown that enzymes undergo chemotactic movement because the reactions they catalyze produce energy that can be harnessed. However, most of that work had focused on positive chemotaxis, movement towards a . Until now, little work had been done looking at negative chemotaxis. “Tunable” chemotaxis—the ability to control movement direction, towards and away from different chemical signals—had never been demonstrated.

Nov 20, 2019

Can we eat to starve cancer? — William Li

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/can-we-eat-to-starve-cancer-william-li

William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.

Talk by WIlliam Li.

Nov 19, 2019

The danger of AI is weirder than you think | Janelle Shane

Posted by in categories: business, food, information science, robotics/AI

Maybe interesting for this group too.


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Nov 19, 2019

Cheers! Alcoholic beverages in space

Posted by in categories: food, life extension, space

On November 2, 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine were launched to the International Space Station (ISS). These bottles are not intended for holiday celebrations by the crew, however (consumption of alcohol is officially prohibited in space.) Instead. the bottles are part of an experiment conducted by the University of Bordeaux’s Institute of Vine and Wine Science (ISVV) and a company called Space Cargo Unlimited to investigate if the aging process of wine is affected by microgravity conditions.

As novel as this experiment sounds, the Bordeaux team is not the first group to examine how alcoholic beverages age in space. That distinction is held by two whisky producers, one in Scotland, the other in Japan. In 2011, Scotch whisky producer Ardbeg partnered with Nanoracks to launch the first whisky aging experiment in orbit. When the samples were returned to Earth in 2014, a clear difference was readily apparent from the control samples that remained on Earth—and not for the better. According to an Ardbeg white paper, the aftertaste was “pungent, intense and long, with hints of wood, antiseptic lozenges and rubbery smoke.” However, Ardbeg was not certain if this was a result of the aging process or other extreme factors that the samples encountered.

In 2015, Japanese whisky producer Suntory also launched whisky samples to be aged on the ISS. One batch of these samples returned to Earth for analysis after a year in orbit, but another batch still remains on the station. Thus far, Suntory has not released any data from these experiments.

Nov 18, 2019

Third case of plague linked to Black Death found in China after hunter eats wild rabbit

Posted by in category: food

Plague reported after hunter eats wild rabbit is third such case of the illness in China this month. Officials said it is not linked to the other cases.

Nov 18, 2019

Life-long epigenetic programming of cortical architecture

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

The evolution of human diets led to preferences toward polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content with ‘Western’ diets enriched in ω-6 PUFAs. Mounting evidence points to ω-6 PUFA excess limiting metabolic and cognitive processes that define longevity in humans. When chosen during pregnancy, ω-6 PUFA-enriched ‘Western’ diets can reprogram maternal bodily metabolism with maternal nutrient supply precipitating the body-wide imprinting of molecular and cellular adaptations at the level of long-range intercellular signaling networks in the unborn fetus. Even though unfavorable neurological outcomes are amongst the most common complications of intrauterine ω-6 PUFA excess, cellular underpinnings of life-long modifications to brain architecture remain unknown. Here, we show that nutritional ω-6 PUFA-derived endocannabinoids desensitize CB1 cannabinoid receptors, thus inducing epigenetic repression of transcriptional regulatory networks controlling neuronal differentiation. We found that cortical neurons lose their positional identity and axonal selectivity when mouse fetuses are exposed to excess ω-6 PUFAs in utero. Conversion of ω-6 PUFAs into endocannabinoids disrupted the temporal precision of signaling at neuronal CB1 cannabinoid receptors, chiefly deregulating Stat3-dependent transcriptional cascades otherwise required to execute neuronal differentiation programs. Global proteomics identified the immunoglobulin family of cell adhesion molecules (IgCAMs) as direct substrates, with DNA methylation and chromatin accessibility profiling uncovering epigenetic reprogramming at 1400 sites in neurons after prolonged cannabinoid exposure. We found anxiety and depression-like behavioral traits to manifest in adult offspring, which is consistent with genetic models of reduced IgCAM expression, to suggest causality for cortical wiring defects. Overall, our data uncover a regulatory mechanism whose disruption by maternal food choices could limit an offspring’s brain function for life.


  • Immediate Communication
  • Published: 18 November 2019
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Nov 18, 2019

Grub granola? How we’ll all be eating insect-based foods in a decade

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Insect farming is a small – but growing – industry globally, with bugs touted as a sustainable and cheap food that is high in protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals. Their cultivation, meanwhile, has much less environmental impact than meat.


With predictions that the insect market could grow significantly, it is not just scientists cooking up ways to put bugs on the menu but also some of the world’s largest food and agricultural companies.

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