Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 192

Oct 7, 2019

Want to live a healthier, longer life? Try taking more prebiotics — also, don’t eat sometimes

Posted by in categories: food, life extension

In this video, bestselling author Dave Asprey explains.

Oct 6, 2019

Gut Reaction Pt. 2 | Gut Health, Bacteria and Food

Posted by in categories: food, health

Could our food be making us sick – very sick?

In the second episode of this two-part special, Dr Graham Phillips reveals new research about the interplay between food and the bacteria deep within our guts.

Oct 6, 2019

29-Year-Old French Entrepreneur Creates Light Without Electricity

Posted by in categories: biological, food

Download the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Spotify.

Sandra Rey, 29, was participating in a student design competition with the theme “biology” and got to watching videos on YouTube of bioluminescent sea creatures when she thought there must be a way to replicate that natural technology. Five years later, her startup, called Glowee, is creating brilliant luminescent art installations for hotels and public spaces.

While she admits, “We’ll never replace the lights in your kitchen,” she hopes to create enough light and enough beauty to play a role in the world’s lighting mix to help reduce reliance on electric lighting.

Oct 5, 2019

Promising steps towards hope for a treatment for schizophrenia

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

Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that causes significant disability, and affects 1 in 100 people. Patients with schizophrenia commonly experience negative symptoms, which include lack of motivation, social isolation and inability to experience pleasurable feeling. The current antipsychotics minimally improve these negative symptoms, and there are no currently licensed treatments. In addition, it is estimated that total service costs for schizophrenia in England alone will be £6.5 billion by 2026. In view of this, there is considerable interest in identifying potential treatment targets for these symptoms. However, the nature of the changes in brain chemistry that contribute to these negative symptoms is unknown.

Mu-opioid receptors (MOR) are found in a region of the called the striatum and they play a crucial role in how we experience pleasure and reward. Our bodies naturally produce opioid molecules that include endorphins; which are hormones secreted by the brain that are known to help relieve pain or stress and boost happiness. MORs are receptors that bind these naturally produced endogenous opioid molecules, and stimulation of the MOR system starts a signalling cascade that causes an increase in motivation to seek reward and increase food palatability amongst many other effects. Interestingly, MORs were found to be reduced in the striatum post-mortem in schizophrenia. So, it was unclear whether the availability of these receptors was increased when individuals were alive, or whether reduced MORs was related to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

The latest brain scan research from the Psychiatric Imaging group at the MRC LMS published on 3 October in Nature Communications has reported how the MOR system contributes to the negative symptoms displayed in schizophrenia patients. For the first time, this research study showed how MOR levels are significantly reduced in the striatum region of the brain. Thus, a lack of MOR system stimulation in the brain contributes to these negative feelings that schizophrenia patients can experience.

Oct 4, 2019

New Jersey baby born with ‘brain outside of skull’ believed to be first to survive condition

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience

“I don’t want to interrupt Lucas’ neurodevelopment — he’s on the same path that a child his age would normally be,” Vogel said, adding that he’s started eating baby cereal and baby food. “We intervene with the best intentions and then possibly delay someone’s recovery — I don’t want to stunt his growth or neurodevelopment.”

In the future, Vogel said they will work with his family on cosmetic goals as well but that he has normal facial features, meaning the area the will need to address is the top of his skull. He added that the more bone he develops the more of his own tissue they can use, which will “lead to a better outcome.”

Vogel said the waiting has also paid off, as at a recent visit with Lucas he was lifting his head and trying to crawl, which is something a babies typically master between six and 10 months of age.

Oct 3, 2019

As Silicon Valley faces a tech reckoning, biologists point to the next big opportunity

Posted by in categories: biological, food, genetics

At SynBioBeta, entrepreneurs making plant-based foods and genetically engineered bacteria rallied to promote the idea that it’s biology’s century.

Oct 3, 2019

This won’t end well. Microsoft’s AI boffins unleash a bot that can generate fake comments for news articles

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, sustainability

Please no, we don’t need a machine-learning troll farm.

Oct 3, 2019

CRISPR flies have been gene edited so they can eat poison

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

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to give fruit flies an evolutionary advantage they’ve never had before. By making just three small changes to a single gene, the team gave the flies the ability to effectively eat poison and store it in their bodies, protecting themselves from predators in the process.

Milkweed is a common plant that’s toxic to most animals and insects – but the monarch butterfly flies in the face of that plant’s defenses. The bug has evolved the ability to not only thrive on the poisonous plant, but turn it to its own advantage. It stores the toxins in its body, making it poisonous to any predators that might try to eat it.

And now, the UC Berkeley researchers have given fruit flies that ability for the first time. CRISPR has been used to edit the genes of insects, mammals and even humans, but the team says this is the first time a multicellular organism has been edited to endow it with new behaviors and adaptations to the environment. In this case, that means a new diet and a new defense mechanism against predators.

Oct 3, 2019

Is the World Ready for Synthetic People?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, food, genetics

Drew Endy almost can’t talk fast enough to convey everything he has to say. It’s a wonderfully complex message filled with nuance, a kind of intricate puzzle box being built by a pioneer of synthetic biology who wants to fundamentally rejigger the living world.

Endy heads a research team at Stanford that is, as he puts it, building genetically encoded computers and redesigning genomes. What that means: he’s trying to engineer life forms to do useful things. Just about anything could come out of this toolkit: new foods, new materials, new medicines. So you are unlikely to find anyone who is more optimistic than he is about the potential for synthetic biology to solve big problems.

That’s what makes Endy so compelling when he worries about how the technology is being developed. Perhaps more than anyone else working in synthetic biology, Endy has tried to hold the community to account.

Oct 2, 2019

Scientists recreate in flies the mutations that let monarch butterfly eat toxic milkweed with impunity

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

The fruit flies in Noah Whiteman’s lab may be hazardous to your health.

Whiteman and his University of California, Berkeley, colleagues have turned perfectly palatable —palatable, at least, to frogs and birds—into potentially poisonous prey that may cause anything that eats them to puke. In large enough quantities, the flies likely would make a human puke, too, much like the emetic effect of ipecac syrup.

That’s because the team genetically engineered the flies, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, to be able to eat milkweed without dying and to sequester its toxins, just as America’s most beloved butterfly, the , does to deter predators.