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Jan 19, 2021

Lasers and molecular tethers create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry

Imagine going to a surgeon to have a diseased or injured organ switched out for a fully functional, laboratory-grown replacement. This remains science fiction and not reality because researchers today struggle to organize cells into the complex 3D arrangements that our bodies can master on their own.

There are two major hurdles to overcome on the road to laboratory-grown organs and tissues. The first is to use a biologically compatible 3D in which cells can grow. The second is to decorate that scaffold with biochemical messages in the correct configuration to trigger the formation of the desired organ or tissue.

In a major step toward transforming this hope into reality, researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published the week of Jan. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies.

Jan 18, 2021

The biological research putting purpose back into life

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Biologists balk at any talk of ‘goals’ or ‘intentions’ — but a bold new research agenda has put agency back on the table.

Animal immune systems depend on white blood cells called macrophages that devour and engulf invaders. The cells pursue with determination and gusto: under a microscope you can watch a blob-like macrophage chase a bacterium across the slide, switching course this way and that as its prey tries to escape through an obstacle course of red blood cells, before it finally catches the rogue microbe and gobbles it up.

But hang on: isn’t this an absurdly anthropomorphic way of describing a biological process? Single cells don’t have minds of their own – so surely they don’t have goals, determination, gusto? When we attribute aims and purposes to these primitive organisms, aren’t we just succumbing to an illusion?

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Jan 18, 2021

He may hold the winning ticket in tech and Silicon Valley knows it

Posted by in categories: business, education, finance, food, health

We are creating compelling homegrown solutions in education, health care, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services and new commerce,” Ambani said in his speech. “Each of these solutions, once proven in India, will be offered to the rest of the world to address global challenges.

Mukesh Ambani has spent years trying to turn his inherited oil business into a tech empire. In 2020, that pivot really kicked into overdrive.

Jan 18, 2021

Martinus Veltman, Who Made Key Contribution in Physics, Dies at 89

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Martinus J.G. Veltman, a Dutch theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for work that explained the structure of some of the fundamental forces in the universe, helping to lay the groundwork for the development of the Standard Model, the backbone of quantum physics, died on Jan. 4 in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. He was 89.

His death was announced by the National Institute for Subatomic Physics in the Netherlands. No cause was given.

There are four known fundamental forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force that bonds subatomic particles together, and the weak force that is responsible for particle decay. Since the discovery of the last two forces in the first half of the 20th century, physicists have looked for a unified theory that could account for the existence of all four.

Jan 18, 2021

Heather Ann Blevins‎Cryonics Institute

Posted by in categories: cryonics, life extension

Cryonics Institute


Jan 18, 2021

University of Arizona researchers spot black hole beacon from when universe was young

Posted by in category: cosmology

New research by a University of Arizona-led team suggests two near-Earth asteroids — but Bennu and Ryugu — were actually sheared off and shaped by a by a single crash.

Jan 18, 2021

Designer protein helps paralyzed mice walk again in breakthrough study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In a new study, German scientists have restored the ability to walk in mice that had been paralyzed after a complete spinal cord injury. The team created a “designer” signaling protein and injected it into the animals’ brains, stimulating their nerve cells to regenerate and share the recipe to make the protein.

Spinal cord injuries are among the most debilitating. Damaged nerve fibers (axons) may no longer be able to transmit signals between the brain and muscles, often resulting in paralysis to the lower limbs. Worse still, these axons cannot regenerate.

Previous studies have shown promise in restoring some limb function through spinal stimulation therapy, or by bypassing the injury site altogether. Other promising research in similar areas has involved using compounds that restore balance to the inhibitory/excitatory signals in the neurons of partially paralyzed mice, and transplanting regenerating nose nerve cells into the spines of injured dogs.

Jan 18, 2021

NASA discovered a dark, freaky pit on Mars and stared into the shadowy abyss

Posted by in category: space


If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze into you. Nietzsche could have been talking about Mars.

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Jan 18, 2021

We Can Reverse Aging

Posted by in categories: genetics, life extension

No that’s not clickbait.
Being able to stop and reverse aging is probably something every single person has yearned for at some point in their life. Now researchers are finally seeing successful implementations of methods for reversing aging in Animal cells. This creates the potential for countless benefits for humans. These range from simply preventing age related illness all the way to allowing women the opportunity to have kids at any point in their life when they are ready. We are living in very exciting scientific times.


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Jan 18, 2021

Using drones to create local quantum networks

Posted by in categories: computing, drones, particle physics, quantum physics, satellites

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has used drones to create a prototype of a small airborne quantum network. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe sending entangled particles from one drone to another and from a drone to the ground.

Computer scientists, physicists and engineers have been working over the last several years toward building a usable quantum —doing so would involve sending entangled particles between users and the result would be the most secure network ever made. As part of that effort, researchers have sent entangled particles over fiber cables, between towers and even from satellites to the ground. In this new effort, the researchers have added a new element—drones.

To build a long-range quantum network, satellites appear to be the ideal solution. But for smaller networks, such as for communications between users in the same city, another option is needed. While towers can be of some use, they are subject to weather and blockage, intentional or otherwise. To get around this problem, the researchers used drones to carry the signals.

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