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Mar 20, 2020

Activation of the Anti-Aging and Cognition-Enhancing Gene Klotho

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

Multiple lines of evidence show that the anti-aging and cognition-enhancing protein Klotho fosters neuronal survival, increases the anti-oxidative stress defense, and promotes remyelination of demyelinated axons. Thus, upregulation of the Klotho gene can potentially alleviate the symptoms and/or prevent the progression of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Here we used a CRISPR-dCas9 complex to investigate single-guide RNA (sgRNA) targeting the Klotho promoter region for efficient transcriptional activation of the Klotho gene. We tested the sgRNAs within the — 1 to — 300 bp of the Klotho promoter region and identified two sgRNAs that can effectively enhance Klotho gene transcription. We examined the transcriptional activation of the Klotho gene using three different systems: a Firefly luciferase (FLuc) and NanoLuc luciferase (NLuc) coincidence reporter system, a NLuc knock-in in Klotho 3’-UTR using CRISPR genomic editing, and two human cell lines: neuronal SY5Y cells and kidney HK-2 cells that express Klotho endogenously. The two sgRNAs enhanced Klotho expression at both the gene and protein levels. Our results show the feasibility of gene therapy for targeting Klotho using CRISPR technology. Enhancing Klotho levels has a therapeutic potential for increasing cognition and treating age-associated neurodegenerative, demyelinating and other diseases, such as chronic kidney disease and cancer.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Cancer; Chronic kidney disease; Multiple sclerosis; Myelin; Neuroprotection.

Mar 20, 2020

DARPA jump-started technologies behind some of the leading COVID-19 vaccine and antibody hopes

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A U.S. defense agency that specializes in turning science fantasies into realities jump-started technologies and nurtured companies that are now at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Defense Research Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) has taken risks where others wouldn’t. Its pursuit of high-risk, high-reward technologies, combined with its mission-driven approach to managing projects is promising to pay off in the fight against COVID-19.

DARPA was behind the creation of DNA and RNA vaccines, funding early R&D by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) at a time when the technologies were considered speculative by many scientists and investors.

Mar 20, 2020

This is the first-ever iPad with which Apple has introduced trackpad support

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics

Apple’s latest iPad — the iPad Pro — is its most-powerful and comes with several first-time features. This is the first iPad with a a dual-camera, a trackpad, a Magic keyboard and LiDAR scanner. It is the most-powerful iPad Apple has made and is set to give tough competition to a lot of Windows-powered laptops. Here are 15 things you should know about the new iPad Pro:

Mar 20, 2020

Gravitational effects on the Higgs field within the Solar System

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

Abstract: The Higgs mechanism predicts, apart from the existence of a new scalar boson, the presence of a constant Higgs field that permeates all of space. The vacuum expectation value (VEV) of this field is affected by quantum corrections which are mainly generated by the self-interactions and couplings of the Higgs field to gauge bosons and heavy quarks. In this work we show that gravity can affect, in a non-trivial way, these quantum corrections through the finite parts of the one-loop contributions to the effective potential. In particular, we consider the corrections generated by the Standard Model Higgs self-interactions in slowly-varying weak gravitational backgrounds. The obtained results amount to the existence of non-negligible inhomogeneities in the Higgs VEV. Such inhomogeneities translate into spatial variations of the particle masses, and in particular of the proton-to-electron mass ratio. We find that these Higgs perturbations in our Solar System are controlled by the Eddington parameter, and are absent in pure General Relativity. Yet, they may be present in modified gravity theories. This predicted effect may be constrained by atomic clocks or high-resolution spectroscopic measurements, which could allow to improve current limits on modifications of Einstein’s gravity.

Mar 20, 2020

Elusive Higgs Mode Created in Exotic Materials

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Two teams of physicists have created the “Higgs mode” – a link between particle physics and the physics of matter. The work could help researchers understand the strange behavior of deeply quantum systems.

Mar 20, 2020

There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Factories were shuttered and streets were cleared across China’s Hubei province as authorities ordered residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It seems the lockdown had an unintended benefit — blue skies.

The average number of “good quality air days” increased 21.5% in February, compared to the same period last year, according to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Mar 20, 2020

Coronavirus could cause fall in global CO2 emissions

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, policy, sustainability

Responses to outbreak also show how government policy and behavioural changes can have impact.

Mar 20, 2020

World’s Fastest Supercomputer Finds 77 Potential COVID-19 Treatments

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, supercomputing

IBM’s Summit is currently the fastest supercomputer in the world.

Mar 20, 2020

Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Shares in Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, which developed favipiravir, surged after praise by Chinese official following clinical trials.

Mar 20, 2020

Dutch Company Reveals An Electric Car That Charges Itself With Sunlight

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

A Dutch company from Eindhoven has released a prototype car called Lightyear One, that won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, being the very first long-range solar car in the world. It has already sold 100 orders to be filled in 2011 and is a four-passenger vehicle.