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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Jun 20, 2018

The Limits of Neuroplasticity in the Brain

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience, science

New research shows that the brain‘s neuroplasticity isn’t as flexible as previously thought.

One of the brain’s mysteries is how exactly it reorganizes new #information as you learn new tasks. The standard to date was to test how neurons learned new behavior one #neuron at a time.

Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh decided to try a different approach. They looked at the population of neurons to see how they worked together while #learning a new behavior. Studying the intracortical population activity in the primary motor cortex of rhesus macaques during short-term learning in a brain–computer interface (BCI) task, they were able to study the reorganization of population during learning.

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Jun 19, 2018

US military wants to know what synthetic-biology weapons could look like

Posted by in categories: biological, military

Re-created viruses, toxic bacteria top new ranking of risks.

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Jun 18, 2018

The Shift From 4G to 5G Will Change Just About Everything

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, internet

Telecom experts are going so far as to herald the arrival of 5G as the advent of the fourth industrial revolution. There are an ever-expanding number of high-tech devices out there trying to connect to the internet every day, many of which require extensive bandwidth, and companies across the board will leverage 5G capabilities to better reach consumers.

“The application of 5G technology will result in massive changes for both consumers and enterprises,” said Jeff Weisbein, founder and CEO of digital media company Best Techie. “5G networks will offer consumers incredible broadband speeds at home (up to 20Gb/s). It will also enable companies to make advancements such as even smarter, better connected cars, advancements in medical technologies and improved retail experiences through personalization.”

5G refers to 5th-Generation Wireless Systems and uses additional spectrum in the existing LTE frequency range to build on the capabilities of 4G, which is often used interchangeably with 4G LTE by marketers. LTE denotes Long Term Evolution, and is a term that was deployed with early 4G networks that presented a substantial improvement on 3G, but did not fully qualify as 4G, meaning 4G LTE is essentially first-generation 4G.

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Jun 17, 2018

Four billion years of evolution in six minutes

Posted by in category: evolution

Did humans evolve from monkeys or from fish? In this enlightening talk, ichthyologist and TED Fellow Prosanta Chakrabarty dispels some hardwired myths about evolution, encouraging us to remember that we’re a small part of a complex, four-billion-year process — and not the end of the line. “We’re not the goal of evolution,” Chakrabarty says. “Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and gigantic tree of life — connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors.”

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Jun 17, 2018

Harvard Rewinds the Biological Clock of Time

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, DNA, health, life extension, science, transhumanism

Investigators at Harvard Medical School have identified the key cellular mechanisms behind vascular aging and its effects on muscle health, and they have successfully reversed the process in animals.

The scientists used a chemical compound that’s an NAD+ booster called NMN which plays a critical role in repairing cellular DNA as well as maintaining cell vitality to test what would happen.

Could reversing the aging of blood vessels hold the key to restoring youthful vitality? If the old adage “you are as old as your arteries” reigns true then the answer is yes, at least in mice.

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Jun 16, 2018

For The First Time, Scientists Have Caught Bacteria “Fishing” For DNA From Their Dead Friends

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

“Horizontal gene transfer is an important way that antibiotic resistance moves between bacterial species, but the process has never been observed before, since the structures involved are so incredibly small,” said biologist Ankur Dalia of Indiana University Bloomington.


Bacteria are slippery little suckers. They evolve rapidly, developing resistance to antibiotics and therefore becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. Now, for the first time, researchers have caught on film one of the mechanisms the microbes use for this speedy evolution.

Two Vibrio cholerae bacteria — the pathogen responsible for cholera — sit under a microscope, glowing a vivid green. As we watch, a tendril snakes forth from one of the bacterium, harpooning a piece of DNA and carrying it back to its body.

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Jun 10, 2018

‘Til Deletion Do Us Part’: Discovering Love in a Virtual Future

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI, virtual reality

What does it mean to fall in love in the 21st century? Originally, the number of people you could fall in love with were limited to the amount that lived within relative close proximity of you (a few miles, at best). In today’s world, however, it isn’t that uncommon for people to fall in love online.


As we move forward into a future of VR and AI, how might our abilities to fall in love change in a world where non-biological life is teeming just as much as biological life?

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Jun 10, 2018

Using microbes to track down criminals

Posted by in category: biological

Using mock burglaries, researchers investigate a way to catch criminals using the microbes they leave behind. Could your microbiome give you away?

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Jun 7, 2018

The Neurogenesis Debate

Posted by in categories: biological, futurism, neuroscience

The Neurogenesis Debate

Written by Nicholi Avery

On March 7 2018, a study was published in the highly esteemed journal Nature by an international team of scientists claiming that #neurogenesis starts to rapidly decline in the #human brain as early as 13 years old and becomes undetectable in adults. This rocked the scientific community as there has been a long-established theory that neurogenesis takes place throughout the course of life in the mammalian #brain. Until the 1990s, neurologists were practicing their profession under the doctrine established in the late 19th to early 20th century by the prominent histologist Ramon y Cajal, often referred to as a god of neuroscience;

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Jun 4, 2018

Best of last week: Flux capacitor invented, a better 3D printer and the true benefits of vitamins

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biological, cosmology, genetics, health, quantum physics, space travel

It was a good week for physics as a team with members from Australia and Switzerland invented a flux capacitor able to break time-reversal symmetry. They proposed a device based on quantum tunneling of magnetic flux around a capacitor. And another team with members from across the U.S. reported on a gravitational wave event that likely signaled the creation of a black hole—the merger of two neutron stars.

In biology news, a team of engineers led by Sinisa Vukelic invented a noninvasive technique to correct vision. Like LASIK, it uses lasers but is non-surgical and has few side-effects. And an international team of researchers found what they describe as the mother of all lizards in the Italian Alps, the oldest known lizard fossil, from approximately 240 million years ago. Also, a team at the University of Sydney found that walking faster could make you live longer. People do not even need to walk more, the team reported, they just need to pick up the pace of their normal stride to see an improvement in several health factors. And a team from Cal Poly Pomona discovered how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft—and it involved the cleaning agents themselves.

In other news, a team of researchers from the University of California and the University of Southern Queensland announced that they had identified 121 giant planets that may have habitable moons. And a team at Stanford University found that wars and clan structure might explain a strange biological event that occurred 7,000 years ago—male genetic diversity appeared to collapse for a time. Also, a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard University report the development of a 3D printer that can print data sets as physical objects—offering far more realistic, nearly true-color renderings.

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