Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Dec 15, 2018

Bioquark — Bustle — 7 Creepy Things A Dead Body Can Do — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, complex systems, cryonics, fun, futurism, genetics, health, homo sapiens…e-13550864

Dec 13, 2018

A Designer Seed Company Is Building a Farming Panopticon

Posted by in categories: biological, food, satellites

Indigo Ag, known for its microbe-coated seeds, is acquiring geospatial data startup TellusLabs to use satellites to learn every last thing about its farmers’ fields.

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Dec 12, 2018

New X-ray imaging approach could boost nanoscale resolution for advanced photon source upgrade

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, neuroscience, particle physics

A longstanding problem in optics holds that an improved resolution in imaging is offset by a loss in the depth of focus. Now, scientists are joining computation with X-ray imaging as they develop a new and exciting technique to bypass this limitation.

The upcoming Advanced Photon Source Upgrade (APS-U) project at Argonne will put this problem under one of the brightest spotlights imaginable. The upgrade will make the APS, a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility, 500 times brighter than it is today, further enhancing the capabilities of its X-rays to study the arrangements of atoms and molecules in a wide range of biological and technological materials.

“A whole variety of X-ray imaging experiments ultimately will need something like this as they all push the resolution to finer length scales in the future,” said Chris Jacobsen, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and professor of physics at Northwestern University. With the Upgrade in place, the APS’s X-rays could allow scientists to study systems like the brain’s full network of synaptic connections, or the entire volume of an integrated circuit down to its finest details.

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Dec 11, 2018

These ‘useless’ quirks of evolution are actually evidence for the theory

Posted by in category: evolution

I guess I just feel like venting for a moment… So here goes…

Why are humans the only animals with chins?

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Dec 11, 2018

Rapid genetic evolution linked to lighter skin pigmentation in a southern African population

Posted by in categories: evolution, genetics

Populations of indigenous people in southern Africa carry a gene that causes lighter skin, and scientists have now identified the rapid evolution of this gene in recent human history.

The gene that causes lighter pigmentation, SLC24A5, was introduced from eastern African to southern African populations just 2,000 years ago. Strong positive selection caused this gene to rise in frequency among some KhoeSan populations.

UC Davis anthropologist Brenna Henn and colleagues have shown that a gene for lighter skin spread rapidly among people in southern Africa in the last 2,000 years.

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Dec 10, 2018

The Future of Tech Will Change Everything From Food to Healthcare

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, food

Advancement in technology will continue to impact the way we work, eat, and even take care of ourselves. A new report from Scientific American takes a look at some of the top emerging technologies that range from the field of biology to computer science. The publication’s chief science editor Seth Fletcher talked to Cheddar about what’s next when it comes to tech.



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Dec 10, 2018

Artificial synapses made from nanowires

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology

Scientists from Jülich together with colleagues from Aachen and Turin have produced a memristive element made from nanowires that functions in much the same way as a biological nerve cell. The component is able to save and process information, as well as receive numerous signals in parallel. The resistive switching cell made from oxide crystal nanowires is thus an ideal candidate for use in building bioinspired “neuromorphic” processors, able to take over the diverse functions of biological synapses and neurons.

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Dec 6, 2018

What Bodies Think About: Bioelectric Computation Outside the Nervous System — NeurIPS 2018

Posted by in category: biological

That was pretty interesting…

Presented December 4th 2018 by Prof. Michael Levin (Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University)

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Dec 6, 2018

Double the stress slows down evolution

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

Neoliberalism slows down evolution! Just kidding…or am I? 🧐😁🤣🙈.

Like other organisms, bacteria constantly have to fight to survive in hostile living conditions. Together with colleagues in Finland, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön have discovered that bacteria adapt to their environment more slowly and less efficiently as soon as they are exposed to two stress factors rather than one. This is due to mutations in different genes. The slower rate of evolution led to smaller population sizes. This means that evolution can take divergent paths if an organism is exposed to several stress factors.

Bacteria rarely live alone; they are usually part of a community of species that is exposed to various stress factors. They can often react to these factors by adapting to new environmental conditions with astonishing speed. Antibiotics that enter soil and water via and accumulate there in low concentrations can trigger the evolution of resistance in – even though these concentrations are so low that they inhibit only slightly or not at all. However, bacteria do not only have to fight ; they also have to deal with predators. This is why they often grow in large colonies that cannot be consumed by predatory organisms.

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Dec 5, 2018

Modeling the Microbiome

Posted by in categories: biological, health, mathematics, physics

What the study shows, the researchers said, is that the interactions between the bacterial populations are as significant to the host’s overall fitness as their presence — the microbiome’s influence cannot be solely attributed to the presence or absence of individual species. “In a sense,” said Jones, “the microbiome’s influence on the host is more than the sum of its parts.”

The gut microbiome — the world of microbes that inhabit the human intestinal tract — has captured the interest of scientists and clinicians for its critical role in health. However, parsing which of those microbes are responsible for effects on our wellbeing remains a mystery.

Taking us one step closer to solving this puzzle, UC Santa Barbara physicists Eric Jones and Jean Carlson have developed a mathematical approach to analyze and model interactions between gut bacteria in fruit flies. This method could lead to a more sophisticated understanding of the complex interactions between human gut microbes.

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