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Daily aspirin reduces cancer risk and slows its spread, study with 100,000 patients confirms

Daily aspirin reduces cancer risk and slows its spread, study with 100,000 patients confirms | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Taking a low dose of aspirin every day may reduce the risk of cancer and slow the spread of the disease, according to a study that followed the health of more than 100,000 patients.

 

Research by a team at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta found the overall risk of dying from cancer was 16% lower among people who took a daily aspirin pill for up to 11 years, with deaths from gastrointestinal cancers, such as oesophageal, stomach and colorectal cancers, falling by around 40%. Deaths from other cancers fell by 12% on average.

 

Scientists are unsure how aspirin prevents cancer, but it may act by damping down inflammation in the body, or slowing the buildup of mutations in cells that ultimately turn cancerous. The drug appears to slow the spread of cancer around the body by preventing cancer cells from sticking to blood platelets.

 

Despite the evidence that regular low doses of aspirin – 75 mg a day – can keep cancer at bay, many doctors believe it is too early to encourage widespread use of the drug to prevent the disease. One of the most serious side effects of aspirin is damage to the stomach lining. This can cause internal bleeding, which in rare cases is fatal, especially in those aged 70 and older.

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Mass of ants behaving like an "intelligent" fluid

Fire ants use their claws to grip diverse surfaces, including each other. As a result of their mutual adhesion and large numbers, ant colonies flow like inanimate fluids. This film shows how ants behave similarly to the spreading of drops, the capillary rise of menisci, and gravity-driven flow down a wall. By emulating the flow of fluids, ant colonies can remain united under stressful conditions.

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Research on language gene seeks to uncover the origin of the singing mouse

Research on language gene seeks to uncover the origin of the singing mouse | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Singing mice (scotinomys teguina) are from the tropical cloud forests in the mountains of Costa Rica; and, as their name hints, they use song to communicate. University of Texas at Austin researcher Steven Phelps is examining these unconventional rodents to gain insights into the genes that contribute to the unique singing behavior—information that could help scientists understand and identify genes that affect language in humans.

 

The song of the singing mouse song is a rapid-fire string of high-pitched chirps called trills used mostly used by males in dominance displays and to attract mates. Up to 20 chirps are squeaked out per second, sounding similar to birdsong to untrained ears. But unlike birds, the mice generally stick to a song made up of only a single note. Most rodents make vocalizations at a frequency much too high for humans to hear. But other rodents typically don't vocalize to the extent of singing mice, which use the song to communicate over large distances in the wild.

 

What could cause this kind of song expression genetically? Center stage is a special gene called FOXP2. FOXP2 is famous because it's the only gene that's been implicated in human speech disorders. Having at least one mutated copy of the gene has been associated with a host of language problems in humans, from difficulty understanding grammar to an inability to make the precise mouth movements needed to speak a clear sentence. The FOXP2 gene is remarkably similar overall between singing mice, lab mice and humans. Recent research has found that when an animal hears a song from the same species, neurons that carry FOXP2 become activated. So FOXP2 may play a role in integrating song information. Learning what activates FOXP2 and what genes are activated by it could provide clues into how outside stimuli affects gene expression and what genes are important in the understanding and integration of information.

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Hundred-Year Drought? Climate models predict dangerously low rainfall for the next several decades

Hundred-Year Drought? Climate models predict dangerously low rainfall for the next several decades | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Until recently, many scientists spoke of climate change mainly as a “threat,” sometime in the future. But it is increasingly clear that we already live in the era of human-induced climate change, with a growing frequency of weather and climate extremes like heat waves, droughts, floods and fires.

 

Future precipitation trends, based on climate model projections for the coming fifth assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate that droughts of this length and severity will be commonplace through the end of the century unless human-induced carbon emissions are significantly reduced. Indeed, assuming business as usual, each of the next 80 years in the American West is expected to see less rainfall than the average of the five years of the drought that hit the region from 2000 to 2004.

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A third species of humans coexisted with Homo erectus and Homo habilis 2 million years ago

A third species of humans coexisted with Homo erectus and Homo habilis 2 million years ago | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers think they have found a new kid on the Paleolithic ‘block’ — a third species of humans coexisting with Homo erectus and Homo habilis almost 2 million years ago. Habilis, Erectus, say hello to your new ‘cousin,’ Homo rudolfensis. This latest thinking comes from the analysis of fossils discovered in Kenya. The researchers published their findings Thursday in the science journal Nature. Dr. Meave Leakey, of the famous paleontology family, led the Koobi Fora Research Project.

 

"The new fossils confirm the presence of two contemporary species of early Homo, in addition to Homo erectus, in the early Pleistocene of eastern Africa," the team has suggested.

 

Between 2007 and 2009, the team found three human fossils, which are from 1.78 to 1.95 million years old. The finds include a face, a complete lower jaw and part of a second lower jaw.

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Can 80 year old BCG TB Vaccine Stop Type 1 Diabetes?

Can 80 year old BCG TB Vaccine Stop Type 1 Diabetes? | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
A tiny phase 1 clinical trial suggests that repeated doses of the 80-year-old BCG tuberculosis vaccine may halt the abnormal immune responses behind type 1 diabetes, allowing insulin-producing cells to regenerate.

 

Over a decade ago, Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that the BCG vaccine worked in diabetic mice. By stimulating positive immune responses, the vaccine stopped the haywire immune responses that cause diabetes. Once this happened, the animals' insulin-making cells regenerated.

 

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The North Pole is on thin ice

The North Pole is on thin ice | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
While the world’s political leaders have left the negotiating table again without an agreement to reduce greenhouse gases, the Arctic has greater problems than ever – 75 percent of the sea ice has disappeared.

Via Seth Dixon
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megan b clement's curator insight, September 10, 2013 12:38 PM

"The North Pole ice thinning, another over looked issue, has risen to the surface. Over the past 100 years 50-75% of the sea ice has disappeared. Old ice, which is formed over several years, has been replaced with new ice. New ice come and goes through the year it was formed. Travel has been accelerated in the North Pole due to thinner ice. It makes you think about if these circumstances worsen where will it leave the marine life or animals who inhabit this region. What will be the result in the years to come if we continue to over look this issue?"

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Millefiori: Ferrofluids mixed with water colors

Millefiori: Ferrofluids mixed with water colors | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Ferrofluid is a magnetic solution with a viscosity similar to motor oil. When put under a magnetic field, the iron particles in the solution start to rearrange, forming the black channels and separating the water colors from the ferrofluid. The result are these peculiar looking structures.

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Aji Black Stone's comment, August 11, 2012 12:39 PM
WITH OUT PICTURE COLOR CAN MAKE IT'S OWN CREATIVITY
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What Earth Will Look Like in 100 Million Years

What Earth Will Look Like in 100 Million Years | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Earth’s modern continents are the fragments of a single, 300-million-year-old supercontinent called Pangaea. This vast landmass once rested on the equator, near where Africa is today. During the age of dinosaurs, tectonic forces slowly tore Pangaea apart. Now geologists predict those same forces will reassemble the pieces into a new supercontinent, named Amasia, about 100 million years in the future.


Ancient rocks and mountain ranges show that the constant movement of Earth’s crust has assembled and ripped apart supercontinents several times before, in a roughly half-billion-year cycle. But pinpointing where the past ones formed has proven difficult, which in turn clouded attempts to forecast the next great smashup.


A team of Yale geologists say they have cracked the problem, providing the best look yet at the planet of a.d. 100,000,000. Led by graduate student Ross Mitchell, the researchers first looked back beyond Pangaea and determined the location of supercontinents Rodinia, which formed about a billion years earlier, and Nuna, 700 million years before that. The team found that during the last two cycles, each supercontinent formed a quarter of the way around the globe from where the previous supercontinent had been. Using that insight, they calculated that Amasia will form over the North Pole.

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Aji Black Stone's comment, August 11, 2012 12:44 PM
YES IN THE THEORY OF 2012 THE SCIENTICE ARE SAYS THE SAME THEORY....
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Retrain the brain: Tinnitus research seems to point to new ways to stop the ringing

Retrain the brain: Tinnitus research seems to point to new ways to stop the ringing | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

People with tinnitus -- a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears -- can take heart from a new study by neuroscientists that points to several new strategies for alleviating the problem. In experiments on rats, researchers have shown that tinnitus results from decreased inhibition in the auditory cortex. Thus, training that boosts inhibition or drugs that increase the levels of inhibitory neurotransmitter may alleviate the symptoms.

 

Tinnitus is most frequently caused by hearing loss. Sustained loud noises, as from machinery or music, as well as some drugs can damage the hair cells in the inner ear that detect sounds. Because each hair cell is tuned to a different frequency, damaged or lost cells leave a gap in hearing, typically a specific frequency and anything higher in pitch. Experiments in the past few years have shown that the ringing doesn't originate in the inner ear, though, but rather in regions of the brain -- including the auditory cortex -- that receives input from the ear. These neurons in the auditory cortex generate phantom perceptions and neurons that have lost sensory input from the ear become more excitable and fire spontaneously, primarily because these nerves have "homeostatic" mechanisms to keep their overall firing rate constant no matter what.

 

One treatment strategy, then, is to retrain patients so that these brain cells get new input, which should reduce spontaneous firing. This can be done by enhancing the response to frequencies near the lost frequencies. Experiments over the past 30 years have shown that the brain is plastic enough to reorganize in this way when it loses sensory input. When a finger is amputated, for example, the region of the brain receiving input from that finger may start handling input from neighboring fingers. The goal is to find or develop drugs that inhibit the spontaneous firing of the idle neurons in the auditory cortex. Hearing loss causes changes at junctions between nerve cells, the so-called synapses, that both excite and inhibit firing.

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Ian Quimble's curator insight, December 16, 2012 9:58 AM

Excellent overview of how to get ridof tinitus by retraining the brain. 

 

My favorite ways to cure anything will always be natural and this particular method really has a lot to be said for. 

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Plenty of dark matter near the Sun

Plenty of dark matter near the Sun | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Astronomers at the University of Zürich and the ETH Zürich, together with other international researchers, have found large amounts of invisible "dark matter" near the Sun. Their results are consistent with the theory that the Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a massive "halo" of dark matter, but this is the first study of its kind to use a method rigorously tested against mock data from high quality simulations. The authors also find tantalising hints of a new dark matter component in our Galaxy.

 

Dark matter was first proposed by the Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky in the 1930s. He found that clusters of galaxies were filled with a mysterious dark matter that kept them from flying apart. At nearly the same time, Jan Oort in the Netherlands discovered that the density of matter near the Sun was nearly twice what could be explained by the presence of stars and gas alone. In the intervening decades, astronomers developed a theory of dark matter and structure formation that explains the properties of clusters and galaxies in the Universe, but the amount of dark matter in the solar neighbourhood has remained more mysterious. For decades after Oort's measurement, studies found 3-6 times more dark matter than expected. Then last year new data and a new method claimed far less than expected. The community was left puzzled, generally believing that the observations and analyses simply weren't sensitive enough to perform a reliable measurement.

 

Now an international team, lead by researchers of the University of Zürich with the participation of the ETH Zürich, have developed a new technique. The researchers used a state-of-the-art simulation of the Milky Way to test their mass-measuring method before applying it to real data. This threw up a number of surprises: they noticed that standard techniques used over the past twenty years were biased, always tending to underestimate the amount of dark matter. The researchers then developed a new unbiased technique that recovered the correct answer from the simulated data. Applying their technique to the positions and velocities of thousands of orange K dwarf stars near the Sun, they obtained a new measure of the local dark matter density.

 

"We are 99% confident that there is dark matter near the Sun," says the lead author Silvia Garbari. In fact, if anything, the authors' favoured dark matter density is a little high: they find more dark matter than expected at 90% confidence. There is a 10% chance that this is merely a statistical fluke, but if future data confirms this high value the implications are exciting as Silvia explains: "This could be the first evidence for a "disc" of dark matter in our Galaxy, as recently predicted by theory and numerical simulations of galaxy formation, or it could mean that the dark matter halo of our galaxy is squashed, boosting the local dark matter density."

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Progress on Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy via antisense exon region skipping

Progress on Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy via antisense exon region skipping | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A research team has developed a promising approach in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common form of the disease. If successfully brought to humans, the antisense therapy could potentially help more than 60 percent of with mutations deleting parts of the dystrophin protein. This represents more patients than those potentially helped by other antisense therapies now in the clinic.

 

Antisense drugs are best known for neutralizing a particular messenger RNA sequence, blocking that sequence from producing a disease-causing protein. Isis' drug for myotonic muscular dystrophy blocks a defective mRNA that sticks around in the cell nucleus, which interferes with production of a protein needed for proper control of the electrical impulses that move muscles.

 

Since DMD comprises many kinds of mutations, tailoring a therapy for each mutation would require many individual antisense formulations. That would take a lot of work and be very expensive. A 2009 article in Current Molecular Pharmacology stated that for personalized therapy, more than 100 antisense drugs would be needed to cover each mutational form of the disease.

 

This new technology is improving on that approach by editing out a whole stretch of exons, from sites 45 to 55. They selected this stretch because genetic deletions of this region have exceptionally mild or even asymptomatic forms of the disease. Mutations in that region include frame-disrupting changes, that propagate errors in translation down the line as the protein is transcribed. It appears that in many instances, deleting this exon region entirely is less harmful than expressing these mutations. (Eteplirsen takes a less sweeping version of this approach, it deletes just exon 51.)

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Giant double-stranded DNA virus infects Ehux: The Little Eukaryote with a Big History

Giant double-stranded DNA virus infects Ehux: The Little Eukaryote with a Big History | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Coccolithovirus, a giant double-stranded DNA virus, infects Ehux. The virus (pink) was first observed in 1999 by W.H. Wilson and was found to be a “giant-virus” having 472 protein-coding genes.


Via Tandy Agostini
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A Novel Approach for Transcription Factor Analysis Using SELEX with High-Throughput Sequencing (TFAST)

A Novel Approach for Transcription Factor Analysis Using SELEX with High-Throughput Sequencing (TFAST) | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A modified aptamer-free SELEX-seq protocol (afSELEX-seq) has been developed for the discovery of transcription factor binding sites. The included TFAST software is designed with a simple graphical interface (Java) so that it can be installed and executed without extensive expertise in bioinformatics. TFAST completes analysis within minutes on most personal computers. Once afSELEX-seq data are aligned to a target genome, TFAST identifies peaks and, uniquely, compares peak characteristics between cycles. TFAST generates a hierarchical report of graded peaks, their associated genomic sequences, binding site length predictions, and dummy sequences.

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Autonomous robotic plane dodges obstacles inside parking garage without use of GPS

Autonomous robotic plane dodges obstacles inside parking garage without use of GPS | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

New algorithms allow an autonomous robotic plane to dodge obstacles in a subterranean parking garage, without the use of GPS. At the 2011 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), a team of researchers from the group described an algorithm for calculating a plane’s trajectory; in 2012, at the same conference, they presented an algorithm for determining its “state” — its location, physical orientation, velocity and acceleration. Now, the MIT researchers have completed a series of flight tests in which an autonomous robotic plane running their state-estimation algorithm successfully threaded its way among pillars in the parking garage under MIT’s Stata Center.

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Tiny 'Firefly' satellite to solve mystery of extremely powerful terrestrial gamma ray flashes

Tiny 'Firefly' satellite to solve mystery of extremely powerful terrestrial gamma ray flashes | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Bursts of gamma rays usually occur far out in space, near black holes and other high-energy cosmic phenomena. Scientists were surprised when, in the mid-1990s, they found powerful gamma-ray flashes happening in the skies over Earth. Powerful natural particle accelerators in the atmosphere are behind the processes that create lightning. Terrestrial gamma rays (TGFs) result from this particle acceleration. Individual particles in a TGF contain a huge amount of energy, sometimes more than 20 mega-electron volts. The aurora borealis, for example, is powered by particles with less than one-thousandth as much energy as a TGF. But what causes a TGF's high-energy flashes? Does it trigger lightning--or does lightning trigger it? Could it be responsible for some of the high-energy particles in the Van Allen radiation belts, which can damage satellites?

 

A tiny little satellite, called CubeSat or 'Firefly - the size of a milk carton whirling in space - will soon find out. The CubeSat will look specifically for gamma-ray flashes coming from the atmosphere, not space, conducting the first focused study of TGF activity. Firefly will carry a gamma-ray detector along with a suite of instruments to detect lightning and will return the first simultaneous measurements of TGFs and lightnings. When thunderstorms happen, powerful electric fields stretch upward for miles, into the upper atmosphere. These electric fields accelerate free electrons, whirling them to speeds that are close to the speed of light. When these ultra-high-speed electrons collide with molecules in the air, they release high-energy gamma rays as well as more electrons, starting a cascade of electrons and TGFs. But unlike lightning, a TGF's energy is released as invisible gamma rays, not visible light. TGFs therefore don't produce colorful bursts of light like many lightning-related phenomena. But these unseen eruptions could help explain why brilliant lightning strikes happen.

 

More info:

NSF news release: Cubesats "Land" at National Science Foundation: http://tinyurl.com/8xwa36r
NSF news release: National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Build "CubeSats": http://tinyurl.com/d4j4exj
NSF webcast: CubeSats Come to NSF: http://tinyurl.com/bqwzho9

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Silicon out - copper in: Researchers create solar panels from cheap copper oxide

Silicon out - copper in: Researchers create solar panels from cheap copper oxide | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers from the University of California and Berkeley Lab have discovered a way of making photovoltaic cells out of any semiconducting material, not just beautiful, expensive crystals of silicon. In principle, this could open the door to much cheaper solar power. 

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Shell game: why heavier atoms might get stable again - islands of stability

Shell game: why heavier atoms might get stable again - islands of stability | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Adding unnatural amounts of nucleons may create energy shells, stabilize heavy nuclei. Quantum-mechanical shell effects are expected to strongly enhance nuclear binding on an “island of stability” of superheavy elements. The predicted center at proton number Z = 114, 120, or 126 and neutron number N = 184 has been substantiated by the recent synthesis of new elements up to Z = 118. However, the location of the center and the extension of the island of stability remain vague. High-precision mass spectrometry allows the direct measurement of nuclear binding energies and thus the determination of the strength of shell effects. A group of researchers now present such measurements for nobelium and lawrencium isotopes, which also pin down the deformed shell gap at N = 152.

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Selfish mitochondrial DNA found in animals for the first time

Selfish mitochondrial DNA found in animals for the first time | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered, for the first time in any animal species, a type of “selfish” mitochondrial DNA that is actually hurting the organism and lessening its chance to survive – and bears a strong similarity to some damage done to human cells as they age.

 

Such selfish mitochondrial DNA has been found before in plants, but not animals. In this case, the discovery was made almost by accident during some genetic research being done on a nematode, Caenorhabditis briggsae – a type of small roundworm.

 

The mitochondria generally act for the benefit of the cell, even though it is somewhat separate. But the “selfish” DNA found in some plant mitochondria – and now in animals – has major differences. It tends to copy itself faster than other DNA, has no function useful to the cell, and in some cases actually harms the cell. In plants, for instance, it can affect flowering and sometimes cause sterility.

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A Flight Through the Universe, by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

This animated flight through the universe was made by Miguel Aragon of Johns Hopkins University with Mark Subbarao of the Adler Planetarium and Alex Szalay of Johns Hopkins. There are close to 400,000 galaxies in the animation, with images of the actual galaxies in these positions (or in some cases their near cousins in type) derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7. Vast as this slice of the universe seems, its most distant reach is to redshift 0.1, corresponding to roughly 1.3 billion light years from Earth. SDSS Data Release 9 from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), led by Berkeley Lab scientists, includes spectroscopic data for well over half a million galaxies at redshifts up to 0.8 -- roughly 7 billion light years distant -- and over a hundred thousand quasars to redshift 3.0 and beyond.

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Giant 3-D Printer to Make An Entire House in 20 Hours

Giant 3-D Printer to Make An Entire House in 20 Hours | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

3-D printers can make airplanes and their parts, food and more — why not entire buildings? A professor at the University of Southern California aims to print out whole houses, using layers of concrete and adding plumbing, electrical wiring and other guts as it moves upward.


Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and is the Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics related related research projects that include the development of novel Solid Free Form, or Rapid Prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of CAD/CAM systems for biomedical applications (e.g., restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications in space, and invention of technologies in the field of oil and gas. His research in simulation has aimed at creating intelligent simulation tools that can automatically perform many simulation functions that are conventionally performed by human analysts. His textbook, "Discrete Systems Simulation", and his simulation software EZSIM benefit from some aspects of his research in simulation. He routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development.

 

It would use a movable gantry taller than the house you want to build. Concrete pours out and is set down layer by layer, like a typical 3-D printer would sinter plastic together. It could be ideal for emergency housing, commercial or low-income structures, but it could also be used to print out customized luxury homes, according to Khoshnevis. Or, he adds, it might be ideal for the moon or Mars. “Contour Crafting technology has the potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures, habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human beings,” his website reads.

 

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdbJP8Gxqog

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Gleevec: History of the Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Gleevec: History of the Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

How do scientists develop new treatments for disease? With Gleevec, a remarkable cancer drug, the approach was to target the disease at the cellular and subcellular level.


Via Gilbert Faure au nom de l'ASSIM
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This is what Wall Street’s terrifying bot invasion looks like

This is what Wall Street’s terrifying bot invasion looks like | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

This is what high frequency trading looks like, when specially programmed computers make massive bets at lightning speed, Mother Board reports. Created by Nanex, the GIF charts the rise of HFT trading volumes across all U.S. stock exchanges between 2007 and 2012.The initial murmur, the brewing storm, the final detonation: Not just unsettling, it’s terrifying.

 

As Mother Board notes, we don’t know is what the long term consequences are of all this hyper-volume as depicted by the Nanex GIF and the kind of systemic risks created from the market’s ongoing evolution from human traders to rapidfire AI. Sometimes things go wrong, a software glitch, an algorithm gone rogue and the music stops, like last week when Knight Capital lost $10 million a minute when it’s trading platform went haywire or during the infamous Flash Crash when the Dow dropped 1000 points in mere minutes.

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Revolutionary Dark Matter Detector using DNA for Nanometer Tracking

Revolutionary Dark Matter Detector using DNA for Nanometer Tracking | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

An unlikely group of physicists and biologists plan to build a dark matter detector out of DNA that will outperform anything available today.

 

Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) may constitute most of the matter in the Universe. While there are intriguing results from DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT and CRESST-II, there is not yet a compelling detection of dark matter. The ability to detect the directionality of recoil nuclei will considerably facilitate detection of WIMPs by means of "annual modulation e ect" and "diurnal modulation e ect". Directional sensitivity requires either extremely large gas (TPC) detectors or detectors with a few nanometer spatial resolution.

 

A novel type of dark matter detector could be developed made

of DNA which could provide nanometer resolution for tracking, an energy threshold of 0.5 keV, and can operate at room temperature. When a WIMP from the Galactic Halo elastically scatters o of a nucleus in the detector, the recoiling nucleus then traverses thousands of strings of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) (all with known base sequences) and severs those ssDNA strands it hits. The location of the break can be identi ed by amplifying and identifying the segments of cut ssDNA using techniques well known to biologists. Thus the path of the recoiling nucleus can be tracked to nanometer accuracy. In one such detector concept, the transducers are a few nanometer-thick Au-foils of 1m1m, and the direction of recoiling nuclei is measured by "DNA Tracking Chamber" consisting of ordered array of ssDNA strands. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and ssDNA sequencing are used to read-out the detector. The detector consists of  1 kg of gold and 0.1 kg of DNA packed into (1m)3. This should yield about 1,000-fold better spatial resolution than in conventional WIMP detectors at reasonable cost.

 

The origina paper is here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.6809v1.pdf

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The Antarctic Icefish Lost Its Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin But Was Able To Survive In Ice Water

The Antarctic Icefish Lost Its Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin But Was Able To Survive In Ice Water | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

In 1928, a biologist named Ditlef Rustad caught an unusual fish off the coast of Bouvet Island in the Antarctic. The “white crocodile fish,” as Rustad named it, had large eyes, a long toothed snout and diaphanous fins stretched across fans of slender quills. It was scaleless and eerily pale, as white as snow in some parts, nearly translucent in others. When Rustad cut the fish open, he discovered that its blood, too, was colorless—not a drop of red anywhere. The crocodile fish’s gills looked odd as well: they were soft and white, like vanilla yogurt; in contrast, a cod’s gills are as dark as wine, soaked in oxygenated blood.

 

Later, Johan Ruud and other researchers confirmed that the Antarctic icefishes, as they are now known, are the only vertebrates that lack both red blood cells and hemoglobin—the iron-rich protein such cells use to bind and ferry oxygen through the circulatory system from heart to lungs to tissues and back again. At first blush, biologists regarded icefishes’ pallor blood as a remarkable adaptation to the Antarctic’s freezing, oxygen-rich waters. Perhaps icefishes absorbed so much dissolved oxygen from the ocean through their gills and ultra thin skin that they could abandon those big, spongy red blood cells. After all, the biologists reasoned, thinner blood requires less effort to circulate around the body and saving energy is always an advantage, especially when you are trying to survive in an extreme environment.

 

Icefishes live in the Southern Ocean, which encircles Antarctica. Rotating currents essentially isolate these waters from the world’s warmer seas, keeping temperatures low: temperatures near the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the mainland, range from about 1.5 degrees Celsius in the summer to –1.8 degrees Celsius in the winter. Many fish in the Southern Ocean, including icefishes, produce antifreeze proteins to prevent ice crystals from forming in their blood when ocean temperatures drop below the freezing point of fresh water. Sixteen species of Antarctic icefishes comprise the family Channichthyidae, which falls under the larger suborder Notothenioidei. Among the hundreds of red-blooded Notothenioid species, only the icefishes lack hemoglobin.

 

By comparing icefish DNA to the DNA of red-blooded fish, William Detrich of Northeastern University and his colleagues identified the specific genetic mutations responsible for the loss of hemoglobin. Basically, one of the genes essential for the assembly of the hemoglobin protein is completely garbled in icefishes. Although no other vertebrate completely lacks red blood cells, biologists have observed a diminishing of red blood cells in response to a changing environment.

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