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How Machine Learning and Big Data Are Changing the Face of Biological Sciences

Until recently, the wet lab has been a crucial component of every biologist. Today's advances in the production of massive amounts of data and the creation of machine-learning algorithms for processing that data are changing the face of biological science—making it possible to do real science without a wet lab. David Heckerman shares several examples of how this transformation in the area of genomics is changing the pace of scientific breakthroughs.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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davidgibson's curator insight, May 28, 2013 11:05 PM

This 36 min video is well worth the time spent - to get an idea (hopefully a transferrable one) about Big Data and the frontiers of science. In this case both "wet lab" (test tubes microscopes) and "dry lab" (computer modeling with machine learning) and needed and so is content as well as computational literacy.

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Can You Hear Me Now? Stem Cells Restore Hearing In Deaf Gerbils – When Will It Work On Humans? | Singularity Hub

Can You Hear Me Now? Stem Cells Restore Hearing In Deaf Gerbils – When Will It Work On Humans? | Singularity Hub | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In a new study, scientists were able to restore partial hearing to deaf gerbils by implanting human embryonic stem cells in their ears.

 

Although the complex technology would not be possible in humans at this time, the breakthrough offers hope for future development.

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One step closer to cyborgs- engineering complex tissue

One step closer to cyborgs- engineering complex tissue | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers have created a self-supporting scaffolding of nanowires and coated it with a biocompatible material. They grew heart and nerve cells within this scaffold, which developed into a single structure with embedded nanowires.

 

With this technology, researchers can work at the cellular scale much more effectively, without damaging the cells and with the capability to observe cells from anywhere within the tissue.

 

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Disappearing Dead: Economic Optimism about Immortality

Disappearing Dead: Economic Optimism about Immortality | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Will we one day be able to live forever?

 

According to inventor/author Ray Kurzweil, eternal life is now actually on the horizon -- the near horizon. He predicts that by 2029, biomedical technology will be extending longevity faster than we age.

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Garden Corner- Biodiversity, Indoor Farming, PC Gardening

Garden Corner- Biodiversity, Indoor Farming, PC Gardening | Longevity science | Scoop.it

>>Home-built "Bio Computer" runs Linux, grows wheatgrass:
PC case modder and hardware hacker Mike Schropp's latest project, the 'Bio Computer' sees a working PC put to use as a garden in which to grow wheatgrass.
http://www.gizmag.com/bio-computer-grows-wheatgrass/22550/

 

 

>>Dwarf plants could reduce demands for water, fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides:
Aside from arable land, most farm crops require significant amounts of water, fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides to grow. While specialized breeding is often used to help produce plants that require less of these inputs, Purdue University researcher Burkhard Schulz has found a way to create tiny versions of plants that suffer no reduction in yield through the addition of a cheap and widely available chemical.
http://www.gizmag.com/dwarf-plants/22561/

 

 

>>Maintaining genetic diversity in food supply

Could we be missing the point? Natural and wild may not mean the same in the future. Struggling to keep this stuff alive in a polluted and warming environment, increasingly encroached upon by human beings is a losing battle. But cultivating, preserving, building environments (semi-indoor) can save the plant and animal species that we struggle to maintain.
http://www.naturalnews.com/031144_food_security_biodiversity.html





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Top 10 GMO Foods to Avoid

Top 10 GMO Foods to Avoid | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The FDA allows GMOs for food consumption, stating that no difference can be found between the GMO and non-GMO versions of foods such as corn and soybeans. However, the FDA does not require product labeling to identify this content.

 

It may interest you to know that many other countries have not yet approved these foods for the human market.

 

With issues ranging from reproductive failure to allergic reactions cited as potential outcomes of GMO consumption, the case may not be closed. Without proper labeling, it is hard to make an informed decision.

 

These are the top 10 GM foods that you may be consuming.

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The Future is Now-- SENS Foundation Report

SENS Foundation (which “works to develop, promote and ensure widespread access to rejuvenation biotechnologies which comprehensively address the disabilities and diseases of aging.”)
need “no longer discuss and emphasize what the future might hold.

 

Rather, [they] discuss and emphasize what is going on right now at the SENS Foundation Research Center in Mountain View, California, and in Foundation-funded laboratories across the world:

 

Research to counteract arteriosclerotic plaque, DNA damage and other causes of aging, as well as developments to make new limbs and initiatives to sponsor young scientists.

 

(link opens pdf of 2011 Annual Report)

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Can you build a human body?

Can you build a human body? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Check out the BBC's interactive guide to some of the latest developments in bionic body parts...

 

The Bionic Bodies series on the BBC News website will be looking at how bionics can transform people's lives. We will meet a woman deciding whether to have her hand cut off for a bionic replacement and analyse the potential to take the technology even further, enhancing the body to superhuman levels. The series continues on Wednesday with a look at some of the earliest prosthetics from ancient Egypt.

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The Spittoon » Did You Know? It’s Not so Rare to Have a Rare Disease

The Spittoon » Did You Know? It’s Not so Rare to Have a Rare Disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it

'Rare' disease can mean a lot of things. When you add it all up, almost 10% of the population will be diagnosed with a rare disease.

 

"In the United States, a disease is defined as “rare” if it affects fewer than 200,000 individuals, or roughly one in 1500. Rare diseases are often poorly understood, with symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose, and can be life-threatening. Around 6,800 rare diseases have been identified and the large majority of them — up to 80% — are thought to have a genetic origin."

 

 

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Scientists make strides toward fixing infant hearts

Scientists make strides toward fixing infant hearts | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers at Rice University and Texas Children's Hospital have turned stem cells from amniotic fluid into cells that form blood vessels. Their success offers hope that such stem cells may be used to grow tissue patches to repair infant hearts.

 

"We want to come up with technology to replace defective tissue with beating heart tissue made from stem cells sloughed off by the infant into the amniotic fluid," said Rice bioengineer Jeffrey Jacot, who led the study. "Our findings serve as proof of principle that stem cells from amniotic fluid have the potential to be used for such purposes.

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Human embryonic stem cells arranged using 3D printing technique

Human embryonic stem cells arranged using 3D printing technique | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Already revolutionizing manufacturing, 3D printing technology also promises to revolutionize the field of biotechnology. While scientists have previously had success in 3D printing a range of human stem cell cultures developed from bone marrow or skin cells, a team from Scotland's Heriot-Watt University claims to be the first to print the more delicate, yet more flexible, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). As well as allowing the use of stem cells grown from established cell lines, the technology could enable the creation of improved human tissue models for drug testing and potentially even purpose-built replacement organs.

 

 

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‘Drag and Drop’ DNA Design | Singularity Hub

‘Drag and Drop’ DNA Design | Singularity Hub | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Imagine if DNA compilation was as easy to understand as Windows or iOS. Scientific study would no longer be necessary to engineer new combinations and just about anyone could drag and drop bits of genetic code into a workable sequence.

 

Amirav-Drory wants to create a graphic user interface to empower people in just this way.

 

His new software, Genome Compiler (free and available for download at www.genomecompiler.com), converts the various parts of a DNA sequence into easy-to-understand, and easily manipulable, icons.

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Microfluidic device designed for large-scale tissue engineering

Microfluidic device designed for large-scale tissue engineering | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Tissue engineering is definitely an exciting field – the ability to create living biological tissue in a lab could allow scientists to do things such as testing new drugs without the need for human subjects, or even to create patient-specific replacement organs or other body parts.

 

While some previous efforts have yielded finished products that were very small, a microfluidic device being developed at the University of Toronto can reportedly produce sections of precisely-engineered tissue that measure within the centimeters.

 

 

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Awesome Video Explains Synthetic Biology | Singularity Hub

Awesome Video Explains Synthetic Biology | Singularity Hub | Longevity science | Scoop.it

"A succinct, yet powerful animation titled “Synthetic Biology Explained” shows the incredible potential of this emergent field and how engineering will transform the field of genetics to produce some truly amazing technology.

 

With the sequencing of the human genome and the increased understanding of genes that have followed..."

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First drug made in genetically-engineered plants cleared to enter the market

First drug made in genetically-engineered plants cleared to enter the market | Longevity science | Scoop.it

"Approval of a ‘biologic’ manufactured in plant cells may pave the way for similar products.

 

Drugs that are based on large biological molecules — known as biologics — have been produced inside genetically engineered animal cells, yeast and bacteria for more than two decades."

 

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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GenomeTV: Biotech Video Collection and Lecture Series

GenomeTV: Biotech Video Collection and Lecture Series | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The Genomics in Medicine Lecture Series is sponsored by NHGRI, in collaboration with Suburban Hospital and Johns Hopkins. Each lecture takes place at Suburban Hospital's lower level auditorium at 8600 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, Md.

 

All are welcome to the hour-long lectures, which begin at 8 a.m. on the first Friday of the month, from December 2011 through June 2012.

 

Plus, check out the video collection for How-To Genome Sequencing and more.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Robotic hand gets a grip using string artificial tendons

Robotic hand gets a grip using string artificial tendons | Longevity science | Scoop.it
European researchers have created a robotic arm with precise control to pick up a diverse range of objects enabled by a novel string actuator that...
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No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart | Popular Science

No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart | Popular Science | Longevity science | Scoop.it
This 10,000-rpm, no-pulse artificial heart doesn't resemble an organic heart--and might be all the better for it...

 

"The newest artificial heart doesn’t imitate the cardiac muscle at all. Instead, it whirs like a little propeller, pushing blood through the body at a steady rate."

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DNA Robots Programmed to Kill Cancer Cells, Harvard Study Shows - Businessweek

DNA Robots Programmed to Kill Cancer Cells, Harvard Study Shows - Businessweek | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists have created a robot made entirely from DNA that can be instructed to find diseased cells in the body and deliver a payload to kill or reprogram them, according to a study from Harvard University.
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