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IBM supercomputer used to simulate a typical human brain

IBM supercomputer used to simulate a typical human brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The human brain, arguably the most complex object in the known universe, is a truly remarkable power-saver: it can simultaneously gather thousands of sensory inputs, interpret them in real time as a whole and react appropriately, abstracting, learning, planning and inventing, all on a strict power budget of about 20 W. A computer of comparable complexity that uses current technology, according to IBM's own estimates, would drain about 100 MW of power.

 

Clearly, such power consumption would be highly impractical. The problem, then, begs for an entirely new approach. IBM's answer is cognitive computing, a newly coined discipline that combines the latest discoveries in the field of neuroscience, nanotechnology and supercomputing.

 

Neuroscience has taught us that the brain consumes little power mainly because it is "event-driven." In simple terms this means that individual neurons, synapses and axons only consume power as they are activated – e.g. by an external sensory input or other neurons – and consume no power otherwise. This is however not the case with today's computers, which, in comparison, are huge power wasters.

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Implantable ‘stentrode’ to allow paralyzed patients to control an exoskeleton with their mind | KurzweilAI

Implantable ‘stentrode’ to allow paralyzed patients to control an exoskeleton with their mind | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A DARPA-funded research team has created a novel new minimally invasive brain-machine interface and recording device that can be implanted into the brain through blood vessels, reducing the need for invasive surgery and the risks associated with breaching the blood-brain barrier when treating patients for physical disabilities and neurological disorders.

The new technology, developed by University of Melbourne medical researchers under DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology (RE-NET) program, promises to give people with spinal cord injuries new hope to walk again.

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How to turn a fitness goal into a lifetime of good health (fluctuating weight included)

How to turn a fitness goal into a lifetime of good health (fluctuating weight included) | Longevity science | Scoop.it
envision a journey to good health — complete with numerous peaks and valleys. That means being mentally and emotionally prepared and having behaviors in place to deal with the myriad changes and challenges that come even after the finish line. It’s not about goals or measurements but rather establishing the right mind-set to change your life for the better.
Ray and Terry's 's insight:

Keep going, keep trying. It is not a vacation, but a lifetime of good health.


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Gene Editing Without Foreign DNA | The Scientist Magazine®

Gene Editing Without Foreign DNA | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The ongoing quest to increase the yield of crops and produce varieties resistant to disease, drought, and pests has been aided by the development of gene-editing technologies. These days, probably the most commonly used gene-editing approach in labs is the CRISPR/Cas9 system, in which a guide RNA—specially designed to match part of the sequence of a target gene—positions the Cas9 nuclease at that gene, enabling it to chop the DNA.
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Implantable device translates thought into action for people with spinal injuries

Implantable device translates thought into action for people with spinal injuries | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Researchers in Australia have built an implantable brain-machine interface (BMI) that may give people with spinal cord injuries the ability to walk again using the power of their own thoughts. Consisting of a stent-based electrode, known as a "stentrode", implanted within a blood vessel of a patient's brain, along with a power supply and transmitter inserted under the skin in front of the shoulder, the new system creates a minimally invasive BMI that is capable of translating thoughts into action.

The bionic device does this by sensing certain types of neural activity and transmitting these to a processor, which then supplies signals to move the recipient's own limbs though the use of an exoskeleton or to control powered artificial arms or legs. Roughly the size of an ordinary paperclip, the stentrode is able to be implanted in a person's brain without the need for major surgery – instead, it is fed into the head using a catheter snaking up through an artery starting in the leg.
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Laser-based blood glucose monitor promises a less prickly way to keep diabetes in check

Laser-based blood glucose monitor promises a less prickly way to keep diabetes in check | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Japanese scientists have now developed one such system that differs from previous techniques by relying on far infrared light, which the researchers say is harmless and offers unprecedented levels of accuracy.

Other non-invasive approaches to blood-glucose monitoring that have been floated involve using near-infrared or mid-infrared light to scan a part of the body. As glucose in the blood soaks up light at specific wavelengths, the idea is that by measuring how much light is absorbed, it is possible to gauge how much glucose is present in the blood.

But researchers at Japan's Tohoku University say that near-infrared light has its limitations when used for this purpose, as not only is it absorbed weakly by the glucose, but water, protein and hemoglobin too, making it difficult to get an accurate measurement. They claim to have overcome this by instead focusing on far infrared light.
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X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body

X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Cancer may be terrifying, but cancerous cells aren't actually that difficult to kill. The tricky bit is doing so without killing the host or making them dreadfully ill in the process. The key is treatments that only target the cancer cells while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue alone. By combining X-rays with nanoparticles, a team of researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) in Australia has found a way of combating cancer deep inside the body in this way using a simple chemical.
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Mysterious Mechanisms of Cardiac Cell Therapy | The Scientist Magazine®

Mysterious Mechanisms of Cardiac Cell Therapy | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In numerous clinical trials, researchers have injected patients with various types of progenitor cells to help heal injured hearts. In some cases, subjects have ended up with better cardiac function, but exactly how has been a subject of disagreement among scientists. According to study on rats published this week (February 2) in Circulation Research, the introduced cells themselves don’t do the job by proliferating to create new muscle.

“These cells do not become adult cardiac myocytes,” said study coauthor Roberto Bolli, a cardiac cell therapy researcher at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “So the mechanism is clearly a paracrine action, where the cells release ‘something’ which makes the heart better. And the million-dollar question now is, ‘What is the something?’”
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The Digitalization of Prosthetics Is Transforming How Wounded Service Members and Veterans Recover - Singularity HUB

The Digitalization of Prosthetics Is Transforming How Wounded Service Members and Veterans Recover - Singularity HUB | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Sitting on Dr. Peter Liacouras’s desk is a razor, a stick of deodorant, and a partially built prosthetic arm. Behind him, several 3D printers buzz away, creating contraptions in plastic, nylon, and titanium. Today he is working on creating a custom device that will allow a wounded service member to get ready in the morning by themselves. We take it for granted, but this can be a daunting and consuming task for those who have lost a limb. As the director of service for the 3D Medical Applications Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Liacouras uses cutting-edge technologies to improve people’s quality of life by pushing the fields of prosthetics and orthotics forward.
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Delivering genes across the blood-brain barrier to treat brain diseases | KurzweilAI

Delivering genes across the blood-brain barrier to treat brain diseases | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Caltech biologists have modified a harmless virus to allow it to enter the adult mouse brain through the bloodstream and deliver genes to cells of the nervous system.

The modified virus could lead to novel therapeutics to address diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, help researchers map the brain, and target cells in other organs, according to Ben Deverman, a senior research scientist at Caltech and lead author of a paper describing the work in the February 1 online publication of the journal Nature Biotechnology.
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New acoustic-tweezer design allows for 3D bioprinting | KurzweilAI

New acoustic-tweezer design allows for 3D bioprinting | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A team of researchers at three universities has developed a way to use “acoustic tweezers” (which use ultrasonic surface acoustic waves, or SAWs, to trap and manipulate micrometer-scale particles and biological cells — see “Acoustic tweezers manipulate cellular-scale objects with ultrasound“) to non-invasively pick up and move single cells in three mutually orthogonal axes of motion (three dimensions).
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New handheld miniature microscope could ID cancer cells in doctor’s offices and operating rooms | KurzweilAI

New handheld miniature microscope could ID cancer cells in doctor’s offices and operating rooms | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A miniature handheld microscope being developed by University of Washington mechanical engineers could allow neurosurgeons to differentiate cancerous from normal brain tissue at cellular level in real time in the operating room and determine where to stop cutting.

The new technology is intended to solve a critical problem in brain surgery: to definitively distinguish between cancerous and normal brain cells, during an operation, neurosurgeons would have stop the operation and send tissue samples to a pathology lab — where they are typically frozen, sliced, stained, mounted on slides and investigated under a bulky microscope.
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How Old Are You, Really? Biological Age Is Harder to Pin Down Than You Think - Singularity HUB

How Old Are You, Really? Biological Age Is Harder to Pin Down Than You Think - Singularity HUB | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists are increasingly making the distinction between your chronological age — the number of years that you’ve lived — and your biological age.

It’s not just an academic curiosity. A 2015 study, which comprehensively analyzed the function of multiple body systems of nearly 1,000 young adults, found that a 38-year-old’s biological clock can read anywhere from a spritely 20 to a feeble 60.
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A Diabetes Technology Revolution — Medium

A Diabetes Technology Revolution — Medium | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Wearable, needle-free blood sugar monitoring is becoming a reality through contact lenses and other innovative ideas, such as temporary tattoos with sensors and low-power lasers that detect blood sugar levels through the skin. Patients will be able use their smartphones to track their readings and get advice about their diet and exercise. The information will be stored in the cloud, where users and their healthcare team can download it at any time.
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Could humans ever regenerate limbs? | KurzweilAI

Could humans ever regenerate limbs? | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Turns out there are also rare cases of children and young adults who have had tips of digits regenerated. And there are specific “steps of epimorphic regeneration to promote the partial or complete restoration of a biological digit or limb after amputations,” the scientists believe.
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Robots in Health Care Could Lead to a Doctorless Hospital - Singularity HUB

Robots in Health Care Could Lead to a Doctorless Hospital - Singularity HUB | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Hospitals globally have been slow to adopt robotics and artificial intelligence into patient care, although both have been widely used and tested in other industries.

Medicine has traditionally been slow to change, as safety is at its core. Financial pressures will inevitably force industry and governments to recognize that when robots can do something better and for the same price as humans, the robot way will be the only way.
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Turning Tumor Cells Against Cancer | The Scientist Magazine®

Turning Tumor Cells Against Cancer | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Five years ago, scientists at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City showed that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) could both colonize new metastases and travel back to their tumors of origin. Taking advantage of this bidirectional CTC movement, researchers at the University of New Mexico and their colleagues injected mice with CTCs that were genetically modified (GM) to express an anticancer cytokine. In a mouse study, the researchers found that these GM CTCs were able to home to tumors and release the cytokine, leading to decreased tumor growth. The results, published today (February 8) in PNAS, suggest cancer cells may be useful tools for anticancer therapies.

“This paper is an elegant example of thinking outside the box,” said Elizabeth Comen, a medical oncologist and researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering who was not involved with the work. “To leverage the cancer cell’s powerful ability to travel all over the body against tumors is fascinating.”
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Engineers 3-D-print a new lifelike liver tissue for drug screening

Engineers 3-D-print a new lifelike liver tissue for drug screening | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The liver plays a critical role in how the body metabolizes drugs and produces key proteins. This is why liver models are increasingly being developed in the lab as platforms for drug screening. However, existing models so far lack both the complex micro-architecture and diverse cell makeup of a real liver.

The UC San Diego team engineered a human liver tissue model that more closely resembles the real thing—a diverse combination of liver cells and supporting cells systematically organized in a hexagonal pattern.

"We've engineered a functioning liver tissue that matches what you'd see under a microscope," said Chen.
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Research says BPA replacement in plastics not safer

Research says BPA replacement in plastics not safer | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The BPA-free trend started after studies found a link between bisphenol A (BPA) and health issues such as early puberty and prostate cancers. After that, products with bisphenol S (BPS) started cropping up as a safer alternative. But now a UCLA-led study suggests that BPS can be just as harmful as BPA, causing faster embryonic development and disruption of the reproductive system in animals.

The study is the first to look into the effects that BPA and BPS can have on the brain cells and genes linked to the development of reproduction organs. To test the chemicals, the researchers exposed zebrafish, whose transparent embryos make it easier to watch cell growth, to very small amounts of either BPA or BPS. Using fluorescent-green protein tags, they were able to track the development of the animals' reproductive endocrine brain cells, which control puberty and fertility.
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Mitochondria trigger cell aging, researchers discover | KurzweilAI

Mitochondria trigger cell aging, researchers discover | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
An international team of scientists led by João Passos at Newcastle University has for the first time shown that mitochondria (the “batteries” of the cells) are major triggers for aging, and eliminating them upon the induction of senescence prevents senescence in the aging mouse liver.

As we grow old, cells in our bodies accumulate different types of damage and have increased inflammation, factors that are thought to contribute to the aging process.
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Mayo Clinic researchers extend lifespan by up to 35 percent in mice | KurzweilAI

Mayo Clinic researchers extend lifespan by up to 35 percent in mice | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have discovered that senescent cells — cells that no longer divide and accumulate with age — shorten lifespan by as much as 35 percent in normal mice.

Removing these aging cells delays tumor formation, preserves tissue and organ function, and extends lifespan without observed adverse effects, the researchers found, writing Feb. 3 in Nature.

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As the immune system becomes less effective, senescent cells build up and damage adjacent cells, causing chronic inflammation, which is closely associated with frailty and age-related diseases.

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Circadian Clock and Aging | The Scientist Magazine®

Circadian Clock and Aging | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Embryonic deletion of a core circadian clock gene, Bmal1, leads to problems associated with accelerated aging in adult mice, including neurodegeneration, poor hair growth, eye and bone pathologies, and a decreased lifespan. Yet mice in which the gene is knocked out after birth don’t exhibit many of these aging-related phenotypes, according to a study published today (February 4) in Science Translational Medicine. The results suggest that the circadian clock gene plays different roles during embryogenesis and after birth.


“This is a thorough and well-conducted study,” said Ghislain Breton, who studies the circadian system at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, but was not involved in the work. “The lesser phenotype when you disrupt Bmal1 after birth is very intriguing,” he continued. “It means that certain early developmental stages are likely more sensitive to circadian clock disruptions compared to adulthood.”



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Improved DNA tech could replace antibodies in detecting and treating diseases

Improved DNA tech could replace antibodies in detecting and treating diseases | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A team of researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has worked to develop an efficient technology that uses DNA to detect and treat infectious diseases. Improving upon an existing method, the research makes use of single-stranded DNA molecules called aptamers, and it could be used to treat cancer.

Aptamers are good candidates for the development of new treatments, as they have an innate ability to bind to any molecule they're targeted at, including cancer cells and bacteria. Once bound to a target, the aptamer inhibits its activity, eliminating the threat it poses to the host.
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Natural food additive found to block skin cancer cells in mice

Natural food additive found to block skin cancer cells in mice | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Derived from the achiote tree, annatto has been a source of lipstick, body makeup, and cooking ingredients for native Americans since the pre-Columbian era. Now it is used as a common food additive for things like cheese, butter and margarine.

Scientists working at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy have now discovered that it may also have a role to play in tackling skin cancer. Associate professor Georg Wondrak hunts for small molecules that can prevent the cancer by activating the Nrf2 pathway, which strengthens the body's cells against exposure to carcinogens.
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Medical - Gizmag

Medical - Gizmag | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Our body has controls in place to regulate how cells grow and divide, which is a particularly useful mechanism in preventing the spread of disease. But when it comes to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), an aggressive form of blood cancer, these controls are neutralized, giving the cancer cells free rein to multiply and grow uncontrollably. Australian researchers have now discovered a protein that drives this process, and have shown that by blocking its activity they might be able to stop the deadly form of cancer in its tracks.
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Ranks of U.S. centenarians growing rapidly: report

Ranks of U.S. centenarians growing rapidly: report | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The number of Americans living beyond their 100th birthday has surged nearly 44 percent since the turn of the century, a U.S. study released on Thursday showed.

Better medical care and healthier lifestyles helped to boost U.S. centenarians' ranks to 72,197 in 2014 from 50,281 in 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said. More than 80 percent of the centenarians were female.

The numbers should keep rising, since the death rate for centenarians has fallen since 2008, noted the study's author, Jiaquan Xu. Some projections show there could be 387,000 U.S. centenarians in 35 years, he noted.
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