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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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Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain

Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Growing older is not the same as aging. Everyone grows older all the time, but we aren’t necessarily aging as we do so since, by definition, the aging process is one of deterioration.

But we can actually grow new brain connections and even create new neurons from stem cells as a result of our thoughts. If you want to keep your brain and body healthy, you can start by adapting our suggestions into your personal plan.

The Summer 2017 issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine features Ray & Terry’s recommendations for building a better brain. As a Ray & Terry’s subscriber, we are happy to share the full article with you (pdf).

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine offers powerful, practical tools, techniques, wisdom and inspiration for creating radiant happiness, health and healing.

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The Top 10 Trends Shaping the Future of Pharma - The Medical Futurist

The Top 10 Trends Shaping the Future of Pharma - The Medical Futurist | Longevity science | Scoop.it

How can a regulatory agency keep up with the speed of new technologies in pharma? I get a lot of questions like this one.

The medical community gradually acknowledges the importance of digital health, but they don’t yet embrace it enough or cannot get behind it with such a speed as it would require. For doing so, the first step is always getting to know what’s coming. So, here are the trends changing the pharmaceutical industry in the near future.

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Study suggests that Parkinson's could be an autoimmune disease

Study suggests that Parkinson's could be an autoimmune disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it
For degenerative diseases like Parkinson's, any insights we can gain into its development in the brain could be vitally important in coming up new ways to apply the brakes. For this reason, a new study led by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) could form a key piece of the puzzle. They have found the first direct evidence that autoimmunity contributes to Parkinson's disease, by extension raising the prospect of manipulating the body's immune system to slow or even halt its progress.
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Gut Feeling | The Scientist Magazine®

Gut Feeling | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The intestine tells the brain about the contents of the gut. But insights into the molecular mechanics of this gut-brain conversation have been stalled by technical limitations. Now, examinations of a key type of gut sensory cell within mouse intestinal organoids and tissue sections have revealed which molecular signals activate these so-called enterochromaffin cells, and how the cells relay the compounds’ presence to the central nervous system. The findings are reported today (June 22) in Cell.

“It really is stellar work,” says anatomist and neuroscientist John Cryan of University College Cork in Ireland who was not involved in the work. “It’s asking a big question, and using state of the art tools [to find answers] . . . It’s a tour de force.”
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Athletes' Microbiomes Differ from Nonathletes | The Scientist Magazine®

Athletes' Microbiomes Differ from Nonathletes | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
For seven years, Petersen’s doctors prescribed her a barrage of antibiotics. In 2003, at age 21, she took two or three broad-spectrum antibiotics at a time for an entire year, a regimen that she says seemed to finally kick the Lyme. But she wasn’t well. “Even when I wasn’t sick anymore, I had chronic fatigue and bad stomach issues.”

She saw several doctors about her issues, but all the tests probing her immune system, liver function, and more came back normal. It wasn’t until she was studying pathogenic bacteria as a PhD student at the University of New Hampshire that she started hearing about the microbiome, and how it might affect health—and how antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in the body along with the bad. “It kind of rang a bell,” says Petersen, thinking back to the many courses of antibiotics she had endured. “I thought, ‘Wow, maybe there’s something wrong with my microbiome.’”
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Broccoli compound could offer obese diabetics a drug-free way to slash blood sugar levels

Broccoli compound could offer obese diabetics a drug-free way to slash blood sugar levels | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Love it or hate it, Swedish scientists have found another reason for you to load up on broccoli, or at least finish what's on your plate. As it turns out, sulforaphane, a powerhouse antioxidant found in the vegetable, could be Nature's secret weapon against type 2 diabetes, offering obese patients a way to slash their blood glucose levels and fight the disease.
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Ultrasound drill blasts clots, not blood vessels

Ultrasound drill blasts clots, not blood vessels | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When it comes to obliterating the blood clots that cause deep vein thrombosis, doctors have at least two options: intravascular ultrasound tools or tiny diamond-tipped drills. Unfortunately, both approaches have drawbacks. A new ultrasound "drill" developed by North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, however, may strike the perfect balance between the two.
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Artificial blood vessels breath new life into root canal-treated teeth

Artificial blood vessels breath new life into root canal-treated teeth | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A root canal can be a literal lifesaver for an infected tooth, but the process does involve cutting off the blood supply, robbing that particular tusk of its natural defenses. Scientists have now come up with a way to fabricate new blood vessels in teeth, which may offer a way for them to regain important functionality.

A root canal is typically called for when tissue inside the tooth, called the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected and causes problems such as decay, cracks or chips. It involves removing this infected tissue and replacing it with a synthetic material encased by a protective crown.
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Here Are the Microsurgeons That Will Soon Roam Our Bodies

Here Are the Microsurgeons That Will Soon Roam Our Bodies | Longevity science | Scoop.it
On a crisp fall evening in 2006, Dr. Sylvain Martel held his breath as a technician slipped an anesthetized pig into a whirling fMRI machine. His eyes stared intently at a computer screen, which showed a magnetic bead hovering inside the pig’s delicate blood vessels. The tension in the room was palpable.

Suddenly, the bead jumped to life, hopping effortlessly down the vessel like a microsubmarine heading to its next target destination. The team erupted in cheers.

Martel and his team were testing a new way to remotely steer tiny objects inside a living animal by manipulating the magnetic forces of the machine. And for the first time, it worked.
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To increase your appetite, watch yourself eat

To increase your appetite, watch yourself eat | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Studies have shown that people rate food as tasting better, and they eat more of it, when eating with one or more other people. The effect is known as the "social facilitation of eating," and scientists don't fully understand why it happens. In a new study from Japan's Nagoya University, however, it was found that the phenomenon also occurs when solo diners eat in front of a mirror.
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AI predicts patients' lifespans as well as a doctor

AI predicts patients' lifespans as well as a doctor | Longevity science | Scoop.it
At some point we've all succumbed to the lure of a terrible online quiz that purportedly tells you how long you will live after asking a set of inane questions. But imagine if a seriously intelligent artificial intelligence was asking the questions, and it could accurately predict how long you have left to live? A team at the University of Adelaide in Australia has been working to create an AI system that can predict a person's lifespan just by studying images of their organs, and its early results show its predictions are just as good as a human doctor.

In a first of its kind study, using artificial intelligence to determine lifespan from medical images, the research used AI to examine the medical images of 48 patients' chests.
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Injectable polymer could cut insulin injections to one per month

Injectable polymer could cut insulin injections to one per month | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Hundreds of millions of people around the globe suffer from diabetes. Forced to constantly monitor their glucose levels and deliver insulin injections often twice a day, the hunt is on to find a controlled release mechanism that would result in a single monthly injection. A team of biomedical engineers may have finally found the answer with a new biopolymer solution.

A common treatment for those with type 2 diabetes involves the use of a molecule called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1). This molecule causes the pancreas to release insulin, but it also has a short half-life and disappears from the body rather quickly. In developing a longer lasting treatment involving GLP1 researchers faced two problems – first, they needed to find a compound to bind GLP1 to make it last longer in the body, and second, they needed to develop a way to control the rate of the molecule's release.
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Muscle grafts to give prosthetic limbs a more natural feel

Muscle grafts to give prosthetic limbs a more natural feel | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Modern prostheses have come a long way from their hand hook and pegleg predecessors. Although they look a lot more like the real thing, they are still lacking in the natural feel department. To address this, researchers at MIT are working on a new surgical technique that uses existing nerves and muscle grafts to provide the wearer with a better sense of where the prosthetic limb is in space and how much force is put on it.
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When a limb is amputated, the surgeon's first priority is to remove the injured section and configure the remaining muscles, bones, blood vessels, and nerves into a stable package of a stump that will heal properly. It's to this stump that a prosthetic is attached and, though there's been significant progress in things like myoelectrics, machine/brain interfaces, and robotics as a way to control artificial limbs and even to give them something resembling a sense of touch, they still don't feel like a natural limb.
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Shayna Adelman's curator insight, June 6, 1:04 PM
BEES -prosthetics
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Molecular Trigger for Organ Rejection in Mice Identified | The Scientist Magazine®

Molecular Trigger for Organ Rejection in Mice Identified | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Around half of all organ transplants in humans are rejected by the recipient's immune system within 10 to 12 years. Scientists studying mice have now identified a key cell receptor that triggers this process. Their results were published last week (June 23) in Science Immunology.

"For the first time, we have an insight into the earliest steps that start the rejection response," study coauthor Fadi Lakkis of the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, says in a statement. "Interrupting this first recognition of foreign tissues by the innate immune system would disrupt the rejection process at its earliest inception stage and could prevent the transplant from failing."
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Self-driving AI clinic reimagines healthcare for the 21st century

Self-driving AI clinic reimagines healthcare for the 21st century | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A constantly learning AI would monitor personal health data and flag unusual results. When needed, a self-driving mini clinic could navigate to your location for more comprehensive diagnostics, such as thermography, breath analysis, and respiration or cardiac rhythm.

Inside this mobile clinic, an AI could offer its diagnosis, and even deliver common pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics or contraceptives. If a health condition is flagged as serious or escalating, the Aim system would then connect the patient to an on-call specialist or even transport them directly to a hospital emergency room.

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It's important to remember that forgetting is important

It's important to remember that forgetting is important | Longevity science | Scoop.it
"It's important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help make decisions in the real world," says Blake Richards, one of the paper's authors. "If you're trying to navigate the world and your brain is constantly bringing up multiple conflicting memories, that makes it harder for you to make an informed decision."

Rather than just holding onto everything like a sponge, the brain works better as an information filter.
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Life-saving app gets civilians restarting hearts

Life-saving app gets civilians restarting hearts | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When someone has a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for every minute that passes before they receive treatment. Additionally, brain damage can occur after just four minutes. That's why the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) has created an app that finds civilians who are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and gets them to the location of cardiac arrest victims minutes before emergency services arrive.
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Immune Cells Deliver Cancer Drugs to the Brain | The Scientist Magazine®

Immune Cells Deliver Cancer Drugs to the Brain | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Glioblastomas, highly aggressive malignant brain tumors, have a high propensity for recurrence and are associated with low survival rates. Even when surgeons remove these tumors, deeply infiltrated cancer cells often remain and contribute to relapse. By harnessing neutrophils, a critical player in the innate immune response, scientists have devised a way to deliver drugs to kill these residual cells, according to a mouse study published today (June 19) in Nature Nanotechnology.

Neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cell, home in to areas of injury and inflammation to fight infections. Prior studies in both animals and humans have reported that neutrophils can cross the blood-brain barrier, and although these cells are not typically attracted to glioblastomas, they are recruited at sites of tumor removal in response to post-operative inflammation.
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Stomach Cells Change Identity to Drive Precancerous State | The Scientist Magazine®

Stomach Cells Change Identity to Drive Precancerous State | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In healthy individuals, chief cells, which are found at the base of corpus glands in the stomach, act as producers of digestive enzymes. However, if the gut undergoes damage or genetic mutation, these cells have the ability to convert into stem cells that can lead to gastric cancer, according to a study published last week (June 5) in Nature Cell Biology.

“This is the first definitive demonstration that that a subset of chief cells is cancer prone and can serve as the origin of gastric cancer,” says study coauthor Nick Barker, who studies cancer and stem cells at A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) in Singapore.

Still, the identity of gastric-cancer forming cells has been controversial, and not all researchers are convinced Barker’s study has resolved the debate.
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Appetite regulator in mice successfully altered with no side effects

Appetite regulator in mice successfully altered with no side effects | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A new study from Imperial College London has taken the usual research one step further and successfully found a way to target specific thyroid hormones in the brain and manipulate appetite in mouse subjects with no side effects.

The research focused on thyroid hormones, as they are widely known to have a major role in regulating appetite. The problem previously faced by researchers has been the wide dispersal of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) throughout the body. As thyroid hormones regulate a multitude of things in the body, a highly targeted method needed to be developed to specifically tackle the appetite mechanism.

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​​Ray Kurzweil: Our Health Is About to Be Radically Transformed

​​Ray Kurzweil: Our Health Is About to Be Radically Transformed | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, thinker, and futurist famous for forecasting the pace of technology and predicting the world of tomorrow. In this video, Kurzweil dives into the exciting and quick-moving field of biotechnology.

Ever since recording the first whole human genome, the cost of sequencing has plummeted. Now that we have the “source code” of life, what will we do with it? According to Kurzweil, biology is remarkable but not optimal—so we should reprogram it. This will transform health, medicine, and longevity.
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Medical Devices Aspire to Ditch Batteries | The Scientist Magazine®

Medical Devices Aspire to Ditch Batteries | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Medical device technologies have come a long way in recent years, from leadless cardiac pacemakers to ingestible electronics that deliver drugs or monitor a patient’s vital signs in real time. Although these devices are small and sleek, they all eventually run out of steam.

Because these gadgets are often used to treat chronic conditions, their batteries’ limited shelf life is a significant drawback. To address these shortcomings, scientists are working on self-powered energy harvest and storage technologies that aim to sustain these devices for the long run.
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33 blood-cancer patients have dramatic clinical remission with new T-cell therapy | KurzweilAI

Chinese doctors have reported success with a new type of immunotherapy for multiple myeloma*, a blood cancer: 33 out of 35 patients in a clinical trial had clinical remission within two months.

The researchers used a type of T cell called “chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T.”** In a phase I clinical trial in China, the patient’s own T cells were collected, genetically reprogrammed in a lab, and injected back into the patient. The reprogramming involved inserting an artificially designed gene into the T-cell genome, which helped the genetically reprogrammed cells find and destroy cancer cells throughout the body.

The study was presented Monday (June 5, 2017) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, June 12, 9:18 PM
Help for cancer sufferers.
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Type of sugar adds cellular machinery to immune system

Type of sugar adds cellular machinery to immune system | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Sugars are generally not thought of as health boosters. But a new mouse study out of the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) shows that a natural sugar called trehalose can actually arm the immune system with more of the machinery it needs to combat atherosclerosis, a dangerous condition in which plaque build up hardens and narrows the arteries.
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Running on Empty | The Scientist Magazine®

Running on Empty | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In 1971, a 27-year-old, 456-pound man went to the University of Dundee’s department of medicine in Scotland looking for help. Patient A.B., as doctors referred to him, needed to lose weight. His physicians recommended a short but drastic course of action: stop eating altogether. The patient responded so well to a brief stint without food that he decided to prolong the deprivation—for more than a year.

“[H]is fast was continued into what is presently the longest recorded fast (Guinness Book of Records, 1971),” the clinicians wrote in a 1973 case report, claiming A.B. suffered little or no untoward effects on his health.1 And at the end of his 382-day dietary abstinence, during which he had ingested only vitamin supplements, yeast, and noncaloric fluids, A.B. had lost a remarkable 276 pounds. When doctors checked back in on A.B. five years later, their patient reported gaining back only about 15 pounds.

Although aspects of this published report seem almost unbelievable, and the period of fasting is obviously extreme, the case highlights some of the metabolic dynamics that result when bodies are deprived of food.

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Gene therapy could wipe immune memory and "turn off" severe allergies

Gene therapy could wipe immune memory and "turn off" severe allergies | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists may be one step closer to discovering a way to genetically "turn off" allergic responses with a single injection. A team of researchers at the University of Queensland has developed a new process that has successfully silenced a severe allergic response in mice, using blood stem cells engineered with a gene that can target specific immune cells.

The big challenge previous allergy researchers faced was that immune cells, known as T-cells, tended to develop a form of "memory"
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