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How to convert connective tissue directly into neurons | KurzweilAI

How to convert connective tissue directly into neurons | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Repression of a single protein in ordinary fibroblasts (connective tissue) is sufficient to directly convert them into functional neurons, scientists in the U.S. and China have discovered.

 

The findings could have far-reaching implications for the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

 

 

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Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil

Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Many think author, inventor and data scientist Ray Kurzweil is a prophet for our digital age. A few say he’s completely nuts. Kurzweil, who heads a team of more than 40 as a director of engineering at Google, believes advances in technology and medicine are pushing us toward what he calls the Singularity, a period of profound cultural and evolutionary change in which computers will outthink the brain and allow people—you, me, the guy with the man-bun ahead of you at Starbucks—to live forever. He dates this development at 2045.
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New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room

New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world.

Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries - more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Companies developing new robots also plan to expand their use in India, China and other emerging markets.

Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.
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Gene "reboots" stem cells to slow or reverse the aging process

Gene "reboots" stem cells to slow or reverse the aging process | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A new study, centering on an embryonic stem cell gene known as Nanog, was found to restore the regenerative properties of adult stem cells, which naturally diminish over time. According to the researchers, this process has the potential to slow or even reverse the effects of aging, as well as combat premature aging disorders such as progeria.

Previous research into slowing the aging process has involved blocking pathways in the brain that produce certain protein complexes, switching back on genes that have been turned off due to epigenetic regulation, and activating a gene that increased the lifespan of common fruit flies.
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Orlando V. Gonzalez MD's curator insight, Today, 10:25 AM

Working hard on getting people to slow down their aging!

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Cloned Sheep Age Normally | The Scientist Magazine®

Cloned Sheep Age Normally | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When Dolly the sheep became the world’s first cloned animal, some researchers raised concerns that animals conceived using this technique would suffer health problems as they aged. But new research suggests that animals cloned using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) age normally. Researchers from the University of Nottingham, U.K, and their colleagues measured the metabolic, cardiac, and musculoskeletal health of 17 cloned sheep aged 7 to 9 years old (including four from the same cell line that gave rise to Dolly), finding that the cloned animals showed no signs of disease related to the SCNT process, they reported today (July 26) in Nature Communications.
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Microneedle painlessly monitors drug levels without the need to draw blood

Microneedle painlessly monitors drug levels without the need to draw blood | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Microneedle technology has been around for years, and we've seen vaccines and medication administered via the technique, which uses tiny needles to break only the upper layer of the patient's skin. Now, the pain-free tech is being used for something a little different, with researchers creating a device capable of monitoring patient drug levels – something that usually requires the drawing of blood.

The development of the new system was a joint effort between the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland. It consists of a small patch that's pressed against the skin of the patient, with a needle-like point, less than half a milimeter in length, which pierces only the top layer of skin, leaving the epidermis and dermis intact.
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The Genetic Components of Rare Diseases | The Scientist Magazine®

The Genetic Components of Rare Diseases | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Of the known associations between a genetic variant and disease, many are still tenuous at best. How can scientists determine which genes or genetic variants are truly detrimental?

Patients with rare diseases are often caught in the crosshairs of this uncertainty. By the time they have their genome, or portions of it, sequenced, they’ve endured countless physician visits and tests. Sequencing provides some hope for an answer, but the process of uncovering causal variants on which to build a treatment plan is still one of painstaking detective work with many false leads. Even variants that are known to be harmful show no effects in some individuals who harbor them, says Adrian Liston,
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New nanomaterial mimics cell membranes | KurzweilAI

New nanomaterial mimics cell membranes | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Materials scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a new material that performs like a biological cell membrane — a material that has long been sought for applications like water purification and drug delivery.

The “peptoid” material can assemble itself into a sheet that’s thinner, but more stable, than a soap bubble, the researchers report this week in Nature Communications. The assembled sheet can withstand being submerged in a variety of liquids and can even repair itself after damage.

“We believe these materials have potential in water filters, sensors, drug delivery, and especially fuel cells or other energy applications,” said chemist Chun-Long Chen.
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Distinguishing Circulating Tumor from Normal Cell-Free DNA: Towards Liquid Biopsies

Distinguishing Circulating Tumor from Normal Cell-Free DNA: Towards Liquid Biopsies | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Pieces of tumor DNA circulating in the bloodstream are generally shorter than circulating DNA fragments derived from healthy cells, scientists reported in PLOS Genetics.

 

Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Utah observed the DNA difference by analyzing fragments derived from human glioblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma cells transplanted in rats. The team observed that the human circulating tumor DNA was typically 134 to 144 base pairs long, while the rat circulating DNA was typically 167 base pairs long. 

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'Living' cartilage grown using stem cells could prevent hip replacement surgery

'Living' cartilage grown using stem cells could prevent hip replacement surgery | Longevity science | Scoop.it
An alternative to hip replacement surgery may be in sight. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers reveal how it may be possible to use a patient's own stem cells to grow new cartilage in the shape of a hip joint.
[A 3-D hip joint scaffold]
Researchers describe how they could use a patient's own stem cells to grow new cartilage that covers a 3-D scaffold molded to the shape of their hip joint.
Image credit: Guilak Laboratory

Furthermore, the team - including researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO - says it is possible to program the newly grown cartilage to release anti-inflammatory molecules, which could stave off the return of arthritis - the most common cause of hip pain.
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Considering Gene Editing: the committee

Considering Gene Editing: the committee | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The committee’s task: to research, discuss, and report on “the scientific underpinnings of human gene-editing technologies, their potential use in biomedical research and medicine—including human germline editing—and the clinical, ethical, legal, and social implications of their use.” Today, we were to hear talks on the history of different racial groups’ regard for science, medicine, and genetics, and historical and ethical perspectives on the editing of the human germline to treat genetic disorders, in particular those that strike people of certain ethnic backgrounds more frequently than others.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, July 14, 8:59 AM
Gene editing? What will this mean?
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DARPA-developed next-generation bionic arm hits the market

DARPA-developed next-generation bionic arm hits the market | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The next generation in prosthetic arms will soon be helping amputees get a grip in the real world. The LUKE arm, which was previously known as the Deka Arm, was developed under DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program by DEKA Research & Development Corp. It received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 and is now set to hit the market later this year.

As we've reported previously, the DEKA arm is the first prosthetic arm set approved for commercial markets that translates signals from a patient's muscles into complex motions. Rechristened the LUKE (Life Under Kinetic Evolution) arm by medical device maker Mobius Bionics, which will bring it to market with Universal Instruments Corporation as contract manufacturer, the prosthetic will be the first in a new product category for integrated prosthetic arms.
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Health Effects of Mitochondrial, Nuclear DNA Mismatch | The Scientist Magazine®

Health Effects of Mitochondrial, Nuclear DNA Mismatch | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Mice bred such that their nuclear and mitochondrial DNAs derive from different strains tend to grow old in better health than mice whose mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs are ancestrally matched, according to a study published today (July 6) in Nature. These apparent health benefits occur despite signs of oxidative stress in the mismatched animals, researchers from the Spanish National Center for Cardiac Research in Madrid and their colleagues have found.

“This paper is very exciting because it is putting an emphasis on the impact of the match between mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA,” said mitochondrial biologist Orian Shirihai of Boston University who was not involved with the work.
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A Blood Test To Determine When Antibiotics Are Warranted | The Scientist Magazine®

A Blood Test To Determine When Antibiotics Are Warranted | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists can distinguish between a viral and a bacterial infection by assaying just seven human genes, according to a study published this week (July 6) in Science Translational Medicine. A clinical test based on these findings would enable doctors to more appropriately prescribe antibiotics, which are ineffective against viruses.

This May, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that doctors prescribe antibiotics when they’re not needed in around 30 percent of cases examined. Overuse of these drugs may promote more widespread antibiotic resistance
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Exercise Boosts Telomere Transcription | The Scientist Magazine®

Exercise Boosts Telomere Transcription | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When healthy individuals perform a cardiovascular workout, their muscles increase transcription of telomeres, according to a study published today (July 27) in Science Advances. The team also identifies a novel transcription factor that appears to promote telomere transcription and provides the first direct evidence that telomere transcription is linked to exercise and metabolism in people.

“The novelty and merit of this work is that the authors demonstrate, for the first time, that [telomere transcription] occurs in response to physical exercise in a physiological system—human muscle,” Claus Azzalin, who studies telomere transcription at ETH Zurich in Switzerland but was not involved in the work, wrote in an email to The Scientist.

“This is a new link between metabolism and telomeres,” said study coauthor
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Placenta-on-a-chip models what is "arguably the least understood organ in the human body"

Placenta-on-a-chip models what is "arguably the least understood organ in the human body" | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The organ-on-a-chip concept has been around for a while now, providing researchers with working, lab-based models of heart disease, the human gut, and more. Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have created the first ever placenta-on-a-chip that can simulate the flow of nutrients between mother and fetus. The device accurately simulates the development of the organ, and could provide insights to help prevent preterm births.

The concept of an organ-on-a-chip is to provide scientists with a device that closely mimics the function of a living human organ, providing a means of studying and developing new treatments that's both safer and potentially more accurate than animal testing. The placenta is an ideal candidate for such a device, as we know comparatively little about it.
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Americans worried about gene editing, brain chip implants, and synthetic blood | KurzweilAI

Americans worried about gene editing, brain chip implants, and synthetic blood | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A majority of Americans would be “very” or “somewhat” worried about gene editing (68%); brain chips (69%); and synthetic blood (63%), while no more than half say they would be enthusiastic about each of these developments.
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Cinnamon may be the latest nootropic | KurzweilAI

Cinnamon may be the latest nootropic | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Kalipada Pahan, PhD, a researcher at Rush University and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, has found that cinnamon improved performance of mice in a maze test.

His group published their latest findings online June 24, 2016, in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

“The increase in learning in poor-learning mice after cinnamon treatment was significant,” says Pahan. “For example, poor-learning mice took about 150 seconds to find the right hole in the Barnes maze test. On the other hand, after one month of cinnamon treatment, poor-learning mice were finding the right hole within 60 seconds.”
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Augmented Reality In Healthcare Will Be Revolutionary - The Medical Futurist

Augmented Reality In Healthcare Will Be Revolutionary - The Medical Futurist | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Augmented reality differs from its most known “relative”, virtual reality (VR) since the latter creates a 3D world completely detaching the user from reality. There are two respects in which AR is unique: users do not lose touch with reality and it puts information into eyesight as fast as possible. These distinctive features enable AR to become a driving force in the future of medicine.
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Neurotransmitters, Adrenals, Blood Sugar & Nutrition - INNATE Education

Neurotransmitters, Adrenals, Blood Sugar & Nutrition - INNATE Education | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The adrenal glands are a primary stress response organ and play a key secondary role in raising blood sugar. Primarily performed by pancreas-originating glucagon, adrenal hormones like cortisol and neurotransmitters like epinephrine contribute to raising blood sugar as well. Since glucose in the blood is typically critical for brain function, there is a tight web of control to raise blood sugar via several mechanisms.

STRESS

When blood sugar is detected as lower in a physiological range, glucagon is secreted by the pancreas to promote the release of glycogen from the liver. This same mechanism is how epinephrine (aka adrenaline) raises blood sugar in the body. Epinephrine is released as well during times of acute stressors, such as threats or noxious stimuli. This is directly mediated by the central nervous system (CNS) through the sympathetic nerve system, which stimulated the adrenal medulla.
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Bioproduction: Advances in Cell Line Engineering

Bioproduction: Advances in Cell Line Engineering | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Bioproduction involves the growth and manipulation of large quantities of cells under tightly controlled conditions mandated by good manufacturing practices (GMP), while maintaining quality, reproducibility, and cost. Innovative technologies and strategies are being employed to optimize scale-up to high-throughput production.

 

The Scientist brings together a panel of experts to discuss strategies and workflows for screening and optimizing cell lines for bioproduction (video).

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Will Organs-in-a-Dish Ever Replace Animal Models?

Will Organs-in-a-Dish Ever Replace Animal Models? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

From mini brains to mini kidneys, an increasing number of organ models can now be grown in vitro. Some of these “organoids” can even perform certain functions of the human body in both health and disease, reducing the need for animal models. But organoid-based models still can’t fully recapitulate complex aspects of physiology that can only be studied in whole organisms.

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Organoids are three-dimensional miniature organs grown in vitro from adult or embryonic stem cells under chemical and physical conditions that mimic the human body. Clevers and colleagues grew the first mini guts in 2009; since then, researchers have succeeded in growing mini brains, kidneys, livers, pancreases, and prostate glands.

 

In which types of research do you think organoids are most helpful?

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Stroke Alters Gut Microbiome, Impacting Recovery | The Scientist Magazine®

Stroke Alters Gut Microbiome, Impacting Recovery | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists are finding increasing evidence that the stomach and the brain are linked via microbes and the immune system. Researchers from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany have found that inducing strokes in mice altered the animals’ gut microbiota, triggering an immune response that traveled back to the brain and worsened the severity of the lesions. When the researchers transplanted fecal bacteria from healthy mice into germ-free rodents that had suffered strokes, the latter animals made a better recovery than mice that didn’t receive the healthy bacteria, the researchers reported this week (July 12) in The Journal of Neuroscience.
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Blind Mice Regain Vision | The Scientist Magazine®

Blind Mice Regain Vision | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists have long known that the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) has a limited capacity to regenerate. But in a new study, researchers from Stanford University have shown that combining visual stimulation and chemical activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) led retinal ganglion cells in blind mice to regenerate, restoring partial vision. Further, the regenerated axons reconnected to their correct targets in the brain, the researchers reported today (July 11) in Nature Neuroscience.

This approach “offers a lot of hope, because it’s really the best regeneration anybody’s seen,” biologist Thomas Reh of the University of Washington in Seattle, who was not involved in the work, told The Scientist. “But it’s still just a small number of axons regenerating . . . and the amount of vision restored is not nearly what we would like to see” in humans, he added.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, July 14, 9:00 AM
Blind mice regain their vision?
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Amyloid-β peptide protects against microbial infection in mouse and worm models of Alzheimer’s disease

Amyloid-β peptide protects against microbial infection in mouse and worm models of Alzheimer’s disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A protein called Aβ is thought to cause neuronal death in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aβ forms insoluble aggregates in the brains of patients with AD, which are a hallmark of the disease. Aβ and its propensity for aggregation are widely viewed as intrinsically abnormal. However, in new work, Kumar et al. show that Aβ is a natural antibiotic that protects the brain from infection. Most surprisingly, Aβ aggregates trap and imprison bacterial pathogens.

 

It remains unclear whether Aβ is fighting a real or falsely perceived infection in AD. However, in any case, these findings identify inflammatory pathways as potential new drug targets for treating AD.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, July 14, 9:01 AM
Help for Alzheimer patience?
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How to Rebuild a Face With Jawbone Grown in the Lab

How to Rebuild a Face With Jawbone Grown in the Lab | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Imagine what it must be like for people who wake up after severe trauma or facial cancers to peer into the mirror and see someone unrecognizable staring back.

how-to-rebuild-a-face-with-bones-grown-in-the-lab-8Unfortunately, facial features are especially challenging to reconstruct with plastic surgery due to the complexity of bone structures. But a study, published last month in Science Translational Medicine, offers hope.

A team from Columbia University took stem cells from miniature pigs (or minipigs) with jaw deformities, grew them into living bone that precisely replicates the original anatomical structure, and transplanted the bones into their jaws.
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Watch This Amazing 3D Bioprinter Make Artificial Bones From Scratch

Watch This Amazing 3D Bioprinter Make Artificial Bones From Scratch | Longevity science | Scoop.it
If 3D printing is already impacting manufacturing today, what breakthroughs could bioprinting — or printing any mix of organic and inorganic materials — achieve tomorrow? In a recent video, a basic prototype of the Aether 1 bioprinter is shown printing two bones connected by a tendon using six materials that include synthetic bone, conductive ink, stem cells and graphene oxide.

While bioprinted organs are still a long way off — this video offers a glimpse into that future.
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