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Tongue controller for the paralyzed offers greater independence

Tongue controller for the paralyzed offers greater independence | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In an advance that promises to improve the lives of the more than 250,000 people in the United States who are paralyzed from the neck down, researchers announced on Wednesday that they have developed a wireless device that operates specially rigged chairs by means of a tiny titanium barbell pierced through the tongue.

 

Merely by moving their tongues left or right across their mouths, essentially using it as a joystick, paralyzed patients have been able to move their motorized wheelchairs, as well as computer cursors. Tapping tongue against cheek, quickly or slowly, controls the chair's speed.

 

 

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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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Algae-based scaffold helps grow bioink for 3D-printed cartilage

Algae-based scaffold helps grow bioink for 3D-printed cartilage | Longevity science | Scoop.it
​Degeneration of cartilage in joints can be seriously painful, and it can be extremely difficult to repair. A new research effort could improve the situation, with scientists designing a new method for making artificial cartilage implants that leverages 3D printing technology.
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5 Ways Medical VR Is Changing Healthcare

5 Ways Medical VR Is Changing Healthcare | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Did you know it is possible to swim with whales in the ocean while lying on a hospital bed? Have you imagined experiencing your 74th birthday as a 20-something? Perhaps followed a risky surgery from your couch?

Medical VR is an area with fascinating possibilities. It has not just moved the imagination of science-fiction fans, but also clinical researchers and real life medical practitioners. Although the field is brand new, there are already great examples of VR having a positive effect on patients’ lives and physicians’ work.
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Secret behind success of breakaway cancer cells uncovered

Secret behind success of breakaway cancer cells uncovered | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A team of researchers, led by scientists at the Queen Mary University of London, has made a breakthrough in our understanding of how cancer cells are able to spread around the body and form deadly new tumors. The team found that two proteins work together, exhibiting an unusual behavior that helps keep the cells alive.

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The researchers studied cancer cells in cultures, mice and zebrafish. Carefully watching for changes in the cells, the team spotted a type of molecule, called an integrin, behaving very strangely indeed.

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3D printing heart parts at 30,000 feet

3D printing heart parts at 30,000 feet | Longevity science | Scoop.it
If you live anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico, earlier this month, while you were sipping your coffee or surfing the web, a plane was zooming 30,000 ft (about 9,100 m) overhead, simulating weightlessness while a 3D bioprinter spit out heart and vascular structures created with human stem cells. The project was a joint effort between several companies experimenting with bioprinting in zero gravity environments – an initiative that could lead to better and more widely available human organs.

The project was led by Techshot, a company that has been involved in creating equipment and experiments for space for years, and is able to commercially operate its equipment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) through a Space Act Agreement with NASA.
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‘Holy grail’ of breast-cancer prevention in high-risk women may be in sight | KurzweilAI

‘Holy grail’ of breast-cancer prevention in high-risk women may be in sight | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Australian researchers have discovered that an existing medication could have promise in preventing breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene, who are at high risk of developing aggressive breast cancer.

Currently, many women with this mutation choose surgical removal of breast tissue and ovaries to reduce their chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Notably, in May 2013, actress Angelina Jolie, who reportedly had with an estimated 87 per cent risk of breast cancer and 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer, chose to have d2ouble mastectomy with breast reconstruction.

Women with mutation have an approximately 65% cumulative risk of developing breast cancer by age 70, the researchers note, based on a 2003 combined analysis of 22 studies.
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A touch of electricity may help diabetic wounds heal

A touch of electricity may help diabetic wounds heal | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When the body sustains a wound, electrical signals around the site of the injury help cells migrate there as part of the healing process. While this works well in healthy individuals, new research out of the University of California Davis (UC Davis) reveals that when such wounds happen to diabetics, the electrical fields around them are significantly weaker, leading to the slow-healing process common to people with the condition. By manipulating the electricity around wounds, the researchers feel that they might be able to speed the healing process and help diabetics thrive.
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Single Bacterial Species Improves Autism-Like Behavior in Mice | The Scientist Magazine®

Single Bacterial Species Improves Autism-Like Behavior in Mice | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The offspring of certain mice fed a high-fat diet have altered gut microbiomes and may be prone to autism-like behaviors including social deficits, according to a study published today (June 16) in Cell. But treating these offspring with a specific microbial species they lack can rectify the animals’ social behavior.

“There’s growing evidence that the microbiome, particularly early in life, can have long-term effects on brain development and behavior,” said anatomist and neuroscientist John Cryan of University College Cork in Ireland who was not involved in the study. “What this paper does is take advantage of the fact that we get our microbiome from our mums, and looks at what happens if the mum disturbs her microbiome during pregnancy.”
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Gamma camera sees skin, and what lies beneath

Gamma camera sees skin, and what lies beneath | Longevity science | Scoop.it
​​A new, portable imaging system could have a big impact on doctors’ abilities to study patient tissue, both on a surface level, and further down. The technology combines optical and gamma imaging, and has already been successfully tested in a clinical pilot study.​
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Gene circuits in live cells that perform complex analog/digital computations | KurzweilAI

Gene circuits in live cells that perform complex analog/digital computations | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

MIT researchers have developed synthetic biological circuits (from bacteria, for example, as shown above) that combine analog and digital computation as “living therapeutics” to treat major diseases and rare genetic disorders (credit: Synlogic)

MIT researchers have developed synthetic biological circuits that combine both analog (continuous) and digital (discrete) computation — allowing living cells to carry out complex processing operations, such as releasing a drug in response to low glucose levels.

The research is presented in an open-access paper published in the journal Nature Communications.


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Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it's very hot, says WHO agency

Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it's very hot, says WHO agency | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In its evaluation of very hot drinks, IARC said animal studies suggest carcinogenic effects probably occur with drinking temperatures of 65 Celsius or above. Some experiments with rats and mice found "very hot" liquids, including water, could promote the development of tumours, it said.

The agency said studies of hot drinks such as maté, an infusion consumed mainly in South America, tea and other drinks in several countries including China, Iran, Japan and Turkey, found the risk of oesophageal cancer "may increase with the temperature of the drink" above 65 Celsius.
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Pacemaker for the tongue helps apnea patients breathe normally

Pacemaker for the tongue helps apnea patients breathe normally | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition wherein the muscles in the throat relax so much during sleep that they block the airway and cause breathing to intermittently stop and start through the night, making it impossible to get a good night's rest. The condition can strain the cardiovascular system due to restricted oxygen intake, and can cause general daily fatigue according to the Mayo Clinic. Some cases of OSA can be cured with a mouthpiece or the CPAP machine, but in other cases, more serious intervention is called for – which is where the implant comes in.
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Blood test for Alzheimer’s shows 100 percent accuracy in early trials

Blood test for Alzheimer’s shows 100 percent accuracy in early trials | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Alzheimer's can be quite a stealthy foe, at times causing damage in a sufferer long before any symptoms start to show. Naturally, this makes it tricky to detect early on, which is problematic because treatment options only narrow as the disease progresses. But researchers may have now uncovered what could become a hugely valuable diagnostics tool, developing a blood test capable of picking up early stage Alzheimer's with "unparalleled accuracy."

"It is now generally believed that Alzheimer's-related changes begin in the brain at least a decade before the emergence of telltale symptoms," says Dr. Robert Nagele, from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first blood test using autoantibody biomarkers that can accurately detect Alzheimer's at an early point in the course of the disease when treatments are more likely to be beneficial – that is, before too much brain devastation has occurred."
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Tiny 3D-printed medical camera could be deployed from inside a syringe

Tiny 3D-printed medical camera could be deployed from inside a syringe | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Getting inside the human body to have a look around is always going to be invasive, but that doesn't mean more can't be done to make things a little more comfortable. With this goal in mind, German researchers have developed a complex lens system no bigger than a grain of salt that fits inside a syringe. The imaging tool could make for not just more productive medical imaging, but tiny cameras for everything from drones to slimmer smartphones.

The entire imaging system fits comfortably inside a standard syringe needle
Scientists from the University of Stuttgart built their three-lens camera layer by layer using a new ...
The team printed imaging components for optical microscopes with a diameter and height of 125 micrometers, ...
A new method of 3D printing was key to developing the tiny lens system

Scientists from the University of Stuttgart built their three-lens camera using a new 3D printing technique. They say their new approach offers sub-micrometer accuracy that makes it possible to 3D print optical lens systems with two or more lenses for the first time. Their resulting multi-lens system opens up the possibility of correcting for aberration (where a lens cannot bring all wavelengths of color to the same focal plane), which could enable higher image quality from smaller devices.
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CRISPR Targets Cancer in First Human Trial — What You Need to Know

CRISPR Targets Cancer in First Human Trial — What You Need to Know | Longevity science | Scoop.it
It’s happening: as early as later this year, the gene-editing power tool CRISPR could be used in its first ever human trial.

On Tuesday June 21, an advisory panel from the National Institute of Health (NIH) green lighted a proposal to use the game changing technique to tackle three different kinds of cancer. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), who are spearheading the small trial, hope to use the technique to edit genes in a patient’s own immune cells, reprogramming them to recognize and attack cancer at the first signs of growth.
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Turmeric naturally increases brain cell growth

Turmeric naturally increases brain cell growth | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The results of a new study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy suggests that the popular ancient Indian spice, turmeric, could help repair the brain following an injury and could also be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

In order to examine the effects of turmeric on brain cells, scientists first bathed endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs), which are stem cells found within adult brains, in extracts of a chemical found in turmeric. Amazingly, they observed up to 80 percent more stem cell growth when compared to the control, which used no chemical.
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How exercise improves memory | KurzweilAI

How exercise improves memory | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Physical exercise after learning improves memory and memory traces if the exercise is done four hours later, and not immediately after learning, according to findings recently reported (open-access) in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.

 

It’s not yet clear exactly how or why delayed exercise has this effect on memory. However, earlier studies of laboratory animals suggest that naturally occurring chemical compounds in the body known as catecholamines, including dopamine and norepinephrine, can improve memory consolidation, say the researchers at the Donders Institute at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

 

One way to boost catecholamines is through physical exercise.

 

 

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Exercise-Induced Muscle Factor Promotes Memory | The Scientist Magazine®

Exercise-Induced Muscle Factor Promotes Memory | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Working out is good for the brain. Now, a team of scientists from the U.S. and Germany has a clearer idea why. A protein called cathepsin B, produced and secreted by muscle during exercise, is required for exercise-induced memory improvement and brain cell production in mice, the scientists reported in Cell Metabolism today (June 23). They also showed that levels of cathepsin B are positively correlated with fitness and memory in humans.

“This is a super exciting area. Exercise has so many health benefits, yet we know so little about many of these effects at a molecular level,” said biologist David James of the University of Sydney who did not participate in the work.
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Google eases the pain of online diagnosis

Google eases the pain of online diagnosis | Longevity science | Scoop.it
For most people, the first port of call when struck down by a new ache or pain is the internet. The problem is, as is so often the case when it comes to the internet, is sorting the wheat from the chaff. Google is now making it easier to find a diagnosis based on the symptoms you describe, offering a simpler way for people to see what might be causing their head/heart/tooth ache, and what might be the best way to handle it.

According to the team at Google, about one percent of all searches conducted on the site are symptom-related.
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Wearable artificial kidney prototype successfully tested | KurzweilAI

Wearable artificial kidney prototype successfully tested | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
An FDA-approved exploratory clinical trial of a prototype wearable artificial kidney (WAK) — a miniaturized, wearable hemodialysis machine — at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle has been completed, the researchers reported June 2 in an open-access paper in JCI Insight.

The seven patients enrolled in the study reported “significantly greater treatment satisfaction during the WAK treatment period compared with ratings of care during periods of conventional in-center hemodialysis treatment,” according to the researchers.
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Lab-grown living bone fuses fast with pig jaw

Lab-grown living bone fuses fast with pig jaw | Longevity science | Scoop.it
One traditional method of facial bone repair involves sourcing material – generally from a section of the patient's leg – before carving it to the desired shape. Not only does this involve extra surgery and hardship, but results may not always come out perfectly. Development of polymer or hydrogel scaffolding for bone replacement treatments have shown success, although this latest approach from Columbia University exceeds all other achievements.
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Students Study Their Own Microbiomes | The Scientist Magazine®

Students Study Their Own Microbiomes | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
“I remember telling my mom, ‘I have to poop for class,’” Haggerty said. “It was the funniest thing. ‘Anything to get an A,’” she’d joked.

Haggerty had enrolled in the research section of Biology 173 upon the recommendation of other undergraduates who had taken the new experimental biology course. Microbial physiologist and ecologist Tom Schmidt had recently joined the University of Michigan faculty to study the human microbiome and found himself in need of research subjects. So when he saw a call for research proposals from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) for programs designed to integrate research with undergraduate education, he saw the perfect opportunity. “That’s what HHMI brought to the table: it gave us a human cohort—healthy undergraduates.”
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NASA's $500k competition to accelerate development of lab-made human tissue

NASA's $500k competition to accelerate development of lab-made human tissue | Longevity science | Scoop.it
As humankind gears up for a concerted push toward Mars, there are a whole of lot of problems we'll need to get our heads around first. Perhaps most important is how the human body can be kept in working order during extended periods in space – something astronaut Scott Kelly is hoping to shed some light on after spending a whole year aboard the International Space Station. To aid in this search for ways to combat the adverse physiological effects of deep space exploration, NASA is now running a US$500,000 competition aimed at developing functional lab-grown human tissue.

As scientists around the world work to address shortages of donor tissue and cultivate new testbeds for drug-testing, some promising strides have been made toward lab-grown tissue. We have seen engineered human muscle that contracts in response to stimuli, biological tissue with embedded wiring and 3D printing giving rise to new kinds of bio-inks that form equally promising kinds of materials.
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Rebooting the immune system fights off early MS

Rebooting the immune system fights off early MS | Longevity science | Scoop.it
"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" has become a bit of a joke when dealing with problems with electronic equipment, but more often than not it does work. Now, Canadian doctors and researchers have found that rebooting the immune system essentially cures early, aggressive MS. In clinical trials, the treatment was shown to suppress brain inflammation, prevent relapses, halt disease progression and even reverse some symptoms like vision loss and muscle weakness.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is estimated to affect around 2.3 million people globally and occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms range from extreme fatigue to blurred vision to partial or complete paralysis, which often flare up as a result of inflammation in the brain, in recurring episodes called relapses.
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How nanotechnology research could cure cancer and other diseases

How nanotechnology research could cure cancer and other diseases | Longevity science | Scoop.it
DNA is rod shaped and normally would not be able to enter cells, which have developed protection against entry from foreign DNA segments. But by using nanotechnology, many little snippets of DNA can be attached to a tiny, round synthetic core. The receptors on cells that would block rod shaped DNA do not recognize the tiny spheres of DNA and allow it to enter.

Using that property, a whole new class of treatments for genetic diseases is being developed.

By being able to insert DNA into existing cells, scientists can “attack disease at its genetic root and turn off receptors that regulate how a cell functions, stopping a disease pathway in its tracks,” explains Mirkin.
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Artificial Intelligence 'outsmarts cancer' - BBC News

Artificial Intelligence 'outsmarts cancer' - BBC News | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Early trial data shows a drug developed using artificial intelligence can slow the growth of cancer in clinical trials.

The data, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, showed some tumours shrank by around a quarter.

The compound will now be taken into more advanced trials.

Scientists said we were now in an explosive stage of merging advances in computing with medicine.

Spotting every difference between a cancerous and a healthy cell is beyond even the brightest human minds.

So the US biotechnology company Berg has been feeding as much data as its scientists could measure on the biochemistry of cells into a supercomputer.

The aim was to let an artificial intelligence suggest a way of switching a cancerous cell back to a healthy one.
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