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Team AngelicvM Will Fly with Astrobotic on First Lunar Mission | Astrobotic

 

TOKYO – Astrobotic Technology, Inc. announced today that it will carry a rover for Team AngelicvM, the Google Lunar XPRIZE team from Chile, to the surface of the Moon on Astrobotic’s first lunar mission. Team AngelicvM joins Team HAKUTO, the Japanese Google Lunar XPRIZE team, which announced a partnership with Astrobotic earlier this year. Teams HAKUTO and AngelicvM, along with Team Astrobotic, will launch from Earth, fly together to the surface of the Moon, and deploy from Astrobotic’s lander. The teams will then race 500 meters across the Moon’s surface to send high-definition images and video back to Earth in pursuit of the $20M Google Lunar XPRIZE Grand Prize. The signing of Team AngelicvM adds South America to payloads from North America, Europe and Asia, expanding the unique co- opetition (cooperative competition) model spurred by the Google Lunar XPRIZE across the globe.


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Next-generation genetic sequencing found right diagnosis for Australian 'Mystery Boy'

Next-generation genetic sequencing found right diagnosis for Australian 'Mystery Boy' | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Mystery Boy Brandon Keesing was incorrectly diagnosed with a degenerative muscular disease until revolutionary genetic sequencing gave him life-changing news.

 

Originally thought that Keesing has a mitochondrial disease, doctors had been wrong all along. Revolutionary advances in genetic sequencing proved he did not have mitochondrial disease at all. "In recent years the capacity to read the genetic code of every single gene — all 20,000 of them in the human body — has reached a point where it is now efficient, accurate, cost-effective to be able to do this," he says.


The new technique is called "next generation sequencing" — and where previously it took weeks or months to analyse the code of a single gene, today laboratory computers can decode all 20,000 genes in one go.


Almost immediately Westmead Children's Hospital researchers could pinpoint which one of Brandon's genes had a mutation. Professor Christodoulou illustrates how the technique works on a chart. "So here in the unaffected individual we have an 'A'. Here in the affected individual we have a 'G'. And that's precisely where the mistake is," he says.


Doctors using next generation sequencing discovered in fact that Brandon had congenital myasthenia — a different genetic disease which also affects the muscles. But although incurable, it is not usually fatal and can be treated with medication.


"The name of the gene that we found the mistakes in is called COLQ, and it has a completely different role," Professor Christodoulou says. "It has nothing to do with mitochondrial energy production. "What it is involved in is co-ordinating the communication of nerve cells with the muscle, so that the muscle, when it receives an impulse from a nerve cell, it contracts and relaxes appropriately.


"So the problem with the COLQ mistakes is that this process couldn't be co-ordinated properly. And that's what actually led to his progressive problems."


Finding that one gene in 20,000 has transformed Brandon's life. A simple drug quickly restored some of his muscle strength. As quickly as he had deteriorated as a toddler, he suddenly began making huge strides.

"We noticed it straight away. By the end of that week he got up off that bed and he walked," she says, wiping away tears. "That was unreal. I'll never forget that day. I was so happy for him and ... I just knew from that he was going to grow, he was going to enjoy his life that much more than what he had before. And he has."


Professor Christodoulou says it was a very gratifying outcome for doctors.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Samuel Viana's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:38 AM

Quem diria, com a redução de preço das novas tecnologias de sequenciação foi possível diagnosticar correctamente a doença desta rapaz ?

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The social origins of intelligence in the brain

The social origins of intelligence in the brain | Gargoyles | Scoop.it

By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, researchers have found that brain regions that contribute to optimal social functioning are also vital to general intelligence and emotional intelligence.

 

This finding, reported in the journal Brain, bolsters the view that general intelligence emerges from the emotional and social context of one’s life.

“We are trying to understand the nature of general intelligence and to what extent our intellectual abilities are grounded in social cognitive abilities,” said Aron Barbey, a University of Illinois professor of neuroscience, psychology, and speech and hearing science.

 

Barbey, an affiliate of the Beckman Institute and he Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, led the new study with an international team of collaborators.


The study involved 144 Vietnam veterans injured by shrapnel or bullets that penetrated the skull, damaging distinct brain tissues while leaving neighboring tissues intact. Using CT scans, the scientists painstakingly mapped the affected brain regions of each participant, then pooled the data to build a collective map of the brain.

 

The researchers used a battery of carefully designed tests to assess participants’ intellectual, emotional and social capabilities. They then looked for damage in specific brain regions tied to deficits in the participants’ ability to navigate intellectual, emotional or social realms. Social problem solving in this analysis primarily involved conflict resolution with friends, family and peers at work.


As in their earlier studies of general intelligence and emotional intelligence, the researchers found that regions of the frontal cortex (at the front of the brain), the parietal cortex (further back near the top of the head) and the temporal lobes (on the sides of the head behind the ears) are all implicated in social problem solving. The regions that contributed to social functioning in the parietal and temporal lobes were located only in the brain’s left hemisphere, while both left and right frontal lobes were involved.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, August 2, 2014 12:30 PM

There is a popular myth that humans use no more than 10% of their brains throughout their entire life. This has been shown to be untrue as brain damage consistently results in loss of function. Nonetheless, this myth provided the premise for some great movies such as the 2014 film, Lucy 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(2014_film)

 

Read more scoops on the brain here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/biotech-and-beyond/?tag=Brain

Dr. Helen Teague's curator insight, August 3, 2014 9:32 AM

From Dr. Stefan Gruenwald:

By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, researchers have found that brain regions that contribute to optimal social functioning are also vital to general intelligence and emotional intelligence.

 

This finding, reported in the journal Brain, bolsters the view that general intelligence emerges from the emotional and social context of one’s life.

“We are trying to understand the nature of general intelligence and to what extent our intellectual abilities are grounded in social cognitive abilities,” said Aron Barbey, a University of Illinois professor of neuroscience, psychology, and speech and hearing science.

 

Barbey, an affiliate of the Beckman Institute and he Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, led the new study with an international team of collaborators.

 

The study involved 144 Vietnam veterans injured by shrapnel or bullets that penetrated the skull, damaging distinct brain tissues while leaving neighboring tissues intact. Using CT scans, the scientists painstakingly mapped the affected brain regions of each participant, then pooled the data to build a collective map of the brain.

 

The researchers used a battery of carefully designed tests to assess participants’ intellectual, emotional and social capabilities. They then looked for damage in specific brain regions tied to deficits in the participants’ ability to navigate intellectual, emotional or social realms. Social problem solving in this analysis primarily involved conflict resolution with friends, family and peers at work.

 

As in their earlier studies of general intelligence and emotional intelligence, the researchers found that regions of the frontal cortex (at the front of the brain), the parietal cortex (further back near the top of the head) and the temporal lobes (on the sides of the head behind the ears) are all implicated in social problem solving. The regions that contributed to social functioning in the parietal and temporal lobes were located only in the brain’s left hemisphere, while both left and right frontal lobes were involved.

Jocelyn Stoller's curator insight, August 13, 2014 4:55 AM

Strange that CT scans were used. High resolution Functional MRI would show both structure and activity. Other imaging methods such as optogenetics, MEG, TMS, BOLD, etc. could also help to pinpoint these areas without using radiation on an already-injured brain.

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Keep, Delete, Modify: Synthetic Genes, Synthetic Cells, Synthetic Life

Keep, Delete, Modify: Synthetic Genes, Synthetic Cells, Synthetic Life | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Nature needed about one billion years to create the simplest single-cell organisms that swam around in the primordial soup. Now, scientists are eager to create synthetic life – but better and faster.

 

Hamilton Smith (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1978 with Werner Arber and Daniel Nathans) started his lecture at the 64th Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau with a quote from Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize in Physics 1965): Feynman had probably meant physical models, whereas Smith referred to living organisms. In his laboratory at the J. Craig Venter Institute, he tries to create synthetic cells: “I hope that if we create that, we will understand.”


Nowadays, the entire human genome has been decoded. But how a live human being develops from DNA molecules, a human being that can breath, eat, walk, study, love, receive Nobel Prizes and award them – nobody really understands yet. Even for single-cell organisms, this isn’t crystal clear. Even the simplest bacteria exhibit genes without apparent function, that are not essential for life. During evolution, a lot of ‘genetic waste’ has accumulated that might have been useful at some point, but was rendered useless by mutations. Some genetic fragments were in fact smuggled into the genome by viruses, others were created by accidental duplications of genetic segments. Numerous molecular mechanisms lead to many genetic variations – rendering evolution possible in the first place. But over time, many of these genes and segments have become useless.


Currently Smith tries to tidy up the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides, a microbe normally living in the digestive tract of ruminants. Originally Smith and his team wanted to use the genome of Mycoplasma genitalium, the bacterium with the smallest known genome – it needs only 475 genes to live. Smith estimates that about 100 of these are non-essential. But since M. mycoides has a much higher cell division rate, although its genome is twice as large, experiments with M. mycoides proved to be more effective. During this ‘minimal cell project’, the researchers switch off one gene after another and study the effects on the microbes. (And the slower the microbes grow, the longer the researchers have to wait for their results.) Smith’s final goal is “a genome that is very understandable – we are searching for the genetic kernels of life”.


Smith also assumes that all genes from the last group can be switched off without negative impacts on the microbes. Concerning the middle category, the researchers have to carefully weigh all options. When all is done, the result should be a bacterium that can still multiply rapidly, at least in laboratory conditions that offer plenty of nourishment, constant temperatures, but no competitors. The researchers’ goal is a fifty percent genome reduction in a happily thriving microbe that divides at least once in 100 minutes.


Smith likes using computer terms to describe his work. He compares the genome of any organism with its software, the rest is hardware (the cytoplasm, proteins and enzymes), controlled by said software. As soon as a cell receives a new genetic program, it starts to put this program to use. In order to test their own synthetic programs, Smith and his team replaced the bacterium’s DNA with synthetic DNA containing their basic program. To date, the old ‘hardware’ has not adopted the new program ‘update’. In computer speak, troubleshooting and maintenance are called “debugging”: Smith and his team will be busy with debugging for some time.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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New geoglyphs found in Nazca desert after sandstorm

New geoglyphs found in Nazca desert after sandstorm | Gargoyles | Scoop.it

While flying over the famous Nazca desert recently, pilot Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre spotted some geoglyphs that had not been seen before. He believes the geoglyphs or Nazca Lines, as others call them, were exposed after recent sand-storms carried away soil that was covering them.

 

The Nazca Lines have become world famous, showing up in paintings, movies, books and news articles. They exist on the floor of the Nazca desert in a southwestern part of Peru, near the ocean. Scientists believe the figures (approximately 700 in all) were created by the ancient Nazca people over a time period of a thousand years—500BC to 500AD.

 

The geoglyphs vary in size and have been categorized into two distinct categories: natural objects and geometric figures. The natural objects include animals such as birds, camelids, or snakes. It is believed the lines were created by removing iron-oxide coated pellets to a depth of four to six inches—that left the lighter sand below in stark contrast to the surrounding area. The images vary dramatically in size, with the largest approximately 935 feet long. It is a myth that the figures on the desert floor can only be seen by aircraft (they were first "discovered" by a pilot flying over the desert in 1939). In fact, they can be seen quite easily when standing on nearby mountains or hills.

 

The newly revealed figures discovered by de la Torre are of a snake (approximately 196 feet in length), a bird, a camelid (perhaps a llama) and some zig-zag lines. They are actually on some hills in the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana near the desert floor. Archeologists have been alerted to authenticate the find.

 

The reason for the creation of the geoglyphs is still uncertain, though a host of possible explanations have been offered, many centered around religion and or water. Interestingly, all of the figures are believed to have been created using a single line that never crosses itself. Similar to how a picture might be drawn with a pencil, never lifting it from the paper. It has also been noted that many of the images depicted by geoglyphs also appear on pottery made by people over the same time period, and, archeologists have found evidence of wooden stakes used to help create the images, suggesting they were made using very simple techniques.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them

Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them | Gargoyles | Scoop.it

Electronic devices that become soft when implanted inside the body and can deploy to grip 3-D objects, such as large tissues, nerves and blood vessels have been created by researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

 

These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and also could be used to stimulate the body for treatments.

 

The research, published in Advanced Materials, is one of the first demonstrations of transistors that can change shape and maintain their electronic properties after they are implanted in the body, said Jonathan Reeder, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and lead author of the work.

 

“Scientists and physicians have been trying to put electronics in the body for a while now, but one of the problems is that the stiffness of common electronics is not compatible with biological tissue,” he said.

 

“You need the device to be stiff at room temperature so the surgeon can implant the device, but soft and flexible enough to wrap around 3-D objects so the body can behave exactly as it would without the device. By putting electronics on shape-changing and softening polymers, we can do just that.”

 

Shape memory polymers (plastics) developed by Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering and an author of the paper, are key to enabling the technology.

 

The polymers respond to the body’s environment and become less rigid when they’re implanted. In addition to the polymers, the electronic devices are built with layers that include thin, flexible electronic foils first characterized by a group including Reeder in work published last year in Nature.

 

The Voit and Reeder team from the Advanced Polymer Research Lab in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science fabricated the devices with an organic semiconductor but used adapted techniques normally applied to create silicon electronics that could reduce the cost of the devices.


“We used a new technique in our field to essentially laminate and cure the shape memory polymers on top of the transistors,” said Voit, who is also a member of the Texas Biomedical Device Center. “In our device design, we are getting closer to the size and stiffness of precision biologic structures, but have a long way to go to match nature’s amazing complexity, function and organization.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Keith Wayne Brown's curator insight, May 15, 2014 9:39 AM

A necessary step for posthumanity.

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Smashwords – Night for the Gargoyles —a book by M. K. Theodoratus

Smashwords – Night for the Gargoyles —a book by M. K. Theodoratus | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Who to fight? The Demons overrunning the city or Orvil, the rival lusting for his position.

The four gargoyles guarding Trebridge are outnumbered. Gillen, their leader, is caught between fighting Demons and the schemes of Orvil to replace him.
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Gargoyle hunt in Germany!

Rolling vid of gargoyle photos I've taken -- yes, some not exactly fitting the category, but interesting...
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Gargoyles of New York

Gargoyles of New York | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Welcome to Gargoyles of New York! The most comphrensive collection of Gargoyles, Chimeras and Grotesques discovered throughout New York City and photographed by Michael G. Chan.
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Gargoyles...Ugh! - Collar City Brownstone

Gargoyles...Ugh! - Collar City Brownstone | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Do you like gargoyles?  I don’t.  I can’t stand them.  Gargoyles look frightening to me.   I see them a lot when I visit mansions from the Gilded Age.  According to Wikipedia, gargoyles are meant to carry rainwater away from buildings to prevent corrosion. ...
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New Gargoyle background | Gargoyles wallpapers

New Gargoyle background | Gargoyles wallpapers | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Yesterday we found this videos related to Gargoyles...so, today we've decided to bring you some wallpapers about them!...enjoy!!!And here, even more information %page%
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Cancer-fighting viruses win approval by FDA

Cancer-fighting viruses win approval by FDA | Gargoyles | Scoop.it

An engineered herpesvirus that provokes an immune response against cancer has become the first treatment of its kind to be approved for use in the United States, paving the way for a long-awaited class of therapies. On 27 October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a genetically engineered virus called talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) to treat advanced melanoma. Four days earlier, advisers to the European Medicines Agency had endorsed the drug.


With dozens of ongoing clinical trials of similar ‘oncolytic’ viruses, researchers hope that the approval will generate the enthusiasm and cash needed to spur further development of the approach. “The era of the oncolytic virus is probably here,” says Stephen Russell, a cancer researcher and haematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “I expect to see a great deal happening over the next few years.”


Many viruses preferentially infect cancer cells. Malignancy can suppress normal antiviral responses, and sometimes the mutations that drive tumour growth also make cells more susceptible to infection. Viral infection can thus ravage a tumour while leaving abutting healthy cells untouched, says Brad Thompson, president of the pharmaceutical-development firm Oncolytics Biotech in Calgary, Canada.


The strategy builds on a phenomenon that has been appreciated for more than a century. Physicians in the 1800s noted that their cancer patients sometimes unexpectedly went into remission after experiencing a viral infection. These case reports later inspired doctors, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, to raid nature’s viral cupboard. Clinicians injected cancer patients with a menagerie of viruses. Sometimes the therapy destroyed the tumour, and sometimes it killed the person instead.


Unlike the wild viruses used in those mid-twentieth-century experiments, some of today’s anti-cancer viruses are painstakingly engineered. T-VEC, for example, has been altered to drastically reduce its ability to cause herpes. Researchers also inserted a gene encoding a protein that stimulates the immune system, which makes the virus even more potent against cancer (see‘Going viral against cancer’).


As more researchers entered the field and initiated small clinical tests, they began to produce enticing anecdotes. Russell recalls the case of an individual with myeloma who remained sick after under­going two stem-cell transplants. A tumour on the left side of her forehead had degraded the bone underneath and was putting pressure on her brain. Yet treatment with an experimental virus sent her into complete remission (S. Russell et al. Mayo Clin. Proc. 89, 926–933; 2014). “She’s a star patient who convinced us that this oncolytic paradigm can really work,” he says.


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Beautiful fantasy

Beautiful fantasy | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Beautiful fantasy digital artwork by Jeremiah Morelli.nice nice nice nice,, ^_^..

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Dinosaurs shrank to evolve into birds over a 50 million years time span

Dinosaurs shrank to evolve into birds over a 50 million years time span | Gargoyles | Scoop.it

Huge meat-eating dinosaurs (Theropods) underwent 12 stages of miniaturization and shrank steadily over 50 million years to evolve into small, flying birds, researchers say. The branch of theropod dinosaurs which gave rise to modern birds decreased inexorably in size from 163kg beasts that roamed the land, to birds weighing less than 1kg over the period.

 

The radical transformation began around 200 million years ago and was likely driven by a move to the trees where creatures with smaller, lighter bodies and other features, such as large eyes for 3D vision, fared better than others.

 

Scientists pieced together the dinosaurs' sustained shrinkage after analysing more than 1,500 anatomical features of 120 species of theropods and early birds.

 

The evolutionary tree reveals that the theropod ancestors of modern birds underwent 12 substantial decreases in size that led to archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird on Earth. The rate at which they evolved distinct features, such as feathers, wings and wishbones, was four times faster than adaptations in other dinosaurs.

 

"Birds evolved through a unique phase of sustained miniaturisation in dinosaurs," said Michael Lee at the University of Adelaide. "Being smaller and lighter in the land of giants, with rapidly evolving anatomical adaptations, provided these bird ancestors with new ecological opportunities, such as the ability to climb trees, glide and fly. Ultimately, this evolutionary flexibility helped birds survive the deadly meteorite impact which killed off all their dinosaurian cousins," he added. The study is published in the journal, Science.

 

The steady reduction in size saw the two-legged land-based theropods evolve new bird-like features, including shorter snouts, smaller teeth and insulating feathers.

 

Gareth Dyke, a vertebrate palaeontologist and co-author of the study at Southampton University said: "The dinosaurs most closely related to birds are all small, and many of them, such as the aptly named Microraptor, had some ability to climb and glide."

 

In an accompanying article, Michael Benton at Bristol University, said that the long-term trend that led to modern birds was probably shaped by the animals taking up in new habitats. "The crucial driver may have been a move to the trees, perhaps to escape from predation or to exploit new food resources," he writes.


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Next-Generation Molecular Workbench

Next-Generation Molecular Workbench | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
Molecular Workbench is already one of the most versatile ways to experience the science of atoms and molecules, and now we're making it work in Web browsers everywhere.

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The Chain Fountain, Explained

The Chain Fountain, Explained | Gargoyles | Scoop.it
A startling video of a long bead chain spilling out of a container and rising into the air provided an intriguing puzzle for two Cambridge physicists.

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The Bestiary

Preview for Dracopeda:The Bestiary 26 A to Z concept designs for a a menagerie of mythical creatures.
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Instagram

schristensen4's photo on Instagram (#gargoyles in #seattle @ Sunset Hill http://t.co/dMVKCoNBpg)
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gargoyles atop notre dame de paris

short video clip of the sky-line of paris, france, after climbing several hundred stairs to reach the top of notre dame cathedral. . . some good gargoyle sho...
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Gargoyles and Grotesques | Facebook

I posted 4 photos on Facebook in the album "Gargoyles and Grotesques" http://t.co/SLxuS53dlc
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