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Currently Browsing: Results for Tag "biology"

The ESA’s MELiSSA zero-g farm could make life sustainable in space

The ESA’s MELiSSA zero-g farm could make life sustainable in space For all its scientific faults, The Martian did bring awareness to the very real problems associated with food in space, and on alien worlds.The Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) is the ESA’s attempt to do the latter.

Ancient alien life may be harder to detect than we thought thanks to radiation

Ancient alien life may be harder to detect than we thought thanks to radiation The ongoing search for alien life doesn’t necessarily mean finding extraterrestrial organisms that are alive right now.While that would be great, finding solid evidence of extinct life on Mars or Europa would be almost as amazing.

The most mind-bending instances of evolution

But evolution, for all of its seeming simplicity, has left us with some bizarre artifacts.These are the craziest evolutionary adaptations that we could think of, but we’re absolutely positive there are others out there.

New fossil find backs up existence of ancient hobbit-humans

The first Homo floresiensis fossils were discovered in a cave at a site called Liang Bua and dated to 50,000-100,000 years ago.The new fossils were found at a site called Mata Menge, but they aren’t more examples of H.

Hemophilia ‘cures’ are proving gene therapy really is all it’s cracked up to be

The latest example is hemophilia, and the incredible recent progress toward a cure (or cures) show just how much potential the field really has.About 1 in 5,000 males is born with Hemophilia A, which has to do with the function of the protein factor VIII, and 1 in 30,000 is born with hemophilia B, due to defective versions of factor IX.

This genetically engineered ‘living robot’ moves with rat heart cells

This genetically engineered ‘living robot’ moves with rat heart cells Plus: robot stingray!The hope is that building these sorts of projects, and learning how to better manipulate and develop heart cells to achieve certain aims, we’ll gain a better understanding of how heart cells work, and how whole hearts pump fluid throughout the body.

How MIT’s new biological ‘computer’ works, and what it could do in the future

How MIT’s new biological ‘computer’ works, and what it could do in the future With a fully realized ability to program cell behavior as reliably as we do computer behavior, there’s no telling what biological computing could accomplish.In 2013, this same team designed the computing strain that preceded this one: a biological “state machine.

Huge Pew study says human augmentation will be a hard sell, but it probably won’t be

Huge Pew study says human augmentation will be a hard sell, but it probably won’t be There are basically two arguments against non-medical human augmentation.The study focuses most powerfully on gene editing of babies and adults, upgraded synthetic blood, and intracranial brain implants for cognitive enhancement.

In mice, a possible means to counteract multiple sclerosis

In mice, a possible means to counteract multiple sclerosis In either case, the length of the cell, the connection between the in-point and the out-point, is called the axon.It is responsible for carrying signals over whatever distance the signal must travel to get to the next neuron, or its ultimate destination.

Scientists invent a new kind of nanoscale imaging for living cells

Scientists invent a new kind of nanoscale imaging for living cells They also move, and all that motion makes it practically impossible to get good high-resolution images of cells and what’s inside them.To get around this, a team of scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have put their heads together and demonstrated a whole different way of imaging cells, called “thermal noise imaging.

Surgeon plans first human head transplant in 2017

Surgeon plans first human head transplant in 2017 That’s science fiction right now, but Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero (pictured, top) says he plans to do the first human head transplant next year.According to Canavero, the donor body will come from someone who is brain dead and whose organs would be considered acceptable for transplantation.

Drug-resistant bacteria tricked into dropping their shields become vulnerable once again

Drug-resistant bacteria tricked into dropping their shields become vulnerable once again In search of another way to manage the endless slog against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, scientists just figured out how to bait bacteria into developing an Achilles’ heel.Not all drug resistance works the same: It depends on the type of antibiotic the bacteria have evolved to resist.

Researchers find no evidence ‘brain training’ games offset aging, cognitive decline

Researchers find no evidence ‘brain training’ games offset aging, cognitive decline Several years ago, so-called “brain training” games from companies like Luminosity were all the rage.One group argued there was no benefit to using this type of brain-training, while another group of scientists later claimed there was evidence that brain training could provide a benefit.

Researchers discover a virus that makes the toxin from black widow spider venom

Researchers discover a virus that makes the toxin from black widow spider venom Biotechnologists have discovered some horrifying new consequences of lateral gene transfer: a virus that started making the toxin from black widow spider venom, all by itself.It’s even less comforting that the virus acquired the ability to make the black widow toxin all on its own.

Brain implant used to restore paralyzed man’s sense of touch

Brain implant used to restore paralyzed man’s sense of touch In a new study, doctors have used a brain implant to return the sense of touch to a paralyzed man.By placing electrodes inside Copeland’s brain, doctors have basically created a new path for the electrical impulses associated with the sense of touch.

Deep-dwelling bacteria could rewrite our understanding of where alien life could take hold

Deep-dwelling bacteria could rewrite our understanding of where alien life could take hold Finding bacteria in extreme environments, like at thermal ocean vents or in the sulfur pools at Yellowstone, isn’t all that novel.In 1991, remote-control robots brought out samples of pitch-black fungi that had been growing inside the ruins of the Chernobyl reactor.

Scientists create new fluorescent protein to monitor the cell cycle

Scientists create new fluorescent protein to monitor the cell cycle When you need new cells, they can be created through a process called mitosis, whereby a cell makes a copy of itself.A new technique from Stanford (PDF) allows the cell cycle to be observed with more precision than ever before.

Scientists figure out how to tweak plant genomes to boost photosynthesis

Scientists figure out how to tweak plant genomes to boost photosynthesis Ample sunlight is good…except when there’s too much of it, which can cause damage to the plant’s cells.As the sun moves across the sky, changes in light can leave many leaves in the shade with a depressed rate of photosynthesis.