БЛОГ

Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Sep 19, 2019

A Huge Experiment Has ‘Weighed’ the Tiny Neutrino, a Particle That Passes Right Through Matter

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, particle physics

An experiment nearly two decades in the making has finally unveiled its measurements of the mass of the universe’s most abundant matter particle: the neutrino.

The neutrino could be the weirdest subatomic particle; though abundant, it requires some of the most sensitive detectors to observe. Scientists have been working for decades to figure out whether neutrinos have mass and if so, what that mass is. The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment in Germany has now revealed its first result constraining the maximum limit of that mass. The work has implications for our understanding of the entire cosmos, since these particles formed shortly after the Big Bang and helped shape the way structure formed in the early universe.

“You don’t get a lot of chances to measure a cosmological parameter that shaped the evolution of the universe in the laboratory,” Diana Parno, an assistant research professor at Carnegie Mellon University who works on the experiment, told Gizmodo.

Sep 18, 2019

Guppies teach us why evolution happens

Posted by in categories: evolution, genetics

Guppies, a perennial pet store favorite, have helped a UC Riverside scientist unlock a key question about evolution:

Do animals evolve in response to the risk of being eaten, or to the environment that they create in the absence of predators? Turns out, it’s the latter.

David Reznick, a professor of biology at UC Riverside, explained that in the wild, guppies can migrate over waterfalls and rapids to places where most predators can’t follow them. Once they arrive in safer terrain, Reznick’s previous research shows they evolve rapidly, becoming genetically distinct from their ancestors.

Sep 17, 2019

Rare 10 million-year-old fossil unearths new view of human evolution

Posted by in category: evolution

Near an old mining town in Central Europe, known for its picturesque turquoise-blue quarry water, lay Rudapithecus. For 10 million years, the fossilized ape waited in Rudabánya, Hungary, to add its story to the origins of how humans evolved.

What Rudabánya yielded was a pelvis—among the most informative bones of a skeleton, but one that is rarely preserved. An international research team led by Carol Ward at the University of Missouri analyzed this new pelvis and discovered that bipedalism—or the ability for people to move on two legs—might possibly have deeper ancestral origins than previously thought.

The Rudapithecus pelvis was discovered by David Begun, a professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto who invited Ward to collaborate with him to study this fossil. Begun’s work on limb bones, jaws and teeth has shown that Rudapithecus was a relative of modern African apes and humans, a surprise given its location in Europe. But information on its posture and locomotion has been limited, so the discovery of a pelvis is important.

Sep 17, 2019

Posthuman Times

Posted by in categories: biological, physics

Humanist and technoscientific notions of progress have been (mis)used to classify human and nonhuman life forms into hierarchical categories, thereby reducing the complexities of life stories into a linear account of development and innovation. At the same time, critical reflections on key concepts of modernist, Eurocentric and industry-driven concepts of time and historicity and, more forcefully perhaps, new findings in evolutionary biology and physics, have produced alternative narratives, sometimes with a reconsideration of premodern understandings of temporality like, for example, Gilles Deleuze ’s rereading of Leibniz in The Fold.[1] The modernist conception of History (with a capital H) as both an empirical reality and a specific disciplinary and disciplining knowledge [2] has thus become just one possible manifestation within a plurality of histor ies conditioned by socio-cultural particularities that honour the experience of bodies that, voluntarily or not, live outside re/productive timelines, for example.

An increasing number of researchers as well as artists are no longer interested in the taking and making time and space as human universals but in genealogies, intersections, “multiple modernities”[3] and the coexistence of non-simultaneous phenomena in the era of globalization, asymmetrical power relations and technoculture. Moreover, post-anthropocentric thinking and creativity, fostered in posthumanist discourse (including new materialism, speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, neocybernetic systems theory, etc.), also increasingly attends to nonhuman temporalities and how these are entangled, often in conflicting ways, with human time. Such considerations include the vexing question of how emancipatory goals of progressive social trans/formation and justice can be envisaged, let alone obtained, if we can no longer ground our theories and political practices in enlightened narratives of humanist progress and liberation.

Sep 16, 2019

Meet Five Synthetic Biology Companies Using AI To Engineer Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, genetics, robotics/AI

TVs and radios blare that “artificial intelligence is coming,” and it will take your job and beat you at chess.

But AI is already here, and it can beat you — and the world’s best — at chess. In 2012, it was also used by Google to identify cats in YouTube videos. Today, it’s the reason Teslas have Autopilot and Netflix and Spotify seem to “read your mind.” Now, AI is changing the field of synthetic biology and how we engineer biology. It’s helping engineers design new ways to design genetic circuits — and it could leave a remarkable impact on the future of humanity through the huge investment it has been receiving ($12.3b in the last 10 years) and the markets it is disrupting.

Sep 13, 2019

Prof. Dr. Collin Ewald — ETH Zürich — Extracellular Matrix and Healthy Aging — IdeaXme Show — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, cryonics, DNA, genetics, health, life extension, neuroscience, science

Sep 12, 2019

An important quantum algorithm may actually be a property of nature

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, information science, quantum physics

Evidence that quantum searches are an ordinary feature of electron behavior may explain the genetic code, one of the greatest puzzles in biology.

Sep 12, 2019

Dietary supplement may help with schizophrenia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, neuroscience

A dietary supplement, sarcosine, may help with schizophrenia as part of a holistic approach complementing antipsychotic medication, according to a UCL researcher.

In an editorial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, Professor David Curtis (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment and QMUL Centre for Psychiatry) suggests the readily available product could easily be incorporated into treatment plans, while calling for clinical trials to clarify the benefit and inform guidelines.

“Sarcosine represents a very logical treatment and the small number of so far do seem to show that it can be helpful. It certainly seems to be safe and some patients report feeling better on it,” he said.

Sep 10, 2019

Chicken study reveals that environmental factors, not just chance, could drive species evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

In the version of evolutionary theory most of us are familiar with, randomly occurring variation in traits, caused by mutations in our DNA, can be fixed in a population through natural selection. However, writing in Epigenetics journal, a team of Swedish researchers from Linköping University suggests that mutations that can be caused by environmental changes, not just random chance, might be responsible for species diversity.

Until quite recently, it was assumed that DNA causing new gene variations occurred more or less randomly. While random mutations do occur, recent research has shown that can be altered by environmental influences too. According to a study published in Epigenetics journal, a particular type of mutation, linked to , has, over time, led to new animal breeds—and could be responsible for whole new species.

Sep 9, 2019

Warning to tourists as toxic slime that can ‘kill you in seconds’ swamps French beaches

Posted by in category: biological

FRANCE’S tourist beaches are being overrun with toxic slime which experts say can kill sunbathers and swimmers within seconds.

The green algae releases poisonous gases when trodden on causing those nearby to faint and suffer cardiac arrest, say reports.

At least three people and dozens of animals have already died, but some fear other deaths may have been mistakenly passed off as drownings.

Page 1 of 9712345678Last