Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 72

Sep 9, 2021

Huge new fossil species uncovered in Canada

Posted by in category: evolution

Half-billion-year-old critter belonged to an extinct group of animals.

Palaeontologists have dug up a brand new animal species from the Cambrian era, more than 500 million years ago. Remarkably, Titanokorys gainesi was about half a metre long – which is giant compared to most of the other, pinky-finger-sized species alive at the time.

“The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling,” says Jean-Bernard Caron, from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Canada. “This is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found.”

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Sep 9, 2021

The Evolution of Mammals Reveals 2,000 New Genes Key to Longevity in Humans

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

Summary: Researchers have identified 2,000 genes in humans linked to longevity. The genes are associated with biological mechanisms that drive the prolongation of life in mammals, including DNA repair, coagulation, and immune response.

Source: UPF Barcelona.

What determines the life expectancy of each species? This is a fundamental and highly complex question that has intrigued the field of research throughout history. From the evolutionary point of view, the major cause of these differences between species lies in their ecological adaptations. For example, life expectancy is longer in species adapted to living in trees, underground, or with large body mass, since all these adaptations reduce mortality by predation.

Sep 7, 2021

Dark regions of the genome may drive the evolution of new species

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

So-called junk DNA plays a key role in the way cells organize information, and new research has found that it might affect species formation.

Sep 4, 2021

A Vaccine To Prevent Cancer Evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

A cancer vaccine could be an effective way to prevent cancer from evolving and becoming resistant to treatment, new research suggests.

Scientists were investigating the use of a cancer-killing virus in clinical trials, and observed, as they had also seen in mice, that although some patients initially responded to the treatment, their tumours soon became resistant.

The researchers showed that the specific mutations causing tumour cells to become resistant to the viral treatment, could be anticipated and exploited using a vaccine which, when tested in mice, was shown to trigger the immune system to destroy treatment resistant tumour cells.

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Sep 2, 2021

The Era of Genetically Modified Superhumans

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics, evolution, genetics, life extension

The late 21st century belongs to Superhumans. Technological progress in the field of medicine through gene editing tools like CRISPR is going to revolutionize what it means to be human. The age of Superhumans is portrayed in many science fiction movies, but for the first time in our species history, radically altering our genome is going to be possible through the methods and tools of science.

The gene-editing tool CRISPR, short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, could help us to reprogram life. It gives scientists more power and precision than they have ever had to alter human DNA.

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Sep 1, 2021

A laser printer without ink or toner

Posted by in category: evolution

Circa 2017

Lasers that ‘softly’ burn paper could be the next evolution in printing. Former students of the University of Technology in Delft, Netherlands, have developed a technology that can print on any kind of paper without consumables, such as toner or ink.

This technique is not unlike burning paper using a magnifying glass and sunlight.

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Aug 30, 2021

400-Million-Year-Old Fossils Reveal How the First Roots Evolved

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, evolution, sustainability

A plant fossil from a geological formation in Scotland sheds light on the development of the earliest known form of roots. A team led by researchers at GMI – the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford realize the first 3D reconstruction of a Devonian plant based exclusively on fossil evidence. The findings demonstrate that the appearance of different axis types at branching points resulted in the evolution complexity soon after land plants evolved sometime before 400 million years ago. The results are published in eLife.

New research demonstrates how the oldest known root axed developed more than 400 million years ago. The evolution of roots at this time was a dramatic event that impacted our planet and atmosphere and resulted in transformative ecological and climate change.

Aug 28, 2021

COVID-19: What you need to know about SARS-CoV-2 variants

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

Mutations are a part of life. Every time a virus replicates, there is a chance that its genetic code won’t be copied accurately. These typos travel inside new virus particles as they leave one body and move on to infect the next. Some of these mutations die out; others survive and circulate widely. Some mutations are harmless; others increase infectivity or allow a virus to better escape the immune system—that’s when public health bodies might deem that strain a variant of concern.

Swaps or deletions of single amino acids can change the shapes of different proteins. Mutations can happen in any of the proteins of SARS-CoV-2, and these may change the virus’s properties. Many of the worrisome mutations are found on the spike protein, as it is the target of antibody treatments and is mimicked by the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Researchers are especially troubled when typos occur in two parts of the spike protein—the N-terminal domain, which is at the beginning of the protein and which some antibodies target, and the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which grabs hold of ACE2 receptors on human cells and starts the process of infection.

To understand how specific mutations affect the structure and function of the spike protein and what those changes mean for treatments and vaccines, C&EN talked to Priyamvada Acharya, Rory Henderson, and Sophie Gobeil at Duke University. With colleagues, these researchers have combined biochemical assays, cryo-electron microscopy, and modeling to show how the mutations seen in the variants of concern work together to change the stability of the spike protein. The spike is a trimer of three identical protein strands folded and interwoven together. Before the virus has infected a cell, the spike takes on two conformations: a down state, in which the RBD is hidden, and an up state, in which the RBD faces out, ready to bind to ACE2. The team found that different mutations can increase binding in different ways. This process, in which similar features are arrived at independently, is called convergent evolution.

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Aug 24, 2021

The Rise of Man: What Was Our Ultimate Success Formula As a Species?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, evolution, food, genetics, internet

What we’ll soon see is the ultimate self-directed evolution fueled forward by gene editing, genetic engineering, reproduction assisted technology, neuro-engineering, mind uploading and creation of artificial life. Our success as a technological species essentially created what might be called our species-specific “success formula.” We devised tools and instruments, created new methodologies and processes, and readjusted ecological niches to suit our needs. And our technology shaped us back by shaping our minds. In a very real sense, we have co-evolved with our technology. As an animal species among many other species competing for survival, this was our unique passage to success.

#TECHNOCULTURE : #TheRiseofMan #CyberneticTheoryofMind

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Aug 23, 2021

The evolution of commercial drug delivery technologies

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

Drug delivery technologies have enabled the development of many pharmaceutical products that improve patient health by enhancing the delivery of a therapeutic to its target site, minimizing off-target accumulation and facilitating patient compliance. As therapeutic modalities expanded beyond small molecules to include nucleic acids, peptides, proteins and antibodies, drug delivery technologies were adapted to address the challenges that emerged. In this Review Article, we discuss seminal approaches that led to the development of successful therapeutic products involving small molecules and macromolecules, identify three drug delivery paradigms that form the basis of contemporary drug delivery and discuss how they have aided the initial clinical successes of each class of therapeutic. We also outline how the paradigms will contribute to the delivery of live-cell therapies.

This Review Article discusses how delivery challenges associated with small molecules, nucleic acids, peptides, proteins and cells led to the development of commercial products and are now informing the delivery of live-cell therapeutics.

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