Three studies, analyzing in different ways the leading ALS gene, came to what is being called a “remarkably” similar conclusion: the most common form of ALS may be caused by clogged pores in brain cell nuclear membranes.One of the studies identified two drug options that eradicated the pore-clogging. All identified druggable targets.
“These are the first studies to implicate altered nucleo-cytosolic transport [pore clogging] as a patho-mechanism in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis),” University of Wisconsin oncologist Randal Tibbetts, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology. Tibbetts, uninvolved in the work, wrote a Nature column on two of the papers (both in Nature). “The findings are presently limited to the significant subset of ALS cases caused by” the C9 mutation. (That is, G4C2 hexanucleotide repeat expansions in the C9ORF72 gene).
Johns Hopkins University Brain Science Institute head Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., Ph.D., told BioscienceTechnology: “The C9 mutation is found in 40 percent of inherited ALS and FTD (fronterotemporal dementia).” Rothstein, senior author of the drug options Nature paper, said all the research applies to FTD, as well.
“To all law enforcement who see this line, know that the residents of this home appreciate your service and dedication to keeping the peace,” Welichko wrote on Facebook. “Know that when you enter the neighborhood and see these lines that you are not alone or without ‘back-up.’ We do not need the media to make our voices of support for our police and emergency services heard (though it would be nice). Lastly, if you are in my neighborhood and mean to harm a member of law enforcement, know that decision may be hazardous you (sic) health as someone has that officers (sic) back!”
Two human brains were hooked up for a Q & A study. The results were fascinating if not outright bizarre.
Can we envisage a Q & A game being played out between two people who are disconnected from each other for all purposes. They are not in the same space and neither can they communicate with one other.
This might seem highly unlikely and strange to boot but it is a fact that got demonstrated recently. One of the participants asks a series of questions and guesses what the other person’s answers will be. And that too with almost 100% accuracy and precision. Is this science fiction or some sort of mystic ability to read the mind? Well, not exactly.
The brains of the participants were connected via electric nodes and they could see what transpired in each other’s cerebral structures on the Internet.
This experiment, detailed on Sep. 23 in PLOS ONE, sort of proved that brains could be linked with one another and thus the two twins of sorts could know what the other one was thinking about. It happens to be the most sophisticated and complex experiment of its kind so far in the history of mankind.
Antibacterial hand soaps containing triclosan – a chemical flagged as potentially dangerous – are not much better at killing germs than regular soap, researchers have said.
Triclosan has long been one of the most common ingredients in antibacterial soaps, which are used by millions of people and generate billions in sales every year, experts say.
But studies have linked it to antibiotic resistance and hormone problems, prompting a safety review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Now a study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy reports that when it comes to normal hand-washing there is “no significant difference” between plain soap and antibacterial soap in terms of killing bacteria.
Triclosan became effective only after microbes had been steeped in it for nine hours, the authors found.
The Large Hadron collider and an artist impression of an asteroid heading to earth
The LHC could generate a magnetic field that could somehow pull an iron-laden space rock off course towards Earth with catastrophic consequences, according to the crack pot theory which is doing the rounds online.Another theory dreamed up by conspiracists is the LHC could even open up a portal from another dimension through which an unexpected comet or asteroid could suddenly appear before hitting Earth out of the blue.
Some have even bizarrely claimed the LHC could summon the Anti-Christ to earth to cause an apocalypse.
Scientists have readily dismissed these suggestions as ridiculous, but the LHC has long caused fear among certain quarters following claims it could potentially create a black hole which swallows up the planet.
The collider is within miles of tunnels, 75 metres under the French-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland, where scientists are smashing atoms to try to discover a parallel universe.
It is accepted by scientists that the LHC could cause a small black hole, but there has been no suggestion it could avtually devour the earth or affect the movement of asteroids in space.
The wreck of a German submarine, presumed lost more than 70 years ago, has been discovered near the Estonian coast. The submarine, which dates back to the Second World War, was found by diver Immi Wallin in July.
The U-679 was apparently the last lost German u-boat in the Gulf of Finland. It was presumed destroyed by depth charges in January, 1945. However, the wreck was found in its own patrol zone, sunk by an underwater mine.
After the wreck was discovered, the first dive down to its 90-metre grave was undertaken by a six-person group on September 10.
Amid the sweeping sawgrass of Everglades National Park are sights and sounds that draw a million visitors every year: alligators and airboats.
Florida’s Native Americans paddled dugout canoes through the shallow waters of the “river of grass” past the gators, snakes, blue herons and egrets. In the last century, Florida’s “gladesmen” invented the airboat, making traversing the swamps far more efficient. South of the Tamiami Trail, gladesmen would hydroplane the propeller-powered airboats through the mangroves and sawgrass, hunting alligator and frogs or just enjoying the natural beauty of the swamp.
“You’re taking away something I’ve done for 60 years …”
– Jesse Kennon, ‘gladesman’
After Everglades National Park was established in 1934, hunting was banned along with motorized vehicles, except in one small sliver of the park known as the Eastern Extension. Even though it became part of the 1.5 million-acre park in 1989, air boating has continued. But that 1989 act of Congress also mandated the U.S. Park Service come up with a comprehensive management plan which included the government buying up 9,000 parcels of land and holding nearly 50 public meetings over the years. Now, that plan is ready to be implemented, and that means the end of private air boating in Everglades National Park.
A male house finch sits at a bird feeder. Photo by Chiyacat/Shutterstock
BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 17 (UPI) — Birds that prefer to feed at bird feeders are a potent vector for avian diseases. According to a new study at Virginia Tech, bird feeder visitors are more susceptible to disease and more likely to spread an infection.
Tiny barcoded chips helped scientists identify and track the birds’ movements and interactions, while field observations allowed researchers to monitor the spread of a common eye disease called Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, similar to “pink eye” in humans.
Previous studies hypothesized the most sociable birds, the ones with the most friends, were the most significant vectors of disease. But the latest analysis suggests birds who tend to feed at bird feeders are more likely to contract and spread disease.
The disease can cause house finches, a common backyard songbird, to develop red, swollen eyes that can lead to blindness and result in premature death.
In October 2012, nine civil society organizations met in New York and agreed to work together to create the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Since its launch six months later in London the campaign has seen increased public awareness, strong media coverage, and the remarkably fast—in diplomatic terms—commencement of diplomatic talks to discuss questions raised by these weapons.
These nascent efforts provide a counterbalance to the obvious push for the development, production, and ultimate use of fully-autonomous weapons systems that continues unabated. As thousands of noted artificial intelligence and robotics experts recently stated in an open letter in opposition to killer robots, weapons systems capable of targeting and killing human beings on their own will be on the battlefield in a matter of years not decades.
The moral, ethical and legal arguments against weapons that can make decisions about who to kill and when are legion, but the push-pull relationships between defense contractors and the military continue to fuel their development. Academic and legal circumlocutions abound that, among other things, drive the notions that technological developments cannot be stopped and that military involvement in advancing technological innovation brings incalculable good to society.
In a series of drills this week, the Marine Corps tested whether a new four-legged companion had what it takes to work with infantrymen in a variety of situations. The subject of the tests was Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot, a 160-pound, hydraulicly actuated quadruped robot first revealed by the Google (soon to be Alpahbet) subsidiary in February.
Spot was brought to the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, home of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, by a team from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA has tested a number of previous robots from Boston Dynamics, including the BigDog quadruped robot, with the Marine Corps. Ben Swilling, a roboticist with DARPA who accompanied Spot for the tests, said “I think a robot like Spot has tons of opportunities we could use it for, like scouting or load carriage.”
The Corps has also tested autonomous vehicles, such as the GUSS from TORC Robotics, and other robotic systems for support of infantry in the field. But Spot is both lighter and quieter than most of the other systems that have been tested, and can handle terrain that autonomous vehicles or even the pack mule-like BigDog can’t.
Facebook announced this week that its ad targeting systems will soon use the mountain of non-Facebook browsing data it has collected over the years, raising privacy concerns.
The company has been able to track user data for years through pages across the web that use social plugins like the “like” button, which was launched in 2010. The EFF previously asked Facebook not to retain data from third party sites, calling it one of the company’s “outstanding privacy problems,” but Facebook has continued to do so and announced in 2014 it would soon tailor ads based on that information.
The social media site already targets ads to users based on their Facebook likes and activities, the specifics of which users can see by viewing the “Ad Preferences” page.
“We show you ads based on things we think you care about,” the page says. “Your preferences include information from your profile as well as actions you take on and off Facebook.”