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Synthetic organisms are about to challenge what ‘alive’ really means

January 13th, 2019 at 10:50 am » Comments Off

  We need to begin a serious debate about whether artificially evolved humans are our future, and if we should put an end to these experiments before it is too late. In 2016, Craig Venter and his team at Synthetic Genomics announced that they had created a lifeform called JCVI-syn3.0, whose genome consisted of only […]



Earth’s mysterious ‘deep biosphere’ may harbor millions of undiscovered species

December 19th, 2018 at 11:29 am » Comments Off

Scientists say the underground ecosystems are a “subterranean Galapagos” just waiting to be studied. This unidentified nematode from the Kopanang gold mine in South Africa lives 1.4 kilometers below the surface.Gaetan Borgonie / Extreme Life Isyensya, Belgium Life on Earth takes billions of shapes, but to see most of them you’ll have to dig deep […]



The next big thing in cannabis? Terpenes

October 1st, 2018 at 11:28 am » Comments Off

The future of the industry is all in the nose. Looking for a new angle to approach the cannabis business? While medical and lifestyle entrepreneurs have been honing in on the active cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, it turns out the real soul of the plant has been right under our noses. Terpenes are the […]



This astrophysicist explains the surprisingly complex concept of ‘nothing’

August 27th, 2018 at 10:18 am » Comments Off

Philosophers have debated the nature of “nothing” for thousands of years, but what has modern science got to say about it? In an interview with The Conversation, Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, explains that when physicists talk about nothing, they mean empty space (vacuum). […]



Gene editing technique allows silkworms to produce spider silk

August 9th, 2018 at 7:26 am » Comments Off

An analysis of transformed cocoons. Morphology of the WT-1, FibH+/-, FibH-/-, WT-2, MaSp1+/-, and MaSp1+/+ cocoons. Scale bar represents 1 cm. Credit: Jun Xu A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has succeeded in using a gene editing technique to get silkworms to produce spider silk. In their paper published in Proceedings […]



These anti-aging pills seem to be actually working

July 17th, 2018 at 9:57 am » Comments Off

Pills hailed as the first real “anti-aging” drugs inched a little closer to the market after a study found they cut the number of respiratory infections in the elderly by half. The drugs: The pills act on an aging-related pathway called TORC1. Inhibiting this pathway “has extended life span in every species studies to date,” […]



These robots use living muscle tissue to mimic human fingers

June 5th, 2018 at 9:45 am » Comments Off

As if the line between human and machine wasn’t already blurry enough, researchers in Tokyo have developed a new method for using living rat muscle tissue in robotics. The “biohybrid” design, described today in the journal Science Robotics, simulates the look and movements of a human finger. Video shows how it bends at the joint, […]



Trillions and trillions of viruses fall from the sky each day

April 16th, 2018 at 11:07 am » Comments Off

Viruses attached to a fragment of a bacterial cell wall. “Viruses modulate the function and evolution of all living things,” scientists wrote last year. “But to what extent remains a mystery.”



A massive, ‘semi-infinite’ trove of rare-earth metals has been found in Japan

April 13th, 2018 at 10:16 am » Comments Off

Researchers have found hundreds of years’ worth of rare-earth materials underneath Japanese waters — enough to supply to the world on a “semi-infinite basis,” according to a study published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports. Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles and batteries, and most of the […]



Physicists just discovered an entirely new type of superconductivity

April 13th, 2018 at 9:50 am » Comments Off

“No one thought this was possible in solid materials.” One of the ultimate goals of modern physics is to unlock the power of superconductivity, where electricity flows with zero resistance at room temperature. Progress has been slow, but physicists have just made an unexpected breakthrough. They’ve discovered a superconductor that works in a way no […]



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