Science & Technology
Several years ago, as the therapeutic potential of stem cells was first being recognized, the only way to create them was to harvest cells from an early embryo. That embryo could come from the large collection of those that weren't used during in vitro fertilization work. But to get one that was genetically matched to the person who needed the therapy, researchers had to create an embryo that's a genetic duplicate of that individual—meaning they had to clone them.
My knowledge of atomic science and particle physics could fit in a thimble. However, as a result of various news reports over the years, I am aware of the Large Hadron Collider and the work being done at CERN with it -- exciting stuff.
Carrying a copy of the "Alzheimer's gene" doesn't significantly raise a man's risk of developing the disease.
The gene does increase a woman's risk, but women with one copy of the gene were as likely to develop the disease as men with no copies. The study – along with work suggesting that the gene is associated with educational achievement in young people – highlights how much remains to be done to untangle the genetics of Alzheimer's.
In the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark uses a voice-controlled computer assistant called J.A.R.V.I.S. It manages the lights and security system in his home, helps him pilot his Iron Man suits, and even assists with his research. Some of this is still very much in the realm of science fiction, but not all of it. Inspired by the Iron Man movies, two Princeton students have built a J.A.R.V.I.S. for the real world.
Earlier this week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) officially launched an atomic clock that is three times as accurate as the one used today to do everything from synchronize GPS systems to time-stamp financial transactions.
The previous atomic clock, called NIST-F1, was launched in 1999. It was accurate to within plus or minus one second over the course of 100 million years. The newly launched atomic clock, called NIST-F2, is accurate to within plus or minus one second over 300 million years.
Sixty years from now, we'll look back on today's 3D-printed tissue and organ technology and think it's as primitive as the iron lung seems to us now.
Six decades out, replacing a liver or a kidney will likely be a routine procedure that involves harvesting some patients cells, growing them and then printing them across artificial scaffolding.
FEW words have the power to induce terror: cancer is one, virus another. Imagine, then, the awful potency of something that merges the two.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a curiosity, as well as a killer. Around 95 per cent of us are infected with it, but it rarely has symptoms. When it does, the virus manifests in many guises. The childhood cancer of the blood Burkitt's lymphoma, glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) and MS have all been associated with Epstein-Barr.
A virus that invaded the genomes of humanity's ancestors millions of years ago now plays a critical role in the embryonic stem cells from which all cells in the human body derive, new research shows.
The discovery sheds light on the role viruses play in human evolution and could help scientists better understand how to use stem cells in advanced therapies or even how to convert normal cells into stem cells.
Astronomers have discovered a second icy world orbiting in a slice of the solar system where, according to their best understanding, there should have been none.
“They’re in no man’s land,” Scott S. Sheppard, of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, said of the objects, which orbit far beyond the planets and even the ring of icy debris beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper belt.
Earlier today, IBM announced that it would be using Watson, the system that famously wiped the floor with human Jeopardy champions, to tackle a somewhat more significant problem: choosing treatments for cancer. In the process, the company hopes to help usher in the promised era of personalized medicine.