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Kevin G Haskell
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Kevin G Haskell

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Neuroscience News originally shared to Memory:
Researchers Reactivate Lost Memories With Optogenetics

Full article at

Memories that have been “lost” as a result of amnesia can be recalled by activating brain cells with light.

The research is in Science. (full access paywall)

Research: "Engram cells retain memory under retrograde amnesia" by Tomás J. Ryan, Dheeraj S. Roy, Michele Pignatelli, Autumn Arons, and Susumu Tonegawa in Science doi:10.1126/science.aaa5542

Image: The research dissociates the mechanisms used in memory storage from those of memory retrieval. Image credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT.

#neuroscience   #memory   #optogenetics  
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Kevin G Haskell

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Lars Fosdal originally shared to Weird Wide World:
Sofia Vergara wearing a Emma Watson mask!?
That's some radical fake video skills, right there!
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Kevin G Haskell

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New capsule out from big-pharma that is superior to "A Brave New World's" 'Soma', named 'Fukitol". (Also rumored to be released soon in pill form for quick-acting relief: 'Fukitol-n-Fast!' HaHa! :)
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...minor skin irritation, itching, and possible complete zombification. If one any of these side effects occur for more than 12 months, and you haven't eaten anybody, consider contacting your doctor if the condition doesn't improve. ;)
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Kevin G Haskell

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Bill Nye apparently thinks he is some sort of God. Lol. ;)
Don't agree with The Science Guy? You are Unpatriotic!

In his continued attempt to discredit anyone who dares to disagree with him on issues such as global warming and evolution, Bill Nye recently used an excerpt from the U.S. Constitution to suggest his detractors are inherently unpatriotic.
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Oh no: MIT's Cheetah robot can jump over hurdles while running
MIT's scientists spent years making the Cheetah robot a more efficient runner. Now that's done, its creators probably thought it was time to give it a ma
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Algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn has been developed.

"They demonstrated their technique, a type of reinforcement learning, by having a robot complete various tasks -- putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more -- without pre-programmed details about its surroundings."

"The key is that when a robot is faced with something new, we won't have to reprogram it. The exact same software, which encodes how the robot can learn, was used to allow the robot to learn all the different tasks we gave it."
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Nice art
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Mark Bruce originally shared to SciTech Digest:
SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 20/2015.
Permalink here:

CRISPR cancer targets, Sensory cortex organisation, Implantable drug factories, Prosthetics with sensation, Atomic switch networks, Antiaging cellular interventions, Making graphene composites, 3D printed engine, Regeneration and senescent cells, Structural colour. 

1. Identifying Anticancer Drug Targets with CRISPR
A new technique uses CRISPR technology to quickly and comprehensively identify specific vulnerabilities in cancer cells, across cell types The proof-of-concept surveyed 200 possible possible targets in leukemia, successfully identified the 6 previously-known targets and verified an additional 19 new targets. This works by specifically mutating key regions of genes, nucleotide by nucleotide, that are involved in encoding functional binding pockets in proteins; if modification of a particular pocket causes the cancer cell to die then it becomes a candidate site to design a new drug against. This should lead to many more viable drug targets the development of therapeutics that were never considered; but I’d also like to see the tool used to identify other targets for other cellular modifications, e.g. cell senescence, stem cell proliferation and differentiation etc. 

2. New Organisational Principles of the Sensory Cortex
Custom-designed high-resolution 3D reconstruction and modelling techniques have provided incredible new insights into the interconnectedness of neurons within and across the fundamental processing units called neocortical columns Previously, the neuronal networks within cortical columns were thought to be the most important structural feature. This work shows that, instead, the majority of neuronal circuitry actually interconnects neurons across multiple cortical columns by following very specific principles. The group extend the concept of cortical columns to intracortical units, and proposes that these higher-order units integrate information across multiple stimuli to anticipate future, related, stimuli. 

3. Implantable Cellular Drug Factories
Bacteria genetically modified to (i) produce and secrete an enzyme that converts a harmless prodrug into a cytotoxic chemotherapy drug and (ii) control this production subject to temperature-dependent regulatory control, have been encapsulated in magnetic nanoporous capsules that prevent the cells from coming into contact with the immune system while still allowing the passage proteins and nutrients, and which are then implanted into animal tumours where the application of an alternating magnetic field causes the capsules to heat up and for the bacteria to then induce the localised production of cancer-killing therapeutic drugs I wonder what we might do with systems like this that allow the localised or systemic controlled production of any protein or biomolecule of choice?

4. Prosthetic Limbs with a Sense of Touch
A new circular electrode designed to encase and stimulate nerves in the upper arm is being tested in non-human primates to determine what touch sensations can be induced and “felt” on the primate’s hand, how best to induce these sensations, how many sensors can be packed onto a prosthetic hand to provide as much sensation as possible, and how much bandwidth the brain is capable of taking in from the electrode array The mechanical sophistication and thought-control via brain-computer interfaces of prosthetic limbs have come a long way; the key missing component of sensory feedback has remained elusive however. 

5. Self-Organised Atomic Switch Networks
A new type of chip called an atomic switch network is fabricated by growing silver nanowires atop a patterned seed network of copper posts; the chaotic pattern of silver nanowires connect points where the nanowires touch and form memristor connections The research team believes the device demonstrates emergent behaviour and patterns of electrical activity that can only be attributable to the network as a whole, with the memristive connections and switches constantly reconfiguring and adapting to inputs. Whether such an architecture might ever perform useful computations is yet to be seen, although I’d love to see them scale the chip further and add extra layers of interconnections, moving from 2 to 3 dimensions and so becoming more brain-like. 

6. Sophisticated Cellular Interventions for Anti-Aging
A few studies this week showed how old cells might be taught young tricks again. First, leading on from parabiosis studies we have targeted knock-down of Transforming Growth Factor Beta successfully renewing stem cell function in both brain and muscle tissue of old mice and also, specifically showed that hippocampal stem cells became more youthful Second, specific proteins isolated from stem cells were shown, when introduced to mice, to be sufficient for stimulating the growth of new bone Four, targeted disablement of telomeres in cancer cells Finally, we had a good review article on new ways to specifically stimulate the rejuvenation of muscle stem cells in older animals

7. Large-Scale Fabrication of Graphene Composites
A new chemical vapor deposition technique allows the fabrication of multi-layered polymer graphene composite materials that, in the proof of concept, contains 2 inch square sheets of graphene This is apparently the first time graphene composites have been manufactured at this scale and enabling graphene’s amazing mechanical and electrical properties to be evidenced at the macroscale. In related news 3D printed graphene aerogels have interesting properties and applications

8. The Latest 3D Printed Jet Engine
GE demonstrated its completely 3D printed mini jet engine this week Their promotional video is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already This functional little engine was successfully tested at 33,000 rpm after being printed via laser in a Direct Metal Laser Melting process built up from powdered metal and metal alloys. It’d be nice to see them test it in flight on a hobby aircraft, but there are no plans yet for a fully 3D printed commercial jet engine. 

9. Salamanders, Regeneration, and Senescent Cells
An interesting study exploring salamander limb regeneration reveals that this process involves a significant induction of cellular senescence followed by rapid and effective (immune) mechanisms for senescent cell clearance in both normal and regenerating tissues Interfering with the immune system during regeneration results in defects in the process. The promise here is that further studies might reveal how the salamander immune system consistently targets and clears senescent cells and this mechanism might be replicated in humans as an anti-aging therapy to clear damaging senescent cells. 

10. Structural Nanomaterials for Structural Light
A new structural colour technology platform has been developed that involves the use of nanoparticles of polydopamine packed into solid layers on a thin film Inspired by the use of nanoparticles of melanin by some birds to produce colour, the thin films reflect pure colours of (so far) red, orange, yellow, and green light that are determined by the thickness and density of the film. Unlike colours or dyes based on pigments, materials exhibiting structural colour are not expected to fade with time. 

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H+, AGI, and Freedom. Want humanity to evolve through technology while maintaining and expanding human freedom and individual choices for as long as possible.
Transhumanist with goal of reaching the Singularity; believe in the creation of a Philosopher-Technocratic run society; rational government;  pro-free market and industry; pro-present 'and' future forms of energy and energy creation; supporter of development of the world economy; seek to reverse-aging for everyone through science; thinker; learner, listener, creative, and sharer of whatever interesting and beneficial information and links come my way.

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    Bachelor of Science - Liberal Studies, 1997 - 2001
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    1980 - 1984
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Kevin George Haskell