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Researchers Grow 3-D Human Brain Tissues

Researchers have grown brain tissue that contains distinct regions that mimic different functional structures of the developing brain.

Susan Young

August 28, 2013

 

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria, have grown three-dimensional human brain tissues from stem cells. The tissues form discrete structures that are seen in the developing brain.

 

The Vienna researchers found that immature brain cells derived from stem cells self-organize into brain-like tissues in the right culture conditions. The cerebral organoids, as the researchers call them, grew to about four millimeters in size and could survive as long as 10 months. For decades, scientists have been able to take cells from animals including humans and grow them in a petri dish, but for the most part this has been done in two dimensions, with the cells grown in a thin layer in petri dishes. But in recent years, researchers have advanced tissue culture techniques so that three-dimensional brain tissue can grow in the lab. The new report from the Austrian team demonstrates that allowing immature brain cells to self-organize yields some of the largest and most complex lab-grown brain tissue, with distinct subregions and signs of functional neurons.

 

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In the future, the team would like to use the brain tissue system to study schizophrenia and autismcognitive disorders that are usually diagnosed in adolescents or adults but are thought to begin in early brain development.

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  • 2 months later...

What I Mean By Breakout

Newt Gingrich

11/6/13

 

This week marks the one year anniversary of the 2012 election. In that time, the economy has remained stagnant, unemployment has stayed high, and many Americans have given up hope that conditions will improve. On top of the economic new normal, Obamacare has become an ongoing disaster, the cost of education continues to increase as quality declines, and with scandal after scandal weve seen just how corrupt and broken government has become.

 

Yet in spite of these challenges, Im extremely optimistic about Americas future.

 

Thats because over the past year, Ive realized we are witnessing dozens advances in science, technology, and engineering with the potential to solve some of our countrys biggest problems. These amazing breakthroughs in learning, health, energy, transportation, and even government could transform our lives. They could power a breakout for America in the near futuredelivering us to a dramatically better, richer, healthier, and more convenient world.

 

(Snip)

 

 

Keyword search Breakout

 

Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America's Fate

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Dr. Francis Collins: Politics on the Frontier of Science

Major breakthroughs are possible in neuroscience, cancer, AIDS and Parkinson'sif Congress learns to set priorities.

Joseph Rago

Nov. 8, 2013

 

 

If the early years of the 21st century often feel like a retread of the 1970seconomic anxiety, turmoil overseas, American leaders who don't seem to understand what the problems are much less how to fix themthe geneticist Francis Collins suggests less dispiriting resemblances. The "arrow of progress that we're riding in biomedicine" took flight 40 or so years ago but is traveling faster and further now.

 

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Take oncology. Cancer is "a disease of DNA," he says, and the NIH's $400 million investment in the first human genome sequence has translated into $4,000 sequencing technologies that are now headed toward $1,000 per test. "It does make it look as if our means of defining cancer by what tissue it arose in is going to go by the boards pretty soon," he says. Lung, breast, blood"it almost doesn't matter. What matters are the genes that are mutated, the mistakes in the instruction book."

 

This insight is leading to new and better therapies that don't simply hurt all cells that are growing too quickly, leaving doctors "always right on the edge of trying to kill the cancer without killing the patient." For the first time, Dr. Collins says, "we have a clear list of targets that are much more smart-bomb opportunities than carpet-bomb opportunities." The Food and Drug Administration is beginning to approve such specialized therapeutics, which he calls "gratifying indeed."

 

(snip)

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Quantum memory 'world record' smashed

James Morgan Science reporter, BBC News

11/14/13

 

A fragile quantum memory state has been held stable at room temperature for a "world record" 39 minutes - overcoming a key barrier to ultrafast computers.

"Qubits" of information encoded in a silicon system persisted for almost 100 times longer than ever before.

Quantum systems are notoriously fickle to measure and manipulate, but if harnessed could transform computing.

 

The new benchmark was set by an international team led by Mike Thewalt of Simon Fraser University, Canada.

"This opens the possibility of truly long-term storage of quantum information at room temperature," said Prof Thewalt, whose achievement is detailed in the journal Science.

 

In conventional computers, "bits" of data are stored as a string of 1s and 0s.

But in a quantum system, "qubits" are stored in a so-called "superposition state" in which they can be both 1s and 0 at the same time - enabling them to perform multiple calculations simultaneously.

The trouble with qubits is their instability - typical devices "forget" their memories in less than a second.

 

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More Here

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Via Meadia: GE Prints in the Third Dimension

11/17/13

 

554px-Airwolf_3d_Printer-e1374503545403.

 

General Electric (GE) manufactures, amongst other things, jet engines. To produce components in its newest prototype, the industry giant is turning to 3D printers, putting its considerable weight and technical expertise behind the infant technology.

 

To this point, 3D printing has largely remained the purview of hobbyists and plastic trinket-makers, but GEs involvement may be a harbinger of a much more significant change brought: the advent of an additive manufacturing revolution. Bloomberg reports:

 

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Printing metal in three dimensions is becoming a possibility for hobbyists, as wella new miniature metal-printing kit can be purchased for $750 on Kickstarter. Combine that with the expiration of several key patents in just a few short months, and you get a picture of a technology beginning to achieve its extraordinarily potential.

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Treasured moments? Inside the weird world of 4D prenatal portraits

How high-resolution ultrasound is changing fetal portraiture

Trent Wolbe

November 19, 2013

 

I’m not usually a “god” person but the first time I saw a 4D* scan of my unborn daughter I started to feel like something else was going on in the universe. Just 12 weeks after conception I could make out the two hemispheres of her brain and watch her suck her thumb. My mom said the barely post-zygotic life form definitely had my grandfather’s brow line. Anti-abortion arguments suddenly became something I was willing to consider: although this was something my partner and I had created together, it was nothing any person could create with 3D printers or tiny Legos. Some other force was guiding its construction and it was difficult to attribute that force entirely to nature, as I do with most god-related questions.

 

Doctors have used sonar-like sound waves to image fetal development for decades — ultrasound is typically used to determine gender, measure body parts, and view a baby’s first movements. GE’s Voluson E8 scanner is a beast of a machine that’s built to capture fetal development with unprecedented detail. An ultrasound wand is attached to a computer, monitor, and extended keyboard with backlit buttons that say funny things like “4D” and “3D” or just a pictogram of a woman’s naked midriff. Eight glowing sliders, nine rotary encoders, and a built-in touchscreen are reminiscent of a tricked-out MIDI controller. It looks simple enough that a child could use it, but trained nurse-technicians and doctors are the only ones legally qualified to assess the resulting images for possible fetal defects. A dark spot on a fetal belly might not look like much to a parent, but “anechoic” areas like these can be a sign of backed-up fecal matter in a developing intestine. We can assume that GE developed the Voluson line to improve prenatal health care, but no matter how clinical the operator might be, it’s still the first photograph in the history of the human being in question — and that makes it something of an emotional tool as well. Where my parents only had a ghostly 2D prenatal view of me in the early ‘80s, my partner and I are able to look our fetus in the eye while she’s still swimming in amniotic fluid.

 

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HDlive-10-week-fetus.jpg

 

HDlive-36-week-fetus.jpg

 

HDlive-33-week-fetus.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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@Valin

 

Thought I'd share a hinge of history conversation I just had with my 20 year old son. He is fascinated by culture and has been working in an essay (not for a university course, but because he loves having a project going that he is interested in) that discusses the role of nostalgia in experience of the individual versus a cultural approach to nostalgia.

 

 

I mentioned that one of the biggest differences I saw today, and something I missed, was our common culture. I told him that there were definitely positives to what was available today, but I missed having the conversation point.

 

He said in his study that the thing he noticed is the gradual Shift from a common culture To a "culture of common cultures." What he

Meant by that is that as a culture we are still partaking of a common culture, but it is dictated by interests rather than locale. In his estimation their are positives and negatives to both.

 

In any case, I am posting the phrase "culture of common cultures" because despite its redundancy, it clearly encapsulates today's experiences.

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@Valin

 

Thought I'd share a hinge of history conversation I just had with my 20 year old son. He is fascinated by culture and has been working in an essay (not for a university course, but because he loves having a project going that he is interested in) that discusses the role of nostalgia in experience of the individual versus a cultural approach to nostalgia.

You got a smart kid! I suspect destined for good things.

 

 

I mentioned that one of the biggest differences I saw today, and something I missed, was our common culture. I told him that there were definitely positives to what was available today, but I missed having the conversation point.

 

He said in his study that the thing he noticed is the gradual Shift from a common culture To a "culture of common cultures." What he

Meant by that is that as a culture we are still partaking of a common culture, but it is dictated by interests rather than locale.[/i] In his estimation their are positives and negatives to both.

 

In any case, I am posting the phrase "culture of common cultures" because despite its redundancy, it clearly encapsulates today's experiences.

Oh I like that! Makes you think, and that's always a good thing. What are the positives and negatives to this? If you or him could post the essay I would call that a good thing.

 

 

Addendum: This thread is not just for me along, I would hope others partake in it. I just wish I could find a way to put what I see going on in 25 words or less. Also do others see the huge changes going on that I do?

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How Disruptive Can 3D Printing Get?

12/1/13

 

A new research project at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute shows us that the disruptive possibilities of 3D printing have only begun to be imagined. Live Science reports that CII scientists are embarking on an attempt to 3D print a full human heart from human cells:

 

 

The heart represents one of the most ambitious goals for researchers working to create 3D-printed organs within the field of regenerative medicine. The ability of 3D printing to build human tissue by laying down living cells layer by layer has already allowed researchers to create small chunks of organs such as livers and kidneys often by using stem cells extracted from fat or bone marrow as the source material.

 

Williams and the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute have started out by first using 3D printing to create individual parts of what they have deemed the bioficial heart. That piecemeal approach could eventually allow researchers to print and piece together a fully functional heart within a week.

(Snip)
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MOOCs to Shake up High Schools, Too

12/5/13

 

Having gained ground at the college level for years now, MOOCs are now making forays into primary and secondary education. A number of of professors at Davidson College are teaming up with MIT’s edX to create an online course to help high school students prepare for Advanced Placement tests. The courses will be available to anyone who wants them, either individuals who want to supplement their classroom instruction, or teachers who will use them as a teaching tool. The NYT explains the thinking behind the program:

 

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This project is worth watching closely: if successful, it would be a big step forward for a technology that has yet to make much of an impact at the secondary level. If that happens, many of the MOOC controversies that are currently heating up on college campuses could make their way to high schools across the country.

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In 2014, Every Business Will Be Disrupted By Open Technology

Greg Satell

12/14/13

 

The most salient aspect of technology is its power to disrupt. The important innovations are the ones that change our world so profoundly that the previous order becomes not only untenable, but unthinkable.

 

Yet the true impact begins not with invention, but adoption. That’s when the second and third-order effects kick in. After all, the automobile was important not because it ended travel by horse, but because it created suburbs, gas stations and shopping malls.

 

In much the same way, over the next year we will to begin to feel the true impact of the “app economy.” In the past, open architectures have mostly been of interest to technophiles and status-conscious millennials. Now, however, they are becoming so pervasive that every business, large or small, will have to connect in order to compete.

 

(Snip)

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Higher Educations Internet Revolution

The biggest surprise about Massive Open Online Courses is how conservative they are.

Edward Tenner

Thursday, December 19, 2013

 

Are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) a failure? Two years ago, their advocates predicted a revolution in higher education, with courses by the worlds leading lecturers offered free, or at low cost, to tens or even hundreds of thousands of students, sometimes even for credit. Was this the answer to escalating tuition and crushingly high levels of student debt?

 

The initial numbers were remarkable. Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford computer science professor famous for his contributions to self-driving automobiles, co-founded an online education company called Udacity and offered a free course on artificial intelligence that had an initial enrollment of more than 150,000 students. It was soon joined by another for-profit, Coursera, and a nonprofit founded by Harvard and MIT, edX. At least in the sciences, MOOC professors do their best to go beyond the series of recorded lectures that have long been available by offering tutorials and exercises aimed at developing skills as conventional courses do. There are often mentors who have roles similar to those of teaching assistants, and final examinations given on an honor system. One investor, as quoted in the magazine Fast Company, described the program as Harvard on a piece of glass that could reach even poor farm children in Africa if they could only be supplied with tablets.

 

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In the end, the biggest surprise about MOOCs is how conservative they are. They work to the advantage of elite universities, first in providing a social benefit at a time when some critics wonder whether they are truly charities, and second in further stimulating overseas interest in enrolling for the conventional residential course at full tuition. While in principle they increase opportunities, in fact a large proportion of students are professionals who already have degrees. And theres a third unexpected finding. Far from replacing conventional textbooks like Sedgewick and Kevin Waynes Algorithms, fourth edition (600,000 copies sold), it has resulted in record orders. Sedgewick expects his royalties to double between 2011-12 and 2012-13.

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@Valin -- Have you read Frankenstein's Cat? If not, you might want to take a look at it. I have read 2 chapters but have decided to set it aside until after New Year's because I am finding it disturbing. My ladies' book group selected it so I will finish it. It's very possible you already know everything that is in it, but it is new to me.

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@Valin -- Have you read Frankenstein's Cat? If not, you might want to take a look at it. I have read 2 chapters but have decided to set it aside until after New Year's because I am finding it disturbing. My ladies' book group selected it so I will finish it. It's very possible you already know everything that is in it, but it is new to me.

No I haven't. Thaanks I'll take a look.

 

***** Great Read, October 12, 2013

By

Hannah

 

This review is from: Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts (Hardcover)

I loved this book. I studied bioethics is school, so I am used to books with very academic discussions of this complex issues. This is great for anybody to read. It has the science, the societal implications, and the humor and heart of Emily Anthes. I do wish there were more counter arguments, showing the possible dangers, but the reader just has to be aware of that them self.

 

 

And

 

** Waste of Paper, as well as Reader's Time, March 26, 2013

By

Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" (Phoenix, AZ.) - See all my reviews

(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)

This review is from: Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts (Hardcover)

The book opens describing Fudan University in Shanghai and its growing collection of mice with randomly disabled genes. So far they've created more than 500 different kinds of mutants, and their goal is 100,000. Unfortunately, author Anthes' provides no hints as to how this might be useful.....(Snip)

 

 

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wallbash.gif

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The mice with all the disabled genes set me off right away. I don't care all that much about mice, although it is still sad, but knowing the Chinese they showed this westerner the mice because they knew it would be the least offensive to him/her, but I am sure they are also experimenting with all kinds of other, higher creatures. This is the hard part for me. I looked ahead and saw that the author addresses this issue, but I didn't take the time to read what she said. I will find out in Jan.

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Dec 11, 2013

The rise of 3D printing has raised hopes of rejuvenating the long-beleaguered U.S. manufacturing sector. Hugh Evans of 3D Systems, Brad Pietras of Lockheed Martin, and Cliff Waldman from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation discuss the current state of 3D printing technology and its implications for U.S. competitiveness, the structure of global supply chains, and the future composition of the labor force.

Speakers:
Hugh Evans, Vice President, Corporate Development and Ventures, 3D Systems
Brad Pietras, Vice President, Technology, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Cliff Waldman, Council Director and Senior Economist, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation

Presider:
Brett B. Lambert, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, U.S. Department of Defense
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  • 2 weeks later...

3D Printers About to Go Mainstream

Peter Svensson

11/13/14

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Some of the oddest items on display this week at International CES gadget show were edible, origami-like sculptures made of sugar, their shapes so convoluted as to baffle the eye.

 

The treats are one of many signs that we'll all be getting a taste of 3-D printing soon -and the phenomenon won't be relegated to the realm of engineers and tech enthusiasts.

 

The sugar sculptures are the output of the ChefJet Pro, the first commercial, kitchen-ready food printer. It looks like an oven, and deposits sugar layer by layer in a tray, then melts the parts intended for the sculpture with water so they solidify much like sugar in a bowl will harden with moisture.

 

Ink can be selectively added to the water so the sculptures come out in full color - a feature sure to set the minds of wedding and party planners spinning. Next to the geometric sculptures was a wedding cake supported by a delicate lattice-work tower of sugar that would be nearly impossible to make by conventional means.

 

Oh, and the printer can print in chocolate too.

 

(Snip)

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3-D printed metal parts flight tested in RAF jet for first time

Toshio Suzuki

January 11, 2014

 

 

A fighter jet used by the United Kingdoms Royal Air Force flew with 3-D printed metal components for the first time recently, according to the planes manufacturer.

 

The air intake support struts, protective guards for take-off shafts and cockpit radio covers inside the Tornado jet were all made by 3-D metal printing, said defense manufacturer BAE Systems.

 

The test flight took place at RAF Warton, England, but BAE Systems is deploying 3-D printers at other installations in an effort to explore cheaper ways to supply aircraft parts.

 

(Snip)

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I tried Oculus Rift, and I never wanted to take it off
Chris Anderson
January 17, 2014

 

Imagine playing a hands-free, motion-controlled game set in a virtual reality world, where your arms and body are simulated in the environment and react to your movements. A game like Child of Eden would be even more ridiculously immersive. A scrolling first-person shooter would jump to a new level of realism, and creeping through a haunted house or escaping zombies in a survival horror game would feel as though things are actually sneaking up behind you.

 

That’s the promise of Oculus Rift. It has the potential to bring gamers the true next-generation video game experience, above and beyond that of Xbox One and PS4.

 

The Oculus Rift is a virtual-reality (VR) headset that has to date secured over $91 million in funding and garnered the endorsements of gaming heavyweights like John D. Carmack, Gabe Newell and Cliff Blezinksy. Carmack even joined the Oculus team as CTO.

 

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‘The Second Machine Age,’ by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
Steven Pearlstein
January 17 2014

 

Over the past year, there’s been a lot of talk in economic circles about the prospect of stagnation. Because of demographics, globalization, long-term global imbalances and a slowdown in technological innovation, the argument goes, advanced economies are trapped in an extended period of slow growth in productivity, income and job creation. Recent proponents of this hypothesis include economists Robert Gordon of Northwestern University and Michael Spence of New York University; former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers; and Tyler Cowen, my colleague at George Mason University, in his latest book, “Average Is Over.”

 

Now come two professors from MIT with a more optimistic and intriguing hypothesis — namely, that the global economy is on the cusp of a dramatic growth spurt driven by smart machines that finally take full advantage of advances in computer processing, artificial intelligence, networked communication and the digitization of just about everything.

 

The Second Machine Age” is largely a reprise of an e-book, “Race Against the Machine,” that Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee self-published two years ago. It builds on their work at MIT’s Center for Digital Business, along with that of “new growth” theorists such as Paul Romer, Brian Arthur and Martin Weitzman. And while Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s policy prescriptions reflect the somewhat self-referential outlook that you run across in technology enclaves such as Silicon Valley and Cambridge, their book offers a timely antidote to the economic pessimism that has taken root in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

 

(Snip)

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