Alex Torex Blog

SciTech oriented blog

Halo: Spartan Strike Announce

▶ Halo: Spartan Strike Announce – YouTube

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

Star Wars: Battlefront Trailer Is Out And It Is Amazing

Star Wars: Battlefront Trailer Is Out And It Is Amazing | Ubergizmo

Behold! The first Star Wars: Battlfront trailer is unveiled and yes, it looks great! The teaser is nothing less than a visual treat for all the fans as it features the next-gen effects and it perfectly shows the big land and air battles carried out in the Star Wars universe. We also get to see few known characters, such as—Darth Vader and Boba Fett being one of those—and also some known locations, such as Endor and Hoth.

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

BB-8 droid from The Force Awakens rolls out on stage at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim

▶ BB-8 droid from The Force Awakens rolls out on stage at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim – YouTube

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Robotics | Leave a comment

Steering the epigenome to turn specific genes on

Steering the epigenome to turn specific genes on | KurzweilAI

Originally discovered as a natural antiviral system in bacteria, researchers have hijacked the system over the past few years and are now using it to cut and paste DNA sequences in the human genome.

But for this epigenome editing application, Gersbach silenced the DNA-cutting mechanism of CRISPR and used CRISPR solely as a targeting system to deliver an enzyme (acetyltransferase) to specific promoters and enhancers and alter the DNA’s packaging at specific sites.

Gersbach and Reddy put their artificial epigenetic agent to the test by targeting a few well-studied gene promoters and enhancers. While these histone modifications have long been associated with gene activity, it wasn’t clear if they were enough to turn genes on. And though Gersbach and Reddy had previously used other technologies to activate gene promoters, they had not successfully activated enhancers.

To the duo’s great surprise, not only did the agent activate the gene promoters, it turned on the adjacent genes better than their previous methods. Equally surprising was that it worked on enhancers as well: they could turn on a gene — or even families of genes — by targeting enhancers at distant locations in the genome, something that their previous gene activators could not do.

Probing enhancers to learn how they relate to disease or drug-therapy response

But the real excitement from their results is an emerging ability to probe millions of potential enhancers in a way never before possible.

“Some genetic diseases are straightforward — if you have a mutation within a particular gene, then you have the disease,” said Isaac Hilton, postdoctoral fellow in the Gersbach Lab and first author of the study.

“But many diseases, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, or neurodegenerative conditions, have a much more complex genetic component. Many different variations in the genome sequence can affect your risk of disease, and this genetic variation can occur in these enhancers that Tim has identified, where they can change the levels of gene expression. With this technology, we can explore what exactly it is that they’re doing and how it relates to disease or response to drug therapies.”

Gersbach added, “Not only can you start to answer those questions, but you might be able to use this technique for gene therapy to activate genes that have been abnormally silenced or to control the paths that stem cells take toward becoming different types of cells. These are all directions we will be pursuing in the future.”

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Genetics | Leave a comment

How to get the entire immune system to attack cancer

How to get the entire immune system to attack cancer | KurzweilAI

Instead of relying on that complicated process, Wittrup and his colleagues discovered that they could generate both types of immune responses — antibodies and T cells — while they were experimenting with improving antibody drug performance with a signaling molecule called IL-2, which helps boost immune responses.

Scientists have tried this strategy before, and about a dozen such therapies have gone through phase I clinical trials. However, most of these efforts failed, even though the antibody-IL-2 combination usually works very well against cancer cells grown in a lab dish.

The MIT team realized that this failure might be caused by the timing of IL-2 delivery. When delivered to cells in a dish, IL-2 sticks around for a long time, amplifying the response of natural killer cells against cancer cells. However, when IL-2 is injected into a patient’s bloodstream, the kidneys filter it out within an hour.

Wittrup and his colleagues overcame this by fusing IL-2 to part of an antibody molecule, which allows IL-2 to circulate in the bloodstream for much longer. In tests in mice with a very aggressive form of melanoma, the researchers found they could stop tumor growth by delivering this engineered form of IL-2, along with antibody drugs, once a week.

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Health - Oncology | Leave a comment

You should probably watch the new Star Wars trailer

▶ Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2 – YouTube

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Movies | Leave a comment

Could 50 galaxies be hiding advanced alien life? Infrared emissions suggest beings are using stars for energy, study claims

Could 50 galaxies be hiding advanced alien life? Infrared emissions suggest beings are using stars for energy, study claims | Daily Mail Online

‘The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonised by an advanced spacefaring civilisation, the energy produced by that civilisation’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths,’ said Dr Wright.

The energy used by such a race to be noticeable would have to be huge – likely harnessing the power of a galaxy’s stars.

But Dr Wright said that ‘fundamental thermodynamics tells us that this energy must be radiated away as heat in the mid-infrared wavelengths’.

This would make them noticeable to Nasa’s Wise telescope, used in the study.

The researchers picked out 100,000 galaxies of interest, and found that 50 of them were emitting ‘unusually high levels of mid-infrared radiation.’

‘Our follow-up studies of those galaxies may reveal if the origin of their radiation results from natural astronomical processes, or if it could indicate the presence of a highly advanced civilization,’ said Dr Wright.

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Astronomy | Leave a comment

Wind energy blows US emissions onto right track for 2025 target

Wind energy blows US emissions onto right track for 2025 target – environment – 16 April 2015 – New Scientist

Is Uncle Sam going green at last? US carbon emissions from power stations this year are set to be the lowest for 20 years, as decrepit coal-fired power plants shut and clean wind farms and less-dirty natural gas plants replace them.

And back in 1994, the US economy was only 42 per cent of its current size, adding evidence to the idea that an economy can grow while its emissions go down.

This year’s emissions are expected to be 15.4 per cent below 2005 levels. The startling projection comes from analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It suggests that the US may now be on course to meet the promise that the Obama administration will take to UN climate negotiations in Paris later this year, to cut total CO2 emissions by 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025.

So what is going on? Most attention has focused on the replacement of coal in conventional power plants by natural gas, much of it from fracking. Burning gas emits only half as much CO2 as burning coal.

But Greenpeace energy analyst Lauri Myllyvirta says that wind farms have played an even bigger role. She says that since 2007, the rapid growth of wind farms in the US has been responsible for 37 per cent of the cut in power-sector emissions, compared with 30 per cent from the growth of gas, with solar power and efficiency gains making up most of the rest.

And there is much more to come from wind, says William Nelson, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. He expects 9 gigawatts more wind generating capacity to be commissioned during 2015, much of it in Texas. It is a wind of change that he calls a giant, permanent step towards decarbonising out entire fleet of power plants.

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Technology - Green | Leave a comment

They’ve cracked it! Scans reveal what that popping sound is when someone clicks their knuckles

They’ve cracked it! Scans reveal what that popping sound is when someone clicks their knuckles | Daily Mail Online

Previous studies have shown that between 25 and 54 per cent of us crack our knuckles – with men doing it more than women.

And despite the common wisdom that the habit raises the risk of arthritis, previous studies have failed to prove this.

One comparison of Los Angeles nursing home residents found those who had regularly cracked their knuckles were actually less likely to have damaged joints.

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Why 60 is the new middle age: Our longer, healthier lives means we aren’t classed as elderly until at least 70

Why 60 is the new middle age: Our longer, healthier lives means we aren’t classed as elderly until at least 70 | Daily Mail Online

Retirement may be beckoning and your knees may be creaking. But if you are 60, you are merely middle-aged.

Scientists say that as we live longer, we need to rethink what we classify as being old.

They say that rather saying old age starts at a fixed age such as 60 or 65, we must factor in how much longer we have to live.

They suggest that we don’t think of ourselves as being old until we are within 10 to 15 years of the average life expectancy for our countrymen and women.  

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Health - Anti-aging | Leave a comment

The battery powered rocket powerful enough to blast satellites into orbit

The battery powered rocket powerful enough to blast satellites into orbit | Daily Mail Online

It is set to be a greener way to launch satellites.

Rocket Lab, a privately-held company financed by weapons maker Lockheed Martin and other high-tech investors has unveiled a battery powered rocket.

The low-cost Electron launch system for small satellites will be the first rocket powered by batteries when it blasts off later this year.

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

You should be working out for more than an HOUR a day, claim scientists

You should be working out for more than an HOUR a day, claim scientists | Daily Mail Online

Most government and health organisations claim we should be doing 150 minutes of exercise each week.

But a new study argues that figure is wildly inaccurate, and claims we should be doing over an hour of exercise each day.

The research contradicts the view that prolonged and intense exercise is harmful, and instead claims it could add years to someone’s life.

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Health - Anti-aging | Leave a comment

Does YOUR partner snore? It could be a warning sign of dementia, doctors warn

Does YOUR partner snore? It could be a warning sign of dementia, doctors warn  | Daily Mail Online

If your partner snores heavily in bed, you might be tempted to give them a poke in the ribs and go back to sleep.

But that irritating nocturnal drone might actually be an early warning sign of dementia, scientists have warned.

Researchers have discovered that people who have breathing problems while asleep are more likely to experience an early decline in memory and other brain functions.

In a worrying study, they found that people with sleep apnoea – a condition often typified by heavy snoring – saw a mental decline more than a decade earlier, on average, than those who had no sleep problems.

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Health - Brain | Leave a comment

The secret of the popular kids: Researchers find ‘mind reading; abilities make children more likeable

The secret of the popular kids: Researchers find ‘mind reading; abilities make children more likeable  | Daily Mail Online

It’s not about wearing the latest fashion or being on the football team; the secret to being popular at school is ‘mind reading’.

This is according to an Australian study that found popular children are better at knowing what others want, think and feel.

The same goes for pre-schoolers and young adults, suggesting that empathy is one of the most important skills for becoming part of the ‘cool crowd’

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Science | Leave a comment

29-Year Old Man Requires Surgery After Candy Crush Marathon

29-Year Old Man Requires Surgery After Candy Crush Marathon

The reports claim that the man had been playing the game everyday pretty much non-stop for 6-8 weeks, so much so that he developed chronic pain in his left thumb. According to the doctors, the man had ruptured one of his tendons thus requiring surgery to fix it. The tendon that was injured was the one that allows you to extend your index finger.

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

A video camera that powers itself

A video camera that powers itself | KurzweilAI

A prototype self-powered video camera that can produce an image every second of a well-lit indoor scene has been invented by a research team led by Shree K. Nayar, T.C. Chang Professor of Computer Science at Columbia Engineering.

“We are in the middle of a digital imaging revolution,” says Nayar, who directs the Computer Vision Laboratory at Columbia Engineering. “A camera that can function as an untethered device forever — without any external power supply — would be incredibly useful.”

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

Creep – Vintage Postmodern Jukebox Radiohead Cover ft. Haley Reinhart

▶ Creep – Vintage Postmodern Jukebox Radiohead Cover ft. Haley Reinhart – YouTube

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

Is dark matter more active than we thought?

Is dark matter more active than we thought? | Daily Mail Online

‘We used to think that dark matter just sits around, minding its own business, except for its gravitational pull,’ Dr Richard Massey from Durham University said.

‘But if dark matter were being slowed down during this collision, it could be the first evidence for rich physics in the dark sector – the hidden universe all around us.’

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Astronomy | Leave a comment

Alzheimer’s breakthrough as researchers discover new cause of disease

Alzheimer’s breakthrough as researchers discover new cause of disease | Daily Mail Online

Researchers have made a major breakthrough in discovering how Alzheimer’s is caused – and say it could lead to new treatments.

The new study shows that our immune system, which protects our bodies from foreign invaders, plays a part in the debilitating disease.

However, they warn the exact role of immunity in the disease is still a mystery.

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Health - Brain | Leave a comment

Apple Buys LinX To Build iPhones With DSLR-like Camera Quality

Apple Buys LinX To Build iPhones With DSLR-like Camera Quality

The news was first reported by Dow Jones, and Apple also confirmed the news with Wall Street Journal, the company said, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The multi-aperture cameras of LinX deliver crisp quality images and just by looking at them, we can understand that why Apple would be acquiring such technology. In June 2014, LinX announced its first multi-aperture cameras designed for smartphones. Interestingly, LinX cameras are smaller in height than the regular mobile camera, but it delivers better quality and more detailed image.

In a press release, LinX also revealed that it’s intent to eliminate the need of DSLRs. It delivers stunning SLR quality images by replacing big sensors with multiple (small) cameras and the products include variety of two, three, or four cameras on a single system. The company claims that the images captured by its camera is three times more sensitive towards light, and it also has lower noise levels.

Low Light photography comes forward as the greatest benefit of LinX cameras, which allows quick exposures under indoor light and does not even cause motion blur.

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Gadgets | Leave a comment

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