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Biotech

Medical Milestone: Scientists Reset Human Stem Cells 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-power-cycle-them dept.
SternisheFan sends news that researchers from the University of Cambridge have made a breakthrough in the production of human pluripotent stem cells. The goal when developing this kind of stem cell is to have them as early in the cell's lifecycle as possible, so that they're more like true embryonic stem cells and can fulfill whatever role is needed. But all of them made so far are advanced slightly down their developmental pathway. The new work, published in the journal Cell (abstract), has found a way to "reset" the cells by introducing two genes that induce a developmental "ground state."

+ - Significant milestone in medicine: scientists reset human stem cells->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "'

Scientists led by the Wellcome Trust Medical Research Council (MRC) Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, UK, have discovered how to successfully "reset" human pluripotent stem cells to the earliest developmental state, equivalent to cells found in an embryo before it implants in the womb (7-9 days old) — a significant milestone in regenerative medicine.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into cells with highly specialized functions. They can be classified according to their plasticity, or developmental versatility, and range from totipotent stem cells (the most versatile type) and pluripotent to multipotent (the least versatile).

stem cells
Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to become almost any of the cell types of the body, including muscle, nerve, heart and blood.
Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to become almost any of the cell types of the body, including muscle, nerve, heart and blood. They can be produced in a lab from cells extracted from an early stage embryo or from adult cells that have been induced into a pluripotent state.

Research using human pluripotent stem cells may help generate cells and tissue for transplantation, improve understanding of human development and what causes birth defects and cancer, and change the way drugs are developed and tested for safety.

Previously, researchers have struggled to generate human pluripotent stem cells that are in a truly "blank state." Instead, they have only been able to derive cells that have advanced slightly further down the developmental pathway and exhibit characteristics of differentiation into specific cell types.

Researchers have rendered "reset cells" by rewiring the genetic circuitry in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. The resulting cells share attributes of authentic naïve embryonic stem cells isolated from mice, suggesting that they represent the earliest stage of development.

The breakthrough, published in Cell, marks the starting point for further understanding of human development and may eventually lead to the production of safe and reproducible materials for a range of applications including cell therapies.

MRC Prof. Austin Smith, co-author of the paper, explains:

"Capturing embryonic stem cells is like stopping the developmental clock at the precise moment before they begin to turn into distinct cells and tissues."

He adds, "Scientists have perfected a reliable way of doing this with mouse cells, but human cells have proved more difficult to arrest and show subtle differences between the individual cells. It's as if the developmental clock has not stopped at the same time, and some cells are a few minutes ahead of others.""

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+ - So You Want The Truth About Ukraine?->

Submitted by theangloamerican
theangloamerican (1248720) writes "This was a government manipulating its citizens with tools straight out of the pages of the Third Reich. “If you are not for us, you are against us” pretty much closes down rational argument.

Now we find US intelligence officers were closed down like the rest of us as the US Government politicised intelligence. But perhaps equally alarming is that this politicisation of intelligence continues today in government under a completely different administration.
http://theangloamerican.com/so..."

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Businesses

Amazon Is Killing Off Its Free P2P Money-Transfer Service WebPay On October 13 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the internet-impermanence dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon WebPay, a free online money-transfer service, is shutting down October 13, 2014. This means you'll no longer be able to send, receive, or request money using just your email address and the Amazon Payments webpage. There were hints back in June that the service would be going away soon. Amazon sent out an email this week to active Amazon Payments account users notifying them it is pulling the plug.

+ - Amazon Is Killing Off Its Free P2P Money-Transfer Service WebPay On October 13

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon WebPay, a free online money-transfer service, is shutting down October 13, 2014. This means you’ll no longer be able to send, receive, or request money using just your email address and the Amazon Payments webpage. There were hints back in June that the service would be going away soon. Amazon sent out an email this week to active Amazon Payments account users notifying them it is pulling the plug."
Iphone

Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the find-a-way-to-make-this-fit-your-narrative dept.
MojoKid writes: Historically speaking, we typically see impressive performance gains each time Apple releases a new custom processor for its mobile products. Certainly that was true of the A7 SoC, the world's first 64-bit smartphone processor. So, can we expect the same kind of performance bump from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which sport the new custom A8 SoC? Maybe not. The iPhone 6 recently surfaced in results for the Basemark X benchmark and armed with a dual-core 1.4GHz Cyclone CPU and A8 GPU, the iPhone 6 scored 21,204.26 and a earned a place at the top of the chart, though not by much. By comparison, the iPhone 5s scored 20,253.80 in the same benchmark. In other words, the iPhone 6 is currently less than 5 percent faster than the iPhone 5s, at least as far as the Basemark X benchmark is concerned.
Transportation

California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-world-of-red-tape dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Ride-share companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar got letters from the California Public Utilities Commission this week telling them that carpool features for their services are illegal. "Basically, the CPUC says that under California law it's illegal for these ride-sharing services to charge passengers an individual fare when carrying multiple people in one vehicle. If the companies would like to add a carpool feature, they first have to request an adjustment to their existing permits with the CPUC or petition the state legislature to modify the law. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar all unveiled carpool features last month. The three companies say the feature lets strangers in multiple locations, but heading the same direction, share rides and split fares — saving passengers up to 50 percent per ride." This news arrives just as Uber gave in to the demands of striking drivers who claim the company is undermining their ability to earn a livable wage.

+ - California Declared Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ride-share companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar got letters from the California Public Utilities Commission this week telling them that carpool features for their services are illegal. "Basically, the CPUC says that under California law it's illegal for these ride-sharing services to charge passengers an individual fare when carrying multiple people in one vehicle. If the companies would like to add a carpool feature, they first have to request an adjustment to their existing permits with the CPUC or petition the state legislature to modify the law. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar all unveiled carpool features last month. The three companies say the feature lets strangers in multiple locations, but heading the same direction, share rides and split fares — saving passengers up to 50 percent per ride.""
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Mars

Curiosity Rover Arrives At Long-Term Destination 33

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-kicking-back-and-relaxing dept.
When NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars, the mission team had a particular destination in mind: Mount Sharp. Just over two years and about nine kilometers of driving later, Curiosity has arrived at Mount Sharp. It will now begin its ascent of the mountain (PDF), first analyzing basal rocks with a "paintbrush" texture, then moving further to observe hematite-bearing rocks further up the slope. It will then proceed into an area laden with clay-bearing rocks, and finally to the upper reaches of the foothills, which contain rocks with magnesium sulfate in them. The team has selected routes and driving modes that they hope will slow the steadily accumulating damage to the rover's wheels.

+ - China eyes first space station around 2022->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "According to the Voice of America, China is planning to get its first space station off the ground by around 2022

China's leaders have set a priority on advancing its space program, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power

China is taking it by the step-by-step approach:

Yang Liwei, deputy head of China's Manned Space Agency and also the country's first man in space, said the follow-up Tiangong 2 was likely to be launched in about 2016

Then, in around 2018, the core of the space station would be launched with completion set for four years later, the official Xinhua news agency cited Yang as saying

The country insists that its space program is for peaceful purposes

Despite considerable advances, China's space program still lags behind those of the United States and Russia

As the Voice of America being the official propaganda mouthpiece of the government of the United States of America, it is thus no surprising to read the following paragraph from VoA's report:

" The U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities, however, saying China was pursuing activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis ""

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+ - House which doesn't take up real estates->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "In the future over-congested planet of ours fresh land may be hard to come by for building new houses. An Australian design firm has come out with a novel idea — The Cliff House

The Cliff House, as its name implies, hangs on a cliff, like barnacles hang off a ship’s hull. The house offers a gorgeous view of the sea and the sky, and there is always plenty of drafts to keep the air circulating

Looking out over the ocean, the five-story home has three bedrooms, a living area, kitchen, and gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows that display a breathtaking (or vertigo-inducing) view of the horizon"

Link to Original Source

+ - Starfish are dying in drove on the West Coast->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Places that were normally teamed with starfish on the West Coast of America are now almost devoid of any starfish

Divers report piles of white goo and pieces of starfish arms on the ocean floor, where thousands used to live

Temporary known as "Starfish Wasting Syndrome", starfish infected by the yet to be identified disease suddenly developed an unnatural, twisted appearance, followed by their arms falling off, and their bodies dissolved quickly into a jellied mass

Starfish wasting syndrome is being tracked by the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring group at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Their interactive map shows that the syndrome reaches from Baja California to the Alaska panhandle

According to the Vancouver Aquarium, dead and dying starfish were first observed on the B.C. coast in early September 2013, at locations such as Bamfield and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island

For a few winter months the disease died down, but then the outbreak restarted as the water warmed up. It reached the wildlife-rich waters around the San Juans and the southern Gulf Islands, and progressed northwards up the coast

At first it was the many-legged sunflower stars and sun stars that were most affected, but now a majority of starfish species have fallen prey to the disease, including the common purple ochre stars that live in rocky beaches all around the Salish Sea

Even aquaria are not immune, as they use ocean waters in their tanks

There are hundreds of intertidal species found along local beaches, yet none is more familiar than the colourful starfish, recognized from childhood and epitomizing the ocean shore. For such a common and well-known species to suddenly disappear is more than disconcerting: it is truly shocking. The speed with which it left the shores is mystifying. Yet the great die-off has not attracted that much media coverage, beyond the initial reports"

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