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Showing posts from September 9, 2015

Expert group says embryo genetic modification should be allowed

Research involving genetic modification of human embryos, though controversial, is essential to gain basic understanding of the biology of early embryos and should be permitted, an international group of experts said on Wednesday. The statement was issued by members of the so-called Hinxton Group, a global network of stem cell researchers, bioethicists and policy experts who met in Britain last week. "However, we acknowledge that when all safety, efficacy and governance needs are met, there may be morally acceptable uses of this technology in human reproduction, though further substantial discussion and debate will be required," the group said in a statement.

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Expert group says embryo genetic modification should be allowed

Research involving genetic modification of human embryos, though controversial, is essential to gain basic understanding of the biology of early embryos and should be permitted, an international group of experts said on Wednesday. The statement was issued by members of the so-called Hinxton Group, a global network of stem cell researchers, bioethicists and policy experts who met in Britain last week. "However, we acknowledge that when all safety, efficacy and governance needs are met, there may be morally acceptable uses of this technology in human reproduction, though further substantial discussion and debate will be required," the group said in a statement.

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Apple's New Health Features

Apple revealed two new apps today that are aimed at improving people's health: one that could connect doctors with patients, and another that shows highly detailed images of human anatomy. AirStrip for Apple Watch will allow doctors to view their appointment schedules on their wrists and get information about their patients' diagnoses.

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Deadly Parasite Could Be Zapped Like a Cancer Cell

But a chance meeting between Petri and a bladder cancer expert, Dr. Dan Theodorescu, who is director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, has now resulted in a novel approach to finding the parasite's Achilles' heel. In short, the two scientists were trying to use E. histolytica to kill cancer cells. Normally, in his research on chemotherapy drugs, Theodorescu used a technique called RNAi, which silences various genes, in order to understand which genes make a drug less or more effective in killing the cancer.

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Smart Thermometers Could Help Contain Epidemics, Experts Say

Smart thermometers that upload people's temperature readings to the cloud could help researchers spot disease outbreaks early, some experts say. The devices not only let users see their temperature on their phones but also have the potential to alert researchers to unusual spikes in fevers in certain areas, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a professor at Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute. However, in order for researchers to track outbreaks with smart thermometers, there would need to be enough people using the technology, Christakis said.

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Children's Hormone Treatments May Have Planted Alzheimer's Seeds

Children's hormone treatments may have planted the seeds for later Alzheimer's disease, according to a small, new observational study. The study is based on the autopsies of eight people who died from the rare neurodegenerative disorder called Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), which is caused by a prion, a type of misfolded protein. The eight patients were among hundreds of people inadvertently infected with the prion as children, between 1958 and 1985, when they received human growth hormone treatments intended to treat their short stature.

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Moon, Venus and Mars Offer Triple Skywatching Treat Early Thursday

If you want to see an eye-catching celestial display involving a slender crescent moon and two bright planets, be sure to wake up an hour before sunrise on Thursday morning (Sept. 10). The most obvious celestial object will be the crescent moon, a sliver of yellow-white light only 7 percent illuminated by the sun. To the right of the moon will be the second-brightest object of the night sky: the planet Venus.


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Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken Southern Africa's Skies Sunday

The penguins are in luck, as are some skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere: A solar eclipse will be visible from Antarctica, southern Africa and the Indian Ocean on Sunday (Sept. 13). The best view of this partial solar eclipse — the third of four solar or lunar eclipses this year — from an urban area will be from Cape Town, South Africa, where the moon will cover a maximum of 30 percent of the sun. The eclipse will begin in Cape Town just as the sun and moon are rising at 6:49 a.m. local time.


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'Super-Henge' Revealed: A New English Mystery Is Uncovered

The remains of a massive stone monument, 15 times the size of Stonehenge and located just 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away from the famous site, were recently discovered by British archaeologists. The stone monoliths were found buried beneath the bank of the Durrington Walls "super-henge," one of the largest-known henges in the United Kingdom, and could have been part of a huge Neolithic monument, the researchers said. The finding, announced on Saturday (Sept. 7) at the British Science Festival in Yorkshire, could mean that everything researchers think they know about Stonehenge may need to be "rewritten," according to Paul Garwood, a senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, and the principal pre-historian for the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project — the group that discovered the stones using noninvasive, remote-sensing technologies.


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Kirk's Kisses: Women of 'Star Trek' Featured in Kickstarter Campaign

A famed "Star Trek" captain's romantic conquests have come to life in a new illustrated book. The new book showcases all the women Capt. James T. Kirk of the original "Star Trek" kissed over the course of the show, which ran from 1966 to 1969. Advertised on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, "Ladies of Kirk" more than quadrupled its $2,500 goal, reaching $11,253.


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World View Offers Cost-Sharing Balloon Flights to Stratosphere

The cost of sending a scientific experiment to the stratosphere aboard a balloon just went down. Arizona-based World View Enterprises announced today (Sept. 8) that it's introducing a cost-sharing system that will let researchers and educators loft payloads to near space, about 130,000 feet (39,600 meters) above Earth, via a balloon for as little as $20,000. The new system applies to payloads that range in mass from less than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) to more than a few hundred pounds, World View representatives said.


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Hopping 'Hedgehog' Robot Could Explore Comets and Asteroids (Video)

This summer, researchers tested two "hedgehog" robot prototypes, to get an idea of the machines' potential to explore space locations inaccessible to conventional rovers. Wheeled robots like the car-size Mars rover Curiosity work well on planetary surfaces, but in the low-gravity environment of a comet or an asteroid, such machines would be in danger of floating away or snagging on the rough terrain, NASA officials said. That's where the Hedgehog comes in.


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