In this month's issue of Nature
, Haruko Obokata and colleagues have made a breakthrough in the field of stem cell research, where they describe a unique cellular reprogramming phenomenon in which skin and blood cells could be converted into stem cells without the need to physically manipulate the nucleus or over-express reprogramming genes. Rather, the researchers subjected them to stress "almost to the point of death", by exposing them to various events including trauma, low oxygen levels and acidic environments. One of these "stressful" situations was simply to bathe the cells in a weak acid solution for about 30 minutes. Within days, the scientists found the cells had not only survived but had also recovered by naturally reverting into a state similar to that of an embryonic stem cell.
The research suggests human cells could in future be reprogrammed by the same technique, offering a simpler way to replace damaged cells or grow new organs for sick and injured people. [more inside]
posted by kisch mokusch
on Jan 30, 2014 -
The Hidden Life Of the Cell (57:24)
There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection - the battle for the cell. This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself - from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations.
You may be familiar with molecular movies from my two previous megaposts collecting them, but this extended documentary uses original animation that is collected into a coherent educational narrative and is just so fucking gorgeous. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Mar 24, 2013 -
The comment period for the DRAFT Wireless code
] to address some cellular provider abuses is expiring soon (February 15th). Comments can be made here
Highlights of the draft code include:
posted by Mitheral
on Feb 12, 2013 -
- A $50 (or less) monthly cap on incurred fees.
- A limitation of cancellation fees equal to the remaining amount of the prorated incentive amount
- Mandatory unlocking at no cost for non subsidy phones with no waiting period.
- Limits on deposits and non payment cancellations.
- No termination fee, 15 day cooling off period
- Mandatory listing of limits on "unlimited" plans.
Wireless Emergency Alerts
(WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang
has a few more details.
posted by LobsterMitten
on May 24, 2012 -
"The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices
is cultural anthropology. It seeks to recover those moments of intuitive prehensile dexterity, when the famous and the ordinary alike felt the unconscious desire to occupy their hands for an as yet unknown purpose. Like Roy Neary's obsession with the image of Devil's Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), this gesture was vague, uncanny and compelling. It is the intimation in images of a gestural second nature to come." [more inside]
posted by taz
on Mar 20, 2012 -
Starting Tuesday, AT&T and T-mobile subscribers will be taking their calls on the subway platforms, and possibly, on the train itself.
Subscribers riding along the 14th Street corridor should be able to use their phones on the A, C, E, F, L, M, No. 1, 2 and 3 platforms. There is also expected to be service on the C and E platforms at 23rd Street. It it not clear yet if service will also work between stations, but we're sure we'll all find out soon enough. All stations are expected to be outfitted with cell service by 2016.
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Sep 22, 2011 -
Art. 6(2)(c) of Directive 98/44/EC
, passed by the EU Parliament and Council back in 1998, ruled that, among other things, "uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial
purposes" were to be considered unpatentable because of their being contrary to "ordre public" or morality. After German researcher Prof. Dr. Oliver Bruestle
was granted a patent
concerning a method for creating nerve precursor cells on the basis of embryonic stem cells, Greenpeace Germany
(in German) filed a lawsuit for annulment of the patent. The German Federal Court of Justice then referred to the European Court of Justice the question of whether embryonic stem cell therapy constitutes such a use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes, under Directive 98/44/EC. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic
on May 1, 2011 -
(Late) Friday Flash Fun: CellCraft
. Build and improve a cell, learn how real cells work, and save the Platypus species!
posted by cthuljew
on Jul 10, 2010 -
After recent promising results
demonstrating the ability to change mouse skin cells into stem cells, researchers have replicated this change in human skin cells in papers published in Science
(access to full articles requires subscription) . The White House, somehow, is trying to take credit
for this. The potential of all this: huge.
posted by switchsonic
on Nov 21, 2007 -
Tappity is a free guide to mobile-friendly sites.
From your browser, you can search for or add sites, and rate sites in the database. You can also set up a homepage of favorite links. This is displayed when you navigate to Tappity from your mobile. It's a seemingly simple idea that's been making my train commute fly by.
posted by ba
on Apr 19, 2007 -
: the Science Museum asks us the question "should we upgrade our mobile phone?" "No
" and "no
" say the Times and the Observer, but we still do: on average every 18 months. What's the problem? Well it isn't just the lead, arsenic, beryllium and brominated fire-retardant
cases (pollutants all) disappearing into our land fills (which are not covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive [WEEE
] in Europe). Coltan also goes into our phones. It occurs mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as such our demand for upgrades has been contributing to a war
(despite mobile phone companies' claims to the contrary, coltan is not regulated like timber). If we must upgrade, we can at least recycle or
hack our old phones
posted by nthdegx
on Aug 7, 2006 -
Cooking Behind Bars. In 1986, upon my arrival at the county jail, my cooking lessons began. There, I witnessed men using empty toothpaste tubes as spoons, and burning toilet paper to heat up coffee or reheat the food served.
Complete with recipes
posted by gottabefunky
on Jan 7, 2006 -