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 -
At the elementary school in Brooklyn where I taught first grade, science was a “special,” along with dance, art, and physical education. That meant that students were delivered by their homeroom teachers to the science teacher between one and three times a week for less than an hour each time.
posted by tilde
on Nov 26, 2013 -
“I’M NOT A SCIENTIST, man,” Florida senator Marco Rubio told GQ magazine in an interview published in December 2012, following the first presidential debate season in twenty-eight years to fail to mention climate change. Rubio had been asked how old he thinks the earth is; it is unclear whether he was signaling a fashionable disdain for scientific facts or whether he truly did not know.
Seventeen Magazine encourages its readers to post pictures of their nail polish on twitter every Monday, using the tag #manicuremonday
. Starting last week, working scientists and engineers have been contributing their own fingers - often beautifully manicured - doing sciencey stuff. The movement was started
by scientist Hope Jahren
] [more inside]
posted by moonmilk
on Nov 25, 2013 -
Big tech is saying we need to issue more temporary visas so high-skill STEM workers can enter the US, because there's a shortage of Americans who can do the work. But according to this essay
in the Columbia Journalism Review
, there might be plenty of US citizens available, in fact maybe even a glut, and immigration reform proposals might just be a way to keep STEM labor costs down for corporations and universities. [more inside]
posted by tommyD
on May 9, 2013 -
In February 2011, every teacher in Providence, Rhode Island was pink slipped. Not all 1,926 of them got fired, of course, but with the district facing a $40 million deficit, anything is possible. The district says it needs flexibility, just in case. Every school district in the United States faces its own version of what’s happening in Providence. However, “IMAGINATION: Creating the Future of Education and Work
” is focused not on how we got here but rather how we can move forward from here immediately even as the education system continues to struggle. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Sep 15, 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 -
Three years after the National Academies (US) report Rising Above the Gathering Storm
outlined eroding science and technology "advantages," the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST
) released today an outline for the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education: Prepare and Inspire (executive report
). [more inside]
posted by cgk
on Sep 16, 2010 -
"Papers that are scientifically flawed or comprise only modest technical increments often attract undue profile. At the same time publication of truly original findings may be delayed or rejected."
In an open letter
addressed to Senior Editors of peer-review journals, Professor Austin Smith
) and another 13 stem cell researchers from around the world have expressed their concerns
over the current peer review process employed by the journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology. [more inside]
posted by kisch mokusch
on Feb 3, 2010 -
Steath InkJet Printer Could Rock Industry
I know that once your desktop printer reached a certain quality, you probably stopped caring about printing news at all. But suddenly there are a few breakthroughs to get excited about. Kodak's first inkjet printers
have cut ink cartridge prices in half, Zink doesn't use ink
at all and will fit in your pocket and now an Australian start-up is announcing a $200 printer that will print a page a second. And the inkjet connection to nanotechnology won't just mean cheaper printers. People are using inkjet heads to print microchips
and even human cells
is trying to replicate the Altair phenomenon
with 3D printers, and you can even get a ZPrinter 450
industrial-strength 3D printer for less than $40,000. How long before the word print means serving yourself the latest Stephen King, a pair of glasses or even a new kidney?
posted by PeteNicely
on Mar 26, 2007 -
Death as we know it will die.
If you wish to be a prophet, first you must dress the part. No more silk ties or tasseled loafers. Instead, throw on a wrinkled T-shirt, frayed jeans, and dirty sneakers. You should appear somewhat unkempt, as if combs and showers were only for the unenlightened. When you encounter critics, as all prophets do, dismiss them as idiots. Make sure to pepper your conversation with grandiose predictions and remind others of your genius often, lest they forget. Oh, and if possible, grow a very long beard.
By these measures, Aubrey de Grey is indeed a prophet. The 42-year-old English biogerontologist has made his name by claiming that some people alive right now could live for 1,000 years or longer. Maybe much longer. Growing old is not, in his view, an inevitable consequence of the human condition; rather, it is the result of accumulated damage at the cellular and molecular levels that medical advances will soon be able to prevent — or even reverse — allowing people to go on living pretty much indefinitely.
posted by sharksandwich
on Oct 30, 2005 -
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus
on Mar 24, 2004 -