Resilience Project Reveals Genetic Superheroes

When people study and wonder about their genetics, they often think about their history. So what happens when science tells us about the history that could have become true? This is what’s happened with the resilience project revealing not just one but thirteen genetic superheroes.

The resilience project was designed as a way of studying over half a million genomes, identifying any genetic resistance that the applicants may have had. As it turns out the 13 genetic superheroes had childhood diseases that would have resulted in their untimely death, the only twist in this story was that they didn’t pass away, instead growing into strong adults.

So what about contacting people with these superhero genes? Imagine being able to take further samples and track down more about their genetic sequences and the resilience that has saved their lives. Sadly the forms involved with signing up didn’t pass on details such as names or contact information, meaning that while we know they exist, we don’t know who the superheroes are, and even they don’t know who is a genetic superhero.

With the ability to expand on the project, the resilience project is looking to recruit over a million additional people for the study, hopefully, this time with contact information so that results like this raise more than hope and curiosity.

Plague Inc. To Receive Multiplayer In Update

You lean back, the leather chair supporting you as you spin and maliciously stroke your cat with a sinister laugh that would make Dr Evil proud. We’ve all imagined our life as the hero of the story, James Bond or countless others, but some of us (myself included) will admit that we’ve also imagined what it would be like sitting in the chair and plotting to take over the world. Plague Inc works with that feeling, what if you were the bad guy, or in this game’s case it’s all about the diseases that you are trying to spread. Soon though you could see yourself racing against your friends to see who can wipe out humanity first.

On December 1st Plague Inc: Evolved will enable Vs. mode, in which not only do you have to develop a disease to take over the world, constantly battling and creating new ways to prevent being cured but you will have to watch out, your friends will also be looking to wipe you out.

Of course, what’s a new update without new abilities? Why not send an unscheduled plane full of infected to your friends country, or how about using genetic exposure to help what’s survivors try to fight off your opponents disease?

Sometimes being bad is just too good.

Google Health Now Contains Over 900 Illnesses Information

Google is developing a lot of tools and technologies that are said to be shaping the future. From their AR glasses, Google Glass, to their self driving cars, Google is not staying with just the internet when it comes to what they develop. One of their software pieces is titled Google Health, and surprise surprise it helps people with their health. I say it helps people with their health, it helps people know and understand the symptoms and treatments related to a particular ailment; Google has recently expanded this system to include over 900 illnesses and their symptoms.

The concept is simple, if you hear about an illness or think you may have one you can search it up by its name or even the symptoms and then using this you can quickly find out about treatments and what is actually happening. Google has been keen to make sure this information is correct and has consulted and is continuing to communicate with Doctors and Specialists as they expand and update the system.

Among the chief users of the system are intact doctors and other medical professionals, with doctors even requesting a new feature which lets you print off the information about the illness, meaning you can hand into your doctor the information you have regarding treatments and what may have caused it.

I know we keep getting told to avoid self-diagnosis but if it’s done right, which this app aims to help with, the effect on the health services could lessened to just dealing with situations, not discovering what they could be.

Thank you Google for the information and the image.

Almost ‘Fully Formed’ Human Brain Grown in a Lab for the First Time

Researchers from Ohio State University have come tantalizingly close to cultivating a human brain for the very first time. This technological breakthrough is designed to monitor brain activity to help understand neurological conditions such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Although not conscience, the synthetic brain reflects the genetic maturity of a five-week-old foetus. Unbelievably, the brain is approximately the size of a pencil eraser and constructed from human skin cells.

Rene Anand, displayed the team’s findings at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Fort Lauderdale and announced 99% of the human brain had been successfully recreated. Additionally, Anand said the reproduction contains a spinal cord, and retina. The time-scale of this process is appropriately 12 weeks but Anand is already looking to enhance the research:

“We’d need an artificial heart to help the brain grow further in development.”

It’s difficult to overemphasize how significant this discovery is and could pave the way for life-changing medications. Anand provided an insight into the potential of this monumental revelation:

“We can look at the expression of every gene in the human genome at every step of the development process and see how they change with different toxins. Maybe then we’ll be able to say ‘holy cow, this one isn’t good for you.’”

Critics of the process may point to ethical concerns, but Anand is adamant that this isn’t an issue because the brain is unconscious.

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Google ‘Ebola-proof’ Tablet for Biohazards

For too long now, doctors have had to use pen and paper, rather than any of the technology available to them when fighting some of the deadliest diseases. But when French organization Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) came to Google with the request of something they could work with, Google delivered.

They developed a tablet that is completely encased in polycarbonate, which can be soaked in chlorine for decontamination. Syncing with battery-powered servers outside the area’s they work in, which makes keeping track of patient info much more streamlined. What Google accomplished is a very polished design for passing the intense restrictions for biohazards. And it’s not just Ebola that the design is limited to, as it can be adapted for any future outbreaks. This won’t be a super exclusive benefit though, as Google and Médecins Sans Frontières are both working to open source the project, so anyone who could use this has that advantage easily.

Source: Engadget

New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function

An Australian team of researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic lesions. Two of the most common being Amyloid Plaques and Neurofibrillary Tangles. Amyloid Plaques sit between the neurons and end up clumping together to create a very sticky type of protein called Beta-Amyloid Molecules. Neurofibrillary Tangles are similar to Amyloid Plaques, but instead of clumping together between neurons; they clog and create twists in microtubes. Similar to fat clogging up our blood vessels.

Due to there being no vaccine or preventative measure for Alzheimer’s, affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide; this new process sounds like it’s a great leap in the right direction. Current testing shows at least 75% of test subjects (mice) regained full cognitive function with zero damage to the brain tissue. The testing process included a maze, recognising new objects and recognising avoidable places; Pinky and the Brain comes to mind here.

“We’re extremely excited by this innovation of treating Alzheimer’s without using drug therapeutics,” one of the team, Jürgen Götz, said in a press release. “The word ‘breakthrough’ is often misused, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach.”

This process sounds like a deep clean of your mouth, maybe this could become a wide range, preventative treatment; sort of like brushing your teeth to remove tooth plaque. The team behind this experiment a pushing planning through to start trials on higher animal models, such as sheep and hope to move to human trials in 2017.

Thanks to ScienceAlert for this information

Indiegogo Project Aims to Detect and Cure Malaria in Indonesia Using an iPhone Kit

A project found on Indiegogo, the crowd-funding website for startup projects, states that malaria can be found and cured in Bangka, an island in Indonesia, using an iPhone-based malaria diagnostics kit.

The researchers believe that if the disease can be found and treated in time, it could lead to its complete eradication from the island. They even believe that, if the project proves to be a success, it can be rolled out on a large-scale in Africa as well.

“We want to prove that we can have a significant effect on malaria case management throughout one of these regions. The first study of this kind will take place on Bangka Island in Indonesia. With this study, we have set ourselves the goal of eradicating malaria from the entirety of Bangka Island during malaria high season.” the team of researchers state.

The kit itself is called IanXen RAPID and consists of a iPhone, a portable microscope attached to it, blood slides and lancet pen.

The process seems simple enough too. A blood drop is placed on the slide, having it be examined through the microscope by an app. The results are then said to be given out in a matter of seconds.

The team of researchers believe that this method could be a great solution for a much wider deployment by enabling diagnosis to be carried out with a fully portable kit and at a much lower cost than conventional equipment.

On Indiegogo, the project asks for small donation fee of just £5 / $8.50, stating that it will help fund the project and can even get your name mentioned on the project’s Twitter feed. Also, people feeling generous can even opt for one of the higher donation levels available on the website.

Thank you 9to5 Mac for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of 9to5 Mac