December 14, 2017

Week In STEM-26th Sept

Cure for sickle cell in adults validated

Physicians have cured 12 adult patients of sickle cell disease using a unique procedure for stem cell transplantation from healthy, tissue-matched siblings. The new technique eliminates the need for chemotherapy to prepare the patient to receive the transplanted cells and offers the prospect of cure for tens of thousands of adults suffering from sickle cell disease.

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Forever young? A barrier against brain stem cell aging

Neural stem cells generate new neurons throughout life in the mammalian brain. However, with advancing age the potential for regeneration in the brain dramatically declines. Scientists have now identified a novel mechanism of how neural stem cells stay relatively free of aging-induced damage. A diffusion barrier regulates the sorting of damaged proteins during cell division.

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Paraplegic man walks after spine ‘bypass’

A paraplegic man has been able to walk a short distance after scientists used a computer which read signals from his brain and then sent stimulus to his legs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWOr2qXUu_w


Depression Could Be Associated With Nutrient Deficits

A large study of 15,093 people suggests depression could be linked with nutrient deficits. Eating a Mediterranean diet or other healthy dietary pattern, comprising of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and low in processed meats, is associated with preventing the onset of depression.

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This 16-year-old won the Google Science Fair with a way to detect Ebola

Oliva Hallisey, a 16-year-old from the United States, won the 2015 Google Science Fair with her project to develop a fast, cheap, and stable test for the Ebola virus, which she says gives easy-to-read results in less than 30 minutes — potentially before someone is even showing symptoms.

According to her project description:

Current Ebola detection methods are complex, expensive, require unbroken refrigeration from manufacture to use and up to 12 hours from testing to confirmed diagnosis … The [test]provides rapid, inexpensive, accurate detection of Ebola viral antigens based on color change within 30 minutes in individuals prior to their becoming symptomatic and infectious.

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Genome of worm that can regrow body parts

Researchers have sequenced the genome of the flatworm M. lignano, found locally in Italy which is capable of regenrating every part of its body except the brain. The team of researchers has for the first time characterized the flatworm’s genome, paving the way for a host of new studies of the worm and its regenerative capabilities.

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Study links two human brains for question-and-answer experiment

University of Washington researchers recently used a direct -to-brain connection to enable pairs of participants to play a question-and-answer game by transmitting signals from one brain to the other over the Internet. The experiment, detailed today in PLOS ONE, is thought to be the first to show that two brains can be directly linked to allow one person to accurately guess what’s on another person’s mind

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Urbanisation reducing Ghanaian smallholders’ lands

Fertile farmlands are rapidly declining in Ghana due to pressure from population growth and urbanisation, threatening rural livelihoods and food security, according to a new report.

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Award At Google Science Fair For Developing Water Purifying Agent

Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, a 13-year-old student of class 9th in DPS Damanjodi in Koraputdistrict of Odisha, has made India proud by winning the ‘Community Impact Award’ at the prestigious Google Science Fair in California on Tuesday.

Lalita developed a low cost bio-absorbent based water purifier. It functions mainly on waste corn cobs. The Corn cob is the least utilized part of the maize plant. It is a very important agricultural waste. Having high mechanical strength, rigidity and porosity, corn cob is a suitable absorbent. This enables contaminants like oxides of salts, detergent, suspended particles, coloured dyes, oil and grease to be absorbed in the surface of the corn cobs. Some of the heavy metals are also absorbed.

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Babies time their smiles to make their moms smile in return

a team of computer scientists, roboticists and developmental psychologists confirm what most parents already suspect: when babies smile, they do so with a purpose—to make the person they interact with smile in return. In addition, reach that goal by using sophisticated timing, much like comedians who time their jokes to maximize audience response. But there is a twist: babies seem to be doing this while smiling as little as possible.

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Gene magnifies psychological impact of life experiences

People with a certain type of gene are more deeply affected by their life experiences, a new study has revealed. The findings challenge traditional thinking about depression, showing what might be considered a risk gene for depression in one context, may actually be beneficial in another.

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Super Blood Moon

A rare astronomical phenomenon Sunday night will produce a moon that will appear slightly bigger than usual and have a reddish hue, an event known as a super blood moon.

It’s a combination of curiosities that hasn’t happened since 1982, and won’t happen again until 2033. A so-called supermoon, which occurs when the moon is closest to earth in its orbit, will coincide with a lunar eclipse, leaving the moon in Earth’s shadow. Individually, the two phenomena are not uncommon, but they do not align often.

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