Storm Chasers

TB may be spreading from cat-to-cat

TB may be spreading from cat-to-cat

Family cats may be spreading tuberculosis to one another, officials have said. An outbreak among pets in the Home Counties has seen at least nine cats become infected with TB in a matter of weeks. While it is thought the most likely cause of the disease is pets fighting with infected badgers, officials have said they cannot rule out that… Read more →

Deep Earth has oceans' worth of water, $10 diamond reveals

Deep Earth has oceans’ worth of water, $10 diamond reveals

University of Alberta researchers find ‘meteorite mineral’ that formed naturally on our planet A dirty, $10 diamond with a prize inside has helped reveal that there are vast quantities of water stored deep inside the Earth. The diamond formed in the ”transition zone” around 410 to 660 kilometres below our planet’s surface. Analysis of a mineral grain trapped inside it suggests that it came from surroundings… Read more →

Photo: NASA

Preparation for Attack: U.S. Electric Grid ‘Inherently Vulnerable’ to Sabotage

Electric grid compounds across the country have faced an uptick in unauthorized intrusions by unknown individuals, causing concern that the U.S. grid is “inherently vulnerable” to widespread sabotage, according to a recent oversight report issued by New Jersey’s Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC), which monitors the threat level. Following at least eight “reports of intrusions at electrical grid facilities in New Jersey”… Read more →

Four women given pioneering womb transplants impregnated via IVF

Four women given pioneering womb transplants impregnated via IVF

Swedish medical team hoping for world first as women born without uterus or who lost it to cancer get embryo transfers. Four of nine women given pioneering womb transplants in Sweden have now also had embryos transferred, the pioneering Swedish doctor treating them has said. Dr Mats Brannstrom, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Gothenburg University, said his team had embarked on a programme… Read more →

‘About 20′ cases of polio-like illness found in California

(CNN) – “About 20″ cases of a polio-like syndrome have been identified in California children over the past 18 months, a Stanford University researcher says.

Dr. Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, has written a report about five of the early cases.

In that report, which will be presented in April at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, neurologists said they had identified five patients who developed paralysis in one or more of their limbs between August 2012 and July 2013. All five children had been vaccinated against the poliovirus. Treatment did not seem to help the children regain their motor function.

 

CNN has the full article

FDA to study “three-parent embryos”

On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss the possibility of legalising three-parent embryos – or, in scientific lingo, “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease or treatment of infertility”.

This procedure, which involves removing the nucleus from one human egg whose cytoplasm contains defective mitochondria and placing it in an enucleated egg with healthy DNA for subsequent fertilisation, is also being debated in the UK.

The measure is strongly opposed by the Center for Genetics and Society, which is promoting an open letter to the FDA. It claims that mitochondrial transfer is unsafe, is effectively experimentation on unconsenting human subjects, and would only help a handful of women. Most importantly, it constitutes germline modification, a form of eugenics. This is a bright line which no country has ever stepped across.

We strongly believe that clinical trials … should not be permitted because of the profound safety, efficacy, policy and social problems they would pose. We question the ethics of bringing children into existence by experimental techniques that have had developmentally poor outcomes in studies using both animal and human oocytes. We are also concerned about the contravention of widespread prohibitions against human germline genetic modification that approval of clinical trials would represent, and about the possible precedent such approval could set for additional human germline modifications.

 

This is a copy of the full article provided by BioEdge

(Photo: Discovered on BioEdge)

Synthetic gametes could enable homosexuals to have children

Synthetic gametes could enable homosexuals to have children

With stem cell technology constantly advancing, the dream of artificial (or synthetic) gametes comes ever closer. Last September Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, hosted a conference on “Artificial Gametes: Science and Ethics” (no papers available at the moment). The creation of artificial gametes would represent the triumph of technology over the limitations of natural reproduction. Now that it seems feasible… Read more →

Just When You Thought Google Glass Couldn't Get Creepier: New App Allows Strangers to ID You Just by Looking at You

Just When You Thought Google Glass Couldn’t Get Creepier: New App Allows Strangers to ID You Just by Looking at You

Have you ever seen someone wearing Google Glass out at the bar? Like a real person at a real bar actually wearing Google Glass? If so, you know how absolutely ridiculous they look. Which may be the only factor we have that will stop this: A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your… Read more →

You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem—affecting one in every 19 people on the planet. But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.

Many people I’ve talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a part-time job. Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are dangerous and not uncommon, requiring round-the-clock monitoring. Although some people wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor embedded under their skin, all people with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day. It’s disruptive, and it’s painful. And, as a result, many people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should.

Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.

 

Google Official Blog has the full article

(Picture: Google Official Blog)

TRANSHUMANISM 101: DEFYING HUMAN NATURE ONE CYBORG LIMB AT A TIME

TRANSHUMANISM 101: DEFYING HUMAN NATURE ONE CYBORG LIMB AT A TIME

The past few years have seen a surging interest in the international scientific movement to “help end human death.” It fears no mechanics and abhors the imperfections of the human body. Transhumanism is snowballing into an international movement aggressively defying human nature and embracing machines. The current wave of debate surrounding the concept began with The Transhumanist Wager, a novel about the possibilities of… Read more →