Storm Chasers

Ebola outbreak in West Africa now the largest on record

Ebola outbreak in West Africa now the largest on record

DAKAR, Senegal - Deep in the forests of southern Guinea, the first victims fell ill with high fevers. People assumed it was the perennial killer malaria and had no reason to fear touching the bodies, as is the custom in traditional funerals. Some desperate relatives brought their loved ones to the distant capital in search of better medical care, unknowingly spreading… Read more →

Will US cyborgs be the next to deploy?

A new cyborg – part machine and part biological muscle – has taken its first steps.

University of Illinois researchers, in a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, say their tiny new creature is the first robot that uses live muscle for power. The researchers, with funding from the National Science Foundation,  have created a muscle-powered biological machine that can be controlled with an electric current.

It could lead to a new generation of biological robots, or “biobots.”

Researchers around the world have been hoping to use this type of technology for a range of applications, from building military robots to designing replacement organs.

Military robots have been on the U.S. military’s table for a while. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been pioneering robot research for many years, and Gen. Robert Cone, commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, announced in January that he was tasked with considering the reduction of brigade combat teams from 4,000 to 3,000 soldiers – and replacing the human personnel with robots.

But humanoid robots, like humans, are very complicated, and they remain elusive for now. The advances needed to build ones that can go to war are vast: They require human dexterity and movement control, not to mention quantum computing that can achieve human “intelligence.”

Some researchers believe the solution will be to combine the machine with living tissue to create Terminator-style cyborgs. It’s still the stuff of science fiction, but the tiny biobots could be a key step forward.

Fox News has the full article

Human stem cells successfully transplanted into pigs

Human stem cells successfully transplanted into pigs

Scientists have successfully transplanted human stem cells into pigs that were especially genetically modified for the purpose. Once implanted, the cells thrived, leading the researchers to believe they are one step closer to finding treatments for a number of incapacitating human diseases. One of the major hurdles in stem cell research is the rejection of transplanted cells by the hosts…. Read more →

White House: CIA has ended use of vaccine programmes

White House: CIA has ended use of vaccine programmes

The CIA has ended the use of vaccine programmes in its spying operations amid concerns for the safety of health workers, the White House has said. In a letter to US public health schools, a White House aide said the CIA stopped such practices in August. The CIA reportedly used a fake vaccine programme in its effort to learn the whereabouts… Read more →

Scientists create first living organism containing artificial DNA

Scientists create first living organism containing artificial DNA

Scientists, in a world first, announced Wednesday they had added two letters to the genetic code that forms the chemical blueprint for life.They said they had modified a bacterium so that it incorporated and replicated two DNA ingredients that are not found in nature.The experiment, they said, was designed to show that the alphabet for DNA, which has existed for… Read more →

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 →

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

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