Tag Archives: Scientists

Biotechnology: ‘mRNA Could Change The World’

The dream of mRNA persevered in part because its core principle was tantalizingly simple, even beautiful: The world’s most powerful drug factory might be inside all of us.

Like so many breakthroughs, this apparent overnight success was many decades in the making. More than 40 years had passed between the 1970s, when a Hungarian scientist pioneered early mRNA research, and the day the first authorized mRNA vaccine was administered in the United States, on December 14, 2020. In the interim, the idea’s long road to viability nearly destroyed several careers and almost bankrupted several companies.

Read full article in The Atlantic

Science & Exploration: ‘Deep-Sea Soft Robots’

Is the future of deep-sea exploration soft? Researchers have developed a new type of soft robot designed to cope with the crushing pressures at the bottom the ocean. Inspired by the skull of the Mariana Snailfish, the deepest living fish, the researchers distributed their robot’s electronics, creating a machine that can withstand extreme pressure.

Medicine: Scientists Grow ‘Mini-Organs’ To Repair Damaged Human Livers

Scientists have used a technique to grow bile duct organoids – often referred to as ‘mini-organs’ – in the lab and shown that these can be used to repair damaged human livers. This is the first time that the technique has been used on human organs. Funding provided by European Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research and the Academy of Medical Sciences

Wildlife: Saving The ‘Skywalker Gibbon’ Of Southwest China (Video)

Deep in a cloud forest far, far away are the planet’s last remaining Skywalker gibbons. These small members of the apes family were only identified in 2017 (by, you guessed it, a Star Wars fan), but already they’re endangered.

Now, researchers in south-west China have developed an ingenious technique for getting gibbons from different territories to meet and form a partnership – these Skywalkers mate for life. Join us to see how technology can be used as a Force for good to help protect this vanishing species.

Scientists announced the discovery of a new species of primate, the skywalker hoolock gibbon (Hoolock tianxing), in the American Journal of Primatology on Tuesday. The scientists named it skywalker because the Chinese characters for its scientific name translate to “heaven’s movement”—but also because they’re fans of Star Warsaccording to the BBC.

Top Short Films: ‘Treeline’

Directed by Jordan Manley

Patagonia Films presents: Treeline. Follow a group of skiers, snowboarders, scientists and healers to the birch forests of Japan, the red cedars of British Columbia and the bristlecones of Nevada, as they explore an ancient story written in rings.

Producers: Laura Yale, Monika McClure

Executive Producers: Alex Lowther, Jimmy Hopper, Josh Nielsen

Cinematography, editing, principal sound design: Jordan Manley

Additional Cinematography: Scott Secco

Associate Producers: Garrett Grove, Lisa Ida, Soichiro Uchino, Mie Sawatari

Editorial Advisors: Daniel Irvine, Chad Manley

Motion Graphics: Daniel Irvine

Additional Sound Design and Mix: Jeff Yellen / Ridgeline Sound

Cast & Athletes

Taro Tamai
Hidehiko Wajima
Kazushi “Orange Man” Yamauchi
Yuki Miyazaki
Alex Yoder
Leah Evans
Carston Oliver
Laura Yale
Connie Millar
Diane Delaney
Michael Cohen
Deb MacKillop
Suzanne Simard
Akihiko Tamaki
Konami Tsukamoto

Still Photographer: Garrett Grove

Additional Audio Recordings: Travis Rummel / Felt Soul Media

Stanford: Researchers Find Way To “Regrow” New Cartilage In Joints

The Stanford researchers figured out how to regrow articular cartilage by first causing slight injury to the joint tissue, then using chemical signals to steer the growth of skeletal stem cells as the injuries heal. The work was published Aug. 17 in the journal Nature Medicine.

“Cartilage has practically zero regenerative potential in adulthood, so once it’s injured or gone, what we can do for patients has been very limited,” said assistant professor of surgery Charles K.F. Chan, PhD. “It’s extremely gratifying to find a way to help the body regrow this important tissue.”

STANFORD MEDICINE (Aug 17, 2020): Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a way to regenerate, in mice and human tissue, the cushion of cartilage found in joints.

Loss of this slippery and shock-absorbing tissue layer, called articular cartilage, is responsible for many cases of joint pain and arthritis, which afflicts more than 55 million Americans. Nearly 1 in 4 adult Americans suffer from arthritis, and far more are burdened by joint pain and inflammation generally.

Read full article

Top New Books: “The Language Of Butterflies” By Wendy Williams (2020)

The Language of ButterfliesButterflies are one of the world’s most beloved insects. From butterfly gardens to zoo exhibitions, they are one of the few insects we’ve encouraged to infiltrate our lives. Yet, what has drawn us to these creatures in the first place? And what are their lives really like? In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author and science journalist Wendy Williams reveals the inner lives of these “flying flowers”—creatures far more intelligent and tougher than we give them credit for.

In this fascinating book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Horse, Wendy Williams explores the lives of one of the world’s most resilient creatures—the butterfly—shedding light on the role that they play in our ecosystem and in our human lives.

Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles each year from Canada to Mexico. Other species have learned how to fool ants into taking care of them. Butterflies’ scales are inspiring researchers to create new life-saving medical technology. Williams takes readers to butterfly habitats across the globe and introduces us to not only various species, but to the scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying them.

Coupled with years of research and knowledge gained from experts in the field, this accessible “butterfly biography” explores the ancient partnership between these special creatures and humans, and why they continue to fascinate us today. Touching, eye-opening, and incredibly profound, The Language of Butterflies reveals the critical role they play in our world.

Read more

Interviews: 67-Year Old Bioscientist And Business CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong “Progress On Covid-19”

Dr. Patrick Soon-ShiongColin Cowherd talks with Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong who is not only a Doctor helping to fight Covid-19 but also owns the LA Times and is a minority owner of the Lakers. Dr. Shiong talks about the things we are learning about the disease and why it is so much more dangerous than previous pandemics.

Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong is a South African-American billionaire surgeon, businessman, media mogul, and bioscientist. He is the inventor of the drug Abraxane, which became known for its efficacy against lung, breast, and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Soon-Shiong’s Website

The Herd Now Podcasts
THE HERD NOW WEBSITE

Covid-19 Podcast: Testing Lab Challenges, WHO Funding & Immune System Issues (Nature.com)

nature-podcastsBenjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss Trump withholding funds from the WHO, and how COVID-19 kills. We also hear about controlling misinformation while communicating risk.

In this episode:

01:15 Understanding bottlenecks

After listening to last week’s episode of Coronapod, researchers in the USA were inspired to start collecting data about the challenges facing labs carrying out testing. After more than 4,000 responses to their online survey, we discuss their goals.

03:08 A hole in the WHO’s funding

US President Donald Trump has announced plans to withhold funding for the WHO, pending a review of the organization’s handling of the pandemic. We discuss the decision and ask what it means for the global response to COVID-19.

News: Nature‘s rolling coronavirus news blog

05:55 Responding to the immune system

We investigate the role of the immune system in the death of COVID-19 patients and what this could mean for treatments. Could some therapeutics actually be undermining the body’s ability to fight the virus?

News: How does COVID-19 kill? Uncertainty is hampering doctors’ ability to choose treatments

13:54 One good thing this week

Our hosts pick out things that have made them smile in the last 7 days, including seasonal memories from Sierra Leone, a trip to the supermarket, and the 99-year old war veteran who has raised millions for charity.

BBC News: Coronavirus: Capt Tom Moore’s NHS fundraiser hits £17m

18:33 Communicating complex data

Clearly communicating risks and evidence is key for governments and other organisations if they are to best inform the public during the pandemic. But what is the best way to do it? We hear the methods that communications experts and behavioural scientists recommend to keep the public informed, and keep misinformation at bay.

Top New Science Podcasts: Forecasting The Spread Of Coronavirus, Emotions Of Mice (ScienceMag.com)

science-magazine-podcastsOn this week’s show, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about modeling coronavirus spread and the role of forecasts in national lockdowns and other pandemic policies. They also talk about the launch of a global trial of promising treatments. 

Also this week, Nadine Gogolla, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, talks with Sarah about linking the facial expressions of mice to their emotional states using machine learning.