A Forum for discussing emerging smart discoveries and emerging technologies with built-in intelligence or embedded smarts, as well as the new cognitive skills needed to succeed in the smart economy. The Smart Future is already here, just the last page hasn't been written yet! Every advance brings benefits as well as intrusions.
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“Scientists have successfully pinpointed a specific part of the brain where Alzheimer's begins and traced how the disease spreads. The discovery holds potential application in creating new diagnostic strategies and possible therapies to combat the disease.”
Well-connected hemispheres of Einstein's brain may have sparked his brilliance
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein's brain were unusually well connected to each other and may have contributed to his brilliance, according to a new study conducted in part by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk.
"This study, more than any other to date, really gets at the 'inside' of Einstein's brain," Falk said. "It provides new information that helps make sense of what is known about the surface of Einstein's brain."
The study, "The Corpus Callosum of Albert Einstein's Brain: Another Clue to His High Intelligence," was published in the journal Brain. Lead author Weiwei Men of East China Normal University's Department of Physics developed a new technique to conduct the study, which is the first to detail Einstein's corpus callosum, the brain's largest bundle of fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication.
"This technique should be of interest to other researchers who study the brain's all-important internal connectivity," Falk said.
Men's technique measures and color-codes the varying thicknesses of subdivisions of the corpus callosum along its length, where nerves cross from one side of the brain to the other. These thicknesses indicate the number of nerves that cross and therefore how "connected" the two sides of the brain are in particular regions, which facilitate different functions depending on where the fibers cross along the length. For example, movement of the hands is represented toward the front and mental arithmetic along the back.
In particular, this new technique permitted registration and comparison of Einstein's measurements with those of two samples — one of 15 elderly men and one of 52 men Einstein's age in 1905. During his so-called "miracle year" at 26 years old, Einstein published four articles that contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed the world's views about space, time, mass and energy.
The research team's findings show that Einstein had more extensive connections between certain parts of his cerebral hemispheres compared to both younger and older control groups.
The research of Einstein's corpus callosum was initiated by Men, who requested the high-resolution photographs that Falk and other researchers published in 2012 of the inside surfaces of the two halves of Einstein's brain. In addition to Men, the current research team included Falk, who served as second author; Tao Sun of the Washington University School of Medicine; and, from East China Normal University's Department of Physics, Weibo Chen, Jianqi Li, Dazhi Yin, Lili Zang and Mingxia Fan.
Brain may rely on computer-like mechanism to make sense of novel situations, says CU-Boulder study
Our brains give us the remarkable ability to make sense of situations we've never encountered before—a familiar person in an unfamiliar place, for example, or a coworker in a different job role—but the mechanism our brains use to accomplish this has been a longstanding mystery of neuroscience.
Now, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have demonstrated that our brains could process these new situations by relying on a method similar to the "pointer" system used by computers. "Pointers" are used to tell a computer where to look for information stored elsewhere in the system to replace a variable.
For the study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team relied on sentences with words used in unique ways to test the brain's ability to understand the role familiar words play in a sentence even when those words are used in unfamiliar, and even nonsensical, ways.
For example, in the sentence, "I want to desk you," we understand theword "desk" is being used as a verb even though our past experience with the word "desk" is as a noun.
"The fact that you understand that the sentence is grammatically well formed means you can process these completely novel inputs," said Randall O'Reilly, a professor in CU-Boulder's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and co-author of the study. "But in the past when we've tried to get computer models of a brain to do that, we haven't been successful."
This shows that human brains are able to understand the sentence as a structure with variables—a subject, a verb and often, an object—and that the brain can assign a wide variety of words to those variables and still understand the sentence structure. But the way the brain does this has not been understood.
Computers routinely complete similar tasks. In computer science, for example, a computer program could create an email form letter that has a pointer in the greeting line. The pointer would then draw the name information for each individual recipient into the greeting being sent to that person.
In the new study, led by Trenton Kriete, a postdoctoral researcher in O'Reilly's lab, the scientists show that the connections in the brain between the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia could play a similar role to the pointers used in computer science. The researchers added new information about how the connections between those two regions of the brain could work into their model.
The result was that the model could be trained to understand simple sentences using a select group of words. After the training period, the researchers fed the model new sentences using familiar words in novel ways and found that the model could still comprehend the sentence structure.
While the results show that a pointer-like system could be at play in the brain, the function is not identical to the system used in computer science, the scientists said. It's similar to comparing an airplane's wing and a bird's wing, O'Reilly said. They're both used for flying but they work differently.
In the brain, for example, the pointer-like system must still be learned. The brain has to be trained, in this case, to understand sentences while a computer can be programmed to understand sentences immediately.
"As your brain learns, it gets better and better at processing these novel kinds of information," O'Reilly said.
Other study co-authors include David Noelle of the University of California, Merced, and Jonathan Cohen of Princeton University. The research was supported by an Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity grant through the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Scientists Force Mature Cells to Revert to Stem Cells – (Bloomberg – September 11, 2013) Scientists have turned back the hands of time in cells within a living creature. Researchers in Spain used a technique created seven years ago to force mature cells in mice to revert to an original form of stem cell with the potential to change into any type of living tissue. Previously, scientists were only been able to achieve this change in a petri dish. The newest experiment may one day let doctors work entirely inside the body to regenerate tissue and, perhaps, more complex organs. This could include reconnecting a severed spinal cord or generating healthy heart cells. “This is the next step along a continuum,” said Daley, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston who wrote an accompanying editorial on the work, which he wasn’t involved with. “What this is hinting at is that maybe we can, by regressing tissues in the patient, regenerate this embryonic potential and, with direction, regenerate a particular tissue.” The reverted mouse cells were also found to be more primitive than stem cells taken from embryos or created in the lab. This means they can be turned into a placenta and other embryonic-support membranes, a factor beyond the capacity of the other cells, the researchers wrote.
The role of carbon in the development of life and as the structural backbone of all organisms is universally accepted and an essential part of evolution. However, the molecular basis is largely unknown and the interactions of carbon with nitrogen and oxygen in space are enigmatic.
In 1985, the previously unknown form of carbon, coined fullerene, was discovered. We hypothesize that by virtue of the unique properties of fullerene, this hollow, ultra-robust, large, purely carbon molecule was the earliest progenitor of life. It acted as a stable universal biologic template on which small molecules spontaneously assembled and then formed, by further assembly, a surface mantle (here termed rosasome) of larger molecules.
DIY Cancer treatment....baking soda or apple cider vinegar
Killing Cancer by changing body PH from acidic back to neutral or basic with sodium bicarbinate or baking soda....old wive's tale confirmed by scientists at Cancer Center.
Tumor cells engineer acidity to drive cell invasion, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say
Using buffers to increase pH may inhibit cancer growth
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at Wayne State University School of Medicine investigated the acidity in solid tumors to determine if pH levels play a role in cancer cell invasion in surrounding tissues. They found that an acidic microenvironment can drive cancer cells to spread and propose that neutralizing pH would inhibit further invasion, providing a therapeutic opportunity to slow the progression of cancers.
Their study appeared in the Jan. 3 online release of Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research.
According to the study's corresponding author, Robert J. Gillies, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Imaging & Metabolism at Moffitt, acidity in solid tumors is theresult of an increased fermentative metabolism combined with poor delivery of blood to tissues.
In this study, tumor invasion and pH were monitored in immunodeficient laboratory mice hosting a variety of tumors. "We monitored the test animals over time using microscopy and found that the highest regions of tumor invasion corresponded to areas with the lowest pH," Gillies explained. "Tumor invasion did not occur in regions with normal or near normal pH levels. Furthermore, when we neutralized the acidity with oral sodium bicarbonate, the invasion was halted."
Researchers proposedthat the acidic pH of the tumor microenvironment represents a "niche engineering" strategy on the part of tumor cells, promoting invasion and growth of malignant tumors into surrounding tissue. Niche engineering is a concept in ecology describes how plants and animals alter their environment to in ways that promote their own growth and survival over their competitors. "We have long regarded cancers cells as an invading species," said study co-author Robert Gatenby, M.D., chair of the Diagnostic Imaging Services and Integrated Mathematical Oncology departments at Moffitt.
A key to this process of adaptation and invasion is increased glucose metabolism in the tumor. "The vast majority of malignant tumors metabolize glucose at high rates," Gillies said. "We have proposed that there is a direct, causative link between increased glucose metabolism and the ability of cancer cells to invade and metastasize."
According to the research, elevated glucose metabolism is the cause of increased acidity in the tumor microenvironment. Most tumors develop an abnormal vascular network that tends to be poorly organized and leaky, disrupting blood flow and hampering the delivery of oxygen.
"This poorly organized vascular system has a two-fold effect on tumor acidity," explained Gatenby. "First, it subjects tumor regions to poor perfusion, which restricts oxygen and increases the rate of glucose fermentation. Second, the poor perfusion hampers the ability to eliminate the resulting acids, resulting in very low pH in surrounding tissues."
As tumor cells adapt to increasing acidity, niche engineering through normal cell death and new blood vessel formation occurs in the tumor and the immune response is suppressed.
"Tumor cells perform niche engineering by creating an acidic environment that is not toxic to the malignant cells but, through its negative effects on normal cells and tissues, promotes local invasion of malignant cells," Gatenby said.
The researchers suggested that targeting this activity with buffers and other mechanisms aimed at increasing pH levels will likely provide a valuable alternative to traditional therapies focused entirely on killing tumor cells.
Funding for this study came from federal grants U54 CA143970; R01 CA 077575; R01 CA 131990S.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt's excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Since 1999, Moffitt has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for cancer. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, twitter and YouTube.
Russian Academy of Sciences confirms Ukrainian break-though in treating Alzheimer’s with Carbon 60 or C-60 or hydrated fullerenes (C60HYFns) or Buckeyballs.
After the discovery of C-60 in 1985 and the awarding of the Nobel prize in 1995 to Kroto, Smalley and Curl, Ukrainian scientists, then discovered a way to make Carbon 60 or C-60 or fullerenes or buckeyballs water soluble about 15 years ago, have made progress on the Alzheimer’s front treating it with Fullerene Water Solution (FWS) and with conventional treatment. This was approved as a “dietary supplement” by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in 2010, and just several weeks ago they started producing a water drink in Ukraine with .0002mg/100ml of C-60.
WATER SOLUBLE C60 FOR DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE TREATMENT
1) Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Pushchino 2) Institute of Cell Biophysics, Pushchino 3) The Russian State Medical University, Moscow 4) National Research Nuclear University MEPI, Moscow
Creation of drugs for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most important challenge to biomedical research in the XXI century. Synthesis of water-soluble fullerenes and carbon nanotubes opened a new direction for drug development, which is growing rapidly in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
* Rationale. One key element in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is increased formation of aggregated forms in the brain of amyloid β-peptide (1-42) (Aβ1-42). Create antiamiloid drugs is the main thrust of development of asthma therapy.
^ The project aims to investigate the properties of stable antiamiloidn molecular colloidal aqueous solution of fullerene C60HyFn.
Results. By transmission electron microscopy in vitro for the first time on a visual level, it was shown that water-soluble C60 prevent and destroy the beta-amyloid. These findings led to the conclusion that the fullerene in vitro anti-aggregation has a strong effect on the β-amyloid peptides. Microinjection C60HyFn (0.46 nmol / μl) into the hippocampus significantly reduced β-amyloid deposits in the pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 neurons and warned neurodegeneration. Fluorescence microscopy of hippocampal pyramidal neurons with acridine orange and microfluoremetric analysis will provide quantitative data on the restoration protein synthesizing activity of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus, impaired Aβ. Microinjection C60HyFn (0.46 nmol/1μl) to prevent violations of spatial memory, due to the introduction of the hippocampus Aβ1-42 (1.6 nmol / μl). On surviving hippocampal slices fullerene increases the activity of pyramidal neurons in rats modified EEG frontal cortex, impaired Aβ1-42.
Conclusion. Functionalized C60 direction slowly act on one of the key molecular targets of Alzheimer's disease, aggregated amyloid β-peptides, and are of great interest for the development of Alzheimer's disease therapy. We assume that in the first half of the XXI century will be based on fullerenes developed an effective prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
This work was supported by a grant of the Presidium of RAS "basic sciences Medicine" and the state contract the Ministry of Higher Education and Science of the Russian Federation № P1052.
Ukrainian scientists, who discovered a way to make Carbon 60 or C-60 or fullerenes or buckeyballs water soluble about 15 years ago, have made progress on the Alzheimer’s front treating it with Fullerene Water Solution (FWS) and with conventional treatment. This was approved as a “dietary supplement” by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in 2010, and just several weeks ago they started producing a water drink in Ukraine with .0002mg/100ml of C-60.
Below is a very rough Google Translation from the Russian original.
Obviously, this research is not on the radar of most western researchers.
One of the diseases elderly is Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia. More common after sixty, but sick and young people. The disease is characterized by a steady deterioration of memory until the complete disintegration of the personality. Already in the beginning of the disease, recognizing the gradual loss of memory, a person experiences great emotionally shaken. This neurodegenerative disease affects more than thirty million people. Nicholas Sparks romantic drama "The Notebook" and the same film shows the tragedy of close people who are sick of this terrible disease. Unfortunately, at present, has not yet found drugs that can stop or reverse the development of cause neurodegenerative process. Search for drugs for the treatment of this disease are engaged in the world. The Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics studies in experimental models of Alzheimer's disease are conducted under the direction of Igor Jakovljevic Podolsky. In 2007, he first discovered the neuroprotective properties of water molecules with the most beautiful. His work, published in January 2012, revealed the influence of fullerene water very cause of the neurodegenerative process of memory loss. Alzheimer's disease is associated with a decrease in the water content in the brain and increased formation of amyloid protein (beta-amyloid peptide Aβ1-42). The threads of this protein like vines entwine the neurons of the brain, disrupting their work and worsening memory. In November 2011, Podolsky reported to the Presidium of RAS results of their work done in accordance with the program "Fundamental science - medicine." It was shown that the water has a fullerene antiamiloidnymi properties. Microinjection of water prevents the formation of amyloid by fullerene and destroyed "threads" of amyloid protein. This led to a reduction of neurodegenerative changes in the brain of rats and restore lost memory. Interview with Igor Yakovlevich under "great discovery" was broadcast on Channel One Russian TV from 18 to 23 March 2012.
The obtained results allow us to begin clinical studies of fullerene water as a means for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. It is assumed that patients will spray water fullerene as a spray in the nasal passages and to drink a certain pattern. Increased production of amyloid protein is the cause of not only Alzheimer's disease. In addition to degenerative changes in the brain, it can cause malfunction of other organs such as the pancreas, which is considered as a possible cause of diabetes type. Amyloid proteins provoke the development of many serious human diseases, the methods of treatment which at the moment does not exist. The Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of amyloidosis research conducted by Professor Zoya Alexandrovna Podlubnaya. Her studies show that water prevents the formation of fullerene and destroying amyloids in striated muscle. Antiamiloidnye fullerene properties of water can allow the creation of new drugs for the treatment of previously incurable diseases. This stimulates interest in studying biomedical properties of fullerene water in many research centers.
The gut metagenome is the collection of all the genomes of all the microbes in the human intestinal tract : it is specific to each human, like a second genetic signature
At least in healthy humans, this personal metagenome is stable over time
The gut metagenome is very large and complex: scientists developed innovative, state-of-the-art, computational tools to analyse it with a high resolution
We all have E.coli bacteria in our gut but each of us carries a version that is genetically slightly different. The same can be said of most gut microbes: our own gut metagenome, that is the sum of all the genomes of all our gut microbes, appears to be really specific to each of us, and to remain stable over time. For the first time, researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have studied this metagenome at such a high resolution that individual mutations in the various strains could be analysed. Their findings, published today in Nature, could have widespread consequences in medicine: gut microbes are known to be essential for functions as vital as digesting food or providing vitamins, but can also be involved in diseases if they carry certain mutations.
The scientists analysed the gut metagenome of 207 individuals from Europe and the USA, matching more than 7 billion pieces of DNA (of 100 lettres each) to the genomes of our most abundant gut microbial species. “This large scale analysis showed that, at least when healthy, we carry a unique set of bacterial strains and their mutations in our gut, over a long time,” explains Peer Bork who led the study at EMBL. “It is like a second genetic signature, but one that probably does not come from our parents but that we acquire from the environment in early childhood.”
When comparing the specific mutations from the same individual over time, the researchers found that the metagenome remains stable for at least one year, and probably much longer when the individuals are healthy. Results also show that there is only little geographic difference when comparing metagenomes of European with North-American individuals. This indicates that gradual adaptation is possible.
For each individual, approximately 6 billion DNA letters of their gut metagenome have been analysed, many more than the 3.3 billion DNA letters of human DNA that we inherit from each of our parents. These 6 billion DNA letters belong to hundreds of microbes, each with thousands of different strains or variants: mapping each DNA fragment of the metagenome to its right place, in the right bacterial genome, is extremely complex. To achieve this breakthrough and carry the analysis down to the single DNA letter, scientists had to develop various new computational methods. In the current study more than 10 million mutations have been detected in the 207 individuals.
All these detailed data is now stored in public databases, such as dbSNP, freely available to the scientific community. These findings could lead to the development of new approaches in the identification of gut diseases, pathogens, or antibiotic resistance. On the longer term, they may also open new avenues for personalised therapies.
Genomic variation landscape of the human gut microbiome
Siegfried Schloissnig, Manimozhiyan Arumugam, Shinichi Sunagawa, Makedonka Mitreva, Julien Tap, Ana Zhu, Alison Waller, Daniel R. Mende, Jens Roat Kultima, John Martin, Karthik Kota, Shamil R. Sunyaev, George M. Weinstock and Peer Bork. Nature, Advanced online Publication: 5 December, 2012
While large-scale efforts have rapidly advanced the understanding and practical impact of human genomic variation, the latter is largely unexplored in the human microbiome. We therefore developed a framework for metagenomic variation analysis and applied it to 252 fecal metagenomes of 207 individuals from Europe and North America. Using 7.4 billion reads aligned to 101 reference species, we detected 10.3 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 107,991 short indels, and 1,051 structural variants. The average ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous polymorphism rates of 0.11 was more variable between gut microbial species than across human hosts. Subjects sampled at varying time intervals exhibited individuality and temporal stability of SNP variation patterns, despite considerable composition changes of their gut microbiota. This implies that individual-specific strains are not easily replaced and that an individual might have a unique metagenomic genotype, which may be exploitable for personalized diet or drug intake.
The technique will let researchers see how proteins, RNA and other biomolecules interact with DNA.
The structure of DNA was originally discovered using X-ray crystallography, requiring complex mathematics to reconstruct the crystal structure from the observed patterns.
The new images are a direct picture of the DNA strands, seen with electrons rather than X-ray photons. The trick used by Enzo di Fabrizio at the University of Genoa, Italy, and his team was to snag DNA threads out of a dilute solution and lay them on a bed of nanoscopic silicon pillars. The results reveal the corkscrew thread of the DNA double helix, clearly visible.
Using more sensitive detectors that can respond to lower-energy electrons should soon allow the team to see individual double helices, and even unwound single strands of DNA.