ASU, IBM move ultrafast, low-cost DNA sequencing technology a step closer to reality

A team of scientists from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center have developed a prototype DNA reader that could make whole genome profiling an everyday practice in medicine. “Our goal is to put cheap, simple and powerful DNA and protein diagnostic devices into every single doctor’s office,” said Stuart Lindsay, an ASU physics professor and director of Biodesign’s Center for Single Molecule Biophysics. Such technology could help usher in the age of personalized medicine. —> Read More Here

Eddie Redmayne In ‘The Theory Of Everything’ Puts A Face To ALS

eddie redmayne felicity jones

Eddie Redmayne, playing a young Stephen Hawking, tries to explain to his Cambridge classmate that he’s just been diagnosed with ALS. “I have motor neurone disease,” Hawking tells his friend, using its British name. The other young man’s face doesn’t change. Hawking might as well have the stomach flu. “You know, the American baseball player, Lou Gehrig?” Hawking asks, grasping at straws.

Redmayne’s performance in “The Theory of Everything,” the new film about the famed theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author, just might win him an Oscar. In large part, his acting is remarkable for its realistic portrayal of ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a terminal disease that causes a person’s muscles to atrophy. The disease has no cure, and its causes aren’t understood.

The illness came into the spotlight recently, when the sensational Ice Bucket Challenge led to a surge of more than $100 million in donations to the ALS Association. (Redmayne took the challenge in August with pal Jamie Dornan.) As a result, more people now recognize the illness than ever before, but that doesn’t mean they know what it looks like. Redmayne’s portrayal can be stingingly painful to watch for —> Read More Here

Trans Fats May Hurt Memory

By: Bahar Gholipour
Published: 11/22/2014 01:16 PM EST on LiveScience

CHICAGO — It might be difficult to carefully avoid all of the tasty foods that contain harmful trans fats, but now there’s one more reason to try: A new study shows that this type of fat may damage memory in young people.

The findings suggest that memory problems belong on the list of the health problems trans fats are suggested to cause in people, the researchers said.

“While trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people,” said study researcher Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. “From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease.” [5 Foods that Could Change Under a Trans Fat Ban]

In the new study, the researchers looked at about 1,000 healthy men and found that those who consumed the most trans fats showed worse performance on a word memory test compared with those who consumed the least trans fats.

Moreover, the researchers found the effect was notable in men under age 45.

“Trans fats —> Read More Here

Watch Three Humans Take A Flawless Ride To Space Yesterday

And now we have six people in space again — including the first-ever Italian woman to reach orbit. Samantha Cristoforetti has been delighting people worldwide with her behind-the-scenes training posts as she prepares for her “Futura” mission, which will see her spend 5.5 months on the International Space Station with her crewmates. We have the NASA video from the big day above, and some photos from the launch below.

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Read the rest of Watch Three Humans Take A Flawless Ride To Space Yesterday (323 words)


© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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