Monthly Archives: August 2007

Alzheimer Cure Found By Scientists

Alzheimer Cure Found By Scientists

SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a “cure” for Alzheimer’s, the devastating illness that affects nearly 600,000 people in the UK.For years experts have been looking for a way of preventing the debilitating brain condition.

Now British and American ­scientists have found a way of halting its spread.

Last night the discovery was being hailed by experts as a huge development in the fight against the condition – as the number of victims is likely to double over the next decade.

One of the researchers described the breakthrough as “blindingly simple”.

Alzheimer’s is caused when amyloid – a chemical that naturally occurs in the bloodstream – passes into the brain.

Once there it forms plaques that harden. These damage communication between brain cells and eventually cause brain cell death.

Scientists have discovered a synthetic human protein that is capable of soaking up amyloid – preventing it leaking into the brain.

Researchers say trials will start within two years.

Patients will be screened for the disease by a blood test that reveals if they have high levels of amyloid.

Professor Berislav Zlokovic, of Rochester University in the US, who is behind the new study, said: “Stop over-production of amyloid and you effectively cure Alzheimer’s disease. It’s very simple.”

He said lab experiments had been so successful that he and his team were “convinced it will work in humans”.

Artificial Life Likely in 3 to 10 Years

Artificial Life Likely in 3 to 10 Years

Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they’re getting closer.Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of “wet artificial life.”

“It’s going to be a big deal and everybody’s going to know about it,” said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. “We’re talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways—in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict.”

That first cell of synthetic life—made from the basic chemicals in DNA—may not seem like much to non-scientists. For one thing, you’ll have to look in a microscope to see it.

“Creating protocells has the potential to shed new light on our place in the universe,” Bedau said. “This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role.”

And several scientists believe man-made life forms will one day offer the potential for solving a variety of problems, from fighting diseases to locking up greenhouse gases to eating toxic waste.

64 Core Processors… Coming Up!

TILE64 PROCESSOR FAMILY

The TILE64™ family of multicore processors delivers immense compute performance to drive the latest generation of embedded applications. This revolutionary processor features 64 identical processor cores (tiles) interconnected with Tilera’s iMesh™ on-chip network. Each tile is a complete full-featured processor, including integrated L1 & L2 cache and a non-blocking switch that connects the tile into the mesh. This means that each tile can independently run a full operating system, or multiple tiles taken together can run a multi-processing operating system like SMP Linux.The TILE64™ processor family slashes board real estate and system cost by integrating a complete set of memory and I/O controllers, thus eliminating the need for an external North Bridge or South Bridge. It delivers scalable performance, power efficiency and low processing latency in an extremely compact footprint.

First Genome Transplant Changes One Species Into Another

First genome transplant changes one species into another

For the first time, scientists have completely transformed a species of bacteria into another species by transplanting its complete set of DNA. The achievement marks a significant step toward the construction of synthetic life, with applications including the production of clean fuel in as little as a decade.Scientists Carole Lartigue and colleagues from the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, have published their results in a recent issue of Science. In addition to being a proof-of-concept experiment, the researchers hope that genome transplantation will enable the production of synthetic microbes for green energy sources, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and textiles.

Resveratrol: Elixer of Youth?

A controversial biologist at Harvard claims he can extend life span and treat diseases of aging. He just may be right.

David Sinclair is very good at persuading people. The catch, says a longtime colleague and scientific rival, is that he is sometimes overly optimistic about his results. “David is brilliant, but sometimes he is too passionate and impatient for a scientist,” says another colleague. “So far, he is fortunate that his claims have turned out to be mostly true.”Sinclair’s basic claim is simple, if seemingly improb­able: he has found an elixir of youth. In his Australian drawl, the 38-year-old Harvard University professor of pathology explains how he discovered that resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, extends life span in mice by up to 24 percent and in other animals, including flies and worms, by as much as 59 percent. Sinclair hopes that resveratrol will bump up the life span of people, too. “The system at work in the mice and other organisms is evolutionarily very old, so I suspect that what works in mice will work in humans,” he says.

Optical Memory: 50.000 Times Faster

Laser Flips Magnetic Bit Without Any Help

Physicists in Netherlands and Japan are the first to flip the value of a magnetic memory bit by firing a very short pulse of circularly-polarized laser light at it. Unlike other magneto-optic data storage systems, no external magnetic field was required to flip the bit, which meant that its value could be changed about 50 thousand times faster than the fastest conventional memory. The result could lead to the development of low-cost and ultrafast all-optical magnetic hard disk drives.

Jumper Leads Deep Into Brain Revive Man After Six Years

Jumper leads deep into brain revive man after six years

SCIENTISTS have jump-started the consciousness of a man with severe brain injury in a world-first procedure in which electrodes were inserted deep into his brain.The 38-year-old, who had been in a minimally conscious state for six years after an assault, could only move his fingers or eyes occasionally and was fed through a tube.

Now he can chew, swallow and carry out movements like brushing his hair and drinking from a cup, say the US neuroscientists who carried out the procedure, known as deep brain stimulation.