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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Science & Technology


Vaccine to eliminate cells behind aging developed by Japanese scientist

Juntendo University campus
© Kyodo
Juntendo University campus in Tokyo Bunkyo ward.
A Japanese research team said it developed a vaccine to remove so-called zombie cells that accumulate with age and damage nearby cells, causing aging-related diseases including arterial stiffening.

The team, including Juntendo University professor Toru Minamino, confirmed that mice administered with the vaccine showed decreases in the zombie cells, medically known as senescent cells, and in areas affected by arterial stiffening.

"We can expect that (the vaccine) will be applied to the treatment of arterial stiffening, diabetes and other aging-related diseases," Minamino said.

The results of the team's research were published in the online version of the journal Nature Aging on Friday.

Senescent cells refer to those that have stopped dividing but do not die. They damage nearby healthy cells by releasing chemicals that cause inflammation.

Blue Planet

The miraculous spider web

spider web blade of grass
© Alex Stemmer/Shutterstoc
"What's miraculous about a spider's web?" said Mrs. Arable. "I don't see why you say a web is a miracle — it's just a web."

"Ever try to spin one?" asked Dr. Dorian. — E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
Spiders are another of nature's master engineers. About half of known spider species (order Araneae) construct webs made of silk. Spiders can make different types of silk, depending upon its function. For example, the golden orb-weaver spider has seven kinds of silk glands, with six spinnerets.1 Some is used for spinning webs, of course, but other types are used for wrapping prey and encasing eggs. Silk can be stronger than steel of the same thickness, can stretch more than rubber, and is stickier than most tape.2 The Goulds describe silk as "easily the most remarkable building material on the planet, and it has one source: arthropods."3 Despite great effort, humans have yet to produce anything functionally equivalent to silk. Through genetic engineering, attempts have been made to duplicate it without success. The main challenge is replicating the sophisticated and information-rich protein molecules found in the silk produced by spiders and other silk-producing arthropods such as silkworms — proteins that are nearly double the size of average human proteins.4Smaller proteins do not have the strength or flexibility of spider silk. Given the advanced genetic and manufacturing technologies available today, it is remarkable that spider silk still cannot be duplicated. This illustrates just how advanced the engineering design of spider silk is.


Remarkable new type of sound wave discovered

Sound vortex
© Wang, S., Zhang, G., Wang, X. et al. / DOI number: 10.1038/s41467-021-26375-9
Sound vortex generation enabled by the spin-orbit interaction in real space.
Can you imagine sound travels in the same way as light does? A research team at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) discovered a new type of sound wave: the airborne sound wave vibrates transversely and carries both spin and orbital angular momentum like light does. The findings shattered scientists' previous beliefs about the sound wave, opening an avenue to the development of novel applications in acoustic communications, acoustic sensing, and imaging.

The research was initiated and co-led by Dr. Wang Shubo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at CityU, and conducted in collaboration with scientists from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). It was published in Nature Communications, titled "Spin-orbit interactions of transverse sound."

Comment: See also: Genes can respond to coded information in light signals - or filter them out entirely


Detailed brain mapping outlines what we can — and can't — know

human brain map
Recently, a cubic millimetre (one millionth) of the human brain was imaged in sections via an electron microscope and found to contain 1.4 petabytes of data of nerve cells, blood cells, etc. A petabyte would be like taking over 4,000 digital photos per day through your entire life, as Monique Brouilette reports.

But that wasn't the big surprise: Cells were seen that were never seen in other animals, for example,
"It is like discovering a new continent," said Jeff Lichtman of Harvard, the senior author of the paper that presented these results. He described a menagerie of puzzling features that his team had already spotted in the human tissue, including new types of cells never seen in other animals, such as neurons with axons that curl up and spiral atop each other and neurons with two axons instead of one. These findings just scratched the surface: To search the sample completely, he said, would be a task akin to driving every road in North America.

Monique Brouillette, "New Brain Maps Can Predict Behaviors" at Quanta Magazine (December 6, 2021)

Comment: See also:

Comet 2

Comet Leonard, the brightest of the year, is fading and 'acting strange'

Comet Leonard
Comet Leonard shines bright in this image from the European Space Agency's Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre using the Calar Alto Schmidt telescope in Spain. It was created by stacking 90 5-second exposure images of the comet taken on Dec. 7, 2021 on top of each other.
Something strange is happening to skywatchers' most anticipated comet of the year.

Astronomers first spotted what's been dubbed Comet Leonard in January 2021, and soon skywatchers were eagerly anticipating December and January, when the comet was due to pass by first Earth, then the sun. But by late November, observers noticed something strange. The comet should be getting brighter as it approaches the sun — and it is, but apparently only because it's getting closer to Earth, not because it's becoming inherently brighter.

Instead, it seems to be fading.

Comment: Another image of Comet Leonard from the 5th December shows it with "2 streamers":

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Russia's push to mine Arctic metals is fueled by nuclear power

Akademik Lomonosov
© The Economic Times
The Akademik Lomonosov, Russia's floating nuclear reactor
When news first broke a few years ago that Russia's state nuclear energy company was working on a floating nuclear power plant, some took it as a joke. Others mocked it as the worst idea ever.

But it turns out it wasn't such an outlandish idea after all. The Akademik Lomonosov started operating in 2019. It looks like what it was meant to be: a source of reliable energy in a region so harsh that building any other kind of power supply system would be a challenge.

The Akademik Lomonosov sits off the town ot Pevek in Chukotka. Chukotka is an autonomous region in the northern part of Russia's Far East.

It also happens to be full of gold, copper, and lithium, among other metals.

Blue Planet

More Cambrian Woes for Evolution

Fossil bryozoans from the Upper Ordovician
© Wikimedia Commons.
Fossil bryozoans from the Upper Ordovician, by Wilson44691, CC BY-SA 3.0
If new fossils were able to rescue Darwin from his Doubt and Dilemma, they would have turned up by now. Instead, they continue illustrating an alternate picture: abrupt appearance and intelligent design.

Et tu, Bryozoa?

Stephen Meyer can add another phylum to his chart of body plans in the Cambrian Explosion (Darwin's Doubt, p. 32): phylum Bryozoa.

Bryozoans, earlier called Ectoprocta but now Bryozoa again, are small animals that live in colonies. The colonies resemble moss in texture, from whence the name Bryozoa, "moss animals." Growing only to about 4 mm in size, the individuals (called zooids) bind together in tissue-like structures up to 3 feet in width. Zooids carry out differing functions to support the colony: filter feeding, defense, and reproduction. Some 5,000 species are known, inhabiting both fresh and salt water, and in tide pools all the way down to deep ocean trenches. Animal Fact Files has some video clips of living bryozoans on YouTube.

Bryozoa may look simple, but they are capable of sexual reproduction as well as hermaphroditism and budding. Despite their small size, they possess digestive systems and motile cilia. Long thought to have first appeared in the Ordovician (485 mya, the oldest fossils from China), bryozoans have now been confirmed in the early Cambrian. In Nature News and Views, Andrej Ernst and Mark A. Wilson write, "Bryozoan fossils found at last in deposits from the Cambrian period." They had been "conspicuously absent" till now. Why so? Thinking Darwinly, Ernst and Wilson point out that "bryozoans have a complex form (morphology), and must therefore have already had a long evolutionary history." Molecular studies had also suggested to evolutionists an earlier emergence.

Comment: See also:


Gravitational waves may help solve a crucial mystery about the Big Bang

gravitational waves artist conception
© koto_feja / iStock
An abstract representation of gravitational waves.
We're on the cusp of a revolution in physics.

Much about the early universe remains a mystery to us, but a team of researchers discovered that gravitational waves might hold the key to understanding why the Big Bang, the unthinkably colossal event that seeded the universe, created more matter than antimatter, according to a study recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

And this means the coming decade could reveal some of the most fundamental questions about the universe.

Filling the antimatter gap in physics with gravitational waves

The only reason we're here is because at one undefined moment in the first second of the history of the universe, more matter than anti-matter was generated. The former is literally everything you've ever seen, touched, and known — even in the most distant reaches of space. This asymmetry is so vast that only one extra particle of antimatter was generated per ten billion particles of matter. The issue is that, despite this imbalance, current theories of physicists have no explanation. The theories we have actually suggest that matter and anti-matter should have been created in equal numbers, but the persistence of humans, our planet, and everything else in the universe stress the need for a more comprehensive, unknown physics.


A massive 8-year project finds that much cancer research can't be replicated

prostate cells cancer studies replication problem
© Dr_Microbe/iStock/Getty Images Pl
An effort to replicate nearly 200 preclinical cancer experiments that generated buzz from 2010 to 2012 found that only about a quarter could be reproduced. Prostate cancer cells are shown in this artist’s illustration.
Unreliable preclinical studies could impede drug development later on

After eight years, a project that tried to reproduce the results of key cancer biology studies has finally concluded. And its findings suggest that like research in the social sciences, cancer research has a replication problem.

Researchers with the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology aimed to replicate 193 experiments from 53 top cancer papers published from 2010 to 2012. But only a quarter of those experiments were able to be reproduced, the team reports in two papers published December 7 in eLife.

The researchers couldn't complete the majority of experiments because the team couldn't gather enough information from the original papers or their authors about methods used, or obtain the necessary materials needed to attempt replication.

Comment: The 'publish or perish' ethos of the research world, coupled with the (sometimes) unconscious understanding that those who fund research desire certain outcomes, has brought science to this dishonest place.

Ice Cube

Russia's Arctic climate science and nuclear-powered icebreakers

Russian icebreaker
Recall my week-and-a-half old post on "scientists" from the "social sciences" field. It was titled Why They Hate and dealt with Russian brand-new family of satellites Arctika-M which are clear and present danger to this whole (primarily Western in origin) Anthropogenic Global Warming Ponzi scheme. Many real scientists from around the world who still have balls and integrity (which is minority in the West) know that Arctic is a reference point to all this climate change. Well, here is some news today:

Two icebreakers are on the way to rescue ice-locked ships on Northern Sea Route. Some 20 ships are either stuck or struggling to sail, as waters in the East Siberia Sea froze earlier than in recent years.Oops! Wait a minute, you are telling me that Russia, which already leads the world in ice-breaker technology and numbers built and being built--leads so much, it is not even fair--was on it and didn't buy this AGW BS? No way, those backward only two-gender, geophysics studying, satellite launching, hydrocarbon and nuclear using, at Tesla laughing Russians knew it all along?
District authorities in the Russian Far East have commissioned two icebreakers to aid vessels currently caught in ice in the East Siberian Sea. The nuclear-powered Yamal is due to arrive in the region by November 20, while the diesel-powered Novorossiisk will arrive by November 15, according to regional authorities in Chukotka. The rescue vessel Spasatel Zaborshchikov is also being sent. The decision was this week taken by Yuri Trutnev, the presidential aide to the Russian Far East. The commissioning of the powerful icebreaking vessels comes as severe sea ice conditions have taken shippers by surprise.

There are now about 20 vessels that either are stuck or struggling to make it across the icy waters. Among them is the UHL Vision that over the last days has been isolated in the waters north of the New Siberian Islands, and the bulk carriers Golden Suek, Golden Pearl, Nordic Quinngua and Nordic Nuluujaak that are located east of that same archipelago. In the area is also oil tanker Vladimir Rusanov, as well as cargo vessels Selenga and Finnish ship Kumpula, all of which are at west-bound escort by nuclear icebreaker Vaigach. Meanwhile, in the port of Pevek are six vessels that also are likely to need assistance to make in out from the area.