Science and Technology links (September 8th, 2017)

I always naively assumed that the discovery that the speed of light is finite was recent. Yet back in the 17th century, scientists had already concluded that the speed of light must be finite due to astronomical aberrations.

Scientists rejuvenated the brain of old mice using a single protein (ARC).

We can use software to write fake reviews that can pass as being useful. This can be used to potentially spam review sites.

Nature reports that injecting the brains of monkeys with stem cells seems to help combat Parkinson’s disease. By the way, we can transform skin cells directly into neurons.

Magic Leap is a company that claims to be working on very advanced augmented reality glasses. They have received more money than God. Their technology is supposedly beyond anything others are working on. We now have access to one of their patents. This might be the first sign of the future. Or not.

As we age, our mitochondria (power cells) become less efficient, fewer in numbers and damaged. UCLA scientists showed how to improve matters in fruit flies by dosing them with a single protein.

Microsoft released Seeing AI, an iPhone app that let you take pictures and then it tries to guess what the picture represents. If you take a picture of an individual, it will try to guess the mood and the age of the individual. The app is free and works well.

The magazine Wired reports on experiments where we took away all forms of sugars from mice. It seems beneficial. A related Canadian study found that eating proteins all day long can help you remain more muscular. In an extensive study based on 18 countries, sugars (carbohydrates) were associated with higher mortality whereas fat was associated with lower mortality.

If you have a PlayStation 4 and you are looking for a relaxing game this week-end, I recommend Uncharted: The Lost Legacy by Naugty Dog. It is a beautiful game.

Nature reports on a new class of senolytics, these are products that kill the senescent cells we accumulate as we age. If you have been paying attention to my posts, senescent cells are currently the “next big thing” in anti-aging. We have pretty much established that if we could safely remove senescent cells from your body, you would be more fit, assuming that you are past your prime. The research question is whether we can safely remove senescent cells, at an affordable cost.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

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