Science and Technology links (February 1st 2020)

  1. Almost all climate predictions are based on the so-called “business as usual” model, yet this model is based on assumptions that are unrealistically pessimistic. (Source: Nature)
  2. African populations have Neanderthal ancestry. This might be indicative that people from Europe went back to Africa over the centuries.
  3. The oceans are not acidic, their PH is about 8.0. (Source: Forbes)
  4. As we age, we tend to accumulate “senescent cells”: these are cells that should be dead but somehow linger around. We know how to kill them selectively with some success. Recent research suggests that brain neurodegeneration might be caused by senescent brain cells. Neurons themselves do not become senescent, as far as I know, but supporting cells like astrocytes do. This suggests that we may improve brain health in older people with therapies to remove senescent cells. Similarly, senescent cells might cause osteoporosis, the phenomenon whereas the bones of older people become brittles.
  5. Mitochondria are small cells that live in our own cells and produce our energy. We have now learned that mitochondria also live inside the blood stream. It is unclear what purpose they serve, if any.
  6. How frequently a couple kisses is a strong predictor of relationship satisfaction.
  7. Researchers have transplanted stem cells as “cell sheets” on the heart of human patients. The hope is that these sheets contribute to repair the heart of the patients.
  8. Most of us at some point suffer from atherosclerosis, the accumulation of plaques in our arteries. Researchers developed a nanotherapy that helps reduce atherosclerosis in mice.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

3 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (February 1st 2020)”

  1. I think classifying mitochondria as “cells” is at best misleading, they’re usually viewed as organelles of cells. Free-floating mitochondria are an interesting find, though.

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