Science and Technology links (May 1st 2021)

  1. Growing your own food could lower your carbon footprint by 3-5%.
  2. In recent years, we have acquired the ability to measure biological age: your chronological age does not necessarily match your biological since some people age faster. We measure biological aging with gene expression. Researchers found that an eight-week program of diet, exercise, and meditation could reduce biological age by two years. The study was small and short.
  3. You may have heard that younger and older people are happier, with middle-aged people reporting less happiness. Kratz suggests that such studies might not have been methodologically sound.
  4. Our brain is not good at producing new neurons. However, we have a rather abundant supply of another brain cell, astrocytes. Researchers took astrocytes and converted them into fully functional, integrated neurons (in mice). (Source: Nature)
  5. A beer might produce between 200,000 and 2 million bubbles before going flat.
  6. We now have the technology to edit your genes, or the genes your babies. CRISPR-Cas9 allows us to edit individual genes in a cell. But editing genes might often be unnecessary for medical purposes: it might suffice to silence or express the gene. Researchers have come up with a new technique called CRISPRoff which might do just that.
  7. The USA is approving the use of drones over people and at night.
  8. Omega 3 supplements may lower inflammation and boost repair mechanisms. (Source: Nature)
  9. You may finally have an effective vaccine against Malaria.
  10. It appears that bimekizumab might be a remarkably effective drug against psoriasis or other related diseases.
  11. New anti-depressants appear to increase suicide risks among teenagers.
  12. When seeking venture capital, female and Asians entrepreneurs may have slightly more luck with investors.
  13. As your cells divide, it is believed that small mutations are introduced. Recent research suggests that even cells that never divide may mutate.
  14. Adult mammals heal from injuries by forming scars. A new drug may prevent scars. It works in mice.
  15. Worms live longer when they have less food. It appears that smelling food is enough to make this effect go away. (Source: Nature)
  16. Reducing your blood pressure is always a good thing.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

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

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