Science and Technology links (July 10th 2021)

  1. We use CRISPR, a state-of-the-art gene editing technique, to edit the genes of live human patients in a clinical trials.
  2. A clinical trial has begun regarding an HIV vaccine.
  3. If you choose to forgo meat to fight climate change, you may lower your individual’s lifetime warming contribution by 2 to 4%.
  4. Age-related testosterone loss may strongly contribute to brain dysfunction in older men.
  5. Israel has used autonomous drone swarms to hunt down its adversaries.
  6. Cleaner air has improved agricultural outputs.
  7. Drinking alcohol could extend or reduce your life depending on how you go about it. Drinking to excess could be harmful but moderate alcohol consumption with meals could be beneficial.
  8. Injectable gene editing compounds have extended the lifespan of mice by more than 30% while improving physical performance.
  9. A gene therapy may get your heart to regenerate after a heart attack.
  10. Ocean acidification does not appear to harm coral reef fishes:

    Together, our findings indicate that the reported effects of ocean acidification on the behaviour of coral reef fishes are not reproducible, suggesting that behavioural perturbations will not be a major consequence for coral reef fishes in high CO2 oceans. (Source: Nature)

  11. It appears that when an embryon is formed, it briefly undergoes a rejuvenation effect. It would explain how old people can give birth to a young child.
  12. We have long believed that Alzheimer’s was caused by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain. It appears that it could be, instead, due to the disappearance of soluble proteins in the brain. If so, the cure for Alzheimer’s would entail restoring a normal level of proteins instead of removing misfolded proteins.
  13. A new weight-loss drug was approved to fight against obesity.
  14. Unity Biotechnology announced some positive results in a clinical trial using senolytics (drugs that kill old cells) to treat macular degeneration (a condition that make old people blind).
  15. Lobsters are believed to experience negligible senescence, meaning that they do not age the way we do. They also appear to avoid cancer.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

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

2 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (July 10th 2021)”

  1. I can’t find the source now, but a researcher was skeptical about the supposed beneficial effect of moderate alcohol consumption. He took the original questionnaire data and eliminated data points from people who said they consumed no alcohol at all, but left those who answered “rarely” or higher. The effect disappeared. The detrimental effects of alcohol now had a simple linear relationship.

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