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Researchers Develop Remote-controlled
Cancer Immunotherapy System
A team of researchers from the University of
California, San Diego has developed an ultra-sound-based system that can non-invasively
and remotely control genetic processes in
live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.
The team developed an innovative approach to use mechano-genetics for the remote control of gene and cell activations.
Drug Discovery & Development,
Rhino Poachers Caught by DNA
DNA sequencing and a growing database of
threatened and endangered rhino species
in Africa has been improving prosecution
of poachers, according to a new study. The
genetic evidence has been used in more
than 5,800 cases—and has specifically linked horns and other
artifacts to specific rhino carcasses in 120 of those criminal
proceedings. The database is called the “Rhino DNA Index
System,” or RhODIS for short. Using short tandem repeat (STR)
genotyping at 23 loci, they found researchers could identify
individuals with accuracy similar to that of individual humans.
Nearly All of Australia’s Sea Turtles are
Rising temperatures in the Great Barrier
Reef aren’t just leading to coral bleaching—the sea turtle population is experiencing a significant impact as well. The
warmer climate has turned 99 percent of sea turtle hatchlings
female. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), meaning the sex of an individual turtle is determined
by the incubation temperature during embryonic development.
In short, warmer temperatures produce females, while more
moderate temperatures result in males.
Poison Used on Arrows in Africa Could
be Male Contraceptive
Poison historically used on the tips of
arrows in eastern Africa is the basis for
a new male contraceptive candidate,
according to a recent study. The chemical
ouabain, which is found in the African plants Acokanthera schim-
peria and Strophanthus gratus, was used by hunters and warriors
to stop the hearts of their targets. But an analog of the chemical
is found to essentially bypass the heart effects, and instead crip-
ples the motility of sperm cells, researchers from the University of
Minnesota and the University of Kansas report.
Exclusive Online News
Top 10 Ethical Dilemmas in Science for 2018
This two-part series outlines the emerging ethical dilemmas
and policy issues in science and technology for 2018. The list,
released annually by the John J. Reilly Center for Science,
Technology and Values at the University of Notre Dame, includes topics like digital app stores for your genome, emo-tion-sensing facial recognition and “friendbots.” The researchers note that the list is slanted heavily toward AI and technology-based dilemmas, but
it was designed to draw attention to the ethics of potentially controversial concepts.
Chernobyl to Produce Power—Solar Power
Chernobyl—the site of the Soviet mishap that was the worst
nuclear accident in human history—will soon be producing power
again. This time, it will be solar power. A 1-megawatt solar plant
with 3,800 photovoltaic panels will cover the size of two soccer
fields. The €1 million facility will be able to power a medium-sized
village, according to Solar Chernobyl, a company based in the
Ukraine and Germany that is driving the project.
It happened in February
On Feb. 7, 1932, the neutron was described in an
article in the journal Nature by its discoverer, James
Chadwick, who coined the name for this neutral
particle he discovered present in the nucleus of atoms. Chadwick received the Nobel Prize for Physics
in 1935 for the discovery.
Family portrait of planets
On Feb. 13, 1990, the U.S. space probe Voyager I
began a four-hour series of photographs that captured
the Sun and six planets. In this first “Family Portrait of
the Planets,” the Sun appeared almost star-like and
the planets were mere dots.
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