Wonderful…

Image Source: MedPage Today Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, Civilization, COVID-19, DNA, Epidemiology Currently authorized bivalent COVID-19 boosters demonstrated similar protection against symptomatic illness from the XBB/XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariants as from BA.5-related subvariants, according to a CDC study. From December 2022 to January 2023, the bivalent boosters’ vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic infection was a similar 48%Continue reading “Wonderful…”

Life Detector…

An Orbitrap cell. Credit: Ricardo Arevalo Topics: Astrobiology, Astronautics, Biology, Laser, NASA, Planetary Science, Space Exploration As space missions delve deeper into the outer solar system, the need for more compact, resource-conserving, and accurate analytical tools have become increasingly critical—especially as the hunt for extraterrestrial life and habitable planets or moons continues. A University ofContinue reading “Life Detector…”

Permafrost Zombies…

Topics: Biology, Biosecurity, Climate Change Thirteen viruses from tens of thousands of years ago have been recovered and reactivated, according to a preprint paper published in BioRxiv. These threats had been idling in the Siberian tundra for approximately 30,000 to 50,000 years before being brought back. Thanks to climate change, the thawing of the frozen terrain could revive anContinue reading “Permafrost Zombies…”

The Apogee of Evil…

Credit: Erik English. Topics: Biology, Biosecurity, Civilization, COVID-19, Democracy, Existentialism Weaponizing a pathogen sounds like something out of an archetype Bond villain, minus the wrapped-up plot twists by the time the credits roll, and the obligatory fawning of a stereotypical bikinied woman over the intrepid MI-6 spy. Real life doesn’t conclude so cleanly. Before everyContinue reading “The Apogee of Evil…”

Syncing Fireflies…

Topics: Biology, Biomimetics, Biotechnology, Computer Modeling, Mathematics In Japanese folk traditions, they symbolize departing souls or silent, ardent love. Some Indigenous cultures in the Peruvian Andes view them as the eyes of ghosts. And across various Western cultures, fireflies, glow-worms, and other bioluminescent beetles have been linked to a dazzling and at times contradictory arrayContinue reading “Syncing Fireflies…”

Cellulose Shoes…

Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Biology, Biotechnology, Environment, Genetics, Nanotechnology For Hermes, the Greek god of speed, these bacterial sneakers would have been just the ticket. Modern Synthesis co-founders Jen Keane, CEO, and Ben Reeve, CTO, are now setting out to make them available to mere mortals, raising a $4.1 million investment to scale up production. Keane, a graduateContinue reading “Cellulose Shoes…”

Soap-Like Properties…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, DNA, Molecules DNA molecules are not fixed objects – they are constantly getting broken up and glued back together to adopt new shapes. Davide Michieletto explains how this process can be harnessed to create a new generation of “topologically active” materials. Call me naive, but until a few years ago I had never realizedContinue reading “Soap-Like Properties…”

Zombie Apocalypse…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Economics, Environment, Evolution, Existentialism Ed Rybicki, a virologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, concentrated his article in Scientific American on the viruses dominating the news cycle in the early 2000s: Ebola, Marburg, and HIV. Not comforting, but he said, “HIV, which is thought to have first emergedContinue reading “Zombie Apocalypse…”

Microbots and Chemo…

Topics: Biology, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Robotics Chemotherapy disrupts cancer cells’ ability to reproduce by frustrating cell division and damaging the cells’ DNA. In response to the pharmaceutical onslaught, cancer cells acquire mutations that reduce the therapy’s effectiveness. Compounding the challenge of fighting cancer: Under chemical and other stresses, mutation rates increase. A team led by PrincetonContinue reading “Microbots and Chemo…”

Breadbaskets and War…

Topics: Biology, Civics, Civil Rights, Climate Change, Democracy, Existentialism, Politics The cornucopia’s history lies in Greek mythology. There are a lot of different stories it might have originated from, but the most common one tells the story of the lightning god, Zeus. As an infant, Zeus was in great danger from his father, Cronus. ZeusContinue reading “Breadbaskets and War…”