This is awesome! And so, so perfect! – JM, Bitch with Wi-Fi
This is awesome! And so, so perfect! – JM, Bitch with Wi-Fi
Medieval bishop’s theory resembles modern concept of multiple universes
A 13th century bishop’s theory about the formation of the universe has intriguing parallels with the theory of multiple universes. This was uncovered by the the Ordered Universe project at Durham University, which has brought together researchers from humanities and the sciences in a radically collaborative way. The project explores the conceptual world of Robert Grosseteste, one of the most dazzling minds of his generation (1170 to 1253): sometime bishop of Lincoln, church reformer, theologian, poet, politician, and one of the first to absorb, teach and debate new texts on natural phenomena that were becoming available to western scholars. These texts, principally the natural science of the greek scholar Aristotle, were translated from Arabic into Latin during the course of the 12th and 13th centuries, along with a wonderful array of material from Islamic and Jewish commentators. They revolutionised the intellectual resources of western scholars, posing challenges to established ways of thinking. We now recognise that the thinking they stimulated prepared the way for the scientific advances of the 16th and 17th centuries, too. Nearly 800 years later the example of Grosseteste’s works provides the basis for doing great interdisciplinary work, offering unexpected challenges to both modern scientists and humanities experts alike, especially in working closely together. (via Medieval bishop’s theory resembles modern concept of multiple universes)
Artificial blood ‘will be manufactured in factories’
It is the stuff of gothic science fiction: men in white coats in factories of blood and bones.
But the production of blood on an industrial scale could become a reality once a trial is conducted in which artificial blood made from human stem cells is tested in patients for the first time.
It is the latest breakthrough in scientists’ efforts to re-engineer the body, which have already resulted in the likes of 3d-printed bones and bionic limbs.
Marc Turner, the principal researcher in the £5 million programme funded by the Wellcome Trust, told The Telegraph that his team had made red blood cells fit for clinical transfusion.
Prof Turner has devised a technique to culture red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – cells that have been taken from humans and ‘rewound’ into stem cells. Biochemical conditions similar to those in the human body are then recreated to induce the iPS cells to mature into red blood cells – of the rare universal blood type O.
“Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being,” said Prof Turner.
There are plans in place for the trial to be concluded by late 2016 or early 2017, he said. It will most likely involve the treatment of three patients with Thalassaemia, a blood disorder requiring regular transfusions. The behaviour of the manufactured blood cells will then be monitored.
“The cells will be safe,” he said, adding that there are processes whereby cells can be removed.
The technique highlights the prospect of a limitless supply of manufactured type-O blood, free of disease and compatible with all patients.
“Although blood banks are well-stocked in the UK and transfusion has been largely safe since the Hepatitis B and HIV infections of the 1970s and 1980s, many parts of the world still have problems with transfusing blood,” said Prof Turner.
However, scaling up the process to meet demand will be a challenge, as Prof Turner’s laboratory conditions are not replicable on an industrial scale. “A single unit of blood contains a trillion red blood cells. There are 2 million units of blood transfused in the UK each year,” he said.
Currently, it costs approximately £120 to transfuse a single unit of blood. If Prof Turner’s technique is scaled up efficiently, it could substantially reduce costs.
Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said: “One should not underestimate the challenge of translating the science into routine procedures for the clinic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the challenge Professor Turner and colleagues have set out to address, which is to replace the human blood donor as the source of supply for life-saving transfusions.”
For the moment, factories of blood remain the stuff of fiction.
See on Scoop.it – The Future of Water & Waste
Our technology can get us to space, but once there, we still aren’t too flexible. Earth orbit is clogged with debris because we simply don’t have an easy way to clean it up.Wildcat2030’s insight:
waste is a problem even in space..
Remember “Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future”? It’s time for the annual sky clearance!
The black asphalt roads of urban centres are notorious for soaking up the sun, often helping make cities uncomfortably hot during the summer. Special piping technology from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, however, is offering a way to trap this heat and use it elsewhere, potentially transforming urban streets into giant solar collectors.
The idea is simple: the sun-warmed asphalt can be used to heat up water, which is pumped through tubes embedded a few centimetres below the road surface. This has the dual effect of cooling the asphalt, prolonging the lifespan of the road, and heating water which can be used either as is, or to produce electricity.
Wow – using hot roads to generate steam for electricity and heating. This is brilliant!
The dark side of the universe is whispering, but scientists are still not sure what it is saying.
Samuel Ting, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Nobel laureate particle physicist, said Wednesday that his $1.6 billion cosmic ray experiment on the International Space Station had found evidence of “new physical phenomena” that could represent dark matter, the mysterious stuff that serves as the gravitational foundation for galaxies and whose identification would rewrite some of the laws of physics.
The results, he said, confirmed previous reports that local interstellar space is crackling with an unexplained abundance of high energy particles, especially positrons, the antimatter version of the familiar electrons that comprise electricity and chemistry. They could be colliding particles of dark matter. Or they could be could be coming from previously undiscovered pulsars or other astronomical monsters, throwing off wild winds of radiation.
The tantalizing news is that even with the new data, physicists cannot tell yet which is the right answer, but they are encouraged that they soon might be able to. (via Tantalizing New Clues Into the Mysteries of Dark Matter – NYTimes.com)