Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for March 27th, 2017

schwit1 quotes ScienceAlert: In experiments involving mice, the team found that lungs produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals’ circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco also discovered a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells that makes this happen inside the lung tissue — cells that were incorrectly assumed to mainly reside in bone marrow. “This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs — that they’re not just for respiration, but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood, ” says one of the researchers, Mark R. Looney. The platelet-producing cells actually migrate from the bone marrow to the lungs. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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17-Year-Old Corrects NASA Mistake In Data From The ISS

Posted by kenmay on March - 27 - 2017

“A British teenager has contacted scientists at NASA to point out an error in a set of their own data, ” writes the BBC. An anonymous reader quotes their report. A-level student Miles Soloman found that radiation sensors on the International Space Station (ISS) were recording false data… The correction was said to be “appreciated” by NASA, which invited him to help analyse the problem… The research was part of the TimPix project from the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), which gives students across the UK the chance to work on data from the space station, looking for anomalies and patterns that might lead to further discoveries. What Miles had noticed was that when nothing hit the detector, a negative reading was being recorded. But you cannot get negative energy… It turned out that Miles had noticed something no-one else had — including the NASA experts. NASA said it was aware of the error, but believed it was only happening once or twice a year. Miles had found it was actually happening multiple times a day. There’s a video of the student — and his teacher — describing the discovery, a story which Miles says his friends at high school listen to with “a mixture of jealousy and boredom” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The classic 90s-era videogames StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War will be re-released this summer — remastered in 4K Ultra High Definition. An anonymous reader quotes The Verge: It will also include a number of updates, such as remastered sound, new additional illustrations for the campaign missions, new matchmaking capabilities, the ability to connect to Blizzard App, the ability to save to the cloud, and more… Blizzard also announced that it was issuing a new update to StarCraft: Brood War this week, which will include some bug fixes and anti-cheat measures, but will also make StarCraft Anthology (which includes StarCraft and Brood War) available to download for free. Kotaku reports that the news was announced at this weekend’s I

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Mass-produced artificial blood is now a real possibility

Posted by kenmay on March - 27 - 2017

Doctors dream of having artificial blood always on hand, but the reality has usually been very different. While you can produce red blood cells in a lab, the current technique (which prods stem cells into action) only nets a small number of them at best. British researchers appear to have found the solution, however: they’ve developed a technique that can reliably produce an unlimited number of red blood cells. The trick is to create “immortalized” premature red blood cells that you can culture as much as you like, making mass production a real possibility. The biggest challenge is translating the technique to commercial manufacturing. Scientists have produced a few liters of blood in the lab, but there’s a big difference between that and the massive volumes needed to serve even a single hospital. Although the UK’s National Health Service is planning to trial artificial blood this year , this new technique won’t be involved. As it is, you wouldn’t likely see a wholesale switch to artificial blood even if this new method was ready for the real world. Any mass production is most likely to focus on people with rare blood types that can’t always count on donations. Even that limited effort could make a huge difference, mind you. Hospitals could always have a consistent supply of rare blood, so you wouldn’t have to worry about them running out in a life-or-death situation. Via: BBC , Digital Journal Source: University of Bristol , Nature

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