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Stem Cell Breakthrough Opens Door To Gay Couples Having Their Own Babies

Sperm-egg

A stem cell research study at Cambridge University, England has potentially opened the door to same-sex couples having their own babies, reports CBS Atlanta.

The breakthrough achieved in the study shows that fully “manufactured” babies can be created from the skin cells of two adults of the same gender.

Reported in the journal Cell, researchers paired stem cell lines from embryos with the skin of five different adults. The experiment had been previously successful in creating live baby mice but this is the first study on humans in which engineered cells were compared to aborted fetuses to determine an identical match.

Azim Surani, Wellcome Trust project leader and professor of physiology and reproduction at Cambridge, said, “We have succeeded in the first and most important step of this process, which is to show we can make these very early human stem cells in a dish."

Although concerns regarding ethical issues have been raised, Jacob Hanna, the specialist leading the project’s Israeli arm, said the study “has already caused interest from gay groups because of the possibility of making egg and sperm cells from parents of the same sex.”


You Are Not Alone (Maybe): The Arguments for and Against Alien Life - VIDEO

Pbs

It's estimated that there are 200 billion habitable planets in the our galaxy.

This PBS explainer looks at the arguments for and against the notion that we are not alone in the universe.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "You Are Not Alone (Maybe): The Arguments for and Against Alien Life - VIDEO" »


Study Suggests Attractive Men Are More Selfish

Zoolander Models

We've all been there: we were introduced to that really good looking guy at a party or at the club or some other social setting, and even though he was hotter than a rooster in socks the more he talked the more turned off you got as it became clear that he was kind of a self-focused ass. According to a study at Brunel University London this isn't just happenstance. Rather, attractive men as a whole tend to be more selfish.

The study, titled "Bodily Attractiveness and Egalitarianism are Negatively Related in Males" and published in Evolutionary Psychology, took 125 male and female participants, scored them on generalized attractiveness measures, and then took part in an economics experiment where they were asked to share money with someone else. The results found that men who were ranked as more attractive tended to have a bias towards selfishness. The research also found that attractiveness was at least as important as wealth when it came to attitudes of altruism and egalitarianism. Interestingly, the same was not true for women.

Lead researcher Dr. Michael Price warned against taking the findings as gospel, however, saying:

The correlation between attractiveness and selfishness was nowhere close to being perfect, and many very attractive men will also be very altruistic and egalitarian.

Additionally, these attitudes tended to be subconscious, and being made aware of their biases helped men act against them and engage in more generosity.


Scientists Discover Potent Agent That Could Lead To An HIV Vaccine

HIV and T-Cell

A drug candidate has been created by scientists at the Jupiter, Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute that could pave the way for an HIV vaccine, Science Daily reports. In their studies, the drug candidate blocked every strain of HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIV that has been isolated from humans or rhesus macaques, including the hardest-to-stop variants. What's more is that the drug blocks much higher concentrations of the virus than would be encountered in normal human-to-human transmission and is effective for up to eight months after injection. In short, the way the vaccine would work is that it binds to two sites on the surface of the virus simultaneously, preventing entry of HIV into the host cell.

Said TSRI Research Associate Matthew Gardner, the first author of the study with Lisa M. Kattenhorn of Harvard Medical School:

When antibodies try to mimic the receptor, they touch a lot of other parts of the viral envelope that HIV can change with ease. We've developed a direct mimic of the receptors without providing many avenues that the virus can use to escape, so we catch every virus thus far.

(Photo credit: NIH)


Spot The Robotic Dog Is Here To Give You Nightmares About The Robot Uprising - VIDEO

Screenshot 2015-02-11 18.34.06

Do you remember BigDog, Boston Dynamics’s terrifying (but also cool) quadruped robot designed to assist soldiers through unfavorably rough terrain? Of course you do; it’s been haunting your nightmares of the robot uprising. Never one to leave well enough alone, the Google-funded company is back with a smaller, more nimble version of its canine-like robot they’re calling Spot.

Spot, like its larger relatives, moves around using a system of four articulated legs, an on-board computer, and an array of sensors that allow the machine to adapt to its surroundings much in the same way that an actual animal would.

As uncanny as it is to watch Spot dressage-trot its way through Boston Dynamics HQ, it’s difficult not to be impressed at the moments in which its behavior very closely resembles that of a living animal.

As Neel Patel explains in Wired, much of the life-like behavior showcased in the video is a natural outgrowth of Spot’s programming that’s designed to allow it to respond to external stimulus. In those moments where the two Spot units bump into one another, the machines attempt to correct the collision by orienting themselves in relation to one another. Programmatically, Spot’s making sure to move unencumbered. Visually, however, it looks like they’re purposefully trying to move together.

If the Matrix has taught us anything it’s that we should all consider investing in handheld electromagnetic pulse devices.

Check out footage of Boston Dynamics’s newest four-legged terror AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Spot The Robotic Dog Is Here To Give You Nightmares About The Robot Uprising - VIDEO" »


A Bite-Sized Science Lesson that Asks 'How Small Is An Atom?' - WATCH

Atoms

How small is an atom? Very, very small. 500,000 stacked end-to-end would cross the diameter of a single human hair. So small that if all of the "empty space" that comprises over 99% of an atom's volume were removed, the collective atoms of humanity would fit in a teaspoon. 

Kurzgesagt has the bite-sized science lesson with cute animated birds AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "A Bite-Sized Science Lesson that Asks 'How Small Is An Atom?' - WATCH" »


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