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Regeneration in distantly related species: common strategies and pathways

All animals capable of regenerating a lost body part, from an organ or a limb to the whole organism, use a common set of genes. This is the striking discovery of a team of researchers from the Center for Complexity and Biosystems of the University of Milan, led by Caterina La Porta. They analyzed the genetic activity in regenerating tissues from widely different species—from hydra to mice. They found that some of the genes active at the beginning of the regeneration process are the same in very different species, including mammals which have lost this function during evolution, except for the restoration of the liver. The discovery of this shared genetic signature is of great importance to understand how regeneration evolved and could be useful for future regeneration therapies.

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A state Supreme Court justice’s open letter to AI

Let me start with two brief stories about social change. The first concerns changing laws and values about relationships. Only in 1967-in the aptly named case of Loving v. Virginia-did the United States Supreme Court recognize that laws prohibiting interracial marriage violated the United States Constitution. Nineteen years before, in 1948, the Supreme Court of…

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Will the Future of AI Learning Depend More on Nature or Nurture?

NYU’s Yann LeCun and Gary Marcus debated whether the future of AI learning is more about nature or nurture

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Projects | The Francis Crick Institute

The Crick is dedicated to researching the science underlying health and disease, turning discoveries into treatments to improve lives. Free exhibitions & events.

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A First: Israeli Scientists "Have Used the Human Mind to Control Nano Robots Inside a Living Creature"

Researchers at Bar Ilan University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, both in Israel, have developed new technology that allows tiny bots to release drugs into the body controlled by human thought alone. The test involved a man using his…

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Artificial Wombs Just Got One Step Closer to Reality

Scientists have sustained human embryos in a petri dish for 13 days, shattering the previous record of nine days. The breakthrough will allow researchers to study early fetal development in unprecedented detail, and brings us one step closer to viable “artificial wombs.” But it’s adding fuel to an already heated ethical debate.

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Edge.org contributors discuss the future of AI – Machine Intelligence Research Institute

In January, nearly 200 public intellectuals submitted essays in response to the 2015 Edge.org question, “What Do You Think About Machines That Think?” (available online). The essay prompt began: In recent years, the 1980s-era philosophical discussions about artificial intelligence (AI)-whether computers can “really” think, refer, be conscious, and so on-have led to new conversations about… Read more »

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Researchers unveil DNA-guided 3-D printing of human tissue

A UCSF-led team has developed a technique to build tiny models of human tissues, called organoids, more precisely than ever before using a process that turns human cells into a biological equivalent of LEGO bricks. These mini-tissues in a dish can be used to study how particular structural features of tissue affect normal growth or go awry in cancer. They could be used for therapeutic drug screening and to help teach researchers how to grow whole human organs.

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How Computers Could Change Pure Mathematics

Herbert Simon, the Nobel-prize winning economist, was a techno-enthusiast. In 1956 he predicted that, “within 10 years, computers would beat the world …

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Cat Eyes and Other Radical Ideas to Re-Engineer Humans for the Future

If we don’t do something about climate change, humanity is screwed. But do what? Carbon emissions keep creeping up, geoengineering is potentially dangerous, and we continue to stew in endless political debates. One bioethicist has a radical idea: Re-engineer humans for a better planet.

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The Era of Artificial Hearts Has Begun

For the second time ever, a truly permanent artificial heart was implanted into a patient. This is just the beginning.