Science
Saturday, May 18, 2024

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The German-born physicist Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955), developed the first of his groundbreaking theories while working as a clerk in the Swiss patent office in Bern. After making his name with four scientific articles published in 1905, he went on to win worldwide fame for his general theory of relativity and a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his explanation of the phenomenon known as the photoelectric effect.

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Advances in fields such as artificial intelligence, wireless sensing, imaging diagnostics, lab-on-a-chip, and molecular biology will enable better choices in when, where, and how individuals receive care, thus making healthcare more convenient, affordable, and accessible. The winner will be the team whose technology most accurately diagnoses a set of diseases independent of a healthcare professional or facility, and that provides the best consumer user experience with their device.

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The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a $10 million global competition to stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies, making reliable health diagnoses available directly to "health consumers" in their homes. 

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Critical shortage of donor organs for treating end-stage organ failure highlights the urgent need for generating organs from pluripotent stem cells. Despite many reports describing functional "cell" differentiation, no studies have succeeded in generating a three-dimensional vascularized "organ" such as liver until now.

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Takanori Takebe and Hideki Taniguchi at Yokohama City University showed the generation of vascularized and functional human liver from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) by transplantation of in vitro grown liver buds (rudimentary liver). This study demonstrates a proof-of-concept that organ bud transplantation offers an alternative approach for treating organ failure by generating a 3D and vascularized organ.

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Is time in the sun a new weapon against asthma?  The amount of time asthma patients spend soaking up the sun may have an impact on the illness, researchers have suggested.  A team at King's College London said low levels of vitamin D, which is made by the body in sunlight, was linked to a worsening of symptoms. Its latest research shows the vitamin calms an over-active part of the immune system in asthma. However, treating patients with vitamin D has not yet been tested.

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People with asthma can find it hard to breathe when their airways become inflamed, swollen and narrowed. Most people are treated with steroids, but the drugs do not work for all. "We know people with high levels of vitamin D are better able to control their asthma - that connection is quite striking," said researcher Prof Catherine Hawrylowicz.

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A "Gate to Hell" has emerged from ruins in southwestern Turkey, Italian archaeologists have announced. Known as Pluto's Gate -- Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin -- the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition. Historic sources located the site in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now called Pamukkale, and described the opening as filled with lethal mephitic vapors.

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"This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death," the Greek geographer Strabo (64/63 BC -- about 24 A.D.) wrote.  "I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell," he added.