Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.
This week: Mobile mitochondria used to repair nerve cells, AI solves one of nature’s biggest mysteries, a private company intends a moon landing, a robotic suit that helps the disabled, and a new blood test that can detect early stage Alzheimers.
Scientists Restore Mobility to Mitochondria to Repair Nerve Cells
There’s hope for new treatments for neurological diseases, after scientists just discovered a link between the mobilisation of mitochondria inside nerve cells, and the cells’ subsequent regrowth.
The team thinks that kicking the mitochondria into action could be the key to repairing damage done to the nervous system.
Artificial Intelligence Solves Flatworm Regeneration in Three Days
One of biology’s biggest mysteries – how a sliced up flatworm can regenerate into new organisms – has been solved independently by a computer. The discovery marks the first time that a computer has come up with a new scientific theory without direct human help.
Computer scientists from the University of Maryland programmed a computer to randomly predict how a worm’s genes formed a regulatory network capable of regeneration, before evaluating these predictions through simulation.
Moon Express Set to Become the First Private Company to Explore the Moon
The US government is set to give approval to California-based space company, Moon Express, to explore the surface of the Moon over a two-week period in 2017.
Moon Express has applied to have its MX-1 lander launch to the Moon next year, land on the surface, and conduct a series of analyses that will help prepare the company for potentially carrying payloads to the Moon in the future. If approved, this would be the first time a private enterprise – not a nation – has launched a mission beyond Earth’s orbit.
Soft Exoskeleton Suit May Help The Elderly Walk
No one wants to walk with a walker, but age has a way of making people compromise on their quality of life. The team behind Superflex, which spun out of SRI International in May, thinks there could be another way.
The company is building wearable robotic suits, plus other types of clothing, that can make it easier for soldiers to carry heavy loads or for elderly or disabled people to perform basic tasks. A current prototype is a soft suit that fits over most of the body. It delivers a jolt of supporting power to the legs, arms, or torso exactly when needed to reduce the burden of a load or correct for the body’s shortcomings.
New Blood Test Can Detect Early Stage Alzheimers
What makes Alzheimer’s disease such a terrifying prospect is the inevitability of it all. We have no vaccines or preventive measures, so you either get Alzheimer’s or you don’t. Once you have it, there’s little hope of recovery, because we have no treatment or cure.
But what if we could detect the disease years before its symptoms start to appear, to not only give patients the chance to slow the progression, but also give researchers better insight into how it develops?
A ‘proof of concept’ trial of a new blood test has just been completed, and the team behind has reported “unparalleled accuracy” in detecting the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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