A decade after the first person was cured of HIV, another is in remission

A decade after the first person was cured of HIV, another is in remission

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The HIV and AIDS epidemics have claimed the lives of millions of people, and now there may be a cure, but there’s a big catch.   News has emerged from the UK that a man has been in remission from HIV for a year and...

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Researchers have created a digital nose that can sniff out disease

Researchers have created a digital nose that can sniff out disease

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are many ways to detect disease, and one of the most effective ways is using smell, so scientists have developed a digital nose.   An electronic nose typically identifies odours by detecting the “fingerprint” of a chemical compound across an array of sensors that are...

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Scientists built an 8 base pair DNA double helix with potential to create new lifeforms

Scientists built an 8 base pair DNA double helix with potential to create new lifeforms

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF DNA is the universes’ most advanced programming language, and we might have just given it  a boost of infinite proportions.   DNA is wonderful. And powerful. After all, it gave us everything from the dinosaurs and dolphins, to us, and, of course, the world’s first...

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Experts believe Chinese scientist who Gene-Hacked twins “likely boosted their brainpower”

Experts believe Chinese scientist who Gene-Hacked twins “likely boosted their brainpower”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Genetic enhancement has a variety of unknown impacts on human biology and cognition, and we are no where near to understanding them.   When now infamous Chinese scientists He Jiankui edited the genes of human twin babies last year, he was reportedly trying to make them immune...

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Experimental vaccine for Celiac disease heads to human trials

Experimental vaccine for Celiac disease heads to human trials

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF About 1 in 100 people have Celiac disease, and this could be the cure they’re all waiting for.   Recently there have been several interesting vaccine breakthroughs, including the development of Contagious Vaccines, that mean vaccinate one person and suddenly everyone has the immunity, and...

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World first as nanobots get to work choking cancers to death

World first as nanobots get to work choking cancers to death

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Nanobots are one of the ultimate medical frontiers and science fiction classics, and they’re slowing beginning to show their promise.   Recently I discussed how we’re building the first generation of enzyme powered nanobots capable of hunting and tracking down disease within the human body...

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World first as scientists get the “Extinction Gene” to work in mammals

World first as scientists get the “Extinction Gene” to work in mammals

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Gene drives over rule the laws of genetic inheritance, which means you can cure inherited genetic diseases forever, wipe out the entire human population, and everything in between.   The phrase Gene Drive often sends a shudder down a scientist’s spine, one of awe and...

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Genetic engineering breakthrough turns chickens into egg laying medicine factories

Genetic engineering breakthrough turns chickens into egg laying medicine factories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to produce drugs and medicines cheaply is important, and this breakthrough breaks grounds on all kinds of fronts.   Ordinarily, when scientists want to produce proteins to use in medicine they have to use techniques that are costly and complex. Recently, however, in...

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MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI gets more deeply embedded into the world’s digital fabric, in everything from self-driving cars to high frequency stock trading, it’s crucial we know how it makes its decisions.   A child is presented with a picture of various shapes and is asked to...

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Researchers 3D printed a working spinal chord implant in 1.6 seconds

Researchers 3D printed a working spinal chord implant in 1.6 seconds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today if you break your spine, you’re paralysed, but paralysis is increasingly no longer for life.   3D Bio-Printing, an offshoot of its better known cousin 3D Printing, lets scientists manufacture everything from real bones, cartilage, corneas and kidneys, to hearts, ovaries, skin, and teeth, by laying...

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Woebot, the World’s first AI counsellor, manages 2 million conversations a week

Woebot, the World’s first AI counsellor, manages 2 million conversations a week

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Mental health issues seem to plague modern society, but the number of people who seek out professional help is minimal, so companies are developing AI counsellors that are free and accessible anywhere 24/7   Mental health has been increasingly on people’s minds, if you’ll excuse...

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Revolutionary bio-electronic implant heals nerves, then vanishes

Revolutionary bio-electronic implant heals nerves, then vanishes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many people around the world suffer from what is today irreparable nerve damage, but this new technology can repair these nerves, restore bodily functions, and disappear without trace.   Lots of people, especially the military, are increasingly interested in creating electronic devices that disappear once...

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Google creates a neural network that picks out individual voices in video

Google creates a neural network that picks out individual voices in video

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Not only does this technology have benefits for video search, but it also has surveillance and privacy implications.   Recently I talked about a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancement from Hitachi that let’s its AI’s pick out and follow individuals in a crowd – something that...

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MIT discover a way to mass produce cell sized robots

MIT discover a way to mass produce cell sized robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Small robots have their benefits too, in everything from the oil and gas industries to healthcare, now we can manufacture them en masse.   Recently I’ve written about not just tiny robots, but microscopic ones – tiny molecule sized robots that are being used to...

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A lab grown brain just spontaneously started producing its own brain waves

A lab grown brain just spontaneously started producing its own brain waves

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF While we are becoming increasingly adept at growing brains, we still don’t know much about them.   Researchers are doing a lot with brains – whether it’s growing them in jars, or even 3D printing them, but now a team of neuroscientists from the University...

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World first as Chinese surgeon performs remote robotic surgery across a 5G network

World first as Chinese surgeon performs remote robotic surgery across a 5G network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Globally there is a shortage of trained surgeons, but robo-surgeons and 5G networks could soon solve that.   Recently dentists in China used the first autonomous robot dentist to replace a patients teeth, and the US Military started trialling what they call “remote robotic procedures” that...

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World first as scientists create nanobot swarms capable of performing surgeries in humans

World first as scientists create nanobot swarms capable of performing surgeries in humans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By future standards today’s most advanced surgical techniques will look neanderthal, nanobots and nanomachines that can perform in vivo surgery are the future.   A ground breaking new method of controlling nanobots that “emulates natural swarm behaviour” has been unveiled by scientists in Hong Kong...

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World first as scientists use tractor beams to make objects dance

World first as scientists use tractor beams to make objects dance

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Increasingly the things we think of as science fact are becoming reality, but tractor beams also have more practical applications, such as transforming healthcare and manufacturing.   In addition to creating tractor beams like the ones straight out of Star Trek researchers have also been making more...

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RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A revolutionary new way to deliver mRNA into the body in aerosol form makes genetically editing faulty genes easier than ever before.   Recent there have been some almost miraculous medical breakthroughs, from treating patients with inherited genetic diseases with in vivo gene therapy treatments...

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Dutch man, 69, applies to legally change his age to 49 years old

Dutch man, 69, applies to legally change his age to 49 years old

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As anti-aging technologies arrive one day the elderly may well have the bodies and minds much younger than their years, and that will cause a societal dilemma.   There’s a lot more than you might realise going on in the world of ageing, or more...

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