Medicine Nobel Recognizes “Self-Eating” Cell Research.


Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan receives the 2016 Nobel Prize for pioneering work on autophagy.

TEM views of various vesicular compartments. Lysosomes are denoted by “Ly.”

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology for basic research describing a fundamental housekeeping function of the cell—a process called autophagy. From the Greek for “self-eating,” autophagy is the straightforward mechanism by which a cell digests certain large internal structures and semipermanent proteins in a continual cleanup process. The process may have evolved as a response to starvation, in which cells cannibalized some of their own parts in order to continue living. But over the eons it has become an essential tool used by cells to maintain their own health, resist infection and possibly even fight cancer.

Autophagy is particularly important in cells such as neurons, which tend to be long-lived and thus need continual renewal and refurbishment. The process takes place in the cytoplasm, the jelly-like fluid that fills the cell outside the nucleus. As described in a 2008 article in Scientific American, “the workings of the cytoplasm are so complex…that it is constantly becoming gummed up with the detritus of its ongoing operations. Autophagy is, in part, a cleanup process; the trash hauling that enables a cell whose cytoplasm is clotted with old bits of protein and other unwanted sludge to be cleaned out.” Problems with autophagy may contribute to neuronal damage in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Understanding autophagy has taken decades. Research in the 1950s by Belgian scientist Christian de Duve had revealed a previously unknown structure within the cell that de Duve called a lysosome. He and others determined that the organelle contained many enzymes that would, under the right circumstances, tear apart proteins and even other organelles, allowing their constituent parts to be reused or ejected by the cells. De Duve was one of three people to win the Nobel for this and other work in 1974 (pdf).

And there things stood until the 1990s when Ohsumi decided to study the problem in yeast, which are often used in the lab to model the basic processes at work in the cells of higher organisms, including humans. For historical reasons, lysosomes in yeast are called vacuoles.

Many investigators at the time seemed to think that autophagy was important only in special circumstances, such as starvation. Vacuoles form in yeast when nutrients are scarce, which starts a process by which yeast develop spores that can spread presumably to more fertile territory. But Ohsumi viewed this lack of research focus as unique opportunity to have a research field almost entirely to himself. “I chose the transport of materials to the yeast vacuoles as my research project, because no one else was studying it,” Ohsumi said in an interview after winning the Inamori Foundation’s Kyoto Prize in 2012 (he also won the Janssen Award for Biomedical Research earlier this year).

Today, scientists recognize that autophagy is fundamental to a cell’s continued good health and have even specialized in describing particular types of autophagy—such as the digestion and degradation of worn-out mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouse ) and the endoplasmic reticulum, which assembles, folds and delivers proteins to the rest of the cell.

Tech billionaires are asking scientists for help breaking humans out of the computer simulation.


Tech billionaires are asking scientists for help breaking humans out of the computer simulation | Business Insider India http://www.businessinsider.in/Tech-billionaires-are-asking-scientists-for-help-breaking-humans-out-of-the-computer-simulation/articleshow/54661686.cms — shared by UC Mini

British Man Is First To Recover From HIV, Gives Hope To Millions Suffering From The Disease


British Man Is First To Recover From HIV, Gives Hope To Millions Suffering From The Disease http://www.indiatimes.com/health/buzz/british-man-is-first-to-recover-from-hiv-gives-hope-to-millions-suffering-from-the-disease-262846.html — shared by UC Mini

The Internet Was Just Taken Over by a Global Monopoly, And No One Even Noticed


The Internet Was Just Taken Over by a Global Monopoly, And No One Even Noticed http://thefreethoughtproject.com/internet-takeover-monopoly-freedom/ — shared by UC Mini

The First Reprogrammable Quantum Computer Has Been Created


Researchers have published a paper demonstrating how they were able to create the first fully programmable and reprogrammable quantum computer in the world. Other quantum computers in existence at the moment can only run one type of operation.

THE BEGINNING OF REPROGRAMMABLE QUANTUM COMPUTERS

While several other teams and companies, including computer technology giant IBM, are in on the race towards quantum computing, all the quantum computers presented thus far can only run one type of operation—which is ironic, seeing as quantum computers can theoretically run more operations than there are atoms in the universe.

Finally, a team of researchers from the University of Maryland say they have developed the first ever fully programmable and reprogrammable quantum computer. It is made up of just five ytterbium atoms standing as quantum bits or qubits of information, which are electrically charged in a magnetic field.

“Until now, there hasn’t been any quantum-computing platform that had the capability to program new algorithms into their system. They’re usually each tailored to attack a particular algorithm,” said study lead author Shantanu Debnath, a quantum physicist and optical engineer at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Four segmented blade electrodes are used to trap a linear chain of atomic ions. Credit: Emily Edwards
Four segmented blade electrodes are used to trap a linear chain of atomic ions. 

The ions are manipulated using lasers through a process called “optical pumping” in order to set them into the desired quantum energy state. The researchers program and reprogram the ions with a variety of algorithms using lasers to infuse them with precise amounts of energy, which dictates how they interact with each other.

The five-qubit quantum computer was tested on three algorithms previous quantum computers were able to execute quickly: the Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm, the Bernstein-Vazirani algorithm, and the quantum Fourier transform algorithm. The system scored 95%, 90%, and 70% in each of the algorithms respectively.

BABY STEPS TOWARDS SOMETHING COLOSSAL

While “five qubits” sounds cute—like we’re being taken to a journey back to primitive computer technology, the implications of this development are huge.

Quantum computing follows the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment which dictates that a particle is simultaneously in all possible states. This means that in quantum computing, every qubit can be in superposition (both one and zero at the same time), unlike the binary system wherein each bit can only be either 1 or 0. This leads to an exponentially faster computing power.

Quantum mechanics is a very strange field, and quantum computing is theoretically very powerful, if we only knew how to wield its full capacity. And this development is a huge step forward in realizing that theoretical power and possibly transforming it into something usable. It is a development that gives us a preview of a system that researchers the world over are hoping to turn into the new era for computers.

The researchers will be using this new reprogrammable quantum computer for more tests that would hopefully lead to further developments in quantum computing.

”We’d like this system to serve as a test bed for examining the challenges of multiqubit operations, and find ways to make them better,” Debnath said.

Australia Becomes First Country To Begin Microchipping Its Public


Australia may become the first country in the world to microchip its public. NBC news predicted that all Americans would be microchipped by 2017, but it seems Australia may have already beaten them to it.

 
Back in 2010, CBS news reported that the Australian government had a potential RFID microchipping plan in the works related to the health care system. 

Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel prize in medicine for work on autophagy.


Japanese cell biologist is named 2016 laureate for his discoveries on how the body’s cells break down and recycle their own components

The Nobel prize in medicine has been awarded to a Japanese cell biologist for discoveries on how cells break down and recycle their own components.

Yoshinori Ohsumi, 71, will receive the prestigious 8m Swedish kronor (£718,000) award for uncovering “mechanisms for autophagy”, a fundamental process in cells that scientists believe can be harnessed to fight cancer and dementia.

Autophagy is the body’s internal recycling programme – scrap cell components are captured and the useful parts are stripped out to generate energy or build new cells. The process is crucial for preventing cancerous growths, warding off infection and, by maintaining a healthy metabolism, it helps protect against conditions like diabetes.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Monday, Ohsumi said: “As a boy, the Nobel Prize was a dream, but after starting my research, it was out of my picture.”

He said he chose to focus on the cell’s waste disposal system, an unfashionable subject at the time, because he wanted to work on something different.

“I don’t feel comfortable competing with many people, and instead I find it more enjoyable doing something nobody else is doing,” he added. “In a way, that’s what science is all about, and the joy of finding something inspires me.”

Ohsumi, who was in his lab when he received the phone call from Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee, admitted to being in a “slight state of shock” about the news.

The word autophagy originates from two Greek words meaning “self-eating”. It refers to the process in which cellular junk is captured and sealed in sack-like membranes, called autophagosomes. The sealed contents are transported to another structure called the lysosome, once considered little more than the cellular rubbish bin.

By studying the process in yeast cells, Ohsumi identified the main genes involved in autophagy and showed how the proteins they code for come together to build the autophagosome membrane. He later showed that a similar cellular recycling process occurs in human cells – and that our cells would not survive without it.

Juleen Zierath, a member of the Nobel committee, said: “Every day we need to replace about 200 to 300g of protein in our bodies… We are eating proteins every day, about 70g, but that’s not enough to take care of the requirement to make new proteins. Because of this machinery, we’re able to rely on some of our own proteins, maybe the damaged proteins or the long-lived proteins, and they are recycled with this sophisticated machinery so that we can sustain and we survive.”

Professor David Rubinsztein, deputy director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research at the University of Cambridge, said that Ohsumi’s discoveries had provided deep insights into the biology underpinning infectious diseases, cancers, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.

“I’m very happy he’s got this year’s Nobel prize, it’s very well deserved,” he said. “His lab mainly works in yeast. They did the initial screens that enabled the discovery of key genes that are involved in autophagy. So many other labs have exploited his discoveries, directly or indirectly, to see why it’s important in diseases.”

Giovanna Mallucci, a professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, said that Ohsumi’s discoveries were paving the way for new approaches to treating diseases, from cancer to neurodegenerative illnesses.

“I think it’s very important that this area of science been recognised,” she said. “The important principle here is going for common mechanisms in disease. It opens up avenues to treating these disorders that are different from more conventional disease-specific approaches.”

Last year, the prize was shared by three scientists for discoveries that helped doctors fight malaria and infections caused by roundworm parasites.

The Chinese chemist, Tu Youyou, was recognised for her discovery of artemisinin, one of the most effective treatments for malaria. Two other researchers, Satoshi Ōmura, an expert in soil microbes at Kitasato University, and William Campbell, an Irish-born parasitologist at Drew University in New Jersey, shared the other half of the prize, for the discovery of avermectin, a treatment for roundworm parasites.

The winners of the physics, chemistry and peace prizes are to be announced later this week. The economics prize will be announced on Monday 10 October.

20 Profound Quotes By Carl Jung That Will Help You To Better Understand Yourself.


One of the things I love about Carl Jung is the fact that he was a deep philosophical thinker who examined all aspects of the self when writing about the human experience. As you will see in the quotes below, Jung was clear on the notion that we are spiritual beings, and that having a spiritual relationship with oneself truly helps us to understand the deeper aspects of who we are.

 

To some, this idea translates to religion — to finding solace in the existence of something greater than yourself — but I believe this to be a fickle form of spirituality, and one that does not truly help a person get to the core of who they are (or, alternatively, who they are not).

According to www.cgjungpage.org: “Carl Jung was one of the creators of modern depth psychology, which seeks to facilitate a conversation with the unconscious energies which move through each of us. He contributed many ideas which continue to inform contemporary life: complex, archetype, persona, shadow, anima and animus, personality typology, dream interpretation, individuation, and many other ideas. He had a deep appreciation of our creative life and considered spirituality a central part of the human journey.”

This summation of his life and work connects deeply to what Collective Evolution is all about, and shares much in common with what inspired me to create this platform in the first place. In putting together the quotes in this article, I gained an even deeper appreciation for Jung and his work, as I uncovered the conscious themes that were apparent throughout his teachings. He was clearly a deep thinker with an intimate knowledge of his inner being.

Jung also had an appreciation for astrology which, over the past few years, I’ve begun to understand more and more and see profound value in. I’m not talking about opening your daily paper and reading your generalize horoscope, however, but true astrology. Something many of us have never been properly exposed to and thus don’t understand the real meaning of   or value. (Maybe we’ll have to make a short documentary on this one day!)

But enough on my own musings — onto the quotes! Here are 20 from Jung that I feel not only serve as an accurate representation of his work, but also provide much to reflect on.

20 Profound Quotes By Carl Jung That Will Help You To Better Understand Yourself

1.”One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”

2. “Don’t hold on to someone who’s leaving, otherwise you won’t meet the one who’s coming.”

3. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

4. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

5. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

6. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

7. “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”

8. “If you are a gifted person, it doesn’t mean that you gained something. It means you have something to give back.”

9. “Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.”

10. “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

11. “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”

12. “Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”

13. “Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.”

14. “A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”

15. “Your perception will become clear only when you can look into your soul.”

16. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

17. “What you resist, persists.”

18. “A dream is a small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens up to that primeval cosmic night that was the soul, long before there was the conscious ego.”

19. “We may think that we fully control ourselves. However, a friend can easily reveal something about us that we have absolutely no idea about.”

20. “Everything about other people that doesn’t satisfy us helps us to better understand ourselves.”

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