120. Eye Test For Autism, Countdown to Artemis 1, Reversible Gene-Editing Technology


Manage episode 339241862 series 2832936
Av Adam Buckingham oppdaget av Player FM og vårt samfunn — opphavsrett er eid av utgiveren, ikke Plaer FM, og lyd streames direkte fra deres servere. Trykk på Abonner knappen for å spore oppdateringer i Player FM, eller lim inn feed URLen til andre podcast apper.
Show Notes:

Eye tests can screen children for autism | Brighter Side News (01:11)

  • According to a study from Washington State University researchers, measuring how the eyes’ pupils change in response to light could potentially be used to screen for autism in young children.

    • Known as the pupillary light reflex

    • Adjustments via the muscles connected to the lens, ciliary bodies, and muscles that make up the iris are stimulated by several nerves.

  • The study builds on earlier work to support the continued development of a portable technology that could provide a quick and easy way to screen children for autism.

    • Hope to catch children earlier in their development when interventions are more likely to benefit them.

  • First author on the study, Georgina Lynch, stated:

    • “We know that when we intervene as early as ages 18 to 24 months it has a long-term impact on their outcomes … Intervening during that critical window could be the difference between a child acquiring verbal speech and staying nonverbal. Yet, after 20 years of trying we still have not changed the average age of diagnosis here in the U.S., which is four years old.”

  • Process of the study:

    • Tested 36 children aged 6 to 17 who had been previously diagnosed with autism

    • Tested a group of 24 typically developing children who served as controls.

    • Pupillary light reflexes were tested using a handheld monocular pupillometer device, which measures one eye at a time.

  • Children with autism showed significant differences in the time it took for their pupils to constrict in response to light.

    • Pupils also took longer to return to their original size after light was removed.

  • Supported by funding from the Washington Research Foundation, Georgina Lynch is now working to expand testing to a group of 300 or more 2- to 4-year-olds across a larger number of clinical sites.

    • Preparing to file for FDA premarket approval for the screening device

SpaceX's 'Mechazilla' lifts 33-engine Super Heavy onto the launch pad for the first time | Interesting Engineering (05:51)

  • SpaceX's Starship Super Heavy booster prototype, Booster 7, is back on the launch pad.

    • 33 next-gen Raptor engines attached at the launch pad

  • It's all part of SpaceX's pre-launch preparations as the private space firm gears up toward the orbital maiden flight of Starship.

    • eventually lift astronauts to the moon and Mars

  • Musk posted a photo of Booster 7 being held by Mechazilla's arms, with the caption "Mechazilla loads Starship on launchpad."

  • SpaceX is preparing for static fire tests, with one of them set to fire up all 33 Raptor engines on Booster 7 at the same time.

    • Last time only fired 20

  • SpaceX will be a step closer to performing its first-ever orbital flight of Starship — the massive milestone could take place as soon as next month.

  • Several customers have also penned agreements with SpaceX for Starship flights, including NASA and Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

    • Last year, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to send astronauts back to the surface of the moon.

NASA's launch countdown for Artemis 1 moon mission begins today | Space.com (11:14)

  • At 10:23 a.m. EDT (1423 GMT) Aug. 27th, the countdown clock began ticking down to the planned launch of NASA's Artemis 1 mission, an ambitious first flight to the moon by the agency's most powerful rocket ever

    • The Space Launch System (SLS)

    • Orion spacecraft onboard

  • Artemis 1 is the vanguard mission of NASA's Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2025.

  • The mission flight will send an uncrewed Orion capsule on a 42-day trip to orbit the moon and return to Earth to test if the spacecraft is ready to carry astronauts.

  • If this mission succeeds,

    • NASA will follow it up with Artemis 2, a crewed trip around the moon in 2024.

    • Lead to the Artemis 3 crewed lunar landing a year later (2025).

  • The ultimate goal, NASA has said, is to fly yearly missions to the moon after Artemis 3, stage crewed landings from a Gateway space station in lunar orbit and then aim for crewed flights to Mars.

  • There is a 70% chance of good weather for the Artemis 1 launch

    • Two-hour window in which to launch Artemis 1 to allow for some wiggle room

Recently Discovered Molecule Kills Hard-To-Treat Cancers | SciTechDaily (17:09)

  • University of Texas at Dallas researchers created a molecule (ERX-41) that kills a variety of difficult-to-treat cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer, by taking advantage of a weakness in cells that was not previously targeted by existing drugs.

  • There are few treatment options for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC)

    • Generally affects women under 40 and has poorer outcomes than other types of breast cancer.

  • Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn, a co-corresponding author of the study, has dedicated more than ten years of his career to developing small molecules that target protein-protein interactions in cells.

  • Ahn talked on the compound:

    • “The ERX-41 compound did not kill healthy cells, but it wiped out tumor cells regardless of whether the cancer cells had estrogen receptors .. In fact, it killed the triple-negative breast cancer cells better than it killed the ER-positive cells.”

  • ERX-41 binds to a cellular protein called lysosomal acid lipase A (LIPA)

    • LIPA is found in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum, an organelle that processes and folds proteins.

  • Cancer cells significantly overproduce LIPA, and according to Ahn, “By binding to LIPA, ERX-41 jams the protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, which becomes bloated, leading to cell death.”

  • The researchers fed the compound to mice with human forms of cancerous tumors, and the tumors got smaller.

    • Observed no adverse effects.

    • Also proved effective at killing cancer cells in human tissue gathered from patients who had their tumors removed.

  • ERX-41 is effective against other cancer types with elevated endoplasmic reticulum stress, including:

    • hard-to-treat pancreatic and ovarian cancers and glioblastoma, the most aggressive and lethal primary brain cancer.

  • End it with a humble quote from Ahn:

    • “As a chemist, I am somewhat isolated from patients, so this success is an opportunity for me to feel like what I do can be useful to society.”

Researchers allegedly create a new 'controllable, reversible' gene-editing method in China | Interesting Engineering (23:07)

  • Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have allegedly developed a new "controllable, reversible and safer" gene-editing approach using CRISPR technology.

    • The system, named Cas13d-N2V8 (rolls off the tongue)

  • The system showed a significant reduction in the number of off-target genes and no detectable collateral damage in cell lines and somatic cells, which indicated its future potential, according to a South China Morning Post newspaper report.

  • The new approach, the researchers claim, uses the Cas13 enzyme, targeting RNA, which is safer because RNAs are transient molecules that only exist in the cell for a short period of time and are not integrated into the genome.

    • The technique involves CRISPR, one of the most commonly used gene-editing techniques in recent years.

  • Researchers explained on the CAS website about the new technique:

    • “Cas13 can degrade both target and non-target RNAs at random … [But] the CRISPR-based gene editing tool does not permanently change the genome, and the effects of editing are controllable, reversible, and safer”

  • The researchers have a system to detect the collateral effects of Cas13 in mammalian cells, which they then used to create a large number of variants.

    • No detectable collateral damage in transgenic mice

  • The study’s abstract ends off with, “High-fidelity Cas13 variants with minimal collateral effects are now available for targeted degradation of RNAs in basic research and therapeutic applications.”

135 episoder