A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

bbsrc:

Signal may send cancer’s cellular factories into overdrive

A network of signals active in almost all types of cancer sends the protein factories in our cells into overdrive, and may help fuel a tumour’s uncontrolled growth, new research suggests.

Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes, identified a molecular trigger responsible for ramping up activity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) – the cellular factory that makes the building blocks cancer cells need to keep growing.

The findings may help to explain how cancer cells maintain their high levels of metabolism – and could uncover future targets for cancer treatment

The top three images show human hepatocarcinoma cells with the endoplasmic reticulum (blue) and nucleus (red). Copyright: Dr Chris Bakal, The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

The bottom image shows human epithelial cells from breast tissue treated with Torin, an inhibitor of TOR kinase, where the endoplasmic reticulum is (green), nuclei (red) and F-actin (grey) Copyright: Dr Chris Bakal, The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

Read more: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/health/2014/140709-pr-signal-may-send-cancer-into-overdrive.aspx

Reblogged from Great British Bioscience

ESA prepares IXV concept spaceplane for maiden flight
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The European Space Agency is preparing to test the atmospheric re-entry capabilities of its new early concept spaceplane, the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV). The test flight is slated for launch in November atop a European made Vega rocket, with the hope that results will inform the design of future ESA spacecraft. The overriding goal in pursuing the project is to lessen the ESA’s dependence on the current generation of Russian made Soyuz return vehicles. Whilst the IXV test vehicle is designated as a spaceplane, you could be forgiven for thinking that, at least on the outside, it looks anything but. Instead, in its current stage of development the IXV resembles a simple fuselage. The apparent simplicity in the design of the IXV is due to the fact that the spacecraft represents a preliminary stage of testing, with an emphasis on proving basic but vital technology for more advanced concepts in the future. The agency intends to take the lessons taken from the November launch and begin the process of creating a viable autonomous re-entry spacecraft with a focus on modularity and flexibility in orbital operations. (via ESA prepares IXV concept spaceplane for maiden flight)

ESA prepares IXV concept spaceplane for maiden flight
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The European Space Agency is preparing to test the atmospheric re-entry capabilities of its new early concept spaceplane, the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV). The test flight is slated for launch in November atop a European made Vega rocket, with the hope that results will inform the design of future ESA spacecraft. The overriding goal in pursuing the project is to lessen the ESA’s dependence on the current generation of Russian made Soyuz return vehicles. Whilst the IXV test vehicle is designated as a spaceplane, you could be forgiven for thinking that, at least on the outside, it looks anything but. Instead, in its current stage of development the IXV resembles a simple fuselage. The apparent simplicity in the design of the IXV is due to the fact that the spacecraft represents a preliminary stage of testing, with an emphasis on proving basic but vital technology for more advanced concepts in the future. The agency intends to take the lessons taken from the November launch and begin the process of creating a viable autonomous re-entry spacecraft with a focus on modularity and flexibility in orbital operations. (via ESA prepares IXV concept spaceplane for maiden flight)

Is our universe a bubble in the multiverse?
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Researchers at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics are working to bring the multiverse hypothesis — we are living in one universe of many — into the realm of testable science. Perimeter Associate Faculty member Matthew Johnson and his team are looking for clues for the existence of multiverses (a.ka. parallel universes) in the cosmic microwave background data, assumed to be left over from the Big Bang. To do that, “we simulate the whole universe,” he says. “We start with a multiverse that has two bubbles in it, we collide the bubbles on a computer to figure out what happens, and then we stick a virtual observer in various places and ask what that observer would see from there.” For example, if another universe had collided with ours n the early universe, it would have left evidence in the form of a “a disk on the sky,” creating a “bruise” in the pattern, he says. That the search for such a disk has so far come up empty makes certain collision-filled models less likely.

Meanwhile, the team is at work figuring out what other kinds of evidence a bubble collision might leave behind. It’s the first time, the team writes in their paper, that anyone has produced a direct quantitative set of predictions for the observable signatures of bubble collisions. And though none of those signatures has so far been found, some of them are possible to look for.

The real significance of this work is as a proof of principle: it shows that the multiverse can be testable. In other words, if we are living in a bubble universe, we might actually be able to tell.

Abstract of Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics paper

The theory of eternal inflation in an inflaton potential with multiple vacua predicts that our universe is one of many bubble universes nucleating and growing inside an ever-expanding false vacuum. The collision of our bubble with another could provide an important observational signature to test this scenario. We develop and implement an algorithm for accurately computing the cosmological observables arising from bubble collisions directly from the Lagrangian of a single scalar field. We first simulate the collision spacetime by solving Einstein’s equations, starting from nucleation and ending at reheating. Taking advantage of the collision’s hyperbolic symmetry, the simulations are performed with a 1+1-dimensional fully relativistic code that uses adaptive mesh refinement. We then calculate the comoving curvature perturbation in an open Friedmann-Robertson-Walker universe, which is used to determine the temperature anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background radiation. For a fiducial Lagrangian, the anisotropies are well described by a power law in the cosine of the angular distance from the center of the collision signature. For a given form of the Lagrangian, the resulting observational predictions are inherently statistical due to stochastic elements of the bubble nucleation process. Further uncertainties arise due to our imperfect knowledge about inflationary and pre-recombination physics. We characterize observational predictions by computing the probability distributions over four phenomenological parameters which capture these intrinsic and model uncertainties. This represents the first fully-relativistic set of predictions from an ensemble of scalar field models giving rise to eternal inflation, yielding significant differences from previous non-relativistic approximations. Thus, our results provide a basis for a rigorous confrontation of these theories with cosmological data.

(via Is our universe a bubble in the multiverse? | KurzweilAI)

Concept of cuteness is ‘hardwired from age of three,’ say scientists 
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Perhaps it explains their love of cuddly toys and baby animals –children as young as three instinctively recognise “cute” features. Toddlers view babies, kittens and puppies as “cuter” than their grown-up counterparts, according to a recent study. And these cute traits, termed “baby schema” by psychologists, are key to encouraging care-giving behaviour in adults. Previous research had already demonstrated that adults are perceptive of infantile traits, which elicit affectionate behaviour and reduce aggression. But it was unclear at what stage in a person’s development this intuition first emerges, and how it relates to human-animal interaction. Marta Borgi, from the University of Lincoln, who led the new research, said: “We already knew that adults experience this baby schema effect, finding babies with more infantile features cuter. “Our results provide the first rigorous demonstration that a visual preference for these traits emerges very early during development.” She added: “Independently of the species viewed, children in our study spent more time looking at images with a higher degree of these baby-like features.” The researchers carried out two experiments, which involved children aged three to six looking at images of humans, dogs and cats, to find out how they responded to baby schema. (via Concept of cuteness is ‘hardwired from age of three,’ say scientists - Science - News - The Independent)

Concept of cuteness is ‘hardwired from age of three,’ say scientists
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Perhaps it explains their love of cuddly toys and baby animals –children as young as three instinctively recognise “cute” features. Toddlers view babies, kittens and puppies as “cuter” than their grown-up counterparts, according to a recent study. And these cute traits, termed “baby schema” by psychologists, are key to encouraging care-giving behaviour in adults. Previous research had already demonstrated that adults are perceptive of infantile traits, which elicit affectionate behaviour and reduce aggression. But it was unclear at what stage in a person’s development this intuition first emerges, and how it relates to human-animal interaction. Marta Borgi, from the University of Lincoln, who led the new research, said: “We already knew that adults experience this baby schema effect, finding babies with more infantile features cuter. “Our results provide the first rigorous demonstration that a visual preference for these traits emerges very early during development.” She added: “Independently of the species viewed, children in our study spent more time looking at images with a higher degree of these baby-like features.” The researchers carried out two experiments, which involved children aged three to six looking at images of humans, dogs and cats, to find out how they responded to baby schema. (via Concept of cuteness is ‘hardwired from age of three,’ say scientists - Science - News - The Independent)

Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains -It’s a complex, constantly multi-tasking network of tissue—but the myth persists.  - By now, perhaps you’ve seen the trailer for the new sci-fi thriller Lucy. It starts with a flurry of stylized special effects and Scarlett Johansson serving up a barrage of bad-guy beatings. Then comes Morgan Freeman, playing a professorial neuroscientist with the obligatory brown blazer, to deliver the film’s familiar premise to a full lecture hall: “It is estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of the brain’s capacity. Imagine if we could access 100 percent. Interesting things begin to happen.” Johansson as Lucy, who has been kidnapped and implanted with mysterious drugs, becomes a test case for those interesting things, which seem to include even more impressive beatings and apparently some kind of Matrix-esque time-warping skills. Of course, the idea that “you only use 10 percent of your brain” is, indeed, 100 hundred percent bogus. Why has this myth persisted for so long, and when is it finally going to die? (via Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains - Sam McDougle - The Atlantic)

Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains
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It’s a complex, constantly multi-tasking network of tissue—but the myth persists.
-
By now, perhaps you’ve seen the trailer for the new sci-fi thriller Lucy. It starts with a flurry of stylized special effects and Scarlett Johansson serving up a barrage of bad-guy beatings. Then comes Morgan Freeman, playing a professorial neuroscientist with the obligatory brown blazer, to deliver the film’s familiar premise to a full lecture hall: “It is estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of the brain’s capacity. Imagine if we could access 100 percent. Interesting things begin to happen.” Johansson as Lucy, who has been kidnapped and implanted with mysterious drugs, becomes a test case for those interesting things, which seem to include even more impressive beatings and apparently some kind of Matrix-esque time-warping skills. Of course, the idea that “you only use 10 percent of your brain” is, indeed, 100 hundred percent bogus. Why has this myth persisted for so long, and when is it finally going to die? (via Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains - Sam McDougle - The Atlantic)