Tasmanian Devil Milk Could Be a Magic Bullet Against Superbugs

Researchers from Australia have discovered that chemical compounds found in the milk of Tasmanian devils are capable of killing some of the most deadly bacterial infections—a surprising finding that could introduce a new class of weapons in the war against superbugs.

Marsupials, unlike placental mammals, have to seek shelter in their mother’s pouches soon after birth. This cozy environment offers protection and a steady source of food for the premature joey, but it’s not the cleanest place in the world. What’s more, most marsupials emerge after just few weeks of gestation, so their immune systems are grossly underdeveloped. To protect their offspring from pathogens, and to help them grow, marsupial mothers are capable of producing milk with life-preserving compounds built right in.

 Analysis of the devil’s genome revealed six naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides, which the researchers were able to synthesize in the lab. These peptides were then tested against some of the most harmful bacteria known to humans, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (a.k.a. golden staph) and Enterococci. “We showed that these devil peptides kill multi-drug resistant bacteria,” study co-author Emma Peel told The Sydney Morning Herald, “which is really cool.”

The devil’s milk contains antimicrobial compounds called cathelicidins. Humans have one of these natural antibiotics, but Tasmanian devils have six. Some marsupials have even more, including the wallaby’s eight and the opossum’s twelve. So in addition to searching for antibacterial substances in the soil, the bottom of the ocean, and even in our noses, we’d do well to consider our marsupial cousins as well.

Source: Tasmanian Devil Milk Could Be a Magic Bullet Against Superbugs

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How to Make Your Windows 10 Computer Work Like New Again

Reinstalling Windows is an easy way to fix a PC that’s been giving you problems. It can resolve most common issues including lagging to mysterious app crashes. With Windows 10, it’s easier to do than ever before. Here’s how to get that brand new PC feeling on your machine.

Microsoft went ahead and made it insanely easy to reinstall Windows 10 by building the option right into the operating system. Some of you probably remember the old days, when it was much harder and required system discs, hard drive reformatting, tedious backup processes, and service packs. Luckily for us, Microsoft realized reinstalling Windows is a great way to fix a broken PC.

In modern Windows parlance, a reinstall is usually called a reset. Back in the distant days of Windows 8, there was another option called refresh, that put Windows back to square one, but kept all of your personal files and Windows Store apps in place.

In Windows 10, there’s only a reset option, and you get the opportunity along the way to decide whether or not to keep your documents and other files. It’s a bit simpler to understand, but there are still a few different routes to take. Continue reading

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You won’t see it at your local dealership anytime soon, but some of the tech being tested in the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 might just make it into your ride someday. GM worked with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center to develop the off-road, fuel cell-powered vehicle in under a year. The truck sits on a stretched midsize pickup chassis, stands over 6½ feet tall, is more than seven feet wide, and rides on 37-inch tires capable of tackling any terrain. The fuel cell allows it to be almost silent, reducing both the acoustic and thermal signatures and making it ideal for stealth operations, the Exportable Power Take-Off unit lets it power equipment away from the vehicle, and the water by-product can come in handy in dry conditions.

Source: Uncrate

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Infant is world’s first to have three biological parents

It sounds like the setup of a wacky science fiction comedy, but this is actually real life. A five-month old baby boy was just revealed to be the first kid in the world with three biological parents, according to New Scientist. The infant was created by a technique that has only been legally approved in the UK, and it lets parents with genetic disorders have healthy babies. The study is believed to fast track progress in the field, and is the latest in a series of advances in genetic science we’ve seen recently.

The method used in this case was slightly different from the one legalized in the UK. Instead of fertilizing both the mother’s and a donor’s eggs with the father’s sperm and then replacing the donor’s nucleus with the mom’s, this scenario first swapped out the nucleus of a donor egg for the mother’s, then fertilized the resulting egg with the dad’s sperm. This prevented the destruction of two embryos, which the family involved were not supportive of for religious reasons.

Neither of the above techniques are allowed in the US, so the New York City-based doctor and his team went to Mexico to carry out the procedure. Five embryos were created, but only one developed normally and was implanted in the mother, who carries the genes for Leigh’s disease. Around a quarter of her mitochondria have the disease-causing mutation, according to New Scientist, and she had already lost her first two children to Leigh’s.

The three-parent technique was banned after it was last tried out in the 1990s, since the children born from that went on to develop genetic disorders. According to the Independent, critics have described the method as tantamount to playing God.

In this case, the team used a male embryo to avoid passing on any inherited mitochondrial DNA. They tested the baby’s mitochondria and found less than 1 percent of it to carry the mutation. The team plans to describe its findings at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress in Salt Lake City in October. Embryologists believe this case should fast-forward progress in the field, according to New Scientist.

Source: Infant is world’s first to have three biological parents

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This is how SpaceX plans to send people to Mars

paceX plans to send humans to Mars with on a ship called the Interplanetary Transport System, and in a video published today, the company revealed how the ITS will actually perform. The ITS is capable of carrying up to 100 tons of cargo (that’s supplies and people) and it will rely on a few different power sources to make it all the way to Mars.

Liftoff requires 28,730,000 pounds of thrust, which suggests the ITS will use roughly 40 Raptor rocket engines, which each generate 680,000 pounds of thrust. Once the ship reaches orbit, its booster will return to Earth and immediately re-launch with a refueling pod, which matches up with the ITS to top off its propellant. Then, the ITS deploys its solar arrays, two wing-like panels that fold out from the base of the ship and provide 200 kW of power, and it sets off.

Once humans on the ITS actually make it to Mars and successfully land, SpaceX teases that the planet will be terraformed, transitioning from classic red to lush greens and blues.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk will outline the company’s plans to colonize Mars in a talk at 2:30 PM ET called “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species.”

Source: This is how SpaceX plans to send people to Mars

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Anti-Vax Activists Are Trying to Dox a 12-Year-Old Budding Scientist They Think Is a ‘Hoax’

The anti-vaccine movement has met its newest foe, and it is a 12-year-old boy who loves lizards. Several anti-vax organizations have been pooling their collective intellectual powers for weeks to try to debunk, discredit, or “unmask” Marco Arturo, a budding scientist who made a viral Facebook video about vaccines. Also, he’s a child. They’re attacking a child.

Arturo lives in northern Mexico with his family; he had a surprise smash hit with a video he posted on May 24 called “Vaccines DO cause autism,” where he unfurled a folder filled with the evidence. The folder is full of empty white pages, because vaccines don’t cause autism. Continue reading

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Anti-Vaccination Mom Changes Mind After All Three Kids Contract Rotavirus

Kristen O’Meara, a teacher who lives just outside of Chicago, decided not to vaccinate her three daughters when they were born, citing belief in scientifically unsound anti-vaccination “research.” She has since changed her mind after her daughters (who are all under the age of seven), and she and her husband, contracted rotavirus, a painful illness that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

“I put my kids at risk,” she said in an interview that aired on Good Morning America on Monday. “I should have taken more time to research both sides.” and “I scoured everything I could possibly find about why vaccines might be harmful. I became pretty convinced.”

 A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the number of doctors encountering parents who have refused their child vaccines for non-medical reasons has increased 74.5 percent to 87 percent between 2006 and 2013.

The thing about O’Meara’s technique (scouring everything about why vaccines might be bad for you) is that it conveniently leaves out the settled science that vaccines are actually not bad for you, and are, in fact, good for you, in that they effectively prevent a host of diseases. The act of looking for information isn’t inherently honorable—anyone who scours 4chan for information about why women might be scientifically worse than men is bound to come out an avid men’s rights enthusiast. Check your research methods, people!

Anyway, O’Meara’s kids are now fully vaccinated and she says she feels guilty for putting them at risk.

“I’m frustrated with the amount of misinformation I encountered when I set out on this journey,” O’Meara wrote in a New York Post article called “I was an anti-vax crackpot—until this happened.” “But in the end I am thankful, for the sake of Natasha, Áine and Lena, that I was able to reassess my position and accept information that is based on well-established, sound scientific evidence.” See full video here

Source: Anti-Vaccination Mom Changes Mind After All Three Kids Contract Rotavirus

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