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News Article | April 14, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/earth.xml

Charles Darwin's original "tree of life" model has undergone a major overhaul, and it's now more complicated than ever. A group of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley have revised the tree of life diagram, revealing a much more complex diversity of life on Earth. The new diagram shows not only the relationships between living and extinct organisms — as described by Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species — but also a trove of newly discovered bacteria and microorganisms. Trees of life are traditionally built upon three main trunks: eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Eukaryotes include animals and plants, while archaea, like bacteria, are single-celled microorganisms that live in extreme environments. Biologists who have been looking to add new branches to the tree have often become unsuccessful in doing so because of the difficulty of creating some of the odd microorganisms in laboratories. Rather than trying to isolate them individually in petri dishes, however, Berkeley scientists have resorted to sequencing their genomes, accurately including about 1,000 new types of bacteria that exist for a short while in inhospitable places. Some of these places include the Atacama Desert in Chile and the boiling hot springs at the Yellowstone National Park. Much of the microbial biodiversity that Berkeley scientists discovered remained hidden until this incredible genome revolution. The revised tree of life shows the enormous number of organisms on our planet. The branch that represents all known plants and animals is separated in the bottom right of the model, while the rest depicts invisible bacteria and microorganisms. Most of the organisms cannot be cultured and isolated because they cannot live on their own, researchers said. Why is the Tree of Life Important? Jill Banfield, a professor of Earth Science at Berkeley, said the new rendering of the tree offers a fresh perspective on the history of life itself. "The tree of life is one of the most important organizing principles in biology," she said. With that, the new illustration will be helpful to biologists who investigate microbial ecology, to biochemists who are searching for new genes, as well as to researchers who study earth history and evolution. The new tree of life is published in the journal Nature Microbiology on April 11. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | October 26, 2009
Site: www.techcrunch.com

Netpulse, an interactive media platform for fitness equipment, has secured $3.1 million in Series A funding led by Javelin Venture Partners with DFJ Frontier participating. The company says it will use the investment to further development of its interactive entertainment platform, which is specifically designed for integration into fitness equipment and screens cardiovascular machines like treadmills and elliptical machines. While many gyms and fitness equipment include screens to watch TV nowadays, Netpulse’s technology gives users access to live HD television, a touch screen, on-demand videos and music, and provides iPod/ iPhone connectivity, and personalized workout data. Netpulse’s screen has not yet been launched in fitness centers and will be rolled out various gyms later this year.


Formisano R.,National Research Institution and Rehabilitation Hospital | Zasler N.D.,Tree of Life | Zasler N.D.,University of Virginia
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation | Year: 2014

Amantadine hydrochloride is one of the most commonly used drugs in the pharmacotherapeutic treatment of disorders of consciousness (DOCs) following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Indeed, its actions as a pro-dopaminergic drug and as an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist makes amantadine an interesting candidate to improve consciousness and responsiveness in individuals with DOC, including vegetative state and minimally conscious state. Giacino et al (N Engl J Med. 2012;366(9):819-826) recently reported that amantadine was able to accelerate the functional recovery course of subjects after TBI with DOC, during a 4-week treatment period. Some patients with DOC following severe TBI have been reported to have parkinsonian symptoms. Severe TBI and posttraumatic parkinsonism may share a common midbrain network dysfunction. In fact, both vegetative state and minimally conscious state following severe TBI can include features of akinetic mutism and parkinsonism. Responsiveness to pro-dopaminergic agents in some patients and to deep brain stimulation in others, might depend, respectively, on the integrity, or lack thereof, of the dopaminergic postsynaptic receptors. We are of the strong opinion that more attention should be given to parkinsonian findings in persons with DOC after severe TBI and would advocate for multicenter, randomized, controlled trials to assess risk factors for parkinsonism following severe TBI. Copyright © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source


Patent
Tree of Life | Date: 2010-06-21

An electronic book reader and e-book reading program for a device having network connectivity capability, the program including a voice annotation feature that enables a user reading an electronic book to highlight selected text and to record a voice annotation related to that highlighted material. The highlighted text and related (linked) voice annotation are saved as a Voice Note file, which the user can review, sort, or delete as desired.


News Article | October 11, 2014
Site: www.theverge.com

New York Magazine Benjamin Wallace-Wells, through a series of interviews, examines how drones are being used to grant their owners superpowers. Lost in the concern that the drone is an authoritarian instrument is the possibility that it might simultaneously be a democratizing tool, enlarging not just the capacities of the state but also the reach of the individual — the private drone operator, the boy in Cupertino — whose view is profoundly altered and whose abilities are enhanced. “The idea I’m trying to work out to simplify this whole thing — surveillance, drones, robots — has to do with superhero ethics,” says Patrick Lin, a technology ethicist at California Polytechnic State University. “It’s about what humans do when they have superpowers. What happens then?”

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