Technology Tuesday: March 8

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Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: Cancer’s Achilles heel, turning plastic waste into edible mushrooms, using nano-technology to build a biological computer, scientists create naive pluripotent stem cells from human embryos, and SpaceX’s successful satellite launch.


Scientists Find Cancer’s “Achilles Heel”

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Scientists believe they have discovered a way to “steer” the immune system to kill cancers.

Researchers at University College, London have developed a way of finding unique markings within a tumour – its “Achilles heel” – allowing the body to target the disease.

But the personalised method, reported in Science journal, would be expensive and has not yet been tried in patients.

Experts said the idea made sense but could be more complicated in reality.

However, the researchers, whose work was funded by Cancer Research UK, believe their discovery could form the backbone of new treatments and hope to test it in patients within two years.

 

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Device Turns Plastic Into Edible Mushrooms

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Researchers have come up with an awesome way to address that rather serious plastic problem we’ve got going on – a device that turns plastic waste into a safe, edible product, thanks to two strains of fungus that digest the plastic ingredients, but don’t accumulate anything toxic.

“We were both really inspired about the idea that something digests plastic but then still creates edible biomass,” one of the inventors, Austrian designer Katharina Unger, told Kaleigh Rogers at Motherboard.

 

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Super Fast “Biological Computers” with Nano-Technology

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Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have utilized nanotechnology to create a biological computer that can solve certain mathematical problems far faster and more energy-efficiently than conventional electrical computers. The research results have now been published in the prestigious publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Pluripotent Stem Cells from Embryos

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Scientists at the University of Cambridge have for the first time shown that it is possible to derive from a human embryo so-called ‘naïve’ pluripotent stem cells – one of the most flexible types of stem cell, which can develop into all human tissue other than the placenta.
As well as a potential source of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine, the technique could open up new avenues of research into disorders such as Down’s syndrome.

 

 

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SpaceX Launches Broadband Internet Satellite

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The private space exploration company, headed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:35 pm ET.

SpaceX has set five different launch dates, the first of which was on February 25 — and it has halted six countdowns due to problems with the rocket fuel, weather, and even interference from a nearby boat.

But on Friday, SpaceX employees and onlookers cheered as the Falcon 9 rocket hurtled toward the sky without issue.

 

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Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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