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Dany's RaaD Roundup

The Immortal Jellyfish – Turritopsis nutricula

I have heard TED talks about the science of humans potentially living for 1000 years (video below) from Aubrey de Grey (subscribe to TED talks here), but this is the first story I have seen where we have actually found a species on Earth that we think has managed to do what our science has been striving for, everlasting life. The Turritopsis nutricula seems to start as a sexually immature polyp form then transdifferentiates into a sexually mature form. For most creatures, that is just about the end of their major transformations until death, but the Turritopsis nutricula transdifferentiates again, this time back into its immature form again, it will then just repeat this cycle ad infinitum.

Sadly, as of now, us humans are not very good at this quite yet, transdifferentiation is a specific type of metaplasia and as all you medical folks know, when human cells go into metaplasia, that’s not always a good sign. Just think about Barrett’s esophagus metaplasia, which has a high risk of becoming cancerous.

Here is the original research article the story came from.

Thanks to Katrina for sharing this link and thanks to 14bikeco’s Blog for the images!



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Turritopsis nutricula

April 15, 2010 3:23 pm Posted by | clips, lectures, medicine, nature, photography, podcasts, science | 1 Comment

Neuroscience, the Human Brain Theory and Conscousness Brought to you by TED

I just spent over an hour watching these three TED talks and I’m completely enamored with the human brain right now. It has been an extremely fascinating hour. Seeing these three extremely smart scientists, Jeff Hawkins (talking about creating a brain theory), Dan Dennett (explaining consciousness) and Michael Merzenich (neural plasticity) have some engrossing views on our current state of knowledge, how that knowledge has changed and what we can do to expand and better understand what we already know about our brain and each lecture is smart, funny and entertaining as well!

Thanks to the SGU Neuroscience Society for getting me started with the lecture explaining consciousness!



November 10, 2009 8:05 pm Posted by | brain, clips, lectures, medicine, robots, science, technology | Leave a comment

The George Washington University, The Top Twittering College… Also THE Most Expensive College (Update: NOT the most expensive anymore!)

Well, not only has my alma matter, The George Washington University, remained the MOST EXPENSIVE college/university in the USA, according to CNN Money, but it’s now the #1 Twittering college/university. The coolest part though is the Washington Post article points out that this was a trait noticed by our current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates during lectures they gave to GWU students! I loved my time at GWU, I miss Washington, DC now.

Thanks to Brian for sending this article, he didn’t even GO to GWU! Also, thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the above pic.



*Update 10/15/2009 – Here is the official event details that brought both Hilary Clinton and Robert M. Gates to GWU, along with the video:

*Update 1/11/2010 – I’m happy to announce that The George Washington University is NO LONGER the most expensive college in the USA! Thanks must go to Sarah Lawrence College, Georgetown University and New York University for being $200-4000 dollars more expensive than The George Washington University!… sadly, Washington DC college students leave school with the highest level of debt in the USA! Which is reported by the Project on Student Debt.

October 13, 2009 10:45 pm Posted by | college, DC, lectures, New York, newspaper, NYC, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Macworld and CES 2009 Opening Keynotes by Apple’s Phil Schiller and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer

This week has brought us two very important keynote presentations. First there was the Macworld 2009 keynote by Apple‘s Phil Schiller (the last keynote Apple will give at Macworld) replacing Steve Jobs, who has traditionally given this keynote, then came the opening of CES and Steve Ballmer delivering this year’s keynote, a job that Bill Gates had traditionally filled in years past.

It was very interesting seeing both lectures for their similarities: all the cool hardware and software they were promoting, and the differences: Microsoft made a concerted effort to show off many different hardware and internet vendors, not just their in-house products.

Watch the 135 minute Macworld 2009 keynote here or get the HD version (subscribe to the iTunes podcast here) and watch the 123 minute CES 2009 keynote here.

Enjoy! I actually think the Steve Ballmer keynote (watch it here) was more interesting to watch, especially since they showed off some cool flexible e-ink reading technology.


January 9, 2009 1:04 am Posted by | apple, clips, commercials, lectures, podcasts, technology | Leave a comment

Fun Physics and Good Cops… Amazing

Thanks to this week’s episode of the Digg Reel, I found two things I rarely get to see, physics made interesting and a good, honest to goodness police officer caught on camera!

The first video is a promotion for Walter Lewin‘s amazing lectures he gives yearly at MIT. These lectures were crafted to keep his students having fun throughout learning all the complicated concepts underlying everything in our physical world, but the best part is that these lectures are available online for free from MIT, and also easily available through YouTube and iTunes. Physics I: Classical Mechanics (get it on iTunes or YouTube), Electricity and Magnetism (get it on iTunes or YouTube) and Physics III: Vibrations and Waves (get it on iTunes or YouTube) are all taught by Professor Lewin, who seems both crazy and a whole lot of fun to learn from!

The next video just makes me feel good.

There is always so much news about bad cops, but we rarely hear about police doing a good job and there are a lot more cops doing a good job, they just don’t make the news!

I’m not a huge fan of Jessica Corbin, but this week’s episode of the Digg Reel was hosted by Andrew Bancroft, which was a nice improvement.



March 24, 2008 7:09 pm Posted by | clips, college, lectures, New England, podcasts | 2 Comments

Barack Obama’s March 17th 2008 Speech on Racism in America

It has taken me a while to find a big enough chunk of time to watch it, but I found Barack Obama‘s speech and I have been hearing how good his performance was, speaking on racism in America from March 17th, 2008.

In case you haven’t seen it, you can watch the entire 37 minute speech here. You should really take the time and watch the whole thing.


March 20, 2008 11:42 pm Posted by | clips, lectures, politics, tv | Leave a comment

Hot For Words

Hot For Words - Marina

Do you like learning about the origins of English words? Do you like to learn random facts from Marina, the hot Russian scholar? Well, check out Hot For Words (subscribe via iTunes), she is one interesting philologist!

Thanks to Attack of the Show‘s podcast for spreading the word about Hot For Words.

Thanks to Hot For Words for the above pic.


March 20, 2008 11:11 pm Posted by | clips, lectures, podcasts | 7 Comments

Randy Pausch’s Inspirational “Last Lecture”

This is a lecture created by Randy Pausch from Carnegie Mellon University. He was invited to give this version of the lecture onto Oprah‘s show after Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended him.

The lecture is both inspirational and tragic at the same time, but the whole thing is very interesting to see and hear. If you want to see more clips, there is an extensive archive of Randy’s lectures here.Thanks to The Digg Reel (get it here on iTunes) for serving up this clip based on it’s Digg ranking.

On a different note, last year I got to meet Dr. Oz at a NYC cardiology conference, he was an interesting guy who was a real presence everywhere he went.


March 15, 2008 3:13 am Posted by | clips, college, lectures, podcasts | 1 Comment