Eternal youth and the hunt for new metals

More than 15 years ago, scientists at Kyoto University, Japan made a remarkable discovery. When they added just four proteins to a skin cell and waited for about two weeks, some cells underwent an unexpected and amazing transformation: they became youthful again. They turned into stem cells that closely resemble those found in one-day-old embryos, just beginning their journey of life.

In at least a petri dish, researchers using this process can take the withered skin cells of a 101-year-old and roll them up so that they behave as if they had never aged.

Now, after more than a decade of research and tweaking in so-called cellular reprogramming, several biotech companies and research labs say they have interesting suggestions that the process could potentially work. could be the gateway to an unprecedented new technology to reverse age. Read full story.

—Antonio Regalado

This piece is from our upcoming mortality-themed issue, which comes out tomorrow. If you want to read it when it comes out, you can ordered for MIT Technology Review for as little as $80 a year.

Machine learning can dramatically speed up the search for new metals

News: Machine learning could help develop new metals with useful properties, such as resistance to extreme temperatures and rust resistance, according to new research. A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute has managed to identify 17 promising new metals using AI, predicting which combinations of metals will show promise much more accurately than current laboratory testing methods.

Why is it important: The discovery could be useful in many fields — for example, metals that perform well at lower temperatures could improve spacecraft, while corrosion-resistant metals could be used for boats and ships. implicit. It could also pave the way for greater use of machine learning in materials science. Read full story.

—Tammy Xu

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