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Everything regarding Science, Technology, Robotics and why not Mathematics while we are at it...

  1. What's new in this club
  2. Imagine a sugar that has only 38 percent of the calories of traditional table sugar, is safe for diabetics, and will not cause cavities. Now add that this dream sweetener is not an artificial substitute but a real sugar found in nature and it tastes like, well, sugar. You’d probably want to use that in your next cup of coffee, right? This sugar is called tagatose. The FDA has approved it as a food additive, and there have been no reports to date of the problems that many sugar substitutes have—such as a metallic taste, or worse, links to cancer—according to researchers and the FAO/WHO, which certified the sugar as “generally regarded as safe.” So why isn’t it in all your favorite desserts? The answer lies in the expense of producing it. While derived from fruits and dairy products, tagatose is not abundant and is difficult to extract from those sources. The manufacturing process involves a conversion from more easily obtained galactose to tagatose and is highly inefficient, with yields that may reach only 30 percent. Nikhil Nair, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Tufts, helped develop a way to produce tagatose using bacteria as tiny bioreactors. Photo: Alonso NicholsBut researchers at Tufts University have developed a process that may unlock the commercial potential of this low-calorie, low-glycemic sugar. In a recent publication in Nature Communications, Assistant Professor Nikhil Nair and postdoctoral fellow Josef Bober, both from the School of Engineering, came up with an innovative way to produce the sugar using bacteria as tiny bioreactors that encapsulate the enzymes and reactants. Using this approach, they achieved yields up to 85 percent. Although there are many steps from the lab to commercial production, yields this high could lead to large-scale manufacturing and getting tagatose on every supermarket shelf. The enzyme of choice to make tagatose from galactose is called L-arabinose isomerase (LAI). However, galactose is not the main target for the enzyme, so the rates and yields of the reaction with galactose are less than optimal. In a solution, the enzyme itself is not very stable, and the reaction can only push forward until about 39 percent of the sugar is converted to tagatose at 37 degrees Celsius (about 99 degrees Fahrenheit), and only up to 16 percent at 50 degrees Celsius (about 122 degrees Fahrenheit), before the enzyme degrades. Nair and Bober looked to overcome each of those hurdles through biomanufacturing, using Lactobacillus plantarum—a food-safe bacterium—to make large quantities of the LAI enzyme and keep it safe and stable within the confines of the bacterial cell wall. They found that when expressed in L. plantarum, the enzyme kept converting galactose to tagatose and pushed the yield to 47 percent at 37 degrees Celsius. But now that the LAI enzyme was stabilized within the cell, it could increase yield to 83 percent at the higher temperature of 50 degrees Celsius without degrading significantly, and it was producing tagatose at a much faster rate. To determine if they could push the reaction even faster, Nair and Bober examined what might still be limiting it. They found evidence that the transport of the starting material, galactose, into the cell was a limiting factor. To resolve that issue, they treated the bacteria with very low concentrations of detergents—just enough to make their cell walls leaky, according to the researchers. The galactose was able to get in and tagatose released from the cells, allowing the enzyme to convert galactose to tagatose at a faster rate, shaving a couple hours off the time needed to get to 85 percent yield at 50 degrees Celsius. “You can’t beat thermodynamics. But while that’s true, you can circumvent its limitations by engineering solutions,” said Nair, who is corresponding author of the study. “This is like the fact that water will not naturally flow from lower elevation to higher elevation because thermodynamics won’t allow it. However, you can beat the system by, for example, using a siphon, which pulls the water up first before letting it out the other end.” Encapsulating the enzyme for stability, running the reaction at higher temperature, and feeding it more starting material through leaky cell membranes are all “siphons” used to pull the reaction forward. Although more work is needed to determine if the process can be scaled up to commercial applications, biomanufacturing has the potential to improve yields and have an impact on the sweetener substitute market, which was estimated to be worth $7.2 billion in 2018, according to the market research firm Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. Nair and Bober also note that there are many other enzymes that can benefit from using bacteria as tiny chemical reactors that increase enzyme stability for high temperature reactions and improve rates and yields of conversion and synthesis. As they look ahead to exploring other applications, from the manufacture of food ingredients to plastics, there will be a lot on their plate. Mike Silver can be reached at mike.silver@tufts.edu. https://now.tufts.edu/articles/bacteria-help-make-low-calorie-sugar How do we get in the business of producing and selling this stuff? Sounds like a real money-maker once Coca-Cola wants to order it for Coca-Cola Zero + good taste. ;-)
  3. Because you are spinning with it at the exact same speed, angle and vector.
  4. The HoloLens 2 started shipping yesterday. Microsoft's new-and-improved AR headset costs the equivalent of five iPhone 11s ($3,500) and is catered to corporate customers. What's new: The "mixed reality" device has more digital perception and interaction capabilities. Compared to the original HoloLens, it tracks more hand gestures, has 2x the field of view, and boasts "single-digit" lag time. How it works: The headset's visor superimposes 3D digital objects on the real world, and lets you drag, drop, and resize those objects. You summon a menu by holding an arm palm-up and touching your wrist like Iron Man. Let's just say I tried sneaking a headset out of the demo in my pocket (it didn't work). Also at the demo was the startup Spatial, which makes "shared augmented workplaces," aka Slack on steroids. Using a HoloLens 2 and Spatial's product, I met the avatar of someone who wasn't there, moved content around in 3D, and put a digital rover on Mars. Takeaway: HoloLens 2 truly feels like the future—but one that's far out for non-Fortune 1,000 employees. If you work at a company that does remote assistance, virtual training, or visual 3D collaboration, you may be in luck.
  5. @James Thomas Rook Jr. until all of them learn to shoot bullets.... probably faster than you and they already outnumber you. Resistance is futile.
  6. So ... what you are saying is that there is a Symmetry to numbers and math? :-)
  7. My guess is a metal jacketed bullet from a 9mm handgun would incapacitate any one of the little robots. One bullet per mechanism.
  8. Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) continue to excel as an infrastructure platform for state-of-the-art artificial intelligence language models. Recently, the company’s GPUs were able to train BERT, one of the world’s most advanced AI language models, in a record-breaking 53 minutes.1 Getting computers to understand all the nuances of human languages and respond appropriately has long been a holy grail in developing natural language processing (NLP) technology.2 Language models can now complete inference in just 2.2 milliseconds, i.e., understand and reach a conclusion based on information received.3 Strides made in NLP could be significant, with potential adopters spread across numerous industries. 1. Nvidia Developer Blog,” NVIDIA Clocks World’s Fastest BERT Training Time and Largest Transformer Based Model, Paving Path For Advanced Conversational AI,” Aug 13, 2019. 2. Ibid. 3. Nvidia Developer Blog, “Real-Time Natural Language Understanding with BERT Using TensorRT,” Aug 13, 2019.
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    • True, however, testing the spirit does not include drawing one's own conclusions outside scripture. I have not found an insistence where the Watchtower has gone beyond what is written. Do they try to simplify certain things, yes they do. That doesn’t mean they are stepping away from the context. Another thing is with the comparison made. The GB are following the true spirit of God like the apostles. Therefore, they have NOT taken the position of the Jerusalem counsel. If you have, then you sit in Moses seat. Matthew 23:2 If the passion is to correct, as God corrected his people, Then I would suspect there is a resemblance to be equal to Christ as the Pope seems to indicate. The GB do not hold themselves in that high regard as to think, they can question God's motives for humanity. I would recommend studying the issue further. There are areas that haven’t been included with many presentations here. Since you claim the Watchtower is misrepresenting an issue that has become an obstacle to your personal faith, then I would make light of JTR and TTH comments about contacting the Watchtower directly. Feeding an assumption only emboldens the God of this world, no one else. Correct. There is only one way to view scripture. Anyone deviating from that is causing personal harm to the spirit of others. It doesn’t matter if those individuals hate the Watchtower, it’s by their own spoken words and actions of clear and concise misinterpretation of scripture, and misapplication of the Watchtower literature where they fail to see the difference. Removing themselves from the context of scripture to argue with the strength of hate and discourse is the sole definition of scripture when Christ clearly stated not to and to stay away from. Those are the dangers when we engage in an open forum. We like to think it is to discuss issues. However, the ever present danger will always be, the influence of the devil. It is one thing to defend the truth, but quite another thing to defend the truth when one’s heart is conflicted. Merely following that conduct disqualifies anyone from stating they are Christian. That is the kind of Christian Jesus spoke of as a danger. The confusion would lie with how the public perceives the Watchtower under the direction of the bible Student association. The word “association” should give anyone, pause to rethink, Russell and Rutherford belonged to the International Bible Student Association. A reason, Rutherford dismissed the edger pyramid scheme straight up. Russell, used it as a comparison, nothing more. Another thing that witnesses should consider, those works were made by not allowing Christendom’s view of scripture. Therefore, Russell essentially started from scratch. There are far more reasons why those dates were accepted. Mainly, by events of that time. Bible Students still believe, the Jewish nation has a pivotal role in the last days. According to Christ everyone became relative in the last days including the Jews. They are not the sole reason for the last days as Christendom exerts. Remember, even the most conservative view which is Bishop Ussher, his calculation referenced 586BC as the 3rd instance of judgment by Nebuchadnezzar. The third, not the first nor the second as historians and scholars claim, but the third. This is why history itself is flawed, since they continue to insist, there were only 2 campaigns against Judea and Jerusalem. Mainly 597-587BC. I will not beat on the bush with this one. I am confident we both know what limitations are imposed and previous actions taken.  
    • An interesting take with a lot to say for it. When Jude mentions these "rocks beneath the surface" for example, it always reminds me of the first time I read "Paul and Thecla" while at Bethel, but at the NYPL, via a book about Christian widows of the 2nd century. Paul and Thecla is an early Christian short story or novella with Thecla, not Paul, as the hero. It's one of a few stories of this type, probably written by and for women in the early Christian congregations. The antagonists of some of these stories are the 2nd century "circuit overseers" who would go from congregation to congregation saying all the right things from the "platform" but then they would also quietly worm their way into the houses of well-meaning sisters and widows, and try to take advantage of them sexually. I was quite surprised when the Watchtower last year mentioned Paul and Thecla for the second time in nearly 100 years, and was again surprisingly supportive of the work as containing possible reflections of true traditions believed in the 2nd century: *** w18 March p. 13 par. 3 Questions From Readers *** The Acts of Paul and Thecla was highly regarded in early centuries, as confirmed by the fact that 80 Greek manuscripts of it exist, as well as versions in other languages. Thus, our artistic presentations are in line with some ancient indications of what the apostle looked like. I personally have never experienced a "bad" circuit overseer. All of them have been exemplary and I have always looked forward to their visits, especially when hearing a new one for the first time. But I think all of us old-timers have had experience with congregational drifters, and we often look at them with the same kinds of suspicions. Sometimes it's a young brother who is very vague about his last congregation and who quickly latches on to an association with another eligible sister. Sometimes it's a more elderly brother, perhaps even a special pioneer, looking for an alternate congregation, hoping the trouble he caused in the last congregation won't get reported in too much detail. (Speaking from a real example, this elderly brother also latched onto a "relationship," and place to stay, with a family of sisters: a sister with an unbelieving and ailing husband, and a couple of daughters. It was a recipe for disaster.) The younger brother caused some heart-ache by getting engaged to a sister, and the engagement was later broken off.  It's hard for me not to imagine such cases when I read Jude. So, at first, it was hard for me to see them as drifters into forums like this one to cause other kinds of trouble, but I can definitely see a similarity now.  
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