Embroideries Using Hair by Artist Sula Fay_

“Hair Embroideries” by artist Sula Fay, found via our July Submissions. She says this about the work:

“As an adolescent, I struggled with my hair. Being of half African and Puerto Rican descent I inherited very naturally curly hair. Alongside my white skinned, long straight haired friends, I felt different and unattractive. I went through many gruelling hours brushing, combing, and straightening. That process was very difficult and tedious, just like the process of my embroideries. To embroider with my hair I have to straighten each piece separately.”

(Link)

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“There is always some limit which the individual accepts.”

“He identifies this limit with himself. Horror seizes him at the thought that this limit may cease to be. But we are wrong to take this limit and the individual’s acceptance of it seriously. The limit is only there to be overreached. Fear and horror are not the real and final reaction; on the contrary, they are a temptation to overstep the bounds.” Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality

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Scientists Can Now Cut HIV Out of Human DNA_

HIV is a sneaky virus. It works by inserting its own genes into your DNA, so that even as antiretrovirals hold everything in check, HIV lurks quietly inside your cells. Now scientists have found a way to edit the virus straight out of the human genome — a potential cure for even latent infections.

Genome editing is powerful technique that has really come into its own lately, thanks to a remarkable DNA-cutting protein that easily and precisely cuts out a particular DNA sequence. In fact, genome editing been used to treat HIV before. Earlier this year, another group used genome editing to cut out the DNA sequence of a particular human protein the HIV virus latches onto.

The latest study, from Kamel Khalili at Temple University, uses a similar technique but to different ends. Rather than editing human genes, it goes straight for HIV. Khalili’s team showed that the protein could excise copies of the HIV genome from immune cells such as microglia and T cells. It also seemed to prevent any new HIV infection.

The research is still very new, so of course there are challenges to getting something that worked in a petri dish to work in a human. On the whole, very few cells in the human body are latently infected by HIV. How to you make sure the genome editing gets to those cells? And how do you make sure the protein never goes excising where it shouldn’t?

But if those challenges are solved, genome editing could be a big step toward an actual cure for HIV. Except for a couple of cases involving bone marrow transplants, a cure has been notoriously elusive. HIV hides itself by basically editing your genome; it makes sense that a cure could involve editing your genome, too

(Link)

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Synchronized Waking Up_

おはよう

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MAP Visibility Estimation for Large-Scale Dynamic 3D Reconstruction_

Interesting development for 3D video: a team at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method of video photogrammetry to capture 3D motion, using a spherical array of video cameras at various angles within a space entitled ‘The Panoptic Studio.’

Many traditional challenges in reconstructing 3D motion, such as matching across wide baselines and handling occlusion, reduce in significance as the number of unique viewpoints increases. However, to obtain this benefit, a new challenge arises: estimating precisely which cameras observe which points at each instant in time. We present a maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimate of the time-varying visibility of the target points to reconstruct the 3D motion of an event from a large number of cameras. Our algorithm takes, as input, camera poses and image sequences, and outputs the time-varying set of the cameras in which a target patch is visible and its reconstructed trajectory. We model visibility estimation as a MAP estimate by incorporating various cues including photometric consistency, motion consistency, and geometric consistency, in conjunction with a prior that rewards consistent visibilities in proximal cameras. An optimal estimate of visibility is obtained by finding the minimum cut of a capacitated graph over cameras. We demonstrate that our method estimates visibility with greater accuracy, and increases tracking performance producing longer trajectories, at more locations, and at higher accuracies than methods that ignore visibility or use photometric consistency alone.

(Link)

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Spoon Share “Inside Out” Via Creepy, Melty Visual_

Spoon has released another song off of their upcoming album They Want My Soul, out August 5 on Loma Vista Recordings. It comes with an unsettling, melting visual edited by Mau Morgó and featuring photos by Todd Baxter.

(Link)

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Doctor Popular Releases ‘Dazzler’ Single on a Postcard That Can Be Played on a Record Player_

Today Doctor Popular released an E.N. Cowell remix of his song “Dazzler” on a limited edition postcard that can be played on a record player. “Dazzler” — which takes its title from the Marvel Comics character of the same name — originally appeared on the recent Doc Pop album Destroy All Presets.

http://docpop.bandcamp.com/album/dazzler-single

(Link)

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FRAMED*2.0_

A digital art display platform from Japan with motion detection, available in two sizes.

FRAMED is an Internet connected display that allows you to showcase artwork in a way that has never been done before.

Designed to be the world’s first canvas for the art of our generation, allowing you to experience and enjoy beautiful art within a normal, everyday setting. Perfect for creators and fans of visual culture alike, hang it on your wall, choose an artwork, and transform your space into a living, virtual gallery of creative expressions.

The evolution of technology and accessibility of the internet has brought out an expansive range and depth in digital art, and now, FRAMED can bring digital art into your everyday.

Over the course of a year, we’ve built two sizes (24-inch / 40-inch) with immense care and attention to craftsmanship. Every unit contains a gorgeous full-HD display, graphics processing, integrated inputs, and motion sensors within a mere 18mm (0.7 inches) in depth. We’ve created a minimalist object as the perfect backdrop for showcasing artwork, while maintaining powerful features to allow each frame to be totally unique, and exactly what you, the creator, makes of it.

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Cat Poop Parasite Shows Promise in Treating Cancer_

A kitty poop parasite has led to a treatment that wipes out cancer in lab tests, including aggressive melanoma and ovarian cancer, preliminary studies have found.

By itself, the single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is bad news because it can cause illness in infected people and cats. It thrives in the intestines of cats and then comes out the other end.

But scientists at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have figured out a way to engineer a new version of the parasite that they say has remarkable cancer-fighting powers.

“We know biologically this parasite has figured out how to stimulate the exact immune responses you want to fight cancer,” explained David J. Bzik, a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Dartmouth.

“The biology of this organism is inherently different from other microbe-based (treatments) that typically just tickle immune cells from the outside,” said senior research associate Barbara Fox. “By gaining preferential access to the inside of powerful innate immune cell types, our mutated strain of T. gondii reprograms the natural power of the immune system to clear tumor cells and cancer.”

The mutated parasite is called “cps.” Lab tests show that it’s non-replicating and safe to use. Even if the recipient has a weakened immune system, as often happens with chemotherapy, cps still retains its cancer-fighting powers in the body.

“Aggressive cancers too often seem like fast-moving train wrecks,” As Bzik said. “Cps is the microscopic, but super-strong, hero that catches the wayward trains, halts their progression, and shrinks them until they disappear.”

During the lab studies, he and his colleagues used cps to treat extremely aggressive cases of melanoma and ovarian cancer in mice. The scientists found unprecedented high rates of survival.

Yet another remarkable feature of this new weapon against cancer is that it could even be tailored to the individual patient.

“In translating cps therapy to the clinic, we imagine cps will be introduced into cells isolated from the patient,” Bzik said. “Then, Trojan Horse cells harboring cps will be given back to the patient as an immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine to generate the ideal immune responses necessary to eradicate their cancer cells and to also provide life-long immunity against any future recurrence of that cancer.”

More studies are needed, as the researchers are still trying to understand how cps works so well. They continue to examine its molecular targets and mechanisms.

Bzik concluded, “Cancer immunotherapy using cps holds incredible promise for creating beneficial new cancer treatments and cancer vaccines.”

If that holds true, future generations may see kitty litter in a whole new light.

(Link)

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A Different Type Of Food Porn: Aurel Schmidt Draws Fruit And Vegetables With Genitals_

In two of Aurel Schmidt’s more recent series, the artist’s highly rendered drawings depict leafy vagina lettuce and ginger toes, among other inventive combinations of body parts and edibles. Her older drawings focused more on hedonism and a kind of consumptive chaos. She created party beasts constructed from accumulations of coke baggies, cigarette butts, pabst cans etc. They mischievously smiled out at the viewer like a visualization of a hangover. Even with discarded condoms and burn holes, she’s always had a tendency for beauty, though.

In contrast, the ideas in FRUITS are refined to a few poignant elements. There is a strong focus on associative forms, and Schmidt’s choice to pair white grapes with a plump penis emphasizes the gravity in the image. The nippled melon is equally sumptuous, and it’s great to finally see melon and breast united in one. Her style is laborious, but it doesn’t show in her drawings. She’s funny, with an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that’s present throughout her work. It’s not indignant or aggressive; it’s joyful and celebrates absurdity and decay.

(Link)

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