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Infographic – Top 10 Android Apps

Top 10 Android Apps

Click on image for full-size view. (Statista)

14 July 2018. This past week, Science & Enterprise reported twice on studies involving mobile apps that gave a mixed verdict about their value. On 11 July, an Australian team found mental health apps may be promoting their use with misleading guidance to individuals on the extent and seriousness of their psychological conditions. And yesterday, researchers at University of Iowa found a game app plus wearable devices increased the amount of exercise by usually sedentary office workers, but the effects declined over the next several weeks.

It may helps putting the value of these specialized apps into a larger context, namely the main reasons people add apps to their phones. Our friends at Statista compiled the chart above, with data from the market research company Priori Data, showing the top 10 Android app downloads in June 2018, this weekend’s infographic. The data show messaging, games, and social media are the most downloaded apps, which suggests the Iowa group may be on to something when they used a game format for their app. But the findings also show the dominance of Facebook in the mobile world, owners of 5 of the top 10 downloaded apps, including the top 2 downloads.

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Wearables, Game App Help Boost Exercise Levels

Woman walking and reading

(Francisco Osorio, Flickr)

13 July 2018. A study assessing FitBit devices and a game-style mobile app shows a combination of the technologies results in more exercise by office workers, at least at the outset, than just the FitBit alone. The findings of medical and informatics researchers at University of Iowa in Iowa City appear in the 3 July issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

A team led by Philip Polgreen, professor of epidemiology and internal medicine, and Lucas Carr, professor of physiology, are seeking more effective methods for people who sit all or most of the day in their jobs to get more exercise. The authors cite a number of statistics showing work environments becoming increasingly inactive, with more than 4 in 10 service jobs (43%), now considered sedentary. Moreover, people in office jobs spend as much as 89 percent of the time sitting, making them more susceptible for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and depression.

The Iowa researchers took an approach that tries to integrate exercise into individuals’ work days, rather than encouraging exercise before or after work alone. Polmgreen, who has a background in mathematics as well as medicine, enlisted colleagues in the university’s computer science department to write a smartphone app called MapTrek that overlays the number of steps taken by users to various scenic places, such as the Grand Canyon or Appalachian Trial, using the Street View feature of Google Maps. MapTrek takes data from accelerometers, such as those in FitBit devices that measure activity, and moves avatars through the mapped territories, where individuals can track their progress. The app also has group features enabling users to post their results compared to others, and hold competitions within the groups.

Polmgreen, Carr, and colleagues recruited office workers for a clinical trial testing the ability of Fitbit devices and the MapTrek app used as a game with competitions among participants, compared to FitBit devices alone. The 146 participants enrolled in the study and who sit at least 75 percent of the time in their offices, were randomly assigned to use FitBits and MapTrek, or just wear the FitBit device. The researchers from Polmgreen’s and Carr’s labs then tallied the number of steps per day, and amount of activity time each day, recorded by the devices for 10 weeks.

The results overall show participants using the MapTrek app and FitBit devices recorded nearly 2,100 more steps per day and were active 11.2 more minutes per day than the FitBit only participants. In both groups, individuals began taking part enthusiastically, but the number of steps and activity time per day dropped steadily during the 10-week period. While the MapTrek and FitBit participants continued to report more steps taken per day throughout the test, by the end of the 10 weeks the FitBit only participants were spending slightly more time being active than the MapTrek and FitBit group.

“Over 10 weeks, the gains in activity declined and the two groups looked similar by the end of the study,” says Polmgreen in a university statement. “But, we are encouraged by the big initial increase in daily steps and are now looking to improve the game in ways that result in longer changes in behavior.” Carr adds, “The value of this kind of approach is virtually anyone can play it with minimal risk. Nearly everyone can benefit from increased levels of activity.”

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Tech In The Classroom – Why Is It So Important?

– Contributed content –

Empty classroom

(Wokandapix, Pixabay)

13 July 2018. The world is becoming a lot more dependant on technology these days, and that is becoming increasingly clear in most schools’ classrooms. There are now a lot of tech devices, such as interactive whiteboards, that some teachers are bringing into lessons to encourage children to learn throughout their classes. Some believe that the use of tech is a great benefit to children. However, no all teachers are in agreement about this, and some still believe that tech should be left out of the classroom. But is that really the case? Here are some great benefits of tech in the classroom, most of which can’t be ignored.

Helps stimulate pupils

One of the main reasons why so many teachers love using technology and devices in the classroom is that it keeps the attention of pupils. That’s largely because it is a great stimulant. Children respond really well to technology, especially when it provides them with some interactive features. Not only that, though, but it can help to demonstrate some concepts and theories that might be difficult to otherwise explain, such as evolution.

 

Tackles student problems

Most teachers find that technology is a great aid in tackling the issues that problem students bring. For instance, it can help to speedily resolve any problems. Take the modern service to remove graffiti – removing this kind of vandalism on school property is a great way to show pupils that it will not be tolerated. That’s not all, though. Most teachers who regularly use tech in their lessons find that even the most problematic of students still pay attention as they are so bowled over with all the tech.

Encourages global learning

Thanks to the internet, the world is now a lot smaller than what it used to be. And that means that it is now possible to bring some global learning in to the classroom, which can be especially useful in foreign language lessons. For instance, teachers can connect to other schools around the world using applications like Skype, which is great to encourage pupils to practice their speaking skills.

Cuts down costs

Using digital tools and technology can also cut down on the usual costs and expenses that schools have previously faced. After all, when learning predominantly takes place on interactive whiteboards, there is not much need for paper and exercise books. So, if more classrooms were to move to tech tools, they could see some of their traditional expenses disappear, which could save many schools a lot of money.

Promotes digital citizen skills

We all need tech skills in this day and age as our lives are becoming a lot more dependent on various forms of technologies. By gaining these kinds of skills, we become digital citizens and are better equipped to succeed in the digital world. When schools bring tech into the classroom, they are aiding children by equipping them with the skills they will need later in life.

So, what do you think about bringing technology into school classrooms?

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RNA Nanoparticles Designed for Brain Cancer Therapy

Brain cell networks

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

13 July 2018. Medical researchers and material scientists devised a technique for delivering tiny particles of genetic material to the brain, which help lab mice shrink or remove their brain tumors and survive longer. A team from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore describes its process and results in a recent issue of the journal Nano Letters (paid subscription required).

The Johns Hopkins researchers led by cancer specialist John Latera and bioengineering/materials science professor Jordan Green are seeking better treatment options for glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer that affects astrocyte or glial cells supporting neurons or nerve cells in the brain. Glioblastoma is often difficult to treat, where usually the best hope is to slow progression of the disease with radiation or chemotherapy. Survival from initial tumors is typically 20 months and those with recurring glioblastoma usually survive for less than a year.

Among the difficulties in treating glioblastoma are the resilience of cancer stem cells and the blood-brain barrier. Cancer stem cells, say the authors, are able to reproduce themselves and sustain the cancer, even after tumors are removed by surgery, allowing them to spawn more tumor cells. The blood-brain barrier is a mechanism that prevents molecules from crossing from the blood stream into brain cells. Blood vessels in the brain form a support network for brain functions, with tightly-packed cells lining blood vessels that allow nutrients to pass through, but keeping out foreign substances, including drugs to treat neurological conditions.

Even if the blood-brain barrier can be pierced, brain cancer therapies still need to be carefully targeted to attack only tumor cells and not healthy tissue. To meet these objectives, the Johns Hopkins team designed tiny nanoscale particles — where 1 nanometer equals 1 billionth of a meter — that deliver micro RNAs, genetic molecules that serve as regulators of the genome. They start out small, but evolve into more complex molecules that interact with another type of RNA — messenger RNA — to control the expression of genes responding to various proteins.

In this case, the micro RNAs bind to messenger RNAs with instructions from 2 genes, HMGA1 and DNMT, that regulate gene expression and provide repair and stability for genes. By targeting the 2 genes, the micro RNAs block production of proteins that support the most dangerous properties of cancer stem cells, making them less likely to propagate and more susceptible to cancer treatments like drugs or radiation. The micro RNAs are packed into nanoscale particles made from a biodegradable polymer called poly(beta-amino esters) or PBAEs, already in use for gene therapies.

The researchers tested micro RNA nanoparticles with 18 lab mice implanted with human glioblastoma. All of the mice received nanoparticles with micro RNAs about 6 weeks after the tumor implantations, but in only 9 of the 18 mice were the micro RNAs activated. The results show the mice receiving the activated nanoparticles survived from 80 to 133 days, while the inactive nanoparticle recipients lived no more than 90 days. In the longer-surviving mice, their glioblastoma tumors were sharply reduced in size or completely disappeared, while mice receiving the inactive nanoparticles showed little or no evidence of tumor shrinkage.

The team believes the findings prove the concept of micro RNA delivery with nanoparticles, but the process needs more development to meet human scale demands, such as catheters or pumps to move the nanoparticles through the larger human brain. Nonetheless, the researchers filed for a patent on the technology.

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Trial Testing Vitamin D, Fatty Acids for Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes word cloud

(905513, Pixabay)

12 July 2018. A clinical trial is underway testing vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in children and adults as a treatment for type 1 diabetes, the form of diabetes where the body does not produce insulin. The trial is led by and conducted at the Diabetes Research Institute at University of Miami in Florida.

Type 1 diabetes is an inherited autoimmune disorder where the beta cells in the pancreas do not produce insulin, and is diagnosed primarily in children or young adults. Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the immune system is tricked into attacking healthy cells and tissue as if they were foreign invaders, in this case, insulin-producing beta cells. From 5 to 10 percent of people diabetes have the type 1 form, estimated at 1.25 million people in the U.S.

Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute is exploring the benefits of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and some oilseed plants like flax for people with type 1 diabetes. Among other benefits, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are believed to improve immune system functioning. The institute team believes these properties can be translated into help for people with type 1 diabetes, to slow the progression or even stop the disease entirely.

Camillo Ricordi, director of the institute, says in an institute statement, “Results from our recent case studies examining the role of omega-3 and vitamin D in preserving beta cell function in three pediatric subjects with type 1 diabetes warrant further investigation of this potential therapeutic strategy.” Results of these cases were published in July 2016.

The early- and intermediate-stage clinical trial is recruiting 56 individuals with type 1 diabetes in a pilot test of these treatments. Participants range in age from 6 to 65, but must be diagnosed with the condition within the past 10 years. The group is randomly assigned into 4 sections, each with 14 participants, and 2 groups each of children and adults, divided further into those with type 1 diabetes that began within the previous 6 months, and those with the disorder for more than 6 months. The trial is testing high doses of cholecalciferol, a vitamin D dietary supplement only, compared to cholecalciferol plus highly refined omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil, over 1 year.

Individuals in the trial will be evaluated primarily for the ability of their bodies to produce insulin. Participants will be given a Mixed Meal Tolerance Test, usually a standard dietary mixed meal, such as the commercial supplements Boost or Ensure. Blood tests then measure blood glucose levels in response to the meal. These tests will be given over the 1 year period, as well as measures of insulin requirements and signs of adverse effects over the period.

“If combination omega-3 and vitamin D therapy is able to delay progression or halt autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes,” notes Ricordi, “this is expected to result in retention of insulin secretion, minimal use of exogenous insulin, and improved metabolic control thus minimizing the risks associated with unstable blood glucose levels.” The researchers believe if the trial is successful, the strategy may also benefit patients with other autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

Ricordi tells more about the trial in the following video.

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Don’t Fall for These Common Business Tech Events

– Contributed content –

Man at desk

(Maxpixel.net)

12 July 2018. Every business needs to use some type of technology. Whether you start off with a single computer or you immediately have a large collection of sophisticated equipment, you need to be able to manage the tech that your business needs. Many businesses, both new and established, can experience various problems where technology is concerned. Mistakes are easy to make if you don’t know much about technology. Fortunately, they’re also easy to avoid, if you know what to be aware of. Read the advice below if you want to avoid making some of the biggest tech mistakes that businesses fall for.

Not having a plan

You should always have a plan for doing anything. You might not know exactly what your business will look like in the future, but you should have an idea of what you want it to look like. And if you have a plan for your business’s growth, you should also have a plan for the growth of your IT infrastructure. You’re going to need the appropriate technology to support your growing business. You might start off with a single computer, but you’re soon going to need more. When you create a plan for growth, don’t forget to consider technology and its role in your business.

Not having any tech support

You might think that you don’t have much of a need for tech support. However, as your company grows, it’s going to get more and more important. Even while your business is small, you can still benefit from some technical support. What happens when your one computer goes wrong? What if your internet connection isn’t working? Some technical support might be available from a current service provider or a retailer you bought a product from. If your company is small, you can get support from a care and support package for particular hardware or software. As you grow, there are scalable support options available for your IT.

Not ensuring adequate security

Security is vital when it comes to protecting your business technology. But too many businesses can be lax about keeping their technology secure. You might think you’re maintaining good security, but you might not be doing as good a job as you thought. It’s essential to have the right protection against viruses and cybercrime. It’s also important to keep everything up to date. If you install all the right measures but then neglect them, they won’t remain effective. Any security incidents could end up costing you a lot of money, especially if you don’t protect customer information properly.

Laptop, notebook, pen

(Gournbik, Pixabay)

Thinking that all website design is the same

A website is an essential part of any business’s online marketing strategy. Some companies start by building a small site themselves, but they quickly discover that they need something more. If you decide that you need to find a website designee, you need to brush up on your knowledge about web design and development. It’s a good idea to know the UI and UX difference so that you can find the right person to build your website. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all website designers will do everything that you need. Some specialize in creating the right look for your site, while others focus on its function. Some will do both but not all of them do.

Getting all the shiny tech

It’s very tempting to try and get all of the cool tech for your company. Maybe you’re aiming to be modern and up-to-date, and you want to get ahead of your competitors. But you can’t spend all your money on technology that might not even end up being as useful as you hoped. There’s no need to constantly get the new thing. That’s an expensive way to manage your tech, and it could mean that you spend half your time implementing new tools. Before you buy anything new, you need to consider the costs and benefits of doing it. Are you going to have to spend lots of time training your staff to use a new tool? How will it really benefit your company in terms of productivity, profit and other important factors?

Concentrating too much on software

Choosing the right software is important. However, it’s important not to neglect hardware when you’re thinking about your business technology. You could have some fancy software, but it’s not going to work well for you if your hardware is inadequate. Having the right hardware can often be more beneficial if you want to get things done faster and smoother. Before you consider any new software, think about whether updating your hardware could offer you the most benefits.

Failing to train staff

Whenever you add new technology to your business, you need to make sure everyone can use it. If you don’t train your staff, you might as well not bother implementing any new technology. It can take time and money, but you need to make sure that the relevant people know how to use any new tools. When you’re deciding whether to invest in anything new, the usability is vital to consider. Your employees need to be able to learn how to use new technology without too much trouble. The more they need to learn, the more time and money it will cost you to implement.

Thinking you can do it all yourself

You should make sure that you seek out help for various aspects of your business technology. Many people assume that they can do all or most things themselves, when it might not be that easy. Even if you have the technical knowledge to do a lot of tasks yourself, you probably don’t have the time. If you want to concentrate on growing your business, you can’t spend too much time sorting out technical issues. Get someone else to do the busy work so that you can concentrate your energy where it’s needed most.

You can’t avoid making all mistakes, but you can know which ones are important to watch out for. Even if you do make a mistake, at least you can learn from it.

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FDA Issues Draft Gene Therapy Regulatory Guidance

Editing DNA

(LaCasadeGoethe, Pixabay)

11 July 2018. Food and Drug Administration issued a series of draft documents spelling out its processes for reviewing gene therapies for three types of diseases, as well as producing and testing these treatments. The six new guidance documents released for public comment were announced today in a statement by FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb on the agency’s web site.

The proposed regulatory framework covers new drug applications for therapies where healthy genes are transferred into a patient’s genome that replace missing or defective genes, as well as those that change genetic sequences, such as with genome editing. These treatments are being tested for inherited disorders, as well as autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Gottlieb says in his statement that even though the agency already reviewed and approved three gene therapies, the field is still new and its staff is still learning. He notes …

In contrast to traditional drug review, some of the more challenging questions when it comes to gene therapy relate to product manufacturing and quality, or questions about the durability of response, which often can’t be fully answered in any reasonably sized pre-market trial. For some of these products, we may need to accept some level of uncertainty around these questions at the time of approval.

Three of the documents address gene therapies for specific sets of diseases. One document spells out the agency’s thinking for review of gene therapies for hemophilia, an inherited blood disease. People with hemophilia lack a protein called a clotting factor that helps blood platelets coagulate around a wound. The two main types of the disorder are hemophilia A and B, where individuals lack clotting factor 8 or 9 respectively. About 8 in 10 people with hemophilia have type A. The guidance document outlines recommendations for designing clinical trials to test gene therapies, measurements for clotting factors 8 and 9, and preclinical steps for gene therapy developers. As reported in Science & Enterprise, FDA recently stopped a clinical trial from beginning in a test of genome editing for sickle cell disease, another inherited blood disorder.

A separate document highlights the agency’s approach to reviewing gene therapies for diseases of the retina, the layer of nerve cells on the back wall inside the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain. One of the gene therapies approved by FDA in December 2017 is a treatment for inherited retinal disease made by Spark Therapeutics, also as reported by Science & Enterprise. The draft guidance provides recommendations for product development, as well as manufacturing considerations that take into consideration the fragile nature of eye tissue. The document also recommends preclinical studies with larger animals than lab mice or rats, to better approximate human eye size and complexity.

Another document covers gene therapies for rare diseases, while individually having small numbers, affect some 25 million people in the U.S., with children making up about half of that population. FDA says some 80 percent of rare diseases are caused by defects in single genes, making them good candidates for gene therapies. Because of small numbers of people affected with individual rare diseases, however, clinical trials of their treatments, including gene therapies, are more challenging. As a result, FDA recommends in the document more emphasis on preclinical studies to determine risks and benefits of proposed therapies. In clinical trials, the agency may consider alternatives to the classic randomized design testing experimental treatments against a placebo, such as single groups of patients with results compared to historical records, within specified limits.

FDA issued three other guidance documents on gene therapies for comment: (1) chemistry, manufacturing, and control information required for investigational new drug applications for gene therapies, (2) special requirements in retroviral vector-based gene therapies to protect against replication-competent retroviruses that pose serious risks to patients, and (3) long-term follow-up studies of gene therapies, looking particularly for delayed adverse effects.

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Apps Seen Over-Diagnosing Mental Health Conditions

Mental health scrabble

(Wokandapix, Pixabay)

11 July 2018. A study of leading mobile apps for mental health indicates many apps promote their use with misleading guidance to individuals on the extent and seriousness of psychological conditions. Researchers from University of Sydney in Australia describe their analysis and findings in yesterday’s issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

A team led by postdoctoral researcher Lisa Parker in University of Sydney’s pharmacy school investigated the growing use of mobile apps addressing mental health, particularly those claiming to relieve symptoms or improve an individual’s well being. The authors note that thousands of apps on the market deal in some way with mental conditions, and practitioners increasingly report that patients are seeking help after using mental health apps on their mobile devices.

Parker and colleagues, including clinicians and consumer advocates, screened the top 100 health and fitness apps in mobile app stores in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia in August and September 2016. The researchers also included in its screening several apps receiving government or health endorsements. From this collection, the team selected 61 apps which specifically deal with mental health diagnosis, symptoms, or solutions, excluding addictions. The team then analyzed the apps’ public descriptions in the app stores or supporting web sites looking for prominent themes in their literature, particularly the framing of mental health issues, defined as the assumptions underlying the apps’ approaches.

The researchers found, of the 61 apps, more than half (56%) deal with anxiety, panic, and stress, while about a quarter (26%) cover mood disorders, and a few more address overall well being and other mental health concerns. The apps in general, say the authors, express a view that mental health problems are experienced by everyone, and can be triggered by minor incidents, or are evidenced by a lack of life achievements. Portrayals of prospective users, note the researchers, often show people who are white, employed, and having a family. Another prominent theme is the idea that these ubiquitous mental health problems can be easily managed by individuals using the apps. Only a few apps attribute mental health problems to external stresses.

The analysis indicates mental health apps mainly offer 2 types of therapies — calming practices such as mindfulness, or cognitive therapies — while a few apps offer self-monitoring or sharing results with a community as a form of therapy. A majority of the apps (61%) cite vague evidence references for their claims (e.g., “clinically proven”), or formal studies without citations. Despite the claims, about half of the apps (49%) publish disclaimers absolving the developers of responsibility from consequences of using the app, or even its suitability for the individual.

The authors acknowledge that the idea of widespread mental illness in the population could reduce its stigma, but it’s more than offset by dangers of over-diagnosis and over-treatment, particularly when they bring little benefit to the individuals. “Implying mental health problems are present in everyone promotes the medicalization of normal states,” says Parker in a university statement. “These users are unlikely to get any significant benefits but may receive large time burdens and potential loss of privacy. It might be useful for these people to hear alternative views about what constitutes normal psychological experiences in order to prevent over-diagnosis.”

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Business Tips That Will Help You Avoid Being Sued

– Contributed content –

Woman at desk

(energepic, Pexels.com)

11 July 2018. If you operate a business then you will know more than anyone how important it is to keep it protected. You will also understand how important it is for you to try and stay on top of your finances and the people who you work with as well. When it comes to protecting your business however, there are a lot of other things that you can do to try and make sure that you don’t get involved with any lawsuits, and you can find out everything you need to know below.

Watch what you say and do

When it comes to your business image, you need to make sure that you are continually doing everything you can to remain professional. You need to make sure that any employees that you do work with avoid making any announcements that could be considered to be questionable for your business. They also need to avoid turning down business on your behalf as well, even if the individuals in question are somewhat unscrupulous. The last thing that you need is to be known for shoddy business practices as this could really compromise the company ethics that you have. Another thing that you need to watch out for is a conflict of interest. For example, if you are on the town council and you try and get a rule passed that would benefit your business then this would be a conflict of interest.

Handshake and laptop

(Rawpixel, Pexels.com)

Competent attorneys

Hiring some good business lawyers is crucial here. You need to have someone on-hand who can work with you to make sure that your business is protected in every way possible. It’s a good idea for you to consult someone who is familiar with the local rules and regulations in your area and it also helps to have someone who is experienced in your industry as well. For example, if you operate a yoga business then they can help you to avoid any personal injury lawsuits and they may even be able to help you if someone does have a complaint about your service. This can actually help you to avoid getting involved in a lawsuit in the first place so their services are well-worth having in-advance.

Don’t be too attached

A lot of people who start their own business do so as sole proprietorships. The problem with this is that if the company is sued, the assets from the owner are very easy for someone to attack in a court of law. The solution to this is for you to try and find a way to limit the amount of assets that you have attached to your business. This can include your property, cash, securities and more. You need to try and make sure that you are able to separate the assets of the company to the assets that you have for yourself. This is one of the best ways for you to try and stay on top of the whole thing and it will also help you to protect yourself when the time does come for you to deal with legal issues in the future.

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this post are those of the contributor and not Science & Enterprise.

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Big Data, A.I. Applied to Precision Medicine for Lung Disease

Human lungs illustration

(NIH.gov)

10 July 2018. A medical analytics company and two academic scientists are applying artificial intelligence technologies to discover precise therapies for people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease. Financial and intellectual property aspects of the collaboration between NuMedii Inc. in San Mateo, California, Naftali Kaminski at Yale University School of Medicine, and Ivan Rosas at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School were not disclosed.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease usually affecting people between the ages of 50 and 70. The disorder results in fibrosis or scar tissue building up in the lungs, limiting the ability of lungs to transfer oxygen to the blood stream. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and a dry hacking cough, as well as a loss of appetite and weight loss in some cases. The scarring of lung tissue increases over time, often leading to other serious lung conditions, including lung cancer and blood clots in the lungs. From 13 to 20 per 100,000 people worldwide experience idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Some 100,000 people in the U.S. have the condition, with 30,000 to 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Most patients die within five years following diagnosis.

The collaboration is bringing together research by Kaminski and Rosas on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, with the big data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities of NuMedii. Kaminiski is co-director of Yale’s Center for Precision Pulmonary Medicine, or P2Med, that aims to identify molecular characteristics of lung diseases to enable more precise patient-specific diagnostics and therapies. Rosas also studies molecular characteristics of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, particularly those indicators associated with aging that contributes to both conditions.

NuMedii offers computational services in its artificial intelligence for drug discovery platform that analyzes large quantities of genomic, research, and medical record data for precision medicine. The company’s systems access data from public academic and private company databases, as well as its own data stores, and applies artificial intelligence analytics, such as machine and deep learning algorithms. NuMedii’s analyses are used to highlight new biomarkers and targets for diagnostics, and therapeutics to meet personalized molecular properties.

In this project, NuMedii’s systems will analyze data from Yale’s P2Med center on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The P2Med center performs single-cell sequencing of RNA, genetic material coded from DNA giving protein-production instructions to cells. The addition of high-volume RNA sequencing data to NuMedii’s analytical engines, under the direction of Kaminski and Rosas, is expected to produce more insights, as well as precise biomarkers and therapeutic targets for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF.

Kaminiski says in a NuMedii statement, “The data we will derive by molecularly profiling thousands of single cells in every patient’s sample will allow us to understand disease at an unprecedented resolution and should allow us to identify new cell types and biological mechanisms involved in IPF.” Rosas adds that “the opportunity to leverage our combined scientific research along with data analytics and drug discovery capabilities to facilitate the translation of our research into new precision therapies … will help patients with IPF and the physicians who treat them.”

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