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Challenge Seeks Risk Assessment Tool for Microloan Denials

A new challenge from InnoCentive calls for a tool to gauge the financial risk of people and organizations that were denied a microloan for their business. The challenge has a prize of $40,000 and a deadline of 30 May 2012.

InnoCentive in Waltham, Massachusetts is a company the conducts open-innovation, crowd-sourcing competitions for corporate and . . . → Read More: Challenge Seeks Risk Assessment Tool for Microloan Denials

Robotic Hand Demonstrates Firm Grip and Gentle Touch

Robotic hand holding a colored egg (Saarland University)

An engineering team at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany has built a robotic hand with the ability to firmly grasp sturdy objects like bottles, yet with enough sensitivity to hold an egg (pictured right). The Saarland researchers collaborated with colleagues in Bologna and Naples, Italy as . . . → Read More: Robotic Hand Demonstrates Firm Grip and Gentle Touch

Trial Highlights Metastatic Breast Cancer Drug Effectiveness

(Cancer.gov)

First results from a clinical trial of the drug trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) made by Genentech, a division of the global pharmaceutical company Roche, show the drug extended the lives of metastatic breast cancer patients without the disease getting worse. The study enrolled people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who had previously received treatment . . . → Read More: Trial Highlights Metastatic Breast Cancer Drug Effectiveness

Carnegie Institution Adds Four New Crop Databases

Soybean field (Agricultural Research Service/USDA)

The Carnegie Institution of Science says its Plant Metabolic Network, based in Stanford, California, has added online databases on the biochemical pathways controlling the metabolism of corn, soybeans, wine grapes, and cassava. The new additions offer a detailed view of the chemical reactions taking place in the cells of . . . → Read More: Carnegie Institution Adds Four New Crop Databases

Medication Alerts Probed in Electronic Health Records

Alissa Russ (Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis)

Medical and engineering researchers in Indiana have investigated human and electronic factors behind the value of alerts in automated health records designed to warn prescribers of medication problems. The findings of the team from the Regenstrief Institute, Indiana and Purdue universities, and the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans . . . → Read More: Medication Alerts Probed in Electronic Health Records

BASF to Boost R&D Spending, Staffing

Cosmetics lab in Ludwigshafen (BASF)

The global chemical company BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany says it plans to increase its research and development spending to €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2012, and align its R&D programs more closely with high-growth business fields. The company also announced plans to increase its research staff, particularly in Asia . . . → Read More: BASF to Boost R&D Spending, Staffing

Novartis, Broad Institute Partner on Cancer Genome Database

(James. J. Caras, National Science Foundation)

The global pharmaceutical company Novartis and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts have launched a compendium of genomic and molecular data on 947 cancer cell lines for drug research and development. The Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia is available to the public on the Broad Institute Web site and . . . → Read More: Novartis, Broad Institute Partner on Cancer Genome Database

Cisco Systems Unveils R&D Collaboration Plans in Russia

Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev, left, greeted by Cisco Systems chairman John Chambers, June 2010 (Cisco Systems)

Cisco Systems in San Jose, California revealed plans for new collaborations in Russia’s Skolkovo project, the country’s scheme to develop a technology and innovation center outside Moscow. The strategy unveiled today is part of a larger initiative with . . . → Read More: Cisco Systems Unveils R&D Collaboration Plans in Russia

Trial of ALS Stem Cell Treatment Reports First Results

(National Institute on Aging, NIH)

Researchers from the biotechnology company Neuralstem in Rockville, Maryland and three universities report that an early clinical trial of transplanted spinal cord stem cells to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) shows the 12 patients were able to tolerate the treatment without long-term complications. The team . . . → Read More: Trial of ALS Stem Cell Treatment Reports First Results

European Project to Develop More Satisfying Food

(Genome.gov)

A European consortium of universities and companies plans to develop food with a greater ability to satisfy the desire for food, to control appetite and combat obesity. The SATiety INnovation (SATIN) project brings together 18 academic and industrial partners from nine European countries including research institutes and companies in the food and retail . . . → Read More: European Project to Develop More Satisfying Food