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How to Make Science More Engaging in the Classroom

– Contributed content –

Science class

(Flickr)

10 August 2018. The best thing to do these days, if you want to bring science more mainstream, is to try to get kids more interested. This starts at school level, where you need to look at ways of bringing more attention to science, and getting kids excited about the world of science and technology. There are a lot of things you need to make sure you sort out to allow this to happen.

It is important to understand that everything in the world is affected by science in some capacity. There are so many things that we need to do that are going to excite and impress young kids and get them interested in science. They are the scientists of the future, so the more we can do to cultivate a passion now, the better it bodes for the future. These are some excellent ideas that are going to help science be more engaging in the classroom.

Make it more interactive

The most interesting lessons for kids these days are those that are interactive. Anything that allows them to take part, experiment with things, and actually find the root cause of problems and fix them is so key. Science is all about problem-solving and using technology to better the world. So, making your lessons as interactive as possible is actually really important.

Stimulation is crucial

Stimulation in the classroom is so crucial because children need to be stimulated and interested. This is one of the reasons why technology in the classroom is so important and part of what is involved in the process of improving and enhancing the learning experience. You need to make sure science lessons stimulate, captivate, and educate, and children will be more receptive toward them.

Allow it to be cool

At its core, science is pretty cool! So, why not allow it to be cool in the classroom as well? There are a lot of things you can do to try to make science cooler, and much of this is about what you let the kids do. Consider the coolest elements of physics, chemistry, biology, and computing, and make sure you add them to the list of things you are going to introduce into the classroom.

Make sure you have all the right equipment

Having the right equipment is absolutely essential when you are trying to improve science in the classroom. Stocking up on the likes of the Nexys 4 DDR trainer board is crucial for being able to provide your kids with the right equipment they need to get the most out of their lessons. This is so important to get right, and there are so many advantages to doing this.

Science in the school environment has changed a lot over the past decade. There are more opportunities than ever for children to have a more hands-on experience and enjoy everything science has to offer. This is so important for improving children’s skills and making them more engaged and excited about science as a whole.

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Yeast Biosensor Devised to Measure Radiation Exposure

Yeast radiation badges

Adding a drop of water to one of these badges activates yeast to show radiation exposure as read by an electronic device. (Kayla Wiles, Purdue University)

9 August 2018. An engineering group created a simple monitoring badge using yeast, which in a process similar to fermentation provides instant feedback on radiation exposure to lab workers. The radiation sensors, developed at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, are described in yesterday’s issue of the journal Advanced Biosystems (paid subscription required).

A team from Purdue’s Biomedical Microdevices Laboratory led by electrical and computer engineering professor Babak Ziaie is seeking a better process for measuring radiation exposure, which needs to be carefully monitored for people in work places such as medical offices and labs, where X-rays are routinely emitted. Even with protective gear, continuous low-level exposure can become dangerous, increasing the risk for cataracts, skin irritation, thyroid disease, and cancer.

Current devices called dosimeters can measure radiation exposure for radiology workers, but their data are usually read and compiled off-site and returned to the labs later on. “They wear the badges for a month or two” says Ziaie in a university statement, referring to radiology workers, “and then they send them to the company that made them. But it takes weeks for the company to read the data and send a report back to the hospital. Ours give an instant reading at much lower cost.”

The Purdue team’s sensor badge contains yeast, simple one-cell organisms used in baking and making beer. In this case, yeast provides living cells which react to radiation in predictable and measurable ways, since the organisms are also widely studied in labs as a model organism. In their badge-device, Ziaie and colleagues apply a film of yeast cells to a paper and aluminum surface. Exposure to radiation kills the yeast cells, something like the way human cells are damaged after extended exposure.

After worn for a period of time, the badge is put under a drop of water, which activates the remaining yeast cells. Wetting the yeast enables the cells to consume glucose and release carbon dioxide, similar to fermentation, but also generates ions that can be measured by attaching electrodes to the badge. The more exposure to radiation, the more yeast cells are destroyed, and the lower the amount of electrical energy produced by the badge.

Tests by the Purdue team show a small 18 by 18 millimeter badge can measure radiation doses as low as 1 millirad, or 0.001 rads, like today’s dosimeters. A rad is a standard measure of radiation dose exposure, with current OSHA guidelines calling for skin on a person’s body to be exposed to no more than 7.5 rads over a 3-month period.

The university filed for a patent on the device. The researchers are refining the technology to enable a smartphone or tablet app to read the badge and report the data. The team is also extending the technology for use in high radiation environments, such as nuclear power plants and radiation emergencies.

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Cancer Drug Delivery Through Milk Particles Under Study

Cattle

(Stefanie Drenkow-Lolies, Pixabay)

9 August 2018. A new research project is investigating components in raw cow’s milk that could make it possible to give chemotherapy for cancer as oral drugs rather than infusions. The work at University of Colorado’s medical campus in Denver is funded by a 4-year grant awarded this month by National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of National Institutes of Health, with nearly $500,000 allocated for the first year.

The team led by pharmacy professor Tom Anchordoquy and cancer neuroscientist Michael Graner are seeking better methods for delivering cancer drugs that today require intravenous infusions and trained medical staff to administer. Many drugs like chemotherapies need to use infusions to bypass harsh acids and enzymes in the stomach that would degrade and interfere with the drugs if taken as pills or capsules.

One exception, however, is mother’s milk, which when ingested is able to transfer antibodies through the baby’s digestive tract. Mother’s milk protects against degradation by stomach acids by encasing antibodies in particles called exosomes, allowing antibodies to remain intact and be absorbed through the gut into the blood stream. Previous studies show that milk, including cow’s milk, contains ribonucleic acid or RNA encased in exosomes that can alter the expression of genes in humans.

Exosomes are tiny — 40 to 150 nanometer — lipid-membrane containers in cells that gather up and secrete cytoplasm, the gel-like material outside the cell nucleus. While originally believed to carry out waste removal and other maintenance tasks, exosomes are shown in recent years to perform useful delivery functions carrying proteins and genetic material to other cells, and drawing increased attention from a range of biological disciplines.

Anchordoquy explains in a university statement that cells lining the intestines have neonatal Fc receptors that recognize immunoglobulin G, or igG antibodies, the most common antibody in blood. The receptors bind to and protect the antibodies while transporting them into the blood stream, along with the exosome. Despite their name, neonatal Fc receptors remain in the human gut throughout one’s lifetime.

The Colorado team wants to extend this mechanism using milk exosomes to deliver cancer drugs. The researchers believe raw cows milk can work as effectively as mother’s milk. “Cows and humans are similar enough,” says Anchordoquy, “that cow proteins bind to the human receptors and are transported by the same mechanism. When you drink milk, cow exosomes bind to these receptors and it moves cow molecules into your blood.”

The new study aims to examine this process further with the goal of demonstrating in lab tests delivery of cancer-fighting molecules. The researchers propose testing oral delivery of iRGD peptides, known to target and penetrate tumors, encased in raw milk exosomes, and even recruited a local organic dairy farm for the project.

Instead of going to a hospital or clinic for chemotherapy, notes Anchordoquy, “we have the prospect of stuffing cow’s milk with chemotherapeutics. And who wouldn’t love to just drink a glass of milk or eat an ice cream cone instead of being infused?” Anchordoquy — with lab colleagues, dairy farmer, and cancer patient — tell more about the project in the following video.

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Privacy and Security – Why They Matter and How Your Business Can Achieve Them

– Contributed content –

9 August 2018. One of the things that many entrepreneurs find most difficult about running a modern business is the task of making sure that they get all the technical things right. These days, matters of privacy and security are more important than ever before, but there are still small businesses out there that aren’t taking the threat seriously. Your business could already be a target for criminals, so what are you going to do to stay safe?

By retaining your privacy and taking steps to bolster your security, your business should be able to evade the many threats that are out there waiting to pounce. But if you don’t know how to improve privacy and security and you don’t even know why these things matter all that much, it can be difficult for you. You’re going to learn about all that and more right now, so read on and discuss the points made.

Binoculars searching graphic

(PXHere)

Why Does Your Business Require Privacy and Security Measures?

There are some pretty plain and straightforward reasons why your business needs to take privacy and security seriously. Of course, it’s very easy to bury your head in the sand and now pay attention until something goes wrong, but that’s not good for anyone.

Your money can be stolen easily if you’re not careful

It’s much easier than you think to steal your money. Fraudsters can use the internet to gain access to your accounts if you’re not being careful and securing things properly. It’s a shame that you have to put so much thought into not being robbed, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in today, and you simply have to adapt to that reality. You don’t want to be made to feel stupid after falling victim to a crude online scam, but it happens far more than people realize.

Fraud techniques are becoming increasingly elaborate

It’s not just the crude scams you can fall victim to though. There’s also a whole host of elaborate and hard to detect scams that are run by people who really know what they’re doing when it comes to stealing people’s money. You don’t want your business to fall victim to those either, and you really don’t need to if you’re willing to learn and stay informed. There are resources out there that can help you to learn about the latest scams that these fraudsters are using.

Your customers could be put at risk

It’s not just your business that could be put at risk when you’re targeted by scammers. There’s also a chance that your customers could be targeted as well. If you start customer data and information, the criminals could target this and aim to steal all kinds of details about your customers. Your customers would completely lose trust in your band if it was found out that you had lost their financial details and sensitive information. That’s not what you want to happen, so be careful.

You don’t want company secrets leaked

Privacy matters a lot when it comes to developing a new product that you want to later take to market. If people already know what’s coming, it really does wreck the surprise a little. So you should avoid leaks, but it’s not just about maintaining that surprise. It’s all about making sure that your rivals don’t get a whiff of what you have planned next because that could make them major rivals of yours again. Keep your cards close to your chest and focus on …

Lock and key graphic

(Pixabay)

The Steps Your Business Should Take

Now you know a bit about why these two things matter so much to anyone trying to run a successive small business, it’s time to talk about some of the steps your business might want to take to improve the situation.

Secure your WiFi

If you still use an unsecured WiFi, that’s something that’s very risky and very unusual in this day and age. Every wifi connection needs to be secured with a full password, and don’t make it something that’s too easy to guess. If the connection is not secured, anyone can get onto it, and this is when they can start messing with accounts and maybe even steal details if they get the chance to. That’s not what you want, so secure your WiFi if it isn’t secured already.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is when you have to go through another check to prove that you’re the person who you say you are. This extra layer means that entering a password isn’t enough, and the question will be linked to something that the owner of the account chooses. If it means there’s less chance of someone stealing your sensitive information, this is certainly worth it, so Two-factor authentication definitely is definitely a possibility now. It’s so easy to set up, but it really could save your skin as well.

Work with secure online service providers

You definitely want to work with the kinds of companies that take security seriously. For example, if you want to use an online fax service, you should check the security policies of the company before you go ahead. And the same applies to any privacy policies they might have. It’s all well and good getting your own approach to privacy and security right, but it’s not worth much if you’re being undermined by companies that you work with, so choose the best companies to work with.

Create a strong privacy policy

You need to not only have a good approach how you’re going to keep your privacy safe from prying eyes, but how you’re also going to keep it safe in general. This means that you should come up with some specific privacy policies that everyone who works for your business needs to follow in the months and years ahead of us. Everyone should be very clear on what’s expected from them in terms of adhering to this policy.

Encrypt sensitive information

If you really need to transport some documents or information from yourself to someone else, or vice versa, you need to make sure that you us encryption. This is one of those things that you can start putting into action straight away. It allows you to ensure that no one can intercept and read your emails in order to read encoded anything. It’s relatively simply, yet very powerful. A properly encrypted email won’t be read by anyone but the intended recipient, and that’s got to be a good thing.

Train your employees correctly

The training really will go a long way when you’re trying to get your employees to where they need to be. And it’s up to them to look after the privacy and security of your business, so there’s definitely nothing wrong in training them in these areas. If you don’t do this, they will make the kinds of mistakes that arise because of a lack of understanding. There are plenty of training courses out there that you can make the most of if your team is lacking in this department.

Keep backups

It’s definitely important to keep backups of your files because when you fail to do this, you make it easier for your business to be completely derailed by a data breach of some kind. You want to be able to carry on regardless, even if something does go badly wrong in terms of your business’s privacy and security. Back up to the cloud and then call on it when you need it most. It doesn’t take long to do, but it could really save your skin one day.

Implement a strong password policy

Password policies are just as important as they ever were, so if you want to make sure that no one can hack into your accounts and get access to the kind of information they need in order to steal money from you, it’s important to implement a very robust password policy. No one should choose lazy options because this can make the entire business vulnerable, and that’s clearly not what you want. It might seem like a relatively small thing, but it has a big impact.

Use a firewall

Finally, you need to make sure that you use a proper firewall that’s been set up correctly and is capable of blocking out all kinds of cyber threats. There are so many of them out there, as we’ve already mentioned. So by installing a strong firewall that will immediately block anything that’s obviously mission of there. Find an IT professional who can help you with creating this firewall if you don’t really know what you’re doing with all this. It’s’ worth taking the time to get this right.

As you can see, there are so many things that you can and should do to secure the privacy and security of your business online. Just make sure that you don’t make any silly mistakes and implement as many of these ideas as swiftly as possible. The sooner you do that, the sooner your business will become private and secure.

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Graphene Tested in Space Launch

Graphene samples

Graphene samples prepared for launch (National University of Singapore)

8 August 2018. The material graphene, studied for more than a decade on earth, is the subject of tests for its ability to withstand the rigors of space travel. Researchers at National University of Singapore, or NUS, are analyzing graphene samples launched into the stratosphere at the end of June by the American company Boreal Space.

A team from NUS’s graphene research lab led by materials scientist Barbaros Özyilmaz prepared samples of graphene to test their properties as part of a shared payload launched in a Boreal Space mission. Graphene is a material closely related to graphite like that used in pencils, one atom in thickness and arrayed in an hexagonal atomic pattern. The material is very light, strong, chemically stable, and can conduct both heat and electricity, with applications in electronics, energy, manufacturing, and health care.

So far, however, graphene’s properties have not been evaluated under the stresses of space environments. According to Antonio Castro Neto, director of the university’s Centre for Advanced 2D Materials, graphene should be a logical choice for systems and structures designed for space. “To move a spacecraft over long distances in space,” notes Neto in a university statement, “huge accelerations and speeds which are only possible with very low mass equipment are needed. Graphene is the ideal material as it is among the lightest, yet strongest, functional materials we have. In addition, the high electronic performance of graphene makes it a prime candidate to handle the lack of oxygen and low temperatures in space.”

For the test, Özyilmaz and colleagues prepared samples of a single layer of graphene coating on substrates, packed into a CubeSat payload. CubeSats are standardized payload packages to enable low-cost access to space missions primarily for teaching and research. The graphene samples were launched on 30 June as part of a Boreal Space Wayfinder mission, where customers share payload space. The CubeSat was launched from the Mojave Desert in California into a low-earth orbit, after which the payloads parachuted back to earth and were retrieved the same day by the company.

The Singapore research team is analyzing the samples after the 71-second flight, where the material was subjected to conditions like rapid acceleration, vibration, acoustic shock, and a wide range of temperatures. The lab’s review to find defects in the graphene samples includes Raman spectroscopy, an analytical imaging technology that measures molecular vibrations by the amount of light scattered from a laser directed to a specimen or sample.

“If this research collaboration is able to demonstrate that graphene maintains its various properties and features after being launched into suborbital environment,” says Neto, “it will open up exciting new opportunities for graphene to be incorporated into technologies suitable for outer space and aerospace missions.” Those technologies, he adds, include electromagnetic shields, solar power generation, and thermal protection.

More from Science & Enterprise:

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Start-Up Developing Regenerative Liver Disease Treatments

Damaged liver cells

Liver cells damaged by cirrhosis from alcoholism (Ed Uthman, Flickr)

8 August 2018. A new enterprise founded by scientists, is underway developing treatments for advanced liver disorders that combine new drugs with cell and gene therapies to restore or replace liver functions. Ambys Medicines in Redwood City, California begins operations with $140 million from its first venture funding round and a deal with drug maker Takeda gaining access to the company’s first products.

Ambys Medicines aims to discover and create new treatments for advanced liver disease. The company cites statistics showing some 600,000 people in the U.S. have cirrhosis or scarring of liver tissue from conditions such as hepatitis and alcoholism. Development of scar tissue in the liver prevents regeneration of new liver cells, a process considered irreversible, resulting in life-threatening complications. The only option to restore liver function is with a liver transplant, of which 7,000 are done in the U.S. each year. However, says Ambys, about 40,000 people die each year from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

The company aims to create liver disease treatments based on research by its scientific founders:

Martin Burke, professor of chemistry at University of Illinois in Urbana, who studies small molecule compounds that function like proteins

Markus Grompe, cell biologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and director of its stem cell center

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who studies gene therapy and stem cells at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California

Holger Willenbring, professor of surgery at University of California in San Francisco, who studies stem cell therapies for liver diseases

The company plans to combine cell and gene therapy with protein chemistry to develop restorative treatments for advanced liver diseases.  Gene therapies are expected to transfer healthy genes to damaged hepatocytes, or liver cells, to reprogram the cells’ functions. Cell therapies aim to grow healthy hepatocytes in the lab in large enough quantities for transplanting in patients. And Ambys plans to develop small molecule drugs that act like proteins to restore lost liver functions.

Ambys was formed by life science investment company Third Rock Ventures, in Boston and San Francisco. Jeffrey Tong, a partner with Third Rock, is Ambys’s interim CEO. “Major advances in the fields of gene and cell therapy and gain-of-function drug therapies,” says Tong in an Ambys statement, “coupled with deeper understanding of liver biology, create the potential to develop drug therapies that can now restore or replace natural liver function.”

The company’s first venture funding round of $60 million is provided by Third Rock and Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Osaka, Japan. Takeda is also gaining an option to license Ambys’s first 4 products that complete preclinical steps and reach the stage of investigational new drug applications to FDA, in effect permission to conduct clinical trials. If Takeda exercises its options, it will gain commercialization rights for these products outside the U.S., pay half of their development costs, and provide payments to Ambys for development and regulatory milestones. Ambys will retain full U.S. rights on its products.

Takeda says it’s committing $100 million to its partnership with Ambys Medicines. A first payment from Takeda along with its first venture funding round is providing Ambys with $140 million in initial financing.

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Hottest New Trends In Web Design

– Contributed content –

Web portfolio

(Blackpool Webmasters)

8 August 2018. Want to create a website that feels modern? Web design has come on in leaps and bounds since the early days of the internet and some of the rules that once applied are no longer relevant. Here are just a few of the hottest trends being used by modern websites today.

Less text, more image

Modern websites rely heavily on giant images to draw in visitors. Walls of text that used to be found on websites have long been abandoned in exchange for small snippets of information divided into boxes or bullet points that make them more easily digestible. Blogs and news websites are an exception to this of course, although many of these sites still make heavy use of images. The best websites don’t just settle for stock images and will pay photographers and designers for unique content. This itself can help to make a website feel more individual.

Smooth animations

It’s no longer trendy to have a static website – being able to offer fun animation on your website can make it feel more alive. Of course, this doesn’t mean using cheap gifs and widgets, but instead getting a designer to create unique animations such as boxes of content that bounce as you scroll or scrolling banners of content.

Creative multimedia use

Youtube videos can be great for giving demonstrations of products or simply explaining a complex concept in a more fun way than using a block of text. VR Youtube videos are even being used to give more interactive virtual tours of locations such as hotels, real estate and college campuses. Meanwhile other companies are experimenting with other multimedia such as Soundcloud audio clips to hear how a product sounds or embedded tweets from fans used as testimonials. All this can make a website feel more flashy and modern.

Variable fonts

Some web designers are also exploring the idea of variable fonts. Rather than simply choosing between normal, bold and italic, designers are looking into the idea of multiple variations of the same font, which could allow you to keep a website within a theme while adding more variation to the text.

User customization

More control is also being placed into the hands of the user. E-commerce sites are finding new ways to display products and allow interactive personalization such as seeing how a coat looks in different sizes and colors or seeing how a furniture suite looks in your living room. This can result in a more fun and interactive user experience.

Mobile friendliness

The majority of internet users are now using their phones to surf the net. Websites must now be mobile-friendly in order to engage visitors. This means creating a mobile version that’s better suited to being viewed on a small screen with buttons that are big enough to be tapped with one’s finger. You could also link up your site with a company app, offering an easy download option for mobile users that allows access to more extensive features.

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Allergan Licensing Crispr for Inherited Eye Disease

Editing DNA

(LaCasadeGoethe, Pixabay)

7 August 2018. Drug maker Allergan is acquiring the rights from Editas Medicine to develop an application of the genome-editing technology Crispr for the inherited eye disease Leber congenital amaurosis type 10, or LCA10. In March 2017, Allergan, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, received access in an option deal to learn more about the Editas Medicine technology for LCA10. In the new agreement, Allergan is exercising that option to develop a Crispr-based therapy, which could bring Editas another $40 million.

Editas Medicine Inc. was founded in 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by geneticist Feng Zhang and colleagues from Broad Institute, a medical research center affiliated with Harvard University and MIT, to commercialize research from their labs on genome editing known as Crispr, short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. Crispr is based on bacterial defense mechanisms that use ribonucleic acid or RNA to identify and monitor precise locations in DNA. The actual editing is done by enzymes such as Cas9 or Cpf1.

Editas Medicine’s lead program is a Crispr-based treatment program for LCA-10 code-named EDIT-101. Leber congenital amaurosis is an inherited disorder that results from mutations in at least 18 genes. The disease affects infants, occurring in 2 to 3 in 100,000 newborns, but is still considered one of the more common causes of blindness in children. Leber congenital amaurosis primarily affects the retina. causing severe visual impairment beginning in infancy. LCA10, a variation of the disease, is traced to a mutation in CEP290 gene, accounting for 20 to 30 percent of individuals with Leber congenital amaurosis.

In the new agreement, Allergan will develop and commercialize EDIT-101 worldwide, while Editas will co-develop the treatment in the U.S., sharing those costs and profits equally. Allergan is paying Editas an option fee of $15 million, with Editas eligible for an additional $25 million if an investigational new drug application for EDIT-101 — in effect, permission to conduct clinical trials — is accepted by FDA.

As reported by Science & Enterprise in March 2017, Editas Medicine can still choose to co-develop in the U.S. one more treatment program licensed by Allergan. The original agreement also gave Editas an initial fee of $90 million.

“Allergan is a long-time innovator in ophthalmology,” says Katrine Bosley, Editas’s CEO in a joint statement, “and their deep experience in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing medicines globally will meaningfully advance the EDIT-101 program and maximize our ability to bring this transformative medicine to people living with LCA10.”

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Precision Medicine Technique Devised for Brain Tumors

Brain tumor graphic

(National Science Foundation)

7 August 2018. A process for quickly determining genetic mutations behind brain tumors and delivering a treatment addressing those mutations is shown to extend the survival of lab mice induced with those tumors. Medical researchers and engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School describe their techniques in yesterday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (paid subscription required).

The team from the MIT biomaterials science and engineering lab led by Robert Langer and researchers at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals in Boston are seeking better therapy options for people with gliomas, a type of tumor that affects glial cells in the brain. Glial cells surround and support the signaling functions of nerve cells in the brain. The standard treatment for gliomas today is surgery to remove the tumor, which must be done carefully to prevent damaging vital brain functions. As a result, surgery often leaves behind cancer cells that allow the tumor to return.

Between 20 and 25 percent of these gliomas can be traced to mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or IDH1 and IDH2 genes, also associated with metabolic functions in the body. While these specific mutations could possibly be treated with inhibitors that block the pathway for proteins from these mutations, giving this therapy through the blood stream could damage bone marrow, the liver, retinas, and blood platelets. The drugs would also have trouble crossing the blood-brain barrier. The researchers decided to develop a method for delivering these inhibitors directly into the region of the brain where the tumor occurred, immediately after its removal.

The team led by Langer, Mass. General neurosurgeon Daniel Cahill, and gastroenterologist/biomedical engineer Giovanni Traverso at Brigham and Women’s hospital first needed a way of determining the precise mutations responsible for the tumor. They assembled a set of genetic analysis tests to identify the mutations responsible for the tumor from biopsy samples in about 30 minutes.

The team also designed a method for delivering a small-molecule drug code-named GMX-1778 that inhibits the pathway producing proteins released by IDH1 and IDH2 mutations directly into the brain. In this case, the drug is formulated into microparticles embedded in poly lactic-co-glycolic acid, or PLGA, a common, biocompatible polymer used for time-released drug delivery. The PLGA microparticles are then inserted into the affected brain area for slow release after the tumor is removed.

The team designed this genetic testing and microparticle delivery process to be done at the same time the patient’s brain tumor is removed, a procedure taking about 4 hours. The researchers first  tested the process in simulated lab cultures, then in mice induced with gliomas resulting from IDH1 and IDH2 mutations. The mice with the mutations receiving the microparticle treatments survived longer, and with no indication of adverse effects from the inhibitors, than mice without the mutations.

The researchers plan further preclinical tests of these techniques with larger animals, but believe the process can be applied to other types of tumors where there’s a clear link to specific mutations. “We feel its best use would be in the early stages, to improve local control and prevent regrowth at the site,” says Cahill in an MIT statement. “Ideally it would be integrated early in the standard-of-care treatment for patients, and we would try to put off the recurrence of the disease for many years or decades.”

Several of the researchers, including the senior authors, filed a provisional patent on the technology. The following video tells more about the techniques.

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New Technology Hitting the Marketplace

– Contributed content –

Abstract network graphic

(Pexels.com)

7 August 2018. Science and technology are constantly progressing and the most impressive part of any development tends to be that once it has been created, tested, and confirmed usable and safe, it will generally enter the marketplace, so that companies and consumers alike can gain access to it and make use of it in their everyday lives. This is perhaps why it’s so important to always keep on top of technology that is in development and technology that has been recently introduced to the marketplace. There tend to be all sorts of ways that you can use it to your advantage, whether that may be on a personal level or a professional level. So, to keep yourself up to date, here are a few different pieces of new technology that are hitting the marketplace now.

GFETs

Sensors are used in all sorts of projects, however, Graphene has proven that there’s always room for improvement, especially when it comes to sensors used in research. In order to get the best results from studies, scientists need the best technology in their field. When it comes to the professional use of bioelectronics, photodetectors, chemical sensors, magnetic sensors, and biosensors, the majority of researchers are employing silicone-based electronic sensors.

But developments in technology have introduced GFETs to the market. GFETs are graphene based sensors, which are a much more concise and effective than their silicone-based alternatives. When it comes to bioelectronics, graphene based sensors (which you can buy direct from the manufacturer) have astounding physico-chemical properties, from high chemical inertness to high electrical conductivity, great thermal conductivity, biocompatibility, and a large specific surface area. For photodetectors, graphene has unique optoelectronic properties, which results in an ultrafast photo response over a wide spectral range. It can deal with everything from infrared to ultraviolet radiation.

In regards to chemical sensors, it can detect chemicals in both air and water with astounding sensitivity demands. It can event detect single molecule absorption events.  When it comes to magnetic sensors, graphene can cover automotive, consumer electronics, and health care fields, as well as the defense industry. Finally, biosensors: Graphene can provide users with a fusion of biology and electronics in order to fundamentally transform biological testing capabilities, size, and speed.

3-D printing

Now, we are all well aware that 3-D printing has been around for decades. However, it has generally remained a product used by manufacturers creating one-off prototypes and individuals who have made it a personal hobby. Why? Well, generally speaking, we have only had access to plastic 3-D printing. The majority of us are attempting to reduce the amount of plastic that we use in our lives, and on a professional level, we tend to want to create final products from sturdier and longer lasting materials. The good news? Developments in technology are making 3-D printing materials such as metal a much faster, cheaper, and accessible process. This holds huge potential for business owners, as they will no longer need to order large runs of bulk products when outsourcing their manufacturing process to big firms. Instead, they can 3-D print products and replacement parts as and when they are requested or in demand. New software is also making the design process a lot easier, with new software offering premade templates and designs for a whole variety of items that you might want to 3D print.

Amazon Rekognition

We are all becoming increasingly familiar with facial recognition software being used in our day to day lives. The iPhone X, for example, uses FaceID to scan your face and unlock your screen without you having to scan your thumbprint or type in a passcode. However, Amazon Rekognition is bringing recognition software into various other facets of our experiences. By providing an image or video to the Rekognition API, the service can detect people, objects, text, scenes, or activities, as well as identifying inappropriate content. The facial recognition within Amazon Rekognition also allows you to detect, analyse, and compare faces for a variety of different purposes, including user verification (if you develop software), people counting, and public safety purposes.

Perhaps the best part of Amazon Rekognition is that it does not generally require machine learning expertise on the user’s part. It is developed Amazon’s computer vision scientists with simple usability in mind. What’s more? Amazon are constantly adding new labels and facial recognition services to the service, and the software itself is always learning from new data, meaning that the product you invest in is constantly improving and bettering itself.

Nutale

GPS tracking systems are nothing new. However, generally speaking they are either bulky and heavy and extremely accurate, or small and compact and less accurate. This means that tracking systems tend to only be used in larger belongings, such as vehicles. However, developments in technology have produced the Nutale GPS. This device is one of the smallest and accurate tracking devices out there and has recently taken to the consumer marketplace. It was originally anticipated that this product would be released in 2017, however, delays set the release date back. The results have proven to be more than worth the wait though. As the device is compatible with both Android and iOS, it can work in conjunction with the majority of smartphones to give up-to-date real-time tracking updates.

With so many different tech developments hitting the marketplace at any given time, it would be impossible to address every single one in just a single article. However, these are some of the most popular and interesting options that have recently been introduced for sale. So, see whether they could fit into your personal or professional life. You really could benefit from some of these developments.

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