Friday, April 04, 2014

Magnetically controlled nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a technique to use magnetically controlled nanoparticles to force tumor cells to “self-destruct.” without harming surrounding tissue, as with radiotherapy, and tissues elsewhere in the body, as with chemotherapy.

“Our technique is able to attack only the tumor cells,” said Enming Zhang, first author of the study.

Source: Magnetically controlled nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct

Monday, March 17, 2014

New nanoparticle that only attacks cervical cancer cells

One of the most promising technologies for the treatment of various cancers is nanotechnology, creating drugs that directly attack the cancer cells without damaging other tissues' development. The Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the Research Unit in Cell Differentiation and Cancer, of the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES) Zaragoza UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) developed a therapy to attack cervical cancer tumors.

According to the researcher Rosalva Rangel Corona, head of the project, the antitumor effect of interleukin in cervical cancer is because their cells express receptors for interleukin-2 that "fit together " like puzzle pieces with the protein to activate an antitumor response .

The above story is based on materials provided by Investigación y Desarrollo.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314212122.htm

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cancer: 'Tumour monorail' can lead cancers to their doom

Cancer "monorails" can be used to kill tumours by luring them into toxic pits or areas of the body that are safer to operate on, say US researchers.

A team at the Georgia Institute of Technology designed nanofibres thinner than a human hair which cancers "choose" to travel down.

One of the researchers Prof Ravi Bellamkonda said: "The cancer cells normally latch on to these natural structures and ride them like a monorail to other parts of the brain.

Prof Bellamkonda told the BBC: "It's a way of bringing the tumour to the drug, not the drug to the tumour.

"You can move a tumour along a path you specify and then kill it, it's not creating extra tumour and the primary tumour actually shrinks. "

Dr Emma Smith, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "This fascinating, cutting-edge approach could lead to new ways of stopping tumours growing without damaging healthy tissue, which is particularly important for people with brain tumours.

"But it's still in its infancy and so far has only been tested in rats, so there is a long way to go before we know if it will be safe and effective as a cancer treatment."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26189827

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gene therapy 'could be used to treat blindness'

Surgeons in Oxford have used a gene therapy technique to improve the vision of six patients who would otherwise have gone blind. The operation involved inserting a gene into the eye cells, a treatment that revived light-detecting cells.The doctors involved believe that the treatment could in time be used to treat common forms of blindness.

Prof Robert MacLaren, the surgeon who led the research, said he was "absolutely delighted" at the outcome.

"The mechanisms of choroideremia and what we are trying to do with the treatment would broadly be applicable to more common causes of blindness," the professor explained.

"Choroideremia shows some similarities with macular degeneration in that we are targeting the same cells. We don't yet know which genes to target for macular degeneration but we do know now how to do it and how to put the genes back in."

Clara Aglen of the Royal National Institute of Blind People is also cautiously optimistic.

She told BBC News: "It is at an early stage at the moment, but it does offer hope for other conditions that have a genetic basis such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25718064

Thursday, December 05, 2013

DNA Nanobots Could Deliver the Future of Medicine

Built from molecules, this “DNA Nanocage” (sounds cool because it is) was designed by researchers, but self-assembled from the human “body’s own molecules.” The hope, while far off, is that the Nanocages could be ingestible in pill form, containing medicine to effectively trap diseases or cancers at the molecular level.

Mashable spoke to Biomedical Engineering Post Doctoral Associate Sissel Juul, Ph.D., about how the DNA Nanocage works and why it matters. He has been working on this project at Duke University since 2008. Juul told us that DNA structures are not new and are based on the core principles of DNA binding. DNA has four bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (g) and thymine (T). Each base naturally pairs with a certain other base (always in pairs; A with T and C with G). “So the sequence of the DNA, which molecule comes after which molecule, will tell us how it will assemble,” said Juul.

As for what’s next, Juul doesn’t think the idea of a pill full of these things to deliver targeted medicine is all that far-fetched. “There are a lot of drug delivery mechanisms, [but] making a pill is most desirable. You don't have to open anything except your mouth."

Near-term, however, they’re working on attaching something else to the DNA cage. “Some cancer cells have specific receptors that recognize a specific molecule. So if you can add that to the cage, only the cancer cell would take it up.”

In essence, it’s the nano-sized version of the Trojan horse. The cancer cell sees an attractive molecule riding on friendly human DNA, having no idea that inside that DNA latticework is a drug that can wipe it out.

Juul believes “we will see commercial targeted non-viral drug delivery soon.” And when is that? “The question is whether a DNA based vehicle will win the ‘race’ over other nanorobots,” wrote Juul in an email. “I can't really give you a specific timeframe —sorry. It is also a matter of clinical trials and FDA approvals, which tend to take a really long time. So even if the technology is there, it might take a while.”

More details on the study can be found here.

Source: http://mashable.com/2013/12/04/researchers-build-dna-nanocage/

Monday, December 02, 2013

Amazon: drones as delivery vehicles

Jeff Bezos: These generations of vehicles, it could be a 10-mile radius from a fulfillment center. So, in urban areas, you could actually cover very significant portions of the population. And so, it won’t work for everything; you know, we’re not gonna deliver kayaks or table saws this way. These are electric motors, so this is all electric; it’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around. This is…this is all an R&D project.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazons-jeff-bezos-looks-to-the-future/

Jeff Bezos: I think, I, I am, I’m an optimist Charlie. I know it can’t be before 2015, because that’s the earliest we could get the rules from the FAA. My guess is that’s, that’s probably a little optimistic. But could it be, you know, four, five years? I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

In Sweden, 100 driverless cars to take to the streets


In conjunction with Swedish officials, Volvo plans to send 100 autonomous cars out on to the streets of Gothenburg.

The Swedish automaker says that 100 autonomous vehicles will be piloted under the project name "Drive Me -- Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility." In 2017, the cars will drive approximately 30 miles around the streets of Gothenburg in a number of frequent driver conditions, including around residential areas, moving pedestrians, motorways and queues. The vehicles will also be expected to park themselves.

Volvo's pilot is meant to show how autonomous vehicles could improve road safety and transport efficiency, as well as research what changes to city infrastructure would be necessary to accommodate autonomous cars.

Working alongside the Swedish Transport Administration, The Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg, the now Chinese-owned firm will begin planning next year, starting with customer research and technological development.

Source: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/in-sweden-100-driverless-cars-to-take-to-the-streets/

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finding blood clots before they wreak havoc - MIT News Office

Finding blood clots before they wreak havoc. Simple urine test developed by MIT engineers uses nanotechnology to detect dangerous blood clotting.

The noninvasive diagnostic, described in a recent issue of the journal ACS Nano, relies on nanoparticles that detect the presence of thrombin, a key blood-clotting factor.

Lead authors of the paper are Kevin Lin, a graduate student in chemical engineering, and Gabriel Kwong, a postdoc in IMES. Other authors are Andrew Warren, a graduate student in Health Sciences and Technology (HST), and former HST postdoc David Wood.

Bhatia and her colleagues developed their new test based on a technology they first reported last year for early detection of colorectal cancer. “We realized the same exact technology would work for blood clots,” she says. “So we took the test we had developed before, which is an injectable nanoparticle, and made it a thrombin sensor.”

The system consists of iron oxide nanoparticles, which the Food and Drug Administration has approved for human use, coated with peptides (short proteins) that are specialized to interact with thrombin. After being injected into mice, the nanoparticles travel throughout the body. When the particles encounter thrombin, the thrombin cleaves the peptides at a specific location, releasing fragments that are then excreted in the animals’ urine.

Once the urine is collected, the protein fragments can be identified by treating the sample with antibodies specific to peptide tags included in the fragments. The researchers showed that the amount of these tags found in the urine is directly proportional to the level of blood clotting in the mice’s lungs.

Bhatia says she envisions two possible applications for this kind of test. One is to screen patients who come to the emergency room complaining of symptoms that might indicate a blood clot, allowing doctors to rapidly triage such patients and determine if more tests are needed. 

Another application is monitoring patients who are at high risk for a clot — for example, people who have to spend a lot of time in bed recovering from surgery. Bhatia is working on a urine dipstick test, similar to a pregnancy test, that doctors could give patients when they go home after surgery. 

The technology could also be useful for predicting recurrence of clots, says Henri Spronk, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. 

Bhatia plans to launch a company to commercialize the technology, with funding from MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Other applications for the nanoparticle system could include monitoring and diagnosing cancer. It could also be adapted to track liver, pulmonary, and kidney fibrosis, Bhatia says.

The research was funded by the Koch Institute Frontier Research Fund, the Kathy and Curt Marble Cancer Research Fund, the Mazumdar-Shaw International Oncology Fellows Program, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the Deshpande Center.

Source: Finding blood clots before they wreak havoc - MIT News Office

Friday, October 11, 2013

Qualcomm to Build Neuro-Inspired Chips

World’s largest smartphone chipmaker offers to custom-build very efficient neuro-inspired chips for phones, robots, and vision systems.

Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob said that by next year his company would take on partners to design and manufacture such chips for applications ranging from artificial vision sensors to robot controllers and even brain implants. The technology might also lead to smartphones that can sense and process information far more efficiently.

Qualcomm has already developed new software tools that simulate activity in the brain. These networks, which model the way individual neurons convey information through precisely timed spikes, allow developers to write and compile biologically inspired programs. Qualcomm is using this approach to build a class of processors called neural processing units (NPUs). It envisions NPUs that are massively parallel, reprogrammable, and capable of cognitive tasks like classification and prediction. “What we’re talking about is scale, making it into a platform,” said Grob during his talk. “We want to make it easier for researchers to make a part of the brain.”

For several years Qualcomm and Brain Corp, a separate company it has invested in, have been working on hardware and algorithms that attempt to mimic the processes of the human brain. The company calls the overall program Zeroth, borrowing from the science fiction author Isaac Asimov’s “Zeroth Law of Robotics” (which specifies that robots must not harm humanity).

“This ‘neuromorphic’ hardware is biologically inspired—a completely different architecture—and can solve a very different class of problems that conventional architecture is not good at,” Grob said in an interview after his talk. “It really uses physical structures derived from real neurons—parallel and distributed.”

Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/520211/qualcomm-to-build-neuro-inspired-chips/

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alzheimer's breakthrough hailed as 'turning point'

The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the "turning point" in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Prof Roger Morris, from King's College London, said: "This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's disease."

The research team at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, based at the University of Leicester, focused on the natural defence mechanisms built into brain cells.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, showed mice with prion disease developed severe memory and movement problems. They died within 12 weeks.

However, those given the compound showed no sign of brain tissue wasting away.

Lead researcher Prof Giovanna Mallucci told the BBC news website: "They were absolutely fine, it was extraordinary.

"What's really exciting is a compound has completely prevented neurodegeneration and that's a first.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24462699

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Sparing the body, breast cancer treatment via nipple injection

Today, JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, published a new technique for breast cancer treatment and prevention—injection of therapeutics via the nipple. The procedure, demonstrated on mice, offers direct access to the most common origin of breast cancer, the milk ducts, and could be used to offer cancer therapy that spares healthy regions of the body.

According to Silva, she and her colleagues have already begun experimentation in applying the method. “The authors have utilized this technique to inject a new nanoparticle-based therapeutic that inhibits a specific gene that drives breast cancer formation,” said Silva, “This targeted treatment was shown to prevent cancer progression in mice that spontaneously develop mammary tumors, [and] is currently in review in Science Translational Medicine.”

About JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments:
JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, is the first and only PubMed/MEDLINE-indexed, peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing scientific research in a video format.
URL: www.jove.com

Source: http://www.jove.com/about/press-releases/74/sparing-the-body-breast-cancer-treatment-via-nipple-injection

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mercedes-Benz laat S500 Intelligent Drive 100km autonoom rijden

Mercedes-Benz heeft een nieuwe Mercedes in de S-klasse een autonome rit tussen twee Duitse steden laten maken, een afstand van 100km. De S500 kan al autonoom rijden in files en Mercedes-Benz verwacht dat zijn auto's rond 2020 geheel autonoom kunnen rijden.

 Volgens de autofabrikant is de r&d-afdeling erin geslaagd om de S500 zonder tussenkomst van een chauffeur van Mannheim naar Pforzheim te laten rijden: een afstand van 100km.

Volgens Mercedes-Benz kan de S500 Intelligent Drive autonoom in files rijden en zijn de systemen die nodig zijn om ook op hogere snelheden het voertuig geheel zelfstandig te laten rijden vrijwel klaar voor productie. De autobouwer durft verder de stelling aan rond 2020 geheel autonoom rijdende voertuigen op de markt te kunnen brengen, een schatting die ook door bijvoorbeeld Nissan is uitgesproken. Naast de nodige technische hindernissen moeten ook nog juridische hobbels worden overwonnen.

Source: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/91218/mercedes-benz-laat-s500-intelligent-drive-100km-autonoom-rijden.html

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

NYC was chosen for the Driverless City group project


Discussion on Reddit on a driverless city.

Background
Idea | Plan/Outline. We have chosen New York City as the target for our project. Our next step is to plan the content that will comprise our final products, which include:
Full written report
Financial analysis
Slideshow
Maps and photos

Parameters
NYC has completely and successfully adopted driverless car technology in the last 10 years. Regular cars have been banned and a consolidated industry of subscription public/private fleets has emerged with no major problems. NYC is the only city in the region that has fully adopted such a system. Cities just outside of NYC use a mix of driverless and normal cars.

Questions
Please post your own thoughts on what we should include in our content!

View on the future from Audi: http://www.big.dk/#projects-audi

Blog on robocars: http://ideas.4brad.com/topic/robocars and http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/Driverless/comments/1lgb0d/nyc_was_chosen_for_the_driverless_city_group/

Thursday, August 29, 2013

World’s Smallest Drone Autopilot System Goes Open Source


The Lisa/S chip, perched on the front of an aerial drone. Photo: 1bitsquared

The Lisa/S chip is 4 square-centimeters — about the same size as a Euro coin. But this 1.9-gram sliver of silicon includes everything you need to autopilot an aerial drone.

It’s the world’s smallest drone autopilot system — over 30 grams lighter than its predecessor — according to the chip’s designers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. And best of all, both the hardware and the software is open source, meaning anyone can copy and use it — for free.

“The main reason we chose open source is that we want to make it available for society,” says the project’s leader, Bart Remes. “My vision is that within a few years, every fireman [will have] a drone in his pocket.”

The Lisa/S is the MAV Laboratory’s latest project. The chip’s software is based on Paparazzi, an open source drone autopilot system.

The chip was designed with the help of a U.S.-based electronics company called 1Bitsquared, which will sell Lisa/S chips starting in January 2014. But since both the hardware and software is open source, Remes says any company will be able to sell chips based on the technology.

Source: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/08/drone-autopilot/

Miniature 'human brain' grown in lab

Miniature "human brains" have been grown in a lab in a feat scientists hope will transform the understanding of neurological disorders.

The pea-sized structures reached the same level of development as in a nine-week-old foetus, but are incapable of thought.

The study, published in the journal Nature, has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases.

Scientists at Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have now reproduced some of the earliest stages of the organ's development in the laboratory.

One of the researchers, Dr Juergen Knoblich, said: "What our organoids are good for is to model development of the brain and to study anything that causes a defect in development.

"Ultimately we would like to move towards more common disorders like schizophrenia or autism. They typically manifest themselves only in adults, but it has been shown that the underlying defects occur during the development of the brain."

Prof Paul Matthews, from Imperial College London, told the BBC: "I think it's just mindboggling. The idea that we can take a cell from a skin and turn it into, even though it's only the size of a pea, is starting to look like a brain and starting to show some of the behaviours of a tiny brain, I think is just extraordinary.

"It's a long way from conscience or awareness or responding to the outside world. There's always the spectre of what the future might hold, but this is primitive territory” according to Dr Zameel Cader.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23863544

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nissan Promises to Deliver Autonomous Car by 2020


Nissan just got serious about autonomous cars. The automaker is promising to deliver the first “commercially-viable” self-driving system by 2020, and it won’t just be limited to a single model — Nissan says several vehicles will come equipped with its Autonomous Drive technology.

Nissan has begun working with dozens of research and educational institutions to make autonomous vehicles a reality, including MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Oxford, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, and nearly every major university in Japan.

“In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said in the announcement. “Today, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. Now I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realize it.”

“Nissan’s autonomous driving will be achieved at realistic prices for consumers,” the automaker stated in its release. “The goal is availability across the model range within two vehicle generations.” That’s ambitious. But it’s best not to bet against Ghosn and Co.

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/08/nissan-autonomous-drive/

Thursday, August 22, 2013

3D graphene could replace expensive platinum in solar cells

One of the most promising types of solar cells has a few drawbacks. A scientist at Michigan Technological University may have overcome one of them.

Dye-sensitized solar cells are thin, flexible, easy to make and very good at turning sunshine into electricity. However, a key ingredient is one of the most expensive metals on the planet: platinum. While only small amounts are needed, at $1,500 an ounce, the cost of the silvery metal is still significant.

Yun Hang Hu, the Charles and Carroll McArthur Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, has developed a new, inexpensive material that could replace the platinum in solar cells without degrading their efficiency: 3D graphene.

The researchers determined that the 3D honeycomb graphene had excellent conductivity and high catalytic activity, raising the possibility that it could be used for energy storage and conversion.

The cell with the 3D graphene counter electrode converted 7.8 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity, nearly as much as the conventional solar cell using costly platinum (8 percent).

Source:
http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2013/august/story94626.html
http://www.kurzweilai.net/3d-graphene-could-replace-expensive-platinum-in-solar-cells

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nanoparticles reprogram immune cells to fight cancer

Researchers at the University of Georgia are developing a new treatment technique that uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer.

“What we are working on is specifically geared toward breast cancer,” said Shanta Dhar, the study’s co-author and an assistant professor of chemistry in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Effective immune stimulation

“Our paper reports for the first time that we can stimulate the immune system against breast cancer cells using mitochondria-targeted nanoparticles and light using a novel pathway.”

A new cancer vaccine

She cautions that the results are preliminary, and the approach works only with certain forms of breast cancer. But if researchers can refine the process, this technology may one day serve as the foundation for a new cancer vaccine used to both prevent and treat disease.

“We particularly hope this technique could help patients with advanced metastatic disease that has spread to other parts of the body,” said Dhar, who also is a member of the UGA Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, Cancer Center and Center for Drug Discovery.

Source: http://www.kurzweilai.net/nanoparticles-reprogram-immune-cells-to-fight-cancer

New rechargeable flow battery enables cheaper, large-scale energy storage

MIT researchers have engineered a new rechargeable flow battery that doesn’t rely on expensive membranes to generate and store electricity. The device, they say, may one day enable cheaper, large-scale energy storage.

“This technology has as much promise as anything else being explored for storage, if not more,” says Cullen Buie, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. “Contrary to previous opinions that membraneless systems are purely academic, this system could potentially have a large practical impact.”

Buie, along with Martin Bazant, a professor of chemical engineering, and William Braff, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, have published their results this week in Nature Communications.

“Here, we have a system where performance is just as good as previous systems, and now we don’t have to worry about issues of the membrane,” Bazant says. “This is something that can be a quantum leap in energy-storage technology.”

Possible boost for solar and wind energy 

Low-cost energy storage has the potential to foster widespread use of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. To date, such energy sources have been unreliable: Winds can be capricious, and cloudless days are never guaranteed. With cheap energy-storage technologies, renewable energy might be stored and then distributed via the electric grid at times of peak power demand.

According to preliminary projections, Braff and his colleagues estimate that the membraneless flow battery may produce energy costing as little as $100 per kilowatt-hour — a goal that the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated would be economically attractive to utility companies.

Researchers have identified key signaling molecules that are part of the advance teams that tumors form to ready the lung for cancer spread

Cancer metastasis requires tumor cells to acquire properties that allow them to escape from the primary tumor site, travel to a distant place in the body, and form secondary tumors.

Now, researchers in Japan and the United States have discovered that the signaling protein calcineurin upregulates another molecule, Ang-2 that promotes angiogenesis.
In their study, published in Cell Reports, the researchers found that hyperactivation of calcineurin in genetically altered mice led to increased lung metastases. Inhibition of calcineurin or Ang-2, however, blocked metastases in lung cells of the mice.

The researchers will now investigate whether calcineurin is important for metastases in other organs or whether this pathway is specific for lung metastases.

The article can be found at: Minami et al. (2013) The Calcineurin-NFAT-Angiopoietin-2 Signaling Axis In Lung Endothelium Is Critical For The Establishment Of Lung Metastases.

Bron: http://www.asianscientist.com/in-the-lab/tumors-advance-teams-ready-lungs-spread-cancer-2013/

Monday, August 05, 2013

Grow your own meat

Building a $325,000 Burger

MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands — As a gastronomic delicacy, the five-ounce hamburger that Mark Post has painstakingly created here surely will not turn any heads. But Dr. Post is hoping that it
 will change some minds.
The hamburger, assembled from tiny bits of beef muscle tissue grown in a laboratory and to be cooked and eaten at an event in London, perhaps in a few weeks, is meant to show the world — including potential sources of research funds — that so-called in vitro meat, or cultured meat, is a reality.

“Let’s make a proof of concept, and change the discussion from ‘this is never going to work’ to, ‘well, we actually showed that it works, but now we need to get funding and work on it,’ “ Dr. Post said in an interview last fall in his office at Maastricht University.

Given the difficulties, Modern Meadow is first focusing on creating cultured leather. Its process does not use stem cells but rather skin fibroblasts, specialized cells that produce collagen. “There are a lot of parallels to cultured meat, except that it is a lot less controversial because you’re not going to eat it,” Dr. Forgacs said. “But if we can convince the universe that we can build leather, it will be much easier to convince the universe that we can build meat.”

In his work on cultured meat, Dr. Post uses a type of stem cell called a myosatellite cell, which the body itself uses to repair injured muscle tissue. The cells, which are found in a certain part of muscle tissue, are removed from the cow neck and put in containers with the growth medium. Through much trial and error, the researchers have learned how best to get the cells to grow and divide, doubling repeatedly over about three weeks.

“But we need billions,” said Anon van Essen, the technician in Dr. Post’s lab.

Other researchers are studying different kinds of stem cells that, unlike myosatellite cells, can reproduce indefinitely, ensuring a “livestock-autonomous” supply of cells to make cultured meat. Dutch researchers at Utrecht University are trying to isolate embryonic stem cells from pigs and cows. And Nicholas Genovese of the University of Missouri is trying to develop a type of stem cell that is “induced” from a regular adult cell. So a skin cell from a pig, perhaps, could be turned into a stem cell that could reproduce indefinitely and differentiate into muscle tissue to create cultured pork.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/science/engineering-the-325000-in-vitro-burger.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Datum: 20-Feb-2012

Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger


Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger

Dutch scientists have used stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue with the aim of producing the first lab-grown hamburger later this year. At a major science meeting in Canada, Prof Mark Post said synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%.

"We would gain a tremendous amount in terms of resources," he said.

Professor Post's group at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick.

Lab-grown meat could eventually become more efficient than producing meat the old fashioned way, according to Prof Post. Currently, 100g of vegetable protein has to be fed to pigs or cows to produce 15g of animal protein, an efficiency of 15%. He believes that synthetic meat could be produced with an equivalent energy efficiency of 50%.

Dr Steele, who is also a molecular biologist, said he was also concerned that unhealthily high levels of antibiotics and antifungal chemicals would be needed to stop the synthetic meat from rotting.

Bron: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16972761

Datum: 13-Jan-2012

Grow your own meat


Grow your own meat
Instead of getting meat from animals raised in pastures, he wants to grow steaks in lab conditions, directly from muscle stem cells. If successful, the technology will transform the way we produce food. "We want to turn meat production from a farming process to a factory process," he explained.
Prof Post is not the first to dream this dream. In the mid 20th Century, Dutchman Willem van Eelen - back then a budding medical student - dreamt of creating meat without killing animals, by using stem cells.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Proton Therapy radiation treatment for cancerous tumors

The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is a non-profit organization supported by proton center members and is the Voice of the Proton Community. The NAPT promotes education and public awareness for the clinical benefits of proton beam radiation therapy. Founded in 1990, NAPT is an advocate for the advancement of proton therapy. It serves as a resource center for patients, physicians and health care providers, universities, academic medical centers, hospitals, cancer centers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other health care agencies, the U.S. Congress and staff, and the news media.

We are strong advocates for patient access to proton therapy as a superior form of radiation treatment for cancerous tumors that can result in less morbidity and minimum to no side effects.

Sources:
http://www.proton-therapy.org/
http://www.nu.nl/binnenland/3539951/vier-umcs-mogen-protonentherapie-aanbieden.html

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The teenage scientist revolutionising cancer detection

Pancreatic cancer 's high death rate is partly blamed on the difficulty of early detection. Teenage scientist Jack Andraka has come up with a cheap and simple way to test for it.

Pancreatic cancer is a killer – and one that is very hard to detect. One of the reasons its survival rate is so poor that it has few symptoms in the early stages.

Partly spurred by the death of his uncle, 16-year-old scientist and researcher Jack Andraka vowed to find a quick and cheap way to test for signs of the disease.

Andraka's research – incuding writing to 200 science professors – led to him developing  a dipstick diagnostic test which searches for a biomarker for pancreatic cancer. It can also be used to test for lung and ovarian cancer.

He tells BBC Future about his quest.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130701-perfecting-early-cancer-detection