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Aug 30, 2020

IBM has built a new drug-making lab entirely in the cloud

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, robotics/AI

The news: IBM has built a new chemistry lab called RoboRXN in the cloud. It combines AI models, a cloud computing platform, and robots to help scientists design and synthesize new molecules while working from home.

How it works: The online lab platform allows scientists to log on through a web browser. On a blank canvas, they draw the skeletal structure of the molecular compounds they want to make, and the platform uses machine learning to predict the ingredients required and the order in which they should be mixed. It then sends the instructions to a robot in a remote lab to execute. Once the experiment is done, the platform sends a report to the scientists with the results.

Why it matters: New drugs and materials traditionally require an average of 10 years and $10 million to discover and bring to market. Much of that time is taken up by the laborious repetition of experiments to synthesize new compounds and learn from trial and error. IBM hopes that a platform like RoboRXN could dramatically speed up that process by predicting the recipes for compounds and automating experiments. In theory, it would lower the costs of drug development and allow scientists to react faster to health crises like the current pandemic, in which social distancing requirements have caused slowdowns in lab work.

Aug 30, 2020

Elon Musk during his BCI demo: “The future is gonna be weird” (S/T en Español)

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, neuroscience

45 seconds with Elon Musk during his BCI demonstration. The excerpt counts with subtitles in Spanish.


Excerpt from the demonstration by Elon Musk of the Brain Computer Interface (BCI) in development progress by Neuralink. The event took place on August 28, 2020.

Continue reading “Elon Musk during his BCI demo: ‘The future is gonna be weird’ (S/T en Español)” »

Aug 30, 2020

Prelude to Our Cybernetic Transcendence

Posted by in category: futurism

Aug 30, 2020

Venus map with water: stunning terraforming image shows alternative to Mars

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space travel

A new image shows what Venus would look like if it had water on its surface, similar to the Earth.

Aug 30, 2020

New Luxury Prop Plane Boasts Speed of a Jet, Fuel Efficiency of a Car And Fraction of Costs

Posted by in categories: business, energy

Otto Aviation’s Celera 500L could carry six business passengers at 450 mph at around 20 miles per gallon thanks to a new high-efficiency piston engine.

A new space-aged propeller plane could overtake business jets at a fraction of the running costs.

Continue reading “New Luxury Prop Plane Boasts Speed of a Jet, Fuel Efficiency of a Car And Fraction of Costs” »

Aug 30, 2020

Japan’s Flying Car Takes Off for the First Time with a Passenger On Board

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

SkyDrive claims the vehicle has been engineered to be easily embraced by people. “SkyDrive’s flying car has been designed to be a coupe embodying dreams and exuding charisma, such that it will be welcomed into people’s lives and used naturally,” reads the firm’s press release.

“The company hopes that its aircraft will become people’s partner in the sky rather than merely a commodity and it will continue working to design a safe sky for the future.”

SkyDrive also revealed that it will continue field testing the flying car under different conditions to hone its technology and hopefully acquire compliance with the safety provisions of the Civil Aeronautics Act.

Aug 30, 2020

There’s Now a Swifter Way to 3D-Print Organs

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical

This groundbreaking technique might be used to replace human organs with lab-grown versions 😮.

Aug 30, 2020

Scientists 3D Printed Ears Inside Living Mice Using Light

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, genetics

Using nothing but light and bioink, scientists were able to directly print a human ear-like structure under the skin of mice. The team used a healthy ear as a template and 3D printed a mirror image of that ear—tissue layer by tissue layer—directly onto the back of a mouse.

All without a single surgical cut.

If you’re thinking that’s super creepy, yeah…I’m with you. As a proof-of-concept, however, the team shows that it’s possible to build or rebuild tissue layers, even those as intricate as an ear, without requiring surgical implant. This means that it could one day be possible to fix an ear or other surface tissue defects—either genetic or from injuries—directly at the injury site by basically waving a sophisticated light wand.

Aug 30, 2020

NASA Eyes Tiny Wind Turbines To Power Martian Weather Stations

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

NASA is investigating the potential for a tiny wind turbine to power instruments during long Martian polar night.

Aug 30, 2020

Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, robotics/AI

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a global impact on all aspects of health care, including surgical procedures. For urologists, it has affected and will continue to influence how we approach the care of patients preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively. A risk-benefit assessment of each patient undergoing surgery should be performed during the COVID-19 pandemic based on the urgency of the surgery and the risk of viral illness and transmission. Patients with advanced age and comorbidities have a higher incidence of mortality. Routine preoperative testing and symptom screening is recommended to identify those with COVID-19. Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the surgical team is essential to protect health care workers and ensure an adequate workforce. For COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, the use of N95 respirators is recommended if available. The anesthesia method chosen should attempt to minimize aerosolization of the virus. Negative pressure rooms are strongly preferred for intubation/extubation and other aerosolizing procedures for COVID-19 positive patients or when COVID status is unknown. Although transmission has not yet been shown during laparoscopic and robotic procedures, efforts should be made to minimize the risk of aerosolization. Ultra-low particulate air filters are recommended for use during minimally invasive procedures to decrease the risk of viral transmission. Thorough cleaning and sterilization should be performed postoperatively with adequate time allowed for the operating room air to be cycled after procedures. COVID-19 patients should be separated from noninfected patients at all levels of care, including recovery, to decrease the risk of infection. Future directions will be guided by outcomes and infection rates as social distancing guidelines are relaxed and more surgical procedures are reintroduced. Recommendations should be adapted to the local environment and will continue to evolve as more data become available, the shortage of testing and PPE is resolved, and a vaccine and therapeutics for COVID-19 are developed.

The first reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. This respiratory disease spread outside of China, leading to outbreaks in Korea, Iran, Italy, and, eventually, the United States and the rest of the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a pandemic. At the time of this writing, there are currently more than 1.3 million confirmed cases worldwide, with the total deaths numbering more than 74,000.1 This pandemic is unlike anything that has been seen in recent history.

From a urologic surgery perspective, many questions arise regarding the immediate and long-term care of our patients. The goal of this article is to summarize some of the current information available on preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care. As we gain more knowledge about how the virus behaves, this body of literature will inevitably change.