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Sep 25, 2023

New vaccine technology could protect against future viruses and variants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

Studies of a “future-proof” vaccine candidate have shown that just one antigen can be modified to provide a broadly protective immune response in animals. The studies suggest that a single vaccine with combinations of these antigens—a substance that causes the immune system to produce antibodies against it—could protect against an even greater range of current and future coronaviruses.

The antigen technology, developed by the University of Cambridge and spin-out DIOSynVax in early 2020, provided protection against all known variants of SARS-CoV-2—the that causes COVID-19—as well as other major coronaviruses, including those that caused the first SARS epidemic in 2002.

The studies in mice, rabbits and guinea pigs—an important step before beginning , currently underway in Southampton and Cambridge—found that the provided a strong immune response against a range of coronaviruses by targeting the parts of the virus that are required for replication. The vaccine candidate is based on a single digitally designed and immune optimized antigen.

Sep 25, 2023

NASA collected a sample from an asteroid for the first time — here’s why it matters

Posted by in categories: materials, space

The material can help scientists understand the origins of the Earth.

Sep 25, 2023

Billionaire investor makes bold claim about Tesla’s future worth

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, finance, sustainability, transportation

Tesla has been given a vote of confidence by one of the world’s wealthiest men who believes the company’s valuation could grow four to five times between now and 2030.

Investor Ron Baron was speaking to CNBC about Walter Issacson’s new biography of Elon Musk, as Business Insider summarized, and Baron discussed the stock market potential of Musk’s electric vehicle company, Tesla, among other things.

“I think Tesla in the next seven years will be about four or five times as big as it is right now in the stock market,” Baron said. “In the funds that I manage, I’ve been maxed out.”

Sep 25, 2023

This Engineer Is Helping to Make India a Global Semiconductor Hub

Posted by in categories: computing, internet

At the meeting with Modi, Sharma presented the prime minister with a cutting-edge 5G millimeter-wave and sub-6-gigahertz chipset designed by Renesas’s R&D teams in Bengaluru and San Diego.

“The prime minister displayed a genuine fascination with the chipset and talked about the technical intricacies of the integrated chip,” the IEEE member says. “He asked about the silicon node and the fabrication facility that created it.

I firmly believe the development of these critical chips is vital for the greater public good, Sharma says. Those working in industry can be change agents and have a meaningful impact on society, such as advancing technology for humanity. After all, that is the motto of IEEE.

Sep 25, 2023

Using light will lead to making minuscule machines and new drugs

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

What makes Azobenzene molecules particularly interesting is their ability to undergo changes in their shape in response to specific types of light.

Sep 25, 2023

Palm oil alternative is better for health and environment

Posted by in categories: food, health

A new palm oil substitute called PALM-ALT has been developed by researchers at Queen Margaret University in Scotland. The plant-based ingredient is shown to be healthier, as well as 70% better for the environment than conventional palm oil and is described as “the holy grail to replace it.”

Food experts at Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh have developed a new ingredient which has the potential to replace palm oil in bakery products. The new substitute is both healthier and more environmentally friendly than palm oil, which is currently used in a vast amount of baked goods. This could be a game-changing solution for the food industry, allowing manufacturers to satisfy increasing demand for tasty, lower fat, healthier products, whilst also reducing deforestation of the world’s rainforests.

Sep 25, 2023

Nuclear Power: Small Modular Reactors

Posted by in categories: media & arts, nuclear energy, sustainability

Small Modular Reactors are a promising area of nuclear technology that may be the pathway forward to cheap, safe, and sustainable energy.
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Sep 25, 2023

Does Higher Education Still Prepare People for Jobs?

Posted by in categories: education, employment, evolution

In an age of unpredictable job evolution, it is hard to argue that the knowledge acquisition historically associated with a university degree is still relevant. But as university qualifications become more commonplace, recruiters and employers will increasingly demand them, regardless of whether they are actually required for a specific job. Research shows that the correlation between education level and job performance is weak, and that intelligence scores are a much better indicator of job potential. If we were to pick between a candidate with a college degree and a candidate with a higher intelligence score, we could expect the latter to outperform the former in most jobs, particularly when those jobs require constant thinking and learning.

Sep 25, 2023

Gene Editing Tool Improves Immunotherapy

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

There are many therapies that target cancer. The most well-known is chemotherapy, which is a toxic chemical that is directed at a tumor to kill the cells. This is currently the standard of care for most types of cancer. However, as science advances, less toxic and more direct therapies are discovered. The most recently discovered therapy is known as ‘immunotherapy’, which redirects the immune system to kill the tumor. There are many successful treatments with immunotherapy among different types of cancers, including melanoma and lung cancer. Unfortunately, immunotherapy is limited in many solid tumors due to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). The TME is a pro-tumor environment that the cancer has made by releasing specific proteins that allow it to progress. In this environment the tumor can remain undetected from the immune system and progress throughout the body. Different immune cells in the TME become polarized and alter their functions to help the tumor proliferate and grow. It is now becoming more common to pair therapies together including immunotherapy with chemotherapy. Scientists are still trying to find ways to improve treatment and completely eradicate the tumor.

In San Francisco, California, a group of scientists, led by Dr. Alex Marson, are working to modify gene expression to reprogram or change immune cells in the TME to attack cancer. There has been some success, but this immunotherapy does not help treat all patients. In addition, the screening process to determine genetic changes to determine which cells would result in the greatest treatment efficacy is a long, arduous process. A group at the Gladstone Institutes has worked with Marson at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to develop a strategy that helps pair different genetic combinations in a faster amount of time to determine the most beneficial treatment outcomes. This screening technique is called Pooled Knockin Screening (ModPoKI). ModPoKI finds the best genetic modifications to express in immune cells that will have prolonged anti-tumor efficacy.

The study that demonstrated ModPoKI was published recently in Cell, which demonstrates our ability to now understand how to combine genetic programs. ModPoKI combines genes into long lines of DNA to generate roughly 10,000 combinations to match with a genetically engineered immune cell known as a T cells are major immune cells that primarily target foreign antigens, like cancer cells, and kill them. Once the optimal gene modification is found, it is put into the engineered immune cells that are polarized to kill cancer. After further investigation, the combinations made by ModPoKI resulted in the most polarized anti-tumor T cells.

Sep 25, 2023

Robot car talk: Introducing Wayve’s new AI model LINGO-1

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI

Someone has made it. LONDON—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Self-driving technology company Wayve has launched LINGO-1, a first-of-its-kind vision-language-action model (VLAM) for self-driving that is set to revolutionise the learning and explainability of its AI Driver technology powering self-driving vehicles.

Prior to LINGO-1, end-to-end AI neural nets have been criticised as black boxes, providing limited insight into why and how they make decisions. Gaining deeper insight into the decision-making and reasoning capabilities of its AI models is critical to ensuring that Wayve can build a safe driving intelligence for self-driving. Wayve’s LINGO-1 opens up new capabilities to dramatically enhance the interpretability of Wayve’s AI Driver.

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