Engineering Diversity

IN THE NEWS

Medical device using Northwestern-invented biomaterial receives FDA clearance
Guillermo Ameer | October 21, 2020

Medical device using Northwestern-invented biomaterial receives FDA clearance
Guillermo Ameer | October 21, 2020

An innovative orthopedic medical device fabricated from a novel biomaterial pioneered in the laboratory of Northwestern University professor Guillermo A. Ameer has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in surgeries to attach soft tissue grafts to bone.

The biomaterial is the first thermoset biodegradable synthetic polymer ever approved for use in an implantable medical device. It’s unique chemical and mechanical properties enable cutting-edge implant designs that protect the soft tissue graft during insertion and optimize graft fixation to bone.

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Melody Swartz elected to the National Academy of Medicine
Melody Swartz | October 19, 2020

Melody Swartz elected to the National Academy of Medicine
Melody Swartz | October 19, 2020

Today it was announced that Melody Swartz, William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine.

Swartz holds a joint appointment in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and serves as deputy dean for faculty affairs at Pritzker Molecular Engineering. She is also a co-founder of the Chicago Immunoengineering Innovation Center (CIIC). Her research interests include lymphatic physiology, cancer research, and immunotherapy.

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Susan Margulies Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Susan Margulies | October 19, 2020

Susan Margulies Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Susan Margulies | October 19, 2020

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has elected Georgia Tech Professor Susan Margulies to its prestigious 2020 class. Election to NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. She is only the second person from Georgia Tech to receive the honor. The late Bob Nerem, founding director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, is the other.

Margulies is the Wallace H. Coulter Professor and Chair in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, a shared department between the two schools. She is also a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics. Her research interests center around traumatic brain injury in children and ventilator-induced lung injury with a focus in these areas on prevention, intervention and treatments.

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Gilda Barabino Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Gilda Barabino | October 19, 2020

Gilda Barabino Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Gilda Barabino | October 19, 2020

Olin College President Gilda A. Barabino has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the academy announced on Monday, October 19 at its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Barabino’s election honors her leadership and contributions in shaping and transforming the face of biomedical engineering through the integration of scientific discovery, engineering applications, and the preparation of a diverse biomedical workforce to improve human health, and for her seminal discoveries in sickle cell research.

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Purigen Launches New Extraction and Purification Kit that Enables Scientists to Maximize Usable DNA from Limited Biological Samples
Juan Santiago | October 14, 2020

Purigen Launches New Extraction and Purification Kit that Enables Scientists to Maximize Usable DNA from Limited Biological Samples
Juan Santiago | October 14, 2020

Purigen Biosystems, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation technologies for extracting and purifying nucleic acids from biological samples, today announced the launch of the Ionic® Cells to Pure DNA Low Input Kit for researchers working with limited biological samples. The simplified and automated 60-minute workflow delivers high-quality DNA for the rapid investigation of genetic abnormalities or examination of disease treatment effects.

The Ionic Cells to Pure DNA Low Input Kit offers consistent recovery of DNA with yields near the theoretical maximum for as many as 100,000 down to as few as 10 cultured or sorted cells. Compared to leading column-based products, the new kit delivers up to twice the amount of DNA with a significantly higher proportion greater than 20 kb in length. Regardless of the input amount, the workflow is the same and does not require carrier RNA. The prepared DNA is ready for analysis by downstream techniques such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) or qPCR.

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Researchers Use Lab-grown Tissue Grafts for Personalized Joint Replacement
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | October 14, 2020

Researchers Use Lab-grown Tissue Grafts for Personalized Joint Replacement
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | October 14, 2020

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which forms the back portion of the lower jaw and connects your jaw to your skull, is an anatomically complex and highly loaded structure consisting of cartilage and bone. About 10 million people in the United States alone suffer from TMJ dysfunction due to birth defects, trauma, or disease. Current treatments range from steroid injections that provide only a temporary pain relief, to surgical reconstructions using either prosthetic devices or donor tissue, and often fail to provide long-lasting repair. Researchers have sought a better way to treat TMJ, including investigating biological TMJ grafts grown in the lab that could integrate with the native tissues, remodel the joint over time, and provide life-long function for the patient.

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Skin-care product based on U of T Engineering research donated to health-care workers fighting COVID-19
Milica Radisic | October 13, 2020

Skin-care product based on U of T Engineering research donated to health-care workers fighting COVID-19
Milica Radisic | October 13, 2020

A U of T Engineering spinoff company has donated its entire stock of skin-care product to health-care workers fighting the global pandemic.

Several years ago, Professor Milica Radisic (BME, ChemE) and her team developed a peptide-hydrogel biomaterial that prompts skin cells to “crawl” toward one another. The material was initially designed to help close the chronic, non-healing wounds often associated with diabetes, such as bed sores and foot ulcers.

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UChicago researchers find way to improve multiple sclerosis treatment
Melody Swartz | October 12, 2020

UChicago researchers find way to improve multiple sclerosis treatment
Melody Swartz | October 12, 2020

Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that affects millions worldwide, can cause debilitating symptoms for those who suffer from it.

Though treatments exist, researchers are still searching for therapies that could more effectively treat the disease, or even prevent it altogether.

Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have designed a new therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) by fusing a cytokine to a blood protein. In mice, this combination prevented destructive immune cells from infiltrating the central nervous system and decreased the number of cells that play a role in MS development, leading to fewer symptoms and even disease prevention.

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NAE announces winners of 2020 Simon Ramo Founders and Arthur M. Bueche Awards
Frances Ligler | October 2, 2020

NAE announces winners of 2020 Simon Ramo Founders and Arthur M. Bueche Awards
Frances Ligler | October 2, 2020

On Sunday, Oct. 4, during the 2020 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) will present two awards for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession. The Simon Ramo Founders Award will be presented to Frances S. Ligler for her research contributions and leadership in engineering. The Arthur M. Bueche Award will be given to Arden L. Bement Jr. for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation.

Frances S. Ligler is the Ross Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University and the School of Medicine and College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ligler is being recognized with the Simon Ramo Founders Award “for the invention and development of portable optical biosensors, service to the nation and profession, and educating the next, more diverse generation of engineers.” The award acknowledges outstanding professional, educational, and personal achievements to the benefit of society and includes a commemorative medal.

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Karen Moxon Leads $36M Effort to Improve Recovery From Spinal Cord Injuries
Karen Moxon | September 30, 2020

Karen Moxon Leads $36M Effort to Improve Recovery From Spinal Cord Injuries
Karen Moxon | September 30, 2020

Engineers at the University of California, Davis, will lead a consortium of universities, biomedical startups and nonprofit organizations to develop interventions for spinal cord injuries that can be applied within days of injury to improve long-term outcomes.

Karen Moxon, professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis, will lead the five-year, $36 million contract as part of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, Bridging the Gap Plus Program. A primary goal is to develop technologies to stabilize a patient’s hemodynamic response, which includes blood flow and blood pressure, within days of injury.

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Vannevar Bush Award Given to Roderic Pettigrew, Innovator in Biomedicine and Technology
Roderic Pettigrew | September 28, 2020

Vannevar Bush Award Given to Roderic Pettigrew, Innovator in Biomedicine and Technology
Roderic Pettigrew | September 28, 2020

On September 28, 2020, the National Science Board (NSB) announced that Roderic Pettigrew will receive its prestigious Vannevar Bush Award. The award honors science and technology leaders who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology and public policy.

“Roderic Pettigrew’s passion and creativity have spurred innovation in biomedicine,” said Victor McCrary, Vice Chair of the National Science Board and Chair of the 2020 NSB Honorary Awards Subcommittee. “His reimagining of healthcare solutions is helping converge science fields, narrowing gaps between disciplines in a way that really impacts society. Pettigrew is helping us to see what might be, what could be, and what is possible.”

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COVID test site differences, a fourth option in the works
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | September 24, 2020

COVID test site differences, a fourth option in the works
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | September 24, 2020

Rice’s Crisis Management Team plans to add a fourth and more rapid COVID-19 testing option on the Rice campus. Currently there are three sites that provide daily testing for asymptomatic students, staff and faculty who spend time on campus.

All three of these current sites (Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory, East Gym in the Tudor Fieldhouse and The Roost at Reckling Park) offer polymerase chain reaction testing. Bioengineering professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum said that her lab is working with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop a nucleic acid test for the fourth testing option.

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Introducing COVID19questions.org
Lucila Ohno-Machado | September 17, 2020

Introducing COVID19questions.org
Lucila Ohno-Machado | September 17, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there is an urgent need to determine who is at greatest risk for severe disease, better understand how the disease and treatments evolve, and predict the need for resources. But to get there, researchers and clinicians need more data about what patients have experienced so far, and what factors are associated with different patient outcomes.

To provide this information, a new research consortium invites clinicians, researchers, patients and the general public to submit questions that could be answered by COVID-19 patient record data from more than 200 participating hospitals. Questions are submitted and answers are provided via a new web portal: COVID19questions.org.

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Bone Cancer Treatment Potentially Improved by Soy
Susmita Bose | September 16, 2020

Bone Cancer Treatment Potentially Improved by Soy
Susmita Bose | September 16, 2020

Soy is widely studied for its estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects on the body. It has been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer and recurrence, improved heart and bone health, as well as the reduced risk of other cancers. Now researchers at Washington State University (WSU) see the potential of soy when it comes to improving post-operative treatment of bone cancer. They demonstrated the slow release of soy-based chemical compounds from a 3D-printed bone-like scaffold resulted in a reduction in bone cancer cells while building up healthy cells and reducing harmful inflammation.

Their findings, “Controlled release of soy isoflavones from multifunctional 3D printed bone tissue engineering scaffolds,” are published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia and led by graduate student Naboneeta Sarkar and Susmita Bose, PhD, professor at WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

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Systemic equity in education
Gilda Barabino | September 11, 2020

Systemic equity in education
Gilda Barabino | September 11, 2020

Too often in higher education, the legacy of laws, policies, and practices that have systematically denied educational opportunities to Blacks is ignored, thereby perpetuating racial inequities. In the United States, higher education is a key route to career success and upward socioeconomic mobility. Unfortunately, this path is increasingly becoming most accessible to privileged communities. As the new president of Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, and as a woman of color, I am in a position to help unburden higher education from systemic racism and promote positive change that extends beyond academic boundaries.

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First Demonstration of Neuro Therapeutic Tropane Alkaloids Produced in Yeast
Christina Smolke | September 3, 2020

First Demonstration of Neuro Therapeutic Tropane Alkaloids Produced in Yeast
Christina Smolke | September 3, 2020

Researchers report the first successful microbial biosynthesis of the tropane alkaloids hyoscyamine and scopolamine, a class of neuromuscular blockers naturally found in plants in the nightshade family.

Describing a first-in-class fermentation-based approach for producing complex molecules, the paper lays the foundation for a controlled, flexible, cell-based manufacturing platform for essential medicines that currently rely on crop farming, according to research leader Christina Smolke, PhD, professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and CEO and co-founder of Antheia, a synthetic biology company making next-generation plant-inspired medicines.

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U of T Engineering researchers develop cell injection technique that could help reverse vision loss
Molly Shoichet | August 13, 2020

U of T Engineering researchers develop cell injection technique that could help reverse vision loss
Molly Shoichet | August 13, 2020

U of T Engineering researchers have developed a new method of injecting healthy cells into damaged eyes. The technique could point the way toward new treatments with the potential to reverse forms of vision loss that are currently incurable.

Around the world, millions of people live with vision loss due to conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or retinitis pigmentosa. Both are caused by the death of cells in the retina, at the back of the eye.

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UChicago awarded $20 million to host COVID-19 medical imaging center
Maryellen Giger | August 7, 2020

UChicago awarded $20 million to host COVID-19 medical imaging center
Maryellen Giger | August 7, 2020

A new center hosted at the University of Chicago—co-led by the largest medical imaging professional organizations in the country—will help tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by curating a massive database of medical images to help better understand and treat the disease.

Led by Prof. Maryellen Giger of UChicago Medicine, the Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC) will create an open-source database with medical images from thousands of COVID-19 patients. The center will be funded by a two-year, $20 million contract from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Study Results from the UCSF Ci2 Suggest Deep Learning Methods Can Help Grade ACL Injuries
Sharmila Majumdar | July 29, 2020

Study Results from the UCSF Ci2 Suggest Deep Learning Methods Can Help Grade ACL Injuries
Sharmila Majumdar | July 29, 2020

Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are very common, and ACL injuries increase the risk of developing post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement (TKR). At present, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the most effective imaging modality for distinguishing structural properties of the ACL in relation to adjacent musculoskeletal structures. Several multi-grading scoring systems have been developed to standardize reporting of knee joint abnormalities using MRI including the Whole-Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scale (WORMS) and the Anterior Cruciate Ligament OsteoArthritis Score (ACLOAS). However, both of these grading metrics are susceptible to inter-rater variability.

Deep learning methods have recently shown potential to serve as an aid for clinicians with limited time or experience in osteoarthritis grading of the knee menisci and cartilage. Recently a team of scientists from the UCSF Center for Intelligent Imaging (ci2) evaluated the diagnostic utility of two convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for severity staging of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. “Previous studies have developed binary classifiers to distinguish fully torn ACLs from intact ACLs,” said Nikan Namiri, medical student at UCSF School of Medicine and corresponding author. “And our study is the first to take deep learning a step further to help classify a broader spectrum of injury, which may be more useful in the clinical setting.

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Rena Bizios to receive BioMedSA Award for health care, bioscience
Rena Bizios | July 29, 2020

Rena Bizios to receive BioMedSA Award for health care, bioscience
Rena Bizios | July 29, 2020

BioMedSA, the nonprofit corporation founded in 2005 to promote and grow San Antonio’s leading industry—health care and bioscience—will present its 2020 BioMedSA Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience to Rena Bizios, the Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair in UTSA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Bizios is a globally recognized educator and researcher who has made pioneering contributions to biomedical engineering curricula as well as groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of cell-material interactions at the tissue/implant interface with applications in implant biomaterials, tissue engineering and tissue regeneration.

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Label-Free Autofluorescence Imaging Method Differentiates Between Active, and Off-Duty T Cells
Melissa Skala | July 28, 2020

Label-Free Autofluorescence Imaging Method Differentiates Between Active, and Off-Duty T Cells
Melissa Skala | July 28, 2020

Researchers headed by a team at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, and the Morgridge Institute for Research, have developed a novel label-free imaging technique that exploits autofluorescence in cells to differentiate between active and off-duty T cells, at the single cell level. They suggest the technology, known as autofluorescence lifetime imaging, could be used to help evaluate T cell involvement in immunotherapies for cancer treatment or autoimmune diseases. “It’s super novel,” said the Morgridge Institute’s Melissa Skala, PhD, who is also an associate professor of biomedical engineering at UW-Madison. “Most people aren’t using these techniques—you don’t see a lot of autofluorescence studies in immunology.”

Reporting on development and tests with the technology in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers commented, “Autofluorescence lifetime imaging can be used to characterize T cells in vivo in preclinical models, in clinical applications including small blood samples (such as pediatric samples) in which antibody labeling is limited, or in cultured T cells, such as those used in biomanufactured T-cell therapies.” Their paper is titled, “Classification of T-cell activation via autofluorescence lifetime imaging.

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Engineering Better Medicine for Public Health Crises and the Future
Roderic Pettigrew | July 27, 2020

Engineering Better Medicine for Public Health Crises and the Future
Roderic Pettigrew | July 27, 2020

When my brother told me he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, I was scared. My memory immediately jumped to visions of his childhood struggles with asthma, which he described as having an ever-tightening chain around his chest. I thought of intubated COVID-19 patients at so many hospitals across the nation, and all of the patients who did not leave the hospitals alive. As we now know, African-American men like my brother are several times more likely to die from COVID-19 than someone who is white.

In my home state of Georgia, for example, 80 percent of all patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 in March 2020 were Black people. Nationally through June, American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Black people have had a hospitalization rate that is five times more than whites. For Hispanic people it is four times higher [2]. The compounding factors of increased rates of comorbidities, reduced access to care, limited resources inclusive of health guidance information, and even trust in mainstream medicine no doubt make these populations more vulnerable to a raging viral illness.

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Humanity binds us
Rod Pettigrew | July 24, 2020

Humanity binds us
Rod Pettigrew | July 24, 2020

Many were appalled by the Central Park incident where a woman used the ethnicity of a peaceful visitor and a 911 call in a failed effort to subjugate him based on his color. However, this incident was actually a service to the nation since it unveiled just how pervasive racism is in our society. As a majority person, she knew that this core racism is so systemic, and its actuation so predictable, that she could easily weaponize it. She knew there is an imbalance of power based purely on a trivial difference in skin tone. If ever there was a question about this attitude and behavior existing broadly in our society, the Central Park incident answered it. It exists, it is real, and it has resulted in multiple shocking deaths that the world has now witnessed in anguish.

When the death of Houstonian George Floyd was observed, his torture at the knee of a purveyor of this naked truth was just too much to bear. When George took his last breath, so did the national tolerance for the societal ill that took his life and the lives before him.

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Why Where You Live Can Impact Lung Health
Lydia Contreras | July 23, 2020

Why Where You Live Can Impact Lung Health
Lydia Contreras | July 23, 2020

It’s well known that poor air quality can lead to health problems. But research from Texas ChE faculty members Lydia Contreras and Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz uncovers new information about how air quality issues can affect important processes in the body and details how people who live in polluted areas could be at greater risk for lung disease and other illnesses.

The research, published this week in Communications Biology, examines how pollution disrupts cells’ ability to regulate themselves. The team found that when cells are exposed to a combination of pollutants typically present in congested urban areas, genetic mechanisms that lead to cholesterol production are disrupted and cells are damaged in ways not captured by traditional markers. That deregulation of cells transforms how they interact with each other, and those interactions are key to keeping cells healthy.

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Dee Providing Insight to New Biomedical Engineering Education Journal
Kay Dee | July 21, 2020

Dee Providing Insight to New Biomedical Engineering Education Journal
Kay Dee | July 21, 2020

Kay C Dee, associate dean of learning and technology and professor of biomedical engineering, is lending her expertise in cell and tissue engineering, biomaterials, and engineering education as an associate editor of the Biomedical Engineering Society’s new Biomedical Engineering Education journal.

This international journal presents articles on the practice and scholarship of education in bioengineering, biomedical engineering, and allied fields. It documents and shares advances in the field as educators support student learning. The journal also passes along valuable insight into research, teaching, novel course content, laboratory experiments and demonstrations, educational outreach, and advising and professional development.

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COVID-19 vaccine development and a potential nanomaterial path forward
Nicole Steinmetz | July 15, 2020

COVID-19 vaccine development and a potential nanomaterial path forward
Nicole Steinmetz | July 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of people with no clear signs of abatement owing to the high prevalence, long incubation period and lack of established treatments or vaccines. Vaccines are the most promising solution to mitigate new viral strains. The genome sequence and protein structure of the 2019-novel coronavirus (nCoV or SARS-CoV-2) were made available in record time, allowing the development of inactivated or attenuated viral vaccines along with subunit vaccines for prophylaxis and treatment. Nanotechnology benefits modern vaccine design since nanomaterials are ideal for antigen delivery, as adjuvants, and as mimics of viral structures. In fact, the first vaccine candidate launched into clinical trials is an mRNA vaccine delivered via lipid nanoparticles. To eradicate pandemics, present and future, a successful vaccine platform must enable rapid discovery, scalable manufacturing and global distribution. Here, we review current approaches to COVID-19 vaccine development and highlight the role of nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing.

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Connecting donated human lungs to pigs repaired damage to the organs, scientists report
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | July 13, 2020

Connecting donated human lungs to pigs repaired damage to the organs, scientists report
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | July 13, 2020

For people who need a lung transplant, the wait is often prolonged by the frustrating fact that most donor organs have to be discarded: Only 20% of donated lungs meet medical criteria for transplantation, translating into far fewer organs than people on waiting lists. Now, a team of researchers has shown they might be able to salvage more of these lungs by borrowing a pig’s circulatory system.

Delicate lungs recovered from donors are typically connected to perfusion machines that keep oxygen and nutrients flowing to maintain viability, but that works for only about six hours, not long enough for often-injured lung tissue to recover before the organ fails.

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A urine test for lung cancer? Nanosensors make it possible
Sangeeta Bhatia | July 10, 2020

A urine test for lung cancer? Nanosensors make it possible
Sangeeta Bhatia | July 10, 2020

Harvard and MIT researchers teamed up to develop a novel screening test that could identify lung cancer a lot earlier and easier than current methods. The test detects lung cancer using nanoprobes, which send out reporter molecules that are picked up on urine analysis. This breakthrough, which is more sensitive than CT and delivers on a proof-of-concept experiment originally proposed in 2017, was recently detailed in a study published in Science Translational Medicine.

“What if you had a detector that was so small that it could circulate in your body, find the tumor all by itself, and send a signal to the outside world?” asked lead author Sangeeta Bhatia, MD, PhD, at a 2016 TED Talk. “It sounds a little like science fiction. But actually, nanotechnology allows us to do just that.

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Dr. Cato T. Laurencin’s COVID-19 Mask Solution Coming to Market
Cato Laurencin | July 2, 2020

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin’s COVID-19 Mask Solution Coming to Market
Cato Laurencin | July 2, 2020

Within six weeks of announcing a successful method to fabricate custom-fit mask frames to optimize protection from the spread of COVID-19, UConn has a licensing deal with a Connecticut manufacturer to produce them.

Connecticut Biotech, a startup company headquartered in South Windsor, aims to start marketing, manufacturing, and distributing 3D-printed mask frames under the brand Secure Fit this month.

“This is an important technology that can help a lot of people by providing a specific way to make regular surgical masks more protective,” says Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, CEO of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering. “It’s wonderful to see technology that started here in the state of Connecticut being developed by a Connecticut company.

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Human element shouldn’t be neglected with AI
Elizabeth Krupinski | June 25, 2020

Human element shouldn’t be neglected with AI
Elizabeth Krupinski | June 25, 2020

Sure, artificial intelligence (AI) in radiology is cool. But it’s not enough to show results in a lab; the technology’s real-world impact on efficacy and efficiency also needs to be evaluated, according to a June 25 talk at the virtual annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM).

It’s also crucial to ascertain how radiology AI affects radiologists’ perception, cognition, human factors, and workflow, according to Elizabeth Krupinski, PhD, of Emory University.

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Calcium helps build strong cells
Kris Dahl | June 19, 2020

Calcium helps build strong cells
Kris Dahl | June 19, 2020

Every time you flex your bicep or stretch your calf muscle, you put your cells under stress. Every move we make throughout the day causes our cells to stretch and deform. But this cellular deformation can be dangerous, and could potentially lead to permanent damage to the DNA in our cells, and even cancer. So how is it that we’re able to keep our bodies moving without constantly destroying our cells? Thanks to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineering (ChemE) Professor Kris Noel Dahl, and Associate Professor Sara Wickström of the University of Helsinki, we now know that the answer lies in a humble mineral we consume every day.

“Basically, every time we flex a muscle, we’re risking DNA damage that could lead to cancer,” says Dahl. “Or we would be, that is, if it weren’t for the calcium in our cells.”

Their recent paper published in Cell marks the first time that researchers have definitively shown how cells maintain their structural integrity despite the strain of mechanical forces.

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NSF RAPID grant supports COVID-19 ‘computational pipeline’
Lydia Kavraki | June 16, 2020

NSF RAPID grant supports COVID-19 ‘computational pipeline’
Lydia Kavraki | June 16, 2020

Lydia Kavraki, the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science at Rice, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research grant to implement a computational pipeline to help identify fragments of SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins that could be used as targets for vaccine development.

“Efforts are already underway to produce new drug inhibitors, repurpose existing drugs and devise combination treatments for COVID-19,” said Kavraki, who is also a professor of bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering.

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What Can We Do to Combat Anti-Black Racism in the Biomedical Research Enterprise?
NIH

What Can We Do to Combat Anti-Black Racism in the Biomedical Research Enterprise?
NIH

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, in addition to the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on African Americans, are wrenching reminders of the many harms that societal racism, inequality, and injustice inflict on the Black community. These injustices are rooted in centuries of oppression—including slavery and Jim Crow, redlining, school segregation, and mass incarceration—that continue to influence American life, including the biomedical research enterprise. Despite leading an NIH Institute whose mission includes building a diverse scientific workforce, at NIGMS we’ve struggled with what an adequate response to this moment would be, knowing that the systems that mediate the distinct and disparate burdens Black students, postdocs, and scientists face are complex and often aren’t easily moved with the urgency that they demand. With that in mind, below we share thoughts on what each of us who is in the majority or in a position of power can do to help break the cycles of racial disparities that are woven into the fabric of the biomedical research enterprise and that limit opportunities Link to external web site for Black scientists Link to external web site.

Institutional structures, policies, and cultures Link to external web site, including those in the biomedical research enterprise, all contribute to racial inequality and injustice. This fact was laid bare for us by the responses to the request for information (RFI) we issued in 2018 on strategies to enhance successful postdoctoral career transitions to promote faculty diversity. Respondents cited bias and discrimination—including racism—most frequently as a key barrier to postdoctoral researchers attaining independent faculty positions.

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Combating sexual harassment
Science

Combating sexual harassment
Science

Sexual harassment, including gender harassment, presents an unacceptable barrier that prevents women from achieving their rightful place in science, and robs society and the scientific enterprise of diverse and critical talent. As the largest single funder of biomedical research in the world, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) bears a responsibility to take action to put an end to this behavior. In 2019, the NIH began to bolster its policies and practices to address and prevent sexual harassment. This included new communication channels to inform the agency of instances of sexual harassment related to NIH-funded research. This week, the NIH announces a change that will hold grantee institutions and investigators accountable for this misconduct, to further foster a culture whereby sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviors are not tolerated in the research and training environment.

Last year, an Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) of the NIH presented a report and recommendations to end sexual harassment. A major theme of this report was the need for increased transparency and accountability in the reporting of professional misconduct, especially sexual harassment. The cases of sexual harassment that surfaced in the wake of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) 2018 report highlighted a substantial gap in the NIH’s oversight of the research enterprise: There was no straightforward mechanism for the agency to learn of sexual harassment or other misconduct taking place at grantee institutions in the context of NIH-funded research. It was not uncommon for the NIH to discover such cases through the media, amid rightful public outcry. Holding institutions and investigators accountable for this behavior was challenging.

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White Academia: Do Better.
Medium

White Academia: Do Better.
Medium

Over the past couple of weeks, our nation has been confronted with ugly truths and hard history revealing how systemic racism rears its head in almost every space. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down our typical lifestyles, people seem to be listening.

This moment feels very different from other situations when we had to address human rights in the context of race relations in the United States. With that comes a host of emotions that White people have rarely had to deal with because of their racial privilege, and this includes White people working in academia.

Like many Black faculty, and Black people in general, I have received messages and texts from White colleagues apologizing, expressing their guilt and remorse, and asking what they can do to support their Black colleagues and friends.

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Guidelines for Diversity & Inclusion in Crisis
Juan E. Gilbert, PhD

Guidelines for Diversity & Inclusion in Crisis
Juan E. Gilbert, PhD

I am writing these guidelines in response to the recent events that have impacted the Black community, specifically, the Black computing community. As the Department Chair of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Department at the University of Florida, I lead, one of, if not, the nation’s most diverse computing sciences (CS) department. We have the nation’s most Black CS faculty and PhD students. We are one of the top CS departments for the number of female faculty. As a researcher, I have had the honor of producing the nation’s most Black/African-American CS PhDs. I have also had the honor of hiring and promoting the most Black faculty in CS. My experiences span more than 20 years and those experiences are the foundation for these guidelines.

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Scientists around the world are striking against racism in academia
New Scientist

Scientists around the world are striking against racism in academia
New Scientist

Scientists around the world are striking to raise awareness of institutional and systemic racism against Black academics. This event comes in conjunction with widespread protests against police violence after the killing of George Floyd, who died on 25 May after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck.

The strike was organised by a group of academics, many of them physicists and astronomers based in the US, and promoted on social media with the hashtags #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM and #Strike4BlackLives. The organisers are encouraging academics across STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields to take the day away from their normal research and instead spend it educating themselves on racial disparities in their field and taking action against racial violence and discrimination. At least 5000 academics based at universities from around the world have joined the course.

“As academics, we do not exist in a vacuum and it is important to recognise the current events: Black members of our communities are being harassed and lynched with little to no consequence, as well as being disproportionately affected by the current pandemic,” says Tien-Tien Yu, a particle physicist at the University of Oregon who has helped organise the event through the Particles for Justice group. “We need to acknowledge that this takes a toll on the well-being of Black academics and that Black Lives Matter.

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Grieving and frustrated: Black scientists call out racism in the wake of police killings
Nature

Grieving and frustrated: Black scientists call out racism in the wake of police killings
Nature

As marchers in the United States and around the world filled the streets this past week to protest against police brutality and racial injustice, Black scientists grieved openly on social media, calling for action on racism in society and in science.

Many stated ways in which institutions and colleagues, from collaborators to meeting organizers, could support Black scientists. Some pushed universities and scientific societies to release statements against racism. And several tweeted that the weight of the current events made it even harder for them to do their jobs in a profession that already marginalizes women and people of colour — and Black scientists in particular.

“I’m not there yet,” wrote Desmond Upton Patton, a professor of social work at Columbia University, in New York City. “I’m struggling with kindness, forgiveness, empathy. I feel pushed to make decisions, go to meetings, and to ‘show up.’ I’m just not ready.

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4 Ways That Scientists And Academics Can Effectively Combat Racism
Forbes

4 Ways That Scientists And Academics Can Effectively Combat Racism
Forbes

It could be your colleague, your coworker, your staff member, or your student. As the world mourns the violent and unnecessary death of yet another black man — George Floyd — at the hands of police officers, many well-meaning people of all races are struggling with how to take effective action. While attending protests, protecting and standing in solidarity with black Americans, and donating to various causes are positive actions in the immediate term, these actions alone will not address the systemic problems of inequality inherent in the system.

These persistent inequalities play out in some extremely unpleasant ways even in the relatively sheltered environments of science and academia. However, we can all take important steps towards being part of the solution, even as individuals. These four steps, as limited as they are, can play a major role in transforming science and academia into a safer, more inclusive environment. It’s on each of us to choose to take them.

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How rod-shaped particles might distract an out-of-control COVID immune response
Lola Eniola-Adefeso | June 10, 2020

How rod-shaped particles might distract an out-of-control COVID immune response
Lola Eniola-Adefeso | June 10, 2020

A long-ignored white blood cell may be central to the immune system overreaction that is the most common cause of death for COVID-19 patients—and University of Michigan researchers found that rod-shaped particles can take them out of circulation.

The No. 1 cause of death for COVID-19 patients echoes the way the 1918 influenza pandemic killed: their lungs fill with fluid and they essentially drown. This is called acute respiratory distress syndrome. But a new way of drawing immune cells out of the lungs might be able to prevent this outcome. This research is among the essential projects at U-M that have continued through the pandemic uninterrupted.

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Prophylactic Drug Delivery System for COVID-19
Heather Sheardown | May 22, 2020

Prophylactic Drug Delivery System for COVID-19
Heather Sheardown | May 22, 2020

The Heather Sheardown lab (McMaster University, Canada) is home to an interdisciplinary team of scientists and trainees with expertise in ophthalmology, polymer and biomaterial engineering, chemistry, pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery, animal/ex-vivo/in-vitro models of disease and drug delivery, early stage material design and synthesis, and synthetic method scalability optimization.

As the availability of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is still far off, there is an immediate global need for prophylactic prevention strategies, particularly for vulnerable populations including seniors and frontline workers. The Sheardown lab has developed a mucoadhesive polymeric micelle that allows for the encapsulation of a range of therapeutics, providing local, controlled delivery to mucosal surfaces. This technology overcomes traditional solubility concerns, allowing formulations at higher drug concentrations. Its mucosal binding significantly reduces dosing frequency, increases local bioavailability and improves clinical efficacy. Developed and validated for safety and efficacy in the eye, this system is now being repurposed for the mucosa of the respiratory tract, formulated as a nasal spray or inhaled aerosol, incorporating two treatments that are currently under study internationally: hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and remdisivir.

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UC Davis engineering projects fight COVID-19
Cristina Davis | May 20, 2020

UC Davis engineering projects fight COVID-19
Cristina Davis | May 20, 2020

With new seed grants from the UC Davis Office of Research’s COVID-19 Research Accelerator Funding Track (CRAFT), three teams of UC Davis engineers are applying their expertise toward the pandemic response to help people become safer, healthier and better-tested.

Mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) professor and chair Cristina Davis and chemical engineering (CHE) faculty Priya Shah, Karen McDonald and Roland Faller received $25,000 project awards for research that rapidly generates new insights about COVID-19, while biological and agricultural engineering (BAE) professor Gang Sun received a $5,000 small award to apply current research to the pandemic response. These proposals were chosen out from more than 100 applications and were awarded with the expectation that these projects will lead to larger collaborations.

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Natalia Trayanova to use machine learning to predict heart damage in COVID-19 victims
Natalia Trayanova | May 18, 2020

Natalia Trayanova to use machine learning to predict heart damage in COVID-19 victims
Natalia Trayanova | May 18, 2020

Johns Hopkins researchers recently received a $195,000 Rapid Response Research grant from the National Science Foundation to, using machine learning, identify which COVID-19 patients are at risk of adverse cardiac events such as heart failure, sustained abnormal heartbeats, heart attacks, cardiogenic shock and death.

Increasing evidence of COVID-19’s negative impacts on the cardiovascular system highlights a great need for identifying COVID-19 patients at risk for heart problems, the researchers say. However, no such predictive capabilities currently exist.

“This project will provide clinicians with early warning signs and ensure that resources are allocated to patients with the greatest need,” says Natalia Trayanova, the Murray B. Sachs Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University Schools of Engineering and Medicine and the project’s principal investigator.

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“Microbubbles” and ultrasound bombard cancer cells in mice
Katherine Ferrara | May 14, 2020

“Microbubbles” and ultrasound bombard cancer cells in mice
Katherine Ferrara | May 14, 2020

In the lab of Katherine Ferrara, PhD, bubbles spell trouble for cancer cells in mice — and maybe one day for humans, too.

Specifically, Ferrara, a Stanford Medicine professor of radiology, is using “microbubbles” to damage the structure of cancer cells and cause them to die. The tiny gas-filled spheres are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are typically used to enhance vasculature imaging in patients. However, Ferrara and her team have repurposed them for a new type of targeted cancer therapy guided by ultrasound.

The new treatment platform is designed to deliver a one-two punch. First, the microbubbles attack cancer cells, then an additional therapeutic agent, such as a gene, beckons immune cells to further pummel the tumor.

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Researchers to develop AI to help diagnose, understand COVID-19 in lung images
Maryellen Giger | May 6, 2020

Researchers to develop AI to help diagnose, understand COVID-19 in lung images
Maryellen Giger | May 6, 2020

As physicians and researchers grapple with a rapidly-spreading, deadly and novel disease, they need all the help they can get. Many centers are exploring whether artificial intelligence can help fight COVID-19, extracting knowledge from complex and rapidly growing data on how to best diagnose and treat patients.

One University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory collaboration believes that AI can be a helpful clinical partner for a particularly important kind of medical data: images. Because severe cases of COVID-19 most often present as a respiratory illness, triggering severe pneumonia in patients, chest X-rays and thoracic CT scans are a potential exam. With a grant from the new c3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, computer-aided diagnosis expert Maryellen Giger will lead an effort to develop new AI tools that use these medical images to diagnose, monitor and help plan treatment for COVID-19 patients.

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MRI Technique Could Reduce Radiation Dose in Assessing Pediatric Cancer Treatment
Heike Daldrup-Link | May 5, 2020

MRI Technique Could Reduce Radiation Dose in Assessing Pediatric Cancer Treatment
Heike Daldrup-Link | May 5, 2020

Using whole body diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW MRI) to evaluate the efficacy on cancer treatment in children can potentially provide a more than three-quarters cut in radiation exposure, according to new research.

A study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), published today in Radiology shows that DW MRI can track tumor response to therapy as effectively as techniques using CT scans, but without radiation.

The researchers had financial support from the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

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María José Alonso leads a USC project aimed at developing a new vaccine against COVID-19 based on mRNA
María José Alonso | May 4, 2020

María José Alonso leads a USC project aimed at developing a new vaccine against COVID-19 based on mRNA
María José Alonso | May 4, 2020

Developing and evaluating in preclinical studies a new vaccine based on mRNA against SARS-CoV2 capable of inducing long-term immune responses against the virus is the ultimate goal of the research project in which the laboratory led by María José Alonso participates together with the group led by Mabel Loza, both at CiMUS and FIDIS – University of Santiago de Compostela (USC). The objective of the USC laboratories is to produce a synthetic vehicle based on innocuous biomaterials, capable of transporting the mRNA into the target cells and enabling the production of the antigen in the human body.

The project has obtained funding from the Health Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII).

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NLM Highlights Essential Role of Clinical Databases in Pandemic
Patricia Brennan | May 4, 2020

NLM Highlights Essential Role of Clinical Databases in Pandemic
Patricia Brennan | May 4, 2020

The National Library of Medicine is embarking on an extensive modernization effort of the world’s largest public clinical trial registry and results database, ClinicalTrials.gov, with the COVID-19 response underpinning the importance of the multi-year project.

“This effort to improve the user experience and update the technology platform is critically important for so many things that we do at NIH, our partnerships across the government and our commitment to the American public — the taxpayers and the research participants,” Kelly Wolinetz, associate director for the agency’s Office of Science Policy and NIH’s acting chief of staff, said in a virtual public meeting Thursday.

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Bonnie Berger elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2020
Bonnie Berger | May 1, 2020

Bonnie Berger elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2020
Bonnie Berger | May 1, 2020

On April 27, the National Academy of Sciences elected 120 new members and 26 international associates, including three professors from MIT — Abhijit Banerjee, Bonnie Berger, and Roger Summons — recognizing their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” Current membership totals 2,403 active members and 501 international associates, including 190 Nobel Prize recipients.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution for scientific advancement established in 1863 by congressional charter and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. Together, with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine, the 157-year-old society provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Bonnie Berger is the Simons Professor of Mathematics and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is the head of the Computation and Biology group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). She is also a faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

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Breakthrough helps fight ‘cold’ tumors that don’t respond to immunotherapy
Melody Swartz | April 30, 2020

Breakthrough helps fight ‘cold’ tumors that don’t respond to immunotherapy
Melody Swartz | April 30, 2020

Immunotherapy, which unleashes the power of the body’s own immune system to find and destroy cancer cells, has shown promise in treating several types of cancer.

But the disease is notorious for cloaking itself from the immune system, and tumors that are not inflamed and do not elicit a response from the immune system—so-called “cold” tumors—do not respond to immunotherapies.

Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago have taken a step toward solving this problem with an innovative immunotherapy delivery system. The system finds tumors by seeking out and binding to the tumors’ collagen, then uses a protein called IL-12 to inflame the tumor and activate the immune system, thereby activating immunotherapy.

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Texas A&M Chemist Karen Wooley Elected To National Academy Of Sciences
Karen Wooley | April 29, 2020

Texas A&M Chemist Karen Wooley Elected To National Academy Of Sciences
Karen Wooley | April 29, 2020

Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Karen L. Wooley has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Wooley, holder of the W.T. Doherty-Welch Chair in Chemistry and one of the world’s top chemists in the burgeoning field of materials and polymer chemistry and in creating new materials at the nanoscale level, is among the 120 new members and 26 foreign associates announced Monday, April 27)by the Academy on the final day of its 157th Annual Meeting in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to Academy membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

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BU Engineers Are Taking on the Coronavirus Pandemic
Joyce Wong and Catherine Klapperich | April 17, 2020

BU Engineers Are Taking on the Coronavirus Pandemic
Joyce Wong and Catherine Klapperich | April 17, 2020

Across Boston University’s School of Engineering, researchers are pivoting their work to tackle the many engineering problems associated with the global coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m glad I’m an engineer right now,” says Joyce Wong, professor of biomedical and materials science engineering. “There are so many problems that need to be solved in this crisis and I can actually use my expertise to help.”

Wong, like many other engineers and researchers, is diving in to do what she can to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are in addition to the first wave of help, across BU’s Charles River and Medical Campuses, that gathered personal protective equipment (PPE) from labs—shuttered by Governor Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory—to donate to healthcare workers in Massachusetts. Here are four ways that BU engineers are using technology to tackle the coronavirus pandemic:

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Making sense of scents: 3D videos reveal how the nose detects odor combinations
Elizabeth Hillman | April 9, 2020

Making sense of scents: 3D videos reveal how the nose detects odor combinations
Elizabeth Hillman | April 9, 2020

Every moment of the day we are surrounded by smells. Odors can bring back memories, or quickly warn us that food has gone bad. But how does our brain identify so many different odors? And how easily can we untangle the ingredients of a mixture of odors? In a new study in mice published today in Science, Columbia scientists have taken an important step toward answering these questions, and the secret lies inside the nose.

“From garbage to cologne, the scents we encounter every day are comprised of hundreds or even thousands of individual odors,” said Stuart Firestein, PhD, a Columbia professor of biological sciences and the co-senior author of today’s study. “Your morning cup of coffee can contain more than 800 different types of odor molecules. Although much work has been done to understand how the nose and brain work together to identify individual odors, scientists have long struggled to explain how this system works when multiple odors are mixed together.

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UConn Researchers Find Blacks Are Disproportionately Impacted By COVID-19
Cato Laurencin | April 8, 2020

UConn Researchers Find Blacks Are Disproportionately Impacted By COVID-19
Cato Laurencin | April 8, 2020

The team led by Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, former dean of the UConn School of Medicine, analyzed and reviewed the Department of Public Health’s data on COVID-19 outcomes and found that Blacks have a higher rate of infection and death in comparison to the percentage of the population they represent in the state.

However, the information collected on race and ethnicity is incomplete.

“The scarcity of this information generates a more substantial concern in which insufficiently identifying the affected may ultimately result in historically marginalized groups shouldering the greatest burden of disease and disproportionately bearing the social impact,” Laurencin and his team wrote in their paper.

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Gel smooths cells’ ride through syringes in regenerative therapy
Sarah Heilshorn | April 8, 2020

Gel smooths cells’ ride through syringes in regenerative therapy
Sarah Heilshorn | April 8, 2020

An innovative delivery technology vastly improves the viability of tissue regenerating cells, and enhances strength and coordination in animals with spinal-cord injury.

In a study published in Science Advances, Stanford neurosurgical researcher Giles Plant, PhD, and materials engineer Sarah Heilshorn, PhD, and their colleagues report that a customized gel — developed in Heilshorn’s lab as a shock absorber for regenerative cells during and after their perilous journey through the tip of a syringe to the targeted tissue — kept those cells safe.

As a vehicle for delivering regenerative cells to rats with movement-impairing spinal-cord injuries, this gel overwhelmingly outperformed saline (the current clinical standard). It boosted the numbers of successfully-delivered cells by more than sevenfold compared with saline, as measured two days after the procedure. At four weeks, the gel’s advantage over saline was more than tenfold.

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New sensors could offer early detection of lung tumors
Sangeeta Bhatia | April 1, 2020

New sensors could offer early detection of lung tumors
Sangeeta Bhatia | April 1, 2020

People who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, such as heavy smokers, are routinely screened with computed tomography (CT), which can detect tumors in the lungs. However, this test has an extremely high rate of false positives, as it also picks up benign nodules in the lungs.

Researchers at MIT have now developed a new approach to early diagnosis of lung cancer: a urine test that can detect the presence of proteins linked to the disease. This kind of noninvasive test could reduce the number of false positives and help detect more tumors in the early stages of the disease.

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New Biochip Tech Shows Promise in Traumatic Hemorrhage Outcomes
Anthony Guiseppi-Elie | March 20 2020

New Biochip Tech Shows Promise in Traumatic Hemorrhage Outcomes
Anthony Guiseppi-Elie | March 20 2020

Traumatic hemorrhage is a condition of bleeding resulting from a significant wound; such wounds as might be sustained in an automobile accident, a natural disaster such as a tornado, or on the battlefield (combat casualty).

Trauma accounts for 47% of mortalities in individuals 1-46 years of age in the United States and is the most likely source of demise for the warfighter (50-68%). Trauma-induced hemorrhage can, beyond the “golden hour,” lead to death or may be followed by Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS), a consequence of a “cytokine storm,” and be fatal.

Anthony Guiseppi-Elie, ScD, is a biomedical engineer who studies the pathophysiology of hemorrhage using biosensors and serves as TEES Professor of Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and is a Full Affiliate Member, Houston Methodist Research Institute in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

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Coronavirus Testing Shouldn’t Be This Complicated
Catherine Klapperich | March 17 2020

Coronavirus Testing Shouldn’t Be This Complicated
Catherine Klapperich | March 17 2020

Engineers have the technology to make it better

The US reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on January 21st. Eight weeks later, there still aren’t enough tests for the virus available for everyone who needs them. “It is a failing,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a House briefing last week. “The system is not really geared to what we need right now.”

People who are sick or have been in contact with sick people are struggling to get tested. Until last week, the number of tests that could be run per day in the United States was limited to around 7,000. Labs are struggling to get the supplies they need to meet the demand.

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Ranu Jung on Neural Engineering and Her Philosophy Behind Bringing Discoveries to Humans
Ranu Jung | March 16, 2020

Ranu Jung on Neural Engineering and Her Philosophy Behind Bringing Discoveries to Humans
Ranu Jung | March 16, 2020

As director of the Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory and the owner of more than a half dozen patents, Ranu Jung designs neural engineering projects that drive the process of transforming basic discoveries into clinical applications. In this interview she explains how collaborative projects can at once advance the understanding of the brain and the development of medical devices. She also talks about what sparks questions for her, the advantages of adaptability, and where to find support.

This article is part of Neuronline’s interview series “Entrepreneurial Women Combining Neuroscience, Engineering, and Tech,” which highlights the career paths and scientific accomplishments of female leaders and role models who are creatively bridging disciplines to improve lives.

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CHOP Study Demonstrates How to Collect True Impact Incidents from Head Impact Sensors in Youth Sports
Kristy Arbogast | March 11, 2020

CHOP Study Demonstrates How to Collect True Impact Incidents from Head Impact Sensors in Youth Sports
Kristy Arbogast | March 11, 2020

An increased awareness of concussion risks in young athletes has prompted researchers to use a variety of head impact sensors to measure frequency and severity of impacts during sports. A new study from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) shows these head sensors can record a large number of false positive impacts during real game play. The CHOP team’s study emphasizes that an extra step to video-confirm the sensor data is essential for research and for use of this data in injury prevention strategies for player safety.

The findings were published online this month by the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Approximately 1 in 5 high school athletes who plays a contact sport – such as soccer, lacrosse, and American football – suffers a concussion each year. To understand the frequency, magnitude and direction of head impacts that athletes sustain, a wide variety of sensors have been developed to collect head impact biomechanics data, including instrumented helmets, skull caps, headbands, mouthguards and skin patches.

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New Classification System Developed for Regenerative Cell-Based Therapies
Cato Laurencin | February 19, 2020

New Classification System Developed for Regenerative Cell-Based Therapies
Cato Laurencin | February 19, 2020

Doctors at UConn Health have developed the first classification system for regenerative cell-based therapies designed to stratify therapies based on scientific evidence and potential for harm. Today, there are concerns regarding the clinical safety and efficacy of cell-based therapies throughout the scientific community and within public discourse. The unregulated U.S. stem cell market has been widely reported as it offers potentially harmful therapies to patients without FDA approval. Currently, there are no regenerative cell-based therapies approved by the FDA, although high demand for such treatments is ongoing.

In light of these concerns, the current climate has generated demand for a systematic method to assess potential therapies. Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, CEO of The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health, has created a new classification system for cell-based therapies. The objective was to create a strategy that will benefit patients, encourage regulatory efforts, and further inform the scientific community.

“The rapidly expanding direct-to-consumer marketplace allows for public consumption of unregulated treatments, so we identified an opportunity to enhance regulation and ensure greater public health,” says Laurencin.

The new system will aid in categorizing proposed interventions to determine suitability for immediate clinical use or therapies that require further investigational studies prior to clinical use. Utilization of this system will result in increased regulation and widespread standardization, which in turn decreases patient health and financial risks associated with unregulated treatments. To learn more about the new classification system, view the newly published article here.

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Cocoa could bring sweet relief to walking pain for people with peripheral artery disease
Melina Kibbe | February 14, 2020

Cocoa could bring sweet relief to walking pain for people with peripheral artery disease
Melina Kibbe | February 14, 2020

Consumption of cocoa may improve walking performance for patients with peripheral artery disease, according to the results of a small, preliminary, phase II research trial published today in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation Research.

In a small study of 44 peripheral artery disease patients over age 60, those who drank a beverage containing flavanol-rich cocoa three times a day for six months were able to walk up to 42.6 meters further in a 6-minute walking test, compared to those who drank the same number and type of beverages without cocoa. Those who drank the flavanol-rich cocoa also had improved blood flow to their calves and some improved muscle function compared to the placebo group…

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FDA grants de novo clearance for vascular access device
Gabi Niederauer | February 13, 2020

FDA grants de novo clearance for vascular access device
Gabi Niederauer | February 13, 2020

The FDA has granted a de novo classification order to Bluegrass Vascular Technologies for its Surfacer Inside-Out Access Catheter System. The device was designed to enable central venous access in patients with venous obstructions, according to a press release.

“The Surfacer system offers a safe and effective approach to reliably preserve and restore critical upper body vascular access sites,” Mahmood Razavi, MD, an interventional radiologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, and lead principal investigator of the Surfacer System to Facilitate Access in Venous Occlusions – United States (SAVE-US) IDE study, said in the release. “This is an unmet clinical need for patients who require life-saving therapies, such as dialysis, and who have limited options due to venous obstructions…

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Susan Margulies Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Susan Margulies | February 11, 2020

Susan Margulies Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Susan Margulies | February 11, 2020

Four Georgia Institute of Technology faculty members have been elected as new members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Marilyn Brown, Thomas Kurfess, Susan Margulies, and Alexander Shapiro join 83 other new NAE members for 2020 when they are formally inducted during a ceremony at the academy’s annual meeting on Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C.

Election of new NAE members, the culmination of a yearlong process, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education…

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Laura Niklason Elected To The National Academy of Engineering
Laura Niklason | February 7, 2020

Laura Niklason Elected To The National Academy of Engineering
Laura Niklason | February 7, 2020

Laura Niklason, the Nicholas M. Greene Professor in Anesthesia and Biomedical Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Cited for her contributions to research in cardiovascular tissue engineering, lung regeneration, and biomedical imaging, Niklason was among 87 new members elected to the academy. Niklason will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2018…

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In A Different Vein
Laura Niklason | February 6, 2020

In A Different Vein
Laura Niklason | February 6, 2020

It was her experience as a physician in the intensive care unit that pointed Laura Niklason in the direction of making engineered blood vessels for kidney dialysis patients. She worked with countless patients requiring needle injections multiple times per week, whose veins weren’t up for the job.

“Some patients had failures over and over and over,” said Niklason, the Nicholas M. Greene Professor in Anesthesia and Biomedical Engineering. “They’re in the operating room all the time and they get infections and they get hospitalized for those infections. And it’s just miserable…

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New Discovery About Cathepsins May Improve Drug Research
Manu Platt | January 21, 2020

New Discovery About Cathepsins May Improve Drug Research
Manu Platt | January 21, 2020

Like motley bandits, certain enzymes implicated in cancer and other diseases also annihilate each other. A new study reveals details of their mutual foils in the hopes that these behaviors can be leveraged to fight the enzymes’ disease potential.

The bandits are cathepsins, enzymes that normally dispose of unneeded protein in our cells. But in unhealthy scenarios, cathepsins can promote illnesses like cancer, atherosclerosis, and sickle cell disease. Many experimental drugs that inhibit them, while effective, have failed due to side effects that could not be well explained, so researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology abandoned the common focus on single cathepsins to model three key cathepsins as a system…

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AI software for breast cancer diagnosis makes TIME’s list of Best Inventions for 2019
Maryellen Giger | December 4, 2019

AI software for breast cancer diagnosis makes TIME’s list of Best Inventions for 2019
Maryellen Giger | December 4, 2019

Artificial intelligence software developed by University of Chicago Medicine researchers to help radiologists more accurately diagnose breast cancer made TIME’s list of Inventions for 2019.

QuantX — the first-ever, FDA-cleared software to aid in breast cancer diagnosis — aims to reduce missed cancers as well as false positives that can lead to unnecessary biopsies. The technology is based on two decades of research by Maryellen Giger, PhD, Professor of Radiology and a world-renowned pioneer in computer-aided diagnosis (CAD)…

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Sensory simulators give doctors a better feel for performance improvement
Carla Pugh | November 11 2019

Sensory simulators give doctors a better feel for performance improvement
Carla Pugh | November 11 2019

It’s long been said that medicine is part science, part art. The science tells you so much, but while you may have one way of performing a procedure or exam, a colleague down the hall approaches it in a slightly different way.

For example, when performing a breast exam: how much pressure do you use? Do you use a rubbing technique, a patting technique or a piano fingers technique? Is one better than another? In a complex surgery, what are the differences in decisions and technical approaches? Does that affect the outcome of the surgery…

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Protein decoy stymies lung cancer growth in mice, study finds
Jennifer Cochran | November 7, 2019

Protein decoy stymies lung cancer growth in mice, study finds
Jennifer Cochran | November 7, 2019

Scientists at Stanford and UC-San Francisco have developed an experimental drug that targets a currently untreatable type of lung cancer responsible for generating roughly 500,000 newly diagnosed cases worldwide each year.

A paper to be published online Nov. 7 in Nature Medicine reports that the researchers slowed the spread of this cancer in mice by neutralizing a single protein that would otherwise set off a chain reaction, causing runaway growth…

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Purigen Debuts New Advanced Technology System to Simplify and Improve the Purification of Nucleic Acids from Precious Clinical Genomic Samples
Juan Santiago | November 6, 2019

Purigen Debuts New Advanced Technology System to Simplify and Improve the Purification of Nucleic Acids from Precious Clinical Genomic Samples
Juan Santiago | November 6, 2019

Purigen Biosystems, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation technologies for extracting and purifying nucleic acids from biological samples, today announced the launch of its Ionic™ Purification System. The small benchtop system utilizes the company’s core isotachophoresis (ITP) technology to extract, purify, and concentrate nucleic acids from biological samples in one hour with less than three minutes of hands-on time per sample. Purigen will unveil the new system and present data during the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo.

The Ionic Purification System enables the automated extraction of nucleic acids with dramatically increased yields and improved purity from a wide range of sample types, including cultured or sorted cells and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. Biological samples are gently lysed and then loaded into the Ionic™ Fluidics Chip. The Ionic system then applies an electric field to the chip and the nucleic acids are isolated in their natural, native form using the company’s proprietary ITP technology. The nucleic acids are not denatured or dehydrated, and there is no binding or stripping from fixed surfaces. The process minimizes fragmentation and eliminates any bead or buffer contamination. The extracted nucleic acids are pure, abundant, and ready for analysis by any downstream technique such as next-generation sequencing or PCR…

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Pettigrew Receives National Academy Of Engineering Award
Roderic Pettigrew | October 28, 2019

Pettigrew Receives National Academy Of Engineering Award
Roderic Pettigrew | October 28, 2019

Roderic Pettigrew is the recipient of the 2019 National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Arthur M. Bueche Award for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation.

Pettigrew is CEO of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean for Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M University and Houston Methodist Hospital, as well as the Robert A. Welch Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering…

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Pope names Nobel-winning U.S. chemical engineer to papal think tank
Frances H. Arnold | October 24, 2019

Pope names Nobel-winning U.S. chemical engineer to papal think tank
Frances H. Arnold | October 24, 2019

Pope Francis appointed Frances H. Arnold, a Nobel-winning chemical engineer from the United States, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Arnold, 63, is the Linus Pauling professor of chemical engineering, biochemistry and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology and director of its bioengineering center. Her appointment to the papal think tank was announced by the Vatican Oct. 24…

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Sangeeta Bhatia elected to the National Academy of Medicine for 2019
Sangeeta Bhatia | October 21, 2019

Sangeeta Bhatia elected to the National Academy of Medicine for 2019
Sangeeta Bhatia | October 21, 2019

Sangeeta Bhatia, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of health sciences and technology, and Richard Young, an MIT professor of biology, are among the 100 new members elected to the National Academy of Medicine today.

Bhatia is already a member of the National Academies of Science and of Engineering, making her just the 25th person to be elected to all three national academies. Earlier this year, Paula Hammond, head of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, also joined that exclusive group; MIT faculty members Emery Brown, Arup Chakraborty, James Collins, and Robert Langer have also achieved that distinction…

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Sharon Gerecht Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Sharon Gerecht | October 21, 2019

Sharon Gerecht Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Sharon Gerecht | October 21, 2019

Four faculty members of The Johns Hopkins University have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Announcement of new NAM members (100 total) was made today in conjunction with the academy’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

NAM is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health, medicine and the natural, social and behavioral sciences. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as adviser for the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine and related policy. Membership in the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine…

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Denise Aberle named to National Academy of Medicine
Denise Aberle | October 21, 2019

Denise Aberle named to National Academy of Medicine
Denise Aberle | October 21, 2019

Two UCLA professors, Dr. Denise Aberle and Dr. Carol Mangione, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

Aberle is a professor of radiology and bioengineering, and vice chair for research in the department of radiological sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Mangione is the Barbara A. Levey & Gerald S. Levey Professor of Medicine and Public Health and chief of the division of general internal medicine and health services research. They were among 100 new members announced Oct. 21 during the academy’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C…

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Changes in bone density linked to reduced fracture risk
Mary Bouxsein | October 16, 2019

Changes in bone density linked to reduced fracture risk
Mary Bouxsein | October 16, 2019

Building on prior observations, a meta-regression of published trials has concluded that larger improvements in bone mineral density (BMD) via dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry (DXA) are associated with greater reductions in fracture risk, particularly for vertebral and hip fractures. First author Mary Bouxsein, PhD, of the Center for Advanced Orthopedic Studies at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR).

“Although these results cannot be directly applied to predict the treatment benefit in an individual patient, they provide compelling evidence that improvements in BMD with osteoporosis therapies may be useful surrogate endpoints for fracture in trials of new therapeutic agents,” the authors wrote…

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UCSF Launches Artificial Intelligence Center to Advance Medical Imaging
Sharmila Majumdar | October 11, 2019

UCSF Launches Artificial Intelligence Center to Advance Medical Imaging
Sharmila Majumdar | October 11, 2019

UC San Francisco is launching a new center to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to radiology, leveraging advanced computational techniques and industry collaborations to improve patient diagnoses and care.

The Center for Intelligent Imaging, or ci2, will develop and apply AI to devise powerful new ways to look inside the body and to evaluate health and disease. Investigators in ci2 will team with Santa Clara, Calif.-based NVIDIA Corp., an industry leader in AI computing, to build infrastructure and tools focused on enabling the translation of AI into clinical practice…

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Pamela Palmer, MD, Ph.D., Has Developed a New Wonder Drug for her Company
Pamela Palmer | October 10, 2019

Pamela Palmer, MD, Ph.D., Has Developed a New Wonder Drug for her Company
Pamela Palmer | October 10, 2019

Pamela P. Palmer, M.D., Ph.D., has been Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since she co-founded the company in July 2005. Earlier, she was an anesthesiologist at University California San Francisco — UCSF.

She was director of the UCSF Pain Center for Advanced Research and Education — PainCARE — between 2005 and 2009. The American Pain Society named the UCSF Pain Management Center and PainCARE jointly as one of only six centers of excellence nationwide.

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Opioid Breathalyzer Test Developed
Cristina Davis | October 4, 2019

Opioid Breathalyzer Test Developed
Cristina Davis | October 4, 2019

In a small pilot study, researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed and successfully tested a device that collects minute droplets in breath that can be analyzed in a laboratory for morphine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and other opioids.

“Exhaled breath collection represents a painless, easily available, and non-invasive technique that would enable clinicians to make quick and well-informed decisions,” said lead author Cristina Davis, PhD, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC Davis. “There are a few ways we think this could impact society.

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Computer models show promise for personalizing chemotherapy
Sylvia Plevritis | October 4, 2019

Computer models show promise for personalizing chemotherapy
Sylvia Plevritis | October 4, 2019

Computers have revolutionized many fields, so it isn’t surprising that they may be transforming cancer research. Computers are now being used to model the molecular and cellular changes associated with individual tumors, allowing scientists to simulate the tumor’s response to different combinations of chemotherapy drugs.

Modeling big data to improve personalized cancer treatment was the focus of a recent episode of the Sirius radio show “The Future of Everything.” On hand was Sylvia Plevritis, PhD, a professor of biomedical data science and of radiology at Stanford, who discussed her work with Stanford professor and radio show host Russ Altman, MD, PhD.

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National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2019 Arthur M. Bueche Award
Rod Pettigrew | October 4, 2019

National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2019 Arthur M. Bueche Award
Rod Pettigrew | October 4, 2019

On Sunday, Oct. 6, during its 2019 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) will present two awards for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession. The Simon Ramo Founders Award will be presented to Cato Thomas Laurencin for his research contributions and leadership in engineering. The Arthur M. Bueche Award will be given to Roderic Ivan Pettigrew for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation.

Roderic Ivan Pettigrew is CEO of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean for Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M and Houston Methodist Hospital. He will be presented the Arthur M. Bueche Award “for leadership at the NIH and for academic and industrial convergence research and education, resulting in innovations that have improved global health care.” The award recognizes an engineer who has shown dedication in science and technology as well as active involvement in determining U.S. science and technology policy, and includes a commemorative medal.

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National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2019 Simon Ramo Founders Awards
Cato Laurencin | October 4, 2019

National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2019 Simon Ramo Founders Awards
Cato Laurencin | October 4, 2019

On Sunday, Oct. 6, during its 2019 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) will present two awards for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession. The Simon Ramo Founders Award will be presented to Cato Thomas Laurencin for his research contributions and leadership in engineering. The Arthur M. Bueche Award will be given to Roderic Ivan Pettigrew for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation.

Cato T. Laurencin is known worldwide as a leader in biomaterials, nanotechnology, stem cell science, drug delivery systems, and a field he has pioneered, regenerative engineering. Laurencin is being recognized with the Simon Ramo Founders Award “for fundamental, critical, and groundbreaking scientific advances in the engineering of tissues, guiding technology and science policy, and promoting diversity and excellence in science.” The award acknowledges outstanding professional, educational, and personal achievements to the benefit of society and includes a commemorative medal.

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This flat structure morphs into shape of a human face when temperature changes
Jennifer Lewis | September 30, 2019

This flat structure morphs into shape of a human face when temperature changes
Jennifer Lewis | September 30, 2019

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have designed 3-D printed mesh-like structures that morph from flat layers into predetermined shapes, in response to changes in ambient temperature. The new structures can transform into configurations that are more complex than what other shape-shifting materials and structures can achieve.

As a demonstration, the researchers printed a flat mesh that, when exposed to a certain temperature difference, deforms into the shape of a human face. They also designed a mesh embedded with conductive liquid metal, that curves into a dome to form an active antenna, the resonance frequency of which changes as it deforms.

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High-speed microscope illuminates biology at the speed of life
Elizabeth Hillman | September 27, 2019

High-speed microscope illuminates biology at the speed of life
Elizabeth Hillman | September 27, 2019

The Columbia team behind the revolutionary 3D SCAPE microscope announces today a new version of this high-speed imaging technology. In collaboration with scientists from around the world, they used SCAPE 2.0 to reveal previously unseen details of living creatures — from neurons firing inside a wriggling worm to the 3D dynamics of the beating heart of a fish embryo, with far superior resolution and at speeds up to 30 times faster than their original demonstration.

These improvements to SCAPE, published today in Nature Methods, promise to impact fields as wide ranging as genetics, cardiology and neuroscience.

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Malawi study confirms lasting impact of life-saving technology
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | September 20, 2019

Malawi study confirms lasting impact of life-saving technology
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | September 20, 2019

Malawi’s national adoption of affordable, rugged, neonatal CPAP technology as a part of routine hospital care resulted in sustained improvements in the survival of babies with respiratory illness, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

Malawi, in southeast Africa, has the world’s highest preterm birth rate, with almost 1 in 5 babies born premature. A study conducted at 26 Malawi government hospitals found that the national adoption of rugged, low-cost, neonatal “continuous positive airway pressure” (CPAP) devices improved survival rates from 49% to 55% for newborns admitted with breathing problems. For newborns with severe breathing problems, survival improved from 40% to 48%.

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On-the-move cancer cells prefer a “comfort cruise,” follow predictable paths of least resistance
Cynthia Reinhart-King | September 13, 2019

On-the-move cancer cells prefer a “comfort cruise,” follow predictable paths of least resistance
Cynthia Reinhart-King | September 13, 2019

According to the researchers, migrating cancer cells decide which path in the body to travel based on how much energy it takes, opting to move through wider, easier to navigate spaces rather than smaller, confined spaces to reduce energy requirements during movement. These findings suggest energy expenditure and metabolism are significant factors within metastatic migration, which lends credence to recent clinical interest in the study of metabolomics and the targeting of cellular metabolism as a way to prevent metastasis.

The discoveries appear in a new paper, “Energetic costs regulated by cell mechanics and confinement are predictive of migration path during decision-making,” published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Led by Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering, the research is the first study to quantify the energetic costs of cancer cells during metastasis – enabling the prediction of specific migration pathways. These new findings build on similar research from the Reinhart-King Lab, published earlier this year, which discovered “drafting” techniques used by cancer cells to conserve energy during migration.

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Could an Extracellular Matrix Gel Rebuild MI-Damaged Hearts?
Karen Christman | September 11, 2019

Could an Extracellular Matrix Gel Rebuild MI-Damaged Hearts?
Karen Christman | September 11, 2019

For MI survivors with moderate left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, an injectable biomaterial designed to mimic healthy extracellular matrix (ECM) was found to be safe in a phase I study.

Billed as a potential new approach to heart failure, VentriGel is an ECM hydrogel made from decellularized porcine myocardium and delivered by transendocardial injection using a catheter.

No adverse events definitely related to VentriGel were reported among 15 study subjects with LV dysfunction persisting at 60 days to 3 years post-MI and who had received percutaneous coronary intervention, according to Karen Christman, PhD, of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, California, and colleagues in their study published online in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

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Anaerobically Stored Red Blood Cells May Improve Transfusion Outcomes in Hemorrhagic Shock
Pedro Cabrales | September 3, 2019

Anaerobically Stored Red Blood Cells May Improve Transfusion Outcomes in Hemorrhagic Shock
Pedro Cabrales | September 3, 2019

Transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) stored anaerobically – in the absence of oxygen – is a promising technique to improve resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock, according to animal studies reported in SHOCK®: Injury, Inflammation, and Sepsis: Laboratory and Clinical Approaches, Official Journal of the Shock Society. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

“Resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock via transfusion of anaerobically stored RBCs recovered cardiac function, restored hemodynamic stability, and improved outcomes,” write Pedro Cabrales, PhD, of University of California, San Diego, and colleagues. But more research is needed to determine whether the improved recovery seen with anaerobically stored RBCs in rats will translate into benefits for patients in hemorrhagic shock after trauma.

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Most Patients Willing to Share Medical Records for Research Purposes
Lucila Ohno-Machado | August 21, 2019

Most Patients Willing to Share Medical Records for Research Purposes
Lucila Ohno-Machado | August 21, 2019

As medicine becomes both bigger and more personalized, the need for massive databases of patient records, such as the 1 million person All of Us Research Program , become increasingly essential to fueling both new discoveries and translational treatments.

But the looming, lingering question is to what degree are individual patients willing to share medical records and biospecimens with researchers and institutions beyond their personal physician or health care system? And more specifically, how should patients be asked and what information are they most likely to share?

In a novel attempt to answer these questions, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in California, North Carolina and Texas, asked patients at two academic hospitals to respond to a variety of different approaches seeking to share their medical data with other researchers.

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NYU Tandon startup paves the way for pesticide-free cannabis, wine grapes, and other high-value crops
Jin Kim Montclare | August 20, 2019

NYU Tandon startup paves the way for pesticide-free cannabis, wine grapes, and other high-value crops
Jin Kim Montclare | August 20, 2019

Brooklyn Bioscience, a startup company commercializing university research to detoxify a common and dangerous class of pesticides, recently received another round of funding – this time in the form of a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The New York University School of Engineering team behind Brooklyn Bioscience is engineering proteins to remediate and detoxify organophosphates (OPs), which cannot easily be removed by conventional means.

The two-year grant, part of the NSF’s Partnership for Innovation program, was awarded to the startup whose principals include Jin Kim Montclare, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and doctoral candidate Andrew Olsen.

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Making microbes that transform greenhouse gases
Ramon Gonzalez | August 13, 2019

Making microbes that transform greenhouse gases
Ramon Gonzalez | August 13, 2019

Researchers at the University of South Florida are harnessing the power of human physiology to transform greenhouse gases into usable chemical compounds—a method that could help lessen industrial dependence on petroleum and reduce our carbon footprint.

The new biologically-based technique, published in Nature Chemical Biology, was developed by USF Professor Ramon Gonzalez, Ph.D., and his research team. It utilizes the human enzyme, 2-hydroxyacyl-coenzyme A lyase (HACL), to convert specific one-carbon (C1) materials into more complex compounds commonly used as the building blocks for an endless number of consumer and industrial products.

“In humans, this enzyme degrades branched chain fatty acids,” Gonzalez said. “It basically breaks down long carbon chains into smaller pieces. We needed it to do the opposite. So, we engineered the process to work in reverse—taking single carbon molecules and converting them into larger compounds.

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Doctors find new ways to reduce unnecessary breast biopsies
Maryellen Giger | August 6, 2019

Doctors find new ways to reduce unnecessary breast biopsies
Maryellen Giger | August 6, 2019

One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Early detection is the best tool to increase survival rates. Now researchers are looking at a new way to confirm cancer faster during a mammogram while reducing the need for additional testing.

It’s a terrifying moment for any woman. One doctor says they have found something during her mammogram.

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AIMBE Past President, Gilda Barabino Receives AlChE Award For Service To Society
Gilda Barabino | July 15, 2019

AIMBE Past President, Gilda Barabino Receives AlChE Award For Service To Society
Gilda Barabino | July 15, 2019

Gilda A. Barabino, dean of The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, is the recipient of the 2019 AIChE Award for Service to Society. The award, which will be presented at the annual AIChE meeting in November, recognizes outstanding contributions by a chemical engineer to community service and to the solution of socially oriented problems.

Barabino is being acknowledged for her approach in using engineering principles to solve medical issues that include disease therapies and tackling health disparities, as well as for her public policy leadership to advance the engineering profession. She is also noted for her career-long efforts and transformative impact to broaden participation in the engineering fields and professoriate through advocacy, mentorship and professional development of underrepresented minority students and faculty.

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Turmeric May Be the Answer to Osteosarcoma Treatment
Susmita Bose | July 4, 2019

Turmeric May Be the Answer to Osteosarcoma Treatment
Susmita Bose | July 4, 2019

A new drug delivery system using curcumin, the main ingredient in the spice turmeric, successfully inhibited bone cancer cells while promoting growth of healthy bone cells, according to a study by the Washington State University. The work could lead to better post-operative treatments for patients with osteosarcoma.

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Duke biomedical engineering professor wins social impact award
Nimmi Ramanujam | June 20, 2019

Duke biomedical engineering professor wins social impact award
Nimmi Ramanujam | June 20, 2019

Nimmi Ramanujam, the Robert W. Carr, Jr., Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, has won the 2019 Social Impact Abie Award.

Given by AnitaB.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting, inspiring and guiding women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative, the award recognizes a woman whose work is making a positive impact on women, technology and society, and who has developed technology that caused social change.

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An unnatural way to make natural products
Ramon Gonzalez | June 11, 2019

An unnatural way to make natural products
Ramon Gonzalez | June 11, 2019

From medicine to fragrances, nature provides many of the key chemical compounds needed in an endless number of pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Now, a cutting-edge technique engineered by researchers at University of South Florida is changing the way scientists isolate these precious molecules.

“Plant natural products are already widely used across so many industries,” said Ramon Gonzalez, Ph.D., professor in the USF Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering and a Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar. “Taxus brevifolia, for example, the Pacific yew plant, contains molecules that are used to produce a chemotherapy drug for several cancer treatments. The problem is that many of these products are expensive and difficult to extract efficiently.”

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BU researchers develop new metamaterial that can improve MRI quality and reduce scan time
Xin Zhang | June 10, 2019

BU researchers develop new metamaterial that can improve MRI quality and reduce scan time
Xin Zhang | June 10, 2019

Could a small ringlike structure made of plastic and copper amplify the already powerful imaging capabilities of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine? Xin Zhang, Stephan Anderson, and their team at the Boston University Photonics Center can clearly picture such a feat. With their combined expertise in engineering, materials science, and medical imaging, Zhang and Anderson, along with Guangwu Duan and Xiaoguang Zhao, designed a new magnetic metamaterial, reported in Communications Physics, that can improve MRI quality and cut scan time in half.

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AIMBE Fellow inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
Natalia Trayanova | June 11, 2019

AIMBE Fellow inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
Natalia Trayanova | June 11, 2019

Natalia Trayanova, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, will be inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in a ceremony today in San Jose, California.

The WITI Hall of Fame was established in 1996 to recognize, honor, and promote the outstanding contributions women make to the scientific and technological communities that improve society. Each year, five women are selected from around the world to receive this honor, and Trayanova now joins the ranks of other scientists, engineers, and CEOs who have made an impact on society through their exceptional contributions to advancing their fields of inquiry.

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Terry Woods Honored with Top Annual Award from Key ASTM International Committee
Terry Woods | May. 29, 2019

Terry Woods Honored with Top Annual Award from Key ASTM International Committee
Terry Woods | May. 29, 2019

ASTM International’s committee on medical and surgical materials and devices (F04) presented its top annual award – the Award of Merit – to Terry O. Woods, Ph.D., solid mechanics laboratory leader, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. The prestigious award, which includes the accompanying title of fellow, is ASTM’s highest recognition for individual contributions to developing standards.

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New approach shows regeneration of severely damaged lungs
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | May. 7, 2019

New approach shows regeneration of severely damaged lungs
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | May. 7, 2019

Lung transplantation, the only lifesaving therapy for an increasing population of patients with end-stage lung disease, is severely limited by the number of available donor organs. Currently, up to 80 percent of donor lungs are rejected for serious but potentially reversible injuries. Since the beginning of transplantation in the 1960s, clinicians and scientists have been trying to address the critical shortage of donor organs.

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Paula Hammond elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2019
Paula Hammond | May. 1, 2019

Paula Hammond elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2019
Paula Hammond | May. 1, 2019

Three MIT professors — Edward Boyden, Paula Hammond, and Aviv Regev — are among the 100 new members and 25 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Sciences on April 30. Forty percent of the newly elected members are women, the most ever elected in any one year to date.

Membership to the National Academy of Sciences is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist or engineer can receive. Current membership totals approximately 2,380 members and nearly 485 foreign associates.

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American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects Four Berkeley Lab Scientists
Claire Tomlin | Apr. 19, 2019

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects Four Berkeley Lab Scientists
Claire Tomlin | Apr. 19, 2019

Four Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious, 239-year old honorary society that recognizes accomplished scholars, scientists and artists in academia, the humanities, arts, business, and government. A bit like Berkeley Lab itself, the Academy also serves as a nonpartisan research center focused on addressing the nation’s greatest scientific and social problems through cross-disciplinary collaboration of its expert members.

Claire Tomlin, biological faculty engineer, Biological Systems and Engineering Division, and a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley. Her research, which is currently conducted primarily at UC Berkeley, explores hybrid systems: complex systems which have discrete event dynamics as well as continuous time dynamics. Her group studies many topics and problems that can be modeled by hybrid systems as well as more general robotics, such as air traffic control automation, algorithms for decentralized optimization, modeling and analysis of biological cell networks, and unmanned aerial vehicle design and control.

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Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | Apr. 18, 2019

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic | Apr. 18, 2019

Biomedical engineer Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD, University Professor, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

In her laboratory at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Vunjak-Novakovic creates new ways to engineer human tissues that could repair damaged organs, help scientists study development and disease, and provide faster methods for testing new drugs..

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Kristi Anseth elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Kristi Anseth | Apr. 17, 2019

Kristi Anseth elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Kristi Anseth | Apr. 17, 2019

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced today that CU Boulder Professor Kristi Anseth has been elected to its 2019 class. Anseth is among more than 200 individuals selected this year for their exceptional achievements in the arts and sciences, business, philanthropy and the public sector.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an honorary society that recognizes and convenes leaders from a variety of disciplines to address critical issues facing the nation and the world. The academy’s projects and publications inform public policy for the benefit of all.

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Cato Laurencin Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Cato Laurencin | Apr. 17, 2019

Cato Laurencin Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Cato Laurencin | Apr. 17, 2019

Two UConn professors, Dr. Cato Laurencin and physics professor Nora Berrah, have been elected as members to the historic and prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This year, more than 200 individuals were elected to the academy with compelling achievements in academia, business, government, and public affairs.

“One of the reasons to honor extraordinary achievement is because the pursuit of excellence is so often accompanied by disappointment and self-doubt,” said David Oxtoby, president of the academy. “We are pleased to recognize the excellence of our new members, celebrate their compelling accomplishments, and invite them to join the Academy and contribute to its work.”

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High-speed, 3D microscope captures stunning videos of fruit fly nerve cells in action
Elizabeth Hillman | Mar 7, 2019

High-speed, 3D microscope captures stunning videos of fruit fly nerve cells in action
Elizabeth Hillman | Mar 7, 2019

Columbia engineers and neuroscientists have joined forces to create 3D videos of individual nerve cells moving, stretching and switching on inside fruit fly larvae as they move. Data gleaned from these videos reveals how nerve cells called proprioceptive neurons work together to help the body sense where it is in space. To accomplish this feat, the researchers harnessed SCAPE, a cutting-edge microscope developed at Columbia that images neurons at lightning-fast speeds.

These findings, published today in Current Biology, illustrate SCAPE’s ability to reveal the inner workings of the nervous system in unprecedented detail. By creating 3D, live action images of nerve cells in larvae as the animals crawled, SCAPE allowed the researchers to see exactly how those cells along the body wall reported movements back to the brain.

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New optical imaging system could be deployed to find tiny tumors
Paula Hammond | Mar 7, 2019

New optical imaging system could be deployed to find tiny tumors
Paula Hammond | Mar 7, 2019

Many types of cancer could be more easily treated if they were detected at an earlier stage. MIT researchers have now developed an imaging system, named “DOLPHIN,” which could enable them to find tiny tumors, as small as a couple of hundred cells, deep within the body.

In a new study, the researchers used their imaging system, which relies on near-infrared light, to track a 0.1-millimeter fluorescent probe through the digestive tract of a living mouse. They also showed that they can detect a signal to a tissue depth of 8 centimeters, far deeper than any existing biomedical optical imaging technique.

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Tissue model reveals how RNA will act on the liver
Sangeeta Bhatia | Mar 5, 2019

Tissue model reveals how RNA will act on the liver
Sangeeta Bhatia | Mar 5, 2019

Novel therapies based on a process known as RNA interference (RNAi) hold great promise for treating a variety of diseases by blocking specific genes in a patient’s cells. Many of the earliest RNAi treatments have focused on diseases of the liver, because RNA-carrying particles tend to accumulate in that organ.

MIT researchers have now shown that an engineered model of human liver tissue can be used to investigate the effects of RNAi, helping to speed up the development of such treatments. In a paper appearing in the journal Cell Metabolism on March 5, the researchers showed with the model that they could use RNAi to turn off a gene that causes a rare hereditary disorder. And using RNA molecules that target a different gene expressed by human liver cells, they were able to reduce malaria infections in the model’s cells.

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“Antibody-like” T Cell Receptors May Be New Potential Treatment for Cytomegalovirus (#CMV) and Brain Tumors
Jennifer Maynard | Mar 4, 2019

“Antibody-like” T Cell Receptors May Be New Potential Treatment for Cytomegalovirus (#CMV) and Brain Tumors
Jennifer Maynard | Mar 4, 2019

Texas ChE Professor Jennifer Maynard and her research team have engineered “antibody-like” T cell receptors that can specifically stick to cells infected with cytomegalovirus, or CMV, a virus that causes lifelong infection in more than half of all adults by age 40. These receptors represent a new potential treatment option, could aid the development of CMV vaccines and might also be used to target brain tumors.

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Dawn Elliott honored by Orthopaedic Research Society
Dawn Elliott | Feb 15, 2019

Dawn Elliott honored by Orthopaedic Research Society
Dawn Elliott | Feb 15, 2019

Some professors shine most brightly in the lab. Others are particularly excellent mentors, inspiring students and other faculty members to reach new heights in their careers. Then, there are those who excel at both.

Dawn Elliott, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware, is being recognized as one of those multitalented academics. Elliott, a Blue and Gold Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is the inaugural recipient of the Orthopaedic Research Society’s Adele L. Boskey, PhD Award.

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Initiative Will Bring Together Engineers at UCSF to Tackle Challenges in Health
Tejal Desai | Feb 15, 2019

Initiative Will Bring Together Engineers at UCSF to Tackle Challenges in Health
Tejal Desai | Feb 15, 2019

Tejal Desai Named Director of UCSF Health Innovation Via Engineering Program

A new initiative at UC San Francisco will bring together engineers to tackle some of the most urgent challenges in health.

The Health Innovation Via Engineering (HIVE) program will be led by Tejal Desai, PhD, the chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.

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A How-To Guide for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Engineering
Naomi Chesler | Feb 11, 2019

A How-To Guide for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Engineering
Naomi Chesler | Feb 11, 2019

To accelerate the development of an inclusive culture in biomedical engineering (BME), we must accept complexity, seek to understand our own privilege, speak out about diversity, learn the difference between intent and impact, accept our mistakes, and learn how to engage in difficult conversations. In turn, we will be rewarded by the ideas, designs, devices and discoveries of a new generation of problem solvers and thought leaders who bring diverse experiences and perspectives.

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Dr. Laurencin receives 2019 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize
Cato T. Laurencin | Jan. 30, 2019

Dr. Laurencin receives 2019 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize
Cato T. Laurencin | Jan. 30, 2019

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, founding director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut, is the winner of the 2019 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

An eminent biomedical engineer and orthopedic surgeon, Laurencin is being honored for his unique contributions to the advancement of science. The Abelson Prize recognizes his global leadership in biomedical technology innovation, public service in shaping United States technology policy and invaluable mentorship to a generation of minority scientists.

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Emery N. Brown Awarded CMU’s Dickson Prize in Science
Emery Brown | Jan. 24, 2019

Emery N. Brown Awarded CMU’s Dickson Prize in Science
Emery Brown | Jan. 24, 2019

Carnegie Mellon University will award the Dickson Prize in Science to Dr. Emery N. Brown, an esteemed anesthesiologist, neuroscientist and statistician. He is the Edward Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology , the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and a practicing anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Identifying Cancer-Driving Gene Mutations – An Interview by Cancer Network
Rachel Karchin | Dec. 20, 2018

Identifying Cancer-Driving Gene Mutations – An Interview by Cancer Network
Rachel Karchin | Dec. 20, 2018

Rachel Karchin, PhD, is a professor of biomedical engineering, oncology, and computer science, with joint appointments at the Whiting School of Engineering and School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is a core member of the Institute for Computational Medicine.

A computational biologist, Dr. Karchin develops algorithms and software to analyze genomic data and interpret its impact on human disease. Her most recent work has focused on cancer and the effects of germline and somatic alterations and their contributions to progression models of tumor evolution. She led the computational efforts to identify driver mutations for the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center’s pioneering cancer sequencing projects, and she co-led The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) PanCancer Atlas Essential Genes and Drivers Analysis Working Group.

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Fabrication of Shape-conformable Batteries Based on 3D-printing Technology
Jennifer A. Lewis | Dec. 19, 2018

Fabrication of Shape-conformable Batteries Based on 3D-printing Technology
Jennifer A. Lewis | Dec. 19, 2018

Flexible, wireless electronic devices are rapidly emerging and have reached the level of commercialization; nevertheless, most of battery shapes are limited to either spherical and/or rectangular structures, which results in inefficient space use. Professor Il-Doo Kim’s team from the Department of Materials Science at KAIST has successfully developed technology to significantly enhance the variability of battery design through collaboration research with Professor Jennifer A. Lewis and her team from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

Most of the battery shapes today are optimized for coin cell and/or pouch cells. Since the battery as an energy storage device occupies most of the space in microelectronic devices with different designs, new technology to freely change the shape of the battery is required.

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FDA approves device based on Vanderbilt invention to ID parathyroid during head and neck surgeries
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen | Dec. 17, 2018

FDA approves device based on Vanderbilt invention to ID parathyroid during head and neck surgeries
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen | Dec. 17, 2018

Ten years after Professor of Biomedical Engineering Anita Mahadevan-Jansen discovered that parathyroid tissues glow under near-infrared light, the FDA has approved a device based on the technology for surgical use.

She and her team developed the technology at the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center. The device called “PTeye” has been tested at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Ohio State University Medical Center in an 81-patient clinical study, leading to regulatory approval. It enables real-time identification of parathyroid tissue during thyroid and parathyroid surgeries.

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Researchers evaluate pMSCs sheets for engineered repair and regeneration of heart tissue
Joyce Wong | Dec. 7, 2018

Researchers evaluate pMSCs sheets for engineered repair and regeneration of heart tissue
Joyce Wong | Dec. 7, 2018

The placenta offers an abundant source of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (pMSCs), which a new study has shown can readily form cell sheets that could be implanted in children with congenital heart defects and offer benefits for heart repair and regeneration compared to commonly used synthetic material-based scaffolds. Congenital heart disease is the leading cause of birth-defect-related illness and death. The placenta can be readily collected at birth and the cells harvested for pediatric reparative procedures, as described in the study published in Tissue Engineering, Part A, peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Tissue Engineering website through January 7, 2019.

Sitaram Emani, MD, Breanna Piekarski, RN, and Sirisha Emani, Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA and Erin Roberts, Kevin Huang, and Joyce Wong, PhD, Boston University, MA are the coauthors of the article entitled “Evaluation of Placental Mesenchymal Stem Cell Sheets for Myocardial Repair and Regeneration .” In the study, the researchers evaluated MSCs independent of their source, demonstrated their ability to form cell sheets, and described other beneficial effects related to paracrine section and cell-cell interactions at the site of MSC implantation. The ability of MSCs to secrete factors to induce cardioprotection, stimulate angiogenesis, and promote migration, proliferation and differentiation of local cardiac stem cells can all affect tissue repair.

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JenaValve Technology Receives FDA Approval for Expanded IDE Enrollment in the Treatment of Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis and Severe Aortic Regurgitation
Victoria Carr-Brendel | Dec. 3, 2018

JenaValve Technology Receives FDA Approval for Expanded IDE Enrollment in the Treatment of Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis and Severe Aortic Regurgitation
Victoria Carr-Brendel | Dec. 3, 2018

JenaValve Technology, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of differentiated transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) systems, today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of expansion of its Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) feasibility studies for the JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System with the Everdur™ transcatheter heart valve (THV) and Coronatix TM Transfemoral Delivery Catheter. The approval expands eligible patient enrollment from 20 patients at extreme or high surgical risk (10 aortic stenosis [AS], 10 aortic regurgitation [AR]) to 80 patients at extreme or high surgical risk (40 AS, 40 AR) at up to 10 U.S. sites.

The prospective IDE studies are part of a larger, ongoing CE Mark clinical program investigating the JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System for the same indications at centers of excellence in Europe and New Zealand.

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With these nanoparticles, a simple urine test could diagnose bacterial pneumonia
Sangeeta Bhatia | Nov. 29, 2018

With these nanoparticles, a simple urine test could diagnose bacterial pneumonia
Sangeeta Bhatia | Nov. 29, 2018

Pneumonia, a respiratory disease that kills about 50,000 people in the United States every year, can be caused by many different microbes, including bacteria and viruses. Rapid detection of pneumonia is critical for effective treatment, especially in hospital-acquired cases which are often more severe. However, current diagnostic approaches often take several days to return definitive results, making it harder for doctors to prescribe the right treatment.

MIT researchers have now developed a nanoparticle-based technology that could be used to improve the speed of diagnosis. This type of sensor could also be used to monitor whether antibiotic therapy has successfully treated the infection, says Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the senior author of the study.

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Potential arthritis treatment prevents cartilage breakdown
Paula Hammond | Nov. 28, 2018

Potential arthritis treatment prevents cartilage breakdown
Paula Hammond | Nov. 28, 2018

Osteoarthritis, a disease that causes severe joint pain, affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Some drug treatments can help alleviate the pain, but there are no treatments that can reverse or slow the cartilage breakdown associated with the disease.

In an advance that could improve the treatment options available for osteoarthritis, MIT engineers have designed a new material that can administer drugs directly to the cartilage. The material can penetrate deep into the cartilage, delivering drugs that could potentially heal damaged tissue.

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Guiseppi-Elie named associate dean of EnMed
Anthony Guiseppi-Elie | Nov. 27, 2018

Guiseppi-Elie named associate dean of EnMed
Anthony Guiseppi-Elie | Nov. 27, 2018

Dr. Anthony Guiseppi-Elie has been named associate dean of Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M University. He is currently a TEES Research Professor and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

EnMed is Texas A&M University’s innovative engineering medicine school option at Houston Methodist Hospital, developed to educate a new kind of physician to create transformational technology for health care.

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Quantitative Analysis Improves Breast Screening: Research Highlights from RSNA
Elizabeth Burnside | Nov. 27, 2018

Quantitative Analysis Improves Breast Screening: Research Highlights from RSNA
Elizabeth Burnside | Nov. 27, 2018

Quantitative analysis improves breast cancer screening, according to four abstracts at the 104th Annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting, November 25–30, 2018. The investigators all used Volpara Solutions’ breast imaging analysis tools, including assessment of volumetric density and compression pressure, in their research.

In the study “Using Quantitative Breast Density Analysis to Predict Interval Cancers and Node Positive Cancers in Pursuit of Improved Screening Protocols,” (SSE01-03, Monday, November 26, 3:20–3:30 PM, Room: E451B), Elizabeth Burnside, MD, and colleagues investigated whether quantitative breast density can predict interval cancers and node-positive, screen-detected cancers in order to serve as a biomarker to consider more aggressive screening to improve early detection. The study involved 599 cases of screen-detected cancers and interval cancers and 605 controls from the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme. For each case, breast density was assessed by a radiologist using a visual analog scale (VAS) and BI-RADS 5th Edition density categories and using fully automated Volpara®Density™ software to calculate fibroglandular volume (FGV) and Volpara Density Grade (VDG®).

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Martine LaBerge honored as Fellow by the Biomedical Engineering Society
Martine LaBerge | Nov. 1, 2018

Martine LaBerge honored as Fellow by the Biomedical Engineering Society
Martine LaBerge | Nov. 1, 2018

Martine LaBerge of Clemson University is one of the newest Fellows in the Biomedical Engineering Society, an honor recognizing her for exceptional achievements and experience in biomedical engineering.

LaBerge is chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson and executive director of the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus, or CUBEInC, in Greenville.

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Guillermo Ameer Receives Key to Panama City
Guillermo Ameer | Oct. 31, 2018

Guillermo Ameer Receives Key to Panama City
Guillermo Ameer | Oct. 31, 2018

Northwestern Engineering’s Guillermo Ameer, a pioneer in the field of regenerative engineering, was presented the Key to Panama City, Panama, by Vice Mayor Raisa Banfield last week. The event was covered by Telemetro, a national Spanish-language television network based in Panama City.

Ameer, the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical Engineering with the McCormick School of Engineering, was in his hometown to attend at APANAC 2018, the XVIII Congreso Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, the nation’s premier science conference. He also serves as a professor of surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and he is the director of the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE).

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Reinhart-King receives the inaugural BMES Mid-Career Award
Cynthia Reinhart-King | Oct. 25, 2018

Reinhart-King receives the inaugural BMES Mid-Career Award
Cynthia Reinhart-King | Oct. 25, 2018

Cynthia A. Reinhart-King, a nationally recognized cellular bioengineer, is the inaugural recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Mid-Career Award. Reinhart-King delivered the award lecture Saturday, Oct. 20, at the BMES 2018 Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

Reinhart-King received the 2010 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award and she is the only person to have received two of three major awards from the BMES.

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Cryptographic protocol enables greater collaboration in drug discovery
Bonnie Berger | Oct. 18, 2018

Cryptographic protocol enables greater collaboration in drug discovery
Bonnie Berger | Oct. 18, 2018

MIT researchers have developed a cryptographic system that could help neural networks identify promising drug candidates in massive pharmacological datasets, while keeping the data private. Secure computation done at such a massive scale could enable broad pooling of sensitive pharmacological data for predictive drug discovery.

Datasets of drug-target interactions (DTI), which show whether candidate compounds act on target proteins, are critical in helping researchers develop new medications. Models can be trained to crunch datasets of known DTIs and then, using that information, find novel drug candidates.

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Connecting the dots of Alzheimer’s disease
Ellen Kuhl | Oct. 15, 2018

Connecting the dots of Alzheimer’s disease
Ellen Kuhl | Oct. 15, 2018

Some people may follow a football team, others may follow their favorite television streaming series. For Ellen Kuhl, PhD, a professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford, her passion lies in following proteins. In a recent Stanford news article, Kuhl explains how her team developed a computer simulation to track the spread of defective proteins in the brain. These proteins contribute to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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Eyeing NASH, Glympse Raises $22M to Test Disease Detection Nanotech
Sangeeta Bhatia | Oct. 9, 2018

Eyeing NASH, Glympse Raises $22M to Test Disease Detection Nanotech
Sangeeta Bhatia | Oct. 9, 2018

Glympse Bio has developed sensor technology that it says can give clinicians an early look at a developing disease. As Glympse prepares to test its disease detection approach in a serious liver disorder, the startup has raised $22 million in Series A financing.

LS Polaris Innovation Fund and Arch Venture Partners co-led the investment in Cambridge, MA-based Glympse.

The startup has developed bioengineered nanoparticles that circulate through the body, detect disease, and report their findings through a signal read by testing the patient’s urine. The company, which spun out from the laboratory of MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia, says its “activity sensors” can test for multiple indicators of disease, such as cancer, fibrosis, immune disorders, and infectious disease. Glympse also says its technology can monitor how a patient’s disease is responding to a drug.

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To improve anesthesia, focus on neuroscience and nociception, experts urge
Emery Brown | Oct. 4, 2018

To improve anesthesia, focus on neuroscience and nociception, experts urge
Emery Brown | Oct. 4, 2018

People sometimes mistakenly think of general anesthesia as just a really deep sleep, but in fact, anesthesia is really four brain states — unconsciousness, amnesia, immobility, and suppression of the body’s damage sensing response, or “nociception.” In a new paper in Anesthesia and Analgesia, MIT neuroscientist and statistician Emery N. Brown and his colleagues argue that by putting nociception at the top of the priority list and taking a principled neuroscientific approach to choosing which drugs to administer, anesthesiologists can use far less medication overall, producing substantial benefits for patients.

“We’ve come up with strategies that allow us to dose the same drugs that are generally used but in different proportions that allow us to achieve an anesthetic state that is much more desirable,” says Brown, the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences and Technology in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT and a practicing anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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The Engineer – Inventing a toolkit for newborns in need
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | Oct. 1, 2018

The Engineer – Inventing a toolkit for newborns in need
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | Oct. 1, 2018

Two years ago on Halloween, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D., a professor of bioengineering at Rice University, walked into her lab and stopped abruptly. Staring back at her was a crowd of familiar characters.

Her students, who wear costumes for the holiday every year, had conspired to go as different versions of their mentor. There was the mother-of-six Rebecca, the saving-dying-babies-in-Africa Rebecca, the marathon-runner Rebecca, even the Albert-Einstein Rebecca—a nod to the $625,000 fellowship Richards-Kortum received from the MacArthur Foundation. Commonly known as a “genius grant,” the stipend is paid out over five years to support visionaries in their creative pursuits for the benefit of humanity…

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Not One More Generation: Women in Science Take on Sexual Harassment
ASBMB Today

Not One More Generation: Women in Science Take on Sexual Harassment
ASBMB Today

I was driven out of science by a harasser in the 1980s.”

Coming from a woman who has since helped to found a scientific society, served as director of the Genetics Society of America and presented her research on sexual harassment to a 2018 National Academies panel, it is a surprising statement. But Sherry Marts left academia after finishing her Ph.D. at Duke and never went back.

2018 has been a banner year for confronting sexual harassment in science. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a report on the high prevalence of harassment of women in science, and the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation are updating their sexual harassment policies. It appears that science might be catching up with the #MeToo movement, which has raised awareness of workplace sexual harassment. However, critics say that large institutions are moving too incrementally and could do much more.

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Decoding the Brain
Karen Moxon | Sep. 7, 2018

Decoding the Brain
Karen Moxon | Sep. 7, 2018

In the last decade, researchers in academia and the technology sector have been racing to unlock the potential of artificial intelligence. In parallel with federally-funded efforts from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, heavy-hitters such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google are deeply invested in artificial intelligence.

As part of the BRAIN Initiative, many University of California, Davis investigators across campus are studying the nervous system and developing new technologies to investigate brain function.

Reverse-engineering the brain is a central tenet to reproducing human intelligence. However, experts say, most efforts to design artificial brains haven’t involved giving much attention to real ones. By understanding how our brains work, we can leverage artificial intelligence to test new drug therapies for brain disorders, and one day even circumvent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease…

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Deep Learning Attacks Joint Degeneration and Osteoarthritis: Musculoskeletal Imaging Research Published in ‘Radiology’
Sharmila Majumdar | Aug. 23, 2018

Deep Learning Attacks Joint Degeneration and Osteoarthritis: Musculoskeletal Imaging Research Published in ‘Radiology’
Sharmila Majumdar | Aug. 23, 2018

Deep learning has become a powerful tool in radiology in recent years. Researchers at the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging have started using deep learning methods to characterize joint degeneration and osteoarthritis, which will ultimately reduce the number of total joint replacements. In a recent paper published in Radiology (PubMed) they demonstrate that it is possible to automatically identify (segment) cartilage and meniscus tissue in the knee joint and extract measures of tissue structure such as volume and thickness, as well as tissue biochemistry, by a method know as MR relaxometry. Cartilage and meniscus morphological and biochemical changes are tissue-level symptoms of joint degeneration…

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Michele Grimm earns Fellow status from Biomedical Engineering Society
Michele Grimm | Aug. 21, 2018

Michele Grimm earns Fellow status from Biomedical Engineering Society
Michele Grimm | Aug. 21, 2018

The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) has elected Michele Grimm, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Wayne State University, to the BMES Class of 2018 Fellows, a distinguished group of biomedical engineers who demonstrate exceptional achievements and experience in the field as well as a history of active membership in the Society…

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Why we’re editing women scientists onto Wikipedia
Nature

Why we’re editing women scientists onto Wikipedia
Nature

Marie Curie is one of the most famous women in science. But her first page on Wikipedia was shared with her husband — until someone pointed out that, perhaps, her scientific contributions were notable enough to warrant her own biography.

That’s the beauty of Wikipedia. It is the fifth most popular website in the world and notches up more than 32 million views a day. A community of volunteer editors collaboratively edit, update and add content to democratize access to a common and constantly updating collection of knowledge. But as with any democracy, results are determined by those who choose to participate. Who edits Wikipedia — and the biases they carry with them — matters.

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Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy
The Hill

Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy
The Hill

In 1871, Margaret Knight earned a patent for inventing a brown paper bag with a flat bottom, the same model that is used in most grocery stores across the country today. More than a century later, African American inventor Lonnie Johnson received a patent for his Super Soaker water gun, a toy that has generated more than $1 billion in sales and has been among the top 20 best selling toys in the world every year since 1991.

The commercial success these inventors enjoyed was based on a strong and open patent system. Except for individuals held in slavery, the U.S. patent system has always welcomed all inventors by awarding patents regardless of race, gender, or economic status. It is an essential engine of innovation. Economic activity from patents in the United States is estimated at more than $8 trillion and intellectual property industries directly and indirectly support 30 percent of all U.S. employment.

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Gilda Barabino earns second national award this summer
Gilda Barabino | Aug. 1, 2018

Gilda Barabino earns second national award this summer
Gilda Barabino | Aug. 1, 2018

The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers presents its 2018 Dr. Joseph N. Cannon Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering to Gilda A. Barabino, dean of The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering this fall. The award recognizes her excellent achievements in chemical engineering…

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Student-Built Online Game Accompanies Online Class
Angelique Louie | Jul. 31, 2018

Student-Built Online Game Accompanies Online Class
Angelique Louie | Jul. 31, 2018

When Professor Angelique Louie needed some help with her online course “Introduction to Research,” she enlisted a little help from experts such as science fiction author H.G. Wells, biochemist Rosalind Franklin and poet Alexander Pushkin…

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New analysis of funding trends offers encouraging news for female investigators—with caveats
Science

New analysis of funding trends offers encouraging news for female investigators—with caveats
Science

Once female scientists receive a major research project grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), their funding futures are quite similar to those of their male peers, a new study reports. That suggests gender represents a small, and shrinking, barrier to success in a biomedical science career, the authors argue, and it emphasizes the importance of encouraging women to apply for grants in the first place. Yet these statistics belie the significant systemic hurdles that persist for many women, others say.

The study helps illustrate where work remains to be done to truly make opportunities in science equal for men and women, says Donna Ginther, a professor of economics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence who studies the scientific workforce, and who wasn’t involved with the study. “The more evidence we have about where [bias] is happening and where it’s not happening in the pipeline, the better we’ll be able to address those problems.”

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Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals
Code Like A Girl

Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals
Code Like A Girl

Have you ever been in a meeting where a colleague says “I’m a great supporter of gender equality, but I’m totally opposed to quotas!” Or, “I believe in diversity, but I won’t stand for positive discrimination.” Maybe you felt a bit troubled by such statements, thinking: that sounds fair, but somehow I don’t think it is… how do I rebut this?

Bias is omnipresent in our society, and some of us are keenly aware of rampant bias in sectors like technology, engineering and politics. Efforts to thwart the effects of bias in communities and institutions prompt a spectrum of diversity initiatives. Many times these lead to backlash. It’s been just a year since the memo “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” spread through the company’s internal channels, then became public. Yet, another wrangle is already blasting online with the article “Why Women Don’t Code,” by a university lecturer. What do we do when privileged individuals continue to turn a blind eye on the injustices around them? They insist on points like “women are less likely to choose computer science,” and that it’s just due to natural differences.

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What you should know about race-based affirmative action and diversity in schools
The Washington Post

What you should know about race-based affirmative action and diversity in schools
The Washington Post

It’s no surprise that the Trump administration is pressing its efforts to quash affirmative action in admissions, rescinding Obama-era policy aimed at promoting diversity in education and instead bolstering race-blind admissions in schools at all levels.

After all, Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year took aim at affirmative action, announcing that the Department of Justice would investigate and sue institutions of higher education that it determined had discriminated against white applicants in admissions decisions. And President Trump seems obsessed with undoing just about every single thing Barack Obama did when he was president.

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Group uses AI to assess mammo interpretation bias
Georgia Tourassi | Jun. 29, 2018

Group uses AI to assess mammo interpretation bias
Georgia Tourassi | Jun. 29, 2018

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, TN, have used artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyze how radiologists read mammograms, according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging….

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Male scientists are far more likely to be referred to by their last names, impacting status and awards
Science

Male scientists are far more likely to be referred to by their last names, impacting status and awards
Science

Darwin, Newton, Einstein. When scientists reach a certain level of fame, first names need not apply. That’s especially true if the scientist is a man, according to a new study. And it doesn’t just go for scientists: Politicians, athletes, and other high-profile figures are more likely to be referred to by their last names alone if they’re a man.

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Study Finds Recommendation Letters Inadvertently Signals Doubt About Female Job Applicants
Inside Higher Ed

Study Finds Recommendation Letters Inadvertently Signals Doubt About Female Job Applicants
Inside Higher Ed

Some scholars have questioned academe’s reliance on letters of recommendation, saying they’re onerous for the professors writing them or speak more about connections to “big-name” scholars than substance, or both.

A recent study explores another concern about letters of recommendation: whether they’re biased against the women they’re supposed to help. The short answer is yes.

The longer answer — and the study’s obvious takeaway for recommendation-letter writers and readers — is that letters about women include more doubt-raising phrases than those about men, and that even one such phrase can make a difference in a job search.

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My career seemed to hit a wall. Now I see that it was discrimination
Science

My career seemed to hit a wall. Now I see that it was discrimination
Science

I landed my dream job: a tenure-track position at a primarily undergraduate institution near my hometown where I would develop a new neuroscience major. I entered that position the way one enters a marriage: expecting it to last forever, assuming I would give it everything I had, hoping that—while it would not always be easy—it would be worth it. Soon, though, something seemed amiss. It felt kind of like sexism—but not exactly. Whatever it was, I experienced it from both women and men, from the department chair to the administrative assistant. It was only after many years and a career upheaval that I learned there was a legal term to describe it.

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Regenerative Bandage Accelerates Healing in Diabetic Wounds
Guillermo Ameer | Jun. 11, 2018

Regenerative Bandage Accelerates Healing in Diabetic Wounds
Guillermo Ameer | Jun. 11, 2018

June 11, 2018

Glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor, is one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. Only a handful of drugs are approved to treat glioblastoma, and the median life expectancy for patients diagnosed with the disease is less than 15 months…

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Women of Color in Academe Make 67 Cents for Every Dollar Paid to White Men
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Women of Color in Academe Make 67 Cents for Every Dollar Paid to White Men
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Women of color earn only 67 cents on the dollar compared with white men in the higher-education work force, according to a recently released research brief from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, or CUPA-HR.

Specifically, the brief found that women of color are underrepresented in academe, compared with their representation in the U.S. population at large — especially in more lucrative faculty, professional, and administrative roles, versus lower-paying staff positions. And in three out of four job types (professional, staff, and faculty) women of color are paid less than white men, men of color, and white women.

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Rebecca Richards-Kortum named US science envoy
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | Jun. 8, 2018

Rebecca Richards-Kortum named US science envoy
Rebecca Richards-Kortum | Jun. 8, 2018

June 8, 2018

The State Department has selected Rice University bioengineer and global health pioneer Rebecca Richards-Kortum to serve as a U.S. science envoy. She is one of five science envoys announced today and one of only 23 scientists ever selected for this prestigious position…

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