Nano-Medicine

From the hair loss, to the nauseating fatigue, or the never ending pills, cancer treatment is nothing less than dreadful. Chemotherapy in itself attacks healthy cells as well as the malignant ones causing the symptoms mentioned above. But what if there was a way to treat cancer without the side effects?  What if there was a way to target the malignant cells by themselves?

Well Adah Almutairi, co-director of the Center for Excellence in Nanomedicine and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has created a technology that involves light-activated nano-particles that just might do that. Using matter on a scale of 100nm (nano-meters) Adah placed drugs molecules into nano-spheres, when these nano-spheres are released for treatment, the molecules will remain inside the spheres stopping the drugs from causing any harm to the healthy cells. When exposed to near-infrared light the capsule breaks apart releasing the contents within. If they can perfect the control over when and where the drugs are needed, drug uptake will increase, and the side effects will be reduced.

The impact of this technology will greatly benefit society for both patients and  the pharmaceutical industry. By creating safe, non-toxic, biodegradable materials, Almutairi’s research exploring uncharted areas in the science of efficient nano-based drug delivery, but it’s only just the beginning. Nano-technology is expected to grow exponentially in the years to come. With the benefits this offers, funding will increase, clinical trials and patents will follow. If they perfect the use of nano-technology the medical field will be changed for the better.

 

Drones and Medicine

When people hear the word “drone” they think of the ones used in everyday military applications, but they can be used for so much more. With that in mind a lot of companies have refrained from the use of drones, but there are still some who see the benefits. One of these companies being Matternet. Their goal is to create invisible highways allowing drones to deliver medicine in the developing world and above busy streets in major cities.

The tech is available and the need for medicine delivering drones is real. There are more than a billion people who don’t have access to reliable or actual roads. Now you might be saying to yourself why not just build a structure that could distribute the medicine, well there’s two reasons. One the possibilities of being able to build something like that aren’t always there, and two the cost of something like that would be to great for these countries.

Right now with the state of the Earth, many of the global leaders are focusing on other things and won’t allow the construction of actual, reliable roads. Matternet said in a TEDTalk that it would take 50 years for some countries to build the necessary road systems.

With the advancement in telecommunications were able to look up the most recent flu outbreak and how to protect yourself from it. Other countries around the world now have this information thanks to telecommunications but have no solution to protecting themselves.

As we all know there are epidemics happening around the world to small populations that are physically inaccessible. During the same TEDTalk Raptopoulos expressed how the current system is flawed. You can place an order using an app on your phone, “that’s the part that works” he says. With the current system it might take days for the medicine to arrive becuase of terrible roads, meaning it could all be for nothing depending on the severity of the illness. That is why Matternet wants to put three technologies into play; flying vehicles, landing stations, and routing software. With these we will be able to deliver the necessary goods to inaccessible locations.

The drones are capable of carrying a variety of goods up to 10 kilometers in 15 mins. Each drone is self-directed by a built in GPS and will hover around 400 feet before reaching the landing station. The real kicker here though is that it will only cost 24 cents to deliver a 2 kilogram payload 10 kilometers.

This system has huge benefits to mankind. We will be able to connect with the developing countries and be able to help our fellow man without the expense of billions building roads.

Bio-Spleen

In today’s society, disease runs rampant in a majority of our world. Fortunately we have medicine that can help combat this menace, but what about blood-borne diseases? There are treatments for them but they are known to be very difficult to cure . Scientists have released news of a device capable of cleansing the blood of harmful pathogens. Scientists at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering of Boston have created a extra-corporeal blood cleansing device for sepsis therapy. For those who don’t know sepsis is the presence of harmful bacteria and toxins in tissue, typically from infected wounds. Now in other words this device is an engineered spleen, meaning that in the absence of a fully functional one, this device can filter the blood of any contamination like E-coli for example. It’s also capable of cleansing other  precursor bacteria that cause disease.

Bio-engineer Donald Ingber and his team wanted to develop an artificial spleen capable of filtering blood with the use of magnets and proteins. To be more precise the device uses, modified mannose-binding lectin (MBL);  a human protein that latches onto sugar molecules on the surface of 90 different bacteria’s, fungi, and viruses.

By adding the protein to nano-beads and passing through the device, the pathogens in the blood bind to the beads . The magnet then pulls the beads and the bacteria from the blood thus cleaning the blood and recirculating it back into the patient. Ingber tested the device on lab rats and found that 89% of the infected rats were still alive at the end of the test. You might be thinking, well that’s all gum drops and ice cream, but were a little bigger than rats, well they thought the same of course. They did tests on similarly infected human blood through the device at 1L/hour and found that the device removed a good majority of the bacteria within five hours.

This device will definitely benefit society in a major way. This will make treating patients with blood-borne disease easier. We can target specific pathogens and find ways to treat them directly. The device will begin human clinical testing sometime in the years to come, as of right now Ingber and his team are still testing the device on pigs.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the medical field will evolve with this new device and how they could expand on the concept.

 

Project Scorpio – Xbox

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/xbox-scorpio-release-date-specs-news-rumours-4k-vr

I’m writing this blog for all of the console peasants out there, including myself. Now I have been playing videos games for a good portion of my life, and when it comes down to it, I want a system that can run games at their peak performance, and you can if you want to spend thousands of dollars on a PC.  I on the other hand do not have that much money to spend and thankfully there’s a solution. Recently Microsoft announced “Project Scorpio,” an evolution in the console gaming industry. The Scorpio will be able to directly compete with PC, and even Sony’s new project code named “Neo”. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare in specs.

The Scorpio runs at 4.5 times the power of the regular Xbox One, which raises the question, will you have to re-buy all of your games and accessories, the answer to that is no. The Scorpio will run any previous Xbox One games, and it’s not a for sure thing but it might even be backwards compatible with all of your Xbox 360 games (if you had a 360). For the accessories, any controllers, headsets, or charging stations you have should work with the Scorpio as long as they’re Xbox brand of course.

As for the specs, the Scorpio will have an 8-core CPU from an unknown manufacturer and graphics card with 6 TFLOPS (Trillion Floating point Operations Per Second) of power. Meaning, the Scorpio can go toe-to-toe with today’s high end graphics cards.  In comparison, the regular Xbox One only had 1.33 TFLOPS, so you can definitely see the difference of power and performance. It also has a 320 GB/sec of memory bandwidth and it even supports VR (Virtual Reality).  To simplify it all for you, the Scorpio will be the equivalent of a mid-range gaming PC. To top it all off, the starting price will be around $600, which is quite reasonable considering everything it’s bringing to the table.

Now that’s all fine and dandy but nothing is flawless, the Scorpio was designed for 4k gaming, now I know what you’re thinking, how is that a flaw? Well there’s no other way of putting this, but if you don’t have a 4k TV you’re not going to be able to experience all of it’s greatness, but not to worry Project Scorpio won’t be released till the end of the year or early 2018, so you have plenty of time to save up for a new TV.