128. Radioactive Tumor Killing Implant, 3D Printing Plant Cells, Step Into A Video w/ VR
128. Radioactive Tumor Killing Implant, 3D Printing Plant Cells, Step Into A Video w/ VR
Radioactive implant wipes tumors in unprecedented pre-clinical success | New Atlas (00:52)
Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat, with tumor cells of this type highly evasive and loaded with mutations that make them resistant to many drugs.
3.2 percent of all cancers, yet is the third leading cause of cancer-related death
Engineers at Duke University have developed a novel delivery system for cancer treatment and demonstrated its potential against one of the disease’s most troublesome forms
A radioactive implant completely eliminated tumors in the majority of the rodents
The team wanted to figure out a way to implant into the tumor without causing damage to the surrounding tissue.
Created one from more biocompatible materials (instead of titanium) that wouldn’t post the same risks to the human body.
Synthetic chains of amino acids known as elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs), which form a stable gel-like material in the warmer environment of the body.
This substance was injected into tumors in various mouse models of pancreatic cancer along with a radioactive element called iodine-131.
ELP entombs the iodine-131 and prevents it from leaking into the body.
Allows it to emit beta radiation that penetrates into the surrounding tumor.
Once the radiation is spent, the ELP biogel safely degrades into harmless amino acids.
The treatment was tested in combination with a common chemotherapy drug called paclitaxel.
Across all the models tested, the scientists report a 100% response rate to the treatment.
In three quarters of the models, the dual treatment completely eliminated the tumors 80% of the time.
The scientists deployed the novel treatment against pancreatic cancer because they wanted to explore its potential against one of the trickiest forms of the disease, but believe these results bode well for its wider application.
Study author Jeff Schaal, explains the significance of their finding:
“We did a deep dive through over 1,100 treatments across preclinical models and never found results where the tumors shrank away and disappeared like ours did … When the rest of the literature is saying that what we’re seeing doesn’t happen, that’s when we knew we had something extremely interesting.”
In a first, scientists grow fully mature hair follicles in cultures | Interesting Engineering (07:12)
According to a press release, researchers from Japan generated hair follicles in cultures while working on the processes of hair follicle growth and hair pigmentation.
Could contribute to the development of different applications such as hair loss treatment, animal testing and drug screenings.
Scientists have been trying to understand the essential mechanisms of hair follicle development through animal models for a long while.
Hair follicle morphogenesis wasn’t something that could be reproduced in a culture dish until now.
Morphogenesis is the process when the outer layer of skin and the connective tissue interacts while the embryo develops.
Researchers built hair follicle organoids by controlling the structure generated from the two types of embryonic cells tapping into a low concentration of extracellular matrices.
Extracellular matrix is a network that supplies structure for cells and tissue in the body.
These matrices change the spacing between the two types of embryonic cells from a dumbbell-shape to core-shell configuration.
Fully mature hair follicles with approximately 3 millimeter (mm)-long hair shafts were produced by the hair follicle organoids on the 23rd day of being cultured.
Researchers included a melanocyte-stimulating drug that helps produce hair color pigmentation in the culture medium.
The findings could help understand how physiological and pathological processes develop in relation to other organ systems as well.
Junji Fukuda, a professor with the faculty of engineering at Yokohama National University, speaks on next steps:
“Our next step is to use cells from human origin, and apply for drug development and regenerative medicine.”
Team uses live plant cells in 3D printing | Futurity (11:35)
Researchers have developed a reproducible way of studying cellular communication among varied types of plant cells by “bioprinting” those cells with a 3D printer.
Communication is key to understanding more about plant cell functions.
Could ultimately lead to creating better crop varieties and optimal growing environments.
They bioprinted cells from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and from soybeans to study not just whether plant cells would live after being bioprinted but also how they acquire and change their identity and function.
Lisa Van den Broeck, first author of a paper, describes the work:
“A plant root has a lot of different cell types with specialized functions … There are also different sets of genes being expressed; some are cell-specific. We wanted to know what happens after you bioprint live cells and place them into an environment that you design. Are they alive and doing what they should be doing?”
Live plant cells without cell walls, or protoplasts, were bioprinted along with nutrients, growth hormones, and a thickening agent called agarose.
Agarose helps provide cells strength and scaffolding
“When you print the bioink, you need it to be liquid, but when it comes out, it needs to be solid. Mimicking the natural environment helps keep cellular signals and cues occurring as they would in soil,” explained Professor Ross Sozzani, co-corresponding author of the paper.
The research showed that more than half of the 3D bioprinted cells were viable and divided over time to form microcalli, or small colonies of cells.
Also bioprinted individual cells to test whether they could regenerate, or divide and multiply, which showed that Arabidopsis root and shoot cells needed different combinations of nutrients and scaffolding for optimal viability.
More than 40% of individual soybean embryonic cells remained viable two weeks after bioprinting and also divided over time to form microcalli.
End off with Professor Sozzani:
“All told, this study shows the powerful potential of using 3D bioprinting to identify the optimal compounds needed to support plant cell viability and communication in a controlled environment,”
IKEA Is Using Driverless Trucks to Move Its Furniture in Texas | SIngularity Hub (18:49)
Thanks to its mild climate, expansive highway network, and lax regulations, Texas has become the country’s proving ground for driverless trucks.
traveling the state’s highways partially driver-free for a couple of years already
autonomous mode on highways, but safety drivers take over to navigate city streets
This week Kodiak Robotics announced a partnership to transport IKEA products using a heavy-duty self-driving truck.
The route runs from an IKEA distribution center in Baytown, east of Houstin, to a store in Frisco, 290 miles away just north of Dallas.
Kodiak has been around since 2018, and is focused on building a technology stack specifically for long-haul trucks.
Use a modular hardware approach that includes easy-to-install “mirror pods” with lidar and cameras.
Seems like this company is on the rise with self driving trucks
partnerships in place with CEVA Logistics and U.S. Express
In August announced an agreement with Pilot Companies to develop services for self-driving trucks at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.
Kodiak’s founder and CEO Don Burnette hopes the IKEA pilot will lead to a long-term relationship between the two companies, and an expansion of delivery routes for the furniture store.
Burnette told Forbes:
“Up until now we’ve primarily been working with other carriers who work on behalf of shippers as their customers, and this is the first time we’re working with a shipper directly … It was a really good opportunity to build that relationship and understand their operational needs.”
New VR app lets you step inside your smartphone videos | Freethink (24:40)
Startup Wist Labs is developing a VR app that converts your smartphone clips into 3D videos — giving you a chance to walk inside your memories using a VR headset.
To create a memory with Wist, a user opens the app and records a video.
The app collects the information it needs to make the 2D clip look three-dimensional.
Co-founder Andrew McHugh explained to Freethink:
“During capture, we save color, depth, device pose, audio, and scene information … Depth is captured using the LiDAR sensors on the Pro model iPhones and iPads.”
Once the app processes the video, the user can play it back using mobile AR or a VR headset.
Video example of how it works
The next steps for Wist Labs are to close pre-seed funding, launch a beta, and then roll out features to fill in those gaps and improve the app.
McHugh plans to continue using it to capture and share memories of his first child
McHugh explaining how the experience has been using it:
“I loaded [an ultrasound video] into our VR app, shared it with my mom who lives halfway across the country, and we were able to both walk around that moment together … It’s better than a video because it feels like you’re actually there.”