Manage episode 346935265 series 2832936
First human patients receive transfusions of lab-grown blood cells | New Atlas (01:01)
For the first time ever, human patients have received transfusions of blood cells that were grown from stem cells in a lab
Revolutionize blood transfusions
Blood donations are life saving, but the demand outweighs the supply
But only 13.6 million units of whole blood and red blood cells are collected in the U.S. in a year.
According to the Red Cross, only about 3% of age-eligible people donate blood yearly.
Nearly 16 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
Approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U. S.
An attractive alternative would be large-scale production of red blood cells in labs, which can be tuned to have whichever blood type is needed.
The new clinical trial, named RESTORE, is designed to test the safety of transfusions of these manufactured blood cells, as well as how long they last in the body.
Lab-grown blood is all made “fresh,” so it should all reliably last up to 120 days.
For people with conditions that require regular blood transfusions, such as sickle cell, the longer lifespan of the cells should help give them longer gaps between transfusions.
The RESTORE trial will involve at least 10 participants receiving “mini” transfusions of blood, containing just 5 to 10 ml (one to two teaspoons) of red blood cells.
So far, two participants have received transfusions of lab-grown blood cells as part of the trial, with the scientists reporting that they have shown no untoward side effects.
While this is a major milestone towards that goal, there’s still much more work to do before blood transfusions are regularly lab-grown
This clear window coating could cool buildings without using energy | Electrek (06:41)
Scientists have used advanced computing tech and AI to design a clear window coating that could lower the temperature inside buildings.
Saving a whole lot of cooling energy.
Cooling accounts for about 15% of global energy consumption, and it’s only going to get hotter, especially in more tropical climates.
The sun’s ultraviolet and near-infrared light are the parts of the solar spectrum that pass through window glass to heat an enclosed room.
Why a car gets hot sitting in the sun.
If you block that light energy the amount of cooling needed would be reduced
According to their new paper, researchers from University of Notre Dame in Indiana and Kyung Hee University in Seoul, successfully designed a clear window coating, or “transparent radiative cooler” (TRC).
According to the report,
“[The team] optimized the type, order, and combination of layers using an iterative approach guided by machine learning and quantum computing, which stores data using subatomic particles”
Using this quantum method allowed the team to carry out the optimization process faster. Which eventually, “produced a coating design that, when fabricated, beat the performance of conventionally designed TRCs in addition to one of the best commercial heat-reduction glasses on the market.”
Through heat simulations of the TRC as a potential window material for a standard office with two windows they were able to figure out roughly the heat savings.
31.1% of the cooling energy consumption when conventional windows are used.
The average annual energy saving over the surveyed U.S. cities is 50 MJ/m2
In cities with hot, dry weather the TRC can potentially save around 86.3 MJ/m2 per year.
There’s no indication of commercial scaling in the study, but the researchers write that the film “can be potentially scaled up for practical applications because their fabrication can be achieved using state-of-the-art deposition techniques.”
Experimental breast cancer vaccine passes first human trials | New Atlas (12:19)
I don’t like using the term vaccine for these types of treatments. It is more of cell/protein therapy so I’ll put that out there before I get into this.
Up to 30% of breast cancers involve the overproduction of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).
HER2-positive cancers are often more aggressive than other types of breast cancer
These treatments deliver DNA blueprints for the production of certain proteins into the nucleus of a cell.
The protein is then produced by the cell, triggering an immune response.
This treatment in question prompts cells to produce a specific fragment of the HER2 protein.
Note another reason I don’t call it a vaccine:
These are known as “therapeutic vaccines”, given to patients after they are diagnosed with a cancer in the hopes they help the immune system better seek and destroy certain tumors.
The trial was not geared to evaluate how effective the experimental treatment is at treating breast cancer.
But still in the trial there were promising signs of efficacy, with 80% of the treated trial participants surviving the full 10-year follow-up
Only around 50% of patients with advanced HER2 breast cancer would generally be expected to survive more than five year
Looking into the survival rate:
95.8% of females survive breast cancer for at least one year, this falls to 85.0% surviving for five years or more, and continues to fall to roughly 75% for 10 years, as shown by age-standardized net survival for patients diagnosed with breast cancer during 2013-2017 in England.
A Phase 2 trial is currently underway, testing the treatment’s efficacy in a larger cohort of HER2-positive patients.
Scientists are working on an official 'alien contact protocol' for when ET phones Earth | Live Science (19:01)
For the first time in 35 years, a team of policy experts and scientists have united to establish a set of alien-contact protocols for the entire world to follow in the event of a sudden encounter with E.T.
What better use of “policy experts” … unless they know something
Currently, the only alien contact protocol that humans have was established by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) community in 1989.
vague when it comes to the international response to extraterrestrial communication
mainly focuses on the importance of sharing discoveries with the public and broader scientific community.
The new SETI Detection Hub will scan signals for potential messages sent from alien lifeforms and will develop a framework for attaching meaning to those signals.
End it with John Elliot, a computer scientist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and coordinator of the SETI Detection Hub, talking on the preparedness effort:
“Will we ever get a message from E.T.? We don't know. We also don't know when this is going to happen … But we do know that we cannot afford to be ill-prepared — scientifically, socially, and politically rudderless — for an event that could turn into reality as early as tomorrow."
Open-source fish robot starts collecting microplastics from UK lakes | The Next Web (24:20)
Microplastics in the water is a problem:
A new study from Stanford University found that blue whales, the biggest creatures on Earth, ingest about 10 million pieces of microplastics per day.
What could be the solution? Maybe a plastic eating robot fish?
A robot fish that collects microplastics from waterways has been turned from an idea into a working prototype.
The design was brought to life after it won the University of Surrey’s public competition, the Natural Robotics Contest.
Competition was to submit an idea for a bio-inspired robot that could help the world.
The robotics panelists and researchers, led by Dr. Robert Siddall, turned the design into a 3D-printed prototype about the size of a salmon.
consists of a flooded head unit and a watertight tail unit.
Set of gills on its sides and a fine mesh in between them that can sieve about two-millimeter particles
Filters the water and keeps the microplastics inside its container as it swims.
The robot fist has already been tested in the lab and local lakes
Going Forward, according to Siddall, the team is envisioning a range of improvements for the robot:
Making It faster and smarter
Operate autonomously, rather than being remote controlled.