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Crowdfunded AIDS Vaccine. What happens when you combine Microsoft e-Science machine learning, Harvard thinking, and a new medical device to tackle HIV-AIDS? The Immunity Project, a not-for-profit company developing the first ever synthetic HIV vaccine. The Immunity Project’s work is based on the discovery that there are people born with a natural immunity to HIV. After identifying these "HIV controllers" in the population, the team applied machine learning to reverse-engineer the biological processes HIV controllers use to defeat the virus, mimicking natural immunity. They’ve developed a vaccine prototype and completed preliminary laboratory testing.

And today, they went live with a crowdfunding campaign to support a demonstration aimed to prove the vaccine can successfully immunize human blood. It's the last step before they begin Phase 1 human clinical trials with the FDA. Their goal is to give the vaccine away to the world, for free. The vaccine was originally developed in a partnership between Dr. Matt Darling develops Smart Ward hospital technology after time spent with terminally ill daughter. Updated Tue 24 Dec 2013, 10:06am AEDT A father inspired by time spent in hospital with his terminally ill daughter has invented a computer system to help hospital staff cut down on paperwork.

The trial of the computerised Smart Ward patient system has yielded impressive results at two hospitals in Melbourne. The system, which uses touch screens and smartchips in lanyards and wristbands to update patient information, was developed by Canberra tech guru Matt Darling. He developed the system after observing hospital staff over a number of months while caring for his daughter, Jem, five years ago. As he spent extended periods in the wards, Mr Darling saw how much time nurses spent filling out paperwork. "What I came to realise was that nurses were spending a lot of their time on admin, and they were being, if you like, distracted from patient care," he told the ABC at Melbourne's Epworth Hospital. "I guess the first stage of trying to come up with a solution is trying to understand why that is. " 3D Printing Body Parts & Drugs. Lab-work without a lab: culturing bacteria in rural areas with limited resources | Lab Rat.

In order to isolate, study and efficiently treat a bacterial outbreak, it is vital to be able to grow, store and identify the particular strains of bacteria that cause the disease. While this can be a fairly simple task in a well stocked laboratory, it’s a lot harder to achieve out in the field, in tropical or rural areas without access to much laboratory equipment or a reliable electricity supply. New techniques for working in an electricity-free environment are therefore both interesting and very important for the treatment of tropical bacterial diseases. A recent paper looks at how the bacteria Salmonella enterica can be cultured and strain-identified in an environment with limited resources. Rather than using a conventional incubator, the researchers used an insulated container (previously used as a vaccine storage box!)

And little “phase-change packets” to control the temperature. Bottles of culture resting on phase-change packets inside an insulated container. Hack Transforms Common Microscopes Into Gigapixel Superscopes. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have come up with an inexpensive way to boost the resolution of common microscopes by a factor of 100, allowing medical clinics in developing countries to conduct complex tests with existing equipment.

Changhuei Yang, a professor of electrical engineering, bioengineering and medical engineering at Caltech, announced the breakthrough Sunday in an article published in Nature Photonics. Traditonally, increasing the magnification power in a microscope meant stacking more lens elements inside, pushing up cost and forcing scientists to choose between high resolution or a wide field of view, Yang explained. The CIT system takes multiple low-resolution images of a subject, each corresponding to a single light in an LED array below the sample. That way, the a computer has information from light hitting the sample at different angles when it stitches the images together into a composite with resolution of up to a billion pixels. Smartphone Biosensor Devised to Detect Toxins, Pathogens | Science Business. Biosensor smartphone and cradle (Brian Cunningham, University of Illinois) Engineers at University of Illinois in Urbana created a system harnessing an iPhone’s camera to turn the phone into a biosensor that can detect proteins, bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

The team led by engineering professor and entrepreneur Brian Cunningham published its findings in a recent online issue of the journal Lab on a Chip (paid subscription required). The biosensor is based on the ability of photonic crystals to alter the frequency of light, which are then captured by the smartphone’s camera. The materials in a photonic crystal block certain wavelengths, creating a gap in the wave bands. These crystals, and their corresponding band gaps, can be structured to control light energy in predictable ways, analogous to integrated circuits controlling the flow of electrons. The technician inserts the slide with the specimen sample into the cradle and the reflected light spectrum is measured.

Read more: Cancer fight stalls amid push for profits, doctors say | Society. Progress against cancer is stalling, with the latest targeted cancer drugs failing to live up to expectations and priced so high that treatment is becoming unaffordable even in rich countries, according to experts at a meeting of nearly 100 eminent cancer specialists from around the world. At the two-day meeting in Lugano, Switzerland, the doctors agreed a 10-point declaration, to be published early next year, which will chart the way forward for cancer care around the globe. Much needs to be done, they believe, to improve treatment, care and prevention both in the developed world and in poor countries, where cancer rates are rising even faster. They agreed to embark on an ambitious plan to get essential cancer care to those who are dying early in developing countries, in the same way that Aids doctors took on the fight to get HIV treatment into hard-hit Africa.

"But six months later, [the cancer] is back with a vengeance," he said. "Prevention is important and we need to do it. DIY lab equipment, courtesy of 3D printing. A lot of scientific software is freeware or free/open source software (FOSS). That's appropriate: just as the process of science should be open to enhance reproducibility, its tools should be as transparent as possible. Researchers often share their data and algorithms, and publish the output from their simulations on open-access databases such as Cornell's arXiv. Research hardware—including computer hardware—is another matter entirely. Even small, common pieces of laboratory equipment can be costly, and may not be hackable without (at minimum) violating warranties or terms of use.

Imagine a world where lab workers can create their own custom equipment in-house, using either their own designs or ones they've downloaded. With the prices of 3D printers dropping, laboratories at companies and universities have begun using them to build up research equipment. Of course, this won't solve every problem; I can't see inexpensive 3D printers making mass spectrometers in the near future. Economist wants $30 Billion to Cure Cancer. Hedge fund manager and prominent economist Andrew Lo is recognized for developing theories about how markets function and why they failed during the financial crisis.

Now Lo, who is also the director of the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Laboratory for Financial Engineering, thinks he can also help create a better market for investing in promising treatments for cancer. His proposal is to structure a new kind of financial tool, a “megafund,” for funneling up to $30 billion into the discovery of cancer drugs. The project would be unprecedented in scale at a time when the biomedical sector is searching for fresh funding ideas. As Lo says, the community is “ripe for something new.” In a paper published in Nature Biotechnology earlier this fall, Lo and his coauthors note that large pharmaceutical companies are no longer nurturing early-stage drug development. About five drug royalty investment companies already exist, Lo says, but they only invest in drugs that are already approved.

Who pays for science? Today, we all do. Most scientific research is funded by government grants (e.g., from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc.), companies doing research and development, and non-profit foundations (e.g., the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, etc.). As a society, we reap the rewards from this science in the form of technological innovations and advanced knowledge, but we also help pay for it.

You indirectly support science everyday through taxes you pay, products and services you purchase from companies, and donations you make to charities. Something as simple as buying a bottle of aspirin may help foot the bill for multiple sclerosis research. Funding for science has changed with the times. Historically, science has been largely supported through private patronage (the backing of a prominent person or family), church sponsorship, or simply paying for the research yourself.

So what should we make of all this? How Drug Company Money Is Undermining Science. When Robert Lindsay chose to become a medical researcher in the early 1970s, he did not do it for the money. His field—the effect of hormones on bone—was a backwater. It was also a perfect opportunity for a young researcher to make his mark and, he hoped, help millions of people who suffered from the bone disease osteoporosis.

As the body ages, sometimes bones lose the ability to rebuild themselves fast enough to keep pace with the normal process of deterioration, and the skeleton weakens. Neither Lindsay nor anyone else understood much about why this happened, but there was reason to think that hormones might play a role. Some women develop osteoporosis shortly after menopause, when their hormone levels drop sharply, perhaps upsetting that balance between bone creation and destruction. If so, Lindsay reasoned, replacing the hormones with a pill might halt or even reverse the progress of the disease.

Select an option below: Customer Sign In. Trends in the global funding and activity of cancer research | Richard Sullivan. Science Policy Trends in the global funding and activity of cancer research Seth Eckhouse , Grant Lewison , Richard Sullivan a European Cancer Research Managers Forum, London, UK b School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK c Department of Social Policy (Population, Health and Society), London School of Economics and Political Science,Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK Article history: Received 14 March 2008Accepted 17 March 2008Available online 27 March 2008 Keywords: CancerPolicyFunding ActivityPharmaceuticalOutputs Cancer research has carved an astonishing trajectory giving rise to a multi billion euroglobal network covering most domains of science and including all manner of researchfunders from industry to government and philanthropic funders.

ª 2008 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.Published by Elsevier B.V. 1. . * Corresponding author. þ. Better Tools For Drugmakers | December 3, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 49.