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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?

Crowdfunded AIDS Vaccine

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.

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.

Matt Darling develops Smart Ward hospital technology after time spent with terminally ill daughter

The trial of the computerised Smart Ward patient system has yielded impressive results at two hospitals in Melbourne. 3D Printing Body Parts & Drugs. Lab-work without a lab: culturing bacteria in rural areas with limited resources. 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.

Lab-work without a lab: culturing bacteria in rural areas with limited resources

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. 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.

Hack Transforms Common Microscopes Into Gigapixel Superscopes

Changhuei Yang, a professor of electrical engineering, bioengineering and medical engineering at Caltech, announced the breakthrough Sunday in an article published in Nature Photonics. Smartphone Biosensor Devised to Detect Toxins, Pathogens. 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.

Smartphone Biosensor Devised to Detect Toxins, Pathogens

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). Cancer fight stalls amid push for profits, doctors say. 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.

Cancer fight stalls amid push for profits, doctors say

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.

DIY lab equipment, courtesy of 3D printing. A lot of scientific software is freeware or free/open source software (FOSS).

DIY lab equipment, courtesy of 3D printing

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. 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.

Economist wants $30 Billion to Cure Cancer

Who pays for science? Today, we all do.

Who pays for science?

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. An imperfect world In a perfect world, money wouldn't matter — all scientific studies (regardless of funding source) would be completely objective. 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.

How Drug Company Money Is Undermining Science

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. His next project had big commercial implications and got the attention of the drug industry.

Select an option below: Customer Sign In. Trends in the global funding and activity of cancer research. Science Policy Trends in the global funding and activity of cancer research. December 3, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 49.