Drug lab 💊 Hydrogel healing 🤕 Peanut allergy treatment 🥜!

Technology News

IBM has built a new drug-making lab entirely in the cloud

IBM has built a new chemistry lab called RoboRXN. It combines AI models, a cloud computing platform, and robots to help scientists design and synthesize new molecules. Scientists draw a skeletal structure of the molecular compounds they want to make, the platform then uses machine learning to predict the ingredients required and the order in which they should be mixed. It then sends the instructions to a robot in a remote lab to execute and sends a report to the scientists with the results. IBM hopes that a platform like RoboRXN could dramatically speed up current processes by predicting the recipes for compounds and automating experiments.

Robot takes contact-free measurements of patients’ vital signs

Researchers hope to reduce the risk of assessing people who have symptoms of Covid-19 by using robots to remotely measure patients’ vital signs. The robots, which are controlled by a handheld device, can also carry a tablet that allows doctors to ask patients about their symptoms without being in the same room. The researchers used existing computer vision technologies that can measure temperature, breathing rate, pulse, and blood oxygen saturation, and worked to make them mobile. They also developed algorithms that allow them to use a infrared camera to measure both elevated skin temperature and breathing rate.

Science News

Novel Alkaline Hydrogel Advances Skin Wound Care

Scientists have developed a new method that requires no specialized equipment and can be performed at room temperature to produce an alkaline hydrogel in five minutes, allowing its easy implementation in any medical practice for superior wound healing. Their method involves mixing calcium carbonate and potassium alginate, and then adding carbonated water to this mixture and letting the “gelation” (gel formation) process take place. “In the future, if it is possible to control the sustained release of an effective drug held inside it, this novel hydrogel can be used as a drug carrier as well.”

Female Chromosomes Offer Resilience to Alzheimer’s

Women with Alzheimer’s live longer than men with the disease, and scientists now have evidence from research that this is because they have genetic protection. They discovered an active variant of KDM6A that is carried by about 13 percent of women and 7 percent of men around the world. Because women have two X chromosomes, they have a greater chance of carrying at least one copy of this variant, and some women carry two copies. “This protective mechanism on the X chromosome opens the possibility that we could increase resilience to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders by boosting KDM6A or other X factors in both men and women.”

Business News

Nestle gets peanut allergy treatment with $2 billion Aimmune buyout

Nestle will pay $2 billion to buy the remaining stake in Aimmune Therapeutics, gaining full ownership of the first U.S. approved peanut allergy treatment which has struggled with a slow launch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nestle values the California-based drugmaker, in which it already has a stake of around 25.6%, at $2.6 billion. The deal helps Nestle expand its Nestle Health Science division which it set up in 2011 to open up a new area of business. Peanut allergies are prevalent in an estimated 1.6 million teens and children in the United States alone, making it a lucrative market that could eventually help Aimmune bring in billions of dollars in sales.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway makes big bets on Japan

Berkshire Hathaway has purchased stakes in Japan’s five leading trading companies with a combined value of $6.7 billion. The five firms – Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo – are known as “sogo shosha,” or “general trading companies,” in Japan. They play a vital role in the country’s economy, dealing in a wide range of industries, including energy, technology and manufacturing. Buffett is a household name in Japan and books about his legendary investment style have been mainstays in Japanese bookstores for years. Berkshire said it intends to hold onto the investments, adding that it may increase the size of its holdings to as much as 9.9%.

Miscellaneous News

Child, 3, catches in kite strings and is lifted high into air in Taiwan

A three-year-old girl in Taiwan has been caught up in the strings of a kite and lifted high into the air in front of horrified onlookers, before being rescued unharmed. Dozens of onlookers and families were gathered nearby, cheering as the kite took off. However the cheers quickly turned into screams as they realised the the girl has been caught by the tail, and she was launched high into the air and flung around for more than 30 seconds before operators managed to lower the kite and the child dropped relatively softly into the arms of a gathered crowd.

Finnish town offers locals cake (and other rewards) for cutting CO2 emissions

Lahti, situated 100 kilometres north of Helsinki, has developed an app that tracks residents’ CO2 outlays based on whether they travel by car, public transport, bike or on foot. The app, called CitiCAP and developed with European Union funds, gives volunteers a weekly carbon quota. If their allowance is not exhausted, participants get virtual money that can be used to buy bus tickets, access to the swimming pool or a piece of cake. “You can earn up to two euros (per week) if your travel emissions are really low, but this autumn, we intend to increase the price tenfold.”

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