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  • richardmitnick 3:21 pm on July 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The paradox of a free-electron laser without the laser: a new source of coherent radiation", , , , , Common electron-beam based light sources-known as fourth-generation light sources-are based on the free-electron laser (FEL) which uses an undulator to convert electron beam energy into X-rays., , Medicine, , The scientists have developed a type of ultra-short wavelength coherent light source that does not require laser action to produce coherence., University of Strathclyde [Oilthigh Shrath Chluaidh] (SCT),   

    From University of Strathclyde [Oilthigh Shrath Chluaidh] (SCT): “The paradox of a free-electron laser without the laser: a new source of coherent radiation” 

    From University of Strathclyde [Oilthigh Shrath Chluaidh] (SCT)

    16 July 2021

    1

    A new way of producing coherent light in the ultra-violet spectral region, which points the way to developing brilliant table-top x-ray sources, has been produced in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

    The scientists have developed a type of ultra-short wavelength coherent light source that does not require laser action to produce coherence. Common electron-beam based light sources-known as fourth-generation light sources-are based on the free-electron laser (FEL) which uses an undulator to convert electron beam energy into X-rays.

    Coherent light sources are powerful tools that enable research in many areas of medicine, biology, material sciences, chemistry and physics.

    Making ultraviolet and X-ray coherent light sources more widely available would transform the way science is done; a university could have one of the devices in a single room, on a table top, for a reasonable price.

    The group is now planning a proof-of-principle experiment in the ultraviolet spectral range to demonstrate this new way of producing coherent light. If successful, it should dramatically accelerate the development of even shorter wavelength coherent sources based on the same principle. The Strathclyde group has set up a facility to investigate these types of sources: the Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA), which hosts one of the highest power lasers in the UK.

    The new research has been published in Scientific Reports.

    Professor Dino Jaroszynski, of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, led the research. He said: “This work significantly advances the state-of-the-art of synchrotron sources by proposing a new method of producing short-wavelength coherent radiation, using a short undulator and attosecond duration electron bunches.

    “This is more compact and less demanding on the electron beam quality than free-electron lasers and could provide a paradigm shift in light sources, which would stimulate a new direction of research. It proposes to use bunch compression – as in chirped pulse amplification lasers – within the undulator to significantly enhance the radiation brightness.

    “The new method presented would be of wide interest to a diverse community developing and using light sources.”

    In FELs, as in all lasers, the intensity of light is amplified by a feedback mechanism that locks the phases of individual radiators, which in this case are “free” electrons. In the FEL, this is achieved by passing a high energy electron beam through the undulator, which is an array of alternating polarity magnets.

    Light emitted from the electrons as they wiggle through the undulator creates a force called the ponderomotive force that bunches the electrons – some are slowed down, some are sped up, which causes bunching, similar to traffic on a motorway periodically slowing and speeding up.

    Electrons passing through the undulator radiate incoherent light if they are uniformly distributed – for every electron that emits light, there is another electron that partially cancels out the light because they radiate out of phase. An analogy of this partial cancelling out is rain on the sea: it produces many small ripples that partially cancel each other out, effectively quelling the waves – reducing their amplitude. In contrast, steady or pulsating wind will cause the waves to amplify through the mutual interaction of the wind with the sea.

    In the FEL, electron bunching causes amplification of the light and the increase in its coherence, which usually takes a long time – thus very long undulators are required. In an X-ray FEL, the undulators can be more than a hundred metres long. The accelerators driving these X-ray FELs are kilometres long, which makes these devices very expensive and some of the largest instruments in the world.

    However, using a free-electron laser to produce coherent radiation is not the only way; a “pre-bunched” beam or ultra-short electron bunch can also be used to achieve exactly the same coherence in a very short undulator that is less than a metre in length. As long as the electron bunch is shorter than the wavelength of the light produced by the undulator, it will automatically produce coherent light – all the light waves will add up or interfere constructively, which leads to very brilliant light with exactly the same properties of light from a laser.

    The researchers have demonstrated theoretically that this can be achieved using a laser-plasma wakefield accelerator, which produces electron bunches that can have a length of a few tens of nanometres. They show that if these ultra-short bunches of high energy electrons pass through a short undulator, they can produce as may photons as a very expensive FEL can produce. Moreover, they have also shown that by producing an electron bunch that has an energy “chirp”, they can ballistically compress the bunch to a very short duration inside the undulator, which provides a unique way of going to even shorter electron bunches and therefore produce even shorter wavelength light.

    The research collaboration also involved the University of Manchester (UK), Pulsar Physics (NL) and the STFC ASTeC group at Daresbury Laboratories. The study has received funding from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), to support a project named “Lab in a Bubble”.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Strathclyde [Oilthigh Shrath Chluaidh] (SCT)) is a public research university located in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1796 as the Andersonian Institute, it is Glasgow’s second-oldest university, having received its royal charter in 1964 as the first technological university in the United Kingdom. Taking its name from the historic Kingdom of Strathclyde, it is Scotland’s third-largest university by number of students, with students and staff from over 100 countries.

    The institution was named University of the Year 2012 by Times Higher Education and again in 2019, becoming the first university to receive this award twice. The annual income of the institution for 2019–20 was £334.8 million of which £81.2 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £298.8 million. It is one of the 39 old universities in the UK comprising the distinctive second cluster of elite universities after Oxbridge.

    Research

    In 2011 the University’s Advanced Forming Research Centre was announced as a leading partner in the first UK-wide Technology Strategy Board Catapult Centre. The Government also announced that the University is to lead the UK-wide EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation.

    The University has become the base for the first Fraunhofer Centre to be established in the UK. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest organisation for contract research, is creating the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in collaboration with Strathclyde, for research in sectors including healthcare, security, energy and transport.

    Strathclyde was chosen in 2012 as the exclusive European partner university for South Korea’s global research and commercialisation programme – the Global Industry-Academia Cooperation Programme, funded by South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge and Economics.

    In 2012 the University became a key partner in its second UK Catapult Centre. Plans for the Catapult Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy were announced at Strathclyde by Business Secretary Vince Cable. The University has also become a partner in the Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy, which is one of 11 doctoral centres at Strathclyde.

    Engineers at the University are leading the €4 million, Europe-wide Stardust project, a research-based training network investigating the removal of space debris and the deflection of asteroids.

    Strathclyde has become part of the new ESRC Enterprise Research Centre, a £2.9 million venture generating world-class research to help stimulate growth for small and medium-sized enterprises.

    The University has centres in pharmacy, drug delivery and development, micro and ultrasonic engineering, biophotonics and photonics, biomedical engineering, medical devices, new therapies,prosthetics and orthotics, public health history, law, crime and justice and social work. The University is involved in 11 partnerships with other universities through the Scottish Funding Councils’ Research Pooling Programme, covering areas such as engineering, life sciences, energy, marine science and technology, physics, chemistry, computer sciences and economics.

    Several Strathclyde staff have been elected to Fellowships in the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:07 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "DARPA Selects CMU to Develop AI for Portable Ultrasound", , , Medicine   

    From Carnegie Mellon University (US) : “DARPA Selects CMU to Develop AI for Portable Ultrasound” 

    From Carnegie Mellon University (US)

    June 21, 2021
    Aaron Aupperlee
    aaupperlee@cmu.edu

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Carnegie Mellon University as one of five teams to develop artificial intelligence that will help field medics better use portable ultrasound devices to diagnose and treat injuries on the battlefield.

    1
    Point-of-Care Ultrasound Automated Interpretation (POCUS AI). DARPA.

    DARPA’s Point-of-Care Ultrasound Automated Interpretation (POCUS AI) program will challenge the teams to create an extensible AI model that can be trained to identify injuries and assist with interventions using limited data — 15 to 30 images or video clips instead of thousands.

    “Because we cannot train the AI on large datasets, we are going to incorporate knowledge straight from doctors,” said John Galeotti, director of the Biomedical Image Guidance Laboratory in the Robotics Institute and head of the CMU team. “We are going to collect information from clinical experts and put it on top of the AI system so the model does not have to learn as many new concepts on its own for each new application.”

    Portable point-of-care ultrasound devices could help frontline medics quickly capture images of injuries and confirm whether interventions to temporarily treat them or alleviate pain were administered properly or should be tried again. These devices could increase the speed and accuracy of the care provided on the battlefield or in other scenarios where evacuations could take time. But frontline medical personnel often lack significant training with these instruments, hindering their deployment. AI promises to bridge that gap.

    DARPA selected five research teams to create an AI model for the 18-month challenge: CMU, Drexel University (US), Netrias, Novateur Research Solutions and Kitware Inc.

    The CMU team, which includes Artur Dubrawski, Alumni Research Professor of Computer Science and head of the Auton Laboratory, will work to train an AI model that combines computer vision and machine learning to help medics identify what they see through the ultrasound. They’ll also incorporate clinical rules and best practices from medical experts to guide and evaluate the interventions when assessing for traumatic brain injury. DARPA requires the system to diagnose a life-threatening pneumothorax condition, which prevents the lungs from inflating, and measure the diameter of the optic nerve sheath to detect high intracranial pressure. The system must also tell a medic whether a nerve block injection needle was administered in the correct place and if a breathing tube was inserted correctly.

    The value of the technology extends far beyond the military and battlefield, Galeotti said. It could be used with devices in ambulances to provide better treatment to roadside accident victims and be carried by paramedics, EMTs and other first responders to offer more effective aid outside hospital settings.

    “This could help first responders provide better aid earlier, which would lead directly to not only saving more lives but also to alleviating pain and preventing long-lasting injuries,” Galeotti said.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Carnegie Mellon University (US) is a global research university with more than 12,000 students, 95,000 alumni, and 5,000 faculty and staff.
    CMU has been a birthplace of innovation since its founding in 1900.
    Today, we are a global leader bringing groundbreaking ideas to market and creating successful startup businesses.
    Our award-winning faculty members are renowned for working closely with students to solve major scientific, technological and societal challenges. We put a strong emphasis on creating things—from art to robots. Our students are recruited by some of the world’s most innovative companies.
    We have campuses in Pittsburgh, Qatar and Silicon Valley, and degree-granting programs around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

    The university was established by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, formerly a part of the University of Pittsburgh. Since then, the university has operated as a single institution.

    The university has seven colleges and independent schools, including the College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, Tepper School of Business, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the School of Computer Science. The university has its main campus located 3 miles (5 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, and the university also has over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including degree-granting campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley.

    Past and present faculty and alumni include 20 Nobel Prize laureates, 13 Turing Award winners, 23 Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US), 22 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (US), 79 Members of the National Academies, 124 Emmy Award winners, 47 Tony Award laureates, and 10 Academy Award winners. Carnegie Mellon enrolls 14,799 students from 117 countries and employs 1,400 faculty members.
    Research

    Carnegie Mellon University is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. For the 2006 fiscal year, the university spent $315 million on research. The primary recipients of this funding were the School of Computer Science ($100.3 million), the Software Engineering Institute ($71.7 million), the College of Engineering ($48.5 million), and the Mellon College of Science ($47.7 million). The research money comes largely from federal sources, with a federal investment of $277.6 million. The federal agencies that invest the most money are the National Science Foundation (US) and the Department of Defense (US), which contribute 26% and 23.4% of the total university research budget respectively.

    The recognition of Carnegie Mellon as one of the best research facilities in the nation has a long history—as early as the 1987 Federal budget Carnegie Mellon University was ranked as third in the amount of research dollars with $41.5 million, with only Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) and Johns Hopkins University (US) receiving more research funds from the Department of Defense.

    The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) (US) is a joint effort between Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh (US), and Westinghouse Electric Company. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center was founded in 1986 by its two scientific directors, Dr. Ralph Roskies of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Michael Levine of Carnegie Mellon. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a leading partner in the TeraGrid, the National Science Foundation’s cyberinfrastructure program.
    Scarab lunar rover is being developed by the RI.

    The Robotics Institute (RI) is a division of the School of Computer Science and considered to be one of the leading centers of robotics research in the world. The Field Robotics Center (FRC) has developed a number of significant robots, including Sandstorm and H1ghlander, which finished second and third in the DARPA Grand Challenge, and Boss, which won the DARPA Urban Challenge. The Robotics Institute has partnered with a spinoff company, Astrobotic Technology Inc., to land a CMU robot on the moon by 2016 in pursuit of the Google Lunar XPrize. The robot, known as Andy, is designed to explore lunar pits, which might include entrances to caves. The RI is primarily sited at Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in Newell-Simon hall.

    The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon, with offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arlington, Virginia, and Frankfurt, Germany. The SEI publishes books on software engineering for industry, government and military applications and practices. The organization is known for its Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), which identify essential elements of effective system and software engineering processes and can be used to rate the level of an organization’s capability for producing quality systems. The SEI is also the home of CERT/CC, the federally funded computer security organization. The CERT Program’s primary goals are to ensure that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist attacks on networked systems and to limit damage and ensure continuity of critical services subsequent to attacks, accidents, or failures.

    The Human–Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) is a division of the School of Computer Science and is considered one of the leading centers of human–computer interaction research, integrating computer science, design, social science, and learning science. Such interdisciplinary collaboration is the hallmark of research done throughout the university.

    The Language Technologies Institute (LTI) is another unit of the School of Computer Science and is famous for being one of the leading research centers in the area of language technologies. The primary research focus of the institute is on machine translation, speech recognition, speech synthesis, information retrieval, parsing and information extraction. Until 1996, the institute existed as the Center for Machine Translation that was established in 1986. From 1996 onwards, it started awarding graduate degrees and the name was changed to Language Technologies Institute.

    Carnegie Mellon is also home to the Carnegie School of management and economics. This intellectual school grew out of the Tepper School of Business in the 1950s and 1960s and focused on the intersection of behavioralism and management. Several management theories, most notably bounded rationality and the behavioral theory of the firm, were established by Carnegie School management scientists and economists.

    Carnegie Mellon also develops cross-disciplinary and university-wide institutes and initiatives to take advantage of strengths in various colleges and departments and develop solutions in critical social and technical problems. To date, these have included the Cylab Security and Privacy Institute, the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, the Neuroscience Institute (formerly known as BrainHub), the Simon Initiative, and the Disruptive Healthcare Technology Institute.

    Carnegie Mellon has made a concerted effort to attract corporate research labs, offices, and partnerships to the Pittsburgh campus. Apple Inc., Intel, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Facebook, IBM, General Motors, Bombardier Inc., Yahoo!, Uber, Tata Consultancy Services, Ansys, Boeing, Robert Bosch GmbH, and the Rand Corporation have established a presence on or near campus. In collaboration with Intel, Carnegie Mellon has pioneered research into claytronics.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:31 am on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "U of T researchers develop antibody drug that could treat diabetic retinopathy", , Medicine,   

    From University of Toronto (CA) : “U of T researchers develop antibody drug that could treat diabetic retinopathy” 

    From University of Toronto (CA)

    June 09, 2021
    Eileen Hoftyzer

    1
    A team led by U of T researcher Stéphane Angers has developed a synthetic antibody as a promising treatment for diabetic retinopathy, which causes blindness and affects about one third of diabetes patients (photo by Tetra Images via Getty Images)

    The life-saving diabetic medication insulin, developed at the University of Toronto 100 years ago, was the first biologic therapy – a protein to treat disease. Now, a new biologic therapy developed by U of T researchers has potential to reverse a common diabetes complication.

    A team led by Stéphane Angers, professor and associate dean of research at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, has developed a synthetic antibody as a promising treatment for diabetic retinopathy, which causes blindness and affects about 30 per cent of diabetes patients.

    The researchers tested the antibody in both cell cultures and mice. The results were published this week in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

    “This study has shown that these antibodies are very attractive therapeutics to restore blood-retina barrier defects,” said Rony Chidiac, a post-doctoral researcher in the Angers lab and lead author of the study.

    “It gives new hope for the treatment of eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.”

    Angers and his team are experts in the Wnt cell signalling pathway, which is crucial for the formation and maintenance of the blood-retina barrier, a physiological barrier that prevents molecules from entering the retina.

    When the signalling pathway is disrupted – which can occur because of genetic mutations in rare eye conditions such as Norrie disease, or when tissue oxygen is low, as in diabetic retinopathy – the blood vessels can become leaky, causing damage in the eye.

    2
    Professor Stéphane Angers (right) works alongside post-doctoral researcher Rony Chidiac in this 2018 photo (Photo by Steve Southon.)

    In previous research, Angers had collaborated with Sachdev Sidhu at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research to develop a catalogue of synthetic antibodies that could activate Wnt signalling.

    Their new publication describes how one of the antibodies, specifically activating the Frizzled4-LRP5 receptor complex, successfully stimulated Wnt signalling in the blood-retina barrier and effectively restored barrier function.

    The antibody attaches to two key cell surface receptors (Frizzled4 and LRP5) bringing them close together, and this induced proximity activates the Wnt pathway that maintains the blood vessels.

    The team first tested the antibody in cell cultures and found that it was a highly precise way to trigger the signalling pathway and restore barrier function. They then tested the antibody in different mouse models in collaboration with Harald Junge at the University of Minnesota and AntlerA Therapeutics, a start-up company founded by Angers and Sidhu. One model represented a genetic eye condition and one represented diabetic retinopathy.

    Remarkably, the antibody restored the barrier function and corrected retinal blood vessel formation in mice. In addition, it normalized the pathological formation of new blood vessels, one of the consequences of a leaky blood-retina barrier that causes further eye damage.

    With the antibody’s promising preclinical results, AntlerA Therapeutics will now lead the commercialization and translation to clinical studies.

    While the current study’s results are focused on eye conditions, the similarities between the blood-retina barrier and blood-brain barrier mean that its applications could be much broader than eye conditions.

    “The retinal vasculature was the first indication, and we have new funding to explore the role of this pathway in other contexts,” said Angers. “For example, we are testing whether this antibody could have implications in the blood-brain barrier and whether it could repair the barrier in the context of stroke.”

    “We’ve found a way to activate Wnt signalling very precisely in order to have a viable therapeutic opportunity and actually treat these diseases,” added Chidiac. “We anticipate that this could have enormous impact in diverse applications in regenerative medicine.”

    The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada] (CA) and the government of Ontario, among others.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Toronto (CA) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the oldest university in the province of Ontario.

    Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

    As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

    University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.

    Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners.

    The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

    Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

    The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first electron microscope in North America; the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1; multi-touch technology, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

    The university was one of several universities involved in early research of deep learning. It receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities (US) outside the United States, the other being McGill(CA).

    The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861.

    The university’s Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual, and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.

    The University of Toronto has educated three Governors General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, three foreign leaders, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court. As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.

    Early history

    The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and founder of York, the colonial capital. As an University of Oxford (UK)-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York.

    On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the college’s first president. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was built on the present site of Queen’s Park.

    Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of the Province of Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866. The Corps was part of the Reserve Militia lead by Professor Henry Croft.

    Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843 medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887 when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888 when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were first admitted to the university in 1884.

    A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed 33,000 volumes from the library but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades a collegiate system took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as Canada’s first academic publishing house. The Faculty of Forestry founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean was Canada’s first university faculty devoted to forest science. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.

    World wars and post-war years

    The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935 followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph (CA) in 1964 and York University (CA) in 1965 respectively. Beginning in the 1980s reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.

    Since 2000

    In 2000 Kin-Yip Chun was reinstated as a professor of the university after he launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the university alleging racial discrimination. In 2017 a human rights application was filed against the University by one of its students for allegedly delaying the investigation of sexual assault and being dismissive of their concerns. In 2018 the university cleared one of its professors of allegations of discrimination and antisemitism in an internal investigation after a complaint was filed by one of its students.

    The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than c. $1 billion in 2007. On September 24, 2020 the university announced a $250 million gift to the Faculty of Medicine from businessman and philanthropist James C. Temerty- the largest single philanthropic donation in Canadian history. This broke the previous record for the school set in 2019 when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman jointly donated $100 million for the creation of a 750,000-square foot innovation and artificial intelligence centre.

    Research

    Since 1926 the University of Toronto has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) a consortium of the leading North American research universities. The university manages by far the largest annual research budget of any university in Canada with sponsored direct-cost expenditures of $878 million in 2010. In 2018 the University of Toronto was named the top research university in Canada by Research Infosource with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $1,147.584 million in 2017. In the same year the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $428,200 while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $63,700. The federal government was the largest source of funding with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About eight percent of research funding came from corporations- mostly in the healthcare industry.

    The first practical electron microscope was built by the physics department in 1938. During World War II the university developed the G-suit- a life-saving garment worn by Allied fighter plane pilots later adopted for use by astronauts.Development of the infrared chemiluminescence technique improved analyses of energy behaviours in chemical reactions. In 1963 the asteroid 2104 Toronto was discovered in the David Dunlap Observatory (CA) in Richmond Hill and is named after the university. In 1972 studies on Cygnus X-1 led to the publication of the first observational evidence proving the existence of black holes. Toronto astronomers have also discovered the Uranian moons of Caliban and Sycorax; the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda I, II and III; and the supernova SN 1987A. A pioneer in computing technology the university designed and built UTEC- one of the world’s first operational computers- and later purchased Ferut- the second commercial computer after UNIVAC I. Multi-touch technology was developed at Toronto with applications ranging from handheld devices to collaboration walls. The AeroVelo Atlas which won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition in 2013 was developed by the university’s team of students and graduates and was tested in Vaughan.

    The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 is considered among the most significant events in the history of medicine. The stem cell was discovered at the university in 1963 forming the basis for bone marrow transplantation and all subsequent research on adult and embryonic stem cells. This was the first of many findings at Toronto relating to stem cells including the identification of pancreatic and retinal stem cells. The cancer stem cell was first identified in 1997 by Toronto researchers who have since found stem cell associations in leukemia; brain tumors; and colorectal cancer. Medical inventions developed at Toronto include the glycaemic index; the infant cereal Pablum; the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery; and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981 followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988; and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division and discovered the T-cell receptor which triggers responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia; cystic fibrosis; and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972 the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories- now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.

    The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world’s largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. More than 5,000 principal investigators reside within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the university grounds in Toronto’s Discovery District conducting $1 billion of medical research annually. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university’s technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Its SciNet Consortium operates the most powerful supercomputer in Canada.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:40 am on June 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Studying guppies researchers find ADHD drugs can affect later generations", A steady dose of methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH) affected the anxiety and stress-related behaviour of males but not females., , , Medicine, The scientists observed the same behaviors in several generations of their descendants not directly administered the drug., , Women in STEM-Alex De Serrano   

    From University of Toronto (CA) : Women in STEM-Alex De Serrano “Studying guppies researchers find ADHD drugs can affect later generations” 

    From University of Toronto (CA)

    June 03, 2021
    Sean Bettam

    1
    U of T PhD candidate Alex De Serrano is the lead author of a study that found the effects of drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta could be detected in multiple generations of guppies, including those with no direct exposure Credit: Helen Rodd.

    By studying guppies, scientists at the University of Toronto and Florida State University (US) found that behaviours affected by methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH) – the active ingredient in stimulants such as Ritalin and Concerta used to treat ADHD – can be passed along to several generations of descendants.

    “We exposed male and female Trinidadian guppies to a low, steady dose of MPH and saw that it affected the anxiety and stress-related behaviour of males, but not females,” said Alex De Serrano, a PhD candidate in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology (EEB) in the Faculty of Arts & Science and lead author of a study published recently in Scientific Reports.

    “Because of this male-specific effect, we investigated the effects of MPH through the paternal line and observed the same behaviours in several generations of their descendants not directly administered the drug.”

    The findings add to growing knowledge about paternal effects on offspring, as well as the capacity for those effects to span multiple generations – of which even less is known.

    From one month of age and through adolescence and into adulthood, first-generation guppies were exposed to MPH via the water in which they lived. The researchers then compared their behaviour against a control population exposed to non-treated water and observed that the males exposed to Ritalin were less cautious when placed in a new environment, compared to those not treated with the drug.

    “The Ritalin-treated males showed less inhibition than expected when moved to a new environment,” said De Serrano. “Under natural conditions, guppies would be expected to freeze if they found themselves in such a situation, as this allows them to assess their new surroundings for predators and other threats.”

    De Serrano then produced three generations of offspring from these individuals to see if the behaviour of their descendants differed from descendants of those not exposed to the drug and observed behaviours similar to those of first-generation males exposed to the drug.

    “It suggests that Ritalin has the potential to cause changes that persist across several generations,” De Serrano said.

    2
    The study’s findings contribute to a growing understanding of paternal effects on offspring as well as the capacity for those effects to span multiple generations. Credit: Alex De Serrano.

    The researchers say the paternal effect of behavioural change may be transmitted to descendants via non-genetic modifications to the sperm of male ancestors exposed to Ritalin. Such molecular changes that don’t affect DNA are a potential mechanism for males to transmit information about their environment – including exposure to drugs or pollutants – to future offspring.

    “In many species, including guppies, males do not interact with offspring beyond contributing sperm, so it was traditionally thought that paternal effects would be limited to species where fathers provide some type of care to offspring or other resources to mothers,” said Helen Rodd, a professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology who is De Serrano’s supervisor.

    “As of now, most known examples in animals of paternal effects and transgenerational effects – effects that span several generations – come from rodents, so our findings add to the handful of studies that have found paternal, transgenerational effects in other species, though the actual mechanism remains unclear.”

    It has been suggested that Ritalin could cause transgenerational effects because MPH has been shown to affect the sperm cells of male rodents. Further, paternal effects have been observed in descendants of rats exposed to drugs with a similar mode of action. Despite these concerns, the transgenerational effects of paternal exposure to MPH in humans are unknown.

    “I was surprised to learn that no studies had investigated whether a drug so commonly prescribed to adolescent boys to treat ADHD affects the behaviour of their offspring,” said De Serrano. “Because reduced caution in new situations has been associated with increased drug-seeking behaviour in rodents and humans, our results suggest that long-term exposure to Ritalin could increase the propensity for drug abuse and other affective disorders in males and their descendants.”

    However, the researchers note that, as with all comparative studies, their results only hint at general processes that might be occurring in humans and are not directly translatable to human populations.

    “More research is required to determine the mechanism that caused this altered behaviour to persist across generations,” said De Serrano. “And in order to extend these results to humans, longitudinal studies following individuals taking Ritalin and their offspring are needed.”

    Support for the research was provided by the NSERC – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (CA).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Toronto (CA) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the oldest university in the province of Ontario.

    Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

    As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

    University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.

    Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners.

    The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

    Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

    The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first electron microscope in North America; the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1; multi-touch technology, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

    The university was one of several universities involved in early research of deep learning. It receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities (US) outside the United States, the other being McGill(CA).

    The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861.

    The university’s Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual, and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.

    The University of Toronto has educated three Governors General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, three foreign leaders, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court. As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.

    Early history

    The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and founder of York, the colonial capital. As an University of Oxford (UK)-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York.

    On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the college’s first president. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was built on the present site of Queen’s Park.

    Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of the Province of Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866. The Corps was part of the Reserve Militia lead by Professor Henry Croft.

    Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843 medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887 when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888 when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were first admitted to the university in 1884.

    A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed 33,000 volumes from the library but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades a collegiate system took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as Canada’s first academic publishing house. The Faculty of Forestry founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean was Canada’s first university faculty devoted to forest science. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.

    World wars and post-war years

    The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935 followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph (CA) in 1964 and York University (CA) in 1965 respectively. Beginning in the 1980s reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.

    Since 2000

    In 2000 Kin-Yip Chun was reinstated as a professor of the university after he launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the university alleging racial discrimination. In 2017 a human rights application was filed against the University by one of its students for allegedly delaying the investigation of sexual assault and being dismissive of their concerns. In 2018 the university cleared one of its professors of allegations of discrimination and antisemitism in an internal investigation after a complaint was filed by one of its students.

    The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than c. $1 billion in 2007. On September 24, 2020 the university announced a $250 million gift to the Faculty of Medicine from businessman and philanthropist James C. Temerty- the largest single philanthropic donation in Canadian history. This broke the previous record for the school set in 2019 when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman jointly donated $100 million for the creation of a 750,000-square foot innovation and artificial intelligence centre.

    Research

    Since 1926 the University of Toronto has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) a consortium of the leading North American research universities. The university manages by far the largest annual research budget of any university in Canada with sponsored direct-cost expenditures of $878 million in 2010. In 2018 the University of Toronto was named the top research university in Canada by Research Infosource with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $1,147.584 million in 2017. In the same year the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $428,200 while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $63,700. The federal government was the largest source of funding with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About eight percent of research funding came from corporations- mostly in the healthcare industry.

    The first practical electron microscope was built by the physics department in 1938. During World War II the university developed the G-suit- a life-saving garment worn by Allied fighter plane pilots later adopted for use by astronauts.Development of the infrared chemiluminescence technique improved analyses of energy behaviours in chemical reactions. In 1963 the asteroid 2104 Toronto was discovered in the David Dunlap Observatory (CA) in Richmond Hill and is named after the university. In 1972 studies on Cygnus X-1 led to the publication of the first observational evidence proving the existence of black holes. Toronto astronomers have also discovered the Uranian moons of Caliban and Sycorax; the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda I, II and III; and the supernova SN 1987A. A pioneer in computing technology the university designed and built UTEC- one of the world’s first operational computers- and later purchased Ferut- the second commercial computer after UNIVAC I. Multi-touch technology was developed at Toronto with applications ranging from handheld devices to collaboration walls. The AeroVelo Atlas which won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition in 2013 was developed by the university’s team of students and graduates and was tested in Vaughan.

    The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 is considered among the most significant events in the history of medicine. The stem cell was discovered at the university in 1963 forming the basis for bone marrow transplantation and all subsequent research on adult and embryonic stem cells. This was the first of many findings at Toronto relating to stem cells including the identification of pancreatic and retinal stem cells. The cancer stem cell was first identified in 1997 by Toronto researchers who have since found stem cell associations in leukemia; brain tumors; and colorectal cancer. Medical inventions developed at Toronto include the glycaemic index; the infant cereal Pablum; the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery; and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981 followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988; and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division and discovered the T-cell receptor which triggers responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia; cystic fibrosis; and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972 the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories- now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.

    The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world’s largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. More than 5,000 principal investigators reside within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the university grounds in Toronto’s Discovery District conducting $1 billion of medical research annually. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university’s technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Its SciNet Consortium operates the most powerful supercomputer in Canada.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:56 pm on May 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Diamonds engage both optical microscopy and MRI for better imaging", A relatively new type of biological tracer: microdiamonds that have had some of their carbon atoms kicked out and replaced by nitrogen., , , , , Medicine, Microdiamonds are less than one-hundredth of an inch., Microdiamonds used as biological tracers, Microscopic diamond tracers can provide information via MRI and optical fluorescence simultaneously allowing scientists to get high-quality images 10 times deeper than light alone., , When doctors or scientists want to peer into living tissue there’s always a trade-off between how deep they can probe and how clear a picture they can get.   

    From University of California-Berkeley (US): “Diamonds engage both optical microscopy and MRI for better imaging” 

    From University of California-Berkeley (US)

    May 17, 2021
    Robert Sanders
    rlsanders@berkeley.edu
    Media relations

    1
    The microdiamonds used as biological tracers are about 200 microns across, less than one-hundredth of an inch. They fluoresce red but can also be hyperpolarized, allowing them to be detected both optically — by fluorescence microscopy — and by radio-frequency NMR imaging, boosting the power of both techniques. Photo courtesy of Ashok Ajoy.

    When doctors or scientists want to peer into living tissue there’s always a trade-off between how deep they can probe and how clear a picture they can get.

    With light microscopes, researchers can see submicron-resolution structures inside cells or tissue, but only as deep as the millimeter or so that light can penetrate without scattering. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio frequencies that can reach everywhere in the body, but the technique provides low resolution — about a millimeter, or 1,000 times worse than light.

    A University of California, Berkeley, researcher has now shown that microscopic diamond tracers can provide information via MRI and optical fluorescence simultaneously potentially allowing scientists to get high-quality images up to a centimeter below the surface of tissue 10 times deeper than light alone.

    By using two modes of observation, the technique also could allow faster imaging.

    The technique would be useful primarily for studying cells and tissue outside the body, probing blood or other fluids for chemical markers of disease, or for physiological studies in animals.

    “This is perhaps the first demonstration that the same object can be imaged in optics and hyperpolarized MRI simultaneously,” said Ashok Ajoy, UC Berkeley assistant professor of chemistry. “There is a lot of information you can get in combination, because the two modes are better than the sum of their parts. This opens up many possibilities, where you can accelerate the imaging of these diamond tracers in a medium by several orders of magnitude.”

    The technique, which Ajoy and his colleagues report this week in the journal PNAS, utilizes a relatively new type of biological tracer: microdiamonds that have had some of their carbon atoms kicked out and replaced by nitrogen, leaving behind empty spots in the crystal — nitrogen vacancies — that fluoresce when hit by laser light.

    Ajoy exploits an isotope of carbon — carbon-13 (C-13) – that occurs naturally in the diamond particles at about 1% concentration, but also could be enriched further by replacing many of the dominant carbon atoms, carbon-12. Carbon-13 nuclei are more readily aligned, or polarized, by nearby spin-polarized vacancy centers, which become polarized at the same time they fluoresce after being illuminated with a laser. The polarized C-13 nuclei yield a stronger signal for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) — the technique at the heart of MRI.

    2
    The crystal lattice of a microdiamond contains gaps — nitrogen vacancies — that can be polarized (red spinning balls) and made to emit red light when illuminated by a laser. The polarized centers then hyperpolarize nearby carbon-13 atoms (blue balls), allowing them to be detected by NMR imaging. This allows the tracers to be imaged both by optical fluorescence microscopy and NMR, providing higher resolution pictures deeper inside tissue. UC Berkeley graphic by Xudong Lv and Mustafa Kamran.

    As a result, these hyperpolarized diamonds can be detected both optically — because of the fluorescent nitrogen vacancy centers — and at radio frequencies, because of the spin-polarized carbon-13. This allows simultaneous imaging by two of the best techniques available, with particular benefit when looking deep inside tissues that scatter visible light.

    “Optical imaging suffers greatly when you go in deep tissue. Even beyond 1 millimeter, you get a lot of optical scattering. This is a major problem,” Ajoy said. “The advantage here is that the imaging can be done in radio frequencies and optical light using the same diamond tracer. The same version of MRI that you use for imaging inside people can be used for imaging these diamond particles, even when the optical fluorescence signature is completely scattered out.”

    Detecting nuclear spin

    Ajoy focuses on improving NMR — a very precise way of identifying molecules — and its medical imaging counterpart, MRI, in hopes of lowering the cost and reducing the size of the machines. One limitation of NMR and MRI is that large, powerful and costly magnets are needed to align or polarize the nuclear spins of molecules inside samples or the body so that they can be detected by pulses of radio waves. But humans can’t withstand the very high magnetic fields needed to get lots of spins polarized at once, which would provide better images.

    3
    Emanuel Druga and Xudong Lv with a prototype “hyperpolarizer” for diamond particles (on table). They are standing next to a 9-tesla NMR machine. Credit: Ashok Ajoy.

    One way to overcome this is to tweak the nuclear spins of the atoms you want to detect so that more of them are aligned in the same direction, instead of randomly. With more spins aligned, called hyperpolarization, the signal detected by radio is stronger, and less powerful magnets can be used.

    In his latest experiments, Ajoy employed a magnetic field equivalent to that of a cheap refrigerator magnet and an inexpensive green laser to hyperpolarize the carbon-13 atoms in the crystal lattice of the microdiamonds.

    “It turns out that if you shine light on these particles, you can align their spins to a very, very high degree — about three to four orders of magnitude higher than the alignment of spins in an MRI machine,” Ajoy said. “Compared to conventional hospital MRIs, which use a magnetic field of 1.5 teslas, the carbons are polarized effectively like they were in a 1,000-tesla magnetic field.”

    When the diamonds are targeted to specific sites in cells or tissue — by antibodies, for example, which are often used with fluorescent tracers — they can be detected both by NMR imaging of the hyperpolarized C-13 and the fluorescence of the nitrogen vacancy centers in the diamond. The nitrogen vacancy-center diamonds are already becoming more widely used as tracers for their fluorescence alone.

    3
    In the researchers’ experiment, diamond particles arranged in a ring were imaged both optically and with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Credit: Ashok Ajoy.

    “We show one important cool feature of these diamond particles, the fact that they spin polarize — therefore they can glow very bright in an MRI machine — but they also fluoresce optically,” he said. “The same thing that endows them with the spin polarization also allows them to fluoresce optically.”

    The diamond tracers also are inexpensive and relatively easy to work with, Ajoy said. Together, these new developments could, in the future, allow for an inexpensive NMR imaging machine on every chemist’s benchtop. Today, only large hospitals can afford the million-dollar price tag for MRIs. He currently is working on other techniques to improve NMR and MRI, including using hyperpolarized diamond particles to hyperpolarize other molecules.

    The experiments were led by former graduate student Xudong Lv using a home-built hyperpolarizer device constructed by staff scientist Emanuel Druga. Ajoy’s work was supported by the Office of Naval Research (N00014-20-1-2806). Other co-authors are F. Wang, A. Aguilar, T. McKnelly, R. Nazaryan and L. Wu of UC Berkeley; J. H. Walton of University of California-Davis (US); O. Shenderova of Adamas Nanotechnologies Inc., in North Carolina; D. B. Vigneron of Univerity of California-San Fransisco (US); Carlos Meriles of City University of New York (US); and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering Jeffrey Reimer and chemistry professor Alexander Pines, both of UC Berkeley.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of California-Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university, it was the first campus of the University of California (US) system and a founding member of the Association of American Universities (US). Its 14 colleges and schools offer over 350 degree programs and enroll some 31,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students. Berkeley is ranked among the world’s top universities by major educational publications.

    Berkeley hosts many leading research institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory. It founded and maintains close relationships with three national laboratories at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(US), DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(US) and DOE’s Los Alamos National Lab(US), and has played a prominent role in many scientific advances, from the Manhattan Project and the discovery of 16 chemical elements to breakthroughs in computer science and genomics. Berkeley is also known for student activism and the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s.

    Berkeley alumni and faculty count among their ranks 110 Nobel laureates (34 alumni), 25 Turing Award winners (11 alumni), 14 Fields Medalists, 28 Wolf Prize winners, 103 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients, 30 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 19 Academy Award winners. The university has produced seven heads of state or government; five chief justices, including Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren; 21 cabinet-level officials; 11 governors; and 25 living billionaires. It is also a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, and Marshall Scholars. Berkeley alumni, widely recognized for their entrepreneurship, have founded many notable companies.

    Berkeley’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA, primarily in the Pac-12 Conference, and are collectively known as the California Golden Bears. The university’s teams have won 107 national championships, and its students and alumni have won 207 Olympic medals.

    Made possible by President Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Act in 1862, the University of California was founded in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university by inheriting certain assets and objectives of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. Although this process is often incorrectly mistaken for a merger, the Organic Act created a “completely new institution” and did not actually merge the two precursor entities into the new university. The Organic Act states that the “University shall have for its design, to provide instruction and thorough and complete education in all departments of science, literature and art, industrial and professional pursuits, and general education, and also special courses of instruction in preparation for the professions”.

    Ten faculty members and 40 students made up the fledgling university when it opened in Oakland in 1869. Frederick H. Billings, a trustee of the College of California, suggested that a new campus site north of Oakland be named in honor of Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley. The university began admitting women the following year. In 1870, Henry Durant, founder of the College of California, became its first president. With the completion of North and South Halls in 1873, the university relocated to its Berkeley location with 167 male and 22 female students.

    Beginning in 1891, Phoebe Apperson Hearst made several large gifts to Berkeley, funding a number of programs and new buildings and sponsoring, in 1898, an international competition in Antwerp, Belgium, where French architect Émile Bénard submitted the winning design for a campus master plan.

    20th century

    In 1905, the University Farm was established near Sacramento, ultimately becoming the University of California, Davis. In 1919, Los Angeles State Normal School became the southern branch of the University, which ultimately became the University of California, Los Angeles. By 1920s, the number of campus buildings had grown substantially and included twenty structures designed by architect John Galen Howard.

    In 1917, one of the nation’s first ROTC programs was established at Berkeley and its School of Military Aeronautics began training pilots, including Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. Berkeley ROTC alumni include former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Army Chief of Staff Frederick C. Weyand as well as 16 other generals. In 1926, future fleet admiral Chester W. Nimitz established the first Naval ROTC unit at Berkeley.

    In the 1930s, Ernest Lawrence helped establish the Radiation Laboratory (now DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US)) and invented the cyclotron, which won him the Nobel physics prize in 1939. Using the cyclotron, Berkeley professors and Berkeley Lab researchers went on to discover 16 chemical elements—more than any other university in the world. In particular, during World War II and following Glenn Seaborg’s then-secret discovery of plutonium, Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory began to contract with the U.S. Army to develop the atomic bomb. Physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was named scientific head of the Manhattan Project in 1942. Along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley founded and was then a partner in managing two other labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1943) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1952).

    By 1942, the American Council on Education ranked Berkeley second only to Harvard University (US) in the number of distinguished departments.

    In 1952, the University of California reorganized itself into a system of semi-autonomous campuses, with each campus given its own chancellor, and Clark Kerr became Berkeley’s first Chancellor, while Sproul remained in place as the President of the University of California.

    Berkeley gained a worldwide reputation for political activism in the 1960s. In 1964, the Free Speech Movement organized student resistance to the university’s restrictions on political activities on campus—most conspicuously, student activities related to the Civil Rights Movement. The arrest in Sproul Plaza of Jack Weinberg, a recent Berkeley alumnus and chair of Campus CORE, in October 1964, prompted a series of student-led acts of formal remonstrance and civil disobedience that ultimately gave rise to the Free Speech Movement, which movement would prevail and serve as precedent for student opposition to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

    In 1982, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) was established on campus with support from the National Science Foundation and at the request of three Berkeley mathematicians — Shiing-Shen Chern, Calvin Moore and Isadore M. Singer. The institute is now widely regarded as a leading center for collaborative mathematical research, drawing thousands of visiting researchers from around the world each year.

    21st century

    In the current century, Berkeley has become less politically active and more focused on entrepreneurship and fundraising, especially for STEM disciplines.

    Modern Berkeley students are less politically radical, with a greater percentage of moderates and conservatives than in the 1960s and 70s. Democrats outnumber Republicans on the faculty by a ratio of 9:1. On the whole, Democrats outnumber Republicans on American university campuses by a ratio of 10:1.

    In 2007, the Energy Biosciences Institute was established with funding from BP and Stanley Hall, a research facility and headquarters for the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, opened. The next few years saw the dedication of the Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, funded by a lead gift from billionaire Li Ka-shing; the opening of Sutardja Dai Hall, home of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; and the unveiling of Blum Hall, housing the Blum Center for Developing Economies. Supported by a grant from alumnus James Simons, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing was established in 2012. In 2014, Berkeley and its sister campus, Univerity of California-San Fransisco (US), established the Innovative Genomics Institute, and, in 2020, an anonymous donor pledged $252 million to help fund a new center for computing and data science.

    Since 2000, Berkeley alumni and faculty have received 40 Nobel Prizes, behind only Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) among US universities; five Turing Awards, behind only MIT and Stanford; and five Fields Medals, second only to Princeton University (US). According to PitchBook, Berkeley ranks second, just behind Stanford University, in producing VC-backed entrepreneurs.

    UC Berkeley Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 11:08 am on April 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "$44 Million NIH Grant to See if Dementia Can Be Prevented", A feasibility stage of the study with over 1000 participants has been completed and the new grant-to be overseen by the National Institute on Aging-will be deployed to bring the study to scale with a , , Medicine,   

    From University of South Florida : “$44 Million NIH Grant to See if Dementia Can Be Prevented” 

    From University of South Florida

    April 06, 2021

    Researchers at the University South Florida in Tampa have received a $44.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)(US) for the Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training (PACT) Study.This new grant furthers prior research [PubMed], published as findings of the ACTIVE Study in 2017, that showed a small amount of cognitive training significantly reduced the risk and incidence of dementia among older adults. The computerized brain training used in the prior study and the new study is found exclusively in the BrainHQ app, made by Posit Science, and is based on the science of brain plasticity – how the brain rewires itself through learning.

    The PACT Study is a very large randomized controlled trial, which plans to enroll 7,600 adults, aged 65 and older, to test the effectiveness of BrainHQ computerized brain exercises in reducing the incidence of medical diagnoses of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia.

    A feasibility stage of the study with over 1,000 participants has been completed and the new grant-to be overseen by the National Institute on Aging-will be deployed to bring the study to scale with a completion target date in 2027.

    PACT participants will be randomized into two training groups. Each group will be asked to complete a total of 25 hours over the course of up to five months, and then an additional 10 hours after one year and two years.

    “This study addresses the central question that most people have about brain training – does training your brain reduce your chances of dementia?” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science, the maker of BrainHQ.

    The ACTIVE study provided the possible beginnings of an answer in 2017. Those results grabbed headlines worldwide, since it was the first large randomized controlled trial to show an intervention (of any kind) could be effective in reducing dementia risk and incidence. Researchers reported an up to 48 percent reduction in dementia incidence among people who asked to complete up to 18 hours of training and an overall 29 percent reduction in dementia risk.

    A 2020 study in Australia also found a statistically and clinically significant reduction in Alzheimer’s risk from an intervention that combined advice on Alzheimer’s risk reduction with using BrainHQ over an eight-week period, a meeting with a dietician to set up a diet plan, and a meeting with a physiologist to set up a physical exercise plan, when compared to a control group just getting advice on lifestyle risk redaction, brain exercise, diet, and physical exercise.

    Some eighteen studies have been published on the impact of using BrainHQ among people with MCI or similar pre-dementia conditions, who are typically considered at elevated risk for Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Results from those studies have included improved performance on standard measures of cognitive abilities, better performance on standard measures of mood, better performance at tasks necessary to maintain independent living, better connectivity in key cortical networks, and improvement in the autonomic nervous system (as measured by heart rate variability).

    “It’s gratifying to see the NIH going the distance – building on the established science of brain training to answer the crucial question of dementia prevention,” Dr. Mahncke observed. “Billions have been spent in the thus far unsuccessful search for drugs to prevent MCI and dementia, and so it’s great to see a serious commitment to evaluating the plasticity-based training that has delivered so many promising results in recent studies. It’s impressive that USF is leading this study – they have a strong history of performing large-scale clinical trials required to advance basic science into clinical practice.”

    More than 100 published studies of the exercises in BrainHQ have shown benefits, including gains in standard measures of cognition (attention, speed, memory, executive function), in standard measures of quality of life (mood, confidence and control, managing stress, health-related quality of life) and in real world activities (gait, balance, driving, everyday cognition, maintaining independence, healthcare costs). BrainHQ is now offered, without charge, as a benefit by leading national and 5-star Medicare Advantage plans and by hundreds of clinics, libraries, and communities. Consumers can also try BrainHQ for free at http://www.brainhq.com.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Welcome to the University of South Florida, a Preeminent State Research University! Located in the heart of Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida is dedicated to empowering students to maximize their potential for lifelong success.

    USF is situated in the vibrant and diverse Tampa Bay region, with campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. Together these campuses serve more than 50,000 students and offer undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral degrees.

    Across our 14 colleges, undergraduates choose from over 180 majors and concentrations, from business and engineering to the arts and USF Health. We are dedicated to empowering our students to prosper and have been recognized nationally for closing the achievement gap regardless of race, background or socioeconomic status.

    Over the past five years, USF has been the fastest-rising university in the nation, public or private, on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of best universities. USF ranks as the 46th best public university in America.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:02 am on March 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Gene that affects iron metabolism linked to improved performance in athletes U of T study finds", , , Medicine, Researchers studied 100 athletes and found that athletes genetically at risk for iron overload but with iron stores below potentially toxic levels could have a competitive edge.,   

    From University of Toronto (CA): “Gene that affects iron metabolism linked to improved performance in athletes U of T study finds” 

    From University of Toronto(CA)

    March 24, 2021
    Jim Oldfield

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    Researchers studied 100 athletes from a variety of sports and found that athletes genetically at risk for iron overload but with iron stores below potentially toxic levels could have a competitive edge. Credit: South Agency via Getty Images)

    A genetic variation that regulates iron metabolism may enhance athletes’ endurance performance, researchers at the University of Toronto have found.

    The findings could help explain studies that show an association between the genetic variation and elite athletes across many sports, and may help competitive athletes fine-tune their iron intake to boost performance.

    The variation, found in the homeostatic iron regulator (HFE) gene, is a known cause of iron overload – a condition called hemochromatosis in which the body absorbs too much iron leading to organ and joint damage.

    Athletes at risk for hemochromatosis but with iron stores below potentially toxic levels could have a competitive edge. Yet, most athletes are unsure if boosting their intake of iron from supplements or diet is likely to be beneficial or harmful.

    “Increasing iron intake might not be ideal for athletes who already have the elevated risk genotype, but athletes with the low-risk genotypes could potentially benefit from increasing their iron stores,” said Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor of nutritional sciences in U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

    “Genetic testing and supervision by a health-care professional to monitor iron status could be an effective way for athletes to optimize endurance performance.”

    The researchers’ findings were recently published online in Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise and will appear in the journal’s July 2021 print issue. The study is the first to look at the association between HFE genotype and endurance performance in competitive male athletes.

    El-Sohemy and his colleagues studied 100 athletes from a variety of sports, tracking how quickly they cycled 10 kilometers while measuring their aerobic capacity through VO2 peak, a measure of oxygen used during exercise.

    The researchers found that those genetically at risk for iron overload performed eight per cent better than those with a low risk, cycling 1.3 minutes faster on average. They also showed that athletes with higher risk for iron overload had a 17 per cent greater oxygen carrying capacity, which could explain why they cycled faster.

    The higher-risk group was small (11 males), but the findings are consistent with studies on iron in endurance performance, which show that iron facilitates oxygen transport and that athletes with levels on the higher end of normal can circulate oxygen in their muscles more efficiently.

    Athletes with the elevated genetic risk variation may be less likely to feel fatigued and more likely to recover quicker after high-intensity exercise, El-Sohemy said.

    Nanci Guest is a post-doctoral researcher at U of T and sport dietitian who conducted the trial. She said she hopes the study raises awareness about the importance of genetics in optimizing nutritional status among athletes, trainers and their coaches.

    “Despite our vigilance toward addressing low-iron status, these findings suggest that we may need to direct our attention to achieving optimal iron status by aiming toward mid- or higher ends of normal,” Guest said.

    El-Sohemy and his colleagues are now looking at whether iron status is associated with other measures of athletic performance such as power and strength. They plan to examine whether HFE and additional genes could be important, and they hope to broaden the work further to include females and recreational athletes.

    Drishti Thakkar is a graduate student in the Faculty of Information at U of T who analyzed the trial data and compiled the results as part of an undergraduate project in nutritional sciences. “I’m excited to see more athletes consider genetic testing to obtain precise information for more personalized nutrition and training regimens,” said Thakkar. “I think this is definitely part of the future in sports nutrition.”

    The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, Nutrigenomix, the Coca Cola Company and Mitacs. El-Sohemy is the founder and chief science officer of Nutrigenomix and Guest is on the company’s scientific advisory board. Nutrigenomix provides genetic testing for personalized nutrition including the HFE gene and iron metabolism.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Toronto(CA) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the oldest university in the province of Ontario.

    Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

    As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

    University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.

    Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners.

    The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

    Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

    The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first electron microscope in North America; the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1; multi-touch technology, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

    The university was one of several universities involved in early research of deep learning. It receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities (US) outside the United States, the other being McGill(CA).

    The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861.

    The university’s Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual, and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.

    The University of Toronto has educated three Governors General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, three foreign leaders, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court. As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.

    Early history

    The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and founder of York, the colonial capital. As an University of Oxford (UK)-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York.

    On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the college’s first president. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was built on the present site of Queen’s Park.

    Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of the Province of Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866. The Corps was part of the Reserve Militia lead by Professor Henry Croft.

    Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843 medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887 when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888 when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were first admitted to the university in 1884.

    A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed 33,000 volumes from the library but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades a collegiate system took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as Canada’s first academic publishing house. The Faculty of Forestry founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean was Canada’s first university faculty devoted to forest science. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.

    World wars and post-war years

    The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935 followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph (CA) in 1964 and York University (CA) in 1965 respectively. Beginning in the 1980s reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.

    Since 2000

    In 2000 Kin-Yip Chun was reinstated as a professor of the university after he launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the university alleging racial discrimination. In 2017 a human rights application was filed against the University by one of its students for allegedly delaying the investigation of sexual assault and being dismissive of their concerns. In 2018 the university cleared one of its professors of allegations of discrimination and antisemitism in an internal investigation after a complaint was filed by one of its students.

    The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than c. $1 billion in 2007. On September 24, 2020 the university announced a $250 million gift to the Faculty of Medicine from businessman and philanthropist James C. Temerty- the largest single philanthropic donation in Canadian history. This broke the previous record for the school set in 2019 when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman jointly donated $100 million for the creation of a 750,000-square foot innovation and artificial intelligence centre.

    Research

    Since 1926 the University of Toronto has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) a consortium of the leading North American research universities. The university manages by far the largest annual research budget of any university in Canada with sponsored direct-cost expenditures of $878 million in 2010. In 2018 the University of Toronto was named the top research university in Canada by Research Infosource with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $1,147.584 million in 2017. In the same year the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $428,200 while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $63,700. The federal government was the largest source of funding with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About eight percent of research funding came from corporations- mostly in the healthcare industry.

    The first practical electron microscope was built by the physics department in 1938. During World War II the university developed the G-suit- a life-saving garment worn by Allied fighter plane pilots later adopted for use by astronauts.Development of the infrared chemiluminescence technique improved analyses of energy behaviours in chemical reactions. In 1963 the asteroid 2104 Toronto was discovered in the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill and is named after the university. In 1972 studies on Cygnus X-1 led to the publication of the first observational evidence proving the existence of black holes. Toronto astronomers have also discovered the Uranian moons of Caliban and Sycorax; the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda I, II and III; and the supernova SN 1987A. A pioneer in computing technology the university designed and built UTEC- one of the world’s first operational computers- and later purchased Ferut- the second commercial computer after UNIVAC I. Multi-touch technology was developed at Toronto with applications ranging from handheld devices to collaboration walls. The AeroVelo Atlas which won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition in 2013 was developed by the university’s team of students and graduates and was tested in Vaughan.

    The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 is considered among the most significant events in the history of medicine. The stem cell was discovered at the university in 1963 forming the basis for bone marrow transplantation and all subsequent research on adult and embryonic stem cells. This was the first of many findings at Toronto relating to stem cells including the identification of pancreatic and retinal stem cells. The cancer stem cell was first identified in 1997 by Toronto researchers who have since found stem cell associations in leukemia; brain tumors; and colorectal cancer. Medical inventions developed at Toronto include the glycaemic index; the infant cereal Pablum; the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery; and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981 followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988; and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division and discovered the T-cell receptor which triggers responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia; cystic fibrosis; and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972 the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories- now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.

    The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world’s largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. More than 5,000 principal investigators reside within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the university grounds in Toronto’s Discovery District conducting $1 billion of medical research annually. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university’s technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Its SciNet Consortium operates the most powerful supercomputer in Canada.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:18 pm on March 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A tool for more inclusive autism screening", , , Developmental Check-In Tool (DCI), Medicine,   

    From Penn Today: “A tool for more inclusive autism screening” 


    From Penn Today

    March 16, 2021

    Screening tools for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often fail to identify ASD among children from low-income families and racial/ethnic minority groups, particularly when English is not the family’s primary language. A new visually-based tool may reduce these disparities at a pivotal point in children’s development.

    In Pediatrics, Zuleyha Cidav, David Mandell, and colleagues found that the Developmental Check-In Tool (DCI) can accurately identify ASD risk among young children from families that have low income or speak English as a second language.

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    Most of the sample was Hispanic, enrolled in Medicaid or uninsured, and from families where English was not the primary language. The DCI is written in both English and Spanish, and it includes 26 pictures in four domains: communication, play, social, and behavior. Each picture includes a brief description.

    Consistent with an earlier study [NIH], the DCI showed a good ability to distinguish between children with ASD and children without ASD, performing well across all age groups, genders, levels of maternal education, primary language, and racial/ethnic groups included in the study.

    The DCI can improve ASD identification among children from families with low literacy or limited English proficiency. Even though ASD can be diagnosed in children as young as 18 months, on average, children in the U.S. receive an ASD diagnosis at age four. Earlier recognition of ASD is critical for early intervention and improved functional outcomes. While the disparity in ASD diagnoses between Black and white children has improved over time, Hispanic children continue to be diagnosed at a lower rate. The DCI could lead to earlier and more accurate ASD diagnoses for this group.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at Penn is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania(US) is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences(US); 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University(US) and Columbia(US) Universities. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University(US), William & Mary(US), Yale Unversity(US), and The College of New Jersey(US)—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health(US).

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University(US) and Cornell University(US) (Harvard University(US) did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University(US)) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:11 am on March 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Cells as computers", , , , In mathematics and electronics such a function is called an OR gate., Medicine, Scientists at ETH Zürich are working to develop information-​processing switching systems in biological cells., This cellular information processing is expected to be used primarily in medical diagnostics and treatment., To realise the OR gate the ETH researchers used transcription-the cellular process in which a gene’s information is read and stored in the form of a messenger RNA molecule.   

    From ETH Zürich[Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH): “Cells as computers” 

    From ETH Zürich[Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH)

    09.03.2021
    Fabio Bergamin

    Scientists at ETH Zürich are working to develop information-​processing switching systems in biological cells. Now, for the first time, they have developed an OR switch in human cells that reacts to different signals.

    1
    In their research, ETH Zürich scientists bring mathematical and electronic information processing approaches into biological systems. Credit: Colourbox / Montage: Gidon Wessner.

    Biological cells might one day be equipped with artificial genetic programs that work in much the same way as electronic systems. Such reprogrammed cells could perform medical tasks in our bodies, such as diagnosing diseases or providing treatment. One potential application would be altered immune cells that combat tumour cells. Since tumour cells have different genetic characteristics, the following biochemical program, for example, would have to run in the therapeutic cells: “Destroy a cell if it is type X or Y or Z”.

    In mathematics and electronics such a function is called an OR gate. “These are needed in decision-​making processes whenever multiple different things lead to the same outcome, when you have to deal with alternative inputs at the same time”, explains Jiten Doshi, a doctoral student in ETH Professor Yaakov Benenson’s group in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zürich in Basel. In collaboration with colleagues, Doshi and Benenson have for the first time developed an OR gate – a molecular switching element that emits a biochemical output signal when it measures one of two or more biochemical input signals – in human cells.

    Previous OR gates implemented in biological cells were quite simple, as Benenson explains. When, for example, a cell was supposed to secrete a substance in response to signal X or signal Y, scientists combined two systems: one that secreted the substance in response to signal X and another that released the substance in response to signal Y. The ETH scientists’ new OR gate, in contrast, is a true OR gate – one comprising a single system. As with all biological systems, its design takes the form of a DNA sequence. In the case of the new gate, this sequence is significantly shorter because it is one system rather than two separate ones.

    Inspired by nature

    To realise the OR gate the ETH researchers used transcription-the cellular process in which a gene’s information is read and stored in the form of a messenger RNA molecule. This process is initiated by a class of molecules known as transcription factors, which bind in a specific manner to an “activation sequence” (promoter) of a gene. There are also genes with several such activation sequences. One example of this is a gene called CIITA, which has four such sequences in humans.

    The ETH researchers turned to this gene for inspiration and developed synthetic constructs with a gene that is responsible for the production of a fluorescent dye and that has three activation sequences. Up to two transcription factors, and one or more small RNA molecules specifically bind to and control each of these sequences. The gene construct produces the dye when transcription is initiated via at least one of the three activation sequences – i.e., via sequence 1 or sequence 2 or sequence 3. The researchers filed a patent application for this new system.

    Closing a loop

    As Benenson stresses, this research closes a loop. From a historical standpoint, information processing has developed in living creatures over the course of evolution: humans and animals are very good at taking in sensory input with their brains, processing it and responding accordingly. Only in the 19th century did the development of switchable electronic components began: first with the relay; later with vacuum tubes; and finally with transistors, which enabled the construction of modern computers.

    In their research, the ETH bioengineers try to bring these mathematical and electronic information processing approaches back into biological systems. “For one thing, this helps us to better understand biology, such as how biochemical decision-​making processes take place in cells. For another, we can use these approaches to develop new biological functions,” Benenson says. The researchers benefit from the fact that biological cells offer ideal conditions for this.

    More complex forms of diagnostics and treatment

    This cellular information processing is expected to be used primarily in medical diagnostics and treatment. “Today’s medical treatments are usually rather simple: we often treat diseases with just a single drug, regardless of how complex the biology and the causes of diseases may be,” Benenson says. This stands in contrast to how an organism deals with external changes. The body’s stress reactions, for example, can be very complex.

    “Our biomolecular information processing approach holds out the promise of using artificial genetic networks that can identify and process different signals to one day develop complex cellular diagnostics systems and potentially more effective forms of treatment,” Benenson says. Such forms of treatment would also identify when a normal state has been reached following successful treatment. For example, an ideal cancer treatment fights tumour cells as long as they are present in the body, but does not fight healthy tissue, because doing so would cause damage.

    Science paper:
    Multiple Alternative Promoters and Alternative Splicing Enable Universal Transcription-Based Logic Computation in Mammalian Cells
    CELL

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus
    ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution EPFL[École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), it is part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain), part of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische Schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas the University of Zürich is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form the “ETH Domain” with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US) and University of Cambridge(UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education WorldUniversity Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US), California Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and

     
  • richardmitnick 1:57 pm on March 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Chemists boost boron’s utility", , Benzoxaboralone may offer medicinal chemists a useful tool that they can explore in many different types of drugs that bind to proteins or sugar molecules, , Medicine, , MIT chemists have now designed a boron-containing chemical group that is 10000 times more stable than its predecessors., Only five FDA-approved drugs contain boron largely because molecules that contain boron are unstable in the presence of molecular oxygen., The researchers decided to use a chemical group called a carboxylate to further anchor boron within a molecule.   

    From MIT: “Chemists boost boron’s utility” 

    MIT News


    From MIT News

    March 2, 2021
    Anne Trafton

    1
    MIT chemists have created a new boron-containing chemical group that is 10,000 times more stable than boron on its own.
    Credits: MIT News.

    Boron, a metalloid element that sits next to carbon in the periodic table, has many traits that make it potentially useful as a drug component. Nonetheless, only five FDA-approved drugs contain boron largely because molecules that contain boron are unstable in the presence of molecular oxygen.

    MIT chemists have now designed a boron-containing chemical group that is 10,000 times more stable than its predecessors. This could make it possible to incorporate boron into drugs and potentially improve the drugs’ ability to bind their targets, the researchers say.

    “It’s an entity that medicinal chemists can add to compounds they’re interested in, to provide desirable attributes that no other molecule will have,” says Ron Raines, the Firmenich Professor of Chemistry at MIT and the senior author of the new study.

    To demonstrate the potential of this approach, Raines and his colleagues showed that they could improve the protein-binding strength of a drug that is used to treat diseases caused by the misfolding of a protein called transthyretin.

    MIT graduate student Brian Graham and former graduate student Ian Windsor are the lead author of the study, which appears this week in the PNAS. Former MIT postdoc Brian Gold is also an author of the paper.

    Hungry for electrons

    Boron is most commonly found in the Earth’s crust in the form of minerals such as borax. It contains one fewer electron than carbon and is hungry for additional electrons. When boron is incorporated into a potential drug compound, that hunger for electrons often leads it to interact with an oxygen molecule (O2) or another reactive form of oxygen, which can destroy the compound.

    The boron-containing drug bortezomib, which prevents cells from being able to break down used proteins, is an effective cancer chemotherapy agent. However, the drug is unstable and is destroyed readily by oxygen.

    Previous research has shown that the stability of boron-containing compounds can be increased by appending benzene- a six-carbon ring. In 2018, Raines and his colleagues used this approach to create a modified version of a drug called darunavir, a protease inhibitor used to treat HIV/AIDS. They found that this molecule bound to HIV protease much more tightly than the original version of darunavir. However, later studies revealed that the molecule still did not survive for long under physiological conditions.

    In the new paper, the researchers decided to use a chemical group called a carboxylate to further anchor boron within a molecule. An oxygen atom in the carboxylate forms a strong covalent bond — a type of bond that involves sharing pairs of electrons between atoms — with boron.

    “That covalent bond pacifies the boron,” Raines says. “The boron can no longer react with an oxygen molecule in the way that boron in other contexts can, and it still retains its desirable properties.”

    One of those desirable properties is the ability to form reversible covalent bonds with the target of the drug. This reversibility could prevent drugs from permanently locking onto incorrect targets, Raines says. Another useful feature is that the boron-containing group — also known as benzoxaboralone — forms many weaker bonds called hydrogen bonds with other molecules, which helps to ensure a tight fit once the right target is located.

    Greater stability

    Once they showed that benzoxaboralone was significantly more stable than boron in other contexts, the researchers used it to create a molecule that can bind to transthyretin. This protein, which carries hormones through the bloodstream, can cause amyloid diseases when it misfolds and clumps. Drugs that bind to transthyretin can stabilize it and prevent it from clumping. The research team showed that adding benzoxaboralone to an existing drug helped it to bind strongly with transthyretin.

    Benzoxaboralone may offer medicinal chemists a useful tool that they can explore in many different types of drugs that bind to proteins or sugar molecules, Raines says. His lab is now working on a new version of darunavir that incorporates benzoxaboralone. They recently developed a way to synthesize this compound and are now in the process of measuring how strongly it binds to HIV protease.

    “We are working hard on this because we think that this scaffold will provide much greater stability and utility than any other presentation of boron in a biological context,” Raines says.

    MIT has filed for a patent on the use of benzoxaboralone in medicinal chemistry and other areas. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the Bates Center, and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad and Whitehead Institutes.

    MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with MIT. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. MIT is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia, wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after MIT was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    MIT was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, MIT faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the MIT administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.
    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, MIT catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at MIT that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    MIT’s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at MIT’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, MIT became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected MIT profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of MIT between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, MIT no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and MIT’s defense research. In this period MIT’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. MIT ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six MIT students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at MIT over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, MIT’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    MIT has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 MIT classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    MIT was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, MIT launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, MIT announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the MIT faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    MIT has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the MIT community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, MIT announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the MIT community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, MIT, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation.

    MIT/Caltech Advanced aLigo .

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and MIT physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an MIT graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

     
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