22 May 2020
I've been reading quite a bit about the scientific developments behind tacking COVID-19 and there is so much information out there, but news about this drug stood out to me...When the body's immune response over reacts, as it does with some COVID-19 patients, a lot of damage can be done. Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Bert Vogelstein and his team at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will start clinical trials shortly, with a drug that may ease this hyperinflammatory response before it starts.As symptoms would be managed before they become severe, this could reduce the need for ICU admission or ventilator use. Of course, a vaccine would prevent someone from getting the illness in the first place, but a drug such as this one could be extremely useful before a vaccine is available.For a bit of the science, when macrophages, and other immune cells, detect a virus particle, they send out cytokines (as per the tiny purple specks in the image above). Cytokines help by bringing other immune cells to the scene – and this is what ultimately helps the body fight off a virus. However, macrophages can also release catecholamines, which amplifies the response, so even more cytokines are released. Once this starts, the whole process snowballs - and there seems to be an inability to properly switch it off. The drug being tested is an alpha blocker, that may limit cytokine release.Like many scientists, HHMI scientists are joining many of their colleagues worldwide in working to combat the new coronavirus. Stories of some of this work will feature on their site, so I'm looking forward to reading more.
The story featured in this post may be found here.
20 August 2019
Hello the MLE,
Reporting back from the AI: More Than Human exhibition at the Barbican.
Overall, it’s okay. It can be summed up as a barrage of examples of various AI-related objects and experiences. The only context provided is a crash course history of AI - which only added to the feeling of superficiality. With so many examples, there is little room for depth.
The exhibition would have benefited by focusing on the only the past 20 years, which is already more than enough. This would allow for a deeper look, a linking between pieces, an insight into what is proving to become a reality and why this is significant, and so on. This would have made the exhibitions much more interesting and meaningful.
Of course, I was personally interested in examples of how AI may help save us from environmental destruction, as well as the ethical considerations.
On the positive end: Neri Oxman and Mediated Matter Group’s Synthetic Apiary creates the conditions for an eternal spring for bees; and the Personal Food Computer developed at MIT is a “slow robot” that proposes an alternative to environmentally ruinous agriculture.
On the negative end:
An open letter to pre-emptively ban lethal autonomous weapons. An Amnesty International website showing how the US-led coalition’s air strikes on Raqqa in Syria in the war against Islamic State — many of them carried out by AI drones — led to hundreds of civilian deaths.
On the creepy end:
A video exploring the use of AI in China’s social credit system, set to roll out in 2020. This is depicted in a cute, colourful and fun animation focusing on all the positives, which is not at all appropriate for such a controversial topic.
And finally, I found it quite funny that there were a number of displays that were suffering technological malfunctions…. But at least the robot bartender was working! The future is bright!
18 May 2018
I know you have already seen this, but I am posting for the benefit of our science clients. I'm sure they will appreciate, as we have already had a right laugh about this many times...
Have a nice weekend!
14 October 2016Hi MLE,Today in London, a project as ambitious in scope as the Human Genome Project was announced: the Human Cell Atlas.This would describe every cell in the human body (approx 35 trillion of them) in a vast atlas that could transform researchers' understanding of human development and disease. If successful, it could impact almost every aspect of biology and medicine in the decades to come.This will be a global effort, that will likely take over a decade to complete, convened buy Wellcome and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.“The Human Cell Atlas is the most exciting initiative to come out of the life science community in a long time. In sickness and in health, cells are the fundamental units of life, and only by knowing our cells will we be able to fully comprehend the mechanisms of human disease.”- Prof Sten Linnarsson, Professor of Molecular Systems Biology from the Karolinska InstituteMOTHandRUST was honoured to be involved in the branding and site:Suzan
10 January 2014[cvg-video videoId='1' width='457' height='257' mode='playlist' /]
As you know, a piece of art we created for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge Massachusetts was officially presented last month - here is a preview. Will post more work soon that we did for this exciting event. A total joy to collaborate with this institute that is making such an impact.