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Berkeley’s Innovative Genomics Institute is rolling out a spit test for COVID-19 testing

Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, have begun trials of a new spit test for COVID-19 infections developed by the university’s Innovative Genomics Institute. Since the disease was first identified on U.S. shores, the Berkeley research institute led by the trailblazing CRISPR researcher Jennifer Doudna has worked tirelessly to bring innovative methods to diagnose and process viral samples and develop potential treatments for the disease to production. The new saliva-based samp...
Tags: Health, TC, San Francisco, Tech, University, Food And Drug Administration, University Of California Berkeley, Biotech, Berkeley, UC Berkeley, University Of California, Crispr, Jennifer Doudna, IGI, Doudna, Innovative Genomics Institute


Pioneering CRISPR researcher Jennifer Doudna is coming to Disrupt

Jennifer Doudna, a woman whose work has triggered the explosion in innovation in the field of synthetic biology and has given researchers around the world a way to program and reprogram the living world, will be speaking at Disrupt in September. From her positions as the Chancellor’s Chair Professor in the University of California, Berkeley’s Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology Departments and a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes and professor at the University of California...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Tech, Hawaii, Watson, Biotech, Crispr, Sequoia, Impossible Foods, Roelof Botha, Editas Medicine, Jennifer Doudna, Gladstone Institutes, James Watson, Mike Cannon Brookes


Google confirms US offices will remain closed until at least September, as COVID-19 spikes

A few months back, Google announced plans to reopen some U.S. offices after the July 4th holiday. But the best-laid plans, and all of that. Things have obviously not been going great in terms of the United States’ battle with COVID-19, and Google once again finds itself proceeding on the side of caution. As was first reported by Bloomberg, Google has since confirmed with TechCrunch that it will be pushing back reopening at least until September 7, after the Labor Day holiday in the States. A...
Tags: Health, Google, Texas, US, Tech, United States, Hiring, Bloomberg Google, Facebook Google, Arizona Florida, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID, States Along


Minneapolis-based VC shop Bread & Butter focuses on its own backyard

While many investors say sheltering in place has broadened their appetite for funding companies located outside major hubs, one firm is doubling down on backing startups in America’s heartland. Launched in 2016 by Brett Bohl, The Syndicate Fund rebranded to Bread & Butter Ventures earlier this month (a reference to one of Minnesota’s many nicknames). Along with the rebrand, longtime Google executive and Revolution partner Mary Grove joined the team as a general partner and Stephanie Rich came ab...
Tags: Health, Google, Food, Startups, TC, Enterprise, Minnesota, Minneapolis, America, Tech, Venture Capital, Revolution, Agtech, Mary Grove, Market Analysis, Bohl


Daily Crunch: Lululemon is acquiring Mirror

Lululemon is paying $500 million to acquire a home fitness startup, India bans TikTok and Amazon Prime Video is the latest streaming service to add a co-viewing experience. Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 30, 2020. 1. Lululemon set to acquire home fitness startup Mirror for $500M The deal comes at a time when home workout solutions are in high demand thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when gyms begin to reopen in different locales, many will likely be wary of returning to a potentially...
Tags: Health, Amazon, Fundings & Exits, Facebook, Hbo, Hardware, Boston, India, Tech, New York Times, Mirror, Hulu, Latin America, Amazon Prime Video, Lululemon, Prime Amazon


How $20 billion health care behemoth Blue Shield of California sees startups

In the two years since Jeff Semenchuk took the reins in the newly created position of chief innovation officer for Blue Shield of California, the nonprofit health insurer with $20 billion in revenues has stepped up its investments in startup companies. As one of California’s largest insurance providers with more than four million members, Blue Shield plays an outsized role in technology adoption among physicians, hospital networks and patients. With that in mind, and with the acceleration of ent...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, California, America, Tech, Fundraising, Healthcare, Venture Capital, Health Insurance, Blue Shield, Healthtech, Yaro, Blue Shield of California, Extra Crunch, Semenchuk


Excessive hand-washing. Tech addiction. Behaviors once considered extreme are now crucial to protect us amid a dangerous pandemic

One of the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder is contamination fears and excessive hand-washing. Now, these same behaviors are accepted and even encouraged to keep everyone healthy as the global coronavirus pandemic wears on.
Tags: Health, Tech


Apple temporarily re-closes 14 more Florida stores as COVID-19 numbers surge

After closing stores across four states, this was no doubt a bit of an inevitable: Following reporting earlier today, Apple has confirmed that it will be shutting down an additional 14 stores in Florida, joining the two it closed last week. The company sent a statement to TechCrunch that is essentially identical to the one it gave us last week, reading, “Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step...
Tags: Apple, Health, Ecommerce, Florida, Tech, Arizona, North, South Carolina, Coronavirus, COVID-19


NASA’s JPL open-sources an anti-face-touching wearable to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

There are some wearables out there in the world that are making claims around COVID-19 and their ability to detect it, prevent it, certify that you don’t have it and more. But a new wearable device from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory might actually be able to do the most to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — and it’s not really all that technically advanced or complicated. JPL’s PULSE wearable uses 3D-printed parts and readily available, affordable electronic components to do just one thing: ...
Tags: Health, Amazon, TC, Wearables, Tech, Nasa, Virus, Aerospace, Jpl, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID


Mophie is selling an $80 wireless-charging UV phone sanitizer

The best possible time to launch a UV phone sanitizer would have been about five months ago. The second best possible time, however, is right now. When the COVID-19 pandemic really started hitting the global community in earnest, there was a run on these once fairly niche products from companies with names like PhoneSoap. In fact, available models started selling out all over the place, when many people began to recognize for the first time just how much of a disease vector the smartphone co...
Tags: Health, Hardware, Tech, Mophie, Invisibleshield


Demand for fertility services persists despite COVID-19 shutdowns

In 2019, the global fertility services industry was estimated to be worth $14.8 billion with demand driven by the significant growth in the median age of first-time mothers, according to a Research & Markets report. Gina Bartasi, founder and CEO of NYC-based fertility center Kindbody, has pointed to macroeconomic trends responsible for the industry’s consistent growth, such as the increase in single mothers by choice and the fact that “heterosexual couples are waiting to have children and ...
Tags: Health, Startups, New York City, Tech, New Orleans, Biotech, Black, University Of Wisconsin, University of Louisville, Market Analysis, Femtech, Research Markets, Extra Crunch, Kindbody, Gina Bartasi, COVID-19


9 top VCs discuss the future of New York startups

New York City was an initial U.S. hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world — so you might think startups would be anxious to leave. However, when we surveyed a number of New York-based venture capitalists, they seemed bullish about the city’s future as a startup and technology hub. As AF Ventures’ David Levinson put it, “New York simply has too much to offer, from its richly diverse population, cultural significance and vast collection of ind...
Tags: Health, Security, Space, New York, New York City, Tech, Venture Capital, Ny, Firstmark, Eniac Ventures, Matt Turck, Peloton, Lerer Hippeau, Klara, David Levinson, Eric Hippeau


After reopening, Apple is closing stores in four states as COVID-19 numbers climb

Apple today confirmed earlier rumors that it plans to shut down re-opened stores in four states.   Impacted locations include six stores in Arizona, two in Florida, another two in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. “Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon a...
Tags: Apple, Health, Florida, Texas, Hardware, Tech, Arizona, North Carolina, Apple Store, South Carolina, Deirdre O'Brien, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Arizona Florida Oklahoma Nevada Oregon


UK gives up on centralized coronavirus contacts tracing app — will “likely” switch to model backed by Apple and Google

The UK has given up building a centralized coronavirus contacts tracing app and will instead switch to a decentralized app architecture, the BBC has reported. This suggests its any future app will be capable of plugging into the joint ‘exposure notification’ API which has been developed in recent weeks by Apple and Google. The UK’s decision to abandon a bespoke app architecture comes more than a month after ministers had been reported to be eyeing such a switch. They went on to award a contr...
Tags: Apple, Health, Google, Mobile, Apps, Europe, UK, England, Bluetooth, Privacy, Germany, Tech, Eu, European Union, Smartphone, Smartphones


Microsoft employs experimental undersea data center in search for COVID-19 vaccine

Part of the challenge in seeking out an effective treatment for COVID-19 is simply one of scale – protein folding is key to understanding how the virus that causes COVID-19 attaches to health cells in order to infect them. Modeling said folding gets a big boost from distributed computing efforts like the [email protected] global program, which employs even consumer computers as processing nodes to tackle big problems. Microsoft is testing pre-packed, shipping container-sized data centres that c...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Microsoft, Scotland, Cloud Storage, Tech, Software, Computing, Data Center, Computer Virus, Biotech, Data Management, Natick, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Playbook, a creator platform focused on fitness, raises $3 million in seed

Playbook, aiming to be the Patreon of fitness content, announced the close of a $3 million seed round from several notable angels today. The investor roster includes Giphy founder Alex Chung, StyleSeat founder Melody McCloskey, EventBrite cofounder Renaud Visage, Seventh Generation founder John Replogle, former head of growth at Uber Ed Baker, former head of product at Uber Daniel Graf, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, Bird head of growth Brendan O’Driscoll and Uphonest Capital. In the wake of ...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Apps, Entertainment, Collaborative Consumption, Tech, Playbook, Ryan Reynolds, Melody Mccloskey, Gal Gadot, Brendan O Driscoll, Peloton, Renaud, Etsy Seller Handbook, John Replogle


Drone-deployed sterile mosquitoes could check spread of insect-borne illnesses

Drone deployment of sterile mosquitoes could accelerate efforts to control their populations and reduce insect-borne disease, according to a proof of concept experiment by an multi-institutional research team. The improved technique could save thousands of lives. Mosquitoes are a public health hazard around the world, spreading infections like malaria to millions and causing countless deaths and health crises. Although traps and netting offer some protection, the proactive approach of reducing t...
Tags: Health, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Drones, Uavs, Aerospace, Mosquitoes


EU states agree a tech spec for national coronavirus apps to work across borders

European Union countries and the Commission have agreed on a technical framework to enable regional coronavirus contacts tracing apps to work across national borders. A number of European countries have launched contacts tracing apps at this point, with the aim of leveraging smartphone technologies in the fight against COVID-19, but none of these apps can yet work across national borders. Last month, EU Member States agreed to a set of interoperability guidelines for tracing apps. Now they’ve...
Tags: Apple, Health, Google, Apps, Europe, UK, Privacy, France, Germany, Tech, Eu, Spain, European Union, Public Health, United Kingdom, Italy


Color’s COVID-19 testing shows most who test positive had either mild or no symptoms

Echoing much of the existing data and research on the subject, SF-based Color released data today showing that based on its own testing program, most individuals who test positive for COVID-19 display either mild or no symptoms, including even running a fever. The results, taken from Color’s own testing of over 30,000 people to date across its California testing stations, shows that despite continuing efforts underway across the U.S. to reopen local and state economies, widespread testing is ...
Tags: Health, TC, Medicine, California, Color, San Francisco, Tech, Fever, United States, World Health Organization, Cough, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID


FDA revokes emergency authorization for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked an emergency use authorization (EUA) that it previously issued for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, two anti-malarial drugs also used in the treatment of chronic rheumatoid arthritis (via Washington Post). These are the drugs that Trump famously touted as effective in COVID-19 treatment, despite major concerns raised with the scientific validity of early medical investigations that showed they were potentially effective agains the inf...
Tags: Health, TC, Medicine, Washington-post, Tech, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, Infection, Trump, U S Food and Drug Administration FDA, EUA, Hydroxychloroquine, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Chloroquine


Norway pulls its coronavirus contacts tracing app after privacy watchdog’s warning

One of the first national coronavirus contacts tracing apps to be launched in Europe is being suspended in Norway after the country’s data protection authority raised concerns that the software, called ‘Smittestopp’, poses a disproportionate threat to user privacy — including by continuously uploading people’s location. Following a warning from the watchdog Friday, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) said today it will stop uploading data from tomorrow — ahead of a June 23 deadline wh...
Tags: Health, Google, TC, Apps, Europe, Bluetooth, Privacy, Law, Germany, Tech, Eu, Italy, Gps, Norway, Api, Google Translate


Computex 2020 is officially canceled

In March, the Computex organizers delayed the trade show from June to late-September. At the time, the realities of COVID-19 were sinking in for many in the international community, while the tradeshow’s home of Taipei was dealing with a new flareup of the novel coronavirus. At the time, late-September also felt like a fairly safe bet for some return to normality. Three months later, however, the timeline now feels overly optimistic. Today, the show’s organizers announced that Computex 2020 w...
Tags: Health, Hardware, China, Berlin, Events, Tech, Barcelona, Taiwan, Taipei, Computex, Ifa, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Cue Health’s portable, fast COVID-19 test gains FDA emergency approval

Fresh off a $100 million Series C funding round, molecular diagnostics startup Cue Health has more good news – it has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its rapid, point-of-care COVID-19 test. The company got a $13 million grant from BARDA in March to help it scale its development and deployment of rapid diagnostics, and its COVID-19 test is obviously a key focus of that effort given the current global pandemic. Cue’s test is portable, and uses an RNA detection method to confirm t...
Tags: Health, TC, Biology, Medicine, Tech, Smartphone, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, Biotech, Influenza, BARDA, EUA, COVID, Cue Health


Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5 sports bigger display and new wireless charging system — and starts at $27

One of the world’s best selling wearable lineups just added a new gadget to the mix. Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi today unveiled the Mi Smart Band 5 that delivers several improvements and adds features such as a bigger screen, new wireless charging system, and women’s health mode over the company’s one-year-old Mi Smart Band 4 — while retaining its dirt-cheap price point. The Mi Smart Band 5 features a 1.1-inch AMOLED display that is 20% larger than the one its immediate predecessor sport...
Tags: Health, Android, Asia, Hardware, China, Tech, Xiaomi, Conan, Idc, Spongebob Squarepants, Fitbit Apple, Samsung Huawei, Smart Band, Mi Smart Band


United adds touchless check-in kiosks to airports across the US

As Americans are ramping up to start traveling amid a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, United has announced the addition of 219 touchless check-in kiosks across the U.S. The new check-in option was one of a number of initiatives announced as part of the carrier’s CleanPlus strategy of addressing travel during the pandemic. When travelers scan their phone or a printed pass, the device will automatically print out luggage tags and boarding passes. The first systems rolled out in Orlando, Bos...
Tags: Health, Transportation, US, Tech, Chicago, Tsa, United, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Orlando Boston Dallas Fort Worth


United adds touchless check-in kiosks to airports across the U.S.

As Americans are ramping up to start traveling, amid a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, United has announce the addition of 219 touchless check-in kiosks across the U.S. The new check-in option was one of a number of initiatives announced as part of the carrier’s CleanPlus strategy of addressing travel during the pandemic. When travelers scan their phone or a printed pass, the device will automatically print out luggage tags and boarding passes. The first systems rolled out in Orlando, Bos...
Tags: Health, Transportation, Tech, Chicago, Tsa, United, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Orlando Boston Dallas Fort Worth


Moderna set to start final-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine by July

Pharmaceutical company Moderna told Bloomberg on Thursday that it’s on pace to begin the final-stage clinical trial of its vaccine for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 by July. Moderna was the first company to begin human clinical trials of its vaccine candidate in the U.S., and the last stage of its study will include 30,000 people and be conducted in partnership with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The aim of the study will be to show definitiv...
Tags: Health, TC, Medicine, Drugs, Tech, Bloomberg, United States, Astrazeneca, University of Oxford, Vaccines, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID, July Moderna


Cue Health raises $100 million to speed development of rapid, portable COVID-19 diagnostics

San Diego-based startup Cue Health has closed a $100 million Series C funding round, including participation from Decheng Capital, Foresite Capital, Madrone Capital Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, ACME Capital and others. The funding will be used to help Cue finish up development, validate and scale production of its Cue Health Monitoring System and test cartridges, including test kits designed to diagnose COVID-19, which are currently being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrat...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Funding, Tech, San Diego, Flu, U S Food and Drug Administration FDA, EUA, Johnson & Johnson, Foresite Capital, Madrone Capital Partners, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Cue Health, Ayub Khattak


Tech giants must open up about the coronavirus ‘infodemic’, say EU lawmakers

Platforms still aren’t doing enough to tackle disinformation related to the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission said today. In a Communication it is pressing tech platforms to produce monthly reports about their efforts in this area, asking for more detailed data on actions being taken to promote authoritative content; improve users’ awareness; and limit coronavirus disinformation and advertising related to it. It also wants to see increased cooperation from platforms towards re...
Tags: Health, Google, Social, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Europe, China, Russia, US, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, United States, Commission


Transparent face mask startup inhales $1M seed round

A Swiss startup called HMCARE, spun out of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, has raised a million Swiss Francs (equivalent to about $105 million) to commercialize its transparent and relatively eco-friendly surgical masks. The founders were inspired by healthcare workers in the 2015 Ebola outbreak and at children’s hospitals around the world working closely with patients but unable to show their faces. Likewise parents and relatives of immunocompromised people who must make a human...
Tags: Health, Startups, Science, Tech, Lausanne, EPFL, Empa, Face Masks, Recent Funding, Thierry Pelet, HMCARE



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