Science


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NASA puts $7M toward long-shot research, from moon mining to solar lenses

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program is all about making high-risk, high-reward bets on unique — and sometimes eyebrow-raising — ideas for space exploration and observation. This year’s grants total $7 million and include one of the most realistic projects yet. It might even get made! NIAC awards are split into three tiers: Phase I, II and III. Roughly speaking, the first are given $125,000 and nine months basically to show their concept isn’t bunk. The second are given $500,000 and tw...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa, Aerospace, NIAC


NASA puts $7M towards long-shot research, from moon mining to solar lenses

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program is all about making high-risk, high-reward bets on unique — and sometimes eyebrow-raising — ideas for space exploration and observation. This year’s grants total $7M and include one of the most realistic projects yet. It might even get made! NIAC awards are split into three tiers: Phase I, II, and III. Roughly speaking, the first are given $125K and 9 months basically to show their concept isn’t bunk. The second are given $500K and two years to show...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa, Aerospace, NIAC


SpaceX and NASA test the system Crew Dragon staff would use to exit the launch area in an emergency

On Friday, April 3, 2020, NASA and SpaceX completed an end-to-end demonstration of the teams’ ability to safely evacuate crew members from the Fixed Service Structure during an emergency situation at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX and NASA are in the process of final preparations prior to launching their first crewed spaceflight mission – Demo-2, which is technically still a demonstration mission needed to validate SpaceX’s Crew Dragon for transporti...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Florida, Science, Tech, Nasa, Dragon, Demo, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Space Station, Outer Space, Kennedy Space Center, Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley


Borderlands 3 bridges the gap between citizen science and blockbuster games

The Borderlands series has long-offered players a chaotic loot scramble of explosive cel-shaded cartoon violence and intricately-tuned shooting that leaves anything that isn’t the fun part on the cutting room floor. It’s like the gaming equivalent of a very large, very rich dessert—and what if, by eating dessert, you could also make the world better? Imagine. Borderlands 3 publisher 2K and developer Gearbox Software is elevating the series’ latest game to lofty new ideals with a new in-game expe...
Tags: TC, Gaming, Science, Tech, Research, UC San Diego School of Medicine, Randy Pitchford, Gearbox Software, Borderlands, Borderlands Science, McGill University the Microsetta Initiative


R&D Roundup: Ultrasound/AI medical imaging, assistive exoskeletons and neural weather modeling

In the time of COVID-19, much of what transpires from the science world to the general public relates to the virus, and understandably so. But other domains, even within medical research, are still active — and as usual, there are tons of interesting (and heartening) stories out there that shouldn’t be lost in the furious activity of coronavirus coverage. This last week brought good news for several medical conditions as well as some innovations that could improve weather reporting and maybe sav...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Stanford, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Cambodia, Columbia University, Satellite Imagery, Ultrasound, Deep Learning, Retina, Emerging-technologies, Ozone


NASA details how it plans to establish a sustained human presence on the Moon

NASA’s Artemis program aims to bring humans back to the Moon, with the goal of staying there for good in the interest of pursuing additional science and exploration missions, including to Mars. But how will the agency actually make it possible for people to remain on the Moon for longer-term science missions? NASA has provided some more detail about its plans with a sustainability concept it released describing some core components of the infrastructure it plans to put in place on the lunar s...
Tags: Travel, TC, Space, Science, Nasa, Flight, International Space Station, Moon, Rover, Mars, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Eva, Artemis, Outer Space, LTV


SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype fails under pressure testing

The process of designing, testing and building an entirely new spacecraft is definitely a difficult one, and bound to encounter some issues. SpaceX’s efforts to build Starship, its massive new fully reusable spaceship, is no exception. The most recent Starship prototype, designated “SN3,” failed catastrophically during cryogenic proof testing, which is designed to simulate pressures the spacecraft would encounter during a test flight. That might sound familiar: SpaceX’s first prototype, th...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, Texas, Science, Youtube, Tech, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Prototype, Spacecraft, Outer Space, Boca Chica Texas, SpaceX Starship


Henry Ford Health System to conduct first large US study of hydroxychloroquine’s ability to prevent COVID-19

Despite false assertions by the president to the contrary, any potential treatments to counter or prevent COVID-19 are still only at the stage of early investigations, which include one-off treatment with special individual case authorizations, and small-scale clinical examinations. Nothing so far has approached the level of scrutiny needed to actually say anything definitively about their actual ability to treat COVID-19 or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it, but the first large-scale U.S. cli...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Medicine, France, White House, China, US, Tech, United States, Healthcare, Disease, Fda, Biotech, Anthony Fauci, Henry Ford


Henry Ford Health System to conduct first large U.S. study of hydroxychloroquine’s ability to prevent COVID-19

Despite false assertions by the President to the contrary, any potential treatments to counter or prevent COVID-19 are still only at the stage of early investigations, which include one-off treatment with special individual case authorizations, and small-scale clinical examinations. Nothing so far has approached the level of scrutiny needed to actually say anything definitively about their actual ability to treat COVID-19 or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it, but the first large-scale U.S. cli...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Medicine, France, White House, China, Tech, United States, President, Healthcare, Disease, Fda, Biotech, Anthony Fauci, Henry Ford


Estimote launches wearables for workplace-level contact tracing for COVID-19

Bluetooth location beacon startup Estimote has adapted its technological expertise to develop a new product designed specifically at curbing the spread of COVID-19. The company created a new range of wearable devices that co-founder Steve Cheney believes can enhance workplace safety for those who have to be colocated at a physical workplace even while social distancing and physical isolation measures are in place. The devices, called simply the “Proof of Health” wearables, aim to provide contact...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Startups, TC, Gadgets, Internet Of Things, Science, Technology, Hardware, Bluetooth, Tech, Smartphone, Smartphones, Poland, World Health Organization, Gps


NASA issues agency-wide crowdsourcing call for ideas around COVID-19 response

There’s crowdsourcing a problem, and then there’s crowdsourcing a problem within NASA, where some of the smartest, most creative and resourceful problem-solvers in the world solve real-world challenges daily as part of their job. That’s why it’s uplifting to hear that NASA has issued a call to its entire workforce to come up with potential ways the agency and its resources can contribute to the ongoing effort to fight the current coronavirus pandemic. NASA is using its crowdsourcing platform ...
Tags: TC, Crowdsourcing, Space, Science, White House, Tech, Nasa, Artificial Intelligence, Problem Solving, Aerospace, Coronavirus, COVID-19


ImmunityBio and Microsoft team up to precisely model how key COVID-19 protein leads to infection

An undertaking that involved combining massive amounts of graphics processing power could provide key leverage for researchers looking to develop potential cures and treatments for the novel coronavirus behind the current global pandemic. Immunotherapy startup ImmunityBio is working with Microsoft’s Azure to deliver a combined 24 petaflops of GPU computing capability for the purposes of modelling, in a very high degree of detail, the structure o the so-called “spike protein” that allows the SARS...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Microsoft, Tech, Nvidia, Vaccination, Machine Learning, Vaccine, Biotech, Viruses, Gpu, Coronavirus, COVID-19, ImmunityBio


Color is launching a high-capacity COVID-19 testing lab and will open-source its design and protocols

Genomics health technology startup Color is doing its part to address the global COVID-19 pandemic, and has detailed the steps it’s taking to support expansion of testing efforts in a new blog post and letter from CEO Othman Laraki on Tuesday. The efforts include development of a high-throughput lab that can process as many as 10,000 tests per day, with a turnaround time of within 24 hours for reporting results to physicians. In order to provide the most benefit possible from the effort of stand...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Science, Education, Tech, Mit, Harvard, Genomics, Biotech, Test, Cornell, Broad Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine, Color Genomics, Othman Laraki


Leading VCs discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the world of digital health

In December 2019, Extra Crunch spoke to a group of investors leading the charge in health tech to discuss where they saw the most opportunity in the space leading into 2020. At the time, respondents highlighted startups in digital therapeutics, telehealth and mental health that were improving medical practitioner efficiency or streamlining the distribution of care, amongst a variety of other digital health markets that were garnering the most attention. Where top VCs are investing in digital h...
Tags: Health, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Science, Funding, Medical, Tech, Policy, Mental Health, Healthcare, Venture Capital, Biotech, Telemedicine, Diagnosis, Kleiner Perkins


Medtronic is sharing its portable ventilator design specifications and code for free to all

Healthcare and biomedical engineering company Medtronic, which was in the news recently because Tesla CEO Elon Musk had discussions with the company about the automaker’s potential plans to build ventilator hardware in order to , but today it’s doing something potentially far more impactful. Medtronic is making the full design specifications, produce manuals, design documents, and in the future, software code for its Puritan Bennett (PB) 560 portable ventilator hardware available to anyone. T...
Tags: Health, TC, Elon Musk, Science, Hardware, Medicine, Tech, Tesla, Ceo, Engineer, Devices, Healthcare, World Health Organization, Biotech, Dyson, Medtronic


Alphabet’s Verily debuts a COVID-19 community testing toolkit as it scales its own testing efforts

While the origins of its coronavirus testing program were muddled by President Trump’s misleading announcements attributing its efforts to Google and inflating its scale, Alphabet’s Verily health sciences subsidiary has established and grown its community-based California testing initiative, deploying drive-up testing sites and ramping the number of tests completed from just over 1,200 last Wednesday to over 3,700 as of Saturday. The Verily team detailed its progress in a new blog post, an...
Tags: Health, Google, TC, Science, California, Tech, Companies, X, President, Software Testing, Cnbc, Alphabet, Verily, San Francisco Bay Area, Trump, Stanford Medicine


Stratolaunch reveals updated fleet, including two hypersonic aircraft and a space plane

High-altitude launch startup Stratolaunch has gone through some changes, but on Monday it revealed design details of two hypersonic aircraft, along with a space plane, all designed to take-off from its flying carrier plane launch platform. If all goes to plan, test flights of the first of these new vehicles will begin in 2022, and the company says it’s fully funded to be able to get to that point. Stratolaunch was originally founded in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen unfortunat...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Microsoft, Tech, Virgin Galactic, Paul Allen, Aircraft, Aviation, Simulation, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Steve Feinberg, Spaceplane, Co-founder, Stratolaunch


FDA grants emergency authorization to system that decontaminates N95 respirator masks for re-use

The global coronavirus pandemic has meant that there’s a widespread effort to develop and advance creative solutions to new problems, like worldwide shortages of necessary front-line medical equipment. One piece of gear that’s necessary for protecting the health of medical workers treating COVID-19 patients are N95 respirator masks, which are masks that specifically filter out very fine particles, including shed virus, with high efficacy. These are in extremely short supply, but a new FDA emerge...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Science, Hardware, Safety, Public Health, United States, Healthcare, Microbiology, Ohio, Fda, Columbus, Filters, Duke University, EUA


Germany’s space agency shifts its 3D printing resources to producing protective medical equipment

DLR, German’s space agency and NASA equivalent, is doing what it can to support the global shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by frontline healthcare workers in their efforts to treat those affected by COVID-19. DLR announced that it has successfully tested converting its on-site 3D printers, typically used for producing aerospace-grade parts, to creating medical equipment including protective face masks and ventilators. There’s a need for various kinds of components and eq...
Tags: Health, TC, Space, Science, Germany, Articles, Tech, Nasa, 3d Printing, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Dlr, Occupational Safety and Health, Contents, Coronavirus


Cell and gene therapy startup ElevateBio raises $170M

While economic conditions and the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic may not make for the best atmosphere for raising funding, some companies are still announcing round closures with significant money committed. Cambridge-based ElevateBio, for instance, revealed a $170 million Series B funding on Monday, with participation from new investors The Invus Group, Surveyor Capital, EDBI, and Vertex Ventures, along with existing investors F2 Ventures, MPM Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Redmile Group and Sams...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Science, Biology, Drugs, Massachusetts, Tech, Cambridge, Manufacturing, Biotech, Stem Cell, Pharma, Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine


Cell and gene therapy startup ElevateBio raises $170 million

While economic conditions and the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic may not make for the best atmosphere for raising funding, some companies are still announcing round closures with significant money committed. Cambridge-based ElevateBio, for instance, revealed a $170 million Series B funding on Monday, with participation from new investors The Invus Group, Surveyor Capital, EDBI, and Vertex Ventures, along with existing investors F2 Ventures, MPM Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Redmile Group and Sams...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Science, Biology, Drugs, Massachusetts, Tech, Cambridge, Manufacturing, Biotech, Stem Cell, Pharma, Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine


A new FDA-authorized COVID-19 test doesn’t need a lab and can produce results in just 5 minutes

There’s a new COVID-19 test from healthcare technology maker Abbott that looks to be the fastest yet in terms of producing results, and that can do so on the spot right at point-of-care, without requiring a round trip to a lab. This test for the novel coronavirus causing the current global pandemic has received emergency clearance for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and will begin production next week, with output of 50,000 per day possible starting next week. The new Abbott ID ...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Medicine, Tech, United States, Healthcare, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, Biotech, Viruses, Infection, Abbott, Veterinary Medicine, U S Food and Drug Administration, Coronavirus


The FDA just okayed multiple 15-minute blood tests to screen for coronavirus, but there are caveats

On Thursday, the FDA amended their emergency policy around diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Following on a change made March 16, the agency opened the door for a number of specific private entities and labs to develop and distribute tests that can provide results on the spot in as little as 15 minutes – but there are some pretty big caveats to keep in mind as you hear about more of these coming to market. The tests, which are ‘serological,’ meaning t...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Medicine, China, Singapore, Tech, Taiwan, United States, Fda, Viruses, Infection, China Taiwan, EUA, Fox Rothschild, Coronavirus


NASA still tracking towards mid-to-late May SpaceX crew launch despite parachute mishap

NASA provided an official update about the status of its Commercial Crew program, the project it’s working on with partners SpaceX and Boeing to return astronaut launch capabilities to American soil via private launch partners. This week, SpaceX encountered an issue while testing the parachute system that will be used on its Crew Dragon spacecraft, but a new update from NASA indicates the the previously stated mid-to-late May window for its first ever launch with astronauts on board is ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, Spacex, Science, Nasa, Astronaut, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Boeing, Spacecraft, Falcon, Outer Space, StarLink, Drop Test


Clearstep’s COVID-19 chat-based screener goes in-depth to preserve healthcare resources

There are a growing number of symptom checker and screening tools that you can use at home if you suspect you might have contracted the new coronavirus that is causing the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these are relatively simple, including around three or four questions that basically cover the top reported symptoms experienced by anyone who has confirmed to have had the disease. Chatbot-based symptom checking software startup Clearstep has created its own COVID-19 screener, which goes more...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Florida, Science, Medicine, Cdc, Articles, Tech, Heart Attack, United States, Disease, Infection, Mobile Device, Johns Hopkins University, Chatbot


Jupe is a new startup aiming to address hospital room shortfalls with modular, mobile space

We’re already entering into a healthcare crisis due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and creative solutions to address shortfalls in supplies, protective equipment and more are being developed to help where possible. A new startup, with a founding team including an emergency room doctor, a crisis response expert and a public health researcher is hoping that its novel approach can help address the impending lack of space that hospitals and health care facilities will encounter. Jupe is a brand...
Tags: Startups, TC, Mobile, Texas, Science, Housing, Tech, Hospitals, Airbnb, Care, Emergency preparedness, Modular, El Paso Texas, Kasita, Jeff Wilson, Disaster Response


Frontiers launches a portal to help connect coronavirus and COVID-19 research with funding

Open science platform and publisher Frontiers wants to make sure that efforts by researchers to pursue science-based solutions to the global coronavirus pandemic, and learn more about the virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes, find the funding they need. They launched a new portal to do just that, which is updated daily, and lists open funding calls, including the grant type, deadline, organization behind it, and specific area it supports. Sources include governments, non-profits, and commerc...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Tech, Research, Biotech, Viruses, Frontiers, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID


How one company is fast-tracking development of potential plasma-based treatments for the coronavirus

Medical biotech company Emergent BioSolutions is one of the many health industry players turning its efforts towards addressing the current global coronavirus pandemic. Their work includes a two-pronged effort to pursue plasma-based treatments that could help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on health care systems, with a fast-tracked development timeline that could see human clinical trials start as soon as this summer. The company is simultaneously working on two different therapeutic approaches,...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Medicine, Tech, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, Manufacturing, Biotech, Infection, Head, Drug Development, Emergent, Saward, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Study behind updated FDA guidance shows self-swab tests are as effective as those done by clinicians

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would be updating its guidance to allow self-swab tests for COVID-19, in which a patient collects a sample for their own nose for a health professional to test. On Wednesday, UnitedHealth Group revealed the results of a peer-reviewed large scale study that provided the science behind the decision to switch to the less-invasive sample collection method. The self-swab process doesn’t change where FDA-approved testing ...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Washington, Tech, Healthcare, Fda, Infection, U S Food and Drug Administration FDA, University of Washington, UnitedHealth Group, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Quest Diagnostics, Coronavirus, COVID-19


UK researchers develop new low-cost, rapid COVID-19 test that could even be used at home

A new type of test developed by UK researchers from the Brunel University London, Lancaster University and the University of Surrey can provide COVID-19 detection in as little as 30 minutes, using hand-held hardware that costs as little as £100 (around $120 USD) with individual swab sample kits that cost around $5 per person. The test is based on existing technology that has been used in the Philippines for testing viral spread in chickens, but it’s been adapted by researchers for use with COVID...
Tags: Health, TC, UK, Science, Medicine, China, Tech, Eu, European Union, Smartphone, Philippines, United Kingdom, Fda, Biotech, Software Testing, University of Surrey



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