Researchers Use Stem Cells to Grow Mini Human Brains
To begin, the researchers mixed together embryonic stem cells, ultimately derived from fetal tissue, and a smattering of cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which are extracted from more refined adult tissue. The agglomeration was encased in gel which acted as a mechanical scaffold to provide some structural integrity to the soft tissue. After transfer to the spinning bioreactor (pictured below), which facilitated nutrient delivery, a continuous sheet of tissue, known as neuroepithelia formed around a fluid cavity just as in the development of the ventricles of real brains. After a few weeks, specific brain regions like the cortex, and even a retina, began to form.
The researchers were able to tailor unique cerebral organoids that can be used to investigate particular human diseases. In one set of experiments they used iPS cells from the skin of a patient with a condition known as microcephaly (a condition where the brains fails to fully grow). The resulting organoids had much reduced proliferative capacity as a result of the cells adopting mature forms far too early on, reminiscent of the condition in actual development of the disease.
(via Researchers create the first lab-grown human ‘mini brains’ | ExtremeTech)
How MakerBot’s acquisition could bring next-gen 3D printing to the rest of us
By Adi Robertson, theverge.com
An upstart company’s deal with Stratasys won’t put a 3D printer in every home, but it could open up new frontiers
A painted rubber “face” and appendages printed from a high-end Stratasys machine.
Last week, the new and old guard in 3D…
Marketing is transforming from control to collaboration. Simply pushing a message out via traditional print, radio, TV or even internet advertising is fading.
Four Big Data Trends That Change Everything - Forbes (via futuristgerd)
Graphene Investment Opportunities from an Amateur Perspective
Let me preface this post by stating that I am not a science wiz or a business guru. I am simply someone who learned about graphene some time ago and have been obsessed ever since. However, I have done my research and check for graphene related news and updates multiple times a day. I am paranoid about missing some crucial piece of information and being slow out of the gate in what I believe — with my vast quantities of relevant knowledge — to be a once in a lifetime investment opportunity.
During my daily, mildly OCD, ritual of checking graphene related keywords, I am always disappointed with how few results I get from searched such as “graphene investing” or “graphene stocks.” While I am aware much of graphene and its applications are still in the R&D phases I sort of expect there to be more buzz regarding investment opportunities…maybe I’m just not looking in the right place…
However, based on months of digging, if I were to invest today, I would choose the following 3 stocks. I chose these 3 for a variety of reasons, but mainly I am looking for companies focusing solely on graphene or ones that have expressed that as their intent. Unfortunately, in my opinion many of the coolest companies working with graphene aren’t publicly traded and I’m in absolutely no position to be providing VC funding. Based on this, one thing I like to look at when analyzing a graphene stock is its partnerships with smaller private companies…Here’s the list in no particular order:
1. Focus Graphite (FCSMF)
I am optimistic about Focus Graphite for two main reasons. One is their ownership of the Lac Knife Mine in Quebec that contains incredibly high quality large graphite flakes. With 70% of the world’s graphite supplies located in China its incredibly valuable owning one of the most productive mines outside. The Lac Knife mine coupled with their strategic partnerships (will get to in a second) will allow Focus Graphite to control the process starting from the source. Secondly, Focus Graphite owns 40% of my favorite private Graphene R&D company, Grafoid Inc. Grafoid has already produced a product called MesoGraf, which they believe will give graphene “the elusive scalability to reach the market.” Exciting considering industrial scalability is one of the most immediate barriers.
2. CVD Equipment (CVV)
CVD Equipment is involved in the production of graphene from graphite. The company uses a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to turn a solid into a gas. While the company uses this process for more than graphite>graphene, they have indicated that they will be shifting much of their efforts to graphene. CVD is currently one of the leading ways to make graphene. Furthermore, CVD Equipment also has strategic partnerships with R&D oriented companies, most notable Grafoid Inc.
Bonus: CVD Equipment is one of the non-penny stock options into Graphene’
3. Lomiko Metals (LMRMF)
Although the smallest and most volatile option of the three, based on everything I have read, Lomiko seems to be one of the most committed companies to graphene innovation and it just one large investment away from being a major player. Like Focus Graphite they own high quality graphite mines in Canada (Vines Lake Property and Quartre Milles Property) and a strategic partnership with a private company called Graphene Labs. Graphene Labs is one of the largest graphene supermarkets and is run by two leading graphene scientists (who now run Lomiko’s R&D).
Honorable mentions: GrafTech International (GTI) and National Graphite Corp (NGRC)
Honestly, I wish someone would just start a graphene venture fund that I can invest in. It would alleviate so much stress.
I encourage you to look these companies up on your own and submit your thoughts as I am desperately looking for people to discuss opportunities in investing in graphene.
“Smart Pills” Nearing Mainstream, Monitoring Patients From the Inside Out
The smart pills are actually tiny robots that travel through your digestive system and monitor how everything works, from your vitals to blood flow to temperature in real time. They wirelessly transmit results to a cell phone app, body patch or website.
Proteus Digital Health is one startup that’s working on an ingestible computer and it has raised $62.5 million from venture capitalists. Its pills use the body (stomach acid to be precise) for power instead of batteries.
Bilton explains how it works: “As a Proteus pill hits the bottom of the stomach, it sends information to a cellphone app through a patch worn on the body. The tiny computer can track medication-taking behaviors — “did Grandma take her pills today, and what time?” — and monitor how a patient’s body is responding to medicine. It also detects the person’s movements and rest patterns.
(via Ingestible computers going mainstream in place of pills - Business Insider)