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Hi all,


Thought you might like to catch up on the future. The following is an extract from a Washington Post story. Link is provided to full story.


Guess they'd need to be connected - WiFi - SKG?






Flexible Display Screens Readied for Production

Roll 'Em, Fold 'Em, Stick 'Em in Your Pocket: Long-Envisioned Plastic Sheets Will Make E-Newspapers, E-Books a Reality



By Rick Weiss

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, February 2, 2004; Page A08



The trail has disappeared and let's face it, you're lost in the woods. But luckily you've got your trusty map rolled up in a pocket. You unroll the plastic-coated sheet . . . it's blank -- until you turn the power on.


Suddenly the curly page jumps to life with a detailed screen display, including a selection of topographic maps showing the way back. Later, at your car, you unfurl the same sheet, this time to check out restaurant reviews for local eateries.


Scenes like this one have long been imagined by techno-optimists. But reality has repeatedly delayed the introduction of flexible electronic displays. Even today's thinnest and fanciest display screens for laptops and digital assistants are topped with a layer of glass or plastic that cannot be folded, bent or mutilated -- much less rolled up into a handy little tube.


But after years of unabashed hype and dashed hopes, truly flexible displays are at last being ramped up to commercial production. Among the uses that manufacturers foresee are electronic newspapers that can be folded or rolled when not in use and then opened to display the latest news; flexible strips for store shelves that display constantly updated price and product information; and watch bands or bracelets that offer streaming news or other information.


To read the rest of the story, use the following link ...



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New Target for Tumor-Killing Drugs Found



(HealthDayNews) -- New research offers evidence that a particular molecule may provide a target for the development of drugs to treat a wide variety of tumors, including some that are resistant to conventional therapies.


The research, published online in Cancer Cell, found that the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) is necessary for the survival of tumor cells and that using selective small molecules to inhibit IGF-1R may be a potential anticancer treatment.


Many previous studies have suggested that IGF-1R is a factor in cancer development in humans. IGF-1R is present in a broad range of tumor types. But it hasn't been regarded as a likely target for cancer drugs because many normal cells also contain IGF-1R. ...


... More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about cancer treatments- http://familydoctor.org/721.xml


Full Story online at: http://kmgh-tvhealth.ip2m.com/index.cfm?pa...2&site_cat_id=2

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The fact that all it took was $200,000 and a grad student to come up with a possible treatment for AIDS frightened two assistant professors, Adam Arkin and David Schaffer. The professors found that by creating a virus modified to latch onto the HIV virus hindered the HIV virusÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ ability to become AIDS.

The promising results from these tests have motivated researchers to start performing tests on animals by the end of the year.


Arkin and his colleagues observed what happened to the immune system by using a computer model. From the model they designed a potential treatment for AIDS that would help the patient for the duration they had the disease. This finding proved to be significant in the sense that it would prevent AIDS from occuring in patients who would have otherwise developed the disease after a period of latency.


The use of the computer model was a key factor to determining the actions of the virus in a given scenario.


The process, called ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“synthetic biology,ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ consisted of a gutted HIV virus where the dangerous parts were removed and replaced with a DNA cargo that blocked HIVÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s ability to destroy immune cells.


Three people carrying the drug-resistant strains of HIV were the first to follow through with the new type of gene therapy developed to inhibit the virus.


Similar to the effects of existing antiretroviral drugs, this treatment would not eliminate HIV entirely from the body, but since the antisense RNA fragment is extremely long, the probability remained very low that HIV would mutate enough to become resistant to it.






Designer Virus Stalks HIV



By Kristen Philipkoski | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1


02:00 AM May. 13, 2004 PT


BERKELEY, California -- It took Adam Arkin and David Schaffer just $200,000 and a grad student to develop a potential treatment for AIDS. And that scares them.


That's because the therapy itself is a virus. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory assistant professors created a virus altered to latch onto HIV and mute its ability to become AIDS. They've tested the theory in a computer model, and in cells in a dish. The results have been promising, and if they continue in that vein, the researchers could begin animal testing by the end of this year.


Arkin said this week at the International Biotech Summit at the University of California at Berkeley that it was almost too easy for him and his colleagues (Schaffer and then-grad student Leor Weinberger) to build the anti-HIV virus.


"If I can do it, anyone can do it," Arkin said. "That's going to be a problem."


Well, maybe not anyone. After all, Arkin, Schaffer and Weinberger, who was lead author on their Journal of Virology paper (reg. required) outlining a mathematic model of the system, are not your run-of-the-mill lab jockeys.


Still, bad guys can be brilliant, too, which is even more reason for the good guys to understand new biotechnologies as thoroughly as possible.


"The genie is out of the bottle, so we might as well study these things in earnest," Arkin said in an interview.


Plus, the potential good could outweigh the bad. By using a computer model of what happens to the immune system when it's infected with HIV, Arkin and his colleagues have designed a potential AIDS treatment that would remain with the patient as long as he or she has HIV, meaning it would prevent AIDS from arising even in patients who otherwise would have developed the disease after a decade of latency. They also predict HIV would not become resistant to the virus.


The treatment is made of a gutted HIV virus. The harmful parts of the virus are removed, and in their place the researchers have inserted a DNA cargo that inhibits HIV's ability to kill immune cells. It latches onto the natural HIV and spreads along with it, even from person to person.


If this process sounds familiar, it's because it is essentially gene therapy, albeit a transmissible gene therapy. But the term "gene therapy" has fallen out of favor because of a handful of fatalities in clinical trials and, after nearly three decades of research, no gene therapy method has been proven to work consistently.


So Arkin and Schaffer are instead calling the process "synthetic biology." Despite appearances, it's not an arbitrary term: The researchers are synthesizing biological elements into machines to do their bidding.


"An artificial virus is one such product, since it is designed and constructed using molecular biology tools for a specific therapeutic application," Schaffer said. "As another example, Jay Keasling in our department engineers bacteria to produce small-molecule pharmaceutical drugs."


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MIT and other institutions have established departments and courses dedicated to this manipulation of human molecules.


"All the capabilities are found in nature, just not in the right order to do what we want to do," Arkin said. "It's like changing the computer language. (Cells) perform amazing engineering feats under the control of complex cellular networks. We didn't design it, evolution did."


Computer modeling is key to figuring out what bacteria or viruses might do in a given situation. The computer model Arkin and Schaffer used showed that their therapy won't likely eliminate all HIV cells in a patient. But if the treatment inhibits HIV too much, the good virus won't be able to propogate.


"Maximal inhibition actually causes the therapy to extinguish itself," Schaffer said in an e-mail.


Without the computer model to guide them, the researchers may not have detected such subtleties. However, other labs like Virxsys (researchers there published work that gave Arkin et al. a foundation for their own work) are further along in developing a similar therapy (although the Berkeley researchers' method is unique in its piggyback effect) without the benefit of a computer model. Scientists there are already testing their treatment for safety in humans, and hope to test for efficacy by the end of this year, said Boro Dropulic, the company's founder and chief scientific officer.


Arkin and Schaffer's computer model will also help them foresee potential problems, which are plentiful when trying to treat a deadly disease with a manufactured virus. This is a virus that can be spread by having sex, just like HIV (although if it works, that could be a good thing). It's also possible that HIV and the therapeutic virus could mutate around each other and recombine to make an altogether new virus.


"I can't say now it won't make it worse," Arkin said.



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UH Invention Converts Green Waste To Charcoal


POSTED: 4:37 pm HST July 20, 2004


HONOLULU -- The University of Hawaii's Natural Energy Institute Tuesday showed off the technology that can convert green waste to charcoal for fuel.


The school unveiled the world's first commercial-scale flash carbonization unit, invented by UH professor Michael Antal.


The process uses heat and pressure to turn dehydrated corncobs and other green waste into charcoal in about 30 minutes.


"We're addicted to fossil fuels. We need to move away from them. This enables us to convert green waste, the green materials that we see all around us, into carbon. And this carbon charcoal is a wonderful fuel and there's lots of uses," UH professor and inventor, Michael Antal Jr., said.


The unit can make 10 tons of charcoal a day. That's equal to an oil well that produces 50 barrels of oil a day.


The plant is expected to be fully running by fall of this year. The invention has already sparked worldwide attention.




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Good idea for a topic Cris, very excellent reading


I would like to add that these breakthroughs will be exciting on the sharemarket, especially as whole new areas of science develop - but don't lose your head.

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Wish I had me the learnin' to invent some of that amazin' stuff they invent http://www.ShareScene.com/html/emoticons/blink.gif !


As an aside, it will be interesting to see (as we get closer to the election) if the govt has a change of heart on their green fuel policies.

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A good place to fish around for fun to get the inventing gene exercised in your brain is www.halfbakery.com

Then if you want to get serious try www.delphion.com to check if your ideas have been patented.

If they haven't and you can do the science or do the math and diagrams, produce prototype etc. its time to contact the Australian Inventors Association and they'll give you a free appraisal of your product at one of their monthly meetings.



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ORNL nanoprobe creates world of new possibilities

15 Jul 2004


A technology with proven environmental, forensics and medical applications has received a shot in the arm because of an invention by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


ORNL's nanoprobe, which is based on a light scattering technique, can detect and analyze chemicals, explosives, drugs and more at a theoretical single-molecule level. This capability makes it far more selective and accurate than conventional competing technologies.


The probe is an optical fiber tapered to a tip measuring 100 nanometers with an extremely thin coating of nanoparticles of silver, which induces the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect. Normally, when a sample is illuminated by a laser beam, there is a small reflection of light, known as Raman scattering. The light shows vibration energies, which are unique to each compound, and that information allows scientists to identify the substance.


With the SERS nanoprobe, the laser light creates rapid oscillations of the electrons in the silver nanoparticles, which produce an enormous electromagnetic field that contributes to increase the Raman scattering signal. The ORNL nanoprobe works with any surface to induce the SERS effect.


"The significance of this work is that we are now able to perform direct analysis of samples -- even dry samples -- with no preparation of the surface," said ORNL's Tuan Vo-Dinh, who leads a team that developed the nanoprobe. "Also, the small scale of the nanoprobe demonstrates the potential for detection in nanoscale environments, such as at the intracellular level."


Ordinarily, surface-enhanced Raman scattering analysis of samples on a surface requires modification or treatment of the sample. This may consist of physically removing the sample and diluting it in a liquid containing silver nanoparticles; however, this practice is unnecessary with the ORNL nanoprobe.


Vo-Dinh and Life Sciences Division colleagues David Stokes and Zhenhuan Chi experimented with nanoprobes made of several materials of varying thickness. They settled on silver-island films because they are easier to reproduce than silver-coated particles and they form only a thin coating, which helps maintain the nanoscale diameter of the tapered tip.


The development of the SERS nanoprobe could lead to increasing interest in SERS as an ultra-sensitive detection tool, allowing direct analysis of samples for a wide variety of applications, Vo-Dinh said. These applications range from environmental monitoring to intracellular sensing and medical diagnostics.


ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy. Funding for the project was provided by DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research and the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.


Media Contact: Ron Walli

Communications and Community Outreach

(865) 576-0226




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