S.Korea unveils inflatable isolation ward for COVID-19 patients

A woman passes the Mobile Clinic Module outside Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean researchers say they have designed an inflatable “negative pressure” ward for isolating and treating patients with infectious diseases like COVID-19, after the pandemic exposed shortages of such beds around the world.

The rooms use a ventilation system that creates negative pressure to allow air to flow into the isolation room and be channelled out safely, helping prevent the spread of airborne pathogens.

They have become a vital tool for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, but many countries have struggled to create them quickly enough.

The mobile clinic modules designed by a research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are large greenhouse-like inflatable tents, which the institute said cost a fifth of the price of building a conventional hospital ward.

Nam Tek-jin, an industrial design professor who led the KAIST team, says their tents, which are the size of a basketball court, can be installed and equipped in less than a day.

Continue reading… “S.Korea unveils inflatable isolation ward for COVID-19 patients”
0

Why all the world’s coronavirus would fit in a can of cola

By Christian Yates

If you collected up every Sars-CoV-2 virus particle in the world, it would fit inside a soft drinks can, writes the mathematician Christian Yates.

When I was asked to calculate the total volume of Sars-CoV-2 in the world for the BBC Radio 4 show More or Less, I will admit I had no idea what the answer would be. My wife suggested it would be the size of an Olympic swimming pool. “Either that or a teaspoon,” she said. “It’s usually one or the other with these sorts of questions.”

So how to set about calculating an approximation of what the total volume really is?

Fortunately, I have some form with these sorts of large-scale back-of-the-envelope estimations, having carried out a number of them for my book The Maths of Life and Death. Before we embark on this particular numerical journey, though, I should be clear that this is an approximation based on the most reasonable assumptions, but I will happily admit there may be places where it can be improved.

Continue reading… “Why all the world’s coronavirus would fit in a can of cola”
0

New biosensors quickly detect coronavirus proteins and antibodies

An illustration of a new biosensor binding to a targeted molecule and emitting light. The creation of the biosensor was led by the UW Medicine Institute for Protein Design. Credit: Ian Haydon/UW Medicine Institute for Protein Design


by University of Washington

Scientists have created a new way to detect the proteins that make up the pandemic coronavirus, as well as antibodies against it. They designed protein-based biosensors that glow when mixed with components of the virus or specific COVID-19 antibodies. This breakthrough could enable faster and more widespread testing in the near future. The research appears in Nature.

To diagnose coronavirus infection today, most medical laboratories rely on a technique called RT-PCR, which amplifies genetic material from the virus so that it can be seen. This technique requires specialized staff and equipment. It also consumes lab supplies that are now in high demand all over the world. Supply-chain shortfalls have slowed COVID-19 test results in the United States and beyond.

In an effort to directly detect coronavirus in patient samples without the need for genetic amplification, a team of researchers led by David Baker, professor of biochemistry and director of the Institute for Protein Design at UW Medicine, used computers to design new biosensors. These protein-based devices recognize specific molecules on the surface of the virus, bind to them, then emit light through a biochemical reaction.

Antibody testing can reveal whether a person has had COVID-19 in the past. It is being used to track the spread of the pandemic, but it ,too, requires complex laboratory supplies and equipment.

Continue reading… “New biosensors quickly detect coronavirus proteins and antibodies”
0

Disinfection robot developed to halt COVID-19 spread

LASER-D, developed by USC Viterbi researchers, is an animal-like robot that can crawl, crouch and disinfect surfaces and objects to fight COVID-19.

BY AVNI SHAH 

A TEAM OF USC MASTER’S STUDENTS CREATED A DISINFECTION ROBOT CALLED LASER-D TO USE ON COVID-19 PREVENTION.

There are so many things robots can do on wheels, but in narrower, shallower spaces—like between desks in a classroom or on a stairwell—wheels can be limiting. Enter LASER-D (Legged Agile Smart Efficient Robot for Disinfection ) a four-legged robot created by a team of USC researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The animal-like LASER-D combines—for the first time—locomotive agility and chemical disinfection to fight COVID-19, among other applications.

Led by USC Viterbi professors SK Gupta and Quan Nguyen, the team worked to create LASER-D—built on an earlier project, a UV disinfection robot, and adapted Nguyen’s legged robot platform.

Continue reading… “Disinfection robot developed to halt COVID-19 spread”
0

A new biosensor detects COVID-19 antibodies in 10-12 seconds

by Advanced Science News | Dec 24, 2020

New-biosensor-detects-covid-19-antibodies-10-seconds
The testing platform identifies the presence of two antibodies in microliter samples of blood.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University report findings on an advanced nanomaterial-based biosensing platform that detects, within seconds, antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to testing, the platform will help to quantify patient immunological response to the new vaccines with precision.

The results were published this week in the journal Advanced Materials. Carnegie Mellon’s collaborators included the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and the UPMC.

The testing platform identifies antibodies to the spike S1 protein and receptor binding domain (RBD), in a very small drop of blood (about 5 microliters). Antibody concentrations can be extremely low and still detected below one picomolar (0.15 nanograms per milliliter). This detection happens through an electrochemical reaction within a handheld microfluidic device which sends results almost immediately to a simple interface on a smart phone.

Continue reading… “A new biosensor detects COVID-19 antibodies in 10-12 seconds”
0

Scientists Develop New CRISPR-Based Test That Uses Smartphone Camera to Detect COVID-19

By Jeevan Biswas

scientists-develop-CRISPR-based-test-smartphon3-detect-covid19-1
THE RESEARCH WHICH IS ONGOING, HAS SHOWN ENCOURAGING RESULTS AND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE APPLIED TO A WIDE VARIETY OF VIRUSES OTHER THAN THE SAR-COV-2 CORONAVIRUS

There is not much that a smartphone cannot do these days. However, can it help detect the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus? According to a new study, yes, it can. Scientists have designed a new assay that can identify the presence of the COVID-19-causing virus in a nasal swab through a device attached to a regular smartphone.

According to researchers from Gladstone Institutes, University of California in Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, the research which is still ongoing, has shown encouraging results and has the potential to be applied to a wide variety of viruses.

“Our study shows that we can do the detection part of this assay very quickly, making the measurement with mass-produced consumer electronics. We don’t need fancy laboratory equipment,” said Dr. Daniel Fletcher, co-senior author on the study, in a statement.

Continue reading… “Scientists Develop New CRISPR-Based Test That Uses Smartphone Camera to Detect COVID-19”
0

City announces 3 winners in outdoor dining design challenge for winter

By Diane PathieuLeah Hope and ABC 7 Chicago Digital TeamThursday

Chicago-announces-winners-outdoor-dining-challenge

THE CITY HAS PICKED THREE WINNERS FROM OVER 600 SUBMISSIONS TO THEIR WINTER DINING CHALLENGE.CHICAGO (WLS) — THE CITY HAS PICKED THREE WINNERS FROM OVER 600 SUBMISSIONS TO THEIR WINTER DINING CHALLENGE.

THE TEAM OF JUDGES CHOSE THREE DESIGNS THAT “CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF CHICAGO WHILE PROVIDING FEASIBLE AND SAFE OPTIONS FOR CHICAGOANS TO ENJOY DINING OUT AS TEMPERATURES DROP,” ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT FROM THE CITY.

EACH WINNER WILL RECEIVE A $5,000 CASH PRIZE AND OPPORTUNITIES TO PILOT THEIR IDEA AT RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN THE CITY.

Continue reading… “City announces 3 winners in outdoor dining design challenge for winter”
0

The death of the department store and the American middle class

By Jason Del Rey

death-of-department-store-middle-class-1
The collapse of America’s middle class crushed department stores. Amazon and the pandemic are the final blows.

In a New Jersey suburb seven miles west of Midtown Manhattan, the American Dream is on shaky ground.

The Dream in question isn’t the mythological notion that upward social mobility is within reach for all hardworking Americans. It’s a $5 billion, 3 million-square-foot shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford featuring an indoor ski slope, an ice-skating rink, and a Nickelodeon-branded amusement park. The complex finally opened last fall, but it’s now facing huge new challenges.

The development’s complicated 17-year history, marked by ownership changes, false starts, and broken promises, had already put American Dream in a precarious situation. The Covid-19pandemic hitting in March made things much worse. Whether the mall makes it in the long term will hinge in part on how it deals with the collapse of three of the marquee department stores that were to anchor the complex and draw foot traffic — Barneys New York, Lord & Taylor, and Century 21 — which all have gone bankrupt and closed, or are planning to close all their stores in the US.More than half of all mall-based department stores will close by the end of 2021

Continue reading… “The death of the department store and the American middle class”
0

Interactive virtual reality emerges as a new tool for drug design against COVID-19

6FC47CC5-B2E4-40DC-A256-544E0EA232CF

Interactive virtual reality emerges as a new tool for drug design against COVID-19

Bristol scientists have demonstrated a new virtual reality [VR] technique which should help in developing drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 virus—and enable researchers to share models and collaborate in new ways. The innovative tool, created by University of Bristol researchers, and published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, will help scientists around the world identify anti-viral drug leads more rapidly.

A SARS-CoV-2 enzyme known as the main protease (Mpro) is a promising target in the search for new anti-viral treatments. Molecules that stop the main protease from working—called enzyme inhibitors—stop the virus reproducing, and so could be effective drugs. Researchers across the world are working to find such molecules. A key predictor of a drug’s effectiveness is how tightly it binds to its target; knowing how a drug fits into the protein helps researchers design changes to its structure to make it bind more tightly.

Continue reading… “Interactive virtual reality emerges as a new tool for drug design against COVID-19”

0

We read all the ‘Future of Work’ articles so you don’t have to – Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the post-pandemic future

DDBA48CA-7E40-412E-8F1E-E97C3F67E491

A post-pandemic world won’t make work less

Around May, we noticed a trend: the rise of the “future of work” articles. Published by consulting firms, professional associations, and business influencers, these articles and reports asked, “What will work be like when Covid-19 is over?”

It’s a good question, one we’re all asking.

The articles and reports kept coming over the summer and into the fall. In total, we read over 40 of them published by leading organizations including McKinsey, the World Economic Forum, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Some were brief. Some were full reports with survey data. Congizant’s, which took a future-looking-back perspective, was the most creative.

We found a significant amount of overlap in most of the content, and a few ideas that are original and deserve more consideration. Below, we summarize the findings. Together, these ideas can help your team prepare for an uncertain future, pushing us closer to an answer of what work will look like in the future.

Continue reading… “We read all the ‘Future of Work’ articles so you don’t have to – Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the post-pandemic future”

0

Shaping the future of the internet of things and urban transformation

3967BDE5-BA9A-4D6D-A3A0-13F5957A5C68

Transforming the spaces in which we live, work and play to enable a more sustainable, resilient and prosperous future for all.

 The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we live. It is transforming industries and how we do business. It is intensifying social and environmental crises in our communities. And it is challenging fundamental assumptions and global trends, such as urbanization, that have cemented over more than 200 years since the First Industrial Revolution.

As the world prepares to build back stronger and better, we have new tools available to support this effort. A growing suite of connected devices and smart technologies, commonly referred to as the internet of things (IoT), offers a means to reimagine and transform physical spaces—our homes, offices, factories, farms, healthcare facilities and public spaces—to be more adaptive, customized and even anticipate new needs before they arise. New models for public-private cooperation and shared community services are also changing the way in which cities provide services to residents and business, blurring the lines between government and the private sector.

The World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the Internet of Things and Urban Transformation is working with more than 100 global partners to ensure that these changes deliver a future that is more sustainable, resilient and prosperous for all. This includes, for example, initiatives with the Government of Brazil to support small and medium-sized enterprises and advance social mobility, collaboration with the G20 to modernize city services, and partnerships with wearables companies to help manage and avert the spread of COVID-19.

Continue reading… “Shaping the future of the internet of things and urban transformation”

0

At least half of people who have a job fear they’ll lose it in the next 12 months

 jobs h8f50k9

Job losses are a concern for more than half of working adults.

New survey shows more than half of working adults fear for their jobs.

But two thirds of workers are optimistic about retraining on the current job.

Employment concerns and perceived opportunities to learn new skills vary greatly between countries.

A new Ipsos survey, conducted on behalf of the World Economic Forum, shows that more than half (54%) of working adults fear for their jobs in the next 12 months. However, these workers are outnumbered by those who think their employers will help them retrain on the current job for the jobs of the future (67%).

Continue reading… “At least half of people who have a job fear they’ll lose it in the next 12 months”

0