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

Reimagining higher education in the United States

 F5690555-6BE7-442D-A227-60ECEF04F564

As education leaders consider their options in the age of the COVID-19 crisis, they must rethink the conventional wisdom.

Higher education in the United States is at an inflection point. The core mission of the university—instruction, research, and service—has not changed. Nor has the need for advanced education to prepare individuals for a fulfilling life and to drive the knowledge economy. For individuals, the economic benefit of earning a college degree remains clear. College graduates are on average wealthier, healthier, and happier over a lifetime.1

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, however, the higher-education sector faced significant challenges. Consider student completion: only 60 percent of all those who started college actually earned a degree within six years in 2017 (the latest year for which data is available). The figures are even worse for Black (39.9 percent) and Hispanic (54.4 percent) students. Other troubling disparities persist. In student enrollment, for example, 69 percent of white high-school graduates enroll in college, compared with 59 percent of Black high-schoolers and 61 percent of Hispanics. Furthermore, the level of student debt is rising, while repayment rates plummet, creating a potentially unsustainable burden for many students.

The pandemic is intensifying these challenges and creating new ones. Students and their families are struggling with the impact of campus shutdowns and questioning whether it is worth it to pay for an on-campus experience when much of the instruction is being done remotely. Under these circumstances, the risk of outcome inequities—from completion to employment to lifetime earnings—could worsen. For example, evidence suggests that lower-income students are 55 percent more likely than their higher-income peers to delay graduation2 due to the COVID-19 crisis. Underpinning all of these challenges is a business model at its breaking point, as institutions face falling revenues and rising health-and-safety costs.

In short, the coronavirus has confirmed the case for fast and fundamental change. It has also demonstrated that change is possible. When the pandemic hit, many US colleges and universities moved quickly to remote learning and other delivery models, launched affordability initiatives, and found creative ways to support their students. Now is the time to build on these lessons to reimagine the next five to ten years and beyond.

Continue reading… “Reimagining higher education in the United States”

0

These 6 skills cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence

89807ED9-B65E-4B1B-AF78-595CF9587A8D

An interior view shows a self-driving car owned and tested by Yandex company during a presentation in Moscow, Russia August 16, 2019.

Self-driving cars will eliminate many jobs.

Mass unemployment will occur because of robotics and AI.

Hospitality, management and creativity cannot be substituted by AI.

We need to acquire and refine more sophisticated abilities in these areas.

The COVID-19 crisis is going to accelerate a number of changes and transformations in human society. Notably, the pandemic is expected to significantly accelerate the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Continue reading… “These 6 skills cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence”

0

3D-printed pharmaceuticals pave the way for customizable drug therapies

0C3660DB-AE06-41CC-903E-B5081D25FC08

Personalized pills created by 3D printers will help treat complex diseases cheaply.

Since its inception during the later decades of the last century, 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) has moved far beyond merely fabricating simple plastic parts. Today the technique can be used to produce much-needed medical supplies such as personal protective equipment for health care workers fighting COVID-19. Among other advances, 3D printing is now also considered a serious tool to advance medicine and pharmacology through bioprinting. Bioprinting can create anatomical models of patients prior to surgery and some biological tissues, with the goal of progressing to printing whole complex organs such as the heart. However, another emerging and potentially revolutionary use for 3D bioprinting is the production of pharmaceutical drugs that are tailored to meet the needs of specific patients.

In 2015 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first 3D-printed pharmaceutical, SPRITAM (levetiracetam), created by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of seizures. Although the drug remains the only 3D-printed drug currently approved by the FDA, the many advantages of 3D-printed drugs place them at the forefront of what’s ahead for medicine as the FDA works on formulating a regulatory framework for them.

Continue reading… “3D-printed pharmaceuticals pave the way for customizable drug therapies”

0

Artificial ‘mini-lungs’ grown in a lab allow scientists to watch how the coronavirus infects human cells in ‘major breakthrough’

CBB1395D-A07E-450D-8F6A-16BE6F28E086

Tiny artificial lungs grown in a lab from adult stem cells have allowed scientists to watch how coronavirus infects the lungs in a new ‘major breakthrough’.

Researchers from Duke University and Cambridge University produced artificial lungs in two independent and separate studies to examine the spread of Covid-19.

  • Researchers took stem cells and had them grow into cells found in the lungs
  • They then had them produce 3D models of the lung cells Covid-19 infects
  • They can use their new models to track the spread of the deadly virus in lungs
  • It’s hoped doing so will allow them to develop new drugs to help treat the virus

Continue reading… “Artificial ‘mini-lungs’ grown in a lab allow scientists to watch how the coronavirus infects human cells in ‘major breakthrough’”

0

Sam’s Club will deploy autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in all of its US locations

1BAD2F1C-0B55-40EB-A6B7-8E92A874D508

The past six months have seen a fairly aggressive acceleration in the option of robotics and automation as companies look for ways to augment (and, likely, replace in some instances) human workers. The appeal is certainly clear during massive pandemic-fueled shutdowns.

Sam’s Club has been into robotic floor cleaning for a bit longer, having already deployed Tennant’s T7AMR scrubbers in a number of locations. But this week the Walmart -owned bulk retailer announced that it’s adding another 372 this year, bringing the technology to all of its 599 U.S. stores.

Continue reading… “Sam’s Club will deploy autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in all of its US locations”

0

Top tech trends for 2021: Gartner predicts hyperautomation, AI and more will dominate business technology

Top strategic technology trends for the enterprise

Operational resiliency is key as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change how companies will do business next year.

There are nine top strategic technology trends that businesses should plan for in 2021 as the pandemic continues, according to Gartner’s analysts. Their findings were presented on Monday at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas conference, which runs through Thursday.

Organizational plasticity is key to these trends. “When we talk about the strategic technology trends, we actually have them grouped into three different themes, which is people centricity, location independence, and resilient delivery,” said Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. “What we’re talking about with the trends is how do you leverage technology to gain the organizational plasticity that you need to form and reform into whatever’s going to be required as we emerge from this pandemic?”

Continue reading… “Top tech trends for 2021: Gartner predicts hyperautomation, AI and more will dominate business technology”

0

Whole Foods predicts top food trends for 2021

John Mackey discusses how supermarket chain has adjusted amid the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Expect veggie jerky, probiotic-packed sauerkraut and chickpea tofu in snack food aisles.

The future of snacking will be packed with immunity-boosting ingredients, like mushroom broth, fruit and veggie jerky and probiotic-fueled packs of roasted garlic sauerkraut.

More Americans are apparently looking to incorporate healthy supplements into their snacking habits, according to Whole Foods Market’s list of “Top 10 Food Trends for 2021,” released Monday.

Continue reading… “Whole Foods predicts top food trends for 2021”

0

‘Zoom towns’ are exploding in the West

4E9F5181-9AC8-43AD-9991-405850CC2DD8

And many cities aren’t ready for the onslaught.

First, there were boomtowns. Now, there are Zoom towns.

The coronavirus pandemic is leading to a new phenomenon: a migration to “gateway communities,” or small towns near major public lands and ski resorts as people’s jobs increasingly become remote-friendly. This is straining the towns’ resources and putting pressure on them to adapt.

A new paper published in the Journal of the American Planning Association shows that populations in these communities were already growing before COVID-19 hit, leading to some problems traditionally thought of as urban issues, like lack of affordable housing, availability of public transit, congestion, and income inequality. And while COVID-19 has accelerated the friction, the study suggests that urban planners can help places adjust.

There has been a drastic increase in remote work since March, when the pandemic hit the U.S. Nearly 60% of employees are now working remotely full or part time, according to a recent Gallup poll. Nearly two-thirds of employees who have been working remotely would like to continue to do so, according to that same poll. That would seemingly give workers a lot more flexibility when it comes to where they call home.

Continue reading… “‘Zoom towns’ are exploding in the West”

0