Connect with us

Bioengineer

Living with autonomous systems “we can trust”

New report calls for greater input from society on future direction of autonomyCredit: The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Autonomous systems

Published

on

Autonomous systems are affecting virtually all aspects of society, so future designs must be guided by a broad range of societal stakeholders. That’s according to a new report led by scientists in the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.

Ufuk Topcu of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics led a yearlong effort involving more than 100 autonomy experts nationwide in the completion of a report titled “Assured Autonomy: Path Toward Living With Autonomous Systems We Can Trust.”

From spacecraft design to health care, vehicles to smart-cities planning, autonomous systems help us determine how society should run as a matter of routine. Yet the safety, security and regulation of these systems are still not prioritized.

“The management of autonomous systems needs to be at the crossing of science, technology, society, policy and governance,” Topcu said.

Commissioned by The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) — enabling high-impact research through state, industry and academic engagement within the computing community — the report begins by listing technologies that have disrupted society in the past. From the printing press “democratizing knowledge” to the industrial revolution “replacing man with machine” to more recently, the internet making instant global communications a given.

We are now witnessing the age of autonomous systems, where both humans and human intelligence can live harmoniously with machines and machine intelligence, assuming the right approach is taken now.

“Science and technology have always disrupted the status quo,” the report said. “But these systems are different from earlier technologies. Replacing humans and human intelligence with machines and machine intelligence is replacing within existing frameworks of laws, ethics, morality, norms, as well as an existing technology.”

With autonomy, a technical flaw in the software of a system, for example, can’t be seen as merely a bug. “That bug could be a potential violation of law and/or morality,” Topcu said.

The challenges faced require interdisciplinary approaches. “Autonomous systems are not just engineering marvels. They have an influence on individuals, groups, and even the culture as a whole,” said Art Markman of UT’s College of Liberal Arts and director of the IC2 Institute. “Engaging experts from a range of disciplines, including the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences, will be a crucial step to avoid unintended consequences of the deployment of new technologies.”

The direction taken by autonomous technologies is currently guided almost exclusively by scientists and engineers. According to Karen Willcox, director of the Oden Institute, it is time to “stretch our interdisciplinary thinking beyond the STEM fields.”

“Autonomy is a prime example of a domain where the interdisciplinary approaches of computational science – weaving together rigorous mathematical modeling with advanced computing and domain expertise – will play a critical role in developing better, safer systems,” Willcox said.

“But there is an urgent need to build deep collaborations in research and education with humanists and social scientists. This is a challenging but exciting future prospect.”

The core recommendation of the report is the creation of a network of institutes that can easily share ideas, concerns and, ultimately, develop a regulatory and quality assurance framework that underpins future advancements. The CCC calls for the implementation of a national research strategy for assurance with stakeholders in government, academia, industry and society all playing their part.

“Autonomy is a socioeconomic opportunity as well as a challenge, and the public will both perceive and be affected by it unevenly,” Topcu said.

The broader impact of autonomous technologies is a growing priority for researchers at UT Austin.

“Both basic and applied research in autonomous and AI technologies, particularly at UT, is increasingly focused on values-based designs,” said interim Vice President for Research Alison R. Preston. “Outlining the potential value of new technologies at the earliest design stages can limit the potential for unintended, negative consequences once a new technology is deployed. Understanding how to design autonomous systems that provide value to multiple stakeholders requires true collaboration, not just within any one university but among them. I’m proud that the Oden Institute is helping lead that charge.”

“Assured Autonomy: Path Toward Living With Autonomous Systems We Can Trust” is the product of several workshops facilitated by Ufuk Topcu and participating members of the CCC organizing committee: Nadya Bliss and Nancy Cooke (Arizona State University), Missy Cummings (Duke University), Ashley Llorens (Johns Hopkins University), Howard Shrobe (MIT), and Lenore Zuck (University of Illinois at Chicago).

“The management of autonomous systems needs to be at the crossing of science, technology, society, policy and governance,” Topcu said.

Source: https://bioengineer.org/living-with-autonomous-systems-we-can-trust/

living-with-autonomous-systems-“we-can-trust”

Bioengineer

Trial of existing antibiotic for treating Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia begins

NIH-supported trial will test Dalbavancin in hospitalized adultsCredit: NIAID A clinical trial to test the antibiotic dalbavancin for safety and

Published

on

A clinical trial to test the antibiotic dalbavancin for safety and efficacy in treating complicated Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteremia has begun. The trial will enroll 200 adults hospitalized with complicated S. aureus infection at approximately 20 trial sites around the United States. The trial is being sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

S. aureus is a leading cause of antibiotic-resistant infection. S. aureus infections led to nearly 20,000 deaths in 2017 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This bacterium is of particular concern in healthcare-associated infections. S. aureus bacteremia–an infection of the blood–often requires inserting a central intravenous (IV) catheter to deliver long courses of antibiotics, an invasive procedure that can involve long-term care in healthcare facilities.

“As antibiotic-resistant infections become more widespread, better and easier treatment regimens are needed to ease the burden on both healthcare providers and patients,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “By investigating existing antibiotics for their action on a broader array of bacterial infections, we may be able to generate new treatment regimens more efficiently.”

The antibiotic dalbavancin has strong activity against gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus, which suggests it could be an effective treatment for S. aureus bacteremia. Dalbavancin is currently FDA-approved in the United States for treating acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, including those caused by S. aureus. If the two-dose regimen being tested in this trial proves effective, it could lead to a shorter, less invasive treatment for S. aureus bacteremia that does not require an indwelling IV access for daily therapy.

The Phase 2b trial is being conducted by the NIAID-funded Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) under the leadership of Thomas Holland, M.D., of Duke University (Durham, North Carolina.) It is called the “Dalbavancin as an Option for Treatment of S. aureus Bacteremia (DOTS)” trial. Patients who have stabilized after initial treatment of their bacteremia will be eligible for enrollment in this study.

“Dalbavancin is appealing as a potential option for treatment of these serious S. aureus infections, and we need high quality data to find out if it works,” said Dr. Holland, “This trial will provide clinicians and patients with that data.”

One hundred participants will be randomized to receive the standard of care for complicated infections, including appropriate antibiotics, and 100 participants will receive two doses of dalbavancin intravenously. The doses will be given one week apart. Most participants receiving dalbavancin will be given 1500 milligrams (mg) per dose. Participants with signs of kidney dysfunction will be given 1125 mg per dose. All participants will be followed for approximately 70 days after enrollment, and up to six months if they have vertebral osteomyelitis, an infection of the vertebrae.

At the end of the trial, multiple patient outcomes will be assessed: survival; additional complications (such as relapse) or clinical failures; drug-related adverse events; and overall quality of life. The therapeutic regimen will have met the primary endpoint of the trial if participants who received dalbavancin fare better on these metrics than those who received the current standard of care. This trial could validate a dalbavancin regimen of only one dose a week for two weeks, compared to daily doses administered intravenously for four to six weeks with the current standard of care.

###

The ARLG is a clinical research consortium working to reduce the impact of antimicrobial resistance. It is funded through NIH grant UM1AI104681. For more information about this trial, visit ClinicalTrials.gov and search identifiers NCT04775953.

###

NIAID conducts and supports research–at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide–to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Source: https://bioengineer.org/trial-of-existing-antibiotic-for-treating-staphylococcus-aureus-bacteremia-begins/

trial-of-existing-antibiotic-for-treating-staphylococcus-aureus-bacteremia-begins

Continue Reading

Bioengineer

Metabolite fumarate can reveal cell damage: New method to generate fumarate for MRI

Researchers find new technique for rapid hyperpolarization and purification of fumarate in aqueous solution; obstacles involving the use of parahydrogen

Published

on

Researchers find new technique for rapid hyperpolarization and purification of fumarate in aqueous solution; obstacles involving the use of parahydrogen overcome

A promising new concept published by an interdisciplinary research team in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (PNAS) paves the way for major advances in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their new technique could significantly simplify hyperpolarized MRI, which developed around 20 years ago for observing metabolic processes in the body. The proposal involves the hyperpolarization of the metabolic product fumarate using parahydrogen and the subsequent purification of the metabolite. “This technique would not only be simpler, but also much cheaper than the previous procedure,” said leader of the project Dr. James Eills, a member of the research team of Professor Dmitry Budker at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM). Also participating in the project were scientists from the fields of chemistry, biotechnology, and physics at TU Darmstadt, TU Kaiserslautern, the University of California Berkeley in the United States, the University of Turin in Italy, and the University of Southampton in England.

Fumarate is a key biosensor for hyperpolarized imaging

The potential applications of MRI are hindered by its low sensitivity and the technique is essentially limited to observing water molecules in the body. Researchers are therefore constantly working on different ways of improving MRI. A major breakthrough was achieved around 20 years ago when hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging was first developed: Because hyperpolarized molecules emit significantly stronger MRI signals, substances that are only present in low concentrations in the body can also be visualized. By hyperpolarizing biomolecules and introducing them in patients, it is possible to track metabolism in real time, thus providing doctors with much more information.

Hyperpolarized fumarate is a promising biosensor for the imaging of metabolic processes. Fumarate is a metabolite of the citric acid cycle that plays an important role in the energy production of living beings. For imaging purposes, the fumarate is tagged with carbon-13 as the atomic nuclei of this isotope can be hyperpolarized. Dynamic nuclear polarization is the current state-of-the-art method for hyperpolarizing fumarate, but this is expensive and relatively slow. The equipment required costs one to two million euros. “Dynamic nuclear polarization is very difficult to use in everyday clinical practice due to the related high costs and technical complexity. Using parahydrogen, we are able to hyperpolarize this important biomolecule in a cost-effective and convenient way,” said Dr. Stephan Knecht of TU Darmstadt, the first author of the published article.

A new method to hyperpolarize and purify fumarate for subsequent use as a biosensor

The research team led by Dr. James Eills has already been working on this concept for some time. “We have made a significant breakthrough as our approach is not only cheap, but also fast and easy to handle,” emphasized Eills. However, parahydrogen-induced polarization, or PHIP for short, also has its disadvantages. The low level of polarization and the large number of unwanted accompanying substances are particularly problematic in the case of this chemistry-based technique. Among other things, transferring the polarization from parahydrogen into fumarate requires a catalyst, which remains in the reaction fluid just like other reaction side-products. “The chemical contaminants must be removed from the solution so it is biocompatible and can be injected in living beings. This is essential if we think about the future clinical translation of this hyperpolarized biosensor,” said Dr. Eleonora Cavallari, a physicist from the Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences in Turin.

The solution to this problem is to purify the hyperpolarized fumarate through precipitation. The fumarate then takes the form of a purified solid and can be redissolved at the desired concentration later. “This means we have a product from which all toxic substances have been removed so that it can readily be used in the body,” added Dr. James Eills. In addition, compared to previous experiments with PHIP, the polarization is increased to remarkable 30 to 45 percent. Preclinical studies have already shown that hyperpolarized fumarate imaging is a suitable method of monitoring how tumors respond to therapy as well as for imaging acute kidney injuries or the effects of myocardial infarction. This new way of producing hyperpolarized fumarate should greatly accelerate preclinical studies and bring this technology to more laboratories.

###

Hyperpolarized fumarate is a promising biosensor for the imaging of metabolic processes. Fumarate is a metabolite of the citric acid cycle that plays an important role in the energy production of living beings. For imaging purposes, the fumarate is tagged with carbon-13 as the atomic nuclei of this isotope can be hyperpolarized. Dynamic nuclear polarization is the current state-of-the-art method for hyperpolarizing fumarate, but this is expensive and relatively slow. The equipment required costs one to two million euros. “Dynamic nuclear polarization is very difficult to use in everyday clinical practice due to the related high costs and technical complexity. Using parahydrogen, we are able to hyperpolarize this important biomolecule in a cost-effective and convenient way,” said Dr. Stephan Knecht of TU Darmstadt, the first author of the published article.

Source: https://bioengineer.org/metabolite-fumarate-can-reveal-cell-damage-new-method-to-generate-fumarate-for-mri/

metabolite-fumarate-can-reveal-cell-damage:-new-method-to-generate-fumarate-for-mri

Continue Reading

Bioengineer

Skoltech researchers propose a new data-driven tool to better understand startups

Credit: Malyy et al., 2021 Skoltech researchers used Google Trends’ Big Data ensuing from human interactions with the Internet to

Published

on

Skoltech researchers used Google Trends’ Big Data ensuing from human interactions with the Internet to develop a new methodology – a tool and a data source – for analyzing and researching the growth of startups. A paper reporting these important findings was published in technology management journal, Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Startups and high-growth technology-based ventures they transform into are regarded as the key drivers of economic development, innovation, and job creation on the national and global level. However, despite their crucial importance for the economy and high interest from researchers and policy-makers, startups display growth patterns that are difficult to analyze. These fragile, early-stage private businesses, which may quickly scale up, do not have time, interest, or obligation to share much data about what they achieved, when, or how. Thus, to outside observers, startups look like “black boxes” whose progress can hardly be assessed due to a lack of objective information.

Maksim Malyy, a PhD student from the Skoltech Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), has been intrigued by this problem since he worked in a startup accelerator in St. Petersburg before joining Skoltech. Looking into theoretical and practical aspects of the problem for the last three years, Maksim, his supervisor, professor Zeljko Tekic, and Skoltech assistant professor Tatiana Podladchikova came up with valuable insights on how to deal with the data scarcity problem in studying startups. Some of their findings were published in the paper.

Maksim explains why this research is so important: We demonstrate that web-search traffic information, in particular Google Trends data, can serve as a valuable source of high-quality data for analyzing the advancement of startups and growth-oriented technology-based new ventures they evolve into. We analyzed a large and transparently selected set of US based companies and showed the existence of a strong correlation between the curves based on Google searches by company name and those depicting valuations achieved through a series of investment rounds.

According to the authors, this correlation enables using Google Trends data as a proxy measure of growth instead of non-public and rarely available measures like sales, employee and market share growth. Google Trends data, which are public, easy to collect and available for almost any company since its inception, can help in building more accurate and even real-time data-driven growth paths for startups. With these evolution curves, one could revisit some old answers, ask new questions, and come up with more solid concepts, theories, and predictions.

Maksim believes that this study has strong implications for start-up research: Our findings suggest that for startups, especially thriving unicorns or B2C digital platforms, the proposed approach may become an equivalent of an X-ray scan, offering a cheap, easy, and non-invasive way to understand the workings of a technology-based new venture.

By way of comment, professor Tekic and professor Podladchikova cite a report by one of the reviewers: “I think this paper will stand the test of time and be useful for many years to come. It truly is a fascinating study.”

###

https://www.skoltech.ru/en/2021/04/skoltech-researchers-propose-a-new-data-driven-tool-to-better-understand-startups/

Maksim believes that this study has strong implications for start-up research: Our findings suggest that for startups, especially thriving unicorns or B2C digital platforms, the proposed approach may become an equivalent of an X-ray scan, offering a cheap, easy, and non-invasive way to understand the workings of a technology-based new venture.

Source: https://bioengineer.org/skoltech-researchers-propose-a-new-data-driven-tool-to-better-understand-startups/

skoltech-researchers-propose-a-new-data-driven-tool-to-better-understand-startups

Continue Reading

Title

CNBC41 mins ago

Blue Origin auctions seat on first spaceflight with Jeff Bezos for $28 million

The winning bidder will fly to the edge of space with the Amazon founder on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket...

Blockchain news14 hours ago

Long-Term Bitcoin Holders Keep Stacking While Short-Term Holders Keep Selling

On-chain analyst William Clemente III revealed that long-term holders keep on stacking as short-term holders keep on selling.

Coinpedia17 hours ago

Shiba Inu Price Plunge Hard! Should You Buy the Ongoing Dip?

Shiba Inu Price needs to climb back above $0.000007. If SHIB Price is able to break through this resistance, it...

Techcrunch19 hours ago

UBS investment makes Byju’s the most valuable startup in India – TechCrunch

Edtech giant Byju’s has become the most valuable startup in India after raising about $350 million in a new tranche...

CNBC22 hours ago

GameStop sales rise 25% as retailer chases e-commerce growth, says it may sell 5 million shares

GameStop sales rose 25% in the fiscal first quarter as the company focuses on e-commerce and tries to stage a...

Bioengineer1 day ago

Trial of existing antibiotic for treating Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia begins

NIH-supported trial will test Dalbavancin in hospitalized adultsCredit: NIAID A clinical trial to test the antibiotic dalbavancin for safety and

ZDNET1 day ago

Avaddon ransomware group closes shop, sends all 2,934 decryption keys to BleepingComputer

Bleeping Computer worked with Emisoft to create a free decryptor that any Avaddon victim can use.

Reuters2 days ago

Internal data from breach circulating online -CD Projekt

Internal company data leaked during a February security breach is now being circulated on the internet, Polish video games maker...

Blockchain news2 days ago

13.38% of Bitcoin’s Money Supply Has Now Moved Between $31K and $40K

On-chain analyst William Clemente III disclosed that 13.38% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply standing at 18.73 million BTC has moved between...

Coinpedia2 days ago

An Extreme Bullish Case Emerges For Ethereum Price, $6000 May Be On Cards!

The etheruem(ETH) price is attempting to follow a similar path and if it successfully mirrors previous rally, levels above $5000...

Review

    Select language

    Trending