Friday, December 19, 2008

UGA gets $18.7M -largest medical grant in its history

UGA Research Foundation receives $18.7 million Gates Foundation grant to improve control of schistosomiasis, a debilitating and neglected tropical disease

The University of Georgia Research Foundation has received a five-year, $18.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research ways to reduce morbidity from schistosomiasis in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. Researchers will develop and evaluate research-based approaches and diagnostic tools to identify, control and even eliminate schistosomiasis where feasible
The five-year grant will fund research into ways to reduce morbidity from the disease, which is caused by several species of flatworms. Schistosomiasis can damage internal organs and impair physical and cognitive development in children.

Dan Colley, director of UGA's Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, is principal investigator for the project, which will provide critical tools and an evidence base for decisions about controlling schistosomiasis. Colley, a microbiologist and immunologist in UGA's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has researched the disease for nearly 40 years.

"This grant significantly bolsters the University of Georgia's growing strength in public health and medical research," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "It holds promise for great progress in eliminating a disease that causes suffering and economic hardship for millions around the world."

This is the largest grant UGA has received from the Gates Foundation, the first for medical research and the third-largest grant in UGA history.

The project grew out of a consensus research agenda developed in 2007 with broad input from the schistosomiasis research and control community. It focuses on operational research, and its overall goal is to answer key strategic questions about controlling schistosomiasis to ensure that future programs operate with increased efficacy, cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

"This grant will support and advance pioneering work on schistosomiasis under the technical guidance of Dan Colley," said UGA Vice-President for Research David Lee. "With his international leadership, this award will make great strides in addressing the widespread, debilitating impact of this infection. The University community is proud of Colley and others at the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases who work tirelessly to improve health conditions in the developing world."

Secondary goals for the project are to integrate global schistosomiasis control efforts with other programs, monitor the effectiveness of current treatments, develop survey and diagnostic tools and overcome barriers that currently prevent effective control.

Caused by several species of flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, this neglected tropical disease affects some 200 million people worldwide. It is most common in Africa, and to a lesser extent in Asia and South America. It is transmitted through a species of freshwater snails, which become infected through contaminated water and then multiply and release infected worms into the water. The worms enter through the skin as their human hosts wash clothes, swim, or fish.

While it has a relatively low mortality rate, schistosomiasis can damage internal organs and impair physical and cognitive development in children. Symptoms of infection include abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, pulmonary hypertension and often an enlarged liver and spleen. The worms can live in the blood vessels of people for up to 40 years, leading to chronic illness.

"Mass drug control programs in several African countries already use the drug praziquantel to reduce mortality from schistosomiasis and to help stem the suffering," said Dan Colley, principal investigator on the grant and director of UGA's Center for Tropical and Global Emerging Diseases. "And while controlling schistosomiasis is a World Health Organization global priority, most endemic countries still lack adequate control programs, and the sustainability of existing programs is tenuous."

Colley will oversee a management team based at the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, University of Georgia, but the consortium will involve partners from around the world. Much of the research will be carried out through subgrants to investigators at several federal, state and private institutions and laboratories and field sites in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Engineers' new microfluidic device could help with drug development with 3-D cell growth

MIT engineers have built a device that gives them an unprecedented view of three-dimensional cell growth and migration, including the formation of blood vessels and the spread of tumor cells.
The microfluidic device, imprinted on a square inch of plastic, could be used to evaluate the potential side effects of drugs in development, or to test the effectiveness of cancer drugs in individual patients.
Roger Kamm, MIT professor of biological and mechanical engineering, and his colleagues reported their observations of angiogenesis -- the process by which blood vessels are formed -- in the Oct. 31 online issue of the journal Lab on a Chip.
Microfluidic devices have been widely used in recent years to study cells, but most only allow for the study of cells growing on a flat (two-dimensional) surface, or else lack the ability to observe and control cell behavior. With the new device, researchers can observe cells in real time as they grow in a three-dimensional collagen scaffold under precisely controlled chemical or physical conditions.
Observing angiogenesis and other types of cell growth in three dimensions is critical because that is how such growth normally occurs, said Kamm.
Working with researchers around MIT, Kamm has studied growth patterns of many types of cells, including liver cells, stem cells and neurons. He has also used the device to investigate the pressure buildup that causes glaucoma.
The device allows researchers to gain new insight into cell growth patterns. For example, the researchers observed that one type of breast cancer cell tends to migrate in a uniform mass and induces new capillaries to sprout aggressively toward the original tumor, while a type of brain cancer cell breaks from the primary tumor and migrates individually but does not promote capillary formation.
The system is configured so that researchers can manipulate and study mechanical and biochemical factors that influence cell growth and migration, including stiffness of the gel scaffold, concentration of growth factors and other chemicals, and pressure gradients.
Two or three channels imprinted onto the plastic square contain either a normal cell growth medium or a chemical under study, such as growth factor. Cells growing in the scaffold between the channels are bathed in chemicals from the channels, and the effect of the chemicals can be evaluated based on various measures of cell function.
Kamm and his colleagues first described their microfluidic device in a January 2007 paper in Lab on a Chip. Vernella Vickerman, a graduate student in chemical engineering, and Seok Chung, a postdoctoral fellow in biological engineering, played critical roles in developing the device, Kamm said.
The research was funded by Draper Laboratory

About:Draper Laboratory

Draper Laboratory Profile, Cambridge, MassachusettsHeadquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Draper Laboratory is a research and development laboratory, employing more than 750 engineers, scientists, and technicians on a broad array of programs for government and commercial sponsors among its 1,025 employees.Its sponsored work encompasses capabilities in the following business areas:
Strategic Systems
Space Systems
Tactical Systems
Special Operations
Biomedical Engineering
Geospacial Solutions
Energy Solutions
The Laboratory’s unparalleled expertise in the areas of guidance, navigation, and control systems remains its greatest resource. Draper is among the leaders in fault-tolerant computing, reliable software development, modeling and simulation, and MEMS technology. It applies its expertise to a broad range of domains, including autonomous air, land, sea, and space systems; information integration; distributed sensors and networks; precision-guided munitions; air traffic flow management; military logistics; and biomedical engineering and chemical/biological defense.
To this end, Draper has nurtured a highly skilled and motivated work force supported by a network of exceptional design, fabrication, and test facilities. This combination of highly trained technical talent and state-of-the-art facilities enables the Laboratory not only to deliver the design and development of first-of-a-kind systems incorporating innovative technology, but also to offer high-value-added engineering services to a broad range of government and commercial sponsors.
These efforts are enhanced by our robust Independent Research and Development (IR&D) program through which we invest more than $20 million each year, supporting both internal efforts and collaborative projects with the country’s leading universities. IR&D enables us to work on projects focused on technologies that we anticipate will meet the future near-term and long-term requirements of our sponsors, while allowing us to continuously refresh our core competencies.
PurposePioneer in the application of science and technology in the national interest
VisionNational center of excellence in the application of technology to the analysis, development, measurement, and control of complex, dynamic systems
Mission To serve the national interest in applied research, engineering development, education, and technology transfer by
Helping our sponsors clarify their requirements and conceptualize innovative solutions to their problems
Demonstrating those solutions through the design and development of fieldable engineering prototypes
Transitioning our products and processes to industry for production, and providing follow-on support
Promoting and supporting advanced technical education

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Year 2020- Internet and interactivity-Pew

By the year 2020, marketing and manipulation will have merged on the Internet, encouraging consumers to trade privacy for discounts. Copyright will be "dead duck," virtual reality sanctuaries will provide an escape from cyberspace, and viciousness will prevail over civility.
These are some of the predictions offered by "experts" in "Future of the Internet III," a study released on Monday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

By 2020, the mobile phone will be the primary connection tool to the Internet and it will be so integrated into our daily lives that it will be difficult to imagine what life was like without one, according to new research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. In addition, respondents thought Sixty percent of the experts interviewed disagreed that content control through copyright-protection technology would dominate the Internet of 2012.
But the majority view appears to discount the popularity of the locked-down iPhone eco-system. Given the extent to which Apple's competitors in the mobile arena have committed to copying the iTunes App Store model, it wouldn't be surprising if mobile customers traded freedom for the promise of phone security. That might keep copyright alive until nano-assemblers make it feasible to copy objects on an atomic level

The Pew report expects continued blurring between work life and home life and between physical and virtual reality. Respondents were divided, 56% of whom think that future is okay, with the rest expressing some reservations about the potential added stress of being at work all the time.
The study includes a number of quotations from those who submitted their thoughts on what's to come. Their observations make other dystopian visions of the future, as seen in the 1982 film Blade Runner, look almost rosy.
"We will enter a time of mutually assured humiliation; we all live in glass houses," said Jeff Jarvis, a blogger and professor at City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
"Viciousness will prevail over civility, fraternity, and tolerance as a general rule, despite the build-up of pockets or groups ruled by these virtues," said Alejandro Pisanty, ICANN and Internet Society leader and director of computer services at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. "Software will be unable to stop deeper and more hard-hitting intrusions into intimacy and privacy, and these will continue to happen."
"By 2020, the Internet will have enabled the monitoring and manipulation of people by businesses and governments on a scale never before imaginable," said writer and blogger Nicholas Carr. "Most people will have happily traded their privacy -- consciously or unconsciously

BLADE Network Technologies' -2009 Most Valuable Performers Award

BLADE Network Technologies' President and CEO, Vikram Mehta, With Technology Industry's 2009 Most Valuable Performers Award.

BLADE Network Technologies, Inc. (BLADE), the trusted leader in data center networking, announced today that Network Product Guide, a world leading publication on technologies and solutions, has honored BLADE President and CEO Vikram Mehta with the information technology industry's 2008 Most Valuable Performers (MVP) recognition. This prestigious industry award recognizes senior executives from around the world with the essential characteristics of leaders that exhibit the qualities of most valuable performers.
Vikram Mehta has been at the helm of BLADE since its inception. Through his passionate commitment to customer service and product innovation, BLADE has become the trusted leader in data center networking, the industry's leading supplier of blade server switch solutions and a pioneering provider of the new breed of 10 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches. Prior to establishing BLADE as a privately held company in 2006, Mehta held leadership and executive positions at Nortel Networks, Alteon Web Systems, Ensim and HP. Mehta is an electrical engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, India.
Network Products Guide also has named BLADE as a 2009 Hot Companies finalist. Selected from a global industry analysis of information technology vendors that included established large companies, mid-size and new start-ups, BLADE has advanced to the finalists stage based on the "4Ps" selection criteria -- namely Products, People, Performance, and Potential. The coveted 2009 Hot Companies award criterion encompasses companies in all areas of information technologies including security, wireless, storage, networking, software and communications.
Over half of Fortune 500 companies rely on BLADE's Ethernet switches to equip their essential data center infrastructures. BLADE has shipped 5 million Ethernet switch ports to more than 5,000 customers worldwide. Through its partnerships with HP, IBM, NEC and Verari Systems, BLADE has delivered more than 220,000 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches to enterprise data centers to connect over 1.1 million servers. BLADE's market share of data center switches for blade servers now stands in excess of 48.5 percent combined on HP and IBM blade servers and 66 percent on NEC blade servers. To date, BLADE's market share and Ethernet port shipments on both IBM and HP platforms are more than 2x greater than the nearest competitor's.
"The new economy leaders are essentially those that are adapting best in the current economic environment and will emerge with higher standards," said Rake Narang, editor-in-chief, Network Products Guide. "We are proud to honor Vikram Mehta with this year's 2008 Most Valuable Performers award and recognize BLADE as a 2009 Hot Companies Finalist."
Network Products Guide 2008 MVP leaders have a clear vision and mission, have set measurable goals and objectives for themselves, are selfless and mentors to others, and most importantly demonstrate respect and trust for their staff, employees and the high-technology industry. Senior executives were honored from companies around the world which include Ingres Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., IBM, AppGate Network Security, Crossroads Systems, Lumeta Corporation, SECNAP Network Security Corp., Dyadem International Ltd., Permabit Technology Corporation, M-CAT Enterprises, Google, Inc., BLADE Network Technologies, CaseCentral, ONStor, SolarWinds, BlueCat Networks, Inc., Rohati Systems, Inc., VirtualPBX, IBRIX, LogMeIn, Inc., GTB Technologies, Inc., Kazeon, Riverbed Technologies, Protegrity, and Xiotech Corporation.
The 2009 Hot Companies winners will be announced and honored at the 2009 "World Executive Alliance Summit" in San Francisco on March 26-27, 2009. BLADE will be among other key industry players at this event. CEOs of finalists will be presenting their company's 4Ps criteria live to an audience of leading entrepreneurs, IT companies, venture capitalists, corporate strategists and media. To see the complete list of finalists please visit
About Network Products Guide Awards
Network Products Guide, published from the heart of Silicon Valley, is a leading provider of products, technologies and vendor related research and analysis. You will discover a wealth of information and tools in this guide including the best products and services, roadmaps, industry directions, technology advancements and independent product evaluations that facilitate in making the most pertinent technology decisions impacting business and personal goals. The guide follows conscientious research methodologies developed and enhanced by industry experts. To learn more, visit
About BLADE Network Technologies
BLADE Network Technologies is the leading supplier of Gigabit and 10G Ethernet network infrastructure solutions that reside in blade servers and "scale-out" server and storage racks. BLADE's new "virtual, cooler and easier" RackSwitch family demonstrates the promise of "Rackonomics" -- a revolutionary approach for scaling out data center networks to drive down total cost of ownership. The company's customers include half of the Fortune 500 across 26 industry segments, and an installed base of over 220,000 network switches representing more than 1,100,000 servers and over 5 million switch ports. For more information, visit
BLADE Network Technologies and the BLADE logo are trademarks of BLADE Network Technologies. All other names or marks are property of their respective owners. CONTACTS:
Tim Shaughnessy
BLADE Network Technologies
(408) 850-8963
Email Contact
Zee Zaballos
ZNA Communications
(831) 425-1581 x201
Email Contact

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mine of 1,000 new species

The "dragon millipede" (pictured here) is one of more than 1,000 new species discovered around the Mekong River in Southeast Asia over the last 10 years. Scientists suggest the millipede uses its bright color to warn predators of its toxicity. According to a new report by conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF), between 1997 and 2007, at least 1,068 new species have been discovered in the Greater Mekong, at a rate of approximately two new species a week.

In all, roughly 25,000 species call the Mekong River basin home. On a species-per-mile basis, the region's waterways are richer in biodiversity than the Amazon, according to "First Contact in the Greater Mekong," a report released today by WWF International.
"This region is like what I read about as a child in the stories of Charles Darwin," Thomas Ziegler, curator at the Cologne Zoo in Germany, said in a news release. "It is a great feeling being in an unexplored area and to document its biodiversity for the first time ... both enigmatic and beautiful."
Nicole Frisina, communications officer for WWF's Greater Mekong Program, told me that "the rate of species discovery is quite prolific as you compare it with other areas of the world." The average works out to two new species every week - and if anything, the pace is accelerating.
From war to wonderThe Greater Mekong Program's director, Stuart Chapman, told me there are a couple of reasons for that quickening pace.

The colored areas represent different parts of Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region, draining into Vietnam's Mekong Delta. Click on the map for a larger version.
First, the Greater Mekong region - which takes in areas of China's Yunnan Province as well as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam - includes some incredibly remote areas, such as the Annamite Mountains on the Lao-Vietnamese border.
Under the best of circumstances, traveling to these frontiers is difficult and expensive. And during the region's decades of conflict (including, of course, the Vietnam War and Cambodia's wars), scientific exploration was nearly unthinkable.
"In some regions, there haven't been a lot of scientific expeditions purely because there's been a lot of [unexploded] ordnance around," Chapman said.
That's all changing now: Many parts of Southeast Asia are undergoing intense economic development. Just to cite one example, more than 150 large hydroelectric dams are being planned in the region. And that raises a huge challenge for scientists scrambling to explore the Mekong's lost world.
The 'race against time'"This poorly understood biodiversity is facing unprecedented pressure ... for scientists, this means that almost every field survey yields new diversity, but documenting it is a race against time," Raoul Bain, a biodiversity specialist from New York's American Museum of Natural History, said in today's news release.
Rising populations and greater economic development are putting wildlife habitat in danger. The World Conservation Union has already added 10 species from Vietnam to its extinction list, and another 900 species are considered threatened.
The WWF (fomerly known as the World Wildlife Fund) issued today's report as part of its effort to preserve the region's biological riches even as the 320 million people living there reach for new economic riches. "You don't have to have people choose between the two," Chapman said. "You can have both, with careful planning."
The organization called on the region's six governments to work together on a conservation and management plan for 230,000 square miles (600,000 square kilometers) of transboundary and freshwater habitats. Chapman said the governments already have identified corridors of land in need of cross-border conservation.
However, he said, "having them identified on the map hasn't resulted in transboundary planning. ... That kind of thinking hasn't really taken hold yet."
Coming attractionsThe biological riches could eventually yield new medicines and sustainable food sources for the region's needy populations - or perhaps new attractions for the world's eco-tourists. And for scientists at least, there are plenty of attractions out there, hiding in plain sight.

ITN's Chris Rogers reports on the Greater Mekong's biological riches.
For example, a new rat species was discovered as a delicacy in a Laotian food market - and scientists traced its evolutionary lineage back to a group of rodents that were thought to have gone totally extinct 11 million years ago. It turned out that the Laotian rock rat (listed as Kha-nyou on the menu) was the sole survivor of that ancient group.
Another previously unknown species of pit viper was first seen by scientists as it slithered through the rafters of a restaurant in Thailand's Khao Yai National Park.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Intel is to manufacture car battery

Intel the world leader company on technology is going to introduce battery for car ! Good news ,also its a alternative fuel innitiative ,"strategic objective is tackling big problems and turning them into big businesses." He said Intel, with its cash resources, can invest in battery technology and manufacturing to bring down the cost of car batteries, which would drive adoption of plug-in electric cars.
Intel is arguably the world's most important technology company ,Andy Grove former Intel chairman told Rebecca Smith and Don Clark that he has been urging the company to get into the business of making car batteries. Like so many in Silicon Valley, Grove is apparently an electric car booster, and he has been evangelizing car batteries as a potential growth industry—one that he'd like to see Intel get in on the ground floor of.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday, Grove said he is urging Intel to invest in battery manufacturing as a way to diversify from its core chip business.
Grove told the Journal that Intel's "strategic objective is tackling big problems and turning them into big businesses." He said Intel, with its cash resources, can invest in battery technology and manufacturing to bring down the cost of car batteries, which would drive adoption of plug-in electric cars.

Batteries are the most expensive component in plug-in electric vehicles, a market being pursued by a few U.S. companies.

General Motor's 2011 Volt is testing batteries from lithium-ion maker A123 Systems. Other U.S. companies include Ener1 and Valence Technology. Notebook battery maker Boston Power also intends to enter the auto market.

But battery makers and analysts say that U.S. manufacturers lack the financial means to meet the anticipated demand of electric cars.

"The technology exists today to put (electric drives) into an automobile," said Ener1 CEO Charles Gassenheimer at last week's Electric Drive Transportation Association's Conference & Exposition. "But it is not doable without the ability to drive down the cost of manufacturing."

Intel has invested in battery technology through its venture capital arm and other energy-related firms. Earlier this year, Intel also spun out SpectraWatt, which intends to lower the cost of manufacturing solar cells.

Grove has become an advocate for government policies that promote plug-in hybrid cars. This summer, he published a manifesto, called "Our Electric Future," in The American magazine, where he called for transitioning the American auto fleet to electricity for national security reasons.

"Because electricity is the stickiest form of energy, and because it is multi-sourced, it will give us the greatest degree of energy resilience. Our nation will be best served if we dedicate ourselves to increasing the amount of our energy that we use in the form of electricity," he wrote.

In a speech at the Plug-in 2008 conference in August, he called for a goal of putting 10 million plug-in vehicles on the road in 10 years.

Over here, or over there?
The WSJ piece leaves the reader with the impression that Grove might like to see Intel making batteries in the US. I'd love a transcript of the interview that underlies the piece, because it's not clear to me if this is the authors' takeaway, or if "let's make them in the US" was a point that Grove himself wanted to emphasize.

I bring this up because Intel doesn't actually make as many chips over here as they used to. Most of the company's sales are overseas (Asia is the biggest market), so that's where a large and growing percentage of its workforce is, as well. The company's pronounced shift in moving jobs abroad has been a sore spot for American Intel employees over the past decade, but I hear that, internally, the Intel top brass makes no bones about the fact that they have no qualms about moving the plants closer to the customers.

But regardless of where Grove wants to see these batteries made, Intel CEO Paul Otellini can't be too happy that his former chairman is exercised enough about this battery scheme that he's talking to the press about it and instigating a news cycle's worth of "should Intel make car batteries?" stories.