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Online course trains students in the bizarre world of quantum computing | Space - Livescience.com

A new online training course introduces students to quantum concepts, including superposition, qubits, encryption and many others, as Diane Lincoln, Live Science contributor reports.

Photo: © ShutterstockWhen the bizarre world of quantum physics — where a "cat" can be both alive and dead, and particles a galaxy apart are connected — is merged with computer technology, the result is unprecedented power to anyone who masters this technology first. 

There is an obvious dark side. Imagine a world where online bank accounts could be easily hacked into and robbed. But this power can also be turned to good, allowing new drugs to be designed with unprecedented speed to cure disease. To prepare for such a future, many countries are investing billions to unlock the potential of what is called quantum computing. With an eye toward the future, a group of researchers at Fermilab,a particle physics laboratory in Batavia, Ill., has worked with high-school teachers to develop a program to train their students in this emerging field.

This program, called "Quantum Computing as a High School Module," was developed in collaboration with young students in mind. But it's also a perfect diversion for science enthusiasts of any age who suddenly have a lot of time on their hands.

This online training course introduces students to quantum concepts, including superposition, qubits, encryption, and many others...

In 1994, Peter Shor invented an algorithm that revealed the power of quantum computing. His algorithm would allow quantum computers to factorize a number enormously faster than any classically known algorithm. Factorizing numbers is important because the encryption system used by computers to communicate securely relies on the mathematics of prime numbers. Prime numbers are numbers that are divisible only by one and themselves. 

Source: Livescience.com

Attending Conferences and Workshops Remotely via Telepresence Robots | Technology - Medium

Telepresence robots are much like “Skype-on-wheels.”, summarizes Dr. Carman Neustaedter, Professor in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Expert in HCI and connecting over distance http://carmster.com 
Attending a conference remotely through a telepresence robot.
They consist of a display that runs a video conferencing system which is attached to a type of robotic body. This body can be driven around remotely from any location, provided there is an Internet connection. A variety of telepresence robots have been created, including Beams from Suitable Technologies and Doubles from Double Robotics. You may have even seen them on television shows like Modern Family or the Big Bang Theory. Telepresence robots have been studied and used in many different fields and environments, including education, health care, tech companies, etc. You can watch two videos of telepresence robots in action here and here to get a better understanding of how they are used and what they look like.
Telepresence robots are great in that telecommuters who are working from home can use them to connect to an office environment, drive to meeting rooms, and talk with colleagues. The value that is added beyond just a normal video conferencing system is mobility. The act of moving between locations creates opportunities to bump into others and engage in casual conversations. These have been shown to foster workplace camaraderie and collaborations. Using a telepresence robot in meetings means that the remote person takes up space because they have a body. This is important because it helps remind people who are physically in the room that the remote person is also present and a part of the meeting. The remote person can easily turn their robot different directions to face people who are present in the meeting room...
We found that telepresence robots worked best in social settings with a small number of people. This included workshops with 10–30 people, as well as social interactions in hallways and foyers. For example, at the conferences we studied, each had several breaks during the day where attendees would come and get coffee and snacks. The telepresence robots were especially valued during these times by remote attendees because they could easily move around, mingle, and talk with people. They used these interactions to meet new people and reconnect with colleagues. Of course, they couldn’t indulge in the coffee, tea, or snacks remotely.Read more...
Source: Medium

IUPUI launches new institute on artificial intelligence | Science and Technology - IU Newsroom

The new institute will focus on the development of major research initiatives and collaborations for high-impact AI technologies and applications at IUPUI, as IU Newsroom reports.

IUPUI campus gateway at Michigan Street IUPUI is launching a new research institute that will take an integrative approach to the development of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technologies, programs and applications. The Institute for Integrative Artificial Intelligence at IUPUI will capitalize on a rich interdisciplinary tradition and create an environment for the discovery of new and innovative approaches and applications for AI.

At Indiana University, what sets AI research apart is collaboration -- both interdisciplinary work among AI faculty experts and work with government and industry partners -- and access to IU's world-leading university IT infrastructure.

The mission of the institute, set to launch in early June, is to act as a catalyst for the promotion and coordination of AI and AI-related research activities at IUPUI and beyond, and to develop major research initiatives for high-impact AI technologies and applications...

"These two key ingredients -- along with IUPUI's proven record of collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches to research spanning life sciences, engineering, the arts, humanities, medicine and more -- ideally position IUPUI to launch this institute.

"Add to this Shiaofen Fang's leadership, and this is the right time, the right place, with the right people to accelerate AI innovation on a local, national and global scale."

Source: IU Newsroom  

Data Science And Machine Learning. With Java? | Artificial Intelligence and Financial Services - Finextra

In this blog, I outline briefly: - Common Applications of Data Science - Definitions: Machine learning, deep learning, data engineering and data science - Why Java for data science workflows, for both production and research.
Steve Wilcockson, Senior Director - Java Products at Azul Systems explains,  Common Applications of Data Science
-      Definitions: Machine learning, deep learning, data engineering and data science
-      Why Java for data science workflows, for both production and research.

Photo: JumpStory
Common Applications of Data Science
The blogosphere is full of descriptions about how data science and “AI’ is changing the world. In financial services, applications include personalized financial offers, fraud detection, risk assessment (e.g. loans), portfolio analysis and trading strategies, but technologies are relevant elsewhere, e.g. customer churn in telecomms, personalized treatment in healthcare, predictive maintenance for manufacturers, and demand forecasting in retail...

Key Definitions: Machine Learning, Data Science, etc
For practitioners, definitions are well understood. For those less familiar and curious, here are some quick definitions and introductions to baseline everyone.
At their heart, data science workflows transform data, from heterogenous sources of information, through models and learning, to derive information from which “useful” decisions can be expedited.
Read more... 

Source: Finextra

Ruha Benjamin on deep learning: Computational depth without sociological depth is ‘superficial learning’ | AI - VentureBeat

Princeton University associate professor of African American Studies and Just Data Lab director Dr. Ruha Benjamin said engineers creating AI models should consider more than data sets when deploying systems, observes Khari Johnson, Senior AI Staff Writer at VentureBeat.   

Ruja Benjamin urged engineers to consider historic and sociological factors when building deep learning systems in her keynote address at ICLR.She further asserted that “computational depth without historic or sociological depth is superficial learning.”

“An ahistoric and asocial approach to deep learning can capture and contain, can harm people. A historically and sociologically grounded approach can open up possibilities. It can create new settings. It can encode new values and build on critical intellectual traditions that have continually developed insights and strategies grounded in justice. My hope is we all find ways to build on that tradition,” she said.

In a talk that examined the tools needed to build just and humane AI systems, she warns that without such guiding principles, people in the machine learning community can become like IBM workers who participated in the Holocaust during World War II — technologists involved in automated human destruction hidden within bureaucratic technical operations...

Benjamin explored themes from her book Race After Technology, which urges people to consider imagining a tool for counteracting power imbalances and examines issues like algorithmic colonialism and anti-blackness embedded in AI systems, as well as the overall role of power in AI. Benjamin also returned to her assertion that imagination is a powerful resource for people who feel disempowered by the status quo and for AI makers whose systems will either empower or oppress.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Race After Technology:
Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim CodeSource: VentureBeat

Are Robots Overrated? | Innovation - Harvard Business Review

The pandemic has increased the demand — and the hype, according to Sameer Hasija, professor at INSEAD, Singapore, and holds the Shell Fellowship in Business and the Environment and Aarti Gumaledar, executive at Energentech Advisors, a tech consultancy based in Singapore.

Photo: ADEK BERRY/Getty Images In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, robots have been having a moment. Media outlets across the world have reported on robots successfully delivering on critical tasks in healthcare facilities and their effectiveness as contagion-proof workers in many other settings. Robots have even been extolled as “heroes” helping to “manage” the pandemic.
It’s easy to see why. Robots are carrying out essential work such as disinfecting surfaces, checking on patients’ vitals, and delivering food and medicine to patients in quarantine. These solutions minimize human to human contact and reduce the risk of health workers contracting the infection from patients and surfaces in hospitals. The unprecedented labor shortages resulting from lockdowns around the world have encouraged even the most reluctant of users and businesses to adopt new technologies...

Should we believe the hype? For a company to maximize the benefit from switching to robots, two conditions need to be met.

Source: Harvard Business Review 

School Improvement Episode 24: Mentoring girls in maths | Mathematics - Teacher Magazine

This podcast from Teacher magazine is supported by Bank First. As the bank that exists to serve the education community, they are proud to support you during this challenging time. As educators you continue to go above and beyond, offering your strength, compassion, dedication, and expertise. So from the team at Bank First, thank you.
Hello, and thanks for downloading this episode of School Improvement from Teacher magazine. I’m Dominique Russell, editorial assistant of Teacher.

Award winner Louise Puslednik gives Mathematics real world context, particularly for girls.
Photo: ©Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

Each year, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute announce winners to a range of ChooseMaths awards. At the 2019 award ceremony 11 educators were acknowledged and among them was Louise Puslednik. She took home the $20 000 award for mentoring girls in maths and she joins me in today’s episode.

She’s made a real impact on girls’ involvement in maths at her school, St Matthew’s Catholic School in Mudgee, New South Wales, which teaches around 900 students from K-12. Her work extends beyond the school, which is about three hours from Sydney, to the wider Mudgee area and Bathurst region. 

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute Schools Program Manager and ChooseMaths Project Director labelled her a champion for engagement of girls in maths, saying ‘Louise is a powerhouse mathematics mentor and educator whose innovation, passion, leadership and contributions to regional education have and will continue to transform engagement for the benefit of many’. 

Louise says forming relationships with students is paramount for her. In this episode, we’re going to find out a little bit more about the initiatives she’s implemented at her school in order to empower girls by highlighting the relevance of mathematics to the real world, and what careers they could have in maths or science once they leave school. Before we get started though, I just thought I’d mention, like many across the world Teacher magazine is now working remotely. So for the time being, all of our podcast episodes are going to be recorded in our home studios. To kick off this episode, let’s hear about why engaging girls in maths became so important to her.

Source: Teacher Magazine 

This robot is helping astronauts on the space station with tasks, stress and isolation | Space + Science - CNN

Ashley Strickland, space and science writer for CNN notes, Along for the ride with the astronauts on the International Space Station is a bit of a talking head called CIMON-2.
 This robot will help astronauts feel less lonelyDesigned to interact with the astronauts, the ball-shaped robot is helping them manage tasks, stress and the isolation of living more than 200 miles above their home planet.  Isolation is something many people are dealing with on Earth due to the pandemic. The project leads for the CIMON project think that lessons learned in space during this experiment could be applied on Earth. "While in space, CIMON provides a possible basis for social assistance systems, which could reduce stress caused by isolation or group dynamic interactions during long-term missions, for example, to the moon or Mars, not dissimilar to situations on Earth," Matthias Biniok, IBM project lead for CIMON in Germany, said in an email... "CIMON is a technology experiment to find out how virtual agents can support astronauts and increase the efficiency of their work," Biniok said. " Another important topic is research on isolation and loneliness and the effects of stress on the physical body and how virtual assistants can help astronauts cope with these problems."Read more...
Source: CNN

8 Free E-Books To Learn Deep Learning | Deep Learning Books - Analytics India Magazine

Deep Learning is a powerful method when it comes to dealing with unstructured data, inform Ambika Choudhury, Technical Journalist.

Free E-Books To Learn Deep Learning This technique helps a machine learn from its own experience and solve complex problems. Some of the breakthroughs accomplished through deep learning techniques are self-driving cars, virtual assistants, Google’s AlphaGo, among others. 

In this article, we list down – in no particular order – eight free e-books to deep dive into Deep Learning.

Source: Analytics India Magazine

Machine learning makes building rocket engines easier | Science and Technology - Futurity: Research News

Methods from scientific machine learning could address the challenges of testing the stability of rocket engines, researchers report, says John Holden, Communications Strategist at Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences UT Austin.
Photo: laboratorio linux/FlickrTime, cost, and safety prohibit testing the stability of a test rocket using a physical build “trial and error” approach. But even computational simulations are extremely time consuming.
A single analysis of an entire SpaceX Merlin rocket engine, for example, could take weeks, even months, for a supercomputer to provide satisfactory predictions.

Scientific machine learning is a relatively new field that blends scientific computing with machine learning. Through a combination of physics modeling and data-driven learning, it becomes possible to create reduced-order models—simulations that can run in a fraction of the time, making them particularly useful in the design setting...

But these models do more than just repeat the training simulation.

They also can simulate into the future, predicting the physical response of the combustor for operating conditions that were not part of the training data.

Although not perfect, the models do an excellent job of predicting overall dynamics. They are particularly effective at capturing the phase and amplitude of the pressure signals, key elements for making accurate engine stability predictions.

Source: Futurity: Research News

Artificial intelligence passes on skills at the workplace | Machine learning & AI - Tech Xplore

How can the knowledge and skills of an experienced employee be effortlessly passed on to new employees? 

The application gives instructions of the worksteps, detects mistakes and shows the correct workflow.Researchers at Aalto University have tackled this problem that many industrial companies have experienced by developing a toolchain based on artificial intelligence and computer vision. It would automatically create training materials such as instructional video and augmented reality (AR) based real-time assistance applications. 

Many have started to make video recordings of their employees' executing assembly or maintenance processes. When given such a video, the toolchain can automatically extract workflow information, including the sequence of work steps and the operations in each step. The employees can review the workflow before it gets converted into an instructional video or AR application.

"We estimate that this tool will make it possible to save 7-10 times the amount of time that it would take if employees had to label the and create an AR-based assembly or maintenance assistance application manually. An experienced employee only has to check that the instructions created by the system are correct," says the head of the research, Yu Xiao, professor of electrical engineering at Aalto University...

Saving time and money in the training of employees
The tool has been developed over the last year and a half with funding from Business Finland for the commercialization of the research, and companies will soon begin piloting it. Taking part in the steering group of the project are three mechanical engineering companies that have drawn attention to the needs of users.

Source: Tech Xplore

Statistics flatter only to deceive | Books and Publishing - BusinessLine

Jinoy Jose P, Journalist and Screenwriter at Business Line summarizes, A mathematician demystifies the glitz around stats and exposes the underbelly of the numbers world.

The jury is still out on who is the real owner of the quote: “In God we trust. All others must bring data”, but in all probability, it would be a statistician. ‘Stats’ explain the world by adding accuracy and certainty to its affairs. A news story that says the coronavirus impact will shrink global GDP by 1 per cent would add a lot more value than a headline that says ‘Covid-19 to dent global GDP deeply’.

Numbers are charming when they fall in the right place, and can be alarming when they get cocktailed with bad news. For policymakers, planners and businesses, numbers are crucially sacred. They complete their story. Plato may have said a good decision is based on knowledge and not numbers. But number mavens and data doctors won’t agree. For them, numbers never lie. They represent the truth. Two plus two equals four, not six.

In recent years, the advent of modern computing and the rapid emergence of allied segments such as big data analytics has added an extra layer of intrigue and many layers of intricacy to the world of numbers, making rapid number-crunching a glamorous vocation. Statisticians and mathematicians are today paid more than ever. And their services transcend disciplines. Some statisticians are like Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin and an obsessive number lover, who said: “Nothing in human nature is indeterminate. Anything and everything can be measured.”...

In this context, understanding statistics becomes an essential evolutionary skill. In Something Doesn’t Add Up: Surviving Statistics in a Post-Truth Age, mathematician Paul Goodwin offers us an exciting handbook to understand the world of numbers. “I now realise that my mathematical colleague who argued that there are two worlds — mathematics and waffle — was wrong,” writes Goodwin in the introduction to the book. “There are two worlds, but they are the world of reality and the world of numbers. And the second world is usually at best a simplification of the first and at worst a gross distortion of it.”
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Something Doesnt Add UpSource: BusinessLine

Matheminecraft: Where math and Minecraft meet | Mathematics - Phys.org

Mathematician David Strütt, a scientific collaborator at EPFL, worked for four months to develop Matheminecraft, a math video game in Minecraft, where the gamer has to find a Eulerian cycle in a graph. 

Photo: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Minecraft is a sandbox video game released in 2011, where the gamer can build almost anything, from simple houses to complex calculators, using only cubes and fluids. These countless possibilities are what lured David Strütt into Minecraft's universe: "the game might be first intended for kids but I was studying for my Bachelor's degree in mathematics when I discovered it. I fell in love with the game when I realized there is all the necessary blocks to build a Turing machine inside the game. It was a long time ago, so I have since forgotten what a Turing machine is. But the gist of it is: anything is possible inside the game."

Matheminecraft, now freely available to everyone, is a around Eulerian graphs with a tutorial and four levels. The project was made for the Maths Outreach team with the idea that it should be ready for the EPFL Open days in September 2019. After the success encountered at the Open Days, it was decided that the game will be proposed to classes of the region as a series of ateliers organized by the Maths Outreach Team and the Science Outreach Departement (SPS). During 4 weeks, 36 classes of children—8 to 10 years old– registered to visit EPFL and took part in a two hours matinée where they played Matheminecraft and did various chemistry experiments. Minecraft is a very popular game and has been described as one of the greatest games of all time. Children immediately recognize the game and a growing roar of "are we going to play Minecraft" fills the air as they enter the room. "I think Minecraft digitally plays the same role LEGO did in my childhood. It appeals to anyone who takes a bit of their time to dive into it," speculates David...

Graph theory
The behind the is vast and well known. It's and was first mentioned as such in 1736 by Leonhard Euler. Euler laid the foundations of graph theory in his paper about the Seven Bridges of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad in Russia). This is a famous problem related to the urban geography of the city: can we found a walk through the city that would cross each bridge once and only once.

Source: Phys.org 

Mathematicians explain how we should exit the coronavirus lockdown | Syndication - The Next Web

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world to the test. Never before have we been so aware of the many ways we come into contact with innumerable others by The Conversation.

Mathematicians explain how we should exit the coronavirus lockdownWe have been forced to reassess and retrain common habits, from the handshake to the simple act of opening a door.

This is because the virus spreads via physical proximity: direct contact between people (handshakes, kisses, and hugs), coughs, or even touching objects with contaminated droplets. The sum of all of these contacts forms a large and dynamic network – just like Facebook maps out our social interactions online. Disconnecting or weakening this extensive network is the key purpose of social distancing measures, currently experienced across the world.

How we come out of lockdown is the next challenge. It is important to avoid a resurgence of the virus while minimizing the societal and economic damage. Proposals range from creating herd immunity to keeping the lockdown intact until the development of a treatment or vaccination...

The time has come to consider an exit strategy. Our mathematical modeling suggests that some version of green zoning would offer this. Through the progressive enlargement of green zones, we would able to rebuild our social and economic interaction in a safe, efficient, and rapid way.
Read more... 

Source: The Next Web

Online learning: how to acquire new skills during lockdown | Internet - The Guardian

Millions of users are signing up for free courses taught by professors from Harvard and other top universities, according to David Robson, science writer specialising in psychology, neuroscience and medicine.

 Deep concentration of study is more rewarding than scrolling through social media.
Photo: Fizkes/Getty Images For many of us in self-isolation, it can feel like the coronavirus has put the world on hold as we wait for release from our temporary imprisonment. But increasing numbers of people are using the time to build their skillset, with an upsurge in enrolments on online learning platforms such as edX, FutureLearn and Coursera, which offer “massive open online courses” – or Moocs.

Coursera, for instance, has seen an eightfold increase in enrolments for social science, personal development, arts and humanities courses since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. “It’s unprecedented,” says the company’s chief product officer, Shravan Goli. (In late March, its Science of Well Being course saw 500,000 new enrolments in a single weekend.)

Devoting some of our quarantine time to self-education makes sense. Besides helping to bolster your career during this economic uncertainty, learning a new skill can give you a sense of control that will help cope with anxiety engendered by the epidemic.

As James Wallman says in his book Time and How to Spend It, personal growth is central to many psychological theories of long-term happiness. So although an hour listening to a lecture may not be as enticing as the instant gratification of reality TV or social media, it will lead to greater life-satisfaction in the long term. “...

What do I do after completing the course?
For some, this may be just the start of the journey – furnishing you with a greater confidence to learn and the motivation to take it further. If you find that you’re hooked, many of the platforms also provide accredited bachelors and master’s degrees from selected universities, though this will be more expensive.

For others, the completion of a single course will be enough. But whatever your goals, the quest to learn a new skill or discipline may be the perfect distraction from the frustrations of self-isolation – allowing you to connect with new people and transforming this period into a time of enlightenment and self-discovery. 

Additional resources

Time and How to Spend It:
The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier DaysSource: The Guardian

6 Free Courses to Help Leaders Clearly Communicate and Influence Positive Change in Times of Crisis | LinkedIn Learning Resources - The Learning Blog

Leaders are being asked to do a lot right now—to play an even bigger role as a manager and as a leader to navigate the impacts of this crisis—all while dealing with the change on a personal level by Hari Srinivasan, Vice President of Product Management - Linkedin Learning.

6 Free Courses to Help Leaders Clearly Communicate and Influence Positive Change in Times of Crisis
It's tough and can be overwhelming, and Linkedin Learning is here to help. 

The number of leaders (professionals Director-level and above) taking a course on LinkedIn Learning has increased 41% faster month-over-month than all other seniority levels. Leaders around the world are turning to online learning to cultivate the communication, leadership, and management skills they need to lead teams through this uncertain time. 

Dive into the free courses helping leaders learn how to: 
Read more... 

Source: The Learning Blog

Ex-Hong Kong bookseller to open store in Taiwan | #Asia - NHK WORLD

A former manager of a Hong Kong bookstore that sold titles critical of the Chinese Communist Party is set to reopen the store in Taiwan.

Photo: Screenshot from NHK WORLD's VideoLam Wing-kee was detained by Chinese authorities along with other people linked to the Hong Kong store five years ago.

He was later released and returned to Hong Kong and hoped to reopen the bookstore there.

But he gave up the idea last year after the Hong Kong government submitted a bill that would enable criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China...

Lam says the store will open next Saturday in central Taipei.


Italy’s bookstores are figuring out how to reopen a business after a lockdown | Lifestyle - Quartz

After experiencing a severe coronavirus outbreak—with almost 170,000 people infected and more than 22,000 killed—things have started to improve in Italy over the past couple of weeks, observes Luiz Romero, Reporter at Quartz. 

A man at the Feltrinelli bookstore in Rome.It recorded its lowest number of new cases in one month earlier this week.
The government has now started to ease its strict lockdown measures. It has allowed some businesses to reopen, including bookstores, which are now having to figure out how to reignite their operations and start welcoming customers again.
China is the only country that had as severe an outbreak as Italy, managed to control it, and is now trying to reopen. China’s main lesson might be that the behaviors that businesses need to protect against are so omnipresent—being together, breathing, touching things—that changes are radical...
Where are the readers?
One question now is what Italians will be buying once they’re inside—beyond the books about the pandemic, which are already being written here. If the current bestseller charts are any sign, they will be looking for interminable book series to entertain their children, like the Harry Potter series, and themselves, with the Neapolitan tetralogy by Elena Ferrante.
Some will be looking for an immersion in the world of infectious disease, with Albert Camus’ Plague and José Saramago’s Blindness, while others, also based on the current rankings, will use the detective stories of Michael Connelly, Carlo Lucarelli, and Georges Simenon to find a escape.

Source: Quartz

Hitting the Books: How 'universal' stem cells might fix our brains | Tomorrow - Engadget

Andrew Tarantola, Senior Editor at Engadget recommends, All it takes is a bit of genetic manipulation.

3d cells and connections
Photo: enot-poloskun via Getty Images The impact that stem cell therapies could have on the worst diseases known to humanity is hard to overstate. From debilitating genetic disorders to currently incurable maladies like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease — even the ability to restore mental and physical functions after a stroke — stem cells could one day treat them all. Of course, with the intensity of interest in this rapidly maturing scientific discipline comes grifters, shams, quacks and snake-oil salesmen; like the Florida clinic that nearly blinded three women last year after injecting stem cells into their eyes to treat their Macular Degeneration.

In his latest book, The Future of Brain Repair - A Realist’s Guide to Stem Cell Therapy, neurobiologist Jack Price takes readers on a deep dive of the state of the art in advanced therapies while walking them through the field’s recent advancements, current capabilities and limitations and, in the excerpt below, the potential to directly reprogram mature cells into any other cell-type you need...

Excerpted from The Future of Brain Repair - A Realist’s Guide to Stem Cell Therapy by Jack Price. Reprinted with permission from The MIT PRESS. Copyright 2020.

The work of Gurdon, Thomson, and Yamanaka revealed something quite remarkable: if a cell can be induced to express the appropriate factors, then its fate can be fundamentally transformed. In the case of iPS cells, terminally differentiated cells—from blood, skin, or endothelium—were reprogrammed into pluripotent cells: that is, from cells with the most restricted of fates to cells with the most expansive. This was a shock to conventional embryologists, who had come to consider certain developmental steps irreversible. It was believed by many that once cells had been channeled during early development into one of the three primary germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm) then that step could not be reversed. Reprogramming destroyed that argument, but it raised an even more provocative question: if the correct genetic formula could be found was there any cell transplantation that could not be engineered?
Read more... 

 Recommended Reading

The Future of Brain Repair:
A Realist's Guide to Stem Cell Therapy
(The MIT Press)Source: Engadget


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