Technology Tuesday: February 23
Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.
This week: An AI made to fight cancer, the first ever artificial kidney, New T-Cell Therapy leads to extraordinary results for terminal patients, a jacket made mostly of air that keeps you warm no matter the temperature, and a new semiconducting material that could revolutionize computer speed.
An Artificial Intelligence Made To Fight Cancer
Blood count. Biopsy. Drug cocktails. Snippets like these tell the story of a person’s experience of cancer. Gather up the stories of hundreds of thousands of people and you could learn about the disease itself.
A team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York is training an artificial intelligence to find similarities between cases that human doctors might miss. The software combs through 100 million sentences taken from clinical notes about people with cancer.
Scientists Develop First Ever Implantable Artificial Kidney
Scientists at Vanderbilt University have developed a first-ever implantable artificial kidney. The artificial kidney contains a microchip filter and living kidney cells that can function using the patient’s heart, and this bio-synthetic kidney acts like the real organ, removing salt, water and waste products to keep patients with kidney failure from relying on dialysis.
The key to this new development is a breakthrough in the microchip itself, which uses silicon nanotechnology. “[Silicon nanotechnology] uses the same processes that were developed by the microelectronics industry for computers,” said Dr. William H. Fissell IV, who led the team that developed the device.
A New T-Cell Therapy For Cancer
Cancer patients who would typically have had only months to live are now in remission, thanks to the immune system’s very own T-cells. Scientists are now claiming “extraordinary” success with engineering immune cells to target a specific type of blood cancer in their early clinical trials.
Notably, this is still early work. And as is true of all medical advancements, widespread implementation will take time. Moreover, T-cell therapy is dangerous, and typically only used as a last resort. But for those who have exhausted all options, for those who have no other hope, the early results are amazingly promising.
Jacket Made of Aerogel and Graphene
Oros wants to help you make it through subzero temperatures without getting cold. Strangely enough, the company hopes to accomplish this goal by using a material that is 99.8% air. That may sound like a rather questionable choice, but it begins to make sense once you know what aerogel is.
Aerogel is one of the lightest solid materials known to man. And as chance would have it, it’s also amazingly good as reducing heat transfer. This means that when it is used in clothing, what is cold (like the outside air) stays cold and what is hot (your body) stays hot.
Engineering Material Magic
University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power.
The semiconductor, made of the elements tin and oxygen, or tin monoxide (SnO), is a layer of 2D material only one atom thick, allowing electrical charges to move through it much faster than conventional 3D materials such as silicon.
Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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