Technology Tuesday: January 8th

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: New nanotech that accelerates healing, pay-as-you-go gene therapy, images from China’s lander on the “Dark Side of the Moon”, a hotel suite that drives to you, and and new cancer treatments that are about to enter human trials.

NEW NANOTECH DRIVES HEALING BY “TALKING” TO WOUNDS

Researchers from Imperial College London have created a new molecule that can “talk” to the cells in the area near injured tissues to encourage wound healing.

“This intelligent healing is useful during every phase of the healing process, has the potential to increase the body’s chance to recover, and has far-reaching uses on many different types of wounds,” lead researcher Ben Almquist said in a news release.

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BIOTECH FIRM TO LAUNCH PAY-AS-YOU-GO GENE THERAPY

The people with rare diseases best treated by gene-replacement therapy sometimes struggle to pay the millions of dollars these treatments can cost.

To help make things easier for people, biotech company Bluebird Bio Inc. wants to sell its genetic therapy through a five-year pay-as-you-go model within the next few years. Customers would pay annual installments instead of an unsurmountable lump sum, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The plan would also give people option to cancel if the gene replacement therapy didn’t work, signaling that biotech companies are aware of how expensive their treatments are and feel incentivized to help make them more accessible and accountable.

“We only get paid if we do what we said we’d do,” Bluebird executive Nick Leschly told the WSJ.

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SEE CHINA’S LUNAR ROVER SET OFF ACROSS THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

Earlier this week, Chinese lunar probe Chang’e-4 made history by becoming the first spacecraft to ever land on the far side of the Moon — the less-studied, mountainous half that faces away from the Earth.

Yesterday, we were blessed with a number of new high-resolution images, courtesy of China’s National Space Administration, showing the more mysterious side of the Moon in all its glory. The pictures had to make their way through a special relay satellite called Queqiao since radio communication with the far side of the Moon is far more difficult.

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FUTURISTIC HOTEL SUITE WOULD DRIVE YOU AROUND WHILE YOU SLEEP

So much time is lost in transit, from spending hours in line at airport security to getting stuck in traffic.

But Toronto-based design studio Aprilli has cooked up a futuristic solution that could turn those lost hours into valuable time. The firm’s “Autonomous Travel Suite” concept combines the ease and comfort of a hotel room with the power of autonomous driving. Think of it as an ultra-deluxe Uber that you can sleep, work and eat in while you travel — not to mention a bold vision of the future of transportation.

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A NEW CANCER TREATMENT IS ENTERING HUMAN TRIALS IN 2019

A new cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer is scheduled to start human trials in 2019.

The U.K.’s Telegraph reports that the new treatment, devised by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London, uses implanted immune system cells from strangers to fight tumors, instead of old-school cancer treatments like chemotherapy — a new tack in oncology that the researchers say could boost cancer ten-year cancer survival rates from 50 percent to 75 percent.

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