First Five is our list of essential media for the month which spans a range of content including scientific papers, books, podcasts, and videos. For our full list of interesting media in health, science, and technology, updated regularly, follow us on Twitter or Instagram.
1/ Are We Too Clean?
A prevalent theory is that modern society is too clean, leading to defective immune systems in children contributing to the rise of allergic diseases. A recent paper from researchers at University College London entitled “Microbial exposures that establish immunoregulation are compatible with targeted hygiene” suggests, however, that sticking to our hygiene habits is a good idea.
2/ Darkness Visible
Global light pollution has increased by at least 49% over the past 25 years!
3/ Sweating Fat
Treating obese mice with the cytokine known as TSLP led to significant abdominal fat and weight loss compared to controls, according to new research published in Science from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Unexpectedly, the fat loss was not associated with decreased food intake or faster metabolism. Instead, the researchers demonstrated that fat loss can be achieved by secreting calories from the skin in the form of energy-rich sebum.
4/ Eat Your Amino Acids
Protein intake has been shown to be important for maintaining brain function in older individuals. Researchers now have evidence that the intake of a specific set of amino acids can inhibit the death of brain cells, protect the connections between them, and reduce inflammation, preserving brain function. The research using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease suggests that a combination of seven selected essential amino acids can hinder the development of dementia.
5/ State of AI 2021
AI investors Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth have released their annual report on the state of AI. Amongst the things they highlight is “a watershed moment in the field of biology, where AI-first approaches continue to show their potential to entirely transform drug discovery and healthcare.”
Participated in Series A funding led by Novo Holdings and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, with additional participation from Blue Horizon, Spero Ventures, Green Generation Fund, Alexandria, and Gaingels.
BIOMILQ is developing a novel infant feeding option, derived from human mammary cells, to better meet infants' nutritional needs and with a lower carbon footprint than traditional bovine-based infant formula. Earlier this year, BIOMILQ announced it had successfully produced a milk product with many of the same macronutrients that are known to be abundantly present in breastmilk.
Participated in Series A funding led by Shine Capital, with additional participation from Sequoia Capital, YC, Lux Capital, Brand Foundry Ventures, and the founders of Daring Foods, Good Culture, Hungryroot, RXBAR, and Waterloo.
Kingdom Supercultures provides natural microbial cultures to transform the consumer packaged goods industry. Kingdom designs and supplies a new class of natural ingredients (“Supercultures”) that make it easy for food, beverage, and personal care manufacturers to create healthy and sustainable products. These Supercultures are composed entirely of microbial strains found naturally in food, which Kingdom rearranges into new combinations with new functionalities.
MedStar Health Leads $5 Million CDC-Funded Project Aimed at Improving Cancer Survivorship and Reducing Patient Inequities
Health equity 101: What causes healthcare disparities, and where does tech fit?
Code Ocean Selected by Lantern Pharma to Power A.I. and Computational Biology Research & Data-Driven Oncology Drug Development Collaborations
Universal LabOps Platform Draws Actionable Utilization Data From Any Powered Object
ABC12 News >
McCarthy Building Co. to pilot wearable heat monitoring tech for worker safety
Solar Builder >
Plug and Play selects KC startup for Topeka accelerator
Startland News >
Dogs will get cutting-edge immunotherapy too, now:
PetMedix raises £27m to commercialise new pet treatments after a promising first trial
Rejuvenate Bio is Reversing Age-Related Diseases to Increase Healthspan
Scout Bio Closes $33 Million Series B2 Financing to Advance its Portfolio of Single Injection Gene Therapy Technology for the Treatment of Chronic Diseases in Pets
GlobeNewswire > Endpoints News >
Scout Bio Initiates Multi-Center Clinical Study of Gene Therapy for Chronic Arthritis Pain In Cats
Second Genome Presents Preclinical Data at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Demonstrating that a Novel Peptide, SG-3-0020, Upregulates Co-stimulatory and Checkpoint Pathways
Yahoo Finance >
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Public-Interest Technologies for Better Health
Digitalis Commons is a non-profit that partners with groups and individuals striving to address complex health problems by building public-interest technology solutions that are frontier-advancing, open-access, and scalable.
While the news is awash in stories about artificial intelligence making inroads in any number of fields, this recent Nature Perspective piece entitled “Measuring algorithmically infused societies” calls out the need to reassess how the social sciences investigate human societies in light of “the emergence of ‘algorithmically infused societies’—societies whose very fabric is co-shaped by algorithmic and human behaviour.” The authors note three key challenges facing our understanding of this new hybrid: the insufficient quality of measurements, the complex consequences of (mis)measurements, and the limits of existing social theories. These are important considerations in the development of any public-interest technology.
The General Index, a giant, free index to the world’s research papers, has recently been release and is a fascinating example of a public-interest technology at massive scale. Nature has a good write up about the project here.
September 2021 Edition — Notes on Privacy and Security
August 2021 Edition — Evolution and Public Health
July 2021 Edition — Some Notes On Model Organisms
June 2021 Edition — XX Versus XY
May 2021 Edition — The Ends, Not The Means
April 2021 Edition — A Fertile Ground For AI Companies