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Nigeria Student African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, develops cure for breast cancer

Nigeria Student African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, develops cure for breast cancer
AUST student develops cure for breast cancer in Nigeria
A female student of the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Sandra Musujusu, has developed an alternative treatment for breast cancer.
The scientific breakthrough might lead to a lasting solution in the treatment of breast cancer prevalent among women world over.
This was made known on Tuesday in Abuja when the World Bank Education Director, Dr Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi with his team visited the University as part of his assessment tour of the 10 African Centres of Excellence (ACE) centres.
The World Bank has committed about $10 billion for the ACE project in Nigeria, as part of efforts to encourage conduct of cutting-edge research and specialisation of the beneficiaries institutions in specific development problems faced in Nigeria and indeed the African continent.
AUST is hosting one of the Centres of Excellence, known as Pan African Material Institute (PAMI), with research focus electrical power, disease detection and treatment.
Musujusu’s research, using macromolecular science is aimed at developing bio-degradable polymer material which could be used as alternative for the treatment of breast cancer in the near future.
She revealed that her research focuses on triple negative breast cancer which is the aggressive sub-type of breast cancer that is common with women from African ancestry.
Musujusu, a Sierra-Leonian national is conducting the research under the sponsorship of the Pan African Materials Institute (PAMI).
Out of 19 African Centres of Excellence, 10 Nigerian tertiary institutions won slots to churn out special research works that could compete effectively with global standards.
The ACE universities include Redeemers University, Mowe; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos, Jos; University of Benin and African University of Science and Technology, Abuja.
Others are University of Port-Harcourt; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Bayero University, Kano; Benue State University, Makurdi; and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
It would be recalled that when the Ebola Virus Disease broke out in Nigeria in the year 2014, one of the ACE centres, Redeemers University served as the testing site before it was brought under control.
Musujusu said, “My research is actually centred on the development of bio-degradable polymers for treatment of breast cancer.”
“I will be focusing on triple negative breast cancer which is actually the aggressive sub-type of breast cancer that is common with women from African ancestry.”
“I believe there is a bright future for Africa, and as a woman there is much more we can do if we are empowered. This award given to me by PAMI has empowered me to face my studies with more confidence and actually contribute to the frontier of knowledge and move Africa forward.”
Credit: TRIBUNE

Russian satellite "Sova" began flight tests


The first Russian atmospheric satellite dubbed "Sova" (Owl) with a high-aspect ratio flexible wing began flight tests at an altitude of 49,000-65,000 feet, an official with the Advanced Research Fund told Sputnik.
The Sova is designed for months-long flights at stratospheric altitudes, and its application is in ensuring communication in hard-to-reach areas, re transmitting data, monitoring the Earth's surface and terrestrial space, the official explained.
"The tested prototype of the 'Sova' atmospheric satellite should confirm the correctness of the laid technical solutions and demonstrate the achieved qualities of the apparatus," the official said Thursday.
The Sova is designed for months-long flights at stratospheric altitudes, and its application is in ensuring communication in hard-to-reach areas, retransmitting data, monitoring the Earth's surface and terrestrial space, the official explained.


GSK signs deal as Big pharma turns to AI to speed drug discovery,

GSK signs deal as Big pharma turns to AI to speed drug discovery,
The world's leading drug companies are turning to artificial intelligence to improve the hit-and-miss business of finding new medicines, with GlaxoSmithKline unveiling a new $43 million deal in the field on Sunday.
Other pharmaceutical giants including Merck & Co, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are also exploring the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to help streamline the drug discovery process.
The aim is to harness modern supercomputers and machine learning systems to predict how molecules will behave and how likely they are to make a useful drug, thereby saving time and money on unnecessary tests.
AI systems already play a central role in other high-tech areas such as the development of driverless cars and facial recognition software.
"Many large pharma companies are starting to realize the potential of this approach and how it can help improve efficiencies," said Andrew Hopkins, chief executive of privately owned Exscientia, which announced the new tie-up with GSK.
Hopkins, who used to work at Pfizer, said Exscientia's AI system could deliver drug candidates in roughly one-quarter of the time and at one-quarter of the cost of traditional approaches.
The Scotland-based company, which also signed a deal with Sanofi in May, is one of a growing number of start-ups on both sides of the Atlantic that are applying AI to drug research. Others include U.S. firms Berg, Numerate, twoXAR and Atomwise, as well as Britain's BenevolentAI.
"In pharma's eyes these companies are essentially digital biotechs that they can strike partnerships with and which help feed the pipeline," said Nooman Haque, head of life sciences at Silicon Valley Bank in London.
"If this technology really proves itself, you may start to see M&A with pharma, and closer integration of these AI engines into pharma R&D."
STILL TO BE PROVEN
It is not the first time drugmakers have turned to high-tech solutions to boost R&D productivity.
The introduction of "high throughput screening", using robots to rapidly test millions of compounds, generated mountains of leads in the early 2000s but notably failed to solve inefficiencies in the research process.
When it comes to AI, big pharma is treading cautiously, in the knowledge that the technology has yet to demonstrate it can successfully bring a new molecule from computer screen to lab to clinic and finally to market.

"It's still to be proven, but we definitely think we should do the experiment," said John Baldoni, GSK's head of platform technology and science.
Baldoni is also ramping up in-house AI investment at the drugmaker by hiring some unexpected staff with appropriate computing and data handling experience - including astrophysicists.
His goal is to reduce the time it takes from identifying a target for disease intervention to finding a molecule that acts against it from an average 5.5 years today to just one year in future.
"That is a stretch. But as we've learnt more about what modern supercomputers can do, we've gained more confidence," Baldoni told Reuters. "We have an obligation to reduce the cost of drugs and reduce the time it takes to get medicines to patients." read further here.....

By 2070, lifespan may increase to 125 years as predicted by Dutch scientists

In one new paper published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, Dutch scientists predict that, by 2070, our lifespan may increase to 125 years while beyond that, the sky may be the limit. 

To prove a 125-year lifespan is possible, researchers from the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute team began their study by refuting the relationship between age & immortality posed by Benjamin Gompertz. 
This 19th-century mathematician pored over mortality data and noticed that young people have a very low chance of dying. Yet, in middle age, the chance of dying increases and then rises again dramatically in old age.

This exponential increase in the rate of human mortality has long been accepted wisdom, yet the Dutch researchers decided to challenge it. Instead of basing their work on data derived from the general population, they used data from a group of people noted for their long lives Japanese women. Using mathematical models, they claim mortality goes down in old age and projected an astounding new human lifespan 125 years will be achieved by 2070.

In their paper, Vijg explained that their analysis was based not on some mathematical model that projected future data, but on "actual data" of real human lives. They examined not one but two different data sets, and what they observed was that, despite life expectancy being dramatically higher than it was 100 years ago, the probability of anyone living for more than 125 years was unlikely. "Initially, you see this increase every year and you see this oldest record holder until the 1990s, and then it stops," said Vijg. "Think about it, how strange it is." The number of healthy centenarians increased dramatically every year. That being the case, Vijg theorized "the supply is certainly there" to create more record-breakers, every year, yet there were none.

New method of diagnosing malaria invented By University of Lagos

New method of diagnosing malaria invented By University of Lagos
University of Lagos (UNILAG) said it invented a new method of diagnosing malaria, following intensive research by its Department of Medical Micro Biology and Parasitology.
Prof. Wellington Oyibo, the Director, Research and Innovation of the institution, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Oyibo, a lecturer in the department, said the university’s research on malaria testing without the use of blood was validated in 2016.
He said that by this feat, the institution was fast becoming a clinical trial site for diagnosis in the country.
According to him, the institution has provided a platform and an enabling environment for researchers that have been providing solutions to life challenges.
The Professor of Medical Parasitology noted that having worked in the malaria space, he discovered that malaria was a major health challenge in the country.
He added that “one of the major challenges in managing the menace has to do with case management, as there are assumptions that all fevers are malaria.
“This leads to excessive diagnosis and over treatment.”
He recalled that the policy that malaria test should be done before treatment was approved since 2010, noting however, that “in spite of this policy, people are still not doing tests.
“So, one way by which we can encourage diagnosis is by introducing tests that will
not require blood from patients.

“Under the new test formula, medicine retailers will be able to carry out diagnosis before dispensing drugs.
“If we keep selling drugs for a disease that does not exist, it will amount to waste of resources and patients will be suffering.’’
The lecturer said that the research was conducted in collaboration with a group of researchers in Baltimore, U.S., adding that the outcome was to diagnose malaria using urine.
He explained that “the first urine malaria test’’ has been validated.
According to him, the urine malaria test is the first clinical and global trial to be done in the world.
He said the test had been registered by both the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
He noted that the development was remarkable and groundbreaking, considering the fact that one could carry out malaria test without taking blood.
He appealed to the Federal Government to create easy access for people to test for malaria through the new approach.
This, he said, is possible by establishing testing centres in various parts of the country.
“This achievement shows that UNILAG is becoming a clinical trial site for diagnosis.
“In the past, trial test are conducted in India and Bangladesh or somewhere in Asia for Nigerians.
“But now, we are conducting tests for Nigerian patients and we are providing data and that is quite remarkable.’’
Oyibo further said that the new research breakthrough would improve malaria diagnosis and treatment.

Switzerland: A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

Switzerland: A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
At EPFL(The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne is a research institute/university in Lausanne, Switzerland), researchers challenge a fundamental law and discover that more electromagnetic energy can be stored in wave-guiding systems than previously thought. The discovery has implications in telecommunications. Working around the fundamental law, they conceived resonant and wave-guiding systems capable of storing energy over a prolonged period while keeping a broad bandwidth. Their trick was to create asymmetric resonant or wave-guiding systems using magnetic fields.
The study, which has just been published in Science, was led by Kosmas Tsakmakidis, first at the University of Ottawa and then at EPFL's Bionanophotonic Systems Laboratory run by Hatice Altug, where the researcher is now doing post-doctoral research.
This breakthrough could have a major impact on many fields in engineering and physics. The number of potential applications is close to infinite, with telecommunications, optical detection systems and broadband energy harvesting representing just a few examples.
Casting aside reciprocity
Resonant and wave-guiding systems are present in the vast majority of optical and electronic systems. Their role is to temporarily store energy in the form of electromagnetic waves and then release them. For more than 100 hundred years, these systems were held back by a limitation that was considered to be fundamental: the length of time a wave could be stored was inversely proportional to its bandwidth.
This relationship was interpreted to mean that it was impossible to store large amounts of data in resonant or wave-guiding systems over a long period of time because increasing the bandwidth meant decreasing the storage time and quality of storage.
This law was first formulated by K. S. Johnson in 1914, at Western Electric Company (the forerunner of Bell Telephone Laboratories). He introduced the concept of the Q factor, according to which a resonator can either store energy for a long time or have a broad bandwidth, but not both at the same time. Increasing the storage time meant decreasing the bandwidth, and vice versa. A small bandwidth means a limited range of frequencies (or 'colors') and therefore a limited amount of data.
Until now, this concept had never been challenged. Physicists and engineers had always built resonant systems - like those to produce lasers, make electronic circuits and conduct medical diagnoses - with this constraint in mind.
But that limitation is now a thing of the past. The researchers came up with a hybrid resonant / wave-guiding system made of a magneto-optic material that, when a magnetic field is applied, is able to stop the wave and store it for a prolonged period, thereby accumulating large amounts of energy. Then when the magnetic field is switched off, the trapped pulse is released.
With such asymmetric and non-reciprocal systems, it was possible to store a wave for a very long period of time while also maintaining a large bandwidth. The conventional time-bandwidth limit was even beaten by a factor of 1,000. The scientists further showed that, theoretically, there is no upper ceiling to this limit at all in these asymmetric (non-reciprocal) systems.
"It was a moment of revelation when we discovered that these new structures did not feature any time-bandwidth restriction at all. These systems are unlike what we have all been accustomed to for decades, and possibly hundreds of years", says Tsakmakidis, the study's lead author. "Their superior wave-storage capacity performance could really be an enabler for a range of exciting applications in diverse contemporary and more traditional fields of research." Hatice Altug adds.
Medicine, the environment and telecommunications
One possible application is in the design of extremely quick and efficient all-optical buffers in telecommunication networks. The role of the buffers is to temporarily store data arriving in the form of light through optical fibers. By slowing the mass of data, it is easier to process. Up to now, the storage quality had been limited.+
With this new technique, it should be possible to improve the process and store large bandwidths of data for prolonged times. Other potential applications include on-chip spectroscopy, broadband light harvesting and energy storage, and broadband optical camouflaging ("invisibility cloaking"). "The reported breakthrough is completely fundamental - we're giving researchers a new tool. And the number of applications is limited only by one's imagination," sums up Tsakmakidis.

Source: EnergyDaily

Social Media: YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users

Social Media: YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users
This year at VidCon, YouTube shared some new metrics that really drive home how much it’s dominating mobile video usage and how quickly its service is gaining viewers on TVs.
The highlight was the fact that there are now 1.5 billion logged-in users visiting the site every month. The distinction is important as there are undoubtedly still quite a few folks hopping on YouTube that aren’t necessarily using Google Accounts to do so.
The site announced it hit 1 billion monthly active users in 2013, though that number assumedly related to all visitors, logged-in and not.
Logged-in users spend an average of more than one hour per day watching YouTube just on mobile devices, a pretty daunting number that showcases just how pervasive video has gotten on the mobile web.
“When we compare that [metric] to TV, people — in some countries like the U.S. — watch up to four hours per day, so we think there’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube,” CEO Susan Wojcicki said onstage.
On that note, the company said that the TV screen was their fastest growing medium of consumption, noting that the category was growing 90 percent year-over-year, something that the company’s new YouTube TV service is undoubtedly going to add to. The company didn’t have any new details to share on desktop video viewing habits.
While sites like Facebook begin to throw more resources behind video efforts, it’s clear that regardless of the arbitrary “view” statistics thrown around, the sheer amount of time spent engaging with a service is a constant metric and one that YouTube has a lot to say about.
Credit: Techcrunch

SpaceX: Ten Iridium satellites successfully deployed by Falcon 9 rocket

Image result for IRIDIUM-2 MISSION
On Sunday, June 25 at 1:25 p.m. PDT, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. This is the second set of 10 satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium® NEXT.
Image result for IRIDIUM-2 MISSION
Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 successfully landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship stationed in the Pacific Ocean, despite challenging weather conditions.

World's lightest satellite designed by 18-year-old India student has been launched by NASA

Rifath Shaarook
On Thursday, India once again broke a global space record by launching the world's lightest satellite weighing a mere 64 grams, called Kalamsat, designed and developed not by professional space scientists and engineers, but by 18-year-old Tamil Nadu student Rifath Sharook and his team.
The tiny satellite, named after Abdul Kalam, was flown by a Nasa sounding rocket and the lift-off was from the space agency's Wallop Island facility around 3pm (IST). Kalam had his training in the sounding rocket programme at Wallops Island in the '60s. Kalamsat was the only Indian payload in the mission.
Speaking to TOI post Speaking to TOI post launch from Chennai, mission director Srimathy Kesan said that the total flight time of the rocket was 240 minutes and the satellite, assembled at her T.Nagar residence in Chennai, separated from the rocket 125 minutes after lift-off.



"Kalamsat fell into the sea. It will be recovered and Nasa will be sending it back to us for decoding the data,'' she said while pointing out in an emotion-choked voice that the flight was "out of the world and it was a divine intervention."



Explained Kesan: "I am calling it divine intervention because the previous Nasa mission from Wallops got postponed because of weather and we were able to launch successfully today." This one-of-itskind satellite, which can be held in one's palm is a 3.8cm cube and its structure is fully 3-D printed with reinforced carbon fiber polymer. It is equipped with a nano Geiger Muller counter which will measure radiation in space. Added Kesan: "It is the only cube to be converted into a satellite in this mission," she added.

Paul Allen Microsoft Co founder, Unveils Huge Rocket Launching Plane

Paul Allen Microsoft Co founder, Unveils Huge Rocket Launching Plane
The "Roc" plane is seen outside its hangar. (Stratolaunch)
Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s entry into the commercial space race has been revealed.
Allen posted a picture of a plane nicknamed the “Roc” on Twitter, showing an extremely unusual and enormous plane that he hopes will eventually launch rockets into space.
The Roc has six engines, two fuselages, 28 wheels and is built by Allen’s company Stratolaunch Systems.
The plane has a wingspan of more than 117 meters, the longest ever built, and weighs more than 227,000 kilograms. To put the wingspan into perspective, it is longer than an official soccer pitch, which measure between 100 and 110 meters.
The aircraft is 72.5 meters from nose to tail and stands 15.2 meters tall from the ground to the top of the tail.
In his tweet, Allen said the plane was being taken out of its hangar for fuel testing. Next will come engine testing and taxi testing.
"Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be actively conducting ground and flightline testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port," Stratolaunch Systems CEO Jean Floyd said. "This is a first-of-its-kind aircraft, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots, crew and staff."
The plane’s maximum takeoff weight can be up to 589,000 kilograms. The company says the plane will first launch an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket, but that it will be capable of launching up to three rockets in one flight.

Credit: VOA

Jaguar Unveils Its First Ever Electric Car At LA Auto Show

Jaguar Unveils Its First Ever Electric Car At LA Auto Show

Jaguar has revealed its first electric car, expected to hit the roads in 2018.

The I-Pace is an all-electric SUV with space for five passengers. It is described by the company as a "dramatic" design that offers a glimpse into the future of electric vehicles.
I-Pace electric car by Jaguar
It made its debut at the LA Auto Show, and while currently a concept vehicle, Jaguar says the design will remain largely the same when it goes into production in 2017.
When it eventually hits the roads in 2018, the British company also claims the car will be able to travel 310 miles (500 kilometres) on a single charge and will be able to accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour in approximately four seconds.
I-Pace electric car by Jaguar
"The I-Pace Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design," said Ian Callum, Jaguar's director of design. "It's a dramatic, future-facing, cab-forward design with a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship."
I-Pace will be powered by a custom-designed battery pack that is located at the base of the car, giving the vehicle a low centre of gravity and in turn, according to Jaguar, agile driving dynamics.
I-Pace electric car by Jaguar
The average user would only need to charge the battery once a week – and when they do, it takes just over two hours to get it to 100 per cent power.
Known for its luxurious cars, Jaguar has paid particular attention to the interior of the vehicle.
I-Pace electric car by Jaguar
While the car is an SUV, the seats are placed in a sports-car-like driving position. A glass roof allows for panoramic sky views, and two touchscreens provide a "home-from-home user experience".
"The interior of the I-Pace Concept is finished with beautiful, premium materials and an unwavering attention to detail," said Callum. "From the expansive panoramic glass roof to the sporting, beautifully finished seats, every feature bears the hallmark of British craftsmanship."
I-Pace electric car by Jaguar
"And there is digital craftsmanship too, with two touchscreens serving up information when and where you need it, limiting distraction and improving the driving experience"
The I-Pace is less futuristic-looking than some recently revealed electric cars, including Renault's Trezor, which features a roof that "opens like the lid of a jewellery box".
It shows a more realistic offering in the race towards electric vehicles, which has already seen brands including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen roll out battery-powered cars.
The car industry's growing interest in electric vehicles is also being mirrored in the aircraft industry. Earlier this year, Paul Priestman, co-founder of London transport design studio PriestmanGoode, told Dezeen that advances in electric motors could see jet aeroplanes replaced by battery-powered craft, ushering in a new era of personalised electric flying machines. Culled

Solar Probe Mission Renamed By NASA to Honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker

Solar Probe Mission Renamed By NASA to Honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker
illustration of Parker Solar Probe
Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun
NASA has renamed the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft — humanity’s first mission to a star, which will launch in 2018 — as the Parker Solar Probe in honor of astrophysicist Eugene Parker. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the University of Chicago, where Parker serves as the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
In 1958, Parker — then a young professor at the university’s Enrico Fermi Institute — published an article in the Astrophysical Journal called “Dynamics of the interplanetary gas and magnetic fields.” Parker believed there was high speed matter and magnetism constantly escaping the sun, and that it affected the planets and space throughout our solar system.
This phenomenon, now known as the solar wind, has been proven to exist repeatedly through direct observation. Parker’s work forms the basis for much of our understanding about how stars interact with the worlds that orbit them.
“This is the first time NASA has named a spacecraft for a living individual,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “It’s a testament to the importance of his body of work, founding a new field of science that also inspired my own research and many important science questions NASA continues to study and further understand every day. I’m very excited to be personally involved honoring a great man and his unprecedented legacy.” 
“The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before,” said Parker. “It’s very exciting that we’ll finally get a look. One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what’s going on in the solar wind. I’m sure that there will be some surprises. There always are.”
In the 1950s, Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars — including our sun — give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields and energetic particles that make up this phenomenon. Parker also theorized an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is — contrary to what was expected by physics laws — hotter than the surface of the sun itself. Many NASA missions have continued to focus on this complex space environment defined by our star — a field of research known as heliophysics.
“Parker Solar Probe is going to answer questions about solar physics that we’ve puzzled over for more than six decades,” said Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Nicola Fox, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “It’s a spacecraft loaded with technological breakthroughs that will solve many of the largest mysteries about our star, including finding out why the sun’s corona is so much hotter than its surface. And we’re very proud to be able to carry Gene’s name with us on this amazing voyage of discovery.”
NASA missions are most often renamed after launch and certification; in this case, given Parker’s accomplishments within the field, and how closely aligned this mission is with his research, the decision was made to honor him prior to launch, in order to draw attention to his important contributions to heliophysics and space science.
Born on June 10, 1927, in Michigan, Eugene Newman Parker received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Michigan State University and a doctorate from Caltech. He then taught at the University of Utah, and since 1955, Parker has held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and at its Fermi Institute. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the George Ellery Hale Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Bruce Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Kyoto Prize, and the James Clerk Maxwell Prize.
Parker Solar Probe is on track for launch during a 20-day window that opens July 31, 2018. The mission is part of NASA’s Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. LWS is managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. Johns Hopkins APL manages the mission for NASA and is designing and building and will operate the spacecraft.
Credit: NASA