An in-mouth wafer to treat oral cancer– Biotech’s future

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To treat oral cancer, NSF-funded small business Privo Technologies has created a platform that delivers treatments directly to the affected area. Privo develops new classes of targeted treatments, such as chemotherapy drugs, designed to be delivered through the mouth’s mucous membranes. Privo founder Manijeh Goldberg talked about her company’s research at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

Faster, more sensitive imaging of live cells – Biotech’s future

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Developing new drugs means researchers must observe how cells react to those drugs over extended periods of time. NSF-funded small business Phi Optics has developed an optical microscope that lets scientists do just that -- study living cells in their natural environments. Catalin Chiritescu talked about how the technology works at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

Cancer-scanning device detects residual cancer cells post-surgery – Biotech’s future

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Despite a surgeon’s best efforts, residual cancer cells often remain after a tumor is removed. Now, a technology from NSF-funded small business NovaScan detects cancer cells in living tissue in real-time. The cancer-scanning device has already been used to find breast cancer cells. NovaScan’s William Gregory talked about how the wand works at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

Leveraging the immune system to fight cancer – Biotech’s future

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Inventors are using small-scale biology and engineering to find ways to use the body’s natural defenses to effectively treat cancer. NSF-funded small business GigaGen uses microfluidics, bioinformatics and genome sequencing to look for antibodies that may be good candidates for new therapies. GigaGen’s David Johnson explained how at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

Monitoring multiple biomarkers at once – Biotech’s future

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NSF-funded small business Applied Biosensors has created sensors that continuously monitor multiple biomarkers. The core technology has implications for biomedical research, water quality management and metabolic monitoring, among others. Prashant Tathireddy talked about the technology works at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

Clearing feeding tubes faster – Biotech’s future

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Feeding tubes often become clogged with medication and food, depriving patients of nutrition. NSF-funded small business Actuated Medical has invented an FDA-approved device that clears clogs quickly and cleanly. Roger Bagwell demonstrated how the device works at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

Archaeologists uncover the remains of two Ice Age infants

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A National Science Foundation-funded team of archaeologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks had uncovered the remains of two Ice Age infants, buried more than 11,000 years ago. The discovery represents the youngest human remains ever found in the North American Arctic. One infant died shortly after birth, and the other was probably a late-term newborn. The excavation took place in central Alaska, with the cooperation of local and regional native groups. The two infants were...

Illustrating the environment around infant stars like HL Tau

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Artist's impression of a protoplanetary disk. Newly formed planets can be seen traveling around the central host star, sweeping their orbits clear of dust and gas. These same ring-link structures were observed recently by ALMA around the young star HL Tau.

For more information visit: go.nrao.edu/pr/planet-formation-alma

Credit: National Science Foundation, A. Khan

Paleontologists discover fossil of bizarre groundhog-like mammal on Madagascar

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NSF-funded scientists from Stony Brook University have discovered an almost complete skull of a previously unknown mammal that likely resembled a large modern-day groundhog and lived alongside dinosaurs.

For more information visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=133092

Steviol molecular structure

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Responsible for the sweet tasting leaves of the Stevia plant, steviol glycosides have become popularized as a no-cal alternative to sugar. With funding from NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate, R. Graham Cooks at Purdue University has applied his mass spectrometer to studying (among other things) stevia leaves. In an experiment that rapidly detected the glycosides in stevia leaves, Cook’s group has developed a powerful method for the rapid screening of plant materials...