Posts tagged with "university"

2021 Collegiate Inventors Competition

5 Student Teams’ Innovations Win 2021 Collegiate Inventors Competition

A glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends from the nation’s brightest young innovators — from a robot used in search and rescue situations to an accessible COVID-19 testing solution — were recognized and honored this week at the 2021 Collegiate Inventors Competition®, an annual competition for college and university students and their advisers.

Finalist teams (six Undergraduate and six Graduate), consisting of 20 students from 13 colleges and universities across the United States, presented their inventions in a virtual format to an esteemed panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and innovation experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials.

“As our world’s challenges continue to grow in complexity, we increasingly need to look to the next generation of innovators to meet these problems head on,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister. “We are proud to recognize and celebrate this latest group of collegiate inventors who are committed to creating a better future for us all.”

Established in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO and Arrow Electronics (Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award). In addition to cash awards, the winning teams also receive an opportunity to meet with a NIHF Inductee for mentorship and advice, and a USPTO Patent Acceleration Certificate.

FIRST-PLACE WINNERS ($10,000 PRIZE)

UNDERGRADUATE:

EarFlow, Harvard University

Team Member: Eva Cai; Advisers: Samir Mitragotri, Aaron Remenschneider

An easier treatment for healthier ears: Otitis media, or middle ear infection, is a painful condition triggering excess fluid production in the middle ear, affecting the eardrum by altering its vibration and hearing levels. It is especially common in young children. EarFlow is a drug delivery device that is placed on a patient’s eardrum to deliver dexamethasone, a steroid, and ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic, to the middle ear to treat otitis media. Placing the device takes less than five minutes in a doctor’s office and does not require general anesthesia. With low cytotoxicity and low risk of hearing damage, EarFlow offers a vast improvement from standard treatments for recurrent infections.

GRADUATE:

SolarClear, Stony Brook University

Team Member: Shrish Patel; Adviser: Alexander Orlov

A better solar panel cleaning solution: Dust storms, especially in the Western United States, Middle East and North Africa, are a significant problem for large-scale solar power plants. While solutions exist to clean them off, they are impractical and expensive. Cleaning a typical utility-scale solar installation requires a staggering 600,000 to 1 million gallons of potable water. SolarClear addresses this problem by using autonomous waterless cleaning technology that is both significantly more effective and efficient compared to existing technologies. Additionally, the unique design of the electrodes that are used in the system makes SolarClear economically viable for utility-scale installation in the desert.

RUNNER-UP WINNERS ($5,000 PRIZE)

UNDERGRADUATE:

Augment Health Bladder Management System, Georgia Institute of Technology

Team Members: Stephen Kalinsky, Jared Meyers; Adviser: Martin Jacobson

Smart monitoring that can empower millions: Over 6.5 million people in the United States alone have limited bladder sensation. They cannot feel when their bladder is full and often suffer incontinence. Many use incontinence products or a catheter and collection bag. Often, these solutions lead to urinary tract infections and are costly, difficult and embarrassing to manage. The Augment Health Bladder Management System is a noninvasive connection between a catheter and catheter valve that monitors the bladder and tells the user when it is full via their smart device, eliminating the need for obtrusive incontinence products. This invention has the potential to reduce costs and infections, restore dignity and offer better quality of care.

GRADUATE:

VirSENSE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Team Member: Maha Alafeef; Adviser: Dipanjan Pan

An accessible COVID-19 testing solution: To manage and ultimately control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, rapid, inexpensive and easily deployable testing is crucial. It’s for this reason that Maha Alafeef created VirSENSE, a rapid test for COVID-19 that users can administer entirely at home. Using an electrochemical biosensor paired with an electrical reader, the test screens for active cases and is over 98% accurate. Thanks to the technology that VirSENSE is using, individuals are able to determine in real time if they are COVID-19 positive, even before their bodies develop a detectable antibody response.

ARROW ELECTRONICS PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER ($2,000 PRIZE)

Firebot, University of Texas at Austin

Team Member: Siddharth Thakur; Adviser: Roland Fields

Navigating safer search and rescue operations in fire situations: Firefighters face life-threatening situations while searching for human life in structural fires, leading to 33 fatalities in the past decade and 10,575 injuries in 2019 alone. Firebot, a thermally insulated, wirelessly controlled, obstacle-climbing robot, locates victims without requiring firefighters to enter burning buildings. Firefighters can deploy Firebot near an entrance and remotely steer it using a joystick and laptop displaying live video, thermal imagery and sensor data, which warns of potentially hazardous situations. Firefighters can use a two-way speaker to lead conscious victims out, or a siren and GPS map to allow them to quickly find and rescue unconscious victims, helping to mitigate risks and save lives.

WEEK FOUR OF ESPN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

  • Saturday Night Football on ABC Ranks as College Football’s Most-Viewed Franchise, Averaging 6.5 Million Viewers
  • ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 Air Most-Viewed Week 4 Since 2017
  • Best Saturday Quadruple-Header on ESPN Since 2018

ESPN networks saw several viewership gains during Week 4 of the college football season, including the third straight Saturday of ESPN and ABC winning the night in primetime, ranking as the most-viewed networks across all genres among all viewers and key adult demos. Additionally, ABC’s Saturday Night Football Presented by Capital One is the most-watched college football franchise heading into Week 5, averaging nearly 6.5 million viewers.

Saturday’s SNF matchup between West Virginia and Oklahoma was the second-most-viewed game across all networks in Week 4 with 4,502,000 average viewers, peaking with 6,273,000 viewers in the final moments of the game.

Week 4 gave ESPN one of its best viewership weeks in recent seasons, and ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 all aired their most-viewed Week 4 slates since 2017.

ESPN boasted its most-viewed Saturday quadruple-header since November 10, 2018, averaging 2,185,000 viewers in Week 4. LSU-Mississippi State was the most-viewed noon ET game on cable this year with 1,791,000 average viewers. Clemson-NC State (2,185,000 average viewers) was the most-viewed 3:30 p.m. game on cable this year and peaked with 4.5 million viewers in overtime.

Under the lights, Tennessee-Florida (3,282,000 average viewers) in primetime on ESPN was the second-most-viewed game on any cable network this year, while Arizona-Oregon (1,656,000 average viewers) was the most-viewed late-night game on any network this year.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot registered 1,581,000 average viewers, winning Saturday morning from the Windy City with more than two million viewers in the final hour.

Image via Elektra Music Group for 360 Magazine

PinkPantheress – Just For Me

PINKPANTHERESS RELEASES NEW SINGLE JUST FOR ME

LISTEN HERE

PinkPantheress releases long-awaited single Just for me via Elektra Records/Parlophone Records.

The Mura Masa produced track features a delicate composition of melodic guitar riffs as her signature saccharine vocals glide through the uk garage influenced earworm. The single has been highly requested across the internet with over 700k videos using a snippet of the track on TikTok.

Speaking on the track PinkPantheress states: ’Just for me’ is a song based around unhealthy obsession and is almost a part two to ‘pain’.

Listen on repeat HERE

Though she only debuted in 2021, PinkPantheress has gained a strong fanbase including Dazed who referred to her music as irresistibly catchy earworms. She has also received love from i-D, Pitchfork, NPR, Pigeons & Planes and more.

Get to know PinkPantheress below and stay tuned for more.

PinkPantheress in numbers

PP makes her music at 3am in her university halls: I have my uni work to do, and I didn’t have the luxury of a recording studio or ‘creative me-time’. She was born in 2001, in Bath. She has 667k+ followers on TikTok and 4.1 million likes. PinkPantheress’ discography has collectively reached 100+ million global streams

Follow PinkPantheress via Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

MLWXBF chapter 4 illustration via Alison Christenson for use by 360 Magazine

Ivy League BLM Courses

By: Emily Bunn

Ivy League Schools to Begin Teaching “Black Lives Matter” Courses

Proving their commitment to diversity and understanding, several Ivy League colleges will begin offering courses on the Black Lives Matter Movement. Whereas other Ivy League schools, such as Cornell, have created Africana Departments that focus on the centrality of Africa and the African Diaspora to the modern world, BlackLivesMatter classes are situated in a specific cultural moment. Though, of course, the Black Lives Matter falls under the umbrella of contemporary African history, it is positioned in a more concentrated, modern application. Princeton and Dartmouth are the two first schools to begin accrediting this intersectional coursework. While Princeton most recently enacted their BLM coursework, Dartmouth has been pioneering this change since 2015.

Dartmouth’s Black Lives Matter course discusses topics such as The Ivory Tower, understanding St. Louis and its racial history, race and class, racial violence, and systemic and unconscious racism, among other topics. Part of Dartmouth’s course description reads, “though the academy can never lay claim to social movements, this course seeks in part to answer the call of students and young activists around the country to take the opportunity to raise questions about, offer studied reflection upon, and allocate dedicated institutional space to the failures of democracy, capitalism, and leadership and to make #BlackLivesMatter. Developed through a group effort, this course brings to bear collective thinking, teaching, research, and focus on questions around race, structural inequality, and violence.” The course is taught by a wide variety of professors from different academic disciplines and social backgrounds. Taught for ten weeks by close to 20 different professors, Dartmouth’s Black Lives Matter coursework stands as a comprehensive example of a cross-disciplinary concentration that recognizes and situates history in a contemporary, American context.

Princeton’s #BlackLivesMatter class looks to examine the “historical roots and growth of the Black Lives Matter social movement,” and is “committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown bodies.” Princeton’s #BlackLivesMatter’s course description reads as such: “This seminar traces the historical roots and growth of the Black Lives Matter social movement in the United States and comparative global contexts. The movement and course are committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown bodies. The course seeks to document the forms of dispossession that Black Americans face and offers a critical examination of the prison industrial complex, police brutality, urban poverty, and white supremacy in the US.” The course’ sample reading list includes selections from Angela Davis, Claudia Rankin, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

Princeton’s course will be taught by Professor Hanna Garth, who has previously taught “Race and Racisms,” “Postcolonial and Decolonial Theory,” and “Theories of Social Justice.” Garth’s self-defined interest in “the ways in which people struggle to overcome structural violence” and past experience has well-prepared her for teaching this class. Garth remarks, “All of my research, teaching, and mentoring is designed around my commitment to feminist methodologies and critical race theory.”

While some have aggressively asserted that Princeton’s course readings are from a former communist party leader who once made it on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, their negativity further highlights the necessity of this course. While these assertions may be true, it is telling that certain critics commonly overlook the individual’s many (more recent) accomplishments. The author in question is Angela Davis – a revered, respected, and well-educated civil rights activist, philosopher, academic, and author. By painting Davis as an unpatriotic, dangerous criminal, it distracts from the important lessons that are to be learned from this influential leader. Similarly, Fox News’ article on Princeton’s new course links their mention of the “Black Lives Matter” movement not to an explanation of what the movement is, but instead to a page on US protests. As opposed to creating an educational resource for what the BLM Movement is, conservative critics are quick to jump to claims of Black violence and riots.

Especially in 2021, as the United States grapples with the fight for racial and civil justice, discussions surround race, policing, prison reform, and politics are more pertinent than ever. It is absolutely essential that our nation’s college students are exposed to critical race theory and critical thinking. By shielding America’s youth from the necessary history of this country – which is still being experienced today – we are only putting them in a position of increased vulnerability and ignorance. Knowledge is power and educating oneself on society’s issues is the only way to efficient work towards progressive social change. Hopefully, as the most prestigious academic institutions begin to model examples of intersectional and anti-racist coursework, other colleges and universities will soon follow suit.

How Do Essay Writing Services Work?

Many students hire professional essay writing services to meet their academic requirements. Do essay writing services work? It is a very vital question that many people are looking to find an answer to. Yes, essay writing services offer excellent benefits to students. You can hire them to fulfill your academic writing requirements. How do these professional services work?

Do your research to find a reliable essay writing service

The first thing you must do is to identify a trusted professional writing service. There are many different types of services available nowadays. You must do your research and discover an online writing service with an excellent track record.

Create an account

After identifying an online essay writing platform, you must create an account by providing an email and a password. The next step is to log in using the email and password. All members are eligible to place their writing requirements online.

Place your order and share relevant details

Renowned platforms offer a wide range of writing services to suit the varying needs of different customers. Some of them are essays, dissertations, Ph.D. projects, assignments, reports, reviews, editing, proofing, and many more. You must choose a category that fits your needs. If you want the best results, you should provide all relevant details about your project, including the number of words/pages and delivery date.

Check the price

If you want to know the exact price, you can request a quote. The best essay writing services respond immediately and send a free estimate that contains detailed information about the cost and other related aspects. Some essay writing platforms provide a price calculator on their websites to give you a clear idea about the price. There are also writing services that come with a dedicated page for pricing on their websites.

Select a writer

Trustworthy essay writing services have a team of highly experienced writers who specialize in different areas. You can go through their profiles to find the best writer that suits your requirements. When it comes to choosing a writer, the best writing platforms help you make an informed decision.

You can find the ratings given to writers by various clients, experience levels of writers, and their areas of expertise. You have to check all these details carefully before choosing a professional. Once you select your favorite writer, you can discuss everything with him to bring clarity in all matters.

Make the payment

The price varies depending on the type of essay, timeframe, academic level, and the number of pages/words you need. After reviewing all details carefully, you have to make the payment online.

Track your order status with the customer support team

Upon receiving the payment, the writer will take up your project. The order status can be checked with the help of the customer service center. You will receive timely answers to all your questions.

Download your essay

Reliable and renowned essay writing services get the job done as scheduled with meticulous precision. They will send a notification when the writer completes the essay. You can download the finished paper in a few seconds. If you want to make some changes, you can request a revision. The best writing services don’t charge any fee for your revision requests.

College Student illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Independence University Closure and Investigation

By: Emily Bunn × Heather Reibsamen

In the wake of the weekend, Independence University is suddenly closing, causing panic and confusion for its student body and the federal government. Still, as of Wednesday morning, the University’s website hasn’t been updated to publicly broadcast the closing. Independence University’s website’s owner, The Center for Excellence in Higher Education, has not been updated either. The Center for Excellence in Higher Education owns three other colleges that are also in the process of closing. Now, the university looks to push its students to new colleges, raising suspicion about the reason for the closure.

Independence University is chiefly focusing on relocating its student body to Miami International University of Art & Design or Georgia’s South University. Students additionally have the option of stopping their schooling and requesting a return of their federal student loans. However, upon looking into the transfer plans, the Education Department said that Independence University’s “students are being pressured to transfer,” and that the arrangement is “unusual.” Students are worried about credit transfer, falling behind in classes, and the impact of relocation.

One Independence University student – who had been working to get her Bachelor of Science in the college’s Web Design and Development program, Dianne Eveler, expressed frustration about the scandal:

“The most I can say about these tragic findings is this.  Finding only a few days before you are expected to graduate was disheartening.  Also, the terrifying item was to see the hard work you put into place disappear in a moment with no warning, no idea this was happening.

For the most part, the College lacks empathy because many of the faculty were given very little notice or lost their job that day. We have no support in who to contact, or in my case, am I getting my degree.

The truth be told, I went into my Student Portal before I lost access and saw my credits of 180 go to zero, and a new graduation date appear. I’m so scared I lost my degree. I was working so hard to get a perfect 4.0 to have that work lost.  I have learned a valuable lesson, do more research in a college, and never ever do an online learning program again.”

Furthermore, this isn’t the first time that Independence University has been federally scrutinized. The Federal Student Aid chief operation officer, Richard Cordray, commented that the university chose to shut down to avoid the findings of the earlier examination. In 2020, the Center for Excellence in Higher Education has been discovered to be in connection to fraud by the Colorado Government. Independence University had then been placed on a monitoring list and had government restrictions placed on the college’s receival of taxpayer money. Due to the impending pressure on students to transfer, federal employees warranted that a more in-depth investigating is required regarding the university’s reason for shutting down.

The accreditor for Independence University reports that it’s approval of the college had ended in April, as the school failed to maintain acceptable graduation and employment rates among students. This end of accreditation also resulted in the loss of federal money to the University.

In a statement to USA Today, Cordray explained, “We have already emailed students to help them understand they do not have to be rushed into accepting a transfer to another school of CEHE’s choosing.” In spite of the college’s sudden closure, the Federal Student Aid chief operation officer cautions students to not make any hasty decisions. Under President Biden’s administration, the Education Department is “more willing to exercise its regulatory oversight” reports USA Today.

As uprooted students scrabble to find answers, they’ve had to resort to asking their fellow peers, college administration, and the U.S. Department of Education. Heather Reibsamen, who had been working to get her Bachelor of Science in the college’s Graphic Design program, explained how the tragic situation unfolded for her:

“The last week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Since the announcement that the school was closing, students have scrambled to figure out what their options were. We were sent a form with a few choices: transfer to a “teach-out” school or lose everything we have worked for, to put it bluntly. Initially, I thought everything would work out since I only had a few credits left until I graduate. However, I was met with disappointment and more unknowns. The “approved” teach-out school is Miami International University of Art & Design. I attended the meetings I was told to attend and was unfortunately met with the news that this school does not teach in my state. I was told I needed to find my own college to transfer to and would potentially have to pay out of pocket due to my student loans being tied up with Independence University. Many students were faced with this. Many students are not able to graduate on time because of this.

No one was prepared. No one was warned. We scrambled to get our last assignments in hoping they would count towards the credits we had been working on. There are students that were supposed to graduate last Sunday, however, they have been met with uncertainty. No one knows if the credits we have worked so hard to complete will transfer over. There are employees that have been employed through IU for years that were let go at just a moment’s notice.

I immediately began the search for a school that was accredited and not-for-profit. I reached out to Southern New Hampshire University to see what options I would have if I transferred to their school. I was greeted with understanding and encouragement. Many colleges are learning about the dilemma with Independence University and are seeing the wrongdoings towards the students and staff. SNHU has been every bit of encouraging and supportive during this transition. I consider myself one of the lucky ones so far. I found a school that is regionally accredited and is geared towards the success of the students. I am hopeful for a smooth transition.

Independence University has left the students and staff in complete confusion, and we are all struggling to make sense of it all. We have hope that everything will work out and fear of what still may come.”

Finally, on Wednesday, the college’s closure was announced to students via email. This delayed response highlights how a University can operate in complete disarray, with its students completely unaware of the behind-the-scenes scandal.

tech illustration by rita azar for 360 Magazine

JAIN Launches Online Degree Programs

JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) has announced the launch of JAIN Online to offer Undergraduate and Postgraduate Online Degree Programs, in Commerce, Management, Information Technology, and Humanities recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) is a world-class institution promoted by JAIN Group, with over 30 years of excellence in Education, Research, and Entrepreneurship.

The Chancellor of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) Dr. Chenraj Roychand stated,

 “The changing landscape of education [has been] globally shaped by disruptions due to the pandemic and technological advancements has caused challenges as well as opportunities for the education sector. When Universities, as we have known them, are being forced to change, online education brings a paradigm change that not only helps in reaching the unreached, but also helps in differentiated program offerings in line with market demands. With JAIN Online, we are extending our commitment to provide high-quality and globally benchmarked education to the masses. The programs are designed in a way that also fulfills the needs of international students. With an industry-driven curriculum and cutting-edge technology, JAIN Online is set to reshape the careers of millions of students, making them global leaders and change-makers of tomorrow.” 

The efficient and robust Learning Management System (LMS) of the University provides a high degree of convenience and flexibility to the learners who can access videos, self-learning materials, virtual labs, assignments, quizzes, discussion forums, and live classes over the weekends from top-notch faculty members are drawn from across the globe. Personalized support is offered to the students to clarify their queries from a dedicated program manager. The learning hours and credits of the online degree programs are at par with the regular programs of the University.

With technology playing a major role in its teaching-learning methodology, the University is all set to deliver an exceptionally engaging and enriching learning experience for its students through its Learning Management System. The learners will additionally get access to live classes on 25 key skills for success and more than 16,000 courses on LinkedIn Learning, where they can learn as per their interests and get certified by LinkedIn and various industry partners like SHRM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, EC Council, IIBA, etc. The University also extends its Career Advancement Services to its students on JAIN Online to facilitate job placements with over 2000 hiring partners.

With this, JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) has become the first University in India to launch online degrees with prestigious Global Professional Bodies like ACCA – UK, CIMA – UK, CIM – UK, CIIS – UK, IOA – UK, CMA – US, and CPA – USA. The students would also be eligible for exemption of papers or get relevant professional memberships from these professional bodies on successful completion of the Online Degree Programs.

To know more about the programs, please visit this website.

 

Breast Cancer Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

UVA Breast Cancer Discovery

University of Virginia Cancer Center researchers have identified a gene responsible for the spread of triple-negative breast cancer to other parts of the body – a process called metastasis – and developed a potential way to stop it.

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive form of breast cancer that accounts for 40,000 deaths in the United States annually. The majority of these deaths result from resistance to chemotherapy and subsequent aggressive metastases. So UVA researchers asked: What causes a primary tumor to become metastatic? This is an important question in cancer biology because patients with metastatic tumors have the highest death rate.

UVA’s Sanchita Bhatnagar, PhD, and her team found that the breast cancer oncogene TRIM37 not only causes the cancer to spread but also makes it resistant to chemotherapy. A new approach she and her colleagues have developed could possibly address both, the researchers hope.

“Despite metastasis being the key reason for failure of cancer therapies, it remains poorly understood. We do not clearly understand what drives the metastatic growth in patients,” said Bhatnagar, who was the first to identify TRIM37 as a breast cancer oncogene. “In general, several genes are altered during tumorigenesis. However, whether targeting the same genes will prevent metastatic transition remains to be addressed.”

Promising research from Bhatnagar’s team shows that targeting TRIM37 prevents metastatic lesions in mouse models. Those findings form the foundation of her lab’s current work exploring the role of TRIM37 in racial disparities in triple negative breast cancer. Incidence of the disease is disproportionately higher in African-American women compared with other races, with a 5-year survival rate in African-American patients of only 14% compared with 36% in non-African-American women.

Targeting Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Bhatnagar and UVA’s Jogender Tushir-Singh, PhD, have developed a new approach to stop the effects of TRIM37 and, hopefully, prevent or significantly delay the spread of triple-negative breast cancer. This could also lower the disease’s defenses against chemotherapy.

Blocking the gene could benefit approximately 80% of triple negative breast cancer patients, the researchers estimate.

Bhatnagar and Tushir-Singh’s approach uses nanoparticles – microscopic balls of fat – to deliver treatment to block TRIM37. These nanoparticles are paired with specially engineered antibodies that bind to the cancerous cells but not to healthy cells. “As soon as the antibody finds the triple negative breast cancer cell, it binds to the receptor and is taken up by the cell,” explained Tushir-Singh, of UVA’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.

“It is a kiss of death,” Bhatnagar said, “that selectively reduces the expression of TRIM37 in cancer cells and prevents the spread.”

The approach could be used to deliver targeted treatments for many other cancers as well, the researchers report. “That would not only get the treatment where it needs to be but, hopefully, help prevent unwanted side effects. Besides preventing metastases, it adds selectivity,” Bhatnagar said.

“A problem in the field is, how will you give [a nanoparticle treatment] to the patients? Most of these nanoparticles are cleared by the liver, so they never have a chance to really do their job,” she said. “In this study, researchers bypassed this issue by delivering nanoparticles by nasal route, increasing the rate of uptake in the lungs – one of the most common metastatic target sites in TNBC patients.”

The development of the new approach is in its early stages, but tests with lab mice have offered encouraging indications. “The lungs showed dramatic reduction in metastatic lesions after the treatment in comparison to the mice that received no treatment,” Bhatnagar said.

Next Steps

To verify that TRIM37 targeting might offer a potential treatment approach, Bhatnagar teamed up with Tushir-Singh, her husband, to test it in the lab. “And we find that our targeted nanoparticles significantly reduce metastatic lesions in the lungs of spontaneous metastatic murine [mouse] models – both immune compromised and immune sufficient,” she said. “This is an important proof-of-concept much needed for the bench-to-clinic transition of these important findings.”

Clinically, most women in the early stages of breast cancer are treated with surgery, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. However, metastasis remains a challenging medical problem. Bhatnagar’s research offers a potential way to target a driver of metastasis that she hopes will prevent or slow metastatic progression and improve overall survival.

Much more work needs to be done, but Bhatnagar’s research is being noticed by pharmaceutical companies interested in exploring the approach’s potential. “This is a delivery platform, not only for targeting our protein of interest but for many other chemotherapeutic drugs that can be packaged into the nanoparticles and selectively delivered,” Bhatnagar said.

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal Cancer Research. The research team consisted of Piotr Przanowski, Song Lou, Rachisan Djiake Tihagam, Tanmoy Mondal, Caroline Conlan, Gururaj Shivange, Ilyas Saltani, Chandrajeet Singh, Kun Xing, Benjamin B. Morris, Marty W. Mayo, Luis Teixeira, Jacqueline Lehmann-Che, Jogender Tushir-Singh and Sanchita Bhatnagar.

Bhatnagar, a Hartwell Investigator, is supported by the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Breakthrough Award (BC170197P1, BC190343P1) and Metavivor Translational Research Award. A provisional patent has been filed for the molecularly targeted nanoparticle design engineered by the Bhatnagar and Tushir-Singh laboratories.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a COVID-19 Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Antidepressant x COVID-19

Based on a trial from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the antidepressant fluvoxamine appears to prevent COVID-19 infections from worsening, even keeping patients out of the hospital.

The clinical trial was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Fluvoxamine was compared with a placebo in 152 adult patients who were infected with the coronavirus.

80 participants received the fluvoxamine, and not one of the 80 became seriously ill after 15 days. Six patients receiving the placebo became seriously ill with four being hospitalized for between four and 21 days. One of the four in the hospital was on a ventilator for 10 days.

Though the sample size was relatively small, the data is believed to be statistically significant. The plan is to launch a larger trial in coming weeks.

Eric J. Lenze, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine, said patients who took fluvoxamine did not require hospitalization because of issues in lung function.

“Most investigational treatments for COVID-19 have been aimed at the very sickest patients, but it’s also important to find therapies that prevent patients from getting sick enough to require supplemental oxygen or to have to go to the hospital,” Lenze said. “Our study suggests fluvoxamine may help fill that niche.”

UVA’s Alban Gaultier, PhD, and former graduate student Dorian A. Rosen, PhD, found in 2019 that fluvoxamine may stop sepsis, a deadly inflammation causing the immune system to spiral out of control. The findings of Gaultier and Rosen inspired the tests at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Gaultier and Rosen determined that fluvoxamine reduces the production of cytokines, which have been linked to deadly cytokine storms, which are thought to occur in severe cases of COVID-19

“Because elevated cytokines levels have been associated with COVID-19 severity, testing fluvoxamine in a clinical trial made a lot of sense to us,” said Gaultier. “We are still unclear about the mode of action of fluvoxamine against SARS-CoV-2, but research is under way to find the answer.”

Washington University’s Angela M. Reiersen, MD, said the drug works by interacting with the sigma-1 receptor to reduce the production of inflammatory molecules.

“Past research has demonstrated that fluvoxamine can reduce inflammation in animal models of sepsis, and it may be doing something similar in our patients,” Reiersen said.

The limitations of the research were emphasized. The small sample size was noted along with the fact that 20% of participants stopped answering surveys during the trial. Though the researchers could rule out hospital visits for those who stopped answering, they did believe it possible that the participants sought treatment elsewhere.

Because of the limitations, the findings should be considered encouraging and worthy of further research rather than iron clad truth.

Gaultier said, “If a larger clinical trial (phase III) confirms the results, fluvoxamine would be a perfect treatment for COVID patients newly diagnosed. Fluvoxamine is not an experimental drug, it is cheap and safe and could be available as a first line of defense to unburden the hospitals that are overwhelmed by the COVID health crisis.”

For more medical research news from UVA, you can click right here.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

Important Tips When Vacationing with Your Special Someone

Traveling is an enjoyable activity, most especially if you are with the one you love. Sunrises and sunsets become more beautiful, the food seemingly tastes better, and any cultural barriers become more of an experience to laugh at than an irritant.

So, all your custom research papers are written, vacation is about to start, your clothes are ready and tickets are waiting for you to take them and go. But if you are together and unprepared, things might not go the way you planned. Here are some things to consider when vacationing with your special someone.

#1 Agree upon what you’d like to do together

A common source of conflict when vacationing together is that one person is dictating the terms. He or she says what tourist sites they will visit, where they will eat, what souvenirs to buy, and even what time of the day they will do all these things. While the other partner may give in at first, it eventually becomes a pain.

Instead, the couple should discuss what they’d like to do together before going on the trip, including possible dos and don’ts. While spontaneity can be fun and romantic, if your partner is really against doing something (swimming with the sharks, jumping out of a plane, or eating scorpions), then there should be no reason to force them.

#2 Be patient when difficulties crop up

When traveling, difficulties of some sort usually crop up, such as misplacing your tickets, leaving the cellphone charger at the hotel, or forgetting to pick something up on your supply run at the local store. It is important to stay patient. Snapping at each other over such minor inconveniences will ruin the mood for your trip.

This patience is also necessary when dealing with the locals. Cultural and language differences may cause you to become impatient. But dealing rudely with them may get you into further trouble, or it may even irritate your partner who just wants to have a good time.

#3 Give each other space

Even in your locale, it is important to give one another space. 

This is also true when visiting a new place. If the place is safe, it is good to allow one another to explore the area alone for a time. If not that safe, then give one another time to lounge alone, read a magazine, or even watch a favorite show. You will find that after some alone time, you and your partner will be ready to enjoy things together again.

#4 Enjoy your time together

A vacation together is supposed to strengthen your bond as a couple. So ensure that you are both having fun. That’s why it is inadvisable to bring work with you as much as possible.  

If you notice that one of you is not enjoying the trip, find ways to make it more fun. Think of what you can both do to bring more life to your trip. It could be visiting something not on your itinerary, having a coffee at a local café, or just watching the sunset together.

Summary

It’s a blessing to have the chance to travel together. Take advantage of such time, and make it enjoyable by considering the tips above.