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New Invention Restores Life-Saving Cells – SciTechDaily

Stem Cells Illustration

Stem cells are the raw materials of the body, the cells from which all other cells with specific tasks are formed.

Nanoparticle “backpack” repairs damaged stem cells.

Stem cells that might save a baby’s life and be utilized to treat illnesses like lymphoma and leukemia are found in the umbilical cord of newborns. Because of this, many new parents decide to preserve (“bank”) the umbilical cord blood’s abundant stem cells for their child. However, since gestational diabetes destroys stem cells and makes them useless, parents are not given this choice in the 6 to 15% of pregnancies who are impacted by the illness.

In a study that will be published in the journal Communications Biology, bioengineers at the University of Notre Dame have now shown that a new approach may heal the injured stem cells and allow them to once again grow new tissues.

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Specially-created nanoparticles are the key component of this new strategy. Each spherical nanoparticle may store medication and deliver it specifically to the stem cells by attaching it to the surface of the cells. These nanoparticles are about 150 nanometers in diameter or about a fourth of the size of a red blood cell. The particles deliver the medication gradually as a result of their unique tuning, which makes them very effective even at very low dosages.

Hanjaya Putra, Eva Hall

Donny Hanjaya-Putra and bioengineering doctoral student Eva Hall inspect stem cells under the microscope. Credit: University of Notre Dame

Donny Hanjaya-Putra, an assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering in the bioengineering graduate program at Notre Dame who directs the lab where the study was conducted, described the process using an analogy. “Each stem cell is like a soldier. It is smart and effective; it knows where to go and what to do. But the ‘soldiers’ we are working with are injured and weak. By providing them with this nanoparticle ‘backpack,’ we are giving them what they need to work effectively again.”

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The main test for the new “backpack”-equipped stem cells was whether or not they could form new tissues. Hanjaya-Putra and his team tested damaged cells without “backpacks” and observed that they moved slowly and formed imperfect tissues. But when Hanjaya-Putra and his team applied “backpacks,” previously damaged stem cells began forming new blood vessels, both when inserted in synthetic polymers and when implanted under the skin of lab mice, two environments meant to simulate the conditions of the human body.

Although it may be years before this new technique reaches actual health care settings, Hanjaya-Putra explained that it has the clearest path of any method developed so far. “Methods that involve injecting the medicine directly into the bloodstream come with many unwanted risks and side effects,” Hanjaya-Putra said. In addition, new methods like gene editing face a long journey to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. But Hanjaya-Putra’s technique used only methods and materials already approved for clinical settings by the FDA.

Nanoparticle Backpacks

Donny Hanjaya Putra, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, holds a vial of specially engineered nanoparticle “backpacks.” Credit: University of Notre Dame

Hanjaya-Putra attributed the study’s success to a highly interdisciplinary group of researchers. “This was a collaboration between chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, biology, and medicine — and I always find that the best science happens at the intersection of several different fields.”

The study’s lead author was former Notre Dame postdoctoral student Loan Bui, now a faculty member at the University of Dayton in Ohio; stem cell biologist Laura S. Haneline and former postdoctoral fellow Shanique Edwards from the Indiana University School of Medicine; Notre Dame Bioengineering doctoral students Eva Hall and Laura Alderfer; Notre Dame undergraduates Pietro Sainaghi, Kellen Round and 2021 valedictorian Madeline Owen; Prakash Nallathamby, ​​research assistant professor, aerospace and mechanical engineering; and Siyuan Zhang from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The researchers hope their approach will be used to restore cells damaged by other types of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia. “Instead of discarding the stem cells,” Hanjaya-Putra said, “in the future, we hope clinicians will be able to rejuvenate them and use them to regenerate the body. For example, a baby born prematurely due to preeclampsia may have to stay in the NICU with an imperfectly formed lung. We hope our technology can improve this child’s developmental outcomes.”

Reference: “Engineering bioactive nanoparticles to rejuvenate vascular progenitor cells” by Loan Bui, Shanique Edwards, Eva Hall, Laura Alderfer, Kellen Round, Madeline Owen, Pietro Sainaghi, Siyuan Zhang, Prakash D. Nallathamby, Laura S. Haneline, and Donny Hanjaya-Putra, 29 June 2022, Communications Biology.
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03578-4

The study was funded by Notre Dame’s Advancing Our Vision Initiative in Stem Cell Research, Notre Dame’s Science of Wellness Initiative, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, the American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health.

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Google is letting some people launch cloud games directly from search results – The Verge

Friction is the mind-killer when it comes to cloud gaming. You can’t just click a game trailer to instantly be playing a game quite yet. But this week, Google appears to be rolling out a feature that could reduce that friction: if you simply search for the name of a game in Google search, you might be presented with a “Play” button that can instantly launch the title.

The Nerf Report’s Bryant Chappel appears to be the one who noticed the change, and he quickly discovered it’s not limited to Google’s own Stadia cloud gaming service, either. He says it works with Amazon Luna, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Nvidia’s GeForce Now, too.

There’s still friction — you need to be logged into an account that’s associated with these cloud gaming services or else you’ll just get a signup page, and there may still be intermediate prompts. Also, it doesn’t appear to work with all games.

But with Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming, at least, a single click from a Google search result will take you just as far as you get by navigating to the website of your favorite cloud gaming service, picking your title, and pressing the play button you’d find there.

It’s not clear when or if Google will fully roll out this feature. We initially saw it live this afternoon, but suddenly it was gone and doesn’t appear in our search results anymore. Then it came back for me, but only for my Google Workspace account, which isn’t associated with any cloud gaming services and can’t play Google Stadia at all. Chappel confirms to The Verge that he’s still seeing it working from his home in Austin, Texas. 9to5Google saw it as well.

My guess is that Google is running an A / B test with this feature to see how people react. Or maybe it jumped the gun, not unlike GeForce Now in 2020, by rolling it out without the permission of game studios.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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3rd Chinese space station module arrives at spaceport ahead of October launch – Space.com

China is gearing up to complete its Tiangong space station with a third module launch in less than 18 months.

The Mengtian experiment module arrived at Wenchang spaceport in south China on Tuesday (Aug. 9) after being shipped in containers from the northern port city of Tianjin, China’s human spaceflight agency announced (opens in new tab).

Mengtian (“Dreaming of the Heavens”) will next be assembled and put through testing at Wenchang in preparation for a scheduled launch in October on a Long March 5B rocket. 

Related: The latest news about China’s space program

The 58.7-foot-long (17.9 meters) module will dock in orbit with a connecting hub at the space station and then be moved to a lateral port, joining the Tianhe core module and Wentian experiment module to complete the T-shaped Tiangong space station.

China launched Tianhe (“Harmony of the Heavens”) in April 2021 and last month added the Wentian (“Quest for the Heavens”) experiment module to the orbital complex. Both launches saw high-profile, uncontrolled reentries of the huge first stage of their Long March 5B rockets — something that will likely happen again after the Mengtian launch.

Mengtian will host a number of science cabinets for conducting a wide range of experiments. It also has a payload airlock, allowing the station’s small robotic arm to take science payloads and install them on an experiment platform on the module’s exterior.

Related stories:

The country plans to operate the Tiangong space station for at least a decade and could open up the facility to commercial missions and tourist visits.

The completed Tiangong, with visiting cargo and Shenzhou crewed spacecraft docked, will be around 20% as massive as the International Space Station, which here on Earth would weigh about 460 tons.

Follow us on Twitter@Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or onFacebook (opens in new tab).  

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs. Z Fold 3 comparison: what’s the difference? – The Verge

After seeing incremental changes and updates to the Galaxy S22 line in February, it’s now the ultra-flagship Galaxy Z Fold’s turn. Samsung announced the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro at its latest Samsung Unpacked event — all of which are set to arrive on August 26th — and, well, the new Fold definitely looks like a Galaxy Fold.

While this new iteration doesn’t set itself apart very much from last year’s model in the looks department, it does bring some new features, including improved durability and a wider outward-facing cover screen. But how does the Galaxy Z Fold 4 stack up to the Z Fold 3 when we get to the nitty-gritty on paper? Here, we’re comparing them spec for spec to see just how different Samsung’s upcoming Fold is.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 versus Z Fold 4: tiny, iterative improvements

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold line has certainly come a long way since its disastrous origins. While the cheaper Z Flip has become the new option for those who are foldable-curious, the Galaxy Z Folds remain the premium, flagship-level phones in Samsung’s lineup. Last year’s Z Fold 3 helped break new ground in terms of folding phone normalcy with features like water resistance, which still pales in comparison to traditional slab phones. That said, the new Z Fold 4 maintains a lot of the improvements of last year’s Fold 3, like that IPX8 resistance, a 7.6-inch folding OLED, and a skinny yet usable outside cover screen — which are now cheaper to repair in the event of an accident.

The Z Fold 4, much like the S22 generation, offers numerous small improvements that iterate upon the last model. Its outward screen is now about 3mm wider, offering an aspect ratio that feels a little less awkward and slim. The under-display selfie camera is supposed to blend into the screen better, too, and that inner display is more durable than last year’s model despite the phone being slightly lighter. Samsung says this lighter build is to help with one-handed use.

There’s also a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that allows for faster performance, and the main camera has been improved with more megapixels and a bigger sensor for improved nighttime performance. Sadly, Samsung’s coined “Nightography” term is here to stay for now, but if the tradeoff for that word crime is better photos, well, all right.

All of these changes to the Z Fold 4 still come at the same price as the outgoing model, meaning it starts at $1,799.99 with 256GB of storage. Setting aside any ongoing preorder promotions that get you a free storage bump to 512GB, there’s no getting around that this is a pricey phone. So, if this generation doesn’t represent a significant enough change for you, there’s maybe something to be said of searching for a Z Fold 3 on discount before it’s long gone. But to better assess how the two compare on paper, below is a side-by-side comparison outlining the finer details of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 4.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 versus Z Fold 4 specs

Specification Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Specification Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
OS Updated to Android 12 Android 12
Main screen size 7.6-inch OLED 7.6-inch OLED
Main screen resolution 2208 x 1768, 374 ppi 2176 x 1812, 374 ppi
Main screen aspect ratio 22.5:18 21.6:18
Cover screen size 6.2-inch OLED 6.2-inch OLED
Cover screen resolution 2268 x 832, 387 ppi 2316 x 904, 402 ppi
Cover screen aspect ratio 24.5:9 23.1:9
Max refresh rate 120Hz 120Hz
Dimensions (open) 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4 mm 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3 mm
Dimensions (closed) 158.2 x 67.1 x 16 (hinge) – 14.4 (unfolding side) mm 155.1 x 67.1 x 15.8 (hinge) – 14.2 (unfolding side) mm
Weight 271g 263g
Battery Capacity 4,400mAh 4,400mAh
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM 12GB 12GB
Storage 256GB, 512GB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Ports USB-C charging port USB-C charging port
Rear camera 12MP, f/1.8, 1.8μm (main), 12MP, f/2.2, 1.2μm (ultra-wide), 12MP, f/2.4, 1.0μm, 2x (telephoto) 50MP, f/1.8, 2.0μm (main), 12MP f/2.2, 1.12μm (ultra-wide), 10MP, f/2.4, 1.0μm, 3x (telephoto)
Front camera 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22μm (cover), 4MP, f1/8, 2.0μm (main) 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22μm (cover), 4MP, f1/8, 2.0μm (main)
Video HDR, 1080p and 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps, slow motion 1080p video support at 240 fps, super slow-mo 720p video support at 960 fps, hyperlapse 4K video support at 30fps HDR, 8K video recording at 24 fps, 1080p and 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps, slow motion 1080p video support at 240 fps, super slow-mo 720p video support at 960 fps, hyperlapse 4K video support at 30fps
Biometrics Fingerprint scanner in power button Fingerprint scanner in power button
Water and dust protection IPX8 rating IPX8 rating
5G mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz
Wireless Wi-fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Wireless charging? Yes Yes
S Pen support? S Pen Fold Edition S Pen Fold Edition
Color options Phantom silver, phantom black, and phantom green Gray-green, phantom black, beige, and burgundy (Samsung.com exclusive)
Availability Now August 26th
Starting price $1,799.99 $1,799.99

While the Fold 4 certainly looks cool, it’s hard to deny that, on paper, it feels like a modest spec bump over the Fold 3. Aside from the upgrade to the main camera sensor, telephoto magnification, the new CPU, and a slightly wider cover screen, you have to squint a little to see some differences. (I’m looking at you, aspect ratios.)

Yes, it shoots 8K video now, but only at 24 frames per second — and most folks may not want to deal with those massive file sizes. The durability improvements and lower-cost repairs are a welcome change, but Samsung’s claim of a 45 percent stronger main screen is one of those numbers that sounds big at first but is hard to tell how much of a difference it makes in the long haul.

Perhaps the marked improvements will be more apparent in our full review. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments on what you think of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4.


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