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News Article | October 26, 2016

A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has won the 2016 Edison Patent Award for inventing an on-demand method to create a badly needed isotope used routinely in medical imaging devices to diagnose diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Charles Gentile, head of the Tritium Systems Group at PPPL, will accept the award along with George Ascione, head of the Health Physics Division, and Adam Cohen, Deputy Undersecretary for Science and Energy at DOE, who was deputy director for operations at PPPL when he worked on the technology. The three will be honored by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey at a Nov. 3 ceremony at the Liberty Science Center in Hoboken, New Jersey. "We're gratified to receive this award," Gentile said. "There was a lot of work that went into this and we're just happy that we can potentially make a positive impact on helping people in the world who would not necessarily have access to this diagnostic technology." "This is an excellent example of how research can lead to unexpected results," Ascione added. "Our experiments in fusion and plasma physics led us to a technology that could benefit millions of people around the world. There's no greater honor than to receive recognition named for this country's greatest inventor, Thomas Alva Edison." The invention could help fill a global need for the radioactive element Technetium 99-m (Tc-99m), the substance used in two-thirds of nuclear medical diagnostic procedures and part of a multi-billion-dollar radioisotope industry. The inventors received a patent this year. There have been shortages of the material in recent years due to unexpected maintenance shutdowns of nuclear reactors. The refrigerator-sized device can produce Tc-99m on-site in a hospital or doctor's office, eliminating the need to transport it great distances. This could make the substance more available to third-world countries, Gentile said. And unlike the production of Tc-99m in nuclear reactors, there is no danger of nuclear proliferation associated with the device because it does not use uranium. Doctors inject Tc-99m into patients during scans used to diagnose diseases in bones and organs throughout the body. The isotope emits gamma rays that scanning devices can easily trace. Since the substance has a half-life of six hours, the radiation exposure to patients is kept to a minimum. But the half-life also makes it difficult to ship to third-world countries that are more than six hours away from the reactors that produce the substance. In addition to the Edison Award, Gentile also will receive an Innovator's Award from the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, cosponsored by the Stevens Institute of Technology. He will accept the award at the 2016 awards banquet on Thursday, Oct. 27, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Joining Gentile will be PPPL physicist Manfred Bitter, who will receive an Innovator's Award for his patented invention of a new type of X-ray crystal spectrometer using a new class of focusing crystal surfaces. The device uses intense beams of ultraviolet light called "extreme ultraviolet" or EUV. It could be used to improve spectroscopy (measuring and investigating spectra produced by light from electromagnetic radiation) and microscopy (microscopes). The device could lead to substantial advancements and cost savings in EUV lithography (printing integrated circuits), which is critical for manufacturing the next generation of integrated circuits. PPPL's Christopher Brunkhorst won the Innovator's Award in 2015, along with David Geveke, a USDA scientist, and Andrew Bigley, a USDA engineering technician, for his invention of a novel technique for pasteurizing eggs by using radio frequency heating. PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, New Jersey, is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas -- ultra-hot, charged gases -- and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Nov. 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq:IMMU) today announced that the Company was honored by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey with their coveted Edison Patent Award, in recognition of the Company’s significant achievements in the biotechnology category for its novel immuno-oncology program. “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award for the fourth time,” commented Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Immunomedics. “We are excited to be recognized by our peers for creating our own immuno-oncology agents for solid cancer therapy using our proprietary Dock-and-Lock® protein conjugation platform technology,” Ms. Sullivan further remarked. “One of these agents will be the subject of an upcoming presentation at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on redirected T-cell therapy of triple-negative breast cancer, which can be enhanced by combining it with our own proprietary immune checkpoint inhibitor,” she concluded. The Edison award is for U.S. Patent 9,315,567, “T-cell redirecting bispecific antibodies for treatment of disease,” an invention that is a method of treating cancer by redirecting a patient’s own immune system to kill cancer cells using a novel bispecific antibody format that can simultaneously bind to two receptors, one on the cancer cells and the other on T cells, a type of white blood cells. This technology avoids the costly and time consuming process of the removal of the patient’s blood cells, manipulation of the cells ex-vivo, followed by the administration of the manipulated cells back into the patient, which have some inherent toxicities. The inventors of the patent, Drs. Chien-Hsing Chang, David M. Goldenberg, and Edmund A. Rossi, and Diane Rossi, were honored at the Council’s 37th Edison Patent Award Ceremony & Reception last night at the Liberty Science Center, where a short original film paid tribute to each of the winners. About the Research & Development Council of New Jersey For more than half a century, the Research & Development Council of New Jersey has been dedicated to cultivating an environment supportive of the advancement of research and development in New Jersey. Established in 1962, the Council was created to serve as a unified voice for the three R&D sectors — industry, academia and government — to work with the State to create an environment R&D could thrive in. The R&D Council is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose membership includes representatives from academia, government and industry, including several Fortune 500 companies. More information can be found at the R&D Council’s website: About Immunomedics Immunomedics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders and other serious diseases. Immunomedics’ advanced proprietary technologies allow the Company to create humanized antibodies that can be used either alone in unlabeled or “naked” form, or conjugated with radioactive isotopes, chemotherapeutics, cytokines or toxins. Using these technologies, Immunomedics has built a pipeline of eight clinical-stage product candidates. Immunomedics’ portfolio of investigational products includes antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) that are designed to deliver a specific payload of a chemotherapeutic directly to the tumor while reducing overall toxic effects that are usually found with conventional administration of these chemotherapeutic agents. Immunomedics’ most advanced ADCs are sacituzumab govitecan (IMMU-132) and labetuzumab govitecan (IMMU-130), which are in Phase 2 trials for a number of solid tumors and metastatic colorectal cancer, respectively. IMMU-132 has received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA for the treatment of patients with triple-negative breast cancer who have failed at least two prior therapies for metastatic disease. Immunomedics has a research collaboration with Bayer to study epratuzumab as a thorium-227-labeled antibody. Immunomedics has other ongoing collaborations in oncology with independent cancer study groups. The IntreALL Inter-European study group is conducting a large, randomized Phase 3 trial combining epratuzumab with chemotherapy in children with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia at clinical sites in Australia, Europe, and Israel. Immunomedics also has a number of other product candidates that target solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, as well as other diseases, in various stages of clinical and preclinical development. These include combination therapies involving its antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies targeting cancers and infectious diseases as T-cell redirecting immunotherapies, as well as bispecific antibodies for next-generation cancer and autoimmune disease therapies, created using its patented DOCK-AND-LOCK® protein conjugation technology. The Company believes that its portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 295 active patents in the United States and more than 400 foreign patents, protects its product candidates and technologies. For additional information on the Company, please visit its website at The information on its website does not, however, form a part of this press release. This release, in addition to historical information, may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, including statements regarding clinical trials (including the funding therefor, anticipated patient enrollment, trial outcomes, timing or associated costs), regulatory applications and related timelines, out-licensing arrangements (including the timing and amount of contingent payments), forecasts of future operating results, potential collaborations, and capital raising activities, involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the Company’s dependence on business collaborations or availability of required financing from capital markets, or other sources on acceptable terms, if at all, in order to further develop our products and finance our operations, new product development (including clinical trials outcome and regulatory requirements/actions), the risk that we or any of our collaborators may be unable to secure regulatory approval of and market our drug candidates, risks associated with the outcome of pending litigation and competitive risks to marketed products, and the Company’s ability to repay its outstanding indebtedness, if and when required, as well as the risks discussed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not under any obligation, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

News Article | February 27, 2017

It's not easy filling the shoes of science rock stars Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, but two competitors have earned spots to host a new version of "MythBusters." After a grueling competition in Science Channel reality show "MythBusters: The Search," 10 contestants were narrowed down to four finalists tasked with figuring out through scientific experiments whether it's possible to escape from prison using a rocket-propelled water heater. "MythBusters: The Search" debuted in January with contestants asked to check myths running the gamut from finding a needle in a haystack to painting a room with explosives. The final episode aired Saturday. Rescue diver and pilot Brian Louden of Spring, Texas, and product designer Jonathan Lung of Staten Island, New York, won and are the new official hosts of "MythBusters." "The competition was stiff and the myth-busting all season has been mind-blowing. In the end though, there could only be two winners," Marc Etkind, general manager of Science Channel, said in a statement. "They have big shoes to fill, but our new Mythbusters have proven themselves capable of carrying the torch with an impressive combination of build-skills, creativity and personality." The new "MythBusters" season has yet to be revealed, but fans of the show can check out "MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition," an interactive museum exhibit on display through September 4 at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool. CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET's newsstand edition.

Flash Physics is our daily pick of the latest need-to-know developments from the global physics community selected by Physics World's team of editors and reporters CubeSats – small, low-cost satellites – could soon become self-propelled, thanks to a rocket-motor concept developed by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US. While CubeSats are a cheap and easy way for relatively small research groups to launch satellites and access space, they traditionally do not have any on-board propulsion system – the nanosatellites are usually launched via a larger satellite and simply released into a specific orbit. "The National Academy of Sciences recently convened a meeting to look at science missions in CubeSats," says Bryce Tappan, lead researcher of the CubeSat Propulsion Concept team, "and identified propulsion as one of the primary categories of technology that needs to be developed." Recently, the Los Alamos researchers successfully tested a six-motor CubeSat-compatible propulsion array and according to Tappan, they are very close to being able to take the next step and show that the propulsion system works on a satellite in space. One of the main problems with CubeSat propulsion is that of safety – the fuels used in any such system are intrinsically hazardous ones such as hydrazine, and as multiple CubeSats are deployed by piggybacking on a larger mission, even a small margin of risk can be disastrous. To avoid these issues, Tappan's team is developing a solid-based chemical-fuel technology – called a "segregated fuel oxidizer" system – that is completely non-detonable and where the solid fuel and solid oxidizer are kept completely separate inside the rocket assembly. The ability to self-propel would expand the capabilities of CubeSats, allowing them to enter higher orbits and achieve multiple orbital-planes in a single mission, and could also be used to make them "de-orbit" when their mission ends, reducing space junk. Astronomers have spotted a relatively rare triple-star system surrounded by a disc with a spiral structure, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. The discovery lends support to a proposed process known as "disc fragmentation", which allows for the formation of young binary and multiple star systems – such a triple-star system forming in a disc has never been observed until now. "What is important is that we discovered that companion stars can form in disc material surrounding a dominant star," says team-leader John Tobin at the University of Oklahoma in the US. "We had observed this system in the past with ALMA's predecessors, but this is the first time we have been able to clearly analyse the disc and the newborn stars within it," he explains, adding that "triple systems like this one are rare, and this is the only one with a configuration like this, but we are actively searching for more." The work may help to explain how binary star systems form – something that astronomers are still not sure about. The research is published in Nature. Researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have won the 2016 Edison Patent Award for developing a new technique to create isotopes for medical imaging. The refrigerator-sized device can produce the radioactive element Technetium 99m (Tc-99m) – a substance with a half-life of six hours that is used in more than 60% of nuclear medical diagnostic procedures. Tc-99m results when Molybdenum 99 (Mo-99) decays – an isotope typically produced in a nuclear reactor. However, there has been a shortage of Tc-99m due to the closure or aging nuclear reactors worldwide. The technique developed by the PPPL researchers can produce Tc-99m from naturally occurring Molybdenum 100 (Mo-100). It involves firing neutrons at a metal plate to produce gamma rays that then strike a Mo-100 nucleus turning it into Mo-99. Due to the device's size, the researchers say that that technique could allow many other countries to have access to Tc-99m imaging. "There was a lot of work that went into this and we're just happy that we can potentially make a positive impact on helping people in the world who would not necessarily have access to this diagnostic technology," says PPPL researcher Charles Gentile, who worked on the device. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony at the Liberty Science Center in Hoboken, New Jersey, on 3 November.

Gwiazdowski R.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Gillespie S.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Weddle R.,Liberty Science Center | Elkinton J.S.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Annals of the Entomological Society of America | Year: 2011

North American tiger beetles (Cicindela spp. L.) have been reared in the laboratory for more than a century, and here we summarize the relevant literature to develop a general rearing protocol. We used this protocol to experimentally overwinter adults in the laboratory and observe variation in oviposition and fecundity among several species. Overwintering experiments, involving five North East North American Cicindela species with spring-fall life histories-Cicindela repanda (Dejean), Cicindela hirticollis (Say), Cicindela purpurea (Olivier), Cicindela scutellaris (Say), and Cicindela tranquebarica (Herbst) -demonstrated that both a long cooldown (20 to 4°C by a degree a day) and a short photoperiod (8:16 [L:D] h) maximized survival and minimized overwintering weight loss, which varied between species and sex. Observations of oviposition, larval abundance and larval development involving five Cicindela species with summer life histories revealed that Cicindela punctulata (Olivier) produced more first-instar larvae than Cicindela abdominalis (F.), Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis (Say), Cicindela puritana (Horn), or Cicindela unipunctata (F.) and that high mortality due to accidental desiccation may be overcome by rearing larvae individually in tubes rather than in bins. We also present a first account of larval rearing of the federally threatened species C. puritana and the northern Martha's Vineyard population of the federally threatened species C. d. dorsalis. Notably, C. d. dorsalis produced fewer larvae than more common species reared in this study. We conclude that rearing large numbers of larvae is feasible with endangered as well as common species and we propose future improvements for rearing as part of conservation efforts. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.

Taber J.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | Hubenthal M.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | Bravo T.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | Dorr P.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | And 4 more authors.
The Leading Edge | Year: 2015

The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology's (IRIS) Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program is committed to advancing awareness and understanding of seismology and geophysics while also inspiring careers in the earth sciences. To achieve this mission, the IRIS EPO program combines the content expertise of the consortium membership with the educational and outreach expertise of IRIS staff members to create programs, products, and services that target a range of audiences, including students and teachers in grades six through 12, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and the general public. Since 1998, the IRIS EPO program has produced a portfolio of freely available products and services and offers a rich repository for anyone who teaches seismology-related topics and/ or communicates seismology research to the general public.

JERSEY CITY, N.J., March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when great uncertainty and pessimism seems to be permeating society, Liberty Science Center President and CEO Paul Hoffman is ready to redirect the national conversation on optimism – specifically "techno-optimists," those...

News Article | April 1, 2016

An exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City uses data-collecting gear to simulate the vision, hearing and mobility of an 85-year-old person.

News Article | April 8, 2016

Ugo Dumont, a volunteer for the Genworth R70i Aging Experience, experiences vision disorders during a demonstration at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton JERSEY CITY, N.J. (Reuters) - With the push of a button, a perfectly healthy 34-year-old museum-goer named Ugo Dumont was transformed into a confused 85-year-old man with cataracts, glaucoma and a ringing in his ears known as tinnitus. Dumont had volunteered at Liberty Science Center on Tuesday to don a computer-controlled exoskeleton that can be remotely manipulated to debilitate joints, vision and hearing and shared with the crowd what aging feels like decades before his time. Headphones muffled his hearing while goggles left him with only peripheral vision due to macular degeneration while the suit's joints were adjusted to simulate the stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. The 40-pound (18 kg) suit also gave Dumont a taste of the weight gain people typically experience as they age. "Wow," Dumont gasped as he struggled to walk on a treadmill facing a video titled "Walk on the Beach." His heart raced from 81 beats per minute to 100 as the staff cranked up the ailments, pushing buttons and levers on a control board linked to the computer backpack that he wore. "I don't know how you can focus on the water. You just want to be in bed!" said Dumont, a photo agent who lives in the nearby New York City borough of Brooklyn. The Genworth Aging Experience is a traveling show created by Genworth Financial Inc., an insurance company, in partnership with Applied Minds, a design and engineering company, that allows museum visitors to feel first-hand the effects of aging. Genworth "brand ambassador" Candace Hammer, who narrated one demonstration of the aging suit, said the show's aim is to build empathy and awareness of the challenges elderly people face in everyday situations. That includes everything from joints so stiff you cannot get the breakfast cereal off the shelf to trying to talk to someone in a noisy restaurant when a neurological condition known as aphasia sends words bouncing around in your head. Ultimately that understanding may spark families to start conversations with 75 million baby boomers in the United States approaching retirement, nearly one-quarter of the population, about long-term care and how to pay for it, said a statement from Genworth, which sells long-term care insurance. "In our culture, we revere youth and beauty, so this is opening up the channels to have the 'let's talk' conversation," Hammer said. "It's not shameful that you should need care." There are limits to how deeply the suit immerses the wearer in the aging experience since it cannot simulate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, the difficulty of urinating or not urinating, the trauma of Alzheimer's disease and dementia and so many other of the other miseries that can be hallmarks of aging. Still, even feeling just part of aging's toll on the body had a dramatic effect not just on the volunteers who wore the suit but on audience members as well. Robert Richards, 74, a retired publishing executive from Madison, New Jersey, said he now understood why his older golfing partners moved slowly. "I'll be more patient when I'm waiting for them to swing. Sometimes you think, 'Can't you just get up there and do it?!'" said Richards, who has had one hip replaced, suffers partial hearing loss and wears contact lenses. With him was his granddaughter, 8-year-old Maggie Richards of Mahwah, New Jersey, who said the "really cool" exhibit would change her behavior, too. "You think old people are weirdos but then you understand that they don't see you and they can't hear you," she said. "I'm going to give them more time to understand what to do. I'll say, 'Can you please move?' Instead of, 'Get out of the way!'"

News Article | March 4, 2016

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The Force is strong at Liberty Science Center this Presidents Day weekend. "Star Wars" remixes and tribute songs filled the air as crowds of dressed-up fans and their parents (and children) packed into the learning center in New Jersey Friday to kick off "Science, Sabers and Star Wars," a celebration of the movies' world. The event runs from Friday (Feb.12) through Monday (Feb.15), and visitors who dress up get $5 off the price of admission. Once there, they can train to be a Jedi, design a droid, blast rockets at the Death Star, meet R2-D2, and even see arcs of electricity pulsate to the beat in a "Star Wars"-themed Tesla Coil show — all activities aimed at teaching a bit of science with the movies' help. ['Star Wars and the Power of Costume' Exhibition: Gallery] "We're able to marry something people like anyway — and, of course, that's their enthusiasm for 'Star Wars' — with actually going a bit into the science behind it," Paul Hoffman, Liberty Science Center president and CEO, told "We need[ed] activities that have science in them, we need ones that we can move lots of people through, we need ones that will be interesting for the spectators even though they're not doing it — it's fun to see people try to shoot down the Death Star, or fly a drone." Most of the activities are clustered together on the center's second floor, with crowds packing in  to fly a mini Millennium Falcon, build a lightsaber, construct Death-Star-bound rockets, learn about holograms and plasma and even show off a Wookie call in a contest. Visitors practice impromptu saber fights in the back, and stormtroopers, Jedi knights and Mandalorian warriors weave in and out, posing for photos. (A life-size R2-D2 also offers a more stationary photo opportunity.) "It's good seeing adults smile, […] reliving their childhood," one of the Mandalorians told He's a part of the Mandalorian Mercs — a group who wears homemade costumes to events to raise funds for children's charities. Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion and Jedi from Empire Saber Guild — similar charity organizations — join the Mercs on the floor. "The younger children, they just light up — when they're not running away," he added. There's one other activity attendees can pursue, although it's not in the program. In 2007, a staff member hid a secret "Star Wars" "Easter egg" somewhere in the science center. Now, a series of clues will lead inquisitive guests to the little-known interactive feature, hidden right inside one of the exhibits. Anyone who locates the Easter egg will be "experientially richly rewarded," Hoffman said. (At the time of this writing, had not located the Easter egg, but we're going to try again later.) Hoffman estimated at least 10,000 people will make their way through the exhibits and special "Star Wars" activities over the course of the weekend.  "That's what's fun about it," he said. "It really is a party, and to be able to celebrate with people that have the same enthusiasms you do, in this case 'Star Wars,' is a pretty fun thing." Copyright 2016, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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