Fermat proof prize Andrew Wiles has received the 2016 Abel Prize for mathematics for his solution to Fermat’s last theorem, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced on 15 March. The problem had stumped some of the world’s greatest minds for three and a half centuries. Wiles, a number theorist now at the University of Oxford, UK, will receive 6 million kroner (US$700,000) for his 1994 proof showing that there cannot be any positive whole numbers x, y and z such that xn + yn = zn, if n is greater than 2. See go.nature.com/yf1nxj for more. Famous killer whale nears end of life Tilikum, a killer whale (Orcinus orca) at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, has an incurable lung infection, the theme park’s veterinary team has announced. In February 2010, Tilikum dragged his trainer Dawn Brancheau into the pool and killed her. The whale was also involved in two deaths in the 1990s, and the story of his life in captivity was told in the controversial 2013 documentary film Blackfish. SeaWorld bought Tilikum in 1983; he is thought to be 35 years old. The species’ life expectancy in captivity versus that in the wild is still debated by scientists. AlphaGo victorious The world’s leading Go player, South Korea’s Lee Sedol, lost his final match in Seoul against Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo machine on 15 March. The tightly fought game brought the best-of-five competition to an end with four wins for the computer versus one for the human player. Sedol came back from three consecutive losses to beat the artificial-intelligence system in the fourth match, but ultimately missed out on the US$1-million prize. Go originated more than 2,500 years ago in China and involves placing black and white counters on a board. See page 284 for more. Brexit warning Physicist Stephen Hawking is one of more than 150 scientists, mathematicians, economists and engineers at the University of Cambridge, UK, who warn of a disaster for the nation’s science if Britain exits the European Union (known as Brexit). A referendum to be held on 23 June will ask whether the country should leave the EU. In a 10 March letter to The Times, organized by protein scientist Alan Fersht, the group argues that the free movement of workers between EU countries helps in the recruitment of high-quality researchers to the United Kingdom. The letter’s signatories are all fellows of the Royal Society in London. Zika meeting With the Zika virus still spreading rapidly across the Americas, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva held an emergency meeting on mosquito control on 14–15 March. The WHO’s Vector Control Advisory Group intends to review evidence to support new and innovative techniques for combating the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus, along with dengue and Chikungunya viruses. These techniques include deploying mosquitoes that have been made infertile through genetic modification or irradiation. Infrastructure map The European Commission has published its latest wish list of the research-infrastructure projects that it considers most deserving of continent-wide support. The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures road map, released on 10 March, details 21 facilities across all scientific areas to help national governments to prioritize how they spend infrastructure money, and to encourage them to share costs and responsibilities. New facilities listed in the 2016 road map include two in environmental sciences and one in health and food sciences, as well as solar and neutrino telescopes and an infrastructure for scientific research into cultural heritage. Minister keeps title German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, who was accused in September 2015 of plagiarism in her medical dissertation in obstetrics, will not lose the title of doctor or her job. The senate of Hanover Medical School, which awarded the title in 1990, announced on 9 March that its formal investigation revealed that some passages in von der Leyen’s dissertation were copied from original sources. But these were mostly in the introduction, it said, and the main body of research was original and valid. Since 2011, two German federal ministers have lost their titles and government posts to plagiarism charges. Call to save bees The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that US regulatory bodies need to do more to protect bee populations. In a report made public on 11 March, the GAO called on the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work more closely with other agencies to protect bee health. The report says that although the USDA has upped efforts to monitor honeybee colonies managed by beekeepers, it does not coordinate the monitoring of wild, native bees. The report also recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency identifies the mixtures of pesticides most commonly used by farmers. Gene data shared Researchers and the public can now access a database of anonymized genetic information from 10,000 people with hereditary breast or ovarian cancer. The database, called AmbryShare, was launched on 8 March by Ambry Genetics, a genetic-testing company in Aliso Viejo, California — making Ambry the first private company to release its customers’ information for free. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has an open-access database of more than 60,000 genomes collected from the public, but AmbryShare’s data currently focus on specific diseases. Ambry hopes to release up to 200,000 aggregated genomes per year from people with various conditions. India vaccine fight The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is challenging pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s application for a patent in India on pneumonia vaccine PCV13, marketed as Prevenar 13 in India. MSF says that it wants to allow other manufacturers to make the vaccine, and lower its cost. The 11 March challenge asserts that the method that Pfizer is trying to patent is too obvious to deserve a patent under Indian law. Pfizer is reported as saying that the complexity of the vaccine justifies the price. In partnership with the vaccine alliance GAVI, Pfizer has reduced the price of Prevenar since 2013. Mosquito trial A proposed field trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys poses no threat to human health or the environment, the US Food and Drug Administration has determined. Members of the public have 30 days to submit comments on the draft assessment, which was released on 11 March. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes developed by Oxitec of Oxford, UK, are engineered to produce short-lived young to temporarily reduce mosquito populations and combat diseases that they carry. The project has received increased attention from the media and politicians amid concerns about the spread of Zika virus. The level of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii rose by 3.05 parts per million (p.p.m.) in 2015 — the largest annual increase since records began 56 years ago, says the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After correcting for seasonal swings from plant-growth cycles in the Northern Hemisphere, the average CO concentration in 2015 was 400.83 p.p.m. — a 43% rise compared to the CO level of around 280 p.p.m. that existed during the pre-industrial era. 10 Consecutive months in which the global monthly temperature record has been broken. February’s temperature was 1.35 °C above average for the month. A strong El Niño weather system has contributed to the record-breaking run. Source: NOAA 17–18 March Commercializing 3D printing for biological applications is discussed at the second Tissue Engineering, Biofabrication & 3D-Bioprinting in Life Sciences conference in Boston, Massachusetts. go.nature.com/rggrat 21–23 March NASA holds a meeting in Washington DC to develop its technology road maps. go.nature.com/dhmq2e 21–25 March The annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference convenes in The Woodlands, Texas. go.nature.com/qpnoxd
News Article | April 27, 2016
Large or slow-healing wounds that do not receive adequate blood flow could benefit from a novel approach that combines a nanoscale graft onto which three different cell types are layered. Proper cell alignment on the nanograft allows for the formation of new blood vessel-like structures, as reported in of Tissue Engineering, Part A, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free for download on the Tissue Engineering website until May 26, 2016. Tae Hee Kim, Soo Hyun Kim, Ph.D., Kam Leong, Ph.D., and Youngmee Jung, Ph.D., Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea University, Korea University of Science and Technology (Seoul, Korea) and Columbia University (New York, NY), describe the nanoscale topography and triculture technology they used to create a microenvironment that mimics what occurs in normal tissue and can promote angiogenesis. They demonstrate how the shape, width, and depth of the nanograft all affected the behavior of the cells and the formation of stable capillary-like tubular structures. In the article "Nanografted Substrata and Triculture of Human Pericytes, Fibroblasts, and Endothelial Cells for Studying the Effects on Angiogenesis," the researchers describe how this technique could be applicable for treating wounds that do not heal well naturally. "The combination of advanced materials and polycellular administration is opening new paths to the all-important requirement for angiogenesis in tissue engineering," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Peter C. Johnson, MD, Principal, MedSurgPI, LLC and President and CEO, Scintellix, LLC, Raleigh, NC.
When MIT moved from Boston to Cambridge in 1916, it built a new campus designed to foster collaboration across disparate disciplines. As the Institute celebrates the centennial of that historic move, more than a dozen faculty from multiple departments across all five schools will gather for a symposium in Kresge Auditorium on Tuesday, April 12, to present short, exciting talks on their groundbreaking research — tied together by an immersive, multimedia campus tour by foot, drone, and skateboard. Come explore! President L. Rafael Reif will open the symposium session at 1:30 p.m., preceded by lunch and a graduate student poster session starting at noon. The faculty talks and multimedia tour run two hours (1:30-3:30 p.m.) and will be followed by a reception in Kresge Lobby from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Registration, including lunch and reception, is free for MIT staff, faculty, and students, and $20 for other attendees. Advance registration is encouraged and will be available until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 7. After the deadline, registration will be available onsite on April 12. Contact MIT Conference Services with questions. Welcome L. Rafael Reif, MIT president "Emerging Markets Drive Global Solutions" Amos Winter, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering "Fluid Dynamics of Infectious Disease Transmission" Lydia Bourouiba, Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering "Exploring Quantum Behavior in Flatland" Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Physics "Uncovering Photosynthesis at the Nanoscale" Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry "What Inventions Are We Missing?" Heidi Williams, Class of 1957 Career Development Assistant Professor, Economics "Mobile Technologies and Financial Inclusion in Africa" Tavneet Suri, Maurice J. Strong Career Development Associate Professor in the MIT Sloan School of Management "Rethinking China’s Growth Model" Yasheng Huang, International Program Professor in Chinese Economy and Business and associate dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management "From Nature-inspired Design to Design-inspired Nature" Neri Oxman, Sony Corporation Career Development Associate Professor in the MIT Media Lab "Using Biology for Chemistry’s Sake" Kristala Prather, Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering "Wireless Systems that Extend Our Senses" Dina Katabi, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science "Where the Wild Things Will Be (in 100 Years)" Katharina Ribbeck, Eugene Bell Career Development Professor of Tissue Engineering in the Department of Biological Engineering "Is There Music at MIT?" Marcus Thompson, Institute Professor and Robert R. Taylor Professor of Music "Cities of a New Future" John Fernandez, associate professor in the Department of Architecture Closing Remarks Rebecca Saxe, symposium cochair and professor of cognitive neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences John Ochsendorf, chair of the MIT2016 Steering Committee, symposium cochair, and Class of 1942 Professor in the departments of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering The symposium is part of MIT2016: Celebrating a Century in Cambridge, a program running Feb. 29 to June 4 as MIT commemorates 100 years at its “new” campus.
Wada K.,Tissue Engineering
The International journal of periodontics & restorative dentistry | Year: 2013
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an osteogenic medium supplemented with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) BB and osteogenic protein (OP) 1 on the proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in an anorganic bovine cancellous bone scaffold. At day 7, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of cells in the scaffolds in the group treated with the medium supplemented with both PDGF-BB and OP-1 when compared with the control groups. The highest alkaline phosphate levels, at 14 and 21 days, were recorded for the samples in medium supplemented with OP-1 alone reflecting osteogenic differentiation. The results commend OP-1, as well as PDGF-BB, for incorporation into porous mineral scaffolds for vertical ridge augmentation. Source
Houard X.,University of Paris Descartes |
Goldring M.B.,Tissue Engineering |
Berenbaum F.,University of Paris Descartes |
Berenbaum F.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Current Rheumatology Reports | Year: 2013
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a whole joint disease, in which thinning and disappearance of cartilage is a critical determinant in OA progression. The rupture of cartilage homeostasis whatever its cause (aging, genetic predisposition, trauma ormetabolic disorder) induces profound phenotypic modifications of chondrocytes, which then promote the synthesis of a subset of factors that induce cartilage damage and target other joint tissues. Interestingly, among these factors are numerous components of the inflammatory pathways. Chondrocytes produce cytokines, chemokines, alarmins, prostanoids, and adipokines and express numerous cell surface receptors for cytokines and chemokines, as well as Toll-like receptors. These receptors activate intracellular signaling pathways involved in inflammatory and stress responses of chondrocytes in OA joints. This review focuses on mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of cartilage homeostasis and highlights the role of inflammatory processes in OA progression. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013. Source