If you’re a regular follower of ours or Dr. Lee Merrit’s, some of the info in the video below is not latest minute news. I wanted to save this presentation on the website though, for two main reasons: it brings a few new angles, such as the racial one, and it’s really well structured and rounded, managing to paint a complex picture in under 15 minutes. There may be a lot left to say, but this makes the case and it can stand alone. Reference material, at least until science proves otherwise, which seems highly unlikely to me, so far.

“Merritt has an impressive resume as an orthopedic surgeon and military doctor. However, she is also the former president of the conservative medical advocacy group the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which opposes vaccines, the Affordable Care Act and all government healthcare, including Medicare…

Dr. Merritt has certainly accomplished a great deal as a surgeon, including being the first woman to receive the Louis A. Goldstein Spine Surgery Fellowship at the Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital in New York.”  – The Millenial Source

This profile has been written by her detractors.

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ORDER

Except for that Note, the article below needs no further commentary from my part.

Scientists Find Cancer Drivers Hiding in a New Place

By Matthew Tontonoz,

Sloan Kettering Institute molecular biologist Christine Mayr
Christine Mayr is a member of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program of the Sloan Kettering Institute.

Summary

Researchers at the Sloan Kettering Institute have found that changes in an information-carrying molecule called messenger RNA can inactivate tumor-suppressing proteins and thereby promote cancer. The findings pinpoint previously unknown drivers of the disease. 


IMPORTANT NOTE (added 2020*): This research does not relate in any way to the COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA. There are thousands of different kinds of mRNA in human cells. Each kind of mRNA does different things. The mRNA used in vaccines does not cause cancer or alter DNA. For accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and why they don’t cause cancer, please visit here. This video explains how mRNA vaccines work. 

  • I personally I don’t see how the resources provided in the note, or anything I’ve ever read, supports the claims there. Nor have I seen why this study does not apply to the mRNA in Covid shots. Quite the contrary. Looks like they hope we won’t read or understand the science. So let’s read it and understand it, then make your own mind. – Silview.media

Most people think of cancer as a disease of disorderly DNA. Changes, or mutations, in the sequence of DNA alter the function of the proteins made from that DNA, leading to uncontrolled cell division.

But between DNA and proteins is another layer of information, called messenger RNA (mRNA), which serves as a crucial link between the two. New research suggests that some types of mRNA may carry cancer-causing changes. And, because genetic tests don’t usually look at mRNA, those changes have so far gone undetected by cancer doctors.

“If you sequenced the DNA in cancer cells, you would not see these changes at all,” says Christine Mayr, a molecular biologist at the Sloan Kettering Institute who is the senior author of a new paper on the topic published today in Nature. “But these mRNA changes have the same ultimate effect as known cancer drivers in DNA, so we believe they may play a very important role.”If you sequenced the DNA in cancer cells, you would not see these changes at all.Christine Mayrmolecular biologist

The findings turn some common assumptions about cancer on their head and point to the need to look past DNA for answers to questions about what causes the disease.

From DNA to mRNA

If DNA is the genetic blueprint for life, as is often said, then it’s a fairly cumbersome set of instructions. The information in DNA is encoded in the particular sequence of some 3 billion nucleotide “letters” — varying combinations of A, T, G, and C. Blocks of these letters — genes — are used to make particular proteins, a cell’s main workhorses. But DNA lives in the nucleus of a cell, while proteins are made in the surrounding cytoplasm. To bridge this gap, a cell must first make an RNA copy of a gene’s DNA. This RNA copy, called messenger RNA, is then transported out of the nucleus. It is this mRNA copy that cells read and translate into a protein.

Usually, the mRNA copy is a bit shorter than its DNA precursor. That’s because the useful pieces of information in DNA, called exons, are often separated by blocks of sequences that are not needed. These unnecessary parts, called introns, must be cut out to make a final product. After the introns are removed, the remaining exons are spliced together, not unlike splicing together pieces of film and leaving some on the cutting room floor.  These findings help explain a long-standing conundrum, which is that CLL cells have relatively few known DNA mutations.

If the mRNA copy doesn’t include all of the exons in a gene or is cut short, then the protein made from that mRNA will also be truncated. It may no longer function properly. And if that protein is a tumor suppressor — one that protects against cancer — then that could spell problems.

What Dr. Mayr and her colleagues, including postdoctoral fellow Shih-Han (Peggy) Lee, graduate student Irtisha Singh, and SKI computational biologist Christina Leslie, found is that many of the mRNAs in cancer cells produce these truncated tumor-suppressor proteins. The changes occur not only in known tumor-suppressor genes but also in previously unrecognized ones.

“The changes to the mRNA make proteins that are very similar to the proteins that are made when you have a mutation in the DNA that causes a truncated protein to be made,” she says. “In the end, the outcome for the cell is very similar, but how it happened is very different.”

Found: Missing Cancer Mutations

Dr. Mayr’s team looked specifically at chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of blood cancer. A colleague at MSK, Omar Abdel-Wahab, supplied them with blood samples from people with the condition. Using a method that Dr. Mayr’s lab developed to detect these particular mRNA changes, they found that a substantially greater number of people with CLL had an inactivation of a tumor-suppressor gene at the mRNA level than those who had it at the DNA level.

These findings help explain a long-standing conundrum, which is that CLL cells have relatively few known DNA mutations. Some CLL cells lack even known mutations. In effect, the mRNA changes that Dr. Mayr’s team discovered could account for the missing DNA mutations.

Because CLL is such a slow-growing cancer and people with CLL often live for many years, it’s too early to say whether these mRNA changes are associated with a poorer prognosis. 

There are some important differences between the mRNA changes and a bona fide DNA mutation. Most important, the inactivation of tumor suppressors through mRNA is usually only partial; only about half of the relevant protein molecules in the tumor cells are truncated. But in many cases this is enough to completely override the function of the normal versions that are present. And because this truncation could apply to 100 different genes at once, the changes can add up.

Lessons for Cancer Diagnostics

Though Dr. Mayr’s team identified the mRNA changes in CLL, they’re likely not limited to this blood cancer. The team found them in samples of T cell acute lymphocytic leukemia too, for example. Other researchers have found them in breast cancer. Dr. Mayr hopes that scientists will be inspired to explore the significance of mRNA changes in these and other types of cancers.

“Current cancer diagnostic efforts predominantly focus on the sequencing of DNA in order to identify mutations,” Dr. Mayr says. “But our research suggests that changes at the mRNA level might be as frequent.”

In other words, cancer diagnostics may need to change to include these previously unknown cancer drivers.

This work was funded by a National Cancer Institute grant (U01-CA164190), a Starr Cancer Consortium award, an Innovator Award of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Cancer Foundation and the Island Outreach Foundation (DRR-24-13), a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award (DP1-GM123454), the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance, and an MSK Core grant (P30 CA008748). – Sloan Kettering Institute

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
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Sometimes my memes are 3D. And you can own them. Or send them to someone.
You can even eat some of them.
CLICK HERE

This is just one expert testimony in the Texas Senate hearings on vaccine mandates, May 16 2021. But it lines up with many other testimonies and reports and with the explosive situation revealed by VAERS and other official stats, so it’s hard to believe that only happens in Texas. And if it does, rest assured this is going to be the norm soon, whether officially reported or not. You don’t need medical knowledge anymore to tell that, we have enough data to be able to anticipate the trends using basic math now, as I’ve shown before and I’ve only been proven right since.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ALMOST ONE HOUR OF DAMNING EXPERT TESTIMONIES FROM THE SAME HEARING!

Also see: HOW MANY THOUSANDS VAERS REPORTS IS CDC SITTING ON TO SELL MORE VACCINES?!

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Sometimes my memes are 3D. And you can own them. Or send them to someone.
You can even eat some of them.
CLICK HERE

I’m trying to advance the discussion, but apparently most are still stuck at “these are not even vaccines”. Yeah, we knew that the moment we visited a manufacturer’s website, which is among the first reasonable things to do. I hope this will help closing that debate and will ease stepping further down the rabbit hole. Watch how many will find out these things from me rather than from the original source!

mRNA doesn’t alter DNA?

mRNA is just as critical as DNA.

source: Moderna

Without mRNA, your genetic code would never get used by your body. Proteins would never get made. And your body wouldn’t – actually couldn’t – perform its functions. Messenger ribonucleuc acid, or mRNA for short, plays a vital role in human biology, specifically in a process known as protein synthesis. mRNA is a single-stranded molecule that carries genetic code from DNA in a cell’s nucleus to ribosomes, the cell’s protein-making machinery.

Moderna

Our Operating System

Recognizing the broad potential of mRNA science, we set out to create an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer. It is designed so that it can plug and play interchangeably with different programs. In our case, the “program” or “app” is our mRNA drug – the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein.

We have a dedicated team of several hundred scientists and engineers solely focused on advancing Moderna’s platform technology. They are organized around key disciplines and work in an integrated fashion to advance knowledge surrounding mRNA science and solve for challenges that are unique to mRNA drug development. Some of these disciplines include mRNA biology, chemistry, formulation & delivery, bioinformatics and protein engineering.

Our mRNA Medicines – The ‘Software of Life’

When we have a concept for a new mRNA medicine and begin research, fundamental components are already in place.

Generally, the only thing that changes from one potential mRNA medicine to another is the coding region – the actual genetic code that instructs ribosomes to make protein. Utilizing these instruction sets gives our investigational mRNA medicines a software-like quality. We also have the ability to combine different mRNA sequences encoding for different proteins in a single mRNA investigational medicine.

We are leveraging the flexibility afforded by our platform and the fundamental role mRNA plays in protein synthesis to pursue mRNA medicines for a broad spectrum of diseases.

Within a given modality, the base components are generally identical across development candidates – formulation, 5’ region and 3’ region. Only the coding region varies based on the protein/s the potential medicine is directing cells to produce.

Learn how our Research Engine and Early Development Engine are enabling us to fully maximize the promise of mRNA to meaningfully improve how medicines are discovered, developed and manufactured.

‘Life is just a flow of information. And we’re interfering with it”

Overcoming Key Challenges

Using mRNA to create medicines is a complex undertaking and requires overcoming novel scientific and technical challenges. We need to get the mRNA into the targeted tissue and cells while evading the immune system. If the immune system is triggered, the resultant response may limit protein production and, thus, limit the therapeutic benefit of mRNA medicines. We also need ribosomes to think the mRNA was produced naturally, so they can accurately read the instructions to produce the right protein. And we need to ensure the cells express enough of the protein to have the desired therapeutic effect. 

Our multidisciplinary platform teams work together closely to address these scientific and technical challenges. This intensive cross-functional collaboration has enabled us to advance key aspects of our platform and make significant strides to deliver mRNA medicines for patients.

MODERNA

SOFTWARE OF LIFE™ Research and Design Services

Our mRNA RESEARCH ENGINE™ services enable us to advance new product ideas into development candidates via our drug discovery efforts, and includes infrastructure to enable rapid supply of thousands of preclinical mRNAs for research involving in vitro and in vivo experiments in order to accelerate programs from idea to development candidate designation.

 

mRNA Design Studio™ – Digital Design and Ordering of mRNA for Research

Our mRNA Design Studio enables rapid design of multiple mRNAs.

As our scientists create new mRNA concepts, they can design mRNAs for research and testing, within days, using our proprietary systems. As the Digital Biotech Company™, we utilize the software-like property of mRNA in our proprietary, web-based mRNA Design Studio. Our scientists request mRNAs for a specific protein, and the protein target is automatically converted to an initial optimized mRNA sequence. Using our Sequence Designer module, they can tailor entire mRNAs from the 5’-UTR to the coding region to the 3’-UTR based on our ever-improving proprietary learnings. The mRNA sequence is then further optimized using our proprietary bioinformatics algorithms. Our digital ordering then ensures rapid and accurate transmission of sequences to our modular synthesis robotics.

Our proprietary in-house digital application suite contains a Sequence Designer module to tailor an entire mRNA, with ever-improving rule sets that contain our accumulated learning about mRNA design. Drug Design Studio utilizes cloud-based computational capacity to run various algorithms we have developed to design each mRNA sequence. The utility of cloud-based capacity allows us to provide flexible computational capacity on demand, allowing the Research Engine to power parallel intake and design of multiple mRNA sequences.

Moderna’s Research Engine

Our Research Engine combines proprietary digital drug design tools and a highly automated production facility to enable Moderna and our strategic collaborators to move mRNA medicines swiftly through the research stage, from idea to development candidate nomination.

Scientists can begin by selecting any protein in the human proteome to be further engineered, including antibodies, or they can design novel proteins like traps, fusion proteins, or completely novel scaffolds and sequences. All can be designed to explore previously undruggable pathways.

The Drug Design Studio integrates with Moderna’s automation platforms – directing orders through each phase of mRNA synthesis. Once the order is placed, Moderna’s high-throughput mRNA pre-clinical production facility manages the manufacturing of mRNA constructs and delivers them in just weeks.

MODERNA

Is Humanity even trying to survive?!

PS: Some people wonder why the vids above are available on their website but unlisted on their Youtube.
It’s because they know you won’t look for them on their site, mostly potential partners will.

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
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We think frequent use, even short term use can be bad for you, but if you have no way around them, at least send a message of consciousness.
Get it here!

Maybe you’ve been just like myself, too tired to be surprised or very concerned with the new wave of magneto-vaxxers. But we have to make the effort to take this as it most likely is: super-serious.

BREAKING:

UPDATE: SOMETHING BIG IS HAPPENING! Youtube censorship entered overdrive, they’ve deleted us a second video on this in 24h, this time it was THE Ben Swann investigation on DARPA’S MAGNETIC MIND CONTROL PROGRAM. both my channels are hanging on a thread now.
PLEASE SPREAD THIS INFO LIKE FIRE!
i’M NOT SAYING “SPREAD MY LINK,” BUT SPREAD THE INFO THAT SOUNDS RIGHT TO YOU AND DO IT NOW!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR SECOND VIDEO DELETED BY YOUTUBE IN ONE DAY

Proof that this is serious: as I was wrapping this report up, YouTube has just deleted my COMEDY take on this, proving that we struck a chord.
Video still available on our Odysee Channel. Also below

MY RESPONSE TO YOUTUBE’S CENSORSHIP IS SIMPLY WAR. INFORMATIONAL WAR. WE’RE SETTING THIS ON TURBO TOO.
PLEASE SUPPORT!

update #2: more examples of “magnetovaxxers” found and compiled

More and more people are taking the magnet challenge
Thanks Tim Truth for sparking my investigation and following up!
HERE you can watch his latest compilation of vaxxers turning into fridge doors

If next minute all vaxxtards turn into transformer drones, I’m not going to be very surprised, rather amused. But i should be concerned.
I am concerned with sticky vaxxers because most likely there’s some magnetogenetics involved. It’s almost impossible that this is not the explanation for the new Internet sensation.

Earliest academic mention of magnetogenetics I found comes from China, but in the meantime I’ve learned this goes back to 2010 and beyond, more updates soon:

UPDATE #3
in just hours, youtube admits my appeal and reinstates the Ben Swann Video!

Can hardly keep up with myself lol
What did the appeal say that was unprecedently persuasive?
I don’t have the exact words, but the main ideas were:
1. Everything you’ve just claim is a lie, it’s offensive and defaming, but that’s ok because your words have no value.
2. Thanks for pointing out you’re especially sensitive about this topic, we’ll put it on turbo-boost!

UPDATE #4 mAY 20 2021: WE’VE ALREADY WON THE INFORMATION WAR AGAINST BIG TECH, THE KNOWLEDGE IS MAINSTREAM NOW, ICKE AND THE LAST AMERICAN VAGABOND ALL OVER IT

Magnetogenetics: remote non-invasive magnetic activation of neuronal activity with a magnetoreceptor

Source: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11434-015-0902-0

Abstract

Current neuromodulation techniques such as optogenetics and deep-brain stimulation are transforming basic and translational neuroscience. These two neuromodulation approaches are, however, invasive since surgical implantation of an optical fiber or wire electrode is required. Here, we have invented a non-invasive magnetogenetics that combines the genetic targeting of a magnetoreceptor with remote magnetic stimulation. The non-invasive activation of neurons was achieved by neuronal expression of an exogenous magnetoreceptor, an iron-sulfur cluster assembly protein 1 (Isca1). In HEK-293 cells and cultured hippocampal neurons expressing this magnetoreceptor, application of an external magnetic field resulted in membrane depolarization and calcium influx in a reproducible and reversible manner, as indicated by the ultrasensitive fluorescent calcium indicator GCaMP6s. Moreover, the magnetogenetic control of neuronal activity might be dependent on the direction of the magnetic field and exhibits on-response and off-response patterns for the external magnetic field applied. The activation of this magnetoreceptor can depolarize neurons and elicit trains of action potentials, which can be triggered repetitively with a remote magnetic field in whole-cell patch-clamp recording. In transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing this magnetoreceptor in myo-3-specific muscle cells or mec-4-specific neurons, application of the external magnetic field triggered muscle contraction and withdrawal behavior of the worms, indicative of magnet-dependent activation of muscle cells and touch receptor neurons, respectively. The advantages of magnetogenetics over optogenetics are its exclusive non-invasive, deep penetration, long-term continuous dosing, unlimited accessibility, spatial uniformity and relative safety. Like optogenetics that has gone through decade-long improvements, magnetogenetics, with continuous modification and maturation, will reshape the current landscape of neuromodulation toolboxes and will have a broad range of applications to basic and translational neuroscience as well as other biological sciences. We envision a new age of magnetogenetics is coming. – Copyright © 2015 Science China Press. Published by Elsevier B.V.

CHINA FOLLOWED ALMOST SHOULDER TO SHOULDER BY DARPA

Missed DARPA?

06 Oct 2015 | 15:29 GMT

DARPA Wants to Jolt the Nervous System with Electricity, Lasers, Sound Waves, and Magnets

The defense agency announces funding for 7 projects under its new ElectRx program

By Spectrum

null
Illustration: Getty Images

Viewing the body as a chemical system and treating maladies with pharmaceuticals is so 20th century. In 21st century medicine, doctors may consider the body as an electrical system instead, and prescribe therapies that alter the electrical pulses that run through the nerves.

That’s the premise of DARPA’s newest biomedical program, anyway. The ElectRx program aims to treat disease by modulating the activity of the peripheral nerves that carry commands to all the organs and muscles of the human body, and also convey sensory information back to the brain.

Yesterday, DARPA announced the first seven grants under the ElectRx program. The scientists chosen are doing fairly fundamental research, because we’re still in the early days of electric medicine; they’ll investigate mechanisms by which to stimulate the nerves, and map nerve pathways that respond to that stimulation. They’re working on treatments for disorders such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The proposed stimulation methods are fascinating in their diversity. Researchers will not only stimulate nerves with jolts of electricity, they’ll also use pulses of light, sound waves, and magnetic fields.

Three research teams using electrical stimulation will target the vagus nerve, which affects many different parts of the body. IEEE Spectrum explored the medical potential of vagus nerve hacking in a recent feature article, writing: 

Look at an anatomy chart and the importance of the vagus nerve jumps out at you. Vagus means “wandering” in Latin, and true to its name, the nerve meanders around the chest and abdomen, connecting most of the key organs—heart and lungs included—to the brain stem. It’s like a back door built into the human physiology, allowing you to hack the body’s systems.

The light-based stimulation research comes from the startup Circuit Therapeutics. The company was cofounded by Stanford’s Karl Deisseroth, one of the inventors of optogenetics, the new technique that inserts light-sensitive proteins into neurons and then uses pulses of light to turn those neurons “on” and “off.” Under the DARPA grant, the researchers will try to use pulses of light to alter neural circuits involved in neuropathic pain.

To tweak the nervous system with sound waves, Columbia University’s Elisa Konofagou will use a somewhat mysterious ultrasound technique. In an e-mail, Konofagou explains that it’s already known that ultrasound can be used to stimulate neurons, but with the DARPA grant, she hopes to figure out how it works. Her hypothesis: As ultrasound propogates through biological tissue, it exerts mechanical pressure on that tissue, which stimulates specific mechanosensitive channels in neurons and causes them to “turn on.”

The final project will rely on magnetic fields to activate neurons, using a technique that could be called “magnetogenetics.” An MIT team led by Polina Anikeeva will insert heat-sensitive proteins into neurons, and will then deploy magnetic nanoparticles that bind to the surface of those neurons. When exposed to a magnetic field, these nanoparticles heat up and activate the neurons to which they’re attached.

Figuring out how to alter the activity of the nervous systems with these various tricks will be a pretty impressive accomplishment. But in the DARPA world, achieving that understanding is just step one. Next, the agency wants its grantees to develop “closed-loop” systems capable of detecting biomarkers that signal the onset of disease, and then respond automatically with neural stimulation. Spectrum covered the first such closed-loop neural stimulators in a recent feature article, stating: 

The goal of all these closed-loop systems is to let doctors take their expert knowledge—their ability to evaluate a patient’s condition and adjust therapy accordingly—and embed it in an implanted device.

– Spectrum

I bet all that goes great served with some trans-cranial magnetic brainwashing.

Military magnetic field breakthrough could lead to mind reading computers and Harry Potter ‘wands’ to check for head injuries

  • DARPA’s new project aims to focus on detecting superweak magnetic fields 
  • The research could let medics rapidly diagnose concussions on the battlefield
  • It could also lead to brain-machine interfaces for controlling prosthetic limbs and external machines through the magnetic signals associated with thought

By CECILE BORKHATARIA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 22:35 BST, 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 22:35 BST, 20 March 2017

Our own body generates electric currents that create ripples in the surrounding magnetic field. 

These magnetic field variations allow medical professionals to use certain diagnostic tools for brain and heart conditions.

But now new research led by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) aims to go beyond these diagnostic tests and develop magnetic field sensing for broader applications such as brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) for uses such as controlling prosthetic limbs and external machines through the magnetic signals associated with thought.

IF THEY CAN USE THIS TO TAG CELLS, THEY CAN USE IT TO TAG PEOPLE.
SOURCE

Engineered protein crystals make cells magnetic

by American Chemical Society

These magnetic protein crystals, isolated from cells, were stained with a blue dye that binds to iron. Credit: Adapted from Nano Letters 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02266

If scientists could give living cells magnetic properties, they could perhaps manipulate cellular activities with external magnetic fields. But previous attempts to magnetize cells by producing iron-containing proteins inside them have resulted in only weak magnetic forces. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Nano Letters have engineered genetically encoded protein crystals that can generate magnetic forces many times stronger than those already reported.

The new area of magnetogenetics seeks to use genetically encoded proteins that are sensitive to magnetic fields to study and manipulate cells. Many previous approaches have featured a natural iron-storage protein called ferritin, which can self-assemble into a “cage” that holds as many as 4,500 iron atoms. But even with this large iron-storage capacity, ferritin cages in cells generate magnetic forces that are millions of times too small for practical applications. To drastically increase the amount of iron that a protein assembly can store, Bianxiao Cui and colleagues wanted to combine the iron-binding ability of ferritin with the self-assembly properties of another protein, called Inkabox-PAK4cat, that can form huge, spindle-shaped crystals inside cells. The researchers wondered if they could line the hollow interiors of the crystals with ferritin proteins to store larger amounts of iron that would generate substantial magnetic forces.

To make the new crystals, the researchers fused genes encoding ferritin and Inkabox-PAK4cat and expressed the new protein in human cells in a petri dish. The resulting crystals, which grew to about 45 microns in length (or about half the diameter of a human hair) after 3 days, did not affect cell survival. The researchers then broke open the cells, isolated the crystals and added iron, which enabled them to pull the crystals around with external magnets. Each crystal contained about five billion iron atoms and generated magnetic forces that were nine orders of magnitude stronger than single ferritin cages. By introducing crystals that were pre-loaded with iron to living cells, the researchers could move the cells around with a magnet. However, they were unable to magnetize the cells by adding iron to crystals already growing in cells, possibly because the iron levels in cells were too low. This is an area that requires further investigation, the researchers say.

Engineered protein crystals make cells magnetic
Credit: American Chemical Society

Genetically engineered ‘Magneto’ protein remotely controls brain and behaviour

The toroidal magnetic chamber (Tokamak) of the Joint European Torus (JET) at the Culham Science Centre. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
The toroidal magnetic chamber (Tokamak) of the Joint European Torus (JET) at the Culham Science Centre. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

“Badass” new method uses a magnetised protein to activate brain cells rapidly, reversibly, and non-invasively
THE GUARDIAN, Thu 24 Mar 2016 14.30 GMT

Researchers in the United States have developed a new method for controlling the brain circuits associated with complex animal behaviours, using genetic engineering to create a magnetised protein that activates specific groups of nerve cells from a distance.

Understanding how the brain generates behaviour is one of the ultimate goals of neuroscience – and one of its most difficult questions. In recent years, researchers have developed a number of methods that enable them to remotely control specified groups of neurons and to probe the workings of neuronal circuits.

The most powerful of these is a method called optogenetics, which enables researchers to switch populations of related neurons on or off on a millisecond-by-millisecond timescale with pulses of laser light. Another recently developed method, called chemogenetics, uses engineered proteins that are activated by designer drugs and can be targeted to specific cell types.

Although powerful, both of these methods have drawbacks. Optogenetics is invasive, requiring insertion of optical fibres that deliver the light pulses into the brain and, furthermore, the extent to which the light penetrates the dense brain tissue is severely limited. Chemogenetic approaches overcome both of these limitations, but typically induce biochemical reactions that take several seconds to activate nerve cells.

The new technique, developed in Ali Güler’s lab at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and described in an advance online publication in the journal Nature Neuroscience, is not only non-invasive, but can also activate neurons rapidly and reversibly.

Several earlier studies have shown that nerve cell proteins which are activated by heat and mechanical pressure can be genetically engineered so that they become sensitive to radio waves and magnetic fields, by attaching them to an iron-storing protein called ferritin, or to inorganic paramagnetic particles. These methods represent an important advance – they have, for example, already been used to regulate blood glucose levels in mice – but involve multiple components which have to be introduced separately.

The new technique builds on this earlier work, and is based on a protein called TRPV4, which is sensitive to both temperature and stretching forces. These stimuli open its central pore, allowing electrical current to flow through the cell membrane; this evokes nervous impulses that travel into the spinal cord and then up to the brain.

Güler and his colleagues reasoned that magnetic torque (or rotating) forces might activate TRPV4 by tugging open its central pore, and so they used genetic engineering to fuse the protein to the paramagnetic region of ferritin, together with short DNA sequences that signal cells to transport proteins to the nerve cell membrane and insert them into it.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/iHTpJNSNFlc?wmode=opaque&feature=oembedIn vivo manipulation of zebrafish behavior using Magneto. Zebrafish larvae exhibit coiling behaviour in response to localized magnetic fields. From Wheeler et al (2016).

When they introduced this genetic construct into human embryonic kidney cells growing in Petri dishes, the cells synthesized the ‘Magneto’ protein and inserted it into their membrane. Application of a magnetic field activated the engineered TRPV1 protein, as evidenced by transient increases in calcium ion concentration within the cells, which were detected with a fluorescence microscope.

Next, the researchers inserted the Magneto DNA sequence into the genome of a virus, together with the gene encoding green fluorescent protein, and regulatory DNA sequences that cause the construct to be expressed only in specified types of neurons. They then injected the virus into the brains of mice, targeting the entorhinal cortex, and dissected the animals’ brains to identify the cells that emitted green fluorescence. Using microelectrodes, they then showed that applying a magnetic field to the brain slices activated Magneto so that the cells produce nervous impulses.

To determine whether Magneto can be used to manipulate neuronal activity in live animals, they injected Magneto into zebrafish larvae, targeting neurons in the trunk and tail that normally control an escape response. They then placed the zebrafish larvae into a specially-built magnetised aquarium, and found that exposure to a magnetic field induced coiling manouvres similar to those that occur during the escape response. (This experiment involved a total of nine zebrafish larvae, and subsequent analyses revealed that each larva contained about 5 neurons expressing Magneto.)

In one final experiment, the researchers injected Magneto into the striatum of freely behaving mice, a deep brain structure containing dopamine-producing neurons that are involved in reward and motivation, and then placed the animals into an apparatus split into magnetised a non-magnetised sections. Mice expressing Magneto spent far more time in the magnetised areas than mice that did not, because activation of the protein caused the striatal neurons expressing it to release dopamine, so that the mice found being in those areas rewarding. This shows that Magneto can remotely control the firing of neurons deep within the brain, and also control complex behaviours.

Neuroscientist Steve Ramirez of Harvard University, who uses optogenetics to manipulate memories in the brains of mice, says the study is “badass”.

“Previous attempts [using magnets to control neuronal activity] needed multiple components for the system to work – injecting magnetic particles, injecting a virus that expresses a heat-sensitive channel, [or] head-fixing the animal so that a coil could induce changes in magnetism,” he explains. “The problem with having a multi-component system is that there’s so much room for each individual piece to break down.”

“This system is a single, elegant virus that can be injected anywhere in the brain, which makes it technically easier and less likely for moving bells and whistles to break down,” he adds, “and their behavioral equipment was cleverly designed to contain magnets where appropriate so that the animals could be freely moving around.”

‘Magnetogenetics’ is therefore an important addition to neuroscientists’ tool box, which will undoubtedly be developed further, and provide researchers with new ways of studying brain development and function.

Reference

Wheeler, M. A., et al. (2016). Genetically targeted magnetic control of the nervous system. Nat. Neurosci., DOI: 10.1038/nn.4265 [Abstract]

‘Magneto’ manipulates behavior of freely moving mice

BY NICHOLETTE ZELIADT  /  22 JUNE 2016
DOWNLOAD PDF

Laws of attraction: Neurons expressing a magnetically sensitive protein (right) show a spike in calcium levels when exposed to a magnet.

A modified protein allows researchers to use a magnet to switch on neurons anywhere in the brain in freely moving mice and zebrafish. The tool, described in May in Nature Neuroscience, could shed light on neural circuits underlying autism-like behaviors in animal models of the condition1.

Scientists can already turn neurons on and off at will with a technique called optogenetics that renders the cells sensitive to light. But that method requires surgically implanting a light source near the cells they want to manipulate.

The researchers rendered an ion channel in neurons called TPRV4 magnetically sensitive by fusing it to ferritin, a protein rich in iron. TPRV4 is ordinarily heat- and pressure-sensitive, but the researchers reasoned that, when attached to ferritin, it would also open in the presence of a magnetic field. Opening the channel causes calcium to flow into the cell, prompting it to fire.

Placing a magnet near cultured kidney cells expressing the protein, dubbed ‘Magneto,’ causes a calcium-sensitive fluorescent probe inside them to light up within seconds. And placing a magnet next to brain slices from mice that had been ‘infected’ by a virus carrying the Magneto gene causes neurons in the slices to fire. This firing stops when the tissue is bathed in a drug that blocks TPRV4.https://player.vimeo.com/video/171462035?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0Coiling on cue: Zebrafish embryos injected with Magneto coil defensively in the presence of a magnetic field.

The team also inserted the protein into neurons in the mouse striatum, an interior brain region that processes rewards and is difficult to target using optogenetics. Placing the mice in a magnetized chamber triggered firing of these neurons. Mice injected with Magneto spent more time in the magnetized chamber than in an adjacent non-magnetized area, suggesting that they experience a ‘reward’ when the magnet activates the neurons.

Magneto is likely to be still sensitive to temperature and pressure, making it hard to precisely control. But the researchers say that flaw may be fixable.Spectrum News

IN CASE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY TEMPERATURE IS SUCH AN ISSUE WHEN IT COMES TO THE MRNA INJECTIONS…

Like Magneto? Microcrystals give magnets superpower over living cells

These iron-rich protein crystals could be the future of how scientists study nerve cells

Labeled with a glowing protein that gives them an eerie green glow, these needle-like protein crystals are jammed full of iron. That lets scientists control the crystals — and the cells they’re inside of — with a magnet.BIANXIAO CUI

By  Science News for Students

December 17, 2019 at 6:45 am

Imagine if you could control someone by using a magnet. It would be a bit like Magneto, the supervillain in X-Men. He can control anything magnetic. Even the iron inside someone’s body.

Controlling people with magnets sounds a little, well, wacky. But scientists have now done something close to that. They have engineered cells to make long, needle-like crystals rich in iron. Researchers can then use magnets to control cells containing these crystals.

Video recordings show these iron-rich crystals moving toward a strong magnet. The crystals pull the entire cell along with them. 

Cui and her colleagues didn’t set out to give scientists superpowers like Magneto’s. Instead, their new protein crystals were designed to help scientists study which neurons control an animal’s movements and senses. The crystals provide something inside a cell that magnets can attract. This innovation fills a gap in the budding field of magnetogenetics (Mag-NEE-toh-jeh-NET-iks).

Scientists in this field genetically engineer cells so that they will respond to magnetic fields. Now researchers can remotely control specific neurons in the body using magnets. Those neurons could be ones that control how hungry an animal gets. Or they could be neurons that control leg muscles so a mouse starts running when a magnet is nearby.

Gaining magnetic control

A magnetic field can turn on neurons that contain proteins rich in iron. The field does this by heating or giving a mechanical push to those proteins.

Researchers had already been able to control neurons with light. That process is called optogenetics. To use it, scientists insert light-sensitive molecules into the neurons of living animals. The researchers can then turn the neurons on or off simply by shining a light on them. With this technique, neuroscientists have done some incredible things. They’ve made mice run in circles. They’ve even restored movement to an animal’s paralyzed leg.

But optogenetics has its downsides. Light, for example, can’t penetrate deeply into the body. There’s just too much bone, muscle and other tissue in the way. So researchers may implant optical fibers into the animal to deliver light to deep neurons. That makes the method cumbersome and even potentially dangerous.

The whole idea behind magnetogenetics is that you don’t have to implant anything, explains Jacob Robinson, who was not involved in the study. He’s a neuroengineer who works at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Cells deep inside the body could be switched on with just a magnetic field. No fibers or surgery would be needed.

But there’s a snag. The only protein found naturally inside animal cells that’s even remotely magnetic is ferritin (FAIR-ih-tin). Each molecule can have as many as 4,500 atoms of iron. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not. The force that a magnet acting on ferritin generated would be only a billionth as strong as would be needed to turn on a neuron. So Cui’s team developed protein crystals that could carry enough iron to make their cells responsive to magnets.

Giant crystals with an iron heart

The team first extracted the gene to make ferritin from a microbe. They then made a circular piece of DNA that contained two human genes. Those genes make long, hollow crystals called inka-PAK4 (short for Inkabox-PAK4cat). The team introduced these circular pieces of DNA into human kidney cells that were growing in a petri dish. A day later, the first crystals appeared.

“When I first saw those crystals assemble in the cells by themselves, it was just amazing,” Cui recalls.

350_BF_average.png
Scientists engineeredspine-like crystals that are the longest iron-containing crystals ever made in the lab or in nature. Many, including those in this microscopic image, are larger than the cells in which they grew.BIANXIAO CUI

The crystals grew for three days until they were 45 millionths of a meter long. That’s about half the average thickness of a human hair. They’re the largest iron-containing protein crystals ever made in the lab — or in nature, Cui says. They were even longer than the cells they grew in. But the cells in which they formed never ripped. They just stretched to accommodate the crystals.

The researchers pried open the cells and removed the crystals. Then they loaded these with iron. The team estimates that it packed some 8 billion iron atoms into each crystal before inserting those crystals into human cells growing in a dish. Now they exposed the cells to a magnetic field and waited to see what would happen.

And the cells moved.

“The first time I actually saw [the cells] move toward the magnet, I was like, ‘Wow!’” Cui says.

Crystals started collecting close to the magnet. And the crystals pulled their cells with them. The team described this online September 25 in Nano Letters.

Robinson expressed excitement over this. “It’s an excellent step,” he said, “toward engineering cells to create their own magnetic nanoparticles.”

Scientists aren’t sure what will happen to the crystals afterward. But the cells have the genes for the crystals. So every cell reproduced from the original cells should be able to make the crystals, Cui says.

Iron not included

As promising as the results are, both Cui and Robinson emphasized that this isn’t the end.

“We still haven’t reached the goal,” Cui says.

Ideally, researchers would not need to first remove newly grown crystals to pack them full of the metal atoms. Instead, cells would enrich the crystals with iron as it built them. In fact, Cui’s group tried three different ways to get iron into its cells. They even drenched the cells in an iron-rich solution. Nothing worked.

Cells typically keep their iron levels low, Cui’s team notes. It’s estimated that cells naturally contain only 3 percent as much iron as the crystals would need to be effective.

We probably need to alter the cell’s outer membranes, Cui suspects. Then, she says, they might be able to transport more iron into a cell. Still, these magnetic crystals are a major leap forward in the young field of magnetogenetics. And the researchers are confident additional studies will overcome this iron-enrichment obstacle.

Published online 2020 Sep 22.
 10.1021/acsanm.0c02048 PMCID: PMC7526334

Magnetic-Nanosensor-Based Virus and Pathogen Detection Strategies before and during COVID-19

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Abstract

This review covers the literature of magnetic nanosensors for virus and pathogen detection before COVID-19. We review popular magnetic nanosensing techniques including magnetoresistance, magnetic particle spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Magnetic point-of-care diagnostic kits are also reviewed aiming at developing plug-and-play diagnostics to manage the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak as well as preventing future epidemics. In addition, other platforms that use magnetic nanomaterials as auxiliary tools for enhanced pathogen and virus detection are also covered. The goal of this review is to inform the researchers of diagnostic and surveillance platforms for SARS-CoV-2 and their performances.

A critical presentation from University of Illinois, 2019

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Molecule that promotes muscle health when magnetised

by National University of Singapore

Molecule that promotes muscle health when magnetised
Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón and his team from the NUS Institute for Health Innovation and Technology examined how low amplitude magnetic fields may be used to enhance muscle metabolism. The images on the screen show the cells of two types of muscles—the blue fibres (left) are rapidly fatiguing muscles, the green fibres (right) are slowly fatiguing muscle, and the red fibres are considered transitional fibres. Credit: National University of Singapore

As people age, they progressively lose muscle mass and strength, and this can lead to frailty and other age-related diseases. As the causes for the decline remain largely unknown, promoting muscle health is an area of great research interest. A recent study led by the researchers from NUS has shown how a molecule found in muscles responds to weak magnetic fields to promote muscle health.

Led by Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón from the NUS Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech), the team found that a protein known as TRPC1 responds to weak oscillating magnetic fields. Such a response is normally activated when the body exercises. This responsiveness to magnets could be used to stimulate muscle recovery, which could improve the life quality for patients with impaired mobility, in an increasingly aging society.

“The use of pulsed magnetic fields to simulate some of the effects of exercise will greatly benefit patients with muscle injury, stroke, and frailty as a result of advanced age,” said lead researcher Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón, who is also from the NUS Department of Surgery.

The NUS research team collaborated with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) on this study, and their results were first published online in Advanced Biosystems on 2 September 2020. The work was also featured on the cover of the journal’s print edition on 27 November 2020.

Magnets and muscle health

The magnetic fields that the research team used to stimulate the muscle health were only 10 to 15 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, yet still much weaker than a common bar magnet, raising the intriguing possibility that weak magnetism is a stimulus that muscles naturally interact with.

To test this theory, the research team first used a special experimental setup to cancel the effect of all surrounding magnetic fields. The researchers found that the muscle cells indeed grew more slowly when shielded from all environmental magnetic fields. These observations strongly supported the notion that the Earth’s magnetic field naturally interacts with muscles to elicit biological responses.

To show the involvement of TRPC1 as an antenna for natural magnetism to promote muscle health, the researchers genetically engineered mutant muscle cells that were unresponsive to any magnetic field by deleting TRPC1 from their genomes. The researchers were then able to reinstate magnetic sensitivity by selectively delivering TRPC1 to these mutant muscle cells in small vesicles that fused with the mutant cells.

In their previous studies, the researchers have shown that responses to such magnetic fields were strongly correlated to the presence of TRPC1, and it included the rejuvenation of cartilage by indirectly regulating the gut microbiome, fat burning and insulin-sensitivity via positive actions on muscle. The present study provided conclusive evidence that TRPC1 serves as a ubiquitous biological antenna to surrounding magnetic fields to modulate human physiology, particularly when targeted for muscle health.

Metabolic changes similar to those achieved with exercise have been observed in previous clinical trials and studies led by Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón. Encouraging benefits of using the magnetic fields to stimulate muscle cells have been found, with as little as 10 minutes of exposure per week. This tantalizing possibility, to improve muscle health without exercising, could facilitate recovering and rehabilitation of patients with muscle dysfunction.

Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón shared, “About 40 percent of an average person’s body is muscle. Our results demonstrate a metabolic interaction between muscle and magnetism which hopefully can be exploited to improve human health and longevity.”

This study represents a milestone in the understanding of how a key protein may developmentally react to magnetic fields.

Metabolic health such as weight, blood sugar levels, insulin, and cholesterol are strongly influenced by muscle health. As exercise is a strong modulator of metabolic diseases through the working of the muscles, and magnetic fields exert similar benefits of exercise, such magnetism may help patients who are unable to undertake exercise because of injury, disease, or frailty. As such, the NUS iHealthtech research team is now working to extend their study to reduce drug dependence for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes.

“We hope that our research can help alleviate side effects by reducing the use of drugs for disease treatment, and to improve the quality of life of the patients,” said Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón.

JANUARY 2021

A Single Immunization with Spike-Functionalized Ferritin Vaccines Elicits Neutralizing Antibody Responses against SARS-CoV-2 in Mice

Cite this: ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 1, 183–199Publication Date: January 5, 2021 https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.0c01405
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

“The development of a safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is a public health priority. We designed subunit vaccine candidates using self-assembling ferritin nanoparticles displaying one of two multimerized SARS-CoV-2 spikes: full-length ectodomain (S-Fer) or a C-terminal 70 amino-acid deletion (SΔC-Fer). Ferritin is an attractive nanoparticle platform for production of vaccines, and ferritin-based vaccines have been investigated in humans in two separate clinical trials. We confirmed proper folding and antigenicity of spike on the surface of ferritin by cryo-EM and binding to conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies. After a single immunization of mice with either of the two spike ferritin particles, a lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus assay revealed mean neutralizing antibody titers at least 2-fold greater than those in convalescent plasma from COVID-19 patients. Additionally, a single dose of SΔC-Fer elicited significantly higher neutralizing responses as compared to immunization with the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) monomer or spike ectodomain trimer alone. After a second dose, mice immunized with SΔC-Fer exhibited higher neutralizing titers than all other groups. Taken together, these results demonstrate that multivalent presentation of SARS-CoV-2 spike on ferritin can notably enhance elicitation of neutralizing antibodies, thus constituting a viable strategy for single-dose vaccination against COVID-19.”

THE STUDY IS FINANCED BY MARK AND PRISCILLA ZUCKERBERG THROUGH BIOHUB!

  • Corresponding Author
  • Authors
    • Abigail E. Powell – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6408-9495
    • Kaiming Zhang – Department of Bioengineering & James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0414-4776
    • Mrinmoy Sanyal – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Shaogeng Tang – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Payton A. Weidenbacher – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Shanshan Li – Department of Bioengineering & James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Tho D. Pham – Department of Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  Stanford Blood Center, Palo Alto, California 94304, United States
    • John E. Pak – Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco, California 94158, United States
    • Wah Chiu – Department of Bioengineering & James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco, California 94158, United States;  Division of CryoEM and Bioimaging, SSRL, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, California 94025, United States;  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8910-3078
  • Notes
  • The authors declare the following competing financial interest(s): A.E.P., P.A.W., and P.S.K. are named as inventors on a provisional patent application applied for by Stanford University and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub on immunogenic coronavirus fusion proteins and related methods.

https://www.czbiohub.org/about/

Ah, wait, Bill Gates is involved too!

Source

Jul 30, 2020 · 4 min read

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, & the State of California Partner to Track COVID-19 Spread Statewide

California COVID Tracker is the First Statewide SARS-CoV-2 Tracking Program of Its Kind in the United States — Will Help Local Health Officials Better Map the VirusTags: COVID-19CZ BiohubScience

 Whole genome sequencing allows scientists to track mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which typically happens every 2-3 transmissions. These mutations are key to helping public health officials trace transmission sources.

Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub), in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), announced that it will provide free whole genome sequencing and analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to all California Departments of Public Health (DPH) and California local health jurisdictions through a newly-launched effort called the California COVID Tracker. By rapidly tracing how and where the virus is changing and spreading across the state, the California COVID Tracker aims to provide actionable viral genomic data to local public health jurisdictions and help ensure transmission remains low while we await a vaccine.

Under this new partnership, any California DPH may ship positive COVID-19 samples to the CZ Biohub, which will provide sequencing, analysis, and interpretation support, with an emphasis on making data actionable for public health surveillance and response. By tracing the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations, genomic epidemiology can offer insights such as estimating the number of undetected cases in a community, identifying clusters of linked transmission events, and detecting new introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into a given area or community.

Connected in this way to local public health labs and county public health departments, this type of actionable genomic epidemiology program is not currently available anywhere else in the United States. The CZ Biohub will also offer training in bioinformatics and data interpretation to public health partners throughout the state, including those interested in building or augmenting sequencing and analytic capacity within their own departments. The groups will also work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s newly-launched SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium.

“Public health officials need accurate, timely information about how COVID-19 is spreading to make decisions that will help protect people,” said CZI co-founders and co-CEOs Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. “Using genome sequencing, researchers can create viral family trees to track how the virus is spreading to help inform policy decisions. We hope that broader sequencing coverage across California will empower local health jurisdictions to better understand transmission dynamics and the corresponding action needed in their communities.”

As part of this effort, the CZ Biohub will deposit SARS-CoV-2 sequences into public repositories for COVID-19 genomics, including GISAID and NCBI. CZ Biohub and CZI will provide tools and analysis support to help California DPHs overlay epidemiological and demographic information onto this genomic data to better understand local SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

“Through the California COVID Tracker, researchers, epidemiologists, software engineers, and data scientists from CZI and CZ Biohub are working to provide critical SARS-CoV-2 genomic data to California public health officials and the broader scientific community so they can make smart decisions about public health actions like contact tracing and intervention strategies,” said Joe DeRisi, PhD, Co-President of the CZ Biohub, who contributed to the identification of the SARS coronavirus in 2003. “These data become increasingly more powerful with broader participation. We invite interested public health officials and universities to partner with us in the fight against this unprecedented pandemic — these efforts will go a long way to protect our state from future spikes as we continue to fight this pandemic.”

The California COVID Tracker expands upon the ongoing partnership between CZI, the CZ Biohub, and UCSF, which has provided free COVID-19 testing to all 58 California Departments of Public Health. For more information on how to become involved in the California COVID Tracker, please visit covidtracker.czbiohub.org or email covidtracker@czbiohub.org.

###

About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.

About the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub 

The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is a nonprofit research organization setting the standard for collaborative science, where leaders in science and technology come together to drive discovery and support the bold vision to cure, prevent or manage disease in our children’s lifetime. The CZ Biohub seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying disease and to develop new technologies that will lead to actionable diagnostics and effective therapies. The CZ Biohub is a regional research endeavor with international reach, where the Bay Area’s leading institutions — the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco — join forces with the CZ Biohub’s innovative internal team to catalyze impact, benefitting people and partnerships around the world. To learn more, visit CZBiohub.org.

LATEST RESEARCH UPDATES:

DECEMBER 2020

Magnetically controlled, hydrogel-based smart transformers

by Thamarasee Jeewandara , Phys.org

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
a) Images showing the shape transformation of a Transformer. b) The shape transformation process of a soft hydrogel Transformer under the coupling of magnetic field and NIR. c)The SEM images of HG‐Fe3O4 hydrogel. d) The schematic illustration of the transition of gelatin between coil and triple‐helix structure. e) The soft Transformer can cross the narrow notches after shape morphing. f) The soft Transformer first deforms into a folded shape, then passes through the narrow passages of the special maze, and finally recovers to the original shape in a wide area. Credit: Advanced Intelligent Systems, doi: 10.1002/aisy.202000208

While the film “Transformers” introduced intelligent robots that morphed between shapes with multiple functionalities, researchers are developing intelligent soft transformers to significantly accelerate research applications in the lab. In a recent report now published in Advanced Intelligent Systems, Dachuan Zhang and a research team in materials science and chemical sciences in China, proposed a remotely controlled soft transformer based on a shape memory hydrogel system. The team obtained the hydrogel by embedding magnetite (Fe3O4) magnetic nanoparticles into a double network polymer structure of poly (N-(2-hydroxyethyl) acrylamide) containing gelatin.

The reversible coil-triple-helix transformation of the gelatin constituent imbued the hydrogel with shape memory and self-healing properties, while the magnetite nanoparticles gave photothermal heating and magnetic manipulation functions to deform the hydrogel for navigation in a magnetic field. The team could then restore the deformed shape via shape recovery using light irradiation. Zhang et al. remotely controlled the shape-memory processes through magnetically driven actuation and light-assisted shape memory. As proof of concept, they created a series of robots, including a hydrogel athlete that could do sit-ups, hydrogel transformers, a lotus in full bloom, and a hydrogel spacecraft that can be docked in air. The work will inspire the design and fabrication of new smart polymer systems with synchronized multiple functionalities.

Shape memory hydrogels

While the fictional transformers allowed hard robots to morph into any form including vehicles, soft transformers are of greater interest in fundamental research and applications in life sciences. In this work, Zhang et al. described a photothermally and magnetically controlled shape memory hydrogel. They combined a chemically crosslinked polymer and a reversibly crosslinked gelatin network embedded with magnetite nanoparticles to create a photothermal and flexible, self-healing construct that could be magnetically manipulated. Shape memory hydrogels (SMHs) have received increased attention as intelligent polymeric materials and researchers aim to remotely control such materials to establish diverse actuating behaviors.

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
The blooming process of a hydrogel Lotus. Credit: Advanced Intelligent Systems, doi: 10.1002/aisy.202000208

For example, shape-memory polymers can fix temporary shapes and recover their architecture under external stimuli, with increasing interest across biomedical, textile, flexible electronics and data encryption disciplines. Magnetic nanoparticles are effective additives to introduce remotely controlled non-contact actuation. When hydrogels are illuminated with near-infrared (NIR) light, these magnetic nanoparticles will continuously convert light into heat, causing the hydrogel to be heated. This will cause reversible deformation of the hydrogel for applications as freely moving soft robots. This strategy will help promote the development of new shape memory hydrogel systems for applications as untethered robots.

Properties of shape memory hydrogels

Since shape memory hydrogels can stably and temporarily memorize their shape and recover the original shape perfectly under specific stimuli, the team conducted bending tests with the material, which they abbreviated as HG for its constituent polymers. They then immersed a sample in hot water (60 degrees Celsius) for 30 seconds to induce disaggregation to soften the hydrogel, removed it from the medium and recovered the shapes after re-immersing hydrogels in hot water (60 degrees Celsius). Zhang et al. conducted a series of controlled experiments to verify the factors affecting the shape memory performance of the hydrogel. As proof of concept, the team designed and developed a hydrogel flower to perfectly mimic the bloom of a lotus.

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
The connection of a hydrogel spacecraft and a hydrogel space station in air. Credit: Advanced Intelligent Systems, doi: 10.1002/aisy.202000208

When the researchers introduced magnetite nanoparticles to form the HG-Fe3Ohydrogel, the constituents could absorb and convert light to heat with light irradiation, causing the temperature of the hydrogel to increase. During light-to-heat conversion, the material achieved photo-activated self-healing. To demonstrate this phenomenon, the team created a HG-Fe3Ohydrogel space station under a magnetic field and applied NIR to irradiate the connectors and dock the spacecraft-like construct with a space station-like connector to realize self-healing and reconnection in air.

Recovering shapes through photothermal effects and remotely controlling shape memory processes

The team could only achieve shape recovery for the HG-hydrogel by regulating the temperature to a specific value, in the absence of magnetite nanoparticles. The addition of magnetite conferred magnetic properties to the HG-Fe3Ohydrogel to allow remotely controlled shape memory recovery cycles. As proof of concept, the team developed a shape-transition robot in the form of a hydrogel athlete to deform from 2-D to 3-D. In the absence of NIR and the presence of a magnet, the hydrogel athlete could ‘push up’ quickly, then recover its shape to the flat conformation on removal of the magnet. In the second setup, they turned-on NIR and lifted the hydrogel athlete with a magnet, then kept the magnet on for two minutes while switching off the NIR to allow the athlete to cool down. The team froze this gesture for a timeframe after which they allowed the robot to return to its original position by turning-on the NIR again. This technique can be used to develop soft grippers that are advantageous for applications as surgical robots in translational research.

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
A hydrogel athlete doing sit-ups with the assistance of magnetic field and NIR. Cr

Abstract

Abstract Image

Remote control of cells and single molecules by magnetic nanoparticles in nonheating external magnetic fields is a perspective approach for many applications such as cancer treatment and enzyme activity regulation. However, the possibility and mechanisms of direct effects of small individual magnetic nanoparticles on such processes in magneto-mechanical experiments still remain unclear. In this work, we have shown remote-controlled mechanical dissociation of short DNA duplexes (18–60 bp) under the influence of nonheating low-frequency alternating magnetic fields using individual 11 nm magnetic nanoparticles.

The developed technique allows (1) simultaneous manipulation of millions of individual DNA molecules and (2) evaluation of energies of intermolecular interactions in short DNA duplexes or in other molecules.

Finally, we have shown that DNA duplexes dissociation is mediated by mechanical stress and produced by the movement of magnetic nanoparticles in magnetic fields, but not by local overheating.

The presented technique opens a new avenue for high-precision manipulation of DNA and generation of biosensors for quantification of energies of intermolecular interaction.

MAY 18, 2021

New Material Could Create ‘Neurons’ and ‘Synapses’ for Computers

via University of Groningen

Classic computers use binary values (0/1) to perform. By contrast, our brain cells can use more values to operate, making them more energy-efficient than computers. This is why scientists are interested in neuromorphic (brain-like) computing. Physicists from the University of Groningen have used a complex oxide to create elements comparable to the neurons and synapses in the brain using spins, a magnetic property of electrons. Their results were published on 18 May in the journal Frontiers in Nanotechnology.

Thin films

The operation of our brains can be simulated in computers, but the basic architecture still relies on a binary system. That is why scientist look for ways to expand this, creating hardware that is more brain-like, but will also interface with normal computers. ‘One idea is to create magnetic bits that can have intermediate states’, says Tamalika Banerjee, Professor of Spintronics of Functional Materials at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen. She works on spintronics, which uses a magnetic property of electrons called ‘spin’ to transport, manipulate and store information.

In this study, her PhD student Anouk Goossens, first author of the paper, created thin films of a ferromagnetic metal (strontium-ruthenate oxide, SRO) grown on a substrate of strontium titanate oxide. The resulting thin film contained magnetic domains that were perpendicular to the plane of the film. ‘These can be switched more efficiently than in-plane magnetic domains’, explains Goossens. By adapting the growth conditions, it is possible to control the crystal orientation in the SRO. Previously, out-of-plane magnetic domains have been made using other techniques, but these typically require complex layer structures.

Magnetic anisotropySchematic of the proposed device structure for neuromorphic spintronic memristors. The write path is between the terminals through the top layer (black dotted line), the read path goes through the device stack (red dotted line). The right side of the figure indicates how the choice of substrate dictates whether the device will show deterministic or probabilistic behavior. | Illustration Banerjee group

Schematic of the proposed device structure for neuromorphic spintronic memristors. The write path is between the terminals through the top layer (black dotted line), the read path goes through the device stack (red dotted line). The right side of the figure indicates how the choice of substrate dictates whether the device will show deterministic or probabilistic behavior. | Illustration Banerjee group

The magnetic domains can be switched using a current through a platinum electrode on top of the SRO. Goossens: ‘When the magnetic domains are oriented perfectly perpendicular to the film, this switching is deterministic: the entire domain will switch.’ However, when the magnetic domains are slightly tilted, the response is probabilistic: not all the domains are the same, and intermediate values occur when only part of the crystals in the domain have switched.

By choosing variants of the substrate on which the SRO is grown, the scientists can control its magnetic anisotropy. This allows them to produce two different spintronic devices. ‘This magnetic anisotropy is exactly what we wanted’, says Goossens. ‘Probabilistic switching compares to how neurons function, while the deterministic switching is more like a synapse.’

The scientists expect that in the future, brain-like computer hardware can be created by combining these different domains in a spintronic device that can be connected to standard silicon-based circuits. Furthermore, probabilistic switching would also allow for stochastic computing, a promising technology which represents continuous values by streams of random bits. Banerjee: ‘We have found a way to control intermediate states, not just for memory but also for computing.’

Reference:

A.S. Goossens, M.A.T. Leiviskä and T. Banerjee: Anisotropy and Current Control of Magnetization in SrRuO3/SrTiO3 Heterostructures for Spin-Memristors. Frontiers in Nanotechnology 18 May 2021

University of Groningen

OTHER RESOURCES:

https://www.embopress.org/doi/pdf/10.15252/embj.201797177

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/150121-magnetogenetics-a-new-technique-to-control-the-inner-workings-of-human-cells-and-build-neural-circuits

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31552740/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28960485/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20553812/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068712/

I will add more resources and refine this in the near future, but I think the case is made and it’s more than solid.

PS: Connect the dots with the earlier post on 5G as a wireless power grid

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Sometimes my memes are 3D. And you can own them. Or send them to someone.
You can even eat some of them.
CLICK HERE

If you’re familiar with our reports, George Church is no stranger to you either. He’s a founder figure for the Human Genome Project, CRISPR and The BRAIN Initiative. But he’s totally not getting the deserved attention, seeing that he’s just turned our world upside down. Not by himself, of course.

Remember when Fauci and Big Tech joined efforts to keep us in the dark in regards to the mRNA impact on our genetics and DNA?


We’ve shown that there’s an entire new field of science that does just that: argues what Fauci said using RNA to reprogram DNA.
But we’ve just reached a deeper level of the rabbit hole that we didn’t even know it’s there already. It’s been there for a while. As in 2020 minus “three years of stealth operations”. If you read carefully below, it will all make much more sense.

George M. Church biography as per Harvard website

Professor at Harvard & MIT, co-author of 580 papers, 143 patent publications & the book “Regenesis”; developed methods used for the first genome sequence (1994) & million-fold cost reductions since (via fluor-NGS & nanopores), plus barcoding, DNA assembly from chips, genome editing, writing & recoding; co-initiated BRAIN Initiative (2011) & Genome Projects (GP-Read-1984, GP-Write-2016, PGP-2005:world’s open-access personal precision medicine datasets); machine learning for protein engineering, tissue reprogramming, organoids, xeno-transplantation, in situ 3D DNA, RNA, protein imaging.

SEE MORE

George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of  PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in  1994 . His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” DNA sequencing methods and companies (CGI-BGI, Life, Illumina, Nanopore). This plus his lab’s work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics ( Knome/PierianDxAlacrisAbVitro/JunoGenosVeritas Genetics ) & synthetic biology / therapeutics ( JouleGen9EditasEgenesisenEvolvWarpDrive ). He has also pioneered new privacybiosafetyELSIenvironmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 537 papers156 patent publications & one book (Regenesis).

THIS IS BGI
THIS IS ILLUMINA

PhD students from (* = main training programs for our group):
Harvard University: Biophysics* , BBS* , MCB , ChemBio* , SystemsBio* , Virology
MIT: HST*ChemistryEE/CSPhysicsMath.
Boston Universty: BioinformaticsBiomedical Engineering
Cambridge University, UK: Genetics

PublicationsCVs-resumesLab members , Co-author netELSI
Technology transfer & Commercial Scientific Advisory Roles
Personal info — News — Awards — Grant proposals
Director of Research Centers: DOE-Biotechnologies (1987), NIH-CEGS (2004), PGP (2005), Lipper Center for Computational Genetics (1998), Wyss Inst. Synthetic Biology (2009). Other centers: Regenesis Inst. (2017), SIAT Genome Engineering (2019), Space Genetics (2016), WICGR, Broad Inst. (1990), MIT Media Lab (2014)

Updated: 15-Jan-02021

The BRAIN initiative[edit]

He was part of a team of six[80] who, in a 2012 scientific commentary, proposed a Brain Activity Map, later named BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies).[81] They outlined specific experimental techniques that might be used to achieve what they termed a “functional connectome“, as well as new technologies that will have to be developed in the course of the project,[80] including wireless, minimally invasive methods to detect and manipulate neuronal activity, either utilizing microelectronics or synthetic biology. In one such proposed method, enzymatically produced DNA would serve as a “ticker tape record” of neuronal activity.Wikipedia

SEE THE NAZI ORIGINS OF WYSS HERE

Wyss Institute Will Lead IARPA-Funded Brain Mapping Consortium

January 26, 2016

(BOSTON) — The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced a cross-institutional consortium to map the brain’s neural circuits with unprecedented fidelity. The consortium is made possible by a $21 million contract from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and aims to discover the brain’s learning rules and synaptic ‘circuit design’, further helping to advance neurally-derived machine learning algorithms.

The consortium will leverage the Wyss Institute’s FISSEQ (fluorescent in-situ sequencing) method to push forward neuronal connectomics, the science of identifying the neuronal cells that work together to bring about specific brain functions. FISSEQ was developed in 2014 by the Wyss Core Faculty member George Church and colleagues and, unlike traditional sequencing technologies, it provides a method to pinpoint the precise locations of specific RNA molecules in intact tissue. The consortium will harness this FISSEQ capability to accurately trace the complete set of neuronal cells and their connecting processes in intact brain tissue over long distances, which is currently difficult to do with other methods.

Awarded a competitive IARPA MICrONS contract, the consortium will further the overall goals of President Obama’s BRAIN initiative, which aims to improve the understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat neuropathological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy. The consortium’s work will fundamentally innovate the technological framework used to decipher the principal circuits neurons use to communicate and fulfill specific brain functions. The learnings can be applied to enhance artificial intelligence in different areas of machine learning such as fraud detection, pattern and image recognition, and self-driving car decision making.

See how the Wyss-developed FISSEQ technology is able to capture the location of individual RNA molecules within cells, which will allow the reconstruction of neuronal networks in the 3-dimensional space of intact brain tissue. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

“Historically, the mapping of neuronal paths and circuits in the brain has required brain tissue to be sectioned and visualized by electron microscopy. Complete neurons and circuits are then reconstructed by aligning the individual electron microsope images, this process is costly and inaccurate due to use of only one color (grey),” said Church, who is the Principal Investigator for the IARPA MICrONs consortium. “We are taking an entirely new approach to neuronal connectomics_immensely colorful barcodes_that should overcome this obstacle; and by integrating molecular and physiological information we are looking to render a high-definition map of neuronal circuits dedicated first to specific sensations, and in the future to behaviors and cognitive tasks.”

Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT.

To map neural connections, the consortium will genetically engineer mice so that each neuron is barcoded throughout its entire structure with a unique RNA sequence, a technique called BOINC (Barcoding of Individual Neuronal Connections) developed by Anthony Zador at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Thus a complete map representing the precise location, shape and connections of all neurons can be generated.

The key to visualizing this complex map will be FISSEQ, which is able to sequence the total complement of barcodes and pinpoint their exact locations using a super-resolution microscope. Importantly, since FISSEQ analysis can be applied to intact brain tissue, the error-prone brain-sectioning procedure that is part of common mapping studies can be avoided and long neuronal processes can be more accurately traced in larger numbers and at a faster pace.

In addition, the scientists will provide the barcoded mice with a sensory stimulus, such as a flash of light, to highlight and glean the circuits corresponding to that stimulus within the much more complex neuronal map. An improved understanding of how neuronal circuits are composed and how they function over longer distances will ultimately allow the team to build new models for machine learning.

The multi-disciplinary consortium spans 6 institutions. In addition to Church, the Wyss Institute’s effort will be led by Samuel Inverso, Ph.D., who is a Staff Software Engineer and Co-investigator of the project. Complementing the Wyss team, are co-Principal Investigators Anthony Zador, Ph.D., Alexei Koulakov, Ph.D., and Jay Lee, Ph.D., at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Adam Marblestone, Ph.D., and Liam Paninski, Ph.D. are co-Investigator at MIT and co-Principal Investigator at Columbia University, respectively. The Harvard-led consortium is partnering with another MICrONS team led by Tai Sing Lee, Ph.D. of Carnegie Mellon University as Principal investigator under a separate multi-million contract, with Sandra Kuhlman, Ph.D. of Carnegie Mellon University and Alan Yuille, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University as co-Principal investigators, to develop computational models of the neural circuits and a new generation of machine learning algorithms by studying the behaviors of a large population of neurons in behaving animals, as well as the circuitry of the these neurons revealed by the innovative methods developed by the consortium.

“It is very exciting to see how technology developed at the Wyss Institute is now becoming instrumental in showing how specific brain functions are wired into the neuronal architecture. The methodology implemented by this research can change the trajectory of brain mapping world wide,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. – WYSS Institute

IARPA is CIA’s DARPA.
DARPA IS RAN BY PENTAGON AND IARPA BY CIA.
IARPA IS EVEN MORE SECRETIVE, DARING AND SOCIOPATHIC.

Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS)

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)

Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. (BRAIN)

Background
The science behind Obama’s BRAIN project. (BrainFacts, 15Apr-2013 | Jean-François Gariépy)
Wyss Institute Will Lead IARPA-Funded Brain Mapping Consortium (Wyss, 26-Jan-2016 |)
Project Aims to Reverse-engineer Brain Algorithms, Make Computers Learn Like Humans (Scientific Computing, 4-Feb-2016 | Byron Spice)
The U.S. Government Launches a $100-Million “Apollo Project of the Brain” (Scientific American, 8-Mar-2016 | Jordana Cepelewicz)

Grant Proposal
Tasks 2 & 3 PDF Harvard, Wyss, CSHL, MIT.
Task 1. CMU.


Molecular TickertapeRelated Projects:

Full Rosetta brains in situ
A. Activity (MICrONS = Ca imaging) (Alternative=Tickertape, see figure to right)
B. Behavior (MICrONS & Alt = traditional video)
C. Connectome (MICrONS & Alt = BOINC via Cas9-barcode)
D. Developmental Lineage (via Cas9-barcode)
E. Expression (RNA & Protein via FISSEQ)

Building brain components, circuits and organoids.
Busskamp V, Lewis NE, Guye P, Ng AHM, Shipman S, Byrne SS, Sanjana NE, Li Y, Weiss R, Church GM (2014)
Rapid neurogenesis through transcriptional activation in human stem cells. Molecular Systems Biology MSB 10:760:1-21

SOURCE

Flagship Pioneering’s Scientists Invent a New Category of Genome Engineering Technology: Gene Writing

Tessera Therapeutics emerges from three years of stealth operations to pioneer Gene Writing™ as a new genome engineering technology and category of genetic medicine

(PRNewsfoto/Flagship Pioneering)

NEWS PROVIDED BY Flagship Pioneering 

Jul 07, 2020, 08:00 ET


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Flagship Pioneering today announced the unveiling of Tessera Therapeutics, Inc. a new company with the mission of curing disease by writing in the code of life. Tessera is pioneering Gene Writing™, a new biotechnology that writes therapeutic messages into the genome to treat diseases at their source.

Tessera’s Gene Writing platform is a potentially revolutionary breakthrough for genetic medicine that addresses key limitations of gene therapy and gene editing. Gene Writing technology can alter the genome by efficiently inserting genes and exons (parts of genes), introducing small insertions and deletions, or changing single or multiple DNA base pairs. The technology could enable cures for diseases that arise from errors in the genome, including monogenic disorders. It could also allow precise gene regulation in other diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, and metabolic diseases.

“While profound advancements in genetic medicine over the last two decades had therapeutic promise for many previously untreatable diseases, the intrinsic properties of existing gene therapy and editing have significant shortcomings that limit their benefits to patients,” says Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering and Chairman of Tessera Therapeutics. “Our scientists have invented a new technology, called Gene Writing, that has the ability to write therapeutic messages into the genomes of somatic cells. We created Tessera to pioneer its applications for medicine. However, the breakthrough is broad and could be applied to many different genomes from humans to plants to microorganisms.”

A New Era of Genetic Medicine

Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Ph.D., an MIT-trained biological engineer; Jacob Rubens, Ph.D., an MIT-trained synthetic biologist; and other scientists at Flagship Labs, the enterprise’s innovation foundry, co-founded Tessera in 2018 to create a platform that could design, make, and launch Gene Writing medicines. A General Partner at Flagship Pioneering, von Maltzahn has co-founded numerous biotechnology companies, including Sana Biotechnology, Indigo Agriculture, Kaleido Biosciences, Seres Therapeutics, and Axcella Health.

“DNA codes for life. But sometimes our DNA is written improperly, driving an enormous variety of diseases,” says von Maltzahn, Tessera’s Chief Executive Officer. “We started Tessera Therapeutics with a simple question: ‘What if Nature evolved a better solution than CRISPR for inserting curative therapeutic messages into the genome?’ It turns out that engineered and synthetic mobile genetic elements offer the potential to go beyond the limitations of gene editing technologies and allow Gene Writing. Our outstanding team of scientists is focused on bringing the vast promise of this new technology category to patients.”

Mobile genetic elements, the inspiration for Gene Writing, are evolution’s greatest genomic architect. The first mobile genetic element was discovered by Barbara McClintock, who won the 1983 Nobel Prize for revealing the mobile nature of genes. Mobile genetic elements code for the machinery to move or copy themselves into a new location in the genome, and they have been selected over billions of years to autonomously and efficiently “write” their DNA into new genomic sites. Today, mobile genetic elements are among the most abundant and ubiquitous genes in nature.

Over the past two years, Tessera has been mining genomes to discover novel mobile genetic elements and engineering them to create Gene Writing technology.

Tessera’s Gene Writers write therapeutic messages into the genome using RNA or DNA templates. RNA-based Gene Writing uses an RNA template and Gene Writer protein to either write a new gene into the genome or guide the rewriting of a pre-existing genomic sequence to make a small substitution, insertion, or deletion. DNA-based Gene Writing uses a DNA template to write a new gene into the genome.

By harnessing the biology of mobile genetic elements, Gene Writing holds the potential to overcome the limitations of current genetic medicine approaches by:

  • Efficiently writing small and large alterations to the genome of somatic cells with minimal reliance upon host DNA repair pathways, unlike nuclease-based gene editing technologies.
  • Permanently adding new DNA to dividing cells, unlike AAV-based gene therapy technologies.
  • Writing new DNA sequences into the genome by delivering only RNA.
  • Allowing repeated administration of treatments to patients in order to dose genetic medicines to effect, which is not possible with current gene therapies.

Tessera has licensed Flagship Pioneering’s intellectual property estate, which was begun in 2018 with seminal patent filings supporting both RNA and DNA Gene Writing technologies.

Tessera’s Scientific Advisory Board includes Luigi Naldini, David Schaffer, Andrew Scharenberg, Nancy Craig, George Church, Jonathan Weissman, and John Moran, who collectively have decades of experience in developing gene therapies and gene editing technologies, and also have commercial expertise from 4D, UniQure, Casebia, Cellectis, Magenta, and Editas. Tessera’s Board of Directors includes John Mendlein, Flagship Executive Partner and former CEO of multiple companies; Melissa Moore, Chair of Tessera’s Scientific Advisory Board, Chief Scientific Officer of Moderna, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and founding co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute; Geoffrey von Maltzahn; and Noubar Afeyan. The 30-person R&D team at Tessera has deep genetic medicine and startup expertise, including alumni from Editas, Intellia, Beam, Casebia, and Moderna.

About Tessera Therapeutics
Tessera Therapeutics is an early-stage life sciences company pioneering Gene Writing™, a new biotechnology designed to offer scientists and doctors the ability to write and rewrite small and large therapeutic messages into the genome, thereby curing diseases at their source. Gene Writing holds the potential to become a new category in genetic medicine, building upon recent breakthroughs in gene therapy and gene editing, while eliminating important limitations in their reach, utilization and efficacy. Tessera Therapeutics was founded by Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences innovation enterprise that conceives, resources, and develops first-in-class category companies to transform human health and sustainability.

About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life sciences companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has applied a unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $34 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship is backed by more than $4.4 billion of aggregate capital commitments, of which over $1.9 billion has been deployed toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $10 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 41 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (NASDAQ: AXLA), Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics, Indigo Ag, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology, Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS). – Flagship Pioneering

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Our Great Awakening looks more and more like a snooze button lately, few people really get up and make progress. We are still too “shy” to even look truth in the face say it like it is. So I will try, because silence can be murder, genocide and even extinction now. And I don’t want my hands bloodied like any normie’s.

Here’s a bunch of premises I find to be factual:

1. We can’t trust any of their reports, but we can observe that a massive chunk of society has been injected with artificial mRNA technology. By the order of hundreds millions. Even if this graph is 100% exaggerated…

In other words:

If your nightmare is not Covid, but covidiots with their insane genetic modification and transhumanist spree…

The Centers for Disease Control define an epidemic as “an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area.”

If mRNA jabbing is infection to you, as it is to me, the current campaign is an extinction level event.

2. All COVID-19 vaccines are in the clinical trial stage, and, according to the ethical principles of clinical research, subjects of experimental medical treatments cannot be blood donors.
For blatantly obvious reasons:

“Experimental Medication or Unlicensed (Experimental) Vaccine is usually associated with a research study, and the effect on the safety of transfused blood is unknown” – Mayo Clinic

Example:

Prion diseases can be transmitted by blood transfusion: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12388826/

RNA based vaccines and risk of prion diseases: https://scivisionpub.com/pdfs/covid19-rna-based-vaccines-and-the-risk-of-prion-disease-1503.pdf

3. Despite some reality-denialists, RNA modification does alter our genetics and can program more genetic modifications, there’s a whole field of science dealing with just that, as I’ve already reported.

And we can’t even guess what new effects on our genetics will be discovered in the future. This is just the earliest phase of the trials. We’re on uncharted territory, the data they have collected so far is jack-shit compared to the infinite range of possibilities ahead, basically few sci-fi scenarios are excluded now.
They needed 10-20 years for a traditional vaccine, and they still kept coming out disastrous. This one is not just a new type of injection, it’s a whole new science in which they’ve just made first baby-steps. They’re toddlers crying and begging to compete in the grown-ups Olympics. No can do!

SOURCE

The spike protein that altered humans will produce non stop is already proven or suspected to cause several types of damage; most importantly, in my view:

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alters barrier function in 2D static and 3D microfluidic in-vitro models of the human blood–brain barrier

SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone may cause lung damage

The spike protein produced by the new COVID-19 vaccines may also affect the host cells. We should monitor the long-term consequences of these vaccines carefully, especially when they are administered to otherwise healthy individuals. Further investigations on the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on human cells and appropriate experimental animal models are warranted.”

Scientists reveal the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, creates long-lasting changes to human gene expression.”

3. The mRNA technology is transmissible in more than one way, and it will be made even more contagious, they’re already priming us for that. “Second hand vaccination” has been a thing for over 50 years, under different names. Now it’s set for a turbo-boost.

https://media.tghn.org/medialibrary/2020/11/C4591001_Clinical_Protocol_Nov2020_Pfizer_BioNTech.pdf#page67

Either this or “vaccines don’t shed”. You can’t have both.

ALL OF THE 7 FACT-CHECKERS dealing with the mRNA jab shedding that I’ve read discuss VIRAL shedding only. IDGAF about that, we’re talking about shedding modified DNA / RNA and the spike protein, So, as per usual, they debunk jack shit, just their own straw men.

Source

Even sex with mutants is risky:

FVCK VAXXERS? SCIENCE SAYS THAT’S PROBABLY THE WORST IDEA

4. There are more methods available right now for contaminating people who refuse vaccination and they will use them if they need to, they are on a self-authorization spree.

COVID-19 cure: Scientists plan to develop ‘self-spreading’ coronavirus vaccine

NOT A TYPO, NOT A MISTAKE – THE AUSTRALIAN “AUTHORISATION TO ADMINISTER A POISON”

SOURCE

Even test swabs are very likely to have been used for contamination. If they haven’t, they can be.

Yes, they CAN vaccinate us through nasal test swabs AND target the brain (Biohacking P.1)

5. The only significant difference between the Walking Dead and our lives right now is that our lives also have Star Trek elements, such as the Borg that assimilates everyone and subjugates them to its program.
Un-funnily enough, one of the main methods for the Borg to take over other organisms was a DNA-altering injection which also served as a communication device with the hive-mind (cloud / Internet of All Things ). I’ve started to wonder if The Borg wasn’t predictive programming too. Regardless, the Borg is here and it’s covidiotic. There’s really a lot to learn from this parable.

Later edit: I’m not alone lol

Quite a good vid, actually, click to watch!

I thought I’m starting to divagate here, but quite the opposite is true. Plazma hit me back later with more goodies, he is a very aware guy, and he’s gonna blow your mind even beyond this.


At least the Walking Dead were free and independent, subjugated only by their thirst for blood.

6. Denial of reality is what brought us here. No citation.

From the verifiable premises above, I infer:

Altered genetics are already so widespread, as of May 2021, that no conceivable scenario can stop them from 100% contamination. Quite the opposite.

Half a billion mutants are only encouraged to infect more. This is beyond any movie script we’ve ever seen.

What’s slowed the Great Resetters down so far is that the people who don’t test also don’t vaccinate. But they were prepared for this.

There is nowhere to hide, there is no “outside” anymore, there is no antidote and no alternative option. Not for plebs like myself anyway.

Blood and organ banks for transfusions are compromised too.
No one has tried to prevent contamination in these banks and I’m afraid now it’s too late, another fundamental rule has been broken. Another genie that can’t be shoved back in the lamp.
They haven’t even shown consideration to the thought of giving us an option here.
Any transfusion or transplant is a Russian roulette now.

The afore-mentioned reality-denialism is also on steroids, not trending favorably to Mother Nature.

An mRNA jab, like any vaccine, but to a deeper extent, has no undo button.
And there’s no “detox”.
Once you did that, we don’t know who you are anymore, the old you has been fundamentally altered, for ever. Whatever follows may turn out better or worse, but the persona before the shot gets discontinued. This may not be detectable in many, may happen gradually over a long time span, or may be attributed to something else, any option is on the table. So many options that this technology turns lottery.

Even if we find a way to protect natural humans from mutagens, mutants will terminate us “manually” eventually, because we will be a reminder of everything they’ve lost.

I’d love to hear about any viable antidote, but I’m afraid the virus is in more heads than vaccinated, it’s ideologic.

We have already crossed the Rubicon, and only covidiots await on the other side

And it’s not like we haven’t been warned.

Now we can only make the best of what we have left. Let’s do just that!

At least that…

PS: This is taking steam. The least we can do

more info

THIS COULD BECOME A POWERFUL RESOUNDING “NO!”

PLEASE SIGN OUR FIRST PETITION AND BRING PEACE TO THIS WORLD!

(I will update it soon adequately)

More resources:

“Vaccine Shedding”

https://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?IDNUMBER=1166062

https://genuineprospect.com/2021/04/28/we-should-have-the-right-to-refuse-blood-transfusion-from-vaccinated-for-covid-19-but-can-we-part-2/

Spike Protein

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547916/

https://www.studyfinds.org/covid-alters-genes-long-haulers/

eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-04/eb-gcm041621.php

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-sars-cov-spike-protein-lung.html

http://hmi-us.com/publications/sars-cov-2-prion-like-domains-in-spike-proteins-enable-higher-affinity-to-ace2.html

https://greatgameindia.com/mrna-vaccines-degenerate-brain-prion/amp/

Self-Spreading Vaccines

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1340352/coronavirus-vaccine-covid19-self-spreading-vaccine

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4732410/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33113270/

Self-Amplifying mRNA Vaccines

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25620012/

https://sputniknews.com/world/202104231082693859-is-pfizer-quietly-targeting-other-vaccines-while-holding-back-on-its-own-safety-record-/

https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/01/16/vaccins-ce-que-disent-les-documents-voles-a-l-agence-europeenne-des-medicaments_6066502_3244.html

https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/cyberattack-ema-update-5

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32698494/

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/32/eaba5068

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_vaccine#Self-amplifying_RNA

file:///Users/ryancristian/Downloads/vaccines-09-00097.pdf

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04776317

Spike Protein

https://www.studyfinds.org/covid-alters-genes-long-haulers/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33300001/

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/9/1/36

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.318902

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

It’s a bit too late, but you can start freaking out

Initially I didn’t pay much attention to these reports because first ones were pretty vague and seemed unsubstantiated. They kind of were.
But then they started to become more and more detailed, coherent and very specific. My own research on #biohacking started to intersect more often, to the point where today they almost coincide.

To better understand where I’m coming from, your journey needs to start here:

Yes, they CAN vaccinate us through nasal test swabs AND target the brain (Biohacking P.1)

and here:

OBAMA, DARPA, GSK AND ROCKEFELLER’S $4.5B B.R.A.I.N. INITIATIVE – BETTER SIT WHEN YOU READ

After you read these, it’s much easier to dive into these new findings:

SOURCE
SOURCE
“cross the blood-brain barrier” as in “ Yes, they CAN vaccinate us through nasal test swabs AND target the brain

Profusa, Inc. Awarded $7.5M DARPA Grant to Develop Tissue-integrated Biosensors for Continuous Monitoring of Multiple Body Chemistries


NEWS PROVIDED BY Profusa, Inc. 

Jul 12, 2016, 08:30 ET


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Profusa, Inc., a leading developer of tissue-integrated biosensors, today announced that it was awarded a $7.5 million dollar grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) to develop implantable biosensors for the simultaneous, continuous monitoring of multiple body chemistries. Aimed at providing real-time monitoring of a combat soldier’s health status to improve mission efficiency, the award supports further development of the company’s biosensor technology for real-time detection of the body’s chemical constituents. DARPA and ARO are agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense focused on the developing emerging technologies for use by the military.

SOURCE

“Profusa’s vision is to replace a point-in-time chemistry panel that measures multiple bio­markers, such as oxygen, glucose, lactate, urea, and ions with a biosensor that provides a continuous stream of wireless data,” said Ben Hwang, Ph.D., Profusa’s chairman and chief executive officer. “DARPA’s mission is to make pivotal investments in breakthrough tech­nologies for national security. We are gratified to be awarded this grant to accelerate the development of our novel tissue-integrating sensors for application to soldier health and peak performance.”

Tissue-integrating Biosensors for Multiple Biomarkers
Supported by DARPA, ARO and the National Institutes of Health, Profusa’s technology and unique bioengineering approach overcomes the largest hurdle in long-term use of biosensors in the body: the foreign body response. Placed just under the skin with a specially designed injector, each tiny biosensor is a flexible fiber, 2 mm-to-5 mm long and 200-500 microns in dia­meter. Rather than being isolated from the body, Profusa’s biosensors work fully integrated within the body’s tissue — without any metal device or electronics — overcoming the effects of the foreign body response for more than one year.

Each biosensor is comprised of a bioengineered “smart hydrogel” (similar to contact lens mater­ial) forming a porous, tissue-integrating scaffold that induces capillary and cellular in-growth from surrounding tissue. A unique property of the smart gel is its ability to luminesce upon exposure to light in proportion to the concentration of a chemical such as oxygen, glucose or other biomarker.

“Long-lasting, implantable biosensors that provide continuous measurement of multiple body chemistries will enable monitoring of a soldier’s metabolic and dehydration status, ion panels, blood gases, and other key physiological biomarkers,” said Natalie Wisniewski, Ph.D., the principal investigator leading the grant work and Profusa’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “Our ongoing program with DARPA builds on Profusa’s tissue-integrating sensor that overcomes the foreign body response and serves as a technology platform for the detection of multiple analytes.”

Lumee Oxygen Sensing System™
Profusa’s first medical product, the Lumee Oxygen Sensing System, is a single-biomarker sensor designed to measure oxygen. In contrast to blood oxygen reported by other devices, the system incorporates the only technology that can monitor local tissue oxygen. When applied to the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD), it prompts the clinician to provide therapeutic action to ensure tissue oxygen levels persist throughout the treatment and healing process.

Pending CE Mark, the Lumee system is slated to be available in Europe in 2016 for use by vascular surgeons, wound-healing specialists and other licensed healthcare providers who may benefit in monitoring local tissue oxygen. PAD affects 202 million people worldwide, 27 million of whom live in Europe and North America, with an annual economic burden of more than $74 billion in the U.S. alone.

Profusa, Inc.
Profusa, Inc., based in South San Francisco, Calif., is leading the development of novel tissue-integrated sensors that empowers an individual with the ability to monitor their unique body chemistry in unprecedented ways to transform the management of personal health and disease. Overcoming the body’s response to foreign material for long-term use, its technology promises to be the foundational platform of real-time biochemical detection through the development of tiny bioengineered sensors that become one with the body to detect and continuously transmit actionable, medical-grade data for personal and medical use. See http://www.profusa.com for more information.

The research is based upon work supported by DARPA, the Biological Technologies Office (BTO), and ARO grant [W911NF-16-1-0341]. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of DARPA, BTO, the ARO, or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation thereon.

SOURCE Profusa, Inc.

Related Links

http://www.profusa.com

SOURCE
SOURCE

I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST

SOURCE
and then you wonder why…

So I can’t say with 100% certitude that what DARPA did and what people found are one and the same thing, but this is the closest you can get to 100%, and 200% x reason to freak out.

I will keep adding resources and details here, but my point is made.

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
But we’re underfunded for June, when we have heavy annual bills to pay for the websites, not counting the countless hours of work. Next target would be adding new features and plugins to the website and better equipment for faster work and more complex video productions.
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Sometimes my memes are 3D. And you can own them. Or send them to someone.
You can even eat some of them.
CLICK HERE

DNA harvesting, mRNA technologies, mind-reading and more – this was the official race start signal at the Transhumanist Olympics, all the way back in 2013

The vision for the BRAIN Initiative is to combine these areas of research into a coherent, integrated science of cells, circuits, brain and behavior.

  • Generate a census of brain cell types
  • Create structural maps of the brain
  • Develop new, large-scale neural network recording capabilities
  • Develop a suite of tools for neural circuit manipulation
  • Link neuronal activity to behavior
  • Integrate theory, modeling, statistics and computation with neuroscience experiments
  • Delineate mechanisms underlying human brain imaging technologies
  • Create mechanisms to enable collection of human data for scientific research
  • Disseminate knowledge and training

Source: NIH

You mean THIS DARPA?
Yeah, this one…

How The BRAIN Initiative® workS 

Given the ambitious scope of this pioneering endeavor, it was vital that planning be informed by a wide range of expertise and experience. Therefore, NIH established a high level working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) to help shape this new initiative.

This working group, co-chaired by Dr. Cornelia “Cori” Bargmann (The Rockefeller University) and Dr. William Newsome (Stanford University) sought broad input from the scientific community, patient advocates, and the general public. Their report, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, released in June 2014 and enthusiastically endorsed by the ACD, articulated the scientific goals of The BRAIN Initiative® and developed a multi-year scientific plan for achieving these goals, including timetables, milestones, and cost estimates.

Of course, a goal this audacious will require ideas from the best scientists and engineers across many diverse disciplines and sectors. Therefore, NIH is working in close collaboration with other government agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). Private partners are also committed to ensuring success through investment in The BRAIN Initiative®.

Five years ago a project such as this would have been considered impossible. Five years from now will be too late. While the goals are profoundly ambitious, the time is right to inspire a new generation of neuroscientists to undertake the most groundbreaking approach ever contemplated to understanding how the brain works, and how disease occurs.
Source: NIH

The White House Office of the Press Secretary, For Immediate Release, April 02, 2013

Remarks by the President on the BRAIN Initiative and American Innovation

East Room  10:04 A.M. EDT 

THE PRESIDENT:  

Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  

Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat.  Well, first of all, let me thank Dr. Collins not just for the introduction but for his incredible leadership at NIH.  Those of you who know Francis also know that he’s quite a gifted singer and musician.  So I was asking whether he was going to be willing to sing the introduction — (laughter) — and he declined. But his leadership has been extraordinary.  And I’m glad I’ve been promoted Scientist-in-Chief.  (Laughter.)

 Given my grades in physics, I’m not sure it’s deserving.  But I hold science in proper esteem, so maybe that gives me a little credit. Today I’ve invited some of the smartest people in the country, some of the most imaginative and effective researchers in the country — some very smart people to talk about the challenge that I issued in my State of the Union address:  to grow our economy, to create new jobs, to reignite a rising, thriving middle class by investing in one of our core strengths, and that’s American innovation.  Ideas are what power our economy.  It’s what sets us apart.  It’s what America has been all about.  We have been a nation of dreamers and risk-takers; people who see what nobody else sees sooner than anybody else sees it.  We do innovation better than anybody else — and that makes our economy stronger.  

When we invest in the best ideas before anybody else does, our businesses and our workers can make the best products and deliver the best services before anybody else.   And because of that incredible dynamism, we don’t just attract the best scientists or the best entrepreneurs — we also continually invest in their success.  We support labs and universities to help them learn and explore.  And we fund grants to help them turn a dream into a reality.  And we have a patent system to protect their inventions.  And we offer loans to help them turn those inventions into successful businesses.   

And the investments don’t always pay off.  But when they do, they change our lives in ways that we could never have imagined.  Computer chips and GPS technology, the Internet — all these things grew out of government investments in basic research.  And sometimes, in fact, some of the best products and services spin off completely from unintended research that nobody expected to have certain applications.  

Businesses then used that technology to create countless new jobs. 

So the founders of Google got their early support from the National Science Foundation.  The Apollo project that put a man on the moon also gave us eventually CAT scans.  And every dollar we spent to map the human genome has returned $140 to our economy — $1 of investment, $140 in return.

 Dr. Collins helped lead that genome effort, and that’s why we thought it was appropriate to have him here to announce the next great American project, and that’s what we’re calling the BRAIN Initiative.   

As humans, we can identify galaxies light years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom.  But we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears.  (Laughter.)  But today, scientists possess the capability to study individual neurons and figure out the main functions of certain areas of the brain.  But a human brain contains almost 100 billion neurons making trillions of connections.  

So Dr. Collins says it’s like listening to the strings section and trying to figure out what the whole orchestra sounds like.  So as a result, we’re still unable to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s or autism, or fully reverse the effects of a stroke.  And the most powerful computer in the world isn’t nearly as intuitive as the one we’re born with. So there is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked, and the BRAIN Initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember.  And that knowledge could be — will be — transformative.   In the budget I will send to Congress next week, I will propose a significant investment by the National Institutes of Health, DARPA, and the National Science Foundation to help get this project off the ground.

 I’m directing my bioethics commission to make sure all of the research is being done in a responsible way.  And we’re also partnering with the private sector, including leading companies and foundations and research institutions, to tap the nation’s brightest minds to help us reach our goal. And of course, none of this will be easy.  If it was, we would already know everything there was about how the brain works, and presumably my life would be simpler here.  (Laughter.)  It could explain all kinds of things that go on in Washington.  (Laughter.)  We could prescribe something.  (Laughter.)  

So it won’t be easy.  But think about what we could do once we do crack this code.  Imagine if no family had to feel helpless watching a loved one disappear behind the mask of Parkinson’s or struggle in the grip of epilepsy.  Imagine if we could reverse traumatic brain injury or PTSD for our veterans who are coming home.  Imagine if someone with a prosthetic limb can now play the piano or throw a baseball as well as anybody else, because the wiring from the brain to that prosthetic is direct and triggered by what’s already happening in the patient’s mind.  What if computers could respond to our thoughts or our language barriers could come tumbling down.  Or if millions of Americans were suddenly finding new jobs in these fields — jobs we haven’t even dreamt up yet — because we chose to invest in this project. That’s the future we’re imagining.  That’s what we’re hoping for.  That’s why the BRAIN Initiative is so absolutely important.  And that’s why it’s so important that we think about basic research generally as a driver of growth and that we replace the across-the-board budget cuts that are threatening to set us back before we even get started.  

A few weeks ago, the directors of some of our national laboratories said that the sequester — these arbitrary, across-the-board cuts that have gone into place — are so severe, so poorly designed that they will hold back a generation of young scientists.  When our leading thinkers wonder if it still makes sense to encourage young people to get involved in science in the first place because they’re not sure whether the research funding and the grants will be there to cultivate an entire new generation of scientists, that’s something we should worry about.  We can’t afford to miss these opportunities while the rest of the world races ahead.  We have to seize them.  I don’t want the next job-creating discoveries to happen in China or India or Germany.  I want them to happen right here, in the United States of America.   And that’s part of what this BRAIN Initiative is about.  That’s why we’re pursuing other “grand challenges” like making solar energy as cheap as coal or making electric vehicles as affordable as the ones that run on gas.  They’re ambitious goals, but they’re achievable.  And we’re encouraging companies and research universities and other organizations to get involved and help us make progress. We have a chance to improve the lives of not just millions, but billions of people on this planet through the research that’s done in this BRAIN Initiative alone.  

But it’s going to require a serious effort, a sustained effort.  And it’s going to require us as a country to embody and embrace that spirit of discovery that is what made America, America. They year before I was born, an American company came out with one of the earliest mini-computers.  It was a revolutionary machine, didn’t require its own air conditioning system.  That was a big deal.  It took only one person to operate, but each computer was eight feet tall, weighed 1,200 pounds, and cost more than $100,000.  And today, most of the people in this room, including the person whose cell phone just rang — (laughter) — have a far more powerful computer in their pocket.  Computers have become so small, so universal, so ubiquitous, most of us can’t imagine life without them — certainly, my kids can’t.   And, as a consequence, millions of Americans work in fields that didn’t exist before their parents were born.  Watson, the computer that won “Jeopardy,” is now being used in hospitals across the country to diagnose diseases like cancer.  That’s how much progress has been made in my lifetime and in many of yours.  That’s how fast we can move when we make the investments.   

But we can’t predict what that next big thing will be.  We don’t know what life will be like 20 years from now, or 50 years, or 100 years down the road.  What we do know is if we keep investing in the most prominent, promising solutions to our toughest problems, then things will get better. I don’t want our children or grandchildren to look back on this day and wish we had done more to keep America at the cutting edge.  I want them to look back and be proud that we took some risks, that we seized this opportunity.  That’s what the American story is about.  That’s who we are.  

That’s why this BRAIN Initiative is so important.  And if we keep taking bold steps like the one we’re talking about to learn about the brain, then I’m confident America will continue to lead the world in the next frontiers of human understanding.  And all of you are going to help us get there. 

So I’m very excited about this project.  Francis, let’s get to work.  God bless you and God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  

A LITTLE EARLIER, AT DARPA’S

DARPA Fold F(x) Program to Advance Synthetic Biomedical Polymers

by Global Biodefense StaffJanuary 21, 2014

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting proposals for advancing “Folded Non-Natural Polymers with Biological Function” under a new Broad Agency Announcement for the Fold F(x) program.

While the biopharmaceutical industry has realized many outstanding protein and oligonucleotide reagents and medicines by screening large biopolymer libraries for desired function, significant technical gaps remain to rapidly address the full suite of existing and anticipated national security threats in DoD medicine (e.g., diagnostics and remediation strategies for chemical/biological warfare agents and infectious disease threats).

The objective of Fold F(x) is to develop processes enabling the rapid synthesis, screening, sequencing and scale-up of folded, non-natural, sequence-defined polymers with expanded functionality. The program will specifically address the development of non-natural affinity reagents that can bind and respond to a selected target, as well as catalytic systems that can either synthesize or degrade a desired target.

While non-natural folding polymers (e.g., foldamers) are known, broad utilization of these systems is currently limited because there is no available approach for rapidly developing and screening large non-natural polymer libraries. Fold F(x) will address this technical gap to create new molecular entities that will become future critical reagents in sensor and diagnostic applications, novel medicine leads against viral and bacterial threats, and new polymeric materials for future material science applications.

DARPA anticipates that successful efforts will include (1) novel synthetic approaches that yield large libraries (>109 members) of non-natural sequence-defined polymers; (2) flexible screening strategies that enable the selection of high affinity/specificity binders and high activity/selectivity catalysts from the non-natural libraries; (3) demonstration that the screening approach can rapidly (<4 days) yield affinity reagents or catalysts against targets of interest to the DoD; and (4) demonstration of scalability and transferability to the DoD scientific community.

DARPA seeks proposals that significantly advance the area of non-natural polymer synthesis, screening and sequencing for DoD-relevant threats. Proposals that simply provide evolutionary improvements in state-of-the-art technology will not be considered.

A Proposers’ Day Webinar for the Fold F(x) Program will be held on January 28, 2014. Further details are available under Solicitation Number: DARPA-BAA-14-13. White papers are due by February 6, 2014.

Source: FBO.gov

They deleted this from their website, but not from Internet

FOLDED NON-NATURAL POLYMERS WITH BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION (FOLD F(X))

Health threats often evolve more quickly than health solutions. Despite ongoing research in the government and the biopharmaceutical industry to identify new therapies, the Department of Defense currently lacks the tools to address the full spectrum of chemical, biological, and disease threats that could impact the readiness of U.S. forces. DARPA created the Folded Non-Natural Polymers with Biological Function program (Fold F(x)) to give DoD medical researchers new tools to develop medicines, sensors, and diagnostics using new libraries of synthetic polymers.

The human body contains natural, folded polymers such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. These are made up of strings of specific biological molecules, or monomers, with the potential for massive variation in sequence, structure, and function. The body’s library of natural polymers is massive, but ultimately limited by the number of naturally present monomers. Through Fold F(x), DARPA is looking to expand the body’s biomolecular arsenal using non-natural, sequence-dictated polymers built from lab-created monomers.

Broad use of folded, non-natural polymers has been limited because no approach yet exists for rapidly developing large libraries of such sequence-dictated polymers. However, recent advances in the theory for predicting folds in polymer structure enable a more targeted search for polymers with specific attributes. Additionally, new, high-throughput analytical chemistry tools may enable researchers to efficiently screen massive subsets of polymers to essentially find the needle in the haystack to confront a given health threat. Finally, recently developed tools for determining polymer structure, function, and in vivo effects can further accelerate the characterization of promising non-natural polymers once they have been identified.

To achieve its objective, Fold F(x) seeks to develop the following capabilities: 1) processes that enable rapid, high-fidelity synthesis of monomers and polymer libraries at scale; 2) automated screening of polymers against a target; and 3) automated sequencing and characterization of successful polymers. The capabilities developed will need to be generalized and extendable so they can be applied to a broad range of potential applications.

If Fold F(x) is successful, synthetic polymers, produced at low cost in libraries containing trillions of combinations, would give scientists vastly more molecules to work with in the search for new health solutions and greatly increase the likelihood that a molecule can be found to combat a given health threat. Synthetic polymers would also offer other benefits over natural polymers including greater lifetime in the blood and less immunogenicity.

LATER…

DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF ANY PARTICULAR IMPLANT: SRI Biosciences DARPA Fold F(X) Synthetic Polymers Contract

by CBRNE CENTRAL STAFF, February 11, 2015, 11:33

SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, has been awarded a $10 million contract under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to reimagine how proteins are constructed and to develop novel medicines and diagnostics as countermeasures to chemical and biological threats.

The new contract is part of DARPA’s Folded Non-Natural Polymers with Biological Function program, known as Fold F(x). The initial goal of the program will be to develop biologically active non-natural polymers that are structurally similar to naturally occurring proteins, but without their limitations, such as sensitivity to heat denaturation or chemical degradation.

To develop the new polymers, SRI is combining its expertise in medicinal chemistry and biopolymer design with a breakthrough approach to screening vast numbers of compounds. The novel polymers are being made from entirely new types of monomer structures based on drug-like scaffolds with high functional group densities.

SRI’s compound screening innovation is based on its proprietary Fiber-Optic Array Scanning Technology (FASTcell™). Originally developed to identify circulating tumor cells in a blood sample, FASTcell can distinguish a single tumor cell among tens of millions of healthy ones in a few minutes.

With DARPA support, SRI is expanding this technology to screen 25 million compounds in just one minute.

“Our goal is to develop a method that can enable rapid, large-scale responses to a bioterrorism threat or an infectious disease epidemic,” said Peter Madrid, Ph.D., program director in SRI Biosciences’ Center for Chemical Biology and co-principal investigator and leader of the chemistry effort of the project. “We are looking for non-natural polymers to detect or neutralize identified chemical or biological threats. Once we find potent molecules, we will be able to produce them at mass scale.”

The overall goal of the Fold F(x) program is to expand on the utility of proteins and DNA, and to overcome their limitations by re-engineering their polymer backbones and side chain diversity—creating new molecules with improved functionality such as stability, potency and catalytic function in environments usually hostile for biopolymers.

The knowledge to design new functional molecules from first principles doesn’t exist yet. The alternative is to synthesize enormous libraries of non-natural polymers and screen for sequences that have a desired action. Finding a single effective compound, such as one that can block a virus, may require screening hundreds of millions of compounds.

“We are taking a full departure from how nature does things to come up with new ways of mimicking protein function in a highly tailored and controlled way,” said Nathan Collins, Ph.D., executive director of SRI Biosciences’ Discovery Sciences Section and principal investigator of SRI’s Fold F(x) project. “Our breakthrough has been to adapt SRI’s FASTcell technology to screen libraries of non-natural polymers. It’s very exciting to be doing such novel research.”

Initially the program will focus on screening massive numbers of non-natural polymers for potential uses against security threats.

As a proof of concept, the team will design, synthesize and screen chemically unique libraries of 100 million non-natural polymers for activity against a variety of agents, including toxins such as ricin and viruses such as the H1N1 bird flu strain of influenza.

As the program evolves it may progress to include a range of possibilities, such as how to synthesize molecules to fold such that they emit light, have enhanced levels of strength or elasticity, or store power.

Sources: SRI International, DARPA

Stargate Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stargate Project was the 1991 code name for a secret U.S. Army unit established in 1978 at Fort MeadeMaryland, by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and SRI International (a California contractor) to investigate the potential for psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence applications. The Project, and its precursors and sister projects, originally went by various code names—GONDOLA WISH, GRILL FLAME, CENTER LANE, PROJECT CF, SUN STREAK, SCANATE—until 1991 when they were consolidated and rechristened as “Stargate Project”.

Stargate Project work primarily involved remote viewing, the purported ability to psychically “see” events, sites, or information from a great distance.[1] The project was overseen until 1987 by Lt. Frederick Holmes “Skip” Atwater, an aide and “psychic headhunter” to Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, and later president of the Monroe Institute.[2] The unit was small-scale, comprising about 15 to 20 individuals, and was run out of “an old, leaky wooden barracks”.[3]

The Stargate Project was terminated and declassified in 1995 after a CIA report concluded that it was never useful in any intelligence operation. Information provided by the program was vague and included irrelevant and erroneous data, and there was reason to suspect that its project managers had changed the reports so they would fit background cues.[4] The program was featured in the 2004 book and 2009 film, both titled The Men Who Stare at Goats,[5][6][7][8] although neither mentions it by name.

THE LIST OF RESEARCHES THEY FUNDED MIGHT BLOW YOUR BRAIN

FULL LIST HERE

THEIR REPORT BELOW SEEMS TO CONFIRM OUR EARLIER REPORT THAT MRNA IS A GATEWAY TO THE BRAIN AND BEHAVIOURS

SOURCE

READ: Yes, they CAN vaccinate us through nasal test swabs AND target the brain (Biohacking P.1)

Private Sector Partners

Key private sector partners have made important commitments to support the BRAIN Initiative, including:

  • The Allen Institute for Brain Science:  The Allen Institute, a nonprofit medical research organization, is a leader in large-scale brain research and public sharing of data and tools. In March 2012, the Allen Institute for Brain Science embarked upon a ten-year project to understand the neural code: how brain activity leads to perception, decision making, and ultimately action. The Allen Institute’s expansion, with a $300M investment from philanthropist Paul G. Allen in the first four years, was based on the recent unprecedented advances in technologies for recording the brain’s activity and mapping its interconnections.  More than $60M annually will be spent to support Allen Institute projects related to the BRAIN Initiative.
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute:  HHMI is the Nation’s largest nongovernmental funder of basic biomedical research and has a long history of supporting basic neuroscience research.  HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia was opened in 2006 with the goal of developing new imaging technologies and understanding how information is stored and processed in neural networks. It will spend at least $30 million annually to support projects related to this initiative. 
  • Kavli Foundation:  The Kavli Foundation anticipates supporting activities that are related to this project with approximately $4 million dollars per year over the next ten years.  This figure includes a portion of the expected annual income from the endowments of existing Kavli Institutes and endowment gifts to establish new Kavli Institutes over the coming decade. This figure also includes the Foundation’s continuing commitment to supporting project meetings and selected other activities.
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies:  The Salk Institute, under its Dynamic Brain Initiative, will dedicate over $28 million to work across traditional boundaries of neuroscience, producing a sophisticated understanding of the brain, from individual genes to neuronal circuits to behavior. To truly understand how the brain operates in both healthy and diseased states, scientists will map out the brain’s neural networks and unravel how they interrelate. To stave off or reverse diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, scientists will explore the changes that occur in the brain as we age, laying the groundwork for prevention and treatment of age-related neurological diseases.

Source: The White House

Kavli are just Rockefeller proxies and partners

“National Institutes of Health chief Francis Collins says the brain initiative builds on recent advances in attaching electronic implants to brain cells. That was demonstrated last year in dramatic scenes of fully paralyzed patients manipulating robot arms to sip coffee and grasp rubber balls. And through increased computer power, scientists are now better able to collect data from the 86 billion vastly interconnected cells within the 3-pound human brain.”

USA Today

White House pitches brain mapping project

April 2, 2013, 12:00 PM CESTBy Peter Alexander and Alastair Jamieson, NBC News and Maggie Fox, Senior Writer

President Obama pitched a human brain research initiative on Tuesday that he likened to the Human Genome Project to map all the human DNA, and said it will not only help find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and autism, but create jobs and drive economic growth…

It’s not clear just what the initiative will do. Obama and collins said they’d appointed a “dream team” of experts to lay out the agenda — they should report back before the end of the summer. They are led by neurobiologists Cori Bargmann of Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University.

The public-private initiative, with money from groups such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s brain mapping project, aims to find a way to take pictures of the brain in action in real time.

“We want to understand the brain to know how we reason, how we memorize, how we learn, how we move, how our emotions work. These abilities define us, yet we hardly understand any of it,” said Miyoung Chun, vice president of science programs at The Kavli Foundation, which is taking part in the initiative and which funds basic research in neuroscience and physics.

The project has some big money and some big science to build on. Allen pumped another $300 million into his institute’s brain mapping initiative a year ago, and has published freely available maps of the human and mouse brains. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute built a whole research campus devoted to brain science, called Janelia Farm, in Virginia.

Arati Prabhakar, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) pointed to a project that allowed a quadriplegic woman to control a robot arm with her thoughts alone.

“There is nothing like a project to inspire people to go to that next level,” Collins told a telephone briefing.

Not everybody is happy about a centralized, administration-led project. Michael Eisen, a biologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said earlier this year that grand projects in biology such as Project ENCODE for DNA analysis were emerging as the “greatest threat” to individual discovery-driven science.

“It’s one thing to fund neuroscience, another to have a centralized 10-year project to ‘solve the brain,'” Eisen wrote in a Twitter update in February.

“It’s great to see the president supporting basic neuroscience research. And the amount of money is enough to seed new initiatives, which is the way to start something,” 

Neuroscientist Cori Bargmann of The Rockefeller University in New York, BRAIN co-chair

Who Will Pay for Obama’s Ambitious Brain Project?

By Stephanie Pappas April 02, 2013, Science Direct

An MRI scan reveals the gross anatomical structure of the human brain. (Image credit: Courtesy FONAR Corporation)

The initial funding for a major new brain research initiative will come largely from the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), with contributions from the National Science Foundation and private foundations, officials said today (April 2).

After President Obama announced the launch of the BRAIN Initiative this morning, the directors of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and DARPA took public questions via the Internet about specific plans for the project and who will pay. The agencies expect about $100 million in 2014 to start the initiative.

BRAIN stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. In it’s planning stages, the project was called the Brain Activity Map, because the goal is to understand how neural networks function. Currently, researchers can detect the activities of single brain cells; they can also measure brain activity on the macro level using technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging. But the middle level — the actions of hundreds and thousands of neurons working together in circuits — remains largely mysterious.

“This initiative is an idea whose time has come,” NIH director Francis Collins said in the White House Q&A session. He called the human brain the “greatest scientific frontier you could think of.” [Gallery: Slicing Through the Brain]

Funding the brain map

President Obama announced this morning that the Fiscal Year 2014 budget would include about $100 million in seed funding for the BRAIN Initiative. Collins broke those numbers down: The NIH will provide about $40 million, much of that from the Neuroscience Blueprint, an NIH collaboration with a rolling investment fund for nervous system research. Some NIH discretionary funds will also go toward the project, Collins said.

The National Science Foundation will provide about $20 million in funding, Collins said, and DARPA will contribute about $50 million. Private foundations, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Kavli Institute, will also provide funds.

DARPA’s interest in the project stems largely from concerns about “wounded warriors,” said director Arati Prabhakar. The agency hopes the BRAIN Initiative will provide answers about how to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries and other neurological problems for injured soldiers. The project may also inspire new computing processes as scientists learn how the brain works and use that as inspiration for artificial circuits, Prabhakar said.

Bumps ahead?

Federal funding for research has been flat in recent years, and the federal budget sequester has further squeezed agencies such as the NIH and NSF with 9 percent cuts across the board. The BRAIN Initiative is projected to last more than a decade, with no guarantee the fiscal situation will bounce back. Some neuroscience researchers, including Donald Stein of the Emory School of Medicine, have argued that funding is a “zero-sum game” and that the BRAIN Initiative will take resources from other worthy brain research causes. 

Collins acknowledged the budget challenge.

“One might well ask, ‘Is this the wrong time to be starting something new and innovative?'” he said.

But with the technology needed to measure large neural networks just coming into its own, delaying would be counterproductive, Collins argued.

“If you could see the opportunity for the next big advance … it would be very hard to say we’re going to hunker down for awhile and wait until the budget gets better,” he said.

A $4.5 Billion Price Tag for the BRAIN Initiative?

By Emily Underwood, Jun. 5, 2014 , 6:00 PM, Science Mag

The price of President Barack Obama’s BRAIN may have just skyrocketed. Last year, the White House unveiled a bold project to map the human brain in action, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and commanded several federal agencies to quickly develop plans to make it reality. To kick-start the project, the president allocated about $100 million this year to BRAIN, spread over the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Now, after more than a year of meetings and deliberations, an NIH-convened working group has fleshed out some of the goals and aspirations of BRAIN and tried to offer a more realistic appraisal of the funding needed for the agency’s share of the project: $4.5 billion over the course of a decade.

Neuroscientist Cornelia Bargmann, of Rockefeller University in New York City, who led the working group, sought to put that cost in perspective at a press conference today, saying it amounted to “about one six-pack of beer for each American over the entire 12 years of the program.”

NIH, which provides $40 million of BRAIN’s current funding, doesn’t have a plan in place for where to get extra money called for in the new report, NIH Director Francis Collins told reporters. “It won’t be fast, it won’t be easy, and it won’t be cheap,” he says. Regardless, Collins, who commissioned the new report to guide his agency’s role in the initiative, embraced the plan wholeheartedly:

86 billion neurons take note: I’ve accepted a scientific vision for #BRAINI that will transform neuroscience: http://t.co/12xluad54U #NIH

— Francis S. Collins (@NIHDirector) June 5, 2014

The report lays out a 10- to 12-year plan for investing $300 million to $500 million per year to develop new tools to monitor and map brain activity and structure, beginning in fiscal year 2016. It suggests focusing on tool development for the first 5 to 6 years, then ramping up funding as new techniques come online. A key goal is to produce cheaper, more accessible tools that all researchers can use without needing special training, so that the overall cost of doing neuroscience research goes down over time, Bargmann says.

The panel acknowledges the uncertainty of their cost estimate. “While we did not conduct a detailed cost analysis, we considered the scope of the questions to be addressed by the initiative, and the cost of programs that have developed in related areas over recent years. Thus our budget estimates, while provisional, are informed by the costs of real neuroscience at this technological level,” the group writes.

The first round of requests for NIH grant applications already went out last fall, and awardees will be announced in September, according to Collins. Additional opportunities to apply for NIH funding will open up by fall, based on this new, more detailed report, he says. Researchers planning to apply “may now consider that [the report] is a blueprint of where we want to go,” Collins added.

*Correction, 10 June, 12:17 p.m.: This article has been corrected to reflect that the $4.5 billion proposed price tag for the BRAIN initiative refers only to NIH’s portion of the project, not all funding. – Science Mag.

Advisory Committee to the Director, Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative Working Group

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a BRAIN Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH, to develop a rigorous plan for achieving this scientific vision. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the working group, including the scientific background and rationale for The BRAIN Initiative® as a whole and for each of seven major goals articulated in the report. In addition, we include specific deliverables, timelines, and cost estimates for these goals as requested by the NIH Director. Read more in the BRAIN 2025 Report.

As the NIH BRAIN Initiative rapidly approached its halfway point, the ACD BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0 was asked to assess BRAIN’s progress and advances within the context of the original BRAIN 2025 report, identify key opportunities to apply new and emerging tools to revolutionize our understanding of brain circuits, and designate valuable areas of continued technology development. Alongside, the BRAIN Neuroethics Subgroup was tasked with considering the ethical implications of ongoing research and forecasting what the future of BRAIN advancements might entail, crafting a neuroethics “roadmap” for the Initiative. Read more in the BRAIN 2.0 companion reports (BRAIN Initiative 2.0 report and Neuroethics report).

2017
2019

Brain-to-brain communication demo receives DARPA funding

JADE BOYD – JANUARY 25, 2021

Wireless linkage of brains may soon go to human testing

Wireless communication directly between brains is one step closer to reality thanks to $8 million in Department of Defense follow-up funding for Rice University neuroengineers.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funded the team’s proof-of-principle research toward a wireless brain link in 2018, has asked for a preclinical demonstration of the technology that could set the stage for human tests as early as 2022.

“We started this in a very exploratory phase,” said Rice’s Jacob Robinson, lead investigator on the MOANA Project, which ultimately hopes to create a dual-function, wireless headset capable of both “reading” and “writing” brain activity to help restore lost sensory function, all without the need for surgery.

MOANA, which is short for “magnetic, optical and acoustic neural access,” will use light to decode neural activity in one brain and magnetic fields to encode that activity in another brain, all in less than one-twentieth of a second.

“We spent the last year trying to see if the physics works, if we could actually transmit enough information through a skull to detect and stimulate activity in brain cells grown in a dish,” said Robinson, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and core faculty member of the Rice Neuroengineering Initiative.

Jacob Robinson (Photo by Tommy LaVergne/Rice University)

“What we’ve shown is that there is promise,” he said. “With the little bit of light that we are able to collect through the skull, we were able to reconstruct the activity of cells that were grown in the lab. Similarly, we showed we could stimulate lab-grown cells in a very precise way with magnetic fields and magnetic nanoparticles.”

Robinson, who’s orchestrating the efforts of 16 research groups from four states, said the second round of DARPA funding will allow the team to “develop this further into a system and to demonstrate that this system can work in a real brain, beginning with rodents.”

If the demonstrations are successful, he said the team could begin working with human patients within two years.

“Most immediately, we’re thinking about ways we can help patients who are blind,” Robinson said. “In individuals who have lost the ability to see, scientists have shown that stimulating parts of the brain associated with vision can give those patients a sense of vision, even though their eyes no longer work.”

The MOANA team includes 15 co-investigators from Rice, Baylor College of Medicine, the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Duke University, Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale’s John B. Pierce Laboratory.

The project is funded through DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program. – RICE University

The BRAIN Initiative has never been concluded. We’re living it now.

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