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In 1976, Alan Grodzinsky ’71, ScD ’74, was feeling a little frustrated. 

He had spent two years teaching a basic course on semiconductor physics and circuits in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, learning the material in the fast-moving field as he went along. That didn’t leave him any time for research. Then a golden opportunity arose.

With the help of the late Irving London, founder of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Grodzinsky won a sabbatical at Boston Children’s Hospital under the mentorship of the late Mel Glimcher, chief of orthopedic surgery and a pioneering researcher on the biology of human bones and collagen.

Glimcher wanted to start a research project on cartilage, the tough matrix of fibers that lines the joints, and on osteoarthritis, the chronic, painful disease that breaks that cartilage down.

It was a perfect fit for the 29-year-old Grodzinsky, who had earned his ScD studying the electrical properties of collagen, one of the constituents of cartilage. By year’s end, he was on the path he has followed ever since: trying to find effective treatments for osteoarthritis, the leading cause of chronic pain and disability around the world. It affects more than 30 million Americans, and hundreds of millions globally.

“It’s a huge financial burden and disability burden. And while it’s not fatal, it certainly contributes to loss of quality of life,” says Joseph Buckwalter, an orthopedic surgeon and osteoarthritis expert based in Iowa, who has known Grodzinsky for decades. “The costs of total joint replacements, mainly knees and hips, is one of our major health expenditures.”

No plan for pain

The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any disease-modifying medications for osteoarthritis—drugs that treat the underlying condition rather than just the symptoms. The most sufferers can hope for, Grodzinsky says, are pain relievers like Motrin, occasional injections of steroids, and eventually joint replacement surgery. More than a million knee and hip replacements are done in the US each year, and the number is expected to soar as the population ages.

While older people are most susceptible to osteoarthritis, Grodzinsky has focused much of his research on younger people, particularly female athletes, who often develop the condition after knee injuries.

Tens of thousands of young women suffer injuries to the anterior cruciate ligaments of their knees each year. “When I teach my course at MIT related to biomechanics,” Grodzinsky says, “I ask about ACL injuries, and just as many hands go up today as in the past. I taught a Harvard Medical School course recently, and of the 20 students in the class, four women had suffered ACL tears, and one was on her third surgery.”

Doctors can fix these tears, he says, but both men and women who suffer joint injuries are still at high risk of developing osteoarthritis in subsequent years. And while knee replacements can counteract the effects of osteoarthritis, doctors are reluctant to perform such surgery on younger people because it will probably need to be repeated after the first artificial joint wears out.

A knee implant can last years, says Buckwalter, but “I would have nightmares doing it in someone under 40, because the odds are almost overwhelming that they’ll need another one.”

Nanoparticle Rx

Researchers have identified existing drugs that might alleviate the onset of osteoarthritis, but they are hampered by the fact that cartilage does not have a natural blood supply, Grodzinsky says. When doctors inject a steroid in the knee joint to reduce inflammation, the body clears most of the medication before it can get into the cartilage.

To tackle this problem, his lab has pioneered research involving nanoparticles, human cadaver knees, and even missions to the International Space Station.

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By: Mark Roth
Title: Looking to space to cure osteoarthritis
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/10/26/1036739/looking-to-space-to-cure-osteoarthritis/
Published Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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