Tech

Robot masters new skills through trial and error

Robot masters new skills through trial and error

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence.

They demonstrated their technique, a type of reinforcement learning, by having a robot complete various tasks -- putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more -- without pre-programmed details about its surroundings.

Sulimov security dogs can be taught to smell cancer

Sulimov security dogs can be taught to smell cancer

Sulimov dogs are specially bred for Aeroflot's canine service through crossing the Arctic Herding Laika and the Subtropical Jackal. The Sulimov dog is as hardy, unpretentious, loyal and smart as its Arctic ancestor. The new breed took its good sense of smell from the subtropical relative.

These specially-trained dogs live in Aeroflot's Aviation Safety Department Canine Unit and are an integral part of aviation safety.

Vaccines developed for H5N1, H7N9 avian influenza strains

A recent study with Kansas State University researchers details vaccine development for two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people.

The new vaccine development method is expected to help researchers make vaccines for emerging strains of avian influenza more quickly. This could reduce the number and intensity of large-scale outbreaks at poultry farms as well as curb human transmission.

European Medicines Agency recommends full approval of ibrutinib to treat Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a positive opinion recommending a change to the terms of the marketing authorization for IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) in the European Union to indicate the treatment of adult patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line treatment for patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy.

RegeneRx Phase II Dry Eye Trial results

Results of the 72-patient, placebo-controlled Phase II study evaluating RGN-259 (RegeneRx preservative-free eye drops) for the treatment of dry eye patients using Ora Inc.'s controlled adverse environment (CAE) model have been published and identify the key efficacy targets for a larger, multi-center, Phase IIb/III U.S. clinical trial targeted for later this year. The trial will be sponsored by ReGenTree, LLC, a U.S. joint venture owned by RegeneRx and G-treeBNT.

Phase 2 Clinical Trial of TPX-100 Therapeutic for Knee Osteoarthritis Subject Enrollment Complete

OrthoTrophix, Inc., has completed subject enrollment and all scheduled dosing in its Phase 2 clinical study of TPX-100 in subjects with bilateral osteoarthritis of the knee. 115 subjects have completed all scheduled intra-articular injections. The last subject's last visit of the clinical site is scheduled in April 2016, and the study results are expected in mid-2016.

New platforms genetically barcode tens of thousands of cells at a time

Imagine someone hands you a smoothie and asks you to identify everything that went into it.

You might be able to discern a hint of strawberry or the tang of yogurt. But overall it tastes like a blend of indiscernible ingredients.

Now imagine that the smoothie is made of 20,000 ground-up cells from, say, the brain.

Traditional medicine: Thunder god vine as potential obesity treatment

An extract from the thunder god vine, long used in traditional Chinese medicine, reduces food intake and causes up to a 45% decrease in body weight in obese mice. The weight-loss compound, called Celastrol, produces its potent effects by enhancing the action of an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin. The findings are an early indicator that Celastrol could be developed into a drug for the treatment of obesity.

New antibody insecticide targets malaria mosquito

Malaria is a cruel and disabling disease that targets victims of all ages. Even now, it is estimated to kill one child every minute. Recent progress in halting the spread of the disease has hinged on the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and spraying programmes that target the insect that spreads the disease, the African malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae). However, the insects are fighting back, developing resistance to insecticides such as pyrethroid that control their numbers, forcing Brian Foy and Jacob Meyers from Colorado State University to think of alternative control strategies.

Phase 2b Clinical Trial Evaluating Tenapanor in IBS-C Patients - Results

Phase 2b clinical trial results that demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in IBS-C symptoms for tenapanor-treated patients compared to patients receiving placebo.

As previously reported, at the 50 mg dose of tenapanor, the study met its primary efficacy endpoint of an increase in the complete spontaneous bowel movement (CSBM) responder rate. Most secondary endpoints, including abdominal pain and other abdominal and IBS-C symptoms, demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements.