Mini drug factories beat cancer
Rice University bioengineers eradicated advanced ovarian and colon cancer in mice using “drug factory” implants – and they did it in as little as six days.
Drug factories may seem large, but the implants are actually incredibly small, about the size of a pinhead. They look like tiny pearls.
The beads are implanted into tissues surrounding tumors through minimally invasive surgery and deliver interleukin-2, a natural compound that activates white blood cells to fight cancer. The beads are made up of cells designed to produce interleukin-2 enclosed in a protective shell. They are implanted once but continue to deliver the treatment until the cancer goes away.
Researchers eradicated all cancerous ovarian tumors in animal tests and defeated colorectal cancer in seven out of eight animals.
Human trials could begin as early as this fall, and the researchers say the method could be used to treat pancreatic, liver and lung cancer, among others.
Fisker shows the ocean
On Monday, Fisker Automotive hosted the European unveiling of the Ocean All-Electric SUV at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Henrik Fisker said he wanted a “sexy, cool SUV that’s also super durable”, and he might have succeeded.
The ocean is made in Austriaand the company plans to begin deliveries in November 2022. According to Henrik, the company already has more than 33,000 reservations for the Fisker Ocean in the United States and Europe.
The SUV stretches 273 miles for the standard edition and almost 400 miles (391) for the extreme edition.
Fisker wants to change the way cars are developed. Comparing automotive to the rapidly changing consumer electronics market, the founder said cars typically take 4.5 years to create, which usually means selling new cars with old technology.
The Ocean was developed in less than 2.5 years, and the vehicle technology was chosen last year. The new technology includes the Fisker Intelligent Pilot, the world’s first digital radar capable of detecting both distance and height of objects to better understand the environment around the car. The radar is located in each of the four corners of the vehicle as well as one at the front. It will work even in low visibility situations.
The Ocean has also been designed with durable materials. For example, the wheels are made of recycled carbon fiber and plastic; and plastic bottles were salvaged to make the interior.
The company also has a solar roof that can add up to 1,500 miles of range per year in mixed conditions, 2,000 miles if you get a little more sun.
Like Tesla, the automaker plans to offer over-the-air updates and a service network in place from day one. Like Tesla, they will pick up the car or repair it in the field. While some features, like the sunroof, have their skeptics, perhaps the automotive industry could learn a bit from the rapid product development in the consumer electronics industry, as long as it’s not planned obsolescence.
House Zero, a new 3D printed house concept
On Wednesday, ICON, the construction company trying to solve the housing shortage in the United States one 3D-printed house at a time, unveiled House Zero in Austin, Texas.
ICON wants to revolutionize the design of the house. As we have seen in other industries, 3D printing has opened up the possibility of designs that were previously impossible to manufacture. Well, it’s the same with houses. Thus, ICON has partnered with Lake|Flato Architects to create House Zero, a new open concept house.
ICON offered a bit of teasing with photos of the well-maintained home’s interior, but offers tours if you find yourself in SXSW in a few weeks.
Designed by Lake|Flato, the house was printed on ICON’s Vulcan building system.
According to the company, the house combines the aesthetic of a mid-century modernist ranch house with an energy-efficient design. The prototype is designed to shed light on the resilience and durability of additive construction.
House Zero is approximately 2,000 square feet with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The walls are made with ICON’s exclusive lavcrete, insulation and steel. Lavacrete provides thermal mass that slows heat transfer in the home. The combination of thermal mass, insulation and airtight walls increases energy efficiency and reduces costs.
In a statement, Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON, said, “House Zero is ground zero for the emergence of entirely new design languages and architectural vernaculars that will use robotic construction to deliver the things we need most in our homes: comfort, beauty, dignity, sustainability, accessibility and hope.”
Ballard hopes to inspire architects, developers, builders and homeowners to embrace 3D printed housing, as the few players in the industry are already struggling to keep up with demand.