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A Novel Air/Water Retention Device for Improved Visibility in Colonoscopies

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. It is also the third leading cause of cancer-related death in women and the second leading cause in men. Fortunately, over the last 20 years the death rate for this cancer has been decreasing. There are two primary reasons for this decrease, improvements in therapy and the increase in screening for and removal of colorectal polyps. A colonoscopy is recommended for adults over the age of fifty in the US. It is an examination of the colon performed by a gastroenterologist whereby an endoscope is inserted through the anus and into the colon. Most endoscopes have a camera and a light for visualization of the colon. In order to clearly see within the colon, which is in a naturally collapsed state, air or water is used to inflate the organ. Normally, a tight seal is formed around the scope to retain pressure inside the colon. But in some patients, a tight seal is not possible and is not able to retain the pressure making the procedure difficult to perform. Currently, the standard practice in these occasions is for a technician to use a towel to hold the anus shut.

A Gene Therapy Strategy To Restore Electrical And Cardiac Function In Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a predominantly genetic-based heart disease characterized by right but also recently left ventricular dysfunction, fibrofatty replacement of the myocardium leading to fatal/severe ventricular arrhythmias leading to sudden cardiac death in young people and athletes. ARVC is responsible for 10% of sudden cardiac deaths in people ≥65 years of age and 24% in people ≤30 years of age. ARVC is thought to be a rare disease as it occurs in 1 in 1000-5000 people, although the prevalence may be higher as some patients are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to poor diagnostic markers. Growing evidence also reveals earlier onset since pediatric populations ranging from infants to children in their teens are also particularly vulnerable to ARVC, highlighting the critical need to identify and treat patients at an earlier stage of the disease.At present there are no effective treatments for ARVC nor has there been any randomized clinical trials conducted to examine treatment modalities, screening regimens, or medications specific for ARVC. As a result, treatment strategies for ARVC patients are directed at symptomatic relief of electrophysiological defects, based on clinical expertise, results of retrospective registry-based studies, and the results of studies on model systems. The current standard of care is the use of anti-arrhythmic drugs (sotalol, amniodarone and beta-blockers) that transition into more invasive actions, which include implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac catheter ablation, if the patient becomes unresponsive or intolerant to anti-arrhythmic therapies. However, current therapeutic modalities have limited effectiveness in managing the disease, 40% of ARVC patients (a young heart disease) die within 10-11 years after initial diagnosis, highlighting the need for development of more effective therapies for patients with ARVC.

A Wearable Multimodal Biosensing And Eye-Tracking System

The current usage of bio-sensors is pretty much restricted to laboratory environments for experimental data collection due to the state of art of the technology. There is no robust yet comfortable system that could be used for data collection in mobile settings or has applications in real-world environments. Traditional bio-sensing systems are costly, bulky and not designed for comfort or ease-of-use, so they are not practical for real-world studies. Additionally, the bio-sensors have to be usually assembled together, which requires more effort in time synchronization and calibration between them.

Automated Noninvasive Periodontal Depth Measurement Using Photoacoustic Imaging

Many people are familiar with the pocket depth measurements that occur in the dentist’s office. The dental technician pokes her periodontal probe into a patient’s gum line to measure how deep the probe will go. This is repeated tooth by tooth until the entire mouth is covered. Although inexpensive, probing depth measurements are error prone and suffer from poor reproducibility, largely due to variation in probing force. Indeed, a recent meta-analysis showed that a range of a variation of 20-fold. Other error sources include variation in the insertion point, probe angulation, the patient’s overall gingival health, and the presence of calculus. Thus, the examination is subject to large errors with inter-operator variation as high as 40%. These error sources can result in poor patient treatment and, hence, poor patient outcomes. This variation also compromises epidemiologic studies and makes it difficult to compare outcomes among dentists or among populations. Given these limitations, new tools are urgently needed to improve this procedure.

Macrophage Programming for Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is one of the most important areas in modern medicine. Using antibodies, proteins, and cells, physicians are now able to target a range of conditions with specificity. UC San Diego researchers have recently developed a new process for engineering macrophages to possess a broad range of sensing and programed actions for directed therapeutics.

Identification of Novel NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibitors

The NLRP3 inflammasome is a molecular machine that becomes activated during acute and chronic inflammation and leads to production of biologically active IL-1β and IL-18 that initiate inflammatory responses triggered by tissue damage. The NLRP3 inflammasome has also been implicated in many chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases from gout, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis to Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, there are no effective ways to inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome, thus there is a therapeutic need for this class of molecule.

Directed Editing Of Cellular RNA Via Nuclear Delivery Of CRISPR/Cas9

CRISPR-Cas9 technology has revolutionized the field of biological research through the introduction of sequence-specific genomic manipulation at the DNA level. It has also been reported that catalytically-dead Cas9 (dCas9) can successfully be localized to specific mRNAs within live cells. However, no system exists to perform Cas9-mediated sequence editing at the RNA level.

Generation of an Improved Synthetic Splice Modulator (FDGLY) That Mirrors the Structural Features of the Potential CLL In Vitro Inhibitor FD-895

 An increasing body of research has shown that alternations in RNA splicing are involved in a number of human diseases, particularly cancer. Drug regulation of splicing has become an interesting new target for therapeutic discovery. A number of drug discovery efforts aimed at developing splicing-modulating small-molecules are being tested in clinic trials for cancer.