MD Anderson Cancer Center: U of Texas (Houston) scientist wins Nobel Prize for breakthrough cancer treatment


Allison’s groundbreaking work with T cells helped him net the award. Photo courtesy of MD Anderson Cancer Center

The already much-heralded University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has just scored global bragging rights. Jim Allison, Ph.D., a scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, it was announced on October 1, 2018.

Allison, who is the chair of Immunology and executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform, is the first MD Anderson scientist to receive the world’s most coveted award for discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine. Allison won for his work in launching an effective new way to attack cancer by treating the immune system rather than the tumor, according to a release.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition,” Allison says in a statement. “A driving motivation for scientists is simply to push the frontiers of knowledge. I didn’t set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells to travel our bodies and work to protect us.”

Allison shares the award with Tasuku Honjo, M.D., Ph.D., of Kyoto University in Japan. When announcing the honor, the Nobel Assembly of Karolinska Institute in Stockholm noted in a statement that “stimulating the ability of our immune system to attack tumor cells, this year’s Nobel Prize laureates have established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.”

The prize recognizes Allison’s basic science discoveries on the biology of T cells, the adaptive immune system’s soldiers, and his invention of immune checkpoint blockade to treat cancer. According to MD Anderson, Allison’s crucial insight was to block a protein on T cells that acts as a brake on their activation, freeing the T cells to attack cancer. He developed an antibody to block the checkpoint protein CTLA-4 and demonstrated the success of the approach in experimental models.

Allison’s work led to development of the first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug which would become the first to extend the survival of patients with late-stage melanoma. Follow-up studies show 20 percent of those treated live for at least three years with many living for 10 years and beyond, unprecedented results, according to the cancer center.

“Jim Allison’s accomplishments on behalf of patients cannot be overstated,” says MD Anderson president Peter WT Pisters, M.D., in a statement. “His research has led to life-saving treatments for people who otherwise would have little hope. The significance of immunotherapy as a form of cancer treatment will be felt for generations to come.”

“I never dreamed my research would take the direction it has,” Allison adds. “It’s a great, emotional privilege to meet cancer patients who’ve been successfully treated with immune checkpoint blockade. They are living proof of the power of basic science, of following our urge to learn and to understand how things work.”

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Dr. Wade Adams: Nanotechnology and the Future of Energy


Published on Jan 17, 2013

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Dr. Wade Adams, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering at Rice University, passionately explains what nanotechnology is and why it is fundamental to solving many of the world’s most pressing challenges.

 

 

Dr. Wade worked for the Federal Government (USAF) for 37.5 years, retiring to Rice University, working with Professor (Dr.) Rich Smalley (Smalley Institute), who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the “Bucky Ball” .. the precursor of “Quantum Dots“.

The video is about 30 minutes in length and provides a very good “Where did we start … and where are we now?” presentation. “Making Small Stuff Do Big Things” …

… or as we at GenesisNanoTechnology like to say “Great Things from Small Things!”

*** “Solving Humanity’s Biggest Problems for the Next 50 Years” with Nanotechnology”. Moving “Energy” to the Top of the List” … because it will help us solve the “other problems” (facing humanity) on the list.”

Watch the Video Here:

http://youtu.be/chJRdn1DOx0?t=7s

 

QMC & DOE collaborate on tetrapod quantum dot research


Mar 28, 2013    

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Quantum Materials Corporation has recently developed and delivered customized tetrapod QD samples for applications being developed by the US Department of Energy National Lab researchers.

As one of the largest sponsors of U.S. technical and military research, the DOE helps to move innovative technologies into the commercial marketplace, creating new jobs and future industries.

Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC) has also agreed to supply customized tetrapod quantum dots to a U.S. government defense related agency in support of a nano-biological project.

More than 110 science-related Nobel Prizes have been awarded to DOE-associated researchers.

Department of Energy National (DOE) Labs, Energy Innovation Hubs and Technology Centers are developing quantum dot and other nanoscale applications.

Relevant applications include solar photovoltaics, batteries, biofuels, physics and biological sciences.

One institute working on the project is Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), which is exploring quantum dot-fluorescent proteins (QD-FP) in devices. They use pH-sensitive fluorescent protein acceptors to produce long-lived sensors for biological imaging. LANL’s use of quantum dots for precise cellular imaging produces valuable data for the hopeful cure or treatment of many diseases and conditions.

QMC believes its technology meets three NNI National Signature Initiatives objectives. These are new advanced materials (tetrapod quantum dots), mass production (continuous flow process) and nano-manufacturing (roll-to-roll printing).

Stephen Squires, QMC CEO commented, “The many DOE National Labs are in the forefront of quantum dot research and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with them. QMC has enabling technologies to help fulfill NNI National Signature Initiatives years ahead of forecasts, advancing the nation’s research rapidly while perhaps saving the U.S. Government millions that can be redirected to application development.”

QMC currently offers high-brightness cadmium-based and ecological cadmium-free non-heavy metal tetrapod QD and can synthesize many Group II-VI inorganic mono or hybrid tetrapod quantum dots.

The firm intends to build out its quantum dot production facilities in the U.S. with full commercial production expected in the fourth quarter of 2013.

 

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8

New 2-D Material for Next Generation High-Speed Electronics


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Jan. 21, 2013 — Scientists at CSIRO and RMIT University have produced a new two-dimensional material that could revolutionise the electronics market, making “nano” more than just a marketing term.

 

 

The material — made up of layers of crystal known as molybdenum oxides — has unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds.

In a paper published in the January issue of materials science journal Advanced Materials, the researchers explain how they adapted a revolutionary material known as graphene to create a new conductive nano-material.

Graphene was created in 2004 by scientists in the UK and won its inventors a Nobel Prize in 2010. While graphene supports high speed electrons, its physical properties prevent it from being used for high-speed electronics.

The CSIRO’s Dr Serge Zhuiykov said the new nano-material was made up of layered sheets — similar to graphite layers that make up a pencil’s core.

“Within these layers, electrons are able to zip through at high speeds with minimal scattering,” Dr Zhuiykov said.

“The importance of our breakthrough is how quickly and fluently electrons — which conduct electricity — are able to flow through the new material.”

RMIT’s Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh said the researchers were able to remove “road blocks” that could obstruct the electrons, an essential step for the development of high-speed electronics.

“Instead of scattering when they hit road blocks, as they would in conventional materials, they can simply pass through this new material and get through the structure faster,” Professor Kalantar-zadeh said.

“Quite simply, if electrons can pass through a structure quicker, we can build devices that are smaller and transfer data at much higher speeds.

“While more work needs to be done before we can develop actual gadgets using this new 2D nano-material, this breakthrough lays the foundation for a new electronics revolution and we look forward to exploring its potential.”

In the paper titled ‘Enhanced Charge Carrier Mobility in Two-Dimensional High Dielectric Molybdenum Oxide,’ the researchers describe how they used a process known as “exfoliation” to create layers of the material ~11 nm thick.

The material was manipulated to convert it into a semiconductor and nanoscale transistors were then created using molybdenum oxide.

The result was electron mobility values of >1,100 cm2/Vs — exceeding the current industry standard for low dimensional silicon.

The work, with RMIT doctoral researcher Sivacarendran Balendhran as the lead author, was supported by the CSIRO Sensors and Sensor Networks Transformational Capability Platform and the CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering Division.

It was also a result of collaboration between researchers from Monash University, University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA), CSIRO, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and RMIT.

Nano-material to revolutionize computing


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Nano-material to revolutionize computing

 

 

Jan 7, 2013, 05.37 PM IST: SYDNEY: A two-dimensional  nano-material could usher in nano-transistors and help revolutionise electronics, including ultra fast  computing, says an Australian research.

The new material – made up of layers of crystal known as molybdenum oxides – has unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds.

Researchers from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) explain how they adapted a revolutionary material known as graphene to create a new conductive nano-material, the journal Advanced Materials reports.

Graphene created by scientists in Britain won its inventors a  Nobel Prize in 2010. While the new material supports high speed electrons, its physical properties stump high-speed electronics, according to a  CSIRO statement.

Serge Zhuiykov from the CSIRO said the new nano-material was made up of layered sheets – similar to graphite layers that make up a pencil’s core.

“Within these layers, electrons are able to zip through at high speeds with minimal scattering,” Zhuiykov said.

“The importance of our breakthrough is how quickly and fluently electrons – which conduct electricity – are able to flow through the new material,” he added. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) doctoral researcher Sivacarendran Balendhran led the study.

Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, professor at the RMIT, said the researchers were able to remove “road blocks” that could obstruct the electrons, an essential step for the development of high-speed electronics.

“While more work needs to be done before we can develop actual gadgets using this new  2D nano-material, this breakthrough lays the foundation for a new electronics revolution and we look forward to exploring its potential,” he adds.

Nobel physics prize highlights weird world of quantum optics


By Karl Ritter and Louise Nordstrom

Image: Atomic clock

STOCKHOLM — A French-American duo shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for inventing methods to observe the bizarre properties of the quantum world — research that has led to the construction of extremely precise clocks and helped scientists take the first steps toward building superfast computers.

Serge Haroche of France and American David Wineland opened the door to new experiments in quantum physics by showing how to observe individual quantum particles without destroying them.

A quantum particle is one that is isolated from everything else. In this situation, an atom or electron or photon takes on strange properties. It can be in two places at once, for example. It behaves in some ways like a wave. But these properties are instantly changed when it interacts with something else, such as when somebody observes it.

Working separately, the two scientists, both 68, developed “ingenious laboratory methods” that allowed them to manage and measure and control fragile quantum states, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

“Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type of superfast computer based on quantum physics,” the academy said. “The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time.”

Background: Nobel-winning physics explained

Haroche is a professor at the College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Wineland is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

The two researchers use opposite approaches to examine, control and count quantum particles, the academy said. Wineland traps ions — electrically charged atoms — and measures them with light. Haroche controls and measures photons, or light particles, by sending atoms through a specially prepared trap.

Haroche said he was out walking with his wife when he got the call from the Nobel judges.

“I was in the street and passing a bench so I was able to sit down,” Haroche told a news conference in Stockholm by telephone. “It’s very overwhelming.”

He said his work in the realm of quantum physics could ultimately lead to unimaginably fast computers, with atoms that can essentially be in two different states at the same time. “You can do things which are prohibited by the laws of classical physics,” he told The Associated Press.

Haroche also said quantum research could help make GPS navigating systems more accurate.

‘Field of Dweebs’

NIST spokesman Jim Burrus said Wineland was asleep at home in Boulder when the call came in early Tuesday notifying him that he won; his wife answered the phone. Burrus said Wineland described the news as overwhelming and wonderful.

He said Wineland was a humble person who never expected to win prizes. He also doesn’t take himself very seriously: Wineland once played first base on a NIST softball team called “Field of Dweebs.”

Christopher Monroe, who does similar work at the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, said the awarding of the prize to the two men “is not a big surprise to me. … It was sort of obvious that they were a package.”

Monroe said that thanks to the bizarre properties of the quantum world, when he and Wineland worked together in the 1990s, they were able to put a single atom in two places simultaneously.

At that time, it wasn’t clear that trapping single atoms could help pave the way to superfast quantum computers, he said. That whole field “just fell into our laps,'” Monroe said.

In an ordinary computer, information is represented in bits, each of which is either a zero or a one. But in a quantum computer, an individual particle can essentially represent a zero and a one at the same time — that is, until the result is read out. If scientists can make quantum bits, or “qubits,” work together, certain kinds of calculations could be done with blazing speed.

One example is prime factorization, the process of discovering which two prime numbers can be multiplied together to produce a given number. That has implications for breaking the encryption codes that provide the foundation for today’s secure financial transactions. However, quantum encryption could open the way for a new generation of secure communication tools as well.

Quantum computers could radically change people’s lives in the way that classical computers did last century, but a full-scale quantum computer is still decades away, the Nobel judges said. “The calculations would be incredibly much faster and exact, and you would be able to use it for areas like meteorology and for measuring the climate of the earth,” said Lars Bergstrom, the secretary of the prize committee.

The physics prize was the second of the 2012 Nobel Prizes to be announced, with the medicine prize going Monday to stem cell pioneers John Gurdon of Britain and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka. Each award is worth 8 million kronor, or about $1.2 million.

The prizes are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.