FDA launches pilot program to help reduce and replace animal testing in drug development

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched Innovative Science and Technology Approaches for New Drugs (ISTAND), a pilot program that will help reduce and replace animal testing as part of drug development. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has worked toward this goal for several years by meeting with the FDA and Congress and providing expert input, hosting Congressional briefings, and leading drug development stakeholders in advocating for a pathway for the approval of nonanimal, human-biology based drug testing methods.

The FDA launched ISTAND to expand its ability to qualify drug development tools that are outside the scope of the FDA’s existing Drug Development Tools Qualification Program (DDT). The DDT program excluded the vast majority of nonanimal in vitro and computational approaches. Before ISTAND, if a drug developer wanted to use a human biology-based approach, it would only be reviewed and accepted on a case-by-case basis. The

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New 5G research lab to be created to help UK replace banned Huawei technology

The UK is to open a new 5G lab so that the country no longer has to rely on the technology of foreign companies like Huawei. 

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has unveiled Government plans Monday for a £250 million scheme to develop new secure internet technology in Britain, which includes building a new research facility.

The lab will bring together security experts, businesses and leading academics to pioneer ways to create a more open 5G network that will allow smaller British companies to also develop the vital technology.

The move comes after ministers decided to ban the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from the UK network in July over national security fears of its closeness to Beijing.

However, the decision leaves the UK facing a situation where it could be left dependent on just two large companies, Ericsson and Nokia, to supply all the hardware for the transformative next generation of

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Popl Set To Replace Business Cards With Instant Contact Sharing And New ‘Pro’ Subscription

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Popl, a new startup that lets you instantly share anything from your contact information to your social media – such as Instagram, Calendly, Snapchat, Spotify, Venmo and more – announced a major redesign of its iOS app and a premium subscription service called Popl Pro.

The new subscription service lets users create two unique profiles – one social, one business – and adds new features including multiple links, analytics, and new community-based mapping features to the Popl experience.

The redesigned Popl App and Popl Pro subscription advance the brand’s mission of replacing business cards and simplifying how we connect in person. The receiver does not need a Popl or the app for the transfer of information to work, allowing for the fastest, easiest and most fun way to connect and share with others.

“We are on a mission to change the way

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Bill Gates Is Great, But Does Anyone Else Really Think Microsoft Teams And Zoom Will Replace Business Travel?

On Tuesday, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates forecast that business travel will decline by 50%, even after the coronavirus crisis ends. He predicted a “very high threshold” for business trips as people work from home and use social media to meet.

“My prediction would be that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away,” Gates told Andrew Ross Sorkin during The New York Times’ Dealbook conference.

In other news, my computer keeps asking me to sign in to Microsoft Teams – which, I just learned, can be integrated to work with Zoom.

Gates is a widely admired philanthropist and leader of the fight against coronavirus, but let’s acknowledge that his view of the airline industry

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The Future Of Wealth Management Will Be Digitally Enabled But Won’t Replace Relationships

Data science and changing demographics promise to dramatically reshape the advisor-client relationship, Jason Chandler, UBS’s Head of US Wealth Management told

attendees at the Forbes-Shook Virtual Top Advisor Summit.

Zoom conferences, online portals and email blasts have become staples that advisors use to build and strengthen client relationships.

But UBS has gone a step further when it comes to leveraging technology to build client relationships, Chandler said.

UBS has partnered with a data analytics firm that offers personalized data insights into customer relationships. “We did it because we really want to understand what drives client behavior.”

UBS financial advisors may send clients a digital survey seeking feedback. The data firm’s artificial intelligence robots analyze the feedback and inform the advisor of anything from clients’ interests and needs to key life events. 

“It allows the advisor to be more proactive toward

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Bioinspired material to replace plastics

Tough, strong and heat-endure: Bioinspired material to oust plastics
Based on different commercially available raw materials (e.g., TiO2-mica, Fe2O3-mica), a variety of all-natural bioinspired structural materials with different colors can be fabricated. Credit: GUAN Qingfang

Modern life relies heavily on plastics, even though their petroleum-based production creates serious environmental challenges. Industry currently lacks sustainable alternatives due to their limited mechanical properties or complex manufacturing processes. An advanced strategy to design and produce high-performance sustainable structural materials is hence greatly needed.


Just such a new bioinspired material is now available to replace petroleum-based plastics. A team led by Prof. Shu-Hong Yu from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) reports a method to manufacture materials with similar structure as nacre from wood-derived fiber and mica, with adaption to mass production, good processability, and tunable coloration.

Natural nacre has a hierarchically ordered structure at multiscale levels, just like bricks and mortar, enabling it to be of both strength and

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Why Technology Will Not Replace Professional Translators

Salvador Ordorica is the CEO of The Spanish Group LLC, a first-class international translation service, that translates over 90 languages.

Speaking to investors and running a business in the translation industry requires one to interact with a diverse group of people from a wide array of backgrounds. Still, no matter where you are or who you talk to, the general idea that technology will one day, perhaps soon, eclipse the translator is pervasive.

The thought is anything but new. Humanity has long dreamed of the day that technological advancements will produce the metaphorical battering ram with which we shall smash the language barrier. The idea of using machines for translation was proposed as early as 1947, and science fiction has long assumed it was an inevitable outcome of our technological advancement. To the credit of these dreamers, the ideas of lab-grown meat, space stations and the defibrillator were

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Can We Replace Random Daily Contact?

How do we replace the daily contact we used to have with people in our offices, those glass palaces in which we used to spend so much time? Do we not need the trivial, casual interactions of the water cooler, the office kitchen, the elevator? Enter data science company Profusion with what might seem like an amusing AI tidbit, but actually might point to a profound insight into why and how contact matters. The folks at Profusion built a coffee roulette system that automatically pairs and arranges meetings between staff members, unable to meet each other in the happenstance of our previous, ‘normal’ office life. They trialed it during lockdown and found it improved staff morale by 72% and engagement by 96% while working from home.

Their system, called ‘Coffee Roulette’ (slightly redolent of other random chat system we shan’t name, but let’s not be picky), is powered by a

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