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Robert Hirsch
Works at Shandor Engineering
Attended Mostly RPI
Lived in New York
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Robert Hirsch

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Great pile of accomplishments here
 
SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 21/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/yeast-opiate-production-crispr-gmo.html

Yeast opiate production, CRISPR GMO killswitch, Optical computation, Continuous roll graphene, Cell periodic table, Immune evading implants, Wearable muscle sensor, Molecular pumps, Learning robots, Laser scanner. 

1. Engineered Yeast for Opiate Production
After a number of years of effort by multiple groups the final enzymatic synthetic step in the pathway for opiate production (morphine, etc) has been completed and it is now possible to create strains of yeast that produce opiate drugs as part of normal metabolism http://www.nature.com/news/drugs-regulate-home-brew-opiates-1.17563. With such a strain and basic fermentation skills morphine-producing yeast could be grown in a home-brew beer kit, but the original development was intended for cheaper, simpler, production of opiates. I disagree strongly with the alarmist commentary and propaganda around this, including this quote from the linked article “All told, decentralized and localized production would almost certainly reduce the cost and increase the availability of illegal opiates — substantially worsening a worldwide problem.” which I consider myopic; I believe this would substantially improve a worldwide problem. 

2. CRISPR-Based GMO Kill-Switch
CRISPR has now been employed in a novel way to trigger the removal and destruction of modified genes from genetically modified organisms and leaving the original genes intact http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/19/8625623/gmo-crispr-kill-switch-self-destructing-dna. It seems the system can kill the cells directly, inactivate or delete just the modified or introduced genes, or do both. Triggers for activating the system could include light levels, the presence or absence of a particular molecule - useful for controlling crops for example - and others. This seems to be similar in application to Terminator gene technology that was developed to limit the spread of GMO crops by preventing the growth of new seed, but in this case you would still get seed that could only be grow in desired areas. 

3. Optical Computing Developments
We had a trio of advances in optical computing this week. First, the smallest-ever silicon photonic beam-splitter has been demonstrated, designed by novel algorithms, measuring just 2.4 microns on a side, and promising faster on-chip communication and processing http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/silicon-photonics/. IBM announces new CMOS integrated silicon nanophotonics technology and new chips designed to work alongside electrical chips while transferring data at 100 Gbps (full HD movie in 2 seconds), first application in high end servers and data centers http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/46839.wss. Layers of 2D graphene and boron nitride allow controlled propagation of confined light pulses (within the layered sheets) when a voltage is applied to the graphene http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/tuning-light-waves-with-2-d-materials-0520

4. Continuous Roll Production of Graphene
A new continuous roll-to-roll production method for manufacturing large sheets of graphene and possibly other 2D materials https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/manufacture-continuous-rolls-graphene-0521. At a rate of 2.5cm per minute the sheets are uniform and high-quality single-layer graphene; faster rates, up to 20x, still produce coated sheets but these are lower-quality with defects. While the process doesn’t yet produce sheets equal to the best batch-processing methods, different applications will have different quality requirements. Further improvements should result in improved quality and production speed. In related news a new 60% - 70% graphene ink formulation allows 3D printing of robust structures that retain many of graphene’s useful properties and used these as custom tissue scaffolds seeded with stem cells http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2015/05/printing-3D-graphene-structures-for-tissue-engineering.html

5. Towards a Periodic Table of Cells
New microfluidics technology can efficiently isolate single cells from a sample for analysis and when combined with new technology for single cell genomic analysis via cataloguing the mRNA expression profile of single cells is leading to an explosion in data and new knowledeg about different cell types in different tissues http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537416/single-cells-analyzed-at-unprecedented-scale/. This has resulted in identifying cells never seen before and recent studies such as a survey of 466 individual brain cells as a step towards a full cellular brain atlas, and mapping thousands of cells from a mouse brain to identify 47 different types. This is inching towards a periodic table of cells and a complete cellular map for the human body and their functions. In related news microfluidic techniques can now squeeze (immune) cells and force the introduction of desired antigens into them in order to create better and more effective vaccines out of the patient’s own cells http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cell-squeezing-device-vaccines-0522

6. Better Implants that Evade the Immune System
New studies indicate that the geometry of implanted devices significantly affects how the body and immune system will tolerate their presence http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/designing-better-medical-implants-0518. While the material is important their results suggest that larger, spherical devices are better able to maintain their function and avoid the buildup of scar tissue. 0.5mm spheres loaded with pancreatic islet cells to treat diabetic mice failed within a month, whereas 1.5mm spheres continued to function past six months. Similar performance improvement were observed in many materials and also in primates. This is a very interesting platform for introducing novel living biosensors and living drug factories into people. 

7. Wearable Muscle Sensors with MyoWare
A new muscle sensor designed to be temporarily stuck on to your skin above the muscle group that you want to use can be used to trigger commands in various electronic devices and is currently available via kickstarter http://www.coolwearable.com/myoware-muscle/. This is related to the Myo gesture control armband that I’ve been keen to try out and I’d be tempted to back the kickstarter myself if the device came with bluetooth and could interface with my phone. I’m looking forward to further miniaturisation that allows these sensors and their wireless transmitters to be implanted and to take higher resolution readings. 

8. Designing a New Molecular Pump
The first entirely artificial molecular pump has been designed in which molecules pump other molecules http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/05/nature-inspires-first-artificial-molecular-pump-.html. The pump works via simple chemical reactions, driving molecules step by step up higher energy states and away from a natural equilibrium. The basic architecture involves a ring-shaped molecule that moves along a molecular thread or chain, storing energy as it does so by moving multiple rings towards one end. An interesting research novelty for now the ultimate goal is to have these little molecular machines power nanoscale devices, muscles, and perhaps perform computational operations. 

9. Learning Robots & Machines with Complex Goals
New deep learning algorithms enable some robots to learn new tasks via trial and error without pre-programmed details about the environment http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/05/21/deep-learning-robot-masters-skills-via-trial-and-error/. A variety of tasks were successfully tested including putting a hanger on a rack, assembling a toy, screwing a cap on a bottle, and others, with learning times averaging 10 minutes to 3 hours depending on the level of complexity. In related news a reinforcement learning approach has demonstrated game-playing software that is capable of creating a hierarchy of goals while working towards a delayed reward http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/05/keen-software-house-makes-ai-that-can.html

10. Non-Mechanical Laser Scanner
DARPA has demonstrated its SWEEPER technology for enabling drastically improved LIDAR applications http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2015/05/21.aspx. Unlike conventional LIDAR devices SWEEPER does not require mechanical components and instead exploits silicon-based on-chip optical phased array technology that can sweep a laser beam back and forth 100,000 times per second. This is expected to enable LIDAR systems that are drastically miniaturised and extremely low-cost. Given LIDAR systems in autonomous vehicles are one of the most expensive components in an autonomous vehicle the benefits for a diverse array of applications are immense. A future version of Project Tango could even have one of these devices. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/05/yeast-opiate-production-crispr-gmo.html 
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Thanks for the generous helping of hope! :-)
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Two unarmed suspects and the police felt the need to fire off 137 bullets....and they are acquitted. Seriously? 🐂💩
An Ohio patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted Saturday.
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Everything in the garden looks good! Except these lettuce. I fed it, watered it, any ideas what I am looking at as a problem?
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use some organic humus. 
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Hey! We are trying to create a kids makerspace here in Troy, Ny. We need your help. Can your throw a couple of bucks their way? This will be a great outlet for kids to grow and learn!
Think.Tinker.Design.MAKE. Creating a space for kids to explore and design their imaginations. | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!
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Well she seems to omit 2 major things.  Being able to acquire other more talented individuals in the fields you've "mastered.  Also being really awesome at talking to investors.
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Heh. I thought the National Geographic "War on Science" cover with the climate deniers, moon-landing fakers, anti-vaxxers, creationists, and GMO haters was remarkable. This is even more direct. 

I just wish they'd fact-checked it. There were never sterile seeds. At least they fixed the 2 other errors already.

#GMO  
The gene-editing CRISPR technology will create crops that can feed us all.
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Unbelievable 
When I was asked to write my bio for this story, I wrote, “Sharanda Jones is a loving, caring mother with a open heart and mind.” When I was asked to write the story itself, I wrote, “I am a first time non-violent offender serving a life sentence for one count of conspiracy.” ...
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Beyond stupid. Generations from now they will look back at the drug war like we look back on witch burning, and call us barbarians.
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Heard at a party today:

"I like either Warren or Rand"

People are more desperate for something different than actually caring about the difference.
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I like either Hitler or Ghandi.
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Yeah, some people are really suffering
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People still play that time sink?
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Without government, how would conflict be resolved?
 
I Feel An Urgency

Don't know about you, but the tension between "citizens" and "law officers" (public servants) has got to stop. The LCJP program has made significant strides in accomplishing this throughout the community, and it all started with proper leadership in office.

Would your community support this kind of justice system?

#RestoreJustice   #LongmontCO   #Colorado   #Justice  
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Thank you for clearing that up +Robert Hirsch :D That makes total sense to me!
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Worth a read
 
Heh. I thought the National Geographic "War on Science" cover with the climate deniers, moon-landing fakers, anti-vaxxers, creationists, and GMO haters was remarkable. This is even more direct. 

I just wish they'd fact-checked it. There were never sterile seeds. At least they fixed the 2 other errors already.

#GMO  
The gene-editing CRISPR technology will create crops that can feed us all.
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:)
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Ugly != Not awesome.
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Have him in circles
961 people
bimo taga's profile photo
Manuel Moe Garcia's profile photo
Iris Carden's profile photo
David Miller's profile photo
‫آبا اچ پی‬‎'s profile photo
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Communities
25 communities
Education
  • Mostly RPI
  • columbia prep
    1982 - 1986
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    1986 - 1992
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Story
Tagline
All your science belongs to me
Introduction
Look at that ugly mug in the picture. Now for some of you, you may have to imagine some hair on  that head. For others of you, you may have to imagine the tongue on the inside of the mouth. And for some others still, you may be more used to t-shirt, shorts and sandals instead of a tux.
Bragging rights
I recently played Dr. Katastroff in Queen Mabs Enchanted City in Troy New York. I spent a bazzilion years at RPI getting a PhD. I spent two years making creatures for movies in the 90's, woking on movies such as Hook, Radio Flyer, and Operation Dumbo Drop.
Work
Occupation
Endoplasm evangelist
Employment
  • Shandor Engineering
    Ectoplasm Manipulator, 2014 - present
  • H2Pump
    Director of Systems Engineering, 2008 - 2014
  • H2Pump
  • MTI microfuel cells
    2001 - 2004
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
New York - Los Angeles - Troy NY - East Hartford CT