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Category Archives: Idaho Stem Cells

Therapeutic Solutions International Reports Superior Neurogenesis Induction in Animal Model of Viral Induced Cognitive Dysfunction Compared to other…

Posted: August 18, 2021 at 2:27 am

ELK CITY, Idaho, Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc., (OTC Markets: TSOI), reported today new data and a patent filing describing the superior ability of JadiCell adult stem cells to other stem cell types in terms of stimulating production of new brain cells in an animal model of inflammation. The process of producing new brain cells is termed "neurogenesis" and is an active area of research for the Company.

"We saw that increasing doses of double stranded RNA, which mimics viral induced inflammation, was associated with decreased neurogenesis, which is to be expected. Shockingly, out of the stem cells tested, only the JadiCells were capable of stimulating neurogenesis under conditions of inflammation" stated Dr. James Veltmeyer, Chief Medical Officer of the Company. "These data suggest the possibility that JadiCells may be useful not only for patients with acute COVID-19, which we will test in our upcoming clinical trial, but may also have the potential to fight the long-term consequence of this infection."

"We are eager to explore collaborations with other neurological companies. One interesting thing about the filed patent was the embodiment of combining JadiCells with various existing drugs such as oxytocin, human chorionic growth hormone, and SSRIs" said Famela Ramos, Vice President of Business Development for the Company.

In previous studies the Company has demonstrated the superior activity of JadiCell to other types of stem cells including bone marrow, adipose, cord blood, and placenta. Furthermore, the JadiCell was shown to be 100% effective in saving the lives of COVID-19 patients under the age of 85 in a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial with patients in the ICU on a ventilator. In patients over the age of 85 the survival rate was 91%1.

"Given we are getting closer to starting our Phase I/II CTE2 and our Phase III COVID trial, the validation that our cells are more potent than other adult stem cells for the brain is very promising" said Timothy Dixon, President and CEO of the Company and co-inventor. "We are enthusiastic about the success of the JadiCells because of the following characteristics: a) long history of safety data; b) what appears to be superior efficacy data as compared to other stem cells in preclinical models; c) low cost of production; and d) promising human data."

About Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc.Therapeutic Solutions International is focused on immune modulation for the treatment of several specific diseases. The Company's corporate website is http://www.therapeuticsolutionsint.com, and our public forum is https://board.therapeuticsolutionsint.com/

1Therapeutic Solutions International Receives FDA Clearance to Initiate Phase III Pivotal Registration Trial for JadiCell Universal Donor COVID-19 Therapy2 Therapeutic Solutions International Completes FDA Requested Studies to Initiate JadiCell Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Clinical Trial

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Bodybuilder, 47, looks half his age & claims the trick to his youthful appearance & strength is thinking h… – The US Sun

Posted: July 21, 2021 at 2:29 am

A 47-year-old bodybuilder has claimed that "thinking himself young" is the key to his success.

Kris Gethin claims he has the biology of someone half his age and he believes it's due to his healthy lifestyle.

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Gethin, who grew up on a Welsh farm, was never into fitness growing up.

However, after becoming more active in his teens, he took things to another level when he studied international health and fitness in the mid-90s.

This got him interested in building muscle and performance which prompted him to leave his hometown of Wales for America in 1999.

Since then, he has worked as a personal trainer all over the world, including India and Australia, before returning to America where he currently lives in Boise, Idaho.

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While his initial focus was on building muscle and improving performance, Gethins current drive is on delaying and even reversing his biological clock.

And after seeing the effect that Alzheimer's had on his grandfather John Morgan before he died at the age of 92 in 2019, he was determined to remain healthy and independent for as long as possible.

He told The Sun: My grandfather passed away a couple of years ago.

For the last few months he had quite bad Alzheimer's and I saw the effect that it had on my mother, his daughters, and myself.

I want to live to be over 100 years old, but I dont want to have Alzheimer's, back problems, eye problems anything of the sort.

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Im trying to live in the present and I dont want to have regrets. Ive met a lot of older people who have a lot of regrets and I dont want to have any.

I want to be hiking up Snowden in my 90s."

Gethin further revealed that he wants to stay healthy for his family and those who depend on him:

Im very close to my family and Im closer to them now even though I live so far away. It's all about quality rather than quantity. I want that to continue," he told The Sun.

I dont want to be in a retirement village, I dont want to be on a zimmer frame, I want to be independent.

Im going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.

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I love weight training, running, swimming, and mountain biking. I dont want to watch from the sidelines. I want to be part of it."

And as for his secret to looking so young? Gethin told The Sun: I believe that having a young mindset is key. I set my intentions every morning and think of myself as a 25-year-old which is my biological age.

Gethin said he also keeps young by adopting a shotgun approach," which means that he only eats grass-fed, organic, wild-caught meat.

He is also in bed by 7: 30 pm every night and has various youth-boosting drugs injected into his body every six weeks.

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He also drinks hydrogen-rich water every day because it is high in antioxidants, he claimed.

He goes into an infrared sauna every day followed by a three-minute ice bath which he claimed improves his mental stability.

In addition to this, he recently had 600 million stem cells injected at a Colombian clinic.

His extreme regime may not be for everyone, but Gethin said that it is never too late for people to turn things around.

He told The Sun: Its never too late to turn it around. My father is in his 70s and he goes mountain biking every weekend.

When people ask me what the key to staying young is, I say maybe its their perception that tells them they are too old or maybe thats the life they live.

I think its all intention I believe that you can think yourself young. I dont feel 47 and I think you can set that intention.

Kris assessment of life is supported by 888casino.com who says that a positive mentality is the key to getting the most out of life.

A spokesman for888casion.comsaid: "Kris exemplifies the mindset and actions that are key to success and happiness.

"Pushing yourself in your chosen field and making the most of every opportunity are very admirable qualities. We share this mindset at888casino.comand encourage everyone to enjoy themselves while staying within their limits."

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Bodybuilder, 47, looks half his age & claims the trick to his youthful appearance & strength is thinking h... - The US Sun

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Therapeutic Solutions International Reports Regression of Established Tumors by Combining its Cancer Blood Vessel Targeting Immunotherapy with Low…

Posted: April 29, 2021 at 1:49 am

ELK CITY, Idaho, April 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc., (OTC Markets: TSOI), announced today new data demonstrating an unexpected synergy between its inducible pluripotent stem cell (StemVacs-V iPSC) derived immunotherapy product with low dose cyclophosphamide in evoking potent immune mediated cancer regression.

In a series of experiments, the Company demonstrated that its previously announced stem cell derived tumor endothelial-like cell vaccine1 enabled non-toxic doses of cyclophosphamide, an established chemotherapeutic agent, to induce significant reduction of established lung cancers, brain cancers, and skin cancers in animal models. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that reduction of tumors was associated with increased infiltration of immune cells.

"Previous companies, such as Batu Biologics, have demonstrated the clinical safety of using the immune system to selectively kill the blood vessels that feed cancer2, which was validated by FDA clearance3 to initiate clinical trials," said Dr. James Veltmeyer, Chief Medical Officer of the Company. "As a physician who sees firsthand the suffering of cancer patients caused by current chemotherapy protocols, the thought of leveraging the patient's own immune system to allow for increased efficacy with reduced toxicity is extremely exciting."

"From a business perspective, one of the significant hurdles preventing advancement in cancer therapeutics is lack of interdisciplinary collaboration," said Famela Ramos, Vice President of Business Development. "The demonstration that our immunotherapy possesses ability to potentiate anticancer activities of existing therapeutics, thus allowing for utilization of lower doses while retaining efficacy, is a game changer in my opinion."

"The idea that killing tumor blood vessels weakens cancer, and thus allows for lower doses of chemotherapy to be effective is very attractive. This concept has been validated in clinical trials which involved combinations of chemotherapy with the antiangiogenic activities of the monoclonal antibody drug Avastin," said Timothy Dixon, President and CEO of the Company. "Based on side-to-side comparisons, our stem cell based immunotherapy appears substantially more efficacious in inducing immune mediated "choking" of the tumor blood supply and demands deeper investigation."

About Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc.Therapeutic Solutions International is focused on immune modulation for the treatment of several specific diseases. The Company's corporate website is http://www.therapeuticsolutionsint.com, and our public forum is https://board.therapeuticsolutionsint.com/

1Therapeutic Solutions International Demonstrates Potent and Selective Destruction of Tumor Blood Vessels by Leveraging Pre-Existing Natural Anti-Xenogeneic Antibodies (prnewswire.com)2Safety of targeting tumor endothelial cell antigens | Journal of Translational Medicine | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)3Batu Biologics Receives FDA Clearance for First Multi-Pronged Immunotherapy Targeting the Blood Vessels That Feed Cancer | BioSpace

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Therapeutic Solutions International Uses StemVacs Platform to Generate Personalized Adoptive T Cell Therapy Targeting Cancer Stem Cells – PRNewswire

Posted: February 23, 2021 at 3:44 am

ELK CITY, Idaho, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc., (OTC Markets: TSOI), reported today novel data and filing of a patent application demonstrating that StemVacs cells carrying proprietary sequences from the cancer-specific antigen Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites (BORIS), were able to elicit the generation of T cells capable of selectively killing cancer stem cells.

In contrast to other markers associated with cancer, BORIS is not simply a "flag" that is recognized by the immune system, but it is essential for cancer to be cancer. Dr. Thomas Ichim, Board Member of the Company, published that gene silencing of BORIS resulted in the death of cancer cells.1 National Institutes of Health Scientist Dr. Dmitri Loukinov, as well as other collaborators, published with Dr. Ichim that DNA immunization with BORIS resulted in suppression of aggressive breast cancer,2 as well as induction of T cells capable of killing glioma, leukemia, and mastocytoma.3

"Despite living in what is called the Golden Age of Immunotherapy, the majority of cancers still do not undergo substantial responses to current treatments," said Dr. James Veltmeyer, Chief Medical Officer of the Company and co-inventor of the patent application. "What is impressive about the StemVacs approach is that it can generate personalized T cells that selectively seek and destroy cancer stem cells. It is the cancer stem cells that are the 'roots' of the cancer. They are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and to my knowledge the only possible way of eliminating cancer stem cells is through immunotherapy."

"Having worked in the area of cellular therapy and vaccine development, the possibility of using an allogeneic dendritic cell-based approach to ex vivo generate cancer stem cell killing T effector cells is tantalizing," said Feng Lin, MD, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the Company. "I look forward to continuation of these studies and eventual clinical utilization."

Researchers believe current cancer treatments sometimes fail because they don't destroy the cancer stem cells. Think of cancer as a weed: the stem cells are the root while the remaining majority of the cells are the part of the weed above ground. If you remove only the leaves but not the root, the weed will grow back. The same is true for cancer: if you do not kill the cancer stem cells, the cancer is likely to return.4

"Cellular therapy is the future of medicine," said Famela Ramos, Vice President of Business Development of the Company and co-inventor of the patent. "This demonstration that StemVacs can generate "patient specific" killer cells that can be reinfused in patients offers a new area of product development for us, as well as an ability to implement a two-punch attack on the tumor."

"At Therapeutic Solutions International we are focused on researching, patenting, and implementing the most innovative and potentially effective immunotherapies we can develop," said Timothy Dixon, President and CEO of the Company and co-inventor of the patent. "The ability to generate tailor-made killer T cells that appear to selectively target cancer stem cells provides yet another complementary cellular immunotherapy in our growing armamentarium against this terrible disease."

About Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc.Therapeutic Solutions International is focused on immune modulation for the treatment of several specific diseases. The Company's corporate website is http://www.therapeuticsolutionsint.com, and our public forum is https://board.therapeuticsolutionsint.com/

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1 Selective apoptosis of breast cancer cells by siRNA targeting of BORIS - PubMed (nih.gov)2 DNA, but not protein vaccine based on mutated BORIS antigen significantly inhibits tumor growth and prolongs the survival of mice (nih.gov)3 Elicitation of T Cell Responses to Histologically Unrelated Tumors by Immunization with the Novel Cancer-Testis Antigen, Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites | The Journal of Immunology (jimmunol.org)4 Cancer Stem Cell Research | University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

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What Nutritionists Need You to Know About Smoke Point and Cooking Oils – msnNOW

Posted: October 8, 2020 at 9:54 am

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At some time in the kitchen, you've likely seen cooking oil smoke and burn. Watching that smoke billow is an unpleasant sight and smell, forcing you to turn on the exhaust fan and rush to open the windows. But how does it affect the oil's taste and quality? Is smoking oil really such a bad thing? (Beware of these cooking mistakes that can make food toxic.)

We spoke with top chefs and registered dietitian nutritionists about what the smoke point of oils means, how overheating oil can alter nutrients, and the potentially harmful impacts of burning and smoking oil.

The smoke point of an oil refers to the temperature at which it begins to smokeand also degrade in both quality and taste. Typically, the odor of an oil becomes at least somewhat foul once it begins smoking.

"Food can taste burnt if the oil it has been cooked in has started to smoke," says Lisa Andrews, RD, a registered dietitian in Cincinnati.

An oil's smoke point affects what you're able to accomplish with it. For instance, peanut oil has a smoke point of 450 F, which makes it suitable for deep-frying, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Extra-virgin olive oil, on the other hand, has a smoke point of 405 F; that lower number makes this oil better suited for roasting and baking, says the Institute of Food Technologists.

Smoke points most often become an issue with higher-temperature cooking, such as sauting, pan searing, stir frying, and pan frying, says Michele Redmond, a chef and dietitian in Scottsdale, Arizona. "It's important to know the smoke point of an oil because it alters the taste of foodand not in a good way," she adds. "Knowing some basic smoke point ranges can make you a more efficient, flavor-sensitive cook." (Get the scoop on the healthiest cooking oils.)

Curious about what happens to an oil once it begins to smoke? A lot. "Oil smokes when direct heat applied to it reacts with oxygen enough to burn and create smoke," says Redmond.

Know, however, that a smoke point of an oil isn't an exact science. Consider, instead, a smoke point as a range of temperatures. "A single type of oil can have multiple smoke points, depending on the seed variety, processing, fatty acid profile, exposure to air and light, and the amount of trace carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, and aromatic compounds," says Redmond.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell from an oils fat content whether it has a higher smoke point. A high smoke point oil can be loaded with good-for-you mono- and polyunsaturated fats, or it can depend on saturated fats. Palm oil, with nearly 7 grams saturated fat, 5 grams monounsaturated fat, and 1 gram polyunsaturated fat per tablespoon, has a high smoke point of 450 F, per the USDA database. The same amount of refined avocado oil, on the other hand, which has a smoke point of up to 500 F, contains just under 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams monounsaturated fat, and 2 grams polyunsaturated fat. The lower levels of saturated fat and high amounts of monounsaturated fat makes avocado a much more nutritious pick if you need something to fry with.

Then there are also high-oleic oils to consider (oleic refers to omega-9 fatty acids, a type of monounsaturated fat). One popular example is sunflower oil. "Cooking oils high in oleic acids are less sensitive to heat because they are made using plants bred to have more monounsaturated fats and fewer omega-6 polyunsaturated fats," says Redmond. "For example, traditional sunflower oil is about 20 percent oleic acid, versus 80 percent in high-oleic acid sunflower oil. This makes it more stable for cooking at high heats and gives it a longer shelf life."

Now, what can happen when oil gets too hot? Let's investigate.

Foods readily absorb oil, so anything sitting in smoking oil can absorb acrid and burnt flavors. "The No. 1 reason we choose certain foods is because of taste," says Lexi Endicott, RD, a registered dietitian in Boise, Idaho. "And foods cooked in burnt oil may taste bitter, burnt, or rancid."

Gallery: The 10 Healthiest Cooking Oils, According to Food Experts (The Healthy)

"Olive and sesame oils have low smoke points," adds Andrews. "When used in high heat, they will break down and impart an off taste to your food. Avocado and sunflower oil, on the other hand, can tolerate higher temperatures and would be better suited for deep frying or roasting vegetables on high heat."

"If you leave an oil smoking in your pan for too long, you risk it hitting its flash point of catching on fire," says Redmond. Plus, the clean-up is not fun. As oil thickens, which happens when it catches on fire, says Redmond, it gets sticky and harder to scrub away.

Just as overly grilled BBQ food poses a carcinogenic risk, the same goes for overly heated oil.

"As an oil passes its smoke point, the part of the oil's triglyceride structure is broken apart from the fatty acidsand free fatty acids, aldehydes, and polar compounds are released," says Endicott. "As the glycerol continues to heat, it is further broken down to acrolein, an irritating compound to the eyes and throat. Increased acrolein exposure may increase cancer risk, as it disrupts normal RNA [ribonucleic acid] and DNA [deoxyribonucleic acid] function." That increases the likelihood of cell mutations that can lead to tumor growth.

Another reason why cooking food in smoking oil is a no go? "The higher the temperature that an oil is cooked at, the increased likelihood of free radical production," says Endicott. "Free radicals are known to alter cellular function, which may lead to increased cancer risk."

Bottom line: It's better to not overheat cooking oils. "Healthy fat is incredibly healthy for the health of our cells and cell membranes," says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in New York City. "We want the fat we're consuming to be high quality and not burnt!"

That doesn't mean your cancer risk increases the second your pan starts smoking. "A smoking oil doesn't mean it immediately oxidizes or becomes less stable," notes Redmond. "The amount of time an oil smokesand other variables, including the type of fatty acidscan slow these processes. For example, oils high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants can maintain stability well."

Those same factors that may impact your cancer risk may also affect your risk of heart disease. "Consumption of polar compounds, aldehydes, and oxidized fats may also increase heart disease risk," says Endicott. "Oxidized fats cause damage to the endothelial lining of blood vessel, which over time can decrease vascular function and therefore damage proper blood flow." (Find out the food rules of an anti-inflammatory diet.)

Here's a rough guide to smoke points from the cooking tools company, Anova:

To avoid problems when an oil reaches its smoke point, here's what you can do to decrease your risk.

"Choose oils that best fit the needs of your cooking application," advises Endicott. You already know that oils with higher smoke pointsavocado and peanut oilare better suited for roasting and sauteing. Unrefined coconut oil is best used for baking and stovetop cooking.

And some oils simply aren't meant to be heated at all. "Flavor-infused oils or expensive artisan oils are better reserved for finishing," says Endicott. These include unrefined walnut, pecan, or pumpkin oils. You can use them to drizzle flavor on top of just-out-of-the-oven butternut squash, or they can also be swirled onto freshly made dip.

You might need to experiment, too. "Sometimes, you won't know the smoke point of an oil until you try cooking with it," says Endicott. "If you notice an off smell or flavor, or feel a burning sensation in your eyes, your oil has likely exceeded its smoke point." An oil will often turn clear just before it begins to smoke.

Match your cooking oil to your technique to limit smoke at high heats. Oils with smoke points at or above 350 F pair well with the high temperatures needed for direct-heat techniques like sauting, pan searing, stir frying, and pan frying.

Like life, almost nothing in the kitchen is clear cut. "In some cases, you may desire an oil that begins to smoke just before cooking," says Redmond. "Cook's Illustrated tested how a fast pan sear of meat develops better flavors and texturesand cooks faster when added to a just-smoking pan. It's a bit contrarian, but this is how chefs cook."

It may seem like your supermarket shelves are filled with more cooking oil options than you've ever seen before. Vegetable, canola, and extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) are like culinary dinosaurs next to the seemingly modern avocado or flaxseed oil. With so many choices, and so many trends in the health food community, it's hard to know which is the healthiest cooking oil to put in your cart.

"There are 'health halos' associated with some cooking oils and opposite perceptions about others, not all of which are warranted," says Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications of the International Food Information Council (IFIC). A health halo is the impression that a specific food is really good for you despite a lack of factual information to back up the idea.

"Where these beliefs stem from is anyone's guess, but I wouldn't rule out connotations of an oil's food source, which may, in part, be influenced by the more exotic regions of the world that some of these foods are native to," Sollid adds.

With this in mind, which healthiest cooking oil should you reach for when prepping a meal? Our food experts weigh in with multiple options for every palette. (Beware of the cooking mistakes that could make your food toxic.)

When you'd like your oil to add a little flavor to your food, olive oil is one of the most recommended options. But it's important to keep in mind that its smoke point is lower than that of canola oil, so consider how you'll be using it first and at what temperature.

"Olive oil varieties have a lower smoke point but provide bigger flavor, so they are best suited for direct consumption in things like oil and vinegar salad dressings and in lower temperature cooking techniques like sauting, pan frying, and baking," says Sollid.

He also notes that olive oil is known for its high MUFA content, but also provides a small amount of ALA, the plant form of an especially beneficial type of polyunsaturated (PUFA) omega-3 fat. (Learn more about the different types of healthy fats.)

One thing to remember, just because an oil is deemed "healthy" doesn't make it a health food. "Cooking oils are calorie denseone tablespoon contains about 120 calories and one cup contains about 1,900 calories," says Sollid. "Therefore, advice focuses on using them, even the healthiest varieties, in moderate quantities. A little goes a long way."

The post What Nutritionists Need You to Know About Smoke Point and Cooking Oils appeared first on The Healthy.

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CSL Behring and Seattle Children’s Research Institute to Advance Gene Therapy Treatments for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases | DNA RNA and Cells |…

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 9:17 am

DetailsCategory: DNA RNA and CellsPublished on Wednesday, 03 June 2020 09:39Hits: 523

Initially, the alliance will develop treatment options for patients with two rare, life-threatening primary immunodeficiency diseases -- Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS) and X-linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA)

SEATTLE, WA and KING of PRUSSIA, PA, USA I June 2, 2020 I Seattle Children's Research Institute, one of the top pediatric research institutions in the world, and global biotechnology leader CSL Behring announced a strategic alliance to develop stem cell gene therapies for primary immunodeficiency diseases.

Initially, the alliance will focus on the development of treatment options for patients with two rare, life-threatening primary immunodeficiency diseases -- Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome and X-linked Agammaglobulinemia. These are two of more than 400 identified primary immunodeficiency diseases in which a part of the body's immune system is missing or functions improperly.

"CSL Behring will collaborate with Seattle Children's experts to apply our novel gene therapy technology to their research pipeline, with an aim to address unmet needs for people living with certain rare primary immunodeficiency diseases," said Bill Mezzanotte, MD, Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development for CSL Behring. "Expanding our gene therapy portfolio into an area of immunology well known to CSL exemplifies how we are strategically growing our capabilities in this strategic scientific platform and are collaborating with world class institutions to access innovation with the potential to vastly improve patients' lives."

"Stem cell gene therapies that correct the genetic abnormality driving a child's disease will transform the therapeutic options for children with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia and other immunodeficiency diseases,"said David J. Rawlings, MD, director of the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies and division chief of immunology at Seattle Children's, and a professor of pediatrics and immunology at the University of Washington School of Medicine."The collaboration with CSL Behring supports our longstanding research programs for pediatric immunodeficiency diseases and will accelerate this research toward clinical trials, helping get these innovations to the children who need them."

CSL Behring researchers, working with researchers from Seattle Children's Research Institute, will investigate applying the proprietary platform technologies, Select+ and Cytegrity, to several pre-clinical gene therapy programs. These technologies, which have broad applications in ex vivo stem cell gene therapy, are designed to address some of the major challenges associated with the commercialization of stem cell therapy, including the ability to manufacture consistent, high-quality products, and to improve engraftment, efficacy and tolerability.

Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS) has an estimated incidence between one and 10 cases per million males worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health. WAS patients' immune systems function abnormally, making them susceptible to infections. They also experience eczema, autoimmunity and difficulty forming blood clots, leaving them vulnerable to life threatening bleeding complications. Today the only knowncurefor WAS is a stem cell transplant, if a suitable donor can be found.

X-linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is another rare primary immunodeficiency in which patients have low levels of immunoglobulins (also known as antibodies), which are key proteins made by the immune system to help fight infections. Like WAS, XLA affects males almost exclusively, although females can be genetic carriers of the condition. While no cure exists for XLA, the goal of treatment is to boost the immune system by replacing missing antibodies and preventing or aggressively treating infections that occur, according to the Immune Deficiency Foundation.

About Seattle Children's

Seattle Children's mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children's Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children's hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children's serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho the largest region of any children's hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children's Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children's Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children's Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research. Join Seattle Children's bold initiative It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children's to transform children's health for generations to come.

For more information, visit seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or on our On the Pulse blog.

About CSL Behring

CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients' needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company's products are also used in cardiac surgery, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn. CSL Behring operates one of the world's largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL;USOTC:CSLLY), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 26,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.cslbehring.com and for inspiring stories about the promise of biotechnology, visit Vita http://www.cslbehring.com/Vita.

SOURCE: CSL Behring

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Dr. Dori Borjesson named dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine – WSU News

Posted: January 25, 2020 at 6:49 am

Dr. Dori Borjesson

PULLMAN, Wash. Dr. Dori Borjesson, chair of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected as the new dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Borjesson was chosen following a nationwide search to replace Dr. Bryan Slinker, who had announced plans to retire before being tapped to serve as interim provost. She will assume her new responsibilities leading WSUs cutting-edge veterinary, biosciences and global health departments on July 20.

The strength of Washington State Universitys research and its potential to impact communities locally and across the globe impressed me during the interview process, as did its dynamic clinical programs and the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine, Borjesson said.

Im looking forward to building on Dr. Slinkers tremendous tenure of leadership, she continued. The enthusiasm for WSU among the community is impressive, and I look forward to building on that momentum.

In addition to her role as a department chair and full professor at UC Davis, Borjesson works as a clinical pathologist and is actively engaged in clinical service and laboratory test development. She served as the inaugural director of the Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures from 2015 to 2019 and continues to direct the Clinical Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.

Dr. Borjesson brings an important combination of strengths and experience to make her the right leader for the college, Slinker said. Shes a long-serving, highly regarded, and very effective academic leader, and an excellent clinician/scientist, at an aspirational peer institution. This background, combined with her intellectual rigor, openness, and compassion make her a great fit to lead the college in its next phase of growth and development as one of the nations top veterinary colleges.

Borjesson said shes thrilled to meet with WSU students, staff and faculty, as well as meeting with college and university stakeholders in the near future.

Being from the Pacific Northwest, this feels like a homecoming, said Borjesson, who was raised in Portland, Ore. Increasing engagement and outreach across the state is a top priority for me upon taking up this new role. In addition to engagement and strategic planning, Im also eager to face some of the critical issues facing members of the veterinary profession, including student debt and enhancing the well-being of our faculty, students and staff.

Among her more notable research contributions is using large animal models of disease to study cell therapy for inflammatory diseases.

Borjesson holds two patents in the area of mesenchymal stem cells and immunomodulation and has contributed to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and in 2014 received the Zoetis Research Excellence Award. Alongside her own work, she has mentored more than three dozen veterinary residents and graduate students.

She and her colleague Dr. Aijun Wangs work with stem cells was highlighted in an extensive piece in the Los Angeles Times in 2018 about UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Borjesson received her undergraduate education from the Colorado College in 1988, her Master in Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from UC Davis in 1995. She completed a residency at UC Davis in clinical pathology in 1999, followed by her PhD in comparative pathology at the Center for Comparative Medicine at UC Davis in 2002.

After completing her PhD, Borjesson accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Minnesota, where she worked for four years before returning to UC Davis as an associate professor in 2006. She became a full professor in 2012. She has led the Integrative Pathobiology Graduate Group at UC Davis and is actively engaged in veterinary and graduate student curriculum development, teaching and mentoring.

Established in 1899, the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine is proud of its distinguished past as one of the oldest veterinary colleges in the United States. It is equally proud of its contemporary leadership nationally in offering programs for student wellness, its Teaching Academy, which leads its commitment to advancing the state of the art in both health professions and STEM education, and its research and graduate education programs. The breadth of research to discover foundational knowledge and to conduct research targeted to improve animal and human health both domestically and around the world places it in the top 10% of veterinary colleges in receipt of competitive federal research funding.

Phil Weiler, vicepresident for marketing and communications, 5093351221, phil.weiler@wsu.edu

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In Utah, ‘saving lives’ with breast milk – FRANCE 24

Posted: at 6:49 am

Issued on: 25/01/2020 - 01:58Modified: 25/01/2020 - 01:57

Salt Lake City (United States) (AFP)

In a world where sharing is so popular it has its own economy, women in Utah have a new item to contribute: breast milk.

The Mountain West Mothers' Milk Bank is the first of its kind in Utah, the US state with the highest birth rate and therefore great need, as well as a wealth of potential milk donors.

Since the bank began operating late last year in Salt Lake City, more than 550 local women have volunteered.

Annette Thompson began donating in March after giving birth to her third child, spending 10-15 minutes every three hours pumping.

"This is my little piece of helping someone else. My body can do it, so I will do it," she said.

Thompson had realized she was a prolific milk producer when she had her first two children -- she used to pump excess milk and save it in her freezer, before ultimately throwing it out as she ran out of space to store food.

A few years later, when her niece was in the hospital and needed milk, she learned that donating was possible.

So when she had her daughter in March, she posted on Facebook to inquire if anyone needed extra. She was connected to the milk bank and after undergoing a health screening, including a blood test, Thompson became a donor.

Nearly 10 percent of babies born in the United States are premature, and the bulk of the milk collected by the bank goes to nourish infants in neonatal intensive care.

Often when a baby is born early the mother's body is unable to produce milk, or not able to produce enough, so donor milk is sought.

Breast milk is valued above formula for newborns because it contains a range of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, immune factors, antibodies and stem cells.

"It primes the gastro-intestinal tract, so those babies get protections from infections from the get-go," said Mariana Baserga, who runs the University of Utah's neo-natal intensive care unit.

- Saving lives -

Once the Utah bank receives milk from donors, it is pooled, pasteurized and packaged in doll-sized three ounce containers to be shipped out to hospitals across Utah and neighboring Idaho.

Ken Richardson, its medical director, compares donating mothers to first responders and the military.

"That's what they are doing, saving lives," he said. "It's an act of selfless service to pump and to provide breast milk and to do it for hours and days and months.

"They do it without any payment. It's an act of pure love."

In the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic hit, it had a devastating impact on milk banks in North America and around the globe.

"They closed overnight because people were worried," says Naomi Bar-Yam, formerly on the board of directors of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).

At the time there were between 50 and 60 milk banks in the United States and Canada, but within a very short time there were only a half dozen left. Those figures have since partially recovered -- with 26 accredited milk banks now operating nationwide.

That episode was the catalyst for the founding of HMBANA, the professional organization that sets guidelines for the safe collection and dispensing of human milk -- and whose standards are now used across the globe.

2020 AFP

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Oak Bay’s top stories of 2019 – BCLocalNews

Posted: January 6, 2020 at 10:42 pm

Many stories caught the attention of our readers this year but these were the most-read stories of 2019 online at oakbaynews.com.

Former Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen has died

The District of Oak Bay mourned the loss of a community leader this year with the death of former mayor Nils Jensen in April, after a short battle with cancer.

Jensen spent more than 15 years sitting on Oak Bay council and was elected mayor in 2011, serving two terms.

Jensen also served as chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) board, trustee for the Greater Victoria Public Library and chair of BC Mayors Caucus. He spent 12 years as chair of the CRDs water board.

He was remembered fondly by friends, family, members of the community and other local politicians. Thousands of residents filled the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High to reflect on the legacy he left behind.

Seat belt requirement a double bogey, B.C. golf industry says

Also topping the list for 2019 is a story involving WorkSafeBC rethinking its plan to require golf courses across the province to outfit all of their motorized equipment with seat belts and rollover protection bars, after an industry outcry about cost and impracticality of the move.

In a letter to Tourism Minister Lisa Beare, the MLAs for Revelstoke and Parksville said the requirement would cost the B.C. golf industry as much as $20 million to upgrade its equipment. The extra costs would be disastrous for B.C. tourism as prices rise and golfers can easily shift vacations to Alberta, Montana, Idaho or Washington.

WorkSafeBC is working on revisions to section 16 of its Occupational Health and Safety regulation, the part dealing with mobile equipment such as foklifts, all-terrain vehicles and golf carts, spokesman Ralph Eastman said in an email to Black Press Media. Consultation was conducted over the past year and more will be done.

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Controversy over historical elements in the community also caught the attention of readers.

The District of Oak Bays council conducted an emergency meeting on Oct. 17 in order to issue a Temporary Protection Order for the property at 1561 York Pl.

Starting at 7 a.m. that same morning, executive staff from Abstract Development took jackhammers, crowbars and shovels to a 122-year-old stone wall, while angry neighbours watched.

The demolition took place under a posted Stop Work Order tacked onto a nearby tree, but Abstract staff on site pointed noted the order only said the company had to cease anything which required permits, while all they were doing was landscaping.

The Stop Work Order was put in place after Oak Bay council agreed to apply a Heritage Conservation Permit (HCP) bylaw on the property, which would require property owners to seek a permit from the District before making any changes to heritage components, such as the wall. At the time the bylaw had received its third reading and was scheduled for approval at the end of the month.

Abstract commenced the work today in order to protect the companys existing rights to the property, as it is anticipated that the District of Oak Bay will be implementing a Heritage Control Period bylaw in the Prospect neighbourhood by the end of the month, said Adam Cooper, director of development for Abstract in a statement.

In a fight against cancer, Victoria mans only stem cell match was his own donation

Readers hearts went out to a Greater Victoria man battling cancer.

Jeremy Chow applied to be a stem cell donor a few years ago after watching a 30-second Canadian Blood Services commercial calling for Asian donors. The father of two young girls had no way of knowing that soon, he would be in need of new stem cells and the only donor match would be unusable because it was his own.

According to Canadian Blood Services, these life-sustaining immature blood cells are found in bone marrow, peripheral circulating blood and umbilical cord blood. They can become red or white blood cells or platelets and do incredible work for people like Chow, replacing their unhealthy cells and reducing the likelihood that the cancer will return.

Hundreds of protesters drown out anti-SOGI speakers in Oak Bay

Rounding out the top stories of 2019 is the hundreds of protestors who mobilized in Oak Bay outside the Windsor Pavillion.

They were there to protest the Erosion of Freedom event, hosted by anti-SOGI speaker Jenn Smith, who speaks against the SOGI 123 (sexual orientation and gender identity) resources taught in B.C. schools.

the event had been a source of controversy in the community both towards organizers and the District of Oak Bay, which received backlash for allowing it to go ahead in one its community spaces.

Protest movements cropped up online to counter the evenings program, including a protest created by Greater Victoria School District trustee Ryan Painter that drew hundreds to the Windsor Pavilion.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

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Robotics Industry Insights – Cobots, Raising the Human… – Robotics Online – Robotics Online

Posted: December 17, 2019 at 3:44 am

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor Robotic Industries Association Posted 12/16/2019

Collaborative robotics is more than one kind of robot. It often involves a human working alongside a robot, and the collaborative robot (or cobot) is usually fenceless, but not always. They can have one arm, two arms, or none at all. They can be mobile or portable, small or large. They can work alone or as a fleet. Even standard industrial robots are fair game, thanks to innovations like FreeMove.

Last month we set out to broaden your view of human-robot interaction and collaboration. Were back to do it again. Well show how robots tackle labor shortages, reduce costs and optimize floor space. How they elevate the jobs humans do while improving process efficiency.

From making floral bouquets to inspecting bumpers, and bagging this seasons hottest tech toys, cobots are transforming the human-robot paradigm and knocking down barriers on the shop floor, between entire industries, and on a global scale.

Bumper-to-Bumper CobotsTier 1 automotive supplier Flex-N-Gate Corporation puts collaborative robots to work on the assembly line inspecting bumpers and other fascia components. These camera-wielding cobots use machine vision to inspect assembled components for proper orientation and installation. The robots work alongside their human coworkers without safety cages or other hard guarding to separate man from machine.

The Urbana, Illinois-based company supplies bumpers, exterior trim, lighting, chassis assemblies, and other automotive products. At the suppliers Ionia, Michigan facility, they stamp and assemble steel bumpers for the Ford Ranger pickup truck, among other vehicle platforms. Here, cobots inspect parts in two different assembly areas.

We supply a full bumper assembly module delivered directly to assembly plants, explains Nick Wiegand, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Global Metals and Assembly Group at Flex-N-Gate. We fabricate the steel shells via a progressive stamping process. The steel shells are then either painted, or chrome plated, or in some cases powder coated. Then we have other components that have to be affixed to the bumper, including internal structural components, fasteners, air dams, fog lamps, bezels, front parking assist (FPA) sensors, rear parking assist (RPA) sensors, blind-spot warning (BSW) sensors, integrated wiring harnesses, active air dams/grille shutters, and myriad other plastic and composite finishing accessories.

The amount of electronics that go into a bumper assembly these days is mind-boggling, says Wiegand. Were utilizing camera-carrying cobots in our assembly processes to ensure we have the right color/style combinations, and that all the requisite components based on the part recipe are present and installed correctly.

In one area of the shop floor, workers load a steel bumper onto a fixture in front of a green cobot arm. The FANUC CR-7 collaborative robot outfitted with a Cognex camera and integrated lighting swoops across the part inspecting and error-proofing assembled components. While the robot does its job, the operator can be tending to other areas of the assembly module.

On the moving assembly line, inverted FANUC cobots mounted just above the line workers heads maneuver at different angles, examining parts as they advance down the line. Watch Flex-N-Gates camera-wielding cobots at work.

Our biggest challenge was programming the cobots for line tracking, says Wiegand. Flex-N-Gate was the first in the industry to attempt this feat. We worked with the robot supplier and system integrator to solve issues as they arose.

Cost SavingsAutomated inspection has evolved at Flex-N-Gate. Traditionally, error proofing was done with a bank of overhead cameras, but this approach had its limitations. Fixed cameras made it difficult to see parts at optimal angles for the vision systems to read accurately and repeatedly. Company engineers had a better idea.

Why dont we put a camera at the end of a robot arm and take the camera to the inspection instead? says Wiegand. That was phase one in our evolution.

They mounted a camera on a conventional robot arm. Now they were able to position the camera in ideal locations for inspection and view aspects of parts they couldnt see before. Now they only had one camera to maintain instead of up to a dozen fixed cameras.

Wiegand says some of these cameras can range from $10,000 to $15,000 a piece, so the savings were significant. The next phase in their evolution deploying cobots would further reduce costs.

Space SavingsFlex-N-Gate was performing vision inspection with conventional high-speed, low-payload robots for about a year. Meanwhile, collaborative power and force limiting robots were garnering more attention as their applications grew, setting the stage for the suppliers transition to inspection with collaborative robots.

We were doing this with traditional robots, which required them to be caged and guarded per the RIA safety standards, just like you would any other industrial robot, says Wiegand. Were now able to do the exact same thing with collaborative robots and eliminate all of the guarding and a majority of the safety-related hardware costs. Now an operator can actually work beside the robot in that same station, enabling human work and robotic vision inspection simultaneously.

This collaborative robot cell not only saves costs associated with guarding and required safety devices and interlocks, but it also saves the floor space often required for fenced robot cells.

Inverted collaborative robots inspect automotive components alongside assembly line workers without requiring hard safety fencing. (Courtesy FANUC America Corporation)

Safety FirstThere are different ways to achieve a collaborative robotics application, as explained in Testing Thresholds for Collaborative Robot Safety and evidenced on the bumper assembly line. Besides the inherently collaborative nature of power and force limiting robots, Flex-N-Gate uses an area laser scanner in conjunction with their cobots to further support safety while optimizing production efficiency.

In order for it to be a collaborative application, were limited to a maximum collaborative speed for safety reasons, says Wiegand. In some cases that can be problematic, because were unable to get all the work completed in time with the slower robot travel speeds. In some cases, weve used a safety scanner so that when an operator is not in the area, the robot can run at full speed. When humans come near the robot, it slows down to a safe collaborative speed. The operator can simply touch the robot and it stops.

You can physically just push them out of the way, too. When you restart the robots, they go right back to where they were and carry on with their jobs, he adds.

Wiegand says safety is number one at Flex-N-Gate.

We dot our Is and cross our Ts to ensure that we are in fact integrating these units per the RIA standards and that we are 100 percent safe, he says. We also go a step further and require third-party safety certification.

Proper training for personnel working with and around the new collaborative robots was also a priority.

Traditional robotic safety and avoidance of human-robot interaction is so engrained in our workforce, says Wiegand. Our technicians were sent for collaborative robot-specific training (provided by the robot supplier) and we did safety demonstrations with the plant personnel and operators. It was a bit of a paradigm shift, but it didnt take long for team members to become comfortable working around the collaborative robots.

Ive spent my entire career in automation and robotics, he says. Robots and people occupying the same space has always been a huge no-no. Its cool to see how getting over that hump was surprisingly easy. A lot of it boils down to physically demonstrating that it is, in fact, safe. Showing people something, versus telling them, has a different impact.

Flex-N-Gate has deployed 33 collaborative robots at different facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Worldwide they have approximately 2,000 traditional robots across 62 facilities.

In the last year, weve really gone hard and heavy in the collaborative space, says Wiegand, noting that right now, they primarily use the cobots for vision inspection. As more opportunities present themselves, well continue to look at collaborative robots as a potential solution.

On the West Coast, a different manufacturer was looking to cobots as a potential solution for labor shortages. A robot integrator came to the rescue with two sets of collaborative arms.

Cobot Twins Curb Labor WoesPromotional products supplier iClick had a problem. Their popular PopSockets grips for mobile phones were flying off the shelves, but the Seattle-based company couldnt hire enough workers to keep up with demand. Kitting and bagging product was a tedious job.

Workers were manually attaching the grips to promotional cards and then feeding them one at a time to an automated bagging machine, a labor-intensive process. Even with a crew of four, the workers couldnt keep up with the bagging machine to maximize capacity. Labor continued to be difficult to find and retain.

In an effort to move workers to higher-value jobs, iClick sought out robot integrator House of Design to offer a collaborative robot solution. The FlexBagger system was born.

The robotic kitting and bagging system consists of two ABB YuMi dual-arm collaborative robots. In a carefully choreographed dance of their seven-axis arms, each robot attaches PopSockets to promotional cards and then drops them into the automated bagging machine.

Watch the cobot twins take turns bagging branded PopSockets.

Since each robot must occupy the same space as they deposit assembled items in the bagging area, the timing of the arms needs to be coordinated to avoid collisions. House of Design used ABB RobotStudio to program the robot workstation and ensure smooth movements of its kinematically redundant arms.

Flexible Kitting and BaggingChad Svedin, Project Manager for House of Design in Nampa, Idaho, says the manual bagging process was painstaking. Human workers werent able to put the product in the bags fast enough. With two dual-arm robots working in concert, they can perform the work of four people and keep the automated bagger fully stocked.

Launched in February 2018, this was iClicks first foray into robotics. It was so successful that less than a year later, they ordered another FlexBagger system.

House of Design markets the FlexBagger for other kitting and bagging applications. The YuMi cobot is equipped to grab various small items such as screws, nuts or washers and assemble them in bags. Check out this demo with different sizes and colors of interlocking toy bricks.

Like other power and force limiting cobots, YuMi has special characteristics to help it work collaboratively in close proximity or directly with its human coworkers. It was important to iClick to have a collaborative robot so its workforce could easily enter the robots operating space to remove defective items or replenish products when necessary. The dark gray areas on YuMis arms are padded for safety in the event of contact.

If someone juts their hand into the working system, it bumps into them and freezes in its spot, notes Svedin. A minor bump will stop it from moving.

House of Design trained iClick personnel on safety, and how to run and program the robots.

They loved that the robots looked very humanlike and that they could approach it, says Svedin. It wasnt this thing in a box away from them. They saw it as a part of their crew.

Cobots are part of the crew in unexpected places. Manufacturing isnt the only sector with labor woes. The floral industry is on the verge of a labor crisis and looking to automation for solutions.

Roses and RobotsVisitors to the Automate Show last April may have caught a glimpse of a cobot arranging small bouquets of roses, or you may have even taken home a souvenir bouquet. Some of us skipped the buds for the backstory.

FloraBot is the brainchild of Founder and CEO Alex Frost, a second-generation florist who grew up in his parents retail flower business. For the past dozen years, his Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based software company, QuickFlora, has been providing cloud-based ERP systems for floral retailers.

We work with a lot of retailers in the U.S. and Canada helping them manage their software technology frontend and backend systems. We have a front-row seat to some of their challenges. Over the last 5 to 10 years, there have been fewer and fewer people going into the flower business, so its hard to find qualified floral designers to work in flower shops.

He says you compound that with increasing minimum wage rates in many places such as California, and you have a real labor shortage in the floral industry. Its an environment he thinks is ripe for collaborative robots.

We see them flipping hamburgers, making pancakes and serving coffee. We decided last year, lets bring one of these machines in here and see what it can actually do, says Frost. Can we program it to make flower arrangements? Can we create a turnkey cell for end users?

If you think of Kroger, they have 4,000 stores across the country (marketed under different supermarket brands). Each store needs about 10 to 30 arrangements every day, he says. Those are all made by hand right now. Usually, you have 50 to100 people in a cooler set at 34 degrees. The process is very labor-intensive and you cant scale it. When Valentines Day or Mothers Day comes around and volume increases 5 or 10 times, you cant just hire 5 or 10 times the people that fast when you dont have space. Theres a labor shortage issue, a labor cost issue, and a scalability issue.

Automating Floral DesignFrost sees an emerging market, not only in North America but worldwide. In fact, most of his inquiries come from Western Europe, because labor costs are higher and the European market tends to be more receptive to adopting automation technologies. He notes the evolving niche for precision agriculture, which we examined in Cultivating Robotics and AI for Sustainable Agriculture, where startups and established companies are adapting collaborative robotics for farming.

We sort of fit into that category because were dealing with product that is very sensitive, not heavy, that requires specialized grippers, force control, and vision systems to actually make it work, says Frost. There are a lot of similarities between our technology and that technology in terms of trying to handle delicate flower stems of all shapes and sizes, and then pick and place them into specific xyz coordinates with reasonable cycle time and low defect rate.

He was skeptical himself at first. But as their research and product testing progressed over the last year, he became a believer. They decided to start with a Universal Robots collaborative robot because of their relative ease of use and ease of programming. They have a built-in ecosystem of compatible hardware makers and apps. Theyre also easily portable.

The current FloraBot system uses a UR5 cobot with a Robotiq Hand-E gripper. Previous testing was conducted with grippers from Ubiros and Soft Robotics. Frost says the gripper system has been a big part of the learning process.

What we realized is that nothing worked off the shelf. Absolutely nothing. We had to come up with our own proprietary fingers. Now were working on our own proprietary servo-electric gripper. It will give our end users more flexibility.

Check out this early iteration of the FloraBot system in action on the trade show floor.

FloraBot- The worlds first robotic floral designer by FloraVina from QuickFlora on Vimeo.

Turnkey and Travel-ReadyWhile patents are still pending, FloraBot wont release shots of the near production-ready system. They are currently pilot testing at one company in Miami. They plan to start shipping units in January 2020 right after their official launch at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Frost says the system can assemble AIFD-quality floral arrangements at 100-200 units per hour, 24/7, and with an ROI in less than a year. Right now they plan to sell the system, but eventually, he expects to move to a RaaS model. That way flower companies and growers will be able to try it without making a CapEx investment.

FloraBot supposedly excels at small arrangements about 12 cubic inches. But when you get into larger arrangements like a dozen long-stem roses in a vase, it requires a different kind of gripper. Thats where FloraBot will have to turn to proprietary grippers of their own.

Frost is envisioning a turnkey system they can ship on a 48 in. x 48 in. pallet, basically one robot cell that can do specific tasks within an assembly line. For example, to create an arrangement you may need six cells on the line. One robot that cuts the foam for the container, one that hydrates the foam, one that picks/places the foliage, then one that picks/places the flowers, one that sleeves the arrangement, and another that puts it in the box.

Right now, we see that the machines are capable of doing 75 percent of what humans do in the floral business, whether its a typical flower shop or the mass market, says Frost. Thats really the sweet spot for this technology, the mass market because they crank out high volumes (2000-3000 bouquets) of the same type of arrangements on a daily basis. There will always be a market for people that want something custom. But the reality is most retail florists make the same arrangements week in and week out.

FloraBot has been approached by companies that put flower arrangements in boxes and ship them around the world. There are a lot of new, innovative players in the flower business. Frost says most of the new upstarts are the most receptive to automation.

Weve had requests to do Hawaiian flower leis, which is a very labor-intensive process. Others want us to make different animals covered with roses, which is popular in many countries. Thats also very labor-intensive because you have to cut out a foam model of a little French poodle and then put 600 roses on it. That usually takes 4 to 8 hours. There are definitely cases where machines will take over in terms of production capability.

You might not know that it was created by a robot and you might not care, says Frost. If the customer gets a beautiful flower arrangement that has 12 to 24 stems, the color palette is wonderful and its at their price point, theyre going to be happy. At the end of the day, its about delivering the most value for the customer.

In June, FloraBot exhibited at the International Floriculture Expo (IFE) in Miami, touted as the largest B2B floral event in North America. Frost was astounded by the interest.

Everyone at the flower show, big growers and bouquet makers, came over to the booth and asked how they could use the robot to cut their payroll. No one asked or cared about the technology, or whether it worked or not. It just came down to cost and ROI. CFOs came over. I never had so many C-suite-level people engage in serious discussions at a show. That really tells us were on the right path.

FloraBot recently beat a path all the way to Boston, where they opened a new office at MassRobotics, one of the major robotics clusters. It will be interesting to see what comes next.

Five years from now there will be no humans making flower arrangements, says Frost, because when you see labor savings in the range of 50 to 75 percent, it just doesnt make economic sense anymore.

From rosebuds to electrical connectors, cobots are popping up in industries far and wide.

Mobile Production AssistantCollaborative robots also come in mobile varieties, including this mobile manipulator that integrates an autonomous mobile platform with a six-axis articulating arm. Stubli Electrical Connectors relies on the HelMo mobile robot system from Stubli Robotics to help supplement production during peak demand or during human workforce shortages due to illness or other unforeseen absences.

Once trained, HelMo can handle almost any manual job on the various assembly lines at the connector manufacturers facility in Allschwil, Switzerland. The production assistant navigates to its own workstation, decelerates or stops when human coworkers come too close, and then automatically resumes its operation when the protected workspace is clear.

As soon as HelMo arrives at its workstation, the cobot precisely positions itself within a tenth of a millimeter by referencing three permanent orientation points at the workstation. HelMo then connects itself via a multi-coupling to the fixed supply sockets for electricity and compressed air, then starts its shift.

The mobile cobot is also equipped with an automatic tool change system. One day it could be working with connector housings and contact pins. The next day might be some other stage in the assembly process, wherever its needed.

Integrated atop the mobile platform is a standard Stubli TX2-90L robot with a 15 kg payload and 1,200 mm reach. Watch the HelMo mobile robot system autonomously load rotary tables for manufacturing pneumatic couplings, and later in the footage safely navigate around human coworkers and other equipment in the production space.

The flexible production assistant monitors its environment with three integrated laser scanners. HelMo can perform its tasks automatically or in collaboration with humans.

Material Transport CobotsIn Japan, a fleet of mobile robots collaborates with humans. OMRONs FA sensor manufacturing facility in Ayabe wanted to upgrade its material transport system with a fully automated solution for transporting work-in-progress (WIP) components throughout the factory.

Ayabe is both a production facility and a development facility. In addition to producing OMRON technologies for customers, it also serves as an environment for testing and optimizing new products, including the OMRON LD mobile robot. Moving away from cumbersome conveyor belts that are difficult to rearrange, the engineering team opted for this flexible mobile solution where robots autonomously navigate their way through dynamic environments.

Each LD mobile robot gets its configuration data from the Enterprise Manager, which helps optimize traffic flow by sharing each robots position and trajectory with other robots in its vicinity. This allows each mobile robot to make path adjustments on the fly to avoid people, obstacles and other robots in its path.

The Enterprise Manager allows operators to manage map and configuration updates from a central communication point. These updates are then pushed to each mobile robot in the fleet. The Enterprise Manager also provides a queuing manager to receive job requests from call buttons and automation equipment, and then dispatch jobs to the mobile robots.

In the Ayabe factory, the mobile robots carry product containers between the assembly, final inspection and shipment stations. Since the mobile robot system is connected with the manufacturing engineering system (MES), transportation orders through the MES are conducted according to the work in progress. Watch Ayabes mobile robot fleet in action.

To make transportation more efficient, each LD mobile robot has two lifts, one on the front and one on the back, which makes it possible to carry materials to two destinations in a single trip.

We were able to automate 75 percent of all material transport tasks using these mobile robots, says OMRONs Assistant Manager Makoto Kasuya. People used to move containers in batches, but now robots can move them more frequently. As a result, the lead time needed to transport material has decreased by 80 percent on average.

The overall solution also reduces the expense and effort required for future investments, as LD mobile robots can be easily implemented in other factories without incurring new design costs.

Using its workforce for higher-value tasks instead of moving around products and materials will help Japans manufacturing sector address a growing labor shortage crisis as the countrys population continues its rapid decline. Workers at OMRONs Kusatsu factory used to manually transport up to 300 containers per day. Now the LD mobile fleet does what robots do best, enabling the people to focus on more creative work.

Creativity is still the human element. We need inspiration, ingenuity and vision, the kind that dreams up unique floral designs, innovative tech toys, and adds new functionality and value to age-old automotive components. Robots push us to be better.

RIA Members featured in this article:ABB RoboticsFANUC America CorporationOMRON AutomationStubli North America

Originally published by RIA via http://www.robotics.org on 12/16/2019

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