PFIZER – Structural and Biophysical Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein (P2 S) as a Vaccine Antigen
Q4 2020 (Published Q1 2023)

3.4. Cryo-EM of P2 S

For TwinStrep-tagged P2 S, 4 μL purified protein at 0.5 mg/mL were applied to gold Quantifoil R1.2/1.3 300 mesh grids freshly overlaid with graphene oxide. The sample was blotted using a Vitrobot Mark IV for 4 seconds with a force of -2 before being plunged into liquid ethane cooled by liquid nitrogen.

Realization of Ferromagnetic Graphene Oxide with High Magnetization by Doping Graphene Oxide with Nitrogen


Here we report that N-doping can be an effective route to obtain a very high magnetization of ca. 1.66 emu/g and can make graphene oxide (GO) to be ferromagnetism. Clearly, our findings offer the easy realization of ferromagnetic (GO) with high magnetization.

covid-19 vaccine: cryogenic containers to play key role
Q4 2020

Cryogenic containers which use liquid nitrogen are set to play an important role in the storage and distribution of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines.

Manufacturers of the products, which will keep vaccines at ultra-cold temperatures, claim cryogenic containers hold an advantage over storing vaccines with dry ice due to the longevity they offer.

Potential of Graphene-based Materials to Combat COVID-19: Properties, Perspectives, and Prospects
Q4 2020

“Over the past few years, graphene and graphene-related materials (GRMs) have attracted huge attention of the researchers owing to their wide spectrum properties such as high surface area, high electrical mobility and conductivity, excellent mechanical, electrochemical, and piezoelectric properties…

… the chemical reduction of GO is performed commonly… resultant reduced graphene oxide (rGO) demonstrates considerably improved electrical properties than GO… the electrical properties of rGO remain slightly inferior to pristine graphene…

GO and its derivatives have wide-spectrum antiviral properties… Particularly, for the SAR-CoV-2 virus…

7. Graphene based on gene-editing technology (CRISPR/Cas)

…a graphene-based field-effect transistor that uses CRISPR technology. In this label-free biosensor device, the graphene is functionalized… which interacts with its target sequence by scanning the complete genomic sample, unzipping the double helix connecting upstream… until it recognizes and binds to the target DNA

The electrical signal generated by the binding of the targeted DNA sequence… is recorded via a handheld device without any amplification.

magnetic vaccines

The Japan Times – The foreign substance detected in dozens of vials of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine in Japan is thought to have been tiny pieces of metal… The foreign material is “a metal that reacts to a magnet”… the Asahi Shimbun quoted an unidentified senior health ministry official as saying.

Nanoparticle Vaccines Adopting Virus-like Features for Enhanced Immune Potentiation
Q2 2017

This review covers the advances in vaccine nanotechnology with a perspective on the advantages of virus mimicry towards immune potentiation. It provides an overview to the different types of nanomaterials utilized for nanoparticle vaccine development, including functionalization strategies that bestow nanoparticles with virus-like features.

Graphene – biomedical applications

In vitro Detection
Biosensing is a new technology that is developing rapidly, used in medical applications, like graphene as a sensor for in vitro detection.

Cancer, Biosensors and Nervous Regeneration
A fundamental aspect of the subject in question is that graphene has the ability to interact with living tissue. Nerve tissues and the spine, for example, could be reconstructed thanks to the creation of artificial implants from compounds of highly resistant biological materials based on graphene and their electrical conductivity.

Graphene can be applied to DNA sequencing. This membrane-converted material can be immersed in the conductive fluid and apply an energy voltage to extract the DNA through the tiny pores in the graphene (nanopores sequencing).

Other Medical Applications
Graphene Nanoparticles can be used for medication administration, mainly due to its great appearance, which promises to administer large quantities of medications to specific areas of the body.

The coupling of graphene and sarcosine can stimulate immune cells in the body to secrete more cytokines, while cytokines have a destructive effect on tumors, and immunity obviously improves. But this technology still has some distance to the human body.

Researchers have successfully implanted graphene electrodes in the brains of mice and connected them directly to neurons. They discovered that electrodes made of graphene material can be safely connected to brain neurons, and after connecting, these neurons can transmit radio signals normally and transmit brain wave signals to the outside world.

Whether it is drug administration or cancer treatment, the use of these treatments remains at the experimental level. The safety problem of graphene for in vivo treatment has been the study site risk. Once it cannot be excreted from the body, it will enter the liver and lungs, causing irritation of the cells and causing injuries.

Graphene Nanotubes
Graphene nanotubes are small rolled sheets of graphene with nanometric diameters and lengths of microns. Graphene nanotubes have excellent electrical, mechanical, optical, chemical, and thermal properties for which they are preferred for increasing several products and also to generate new ones.

Reduced Graphene Oxide
Graphene oxide (GO) is a two-dimensional material, considered as functionalized graphene with oxygenated groups. It is the main precursor for obtaining reduced graphene oxide, since it is susceptible to being reduced and/or functionalized to facilitate its interfacial interaction with other materials (polymers, inorganic nanoparticles, etc.) and form composite materials, or by self-assembling sheets to produce GO-based macroscopic materials.

These hybrid materials have physicochemical properties superior to those of their individual components and are currently used for applications in water remediation, censorship, catalysis, photovoltaic cells, reinforcement material, biomedicine, etc.

Nokia shares $1.35 billion EU graphene research grant

Q1 2013
The EU has awarded a €1bn ($1.35bn) grant to the Graphene Flagship consortium in a ten-year project bringing academics and industrialists together to commercialize graphene, and hopefully spur economic growth.

The grant comes from the EU’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) program, which seeks to boost the introduction of advanced technology within the Eurozone. Nokia and Airbus are key industry players, but the consortium includes a total of 126 academic and industrial research groups in 17 European countries.

Graphene and Human Brain Project Win Largest Research Excellence Award in History

Q1 2013

The winning Graphene and Human Brain initiatives are set to receive one billion euros each, to deliver 10 years of world-beating science at the crossroads of science and technology.

Microcrystals give magnets superpower over living cells
Q4 2019

“It’s almost alien,” says Bianxiao Cui. She’s a chemist at Stanford University in California.

The researchers pried open the cells and removed the crystals. Then they loaded these with iron. The team estimates that it packed some 8 billion iron atoms into each crystal before inserting those crystals into human cells growing in a dish. Now they exposed the cells to a magnetic field and waited to see what would happen.

And the cells moved.

Crystals started collecting close to the magnet. And the crystals pulled their cells with them. The team described this online September 25 in Nano Letters

Robinson expressed excitement over this. “It’s an excellent step,” he said, “toward engineering cells to create their own magnetic nanoparticles.”

Scientists aren’t sure what will happen to the crystals afterward. But the cells have the genes for the crystals. So every cell reproduced from the original cells should be able to make the crystals, Cui says.

Microcrystals give magnets superpower over living cells
Q4 2019

“It’s almost alien,” says Bianxiao Cui. She’s a chemist at Stanford University in California.

The researchers pried open the cells and removed the crystals. Then they loaded these with iron. The team estimates that it packed some 8 billion iron atoms into each crystal before inserting those crystals into human cells growing in a dish. Now they exposed the cells to a magnetic field and waited to see what would happen.

And the cells moved.

Crystals started collecting close to the magnet. And the crystals pulled their cells with them. The team described this online September 25 in Nano Letters

Robinson expressed excitement over this. “It’s an excellent step,” he said, “toward engineering cells to create their own magnetic nanoparticles.”

Scientists aren’t sure what will happen to the crystals afterward. But the cells have the genes for the crystals. So every cell reproduced from the original cells should be able to make the crystals, Cui says.

Genetically engineered ‘Magneto’ protein remotely controls brain and behaviour

Researchers in the United States have developed a new method for controlling the brain circuits associated with complex animal behaviours, using genetic engineering to create a magnetised protein that activates specific groups of nerve cells from a distance.

Understanding how the brain generates behaviour is one of the ultimate goals of neuroscience – and one of its most difficult questions. In recent years, researchers have developed a number of methods that enable them to remotely control specified groups of neurons and to probe the workings of neuronal circuits.

The most powerful of these is a method called optogenetics, which enables researchers to switch populations of related neurons on or off on a millisecond-by-millisecond timescale with pulses of laser light. Another recently developed method, called chemogenetics, uses engineered proteins that are activated by designer drugs and can be targeted to specific cell types.

Although powerful, both of these methods have drawbacks. Optogenetics is invasive, requiring insertion of optical fibres that deliver the light pulses into the brain and, furthermore, the extent to which the light penetrates the dense brain tissue is severely limited. Chemogenetic approaches overcome both of these limitations, but typically induce biochemical reactions that take several seconds to activate nerve cells.

Several earlier studies have shown that nerve cell proteins which are activated by heat and mechanical pressure can be genetically engineered so that they become sensitive to radio waves and magnetic fields, by attaching them to an iron-storing protein called ferritin, or to inorganic paramagnetic particles. These methods represent an important advance – they have, for example, already been used to regulate blood glucose levels in mice – but involve multiple components which have to be introduced separately.

The new technique builds on this earlier work, and is based on a protein called TRPV4, which is sensitive to both temperature and stretching forces. These stimuli open its central pore, allowing electrical current to flow through the cell membrane; this evokes nervous impulses that travel into the spinal cord and then up to the brain.

Güler and his colleagues reasoned that magnetic torque (or rotating) forces might activate TRPV4 by tugging open its central pore, and so they used genetic engineering to fuse the protein to the paramagnetic region of ferritin, together with short DNA sequences that signal cells to transport proteins to the nerve cell membrane and insert them into it.

When they introduced this genetic construct into human embryonic kidney cells growing in Petri dishes, the cells synthesized the ‘Magneto’ protein and inserted it into their membrane. Application of a magnetic field activated the engineered TRPV1 protein, as evidenced by transient increases in calcium ion concentration within the cells, which were detected with a fluorescence microscope.

Next, the researchers inserted the Magneto DNA sequence into the genome of a virus, together with the gene encoding green fluorescent protein, and regulatory DNA sequences that cause the construct to be expressed only in specified types of neurons. They then injected the virus into the brains of mice, targeting the entorhinal cortex, and dissected the animals’ brains to identify the cells that emitted green fluorescence. Using microelectrodes, they then showed that applying a magnetic field to the brain slices activated Magneto so that the cells produce nervous impulses.

To determine whether Magneto can be used to manipulate neuronal activity in live animals, they injected Magneto into zebrafish larvae, targeting neurons in the trunk and tail that normally control an escape response. They then placed the zebrafish larvae into a specially-built magnetised aquarium, and found that exposure to a magnetic field induced coiling manouvres similar to those that occur during the escape response. (This experiment involved a total of nine zebrafish larvae, and subsequent analyses revealed that each larva contained about 5 neurons expressing Magneto.)

In one final experiment, the researchers injected Magneto into the striatum of freely behaving mice, a deep brain structure containing dopamine-producing neurons that are involved in reward and motivation, and then placed the animals into an apparatus split into magnetised a non-magnetised sections. Mice expressing Magneto spent far more time in the magnetised areas than mice that did not, because activation of the protein caused the striatal neurons expressing it to release dopamine, so that the mice found being in those areas rewarding. This shows that Magneto can remotely control the firing of neurons deep within the brain, and also control complex behaviours.

“Previous attempts [using magnets to control neuronal activity] needed multiple components for the system to work – injecting magnetic particles, injecting a virus that expresses a heat-sensitive channel, [or] head-fixing the animal so that a coil could induce changes in magnetism,” he explains. “The problem with having a multi-component system is that there’s so much room for each individual piece to break down.”

“This system is a single, elegant virus that can be injected anywhere in the brain, which makes it technically easier and less likely for moving bells and whistles to break down,” he adds, “and their behavioral equipment was cleverly designed to contain magnets where appropriate so that the animals could be freely moving around.”

The technocracy

Elon Musk: Humans Must Merge with Machines or Become Irrelevant in AI Age
Q1 2017

“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence,” Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”

Google Is Now a Pharmceutical Company

In 2013, it founded Calico, run by Genentech’s former CEO Arthur Levinson. Calico operates an R&D facility in the San Francisco Bay Area for the discovery of treatments associated with age-related diseases. Two years later, Alphabet founded Verily Life Sciences (previously Google Life Sciences). Both pharma companies are partnering with other drug corporations.

Recently, Verily has partnered with the European pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to form a new drug company, Galvani Bioelectronics for the development of “bioelectronic medicines.” The collaboration is costing the companies $715 million, and the new firm is being chaired by Glaxo’s former chairman of its global vaccines business.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Chairman Slaoui to CNBC: Bioelectronics a ‘Whole new Industry’

GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Dr. Slaoui believes the company’s partnership with Alphabet (GOOGL) will create new nano devices to treat chronic diseases.

Chairman of Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline Dr. Moncef Slaoui thinks the partnership could create an entirely new industry.

Calling Alphabet’s Verily Life Services a “really exciting partner,” Slaoui says GlaxoSmithKline shares “a very common vision of integrating electronics and big data analytics and technologies with medicines and biology.”

Your DNA for Sale: 23andMe, Drug Giant Make $300 Million Deal

Home-DNA-test provider 23andMe will provide the genetic information of its 5 million customers to pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for a reported $300 million investment, alarming privacy advocates and bioethicists.

…”The problem with a lot of these privacy policies and Terms of Service is that no one really reads them,” Tiffany C. Li, a privacy expert and resident fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, told Tom’s Guide. “You are paying to help the company make money with your data.”

…23andMe was co-founded in 2006 by Wojcicki, who at the time was dating Google co-founder Sergey Brin. (They later married and divorced.) Google invested $3.9 million in 23andMe in 2007, alongside separate investments by Genentech and two venture-capital firms.

World’s Biggest Landlord Buys World’s Biggest Genealogy Website

The Blackstone Group will buy a majority stake in the genealogy website in a deal worth $4.7 billion, according to a press release published Wednesday. Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, is the world’s largest landlord and Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy website, with over 6 billion records on family history in the U.S. alone…

…The company has expanded into DNA testing in recent years and has partnered with drug companies to share data, raising plenty of eyebrows among privacy activists. The Pentagon has even warned U.S. military personnel against using DNA test kits available from companies like Ancestry and 23andMe.

Google is super secretive about its anti-aging research. No one knows why. Researchers are puzzled by Calico’s stealthiness and say it’s not good for science.

One of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world has taken an interest in aging research, with about as much funding as NIH’s entire budget for aging research, yet it’s remarkably opaque.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invests $3B to cure all diseases

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said Wednesday it’s investing more than $3 billion over the next decade to cure all diseases by the end of the century.

Zuckerberg revealed plans to establish the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in December 2015. It will receive 99 percent of his Facebook shares, currently worth about $45 billion. Zuckerberg isn’t just one of the world’s richest people, he’s also the leader of the world’s largest social network. Facebook says more than 1.7 billion people, about half the world’s online population, use its service at least once a month.
Zuckerberg runs the Initiative with his wife, Priscilla Chan, who is a pediatrician.

The group’s stated focus is “to advance human potential and promote equality.”

The Initiative’s first investment for this endeavor will be $600 million to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, an independent research center at Mission Bay that will serve as a place where… other innovators can collaborate on projects. The Biohub… will partner with Stanford University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Another of the Initiative’s partners is Gates, who is known for his philanthropic work in the developing world to eradicate and treat diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and polio. He said the goal to cure all disease is “very bold and very ambitious,” but that “we desperately need this science.”

Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind will be health, says Tim Cook

Cook refused to go into details. “There will be more things coming. I don’t wanna tell you what they are. (…) I’m not gonna forecast precisely, the ramps and so forth. But they’re things that we feel really great about, that we’ve been working on for multiple years,” he said near the end of the interview.

Cook seems to be most enthusiastic about Apple’s health-related efforts, which have gotten far more serious with last year’s launch of ECG and irregular heart rhythm notifications features for the Apple Watch.”

If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question: ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’, it will be about health,” he said.

Amazon’s Secret Lab Will Challenge Apple in the Health Sector

Now, it’s been revealed that the e-retailing giant has a secret lab dedicated to healthcare research dubbed 1492– ostensibly a reference to the year Columbus landed in the Americas. CNBC reports that the experimental lab is based in Seattle and is running ongoing projects in both health hardware and software.

…That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon Web Services is competing with Google to provide cloud services to hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, while its retail arm has snapped up a sizeable portion of the medical supply distribution business.

Amazon vs Apple
Apple has already made it possible for users to store medical records from providers in their iPhones via HealthKit. Apple eventually seeks to make the iPhone an all-in-one hub for health information shared between doctors and patients, logging everything from doctor’s visits to prescriptions to lab test results.

The company has also developed ResearchKit, software that is aimed at simplifying clinical trials for drugmakers and researchers. It has partnered with major institutions like Johns Hopkins University and
GlaxoSmithKline to work on delivering clinical data gathered…

Amazon to Buy Online Pharmacy PillPack, Jumping Into the Drug Business

That’s because with one move, Amazon answered the question about when — and how — it would grab a piece of the $560 billion prescription drug industry.

It was precisely the sort of deal that the health care industry had feared.

Amazon has been hinting at its interest in selling drugs, but it faced the problem of securing pharmacy licenses in each state. PillPack will help overcome that hurdle, since the start-up is licensed to ship drugs in 50 states — clearing the way for the e-commerce giant to quickly become a major player in the business.

And it will be doing so without much financial stress. Amazon, which has a market value of over $840 billion, is paying about $1 billion for the start-up, according to one person briefed on the deal, who was not authorized to speak about it publicly. Amazon beat out Walmart for the company, the person said.

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

A NEW commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era.

These titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable.

They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world.

Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year.

“when I was human” – mark Zuckerberg

“…and try not to let stuff bother you as much as possible, but it is gonna bother you because you’re human and… and I was human. I am human still! Um… but um… but I… I was just referring to myself in the past (blushes and laughs), um… not that I was not human.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Next we will take a closer look at what the nanotechnology looks like under a microscope and it’s elemental composition using spectroscopy analysis.