MIT Students Invent Non-Stick Ketchup Bottle

It’s the world’s biggest non-problemic problem: getting the last bit of ketchup out of the jar. Ketchup is so viscous, and it seems so eager to stick to glass and plastic. But leave it to students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to solve the greatest non-issues of our generation: A team of engineers have designed the perfect condiment bottle — one that ketchup simply cannot stick to.

The secret is in a futuristic substance known as “LiquiGlide,” a non-toxic, FDA-approved coating that can be applied to the interior of bottles. According to MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith, it’s “kind of a structured liquid — it’s rigid like a solid, but it’s lubricated like a liquid.” Regardless of what the bottle is constructed of, liquid or plastic, ketchup will flow out of it nearly effortlessly.

It seems like ketchup sticking to the inside of bottles is a more compelling problem than many realize — a rival team at nearby Harvard University have been working on similar, plant-derived, ketchup bottle technology. And the idea of a friction-less ketchup bottle caught enough people’s imaginations to win the audience choice award at the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Ending bottle friction is a noble goal. Any technology to get ketchup out of bottles easier could make a serious dent in helping reduce food waste in a $33 billion condiment industry. Smith explains that the new bottles “could save one million tons of food from being thrown out every year.”

Do you frequently struggle with that last bit of ketchup in the bottle? Share your ketchup disaster stories with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Tech eBlog

A Single Drug For All Cancers?

A single drug can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.

A decade ago, biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than do healthy cells. CD47, he and other scientists found, is also displayed on healthy blood cells; it’s a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying them as they circulate. Cancers take advantage of this flag to trick the immune system into ignoring them.

In the past few years, Weissman’s lab showed that blocking CD47 with an antibody cured some cases of lymphomas and leukemias in mice by stimulating the immune system to recognize the cancer cells as invaders. Now, he and colleagues have shown that the CD47-blocking antibody may have a far wider impact than just blood cancers. “We showed that even after the tumor has taken hold, the antibody can either cure the tumor or slow its growth and prevent metastasis,” says Weissman.

Cancer researcher Tyler Jacks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge says that although the new study is promising, more research is needed to see whether the results hold true in humans.

Weissman’s team has received a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests. “We have enough data already,” says Weissman, “that I can say I’m confident that this will move to phase I human trials.”

Source: Digg

Image: Topic Pls