Programming cells may soon become as easy as programming a computer. Just as computer software designers create programming for computers, scientists have created a programming language that allows them to design DNA-encoded circuits that can give new function to living cells.
Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain environmental conditions. They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.
“It is literally a programming language for bacteria,” says Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”
In the new software — called Cello — a user first specifies the kind of cell they are using and what they want it to do: for example, sense metabolic conditions in the gut and produce a drug in response. They type in commands to explain how these inputs and outputs should be logically connected, using a computing language called Verilog that electrical engineers have long relied on to design silicon circuits. Finally, Cello translates this information to design a DNA sequence that, when put into a cell, will execute the demands.
The good thing about it is that it’s very simple, without many of the intricacies often encountered in programming.
“You could be completely naive as to how any of it works. That’s what’s really different about this,” Voigt says. “You could be a student in high school and go onto the Web-based server and type out the program you want, and it spits back the DNA sequence.”
For now, all these features have been customized for the E. coli bacteria, one of the most common in studies, but researchers are working on expanding the language to other strands of bacteria.
Using this language, they’ve already programmed 60 circuits with different functions, and 45 of them worked correctly the first time they were tested – which is a remarkable achievement. The circuits were also strikingly fast, and the whole process promises to revolutionize DNA engineering. Before, it could take months or years to design such a circuit. Now, it can be done in less than a day.
Dr. Voigt’s team plans to work on several different applications using this approach — bacteria that can be swallowed to aid in digestion of lactose; bacteria that can live on plant roots and produce insecticide if they sense the plant is under attack; and yeast that can be engineered to shut off when they are producing too many toxic byproducts in a fermentation reactor.
What do you think about this rapidly developing revolutionary computer industry? Can it replace drugs and medicine in future? Can it help to cure cancer and AIDS? Will it make a living cell immortal?
Please feel free to share with us your opinion and thoughts here below.
Nowadays Xamarin has been continuing to become more and more popular among developers and business units. This is for sure as Xamarin framework allows to create apps quickly by enabling them to code in C# which can be shared across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. So let’s define some key features Xamarin has and try to understand what makes it so popular and why it is worth to be used.
As it is said on developer.xamarin.com site the Xamarin platform consists of a number of elements that allow you to develop applications for iOS and Android:
C# language – Allows you to use a familiar syntax and sophisticated features like Generics, Linq and the Parallel Task Library.
Mono .NET framework – Provides a cross-platform implementation of the extensive features in Microsoft’s .NET framework.
Compiler – Depending on the platform, produces a native app (eg. iOS) or an integrated .NET application and runtime (eg. Android). The compiler also performs many optimizations for mobile deployment such as linking away un-used code.
IDE tools – The Xamarin Studio IDE and the Xamarin plug-in for Visual Studio allow you to create, build and deploy Xamarin projects.
In addition, because the underlying language is C# with the .NET framework, projects can be structured to share code that can also be deployed to Windows Phone.
Xamarin is the great tool for cross-platform development and delivers high performance compiled code with full access to all the native APIs so you can create native apps with device-specific experiences. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, can be done in C# with Xamarin. But at the same time Xamarin is not the same as mobile web/PhoneGap/flash or the other cross platform tools. As it is said Applications built in Xamarin keep and save all the Java features on Android ObjectiveC from iOS.
What features make Xamarin a number one choice for mobile development?
1/ If you’re already familiar with .Net or C#, you would be able to start using Xamarin immediately. It supplies full C# implementation and accurate implementation of the .NET class libraries. In case you are not well experienced developer anyway you will cut down time for learning the basic principles of this framework.
To work successfully on both Android and iOS with Xamarin you just need to learn C# and one core set of classes, while usually they need you be acquainted with two separate programming environments: Java and Objective-C respectively. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, can be done in C# with Xamarin.
2/ Using the same C# code base and integrating with SDKs of all of the different operating systems for different OS allow sharing code across multiple platforms so that you are no more in need to write several codes. As a result less code you write less support your app need. The ability to reuse major part of the code cuts the development time mostly in half. That is for sure saves time and money resources to both customers and service providing companies on the app’s multi-channel distribution.
3/ When building apps with Xamarin, developers are able to perform on device processing without creating additional plug-ins. Mobile applications developed with Xamarin, give us a better user experience across various mobile platforms, as these apps are created with standard UI controls. Plus such mobile programs give us a possibility to let platform-specific functionality like iBeacon and Android Fragment becomes a part on the mobile app. Thus, there is no need developing additional plug-ins for device processing.
4/ Xamarin TestCloud allows you to automatically test your iOS and Android apps immediately, on hundreds of devices, offering continuous integration, beautiful reports, test for fragmentation, and object-based UI testing.
5/ Also as it is mentioned by professionals unlike other cross-platform mobile development frameworks, Xamarin is suitable for creating large and complex projects. Since this tool allows developers writing code using only one programming language, companies are able to scale horizontally while not employing additional IT specialist.
Also great advantage is that using Xamarin give us a possibility to focus our efforts on building app features once and then shipping the app. Compare this to the native platform environments where we build the app features once for one platform, then we build them again for the other platform, and then finally we ship. In case of Xamarin we developer one code mostly for three mobile platforms saving time and budget which makes great value for large entities and start-ups.
So to sum up it is definitely the best cross-platform development environment available today and is attracting more and more developers to the community every day. Xamarin is gaining acceptance with large corporations. If you’re looking to develop a cross-platform, native mobile application and are willing to accept some minimal downside, then Xamarin may be just the right tool for you.
So what do you think about Xamarin? Do you use it for mobile-cross platform development? If it is so, can you please let know why do you decide to use it?
Look forward to getting your ideas and comments!
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Trends: from wearables and telemedicine to cloud computing and big data
Posted April 11, 2016on:
The new trend for many medical practices is obtaining an EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. While there are many practitioners still using files and travel cards, EHR provides better efficiencies for billing, reimbursements, audits etc. Admittedly, there are more systems then doctors but acquiring an EHR allows better practice efficiencies and perhaps more money for the practice.
In this post we highlighted the most important EHR trends to see unfold this year. Thus, we expect wearables, telemedicine and mobile medicine to continue to advance. They’ll be joined by cloud computing, patient portals and big data.
Telemedicine and wearables plus EHR
The telemedicine market is forecasted to exceed $30 billion in the next five years, as providers increasingly see the need to reach seniors and patients in rural areas. Telemedicine offers tons of value to seniors. It improves care by getting it to remote patients who live far from hospitals. It also enables homebound patients to get high-quality care. It makes care cheaper, and allows seniors to stay at home longer. It benefits providers by making their jobs more flexible. And it also eliminates picking up new illnesses in a clinical care setting.
Wearables’ mass adoption has made store-and-forward telemedicine much easier. Devices like Fitbits automatically collect valuable health data. Store-and-forward telemedicine just means that data goes to a doctor or medical specialist so they can assess it when they have time.
EHRs are going mobile
More and more providers want to provide medical care from their smartphones, and more patients want to access data through mobile devices. Contributing factors to the popularity of mobile devices include their affordability, ease of use and portability (meaning they are easy to carry between patient exams to access electronic patient information). One of the other drivers of mobile technology in healthcare is the availability of myriad apps for smartphones and tablets. For each of the major smartphone operating systems, there is now an app for almost every conceivable healthcare need, ranging from drug dose calculators to fully functioning electronic medical records. Healthcare apps play a pivotal role in changing the utility of mobile devices. They’re transforming smartphones or tablets to medical instruments that capture blood test results, medication information, glucose readings, medical images, enabling physicians and patients to better manage and monitor health information. Healthcare apps are clearly taking on more mainstream health IT functions and have moved beyond sporadic use by early adopters.
From these facts we may conclude that EHRs will offer better mobile design and functionality.
More EHRs will move to the cloud
Start-up costs for EHRs can prove burdensome for some institutions, while cloud-based tools offer minimal start-up costs and can make better use of providers’ current resources. The cloud also enables better continuity of care. Cloud-based software means you can access records from outside the office. It makes mobile access possible. It makes transferring records a snap. And it makes updating software seamless for providers.
In the coming year, more and more EHRs will offer cloud services.
More EHRs will provide patient portals
Though patient portal usage got off to a slow start in 2013, in last two years it grew in popularity.
While about half of physicians offer patient portals right now, almost another fifth of them plan to offer one in the next 12 months. In a 2015 survey of more than 11,000 patients, 237 physicians, and nine payer organizations representing 47 million lives, almost a third of patients said they were interested in using a patient portal to engage with their physician, track their medical history and receive educational materials and patient support.
More providers will both offer and promote patient portals. Some may even have patients use the portals during office visits to begin getting their data into the system. And patients will start to see their value. Educating patients on how and why to use portals will be the key to getting them to use it.
Big data will reveal more connections
Personalized medicine enabled by big data is an emerging trend in healthcare. Innovation will continue apace in 2016.
Personalized medicine focuses on analyzing a person’s genome, environmental, social, biometrical, and religious influencers, and determining a treatment for the individual based on that data. It’s about moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to instead creating micro-buckets of patients by analyzing their medical records and genome sequences, and treating patients based on the research and records of how other patients in similar situations have reacted. Big data is working to identify the behaviors, risk factors, and early indicators of disease so doctors can prevent it more effectively.
Big data is only the first step. That data must be cleaned and structured so it can reveal patterns in factors that influence outcomes.
Moving forward, technology will continue to transform the healthcare industry as it plays a key role in new healthcare delivery models. EMR/EHR, mHealth, telemedicine, and many others identified will continue to increase their footprint in this growing industry. Where do you see Healthcare IT over this year? What EHR trends are you most excited about and what trends did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
Is Nordics pioneering IoT? From remote
control to autonomous connected things
and intelligent decision making. Initiatives from
Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland:
start-ups and industry leaders engaged.
Nordic countries are leading the way in the Internet of Things, the latest ‘Connected things’ study by TeliaSonera shows. There will be ~4 connected devices per person in the Nordics by 2018, Gartner Inc. predicts. Currently the Scandinavian region has 4 times as many connected “things” per person as the rest of the world.
The TeliaSonera report forecasts the Nordic market for IoT devices will grow by 23% annually, to €9.1bn by 2018: with Sweden placed first, Norway and Denmark – placed 2nd and 3rd, and followed by Finland.
Connected vehicles, connected building and connected people are the three driving forces for developments in connected cars, smart homes and digital health.
The fastest growing segment of IoT in Scandinavia is ‘connected people’ which includes not only people, but also animals. The market for connected people is expected to grow by 59% annually until 2018. ‘Connected vehicles’ (anything that transports passengers or cargo) sector is forecast to increase by 36% annually. ‘Connected buildings’ sector is expected to grow by 23% annually until 2018, when there will be, on average, 3 connected building devices, such as security, energy and HVAC, per household in the Nordics.
Impressive, but connected devices are only the first stage of IoT. “Enabling connected things to exchange and comprehend each other’s data, regardless of place, manufacturer or format, is key to realising the full potential of IoT, ” said Anders Elbak from IDC. So the aim is that “connected cars transform into intelligent transportation systems, connected medical devices into digital health and connected homes into smart cities.”
From the business prospective, Elbak pointed out that “very few [companies] acknowledge the business transformation opportunities” – or how to best make use of the vast amounts of data ‘connected devices’ generate to enable intelligent decision making, research and development and predictive services.
In the study by Accenture the Nordics are placed among the countries with the most conducive environment for Industrial IoT, along with the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands; while China, Japan, and Germany are just mid-table performers.
Recently in the Scandinavian region there have been several promising practical initiatives in the field of IoT, on radar both in start-ups and industry leaders.
In Norway, Nornir’s ‘smart home’ project addresses the expected elderly boom problem by providing the opportunity for them to live at home. The smart home environment accommodates intelligent sensors that monitor changes in the environment and the security system which recognises individualized patterns deviations and gives instant alerts to the ‘stakeholders’ if smth happens out of the ordinary.
Also one of the first worldwide real-time data linking systems is being implemented in Norway by Synaptic Technologies, and their Real Time Web (RTW) ambitiously strives to be a world-wide open platform for everybody to share and exchange readable or writable machine data online and for intelligent objects to be connected.
In Sweden, the startup Automile is tapping into telematics and untraditional cloud-powered fleet management. CEO Jens Nylander explained old legacy solutions typically require quite expensive physical installations and modifications to the car – meaning dependency on retailers and installers. Targeting primarily at smaller business, Automile operates on a SaaS model where the device itself is free and users pay a subscription fee. Interesting that big names like ABB and Ricoh International are now among the customers.
Thingsquare, Swedish IoT pioneer, provides the software platform allowing you to connect all your products with smartphones wirelessly.
Also the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has introduced a cloud-based communications system for road safety: the tech is piloted in Sweden and Norway, where weather conditions can be suitably extreme, and it’s hoped the system will be standard in Scandinavia already in 2016 and is even a part of the governmental program.
The Swedish multinational provider of communications Ericsson recognises “Networked Society” as its core directive to align with IoT thinking aiming at connecting 50 billion devices by 2020; all in order to benefit its subscribers.
In Finland the IoT initiative is represented by BaseN Platform – a highly scalable and easily distributed IoT platform, enabling required scalability for hosting millions of things.
These are just a few interesting starts, still many more to mention are: from Sweden – Yanzi Networks, one of Intel’s innovation labs, Imagimob with Artificial Intelligence innovation for torso body tracking through embedded, wearables and mobile devices, Connode with unique position in Smart Metering Market, Springworks known for its machine-to-humanity (M2H) connectivity innovaton, FarmDrones with a connected solution for farmers to increase productivity and crops yield, Watty with the next generation energy product, Ewa Home, hidn Tempo, Minalyze; from Norway – Nordic (Semiconductor); from Finland – CyberLightning with its Smart city concept at the industrial scale, etc.
Have more interesting examples, or wish to share your point of view? You are welcome to leave your comment here.
When a technical term is used more and more frequently the exact definition becomes “blurred” and its true meaning is usually greatly distorted.
This what happened to the term ‘business intelligence’ or BI. Ever since, when the term had only appeared, the development of technologies has substantially expanded our understanding of BI and of what advantage and benefit the company can retrieve from their available data.
So, what does ‘business intelligence’ mean today? How it could be useful for companies and how to apply its underlying ideas correctly to ensure the steady growth of efficiency and profitability of a business?
What is business intelligence? Why is it important?
BI consists of two completely diverse, but at the same time complementing one another aspects.
- Value for the business.
Implies how companies can use the available information in order to multiply profit and efficiency and bring new products and services to the market successfully.
- IT strategy.
Includes the idea of what technological solutions to apply in order to achieve greatest possible utility of BI.
Presentation of data in a specific format for efficient usage by the company has always been a challenging task. For many organizations, it is quite complex to determine what particular information is required for a specific use.
Such business analysis requires certainty in methodologies and goals.
Earlier BI resources were limited by the lack of available data collection technologies. Nevertheless, modern technologies such as big data, analytics, mobile services and cloud computing in their combination allow obtaining a continuous flow of detailed information quite fast and with no serious investments.
Still, the current bottom line lies in extracting some valuable sense from these data and, in many respects, it is much more complicated than collecting information itself.
Five efficiency criteria of BI-system (and BI-strategy)
1. While selecting a BI-system one should be guided by the real needs of a particular company
The most common and at the same time the most dangerous mistake is when the BI-systems dictate the strategy of their usage. As a result, the company gets plenty of non-synchronized applications, awkward interface and the infrastructure that is already out of date, yet so entrenched in the IT system that could be barely substituted.
2. Be flexible
Flexible model of the integration of the appropriate software involves constant repetition of certain operations with the gradual development of the system. This allows companies to evaluate the success of the project at any point of time, to determine at what stage it is and towards what it moves.
As a rule, creating, testing and integration of BI-technologies goes much more smoothly when the company receives real-time feedbacks from all the running processes and is able to make required adjustments on the fly. It is vital for BI-systems!
3. User-friendly interface
BI-solutions focus on collection, visualization and management of the data.
Usually, when it comes to large amounts of numeric information companies face a risk to get exceptionally technical, inconvenient and incomprehensible data for the “illiterate” users of the system. This information is highly functional, but impractical, especially when it is badly integrated with other applications.
Integration is a key point in deploying BI-technologies. In case the interface is non-intuitive, complex and inconvenient for the end users, BI-system will definitely work inefficiently.
There is a tendency to allocate significant resources for the integration of the latest technologies promising unprecedented results. However, such investments potentially may do more harm than good. Intelligent, targeted and smooth integration is the key to avoid serious errors during implementation.
4. BI is a tool available to everyone
BI has been long used by completely different users, not only by experts with appropriate education and experience. BI-system should be simple and easy to understand to everyone.
For this purpose, companies have to attain the convenience of analytics and the reports drawn on its basis; it should be simple and demonstrative. The collected data should be presented in the way so that any user could easily make definite conclusions.
5. Centralize your data
The desire to achieve the result, based on useful information implies proper data handling. Receiving data from multiple sources and storing it in a centralized information DB, capable of filtering, sorting and removing the unnecessary is critical for the deployment of the applications involved into making business decisions. Apart from that, risk management also becomes more effective through transparency and structure.
General excitement over BI is evident
The role that IT plays in the world has significantly changed over the past few years thanks to the information ‘boom’. Still, construction of a technological infrastructure is not enough for successful data management.
That is why, ‘business intelligence’ it is not just a fashionable term it is a concept that demonstrates the need to move beyond the paradigm of a separate, isolated existence of data analysis and business goals.
In fact, BI reminds us that technologies and business must be closely linked, so that the business goals and business guidelines predetermine the choice of software and, the software in return would provide useful information leading business to success.
Can you spend a day without your smartphone? I can hardly imagine it.
Could we imagine about 10 years ago that we would use smartphones and tablets every day, everywhere for almost everything: playing games, ordering taxi, watching tv, ordering food, etc? Possibly, not.
The mobile application industry is growing increasingly fast. It`s almost beginning of 2016 and it`s time to speak about top mobile app development trends that will rock this year.
Cloud driven apps will be on top
Cloud is going to play a leading role for a number of mobile apps in 2016. The cloud gives the possibility to sync apps across multiple devices. As the number of people using multiple mobile devices ( smartphones, tablets, wearables) is on the rise, the cloud approach makes it easy for them to access any data from any channel. Also, thanks to the cloud, app developers can retain the small size of mobile apps.
Gartner.com predicts that by 2018 at least 30% of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud.
Focus on Mobile apps security
We witnessed a great increase in information leaks and hacker attacks in 2015 that affected a lot of organizations from small companies to industry giants and government organizations. Reports just prove this fact, more than 75% of mobile applications would fail basic security tests in 2015.
This is horrible as many mobile applications store sensitive and personal information. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2016, more than 50% of global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.
So security is a key principle mobile developers should focus on in 2016.
IOS has proved itself as the most secure platform. Android has always been claimed as a non-secure platform, however developers paid more attention to security issue in the latest Android versions.
Shift towards enterprise mobile applications
This trend of the year 2015 will continue to boost in 2016.
According to a survey conducted by Vision Mobile in the beginning of 2015 43% of developers working on enterprise apps were making more than $10,000 per month. In comparison, only 19% of the app developers focusing on consumer apps were making a similar income. The percentage of successful enterprise apps developers is double the percentage of consumer apps developers.
So it`s not a secret that mobile apps developers will focus more on enterprise applications development to generate more revenues
Internet of Things / IoT and wearables
We have seen a big increase in usage of wearable devices in 2015 and this trend will continue to boost in 2016 as well. Certainly, IoT is still in its infancy and it`s mostly consumer based at the moment, but it`ll be adopted for commercial as well as industrial use.
Wearable tech devices, such as Google Glass and iWatch, have already created a huge buzz in the market and are becoming more and more popular.
Analysts predict that IoT will be the next big technological breakthrough and more and more people will be connected to “Things” in the nearest future.
It means that mobile developers and entrepreneurs should be prepared for this trend and consider IoT and wearable technology while developing new applications.
Focus on swift programming
Swift, a relatively new programming language from Apple, has already gained quite a substantial popularity. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, claimed that this set of tools was downloaded more than 11 million times in the first month alone. Now, these numbers are bigger.
Swift is designed as both an application language and a systems language and gives the possibility to develop apps for iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS, and so on.
I`m sure we will hear more about Swift in 2016.
Vaster adoption of location based technology/ Beacon
Another great trend for mobile developers is beacon technology.
This technology has already revolutionized the shopping experience and is expected to be adopted by other domains other than retail for its location tracking benefits.
New cross platform tools
With the rise of wearable devices, smart TVs, mobile applications need to suit the requirement of multiple platforms and devices. Cross platform tools may be a good solution. Sencha, Titanium, Unity 3D, Cocos2D, PhoneGap, are already playing a big role in the mobile app development market. In 2016 we may see the emergence of new cross platform development tools.
So, this was a short list of mobile app development trends that will be on their rise in 2016. I`ll be happy to hear you opinion on the future of mobile industry. What trends would you like to add to our list?
Posted March 15, 2016on:
Whether you’re building apps for the browser, mobile or desktop, Aurelia can enable you to not only create amazing UI, but do it in a way that is maintainable, testable and extensible.
Retrospective and today
Aurelia is a project of Rob Eisenberg, the author of a very popular MV * – framework for Caliburn.Micro XAML-platforms, Durandal. Understanding all the disadvantages of Durandal, Eisenberg engaged in the development of so-called NextGen framework. In 2014 he began to work in Angular team on the second version of the framework. However, several months later, Rob decided to leave the Angular team since the direction of Angular 2, in his opinion, had changed a lot. He gathered a large team and returned to work on the framework of his dreams. And Aurelia is the result of that work.
By using modern tooling Aurelia was written from the ground up in ECMAScript 2016. This means you have native modules, classes, decorators and more at disposal.
Aurelia’s code is open sourced under the MIT License, a very permissive license used by many popular web projects today. The starter kits are available under the Creative Commons 0 license. There is also a Contributor for those who wish to join the team in working on Aurelia. Ultimately, this means that you can use Aurelia without fear of legal repercussions and it can be build in the same confidence.
Benefits of Aurelia
• Convention over Configuration – Simple conventions help developers follow solid patterns and reduce the amount of code they have to write and maintain. It also means less fiddling with framework APIs and more focus on their app.
• Simple, But Not Simplistic – Because of the simple design developers are able to learn a very small set of patterns and APIs that unlock limitless possibilities.
• Promotes the “-ilities” – Testability, maintainability, extensibility, learnability, etc.- Aurelia’s design helps developers to naturally write code that exhibits these desirable characteristics.
• Amazingly Extensible – Aurelia is highly modular and designed to be customized easily, so developers will never hit a roadblock or have to “hack” the framework to succeed.
• Integrates Well with Others – Easily integrated with any 3rd party library or framework: for instance, with jQuery, React, Polymer, Bootstrap, MaterializeCSS and much more.
• TypeScript Support – Each Aurelia library is released with its own d.ts files. There are also official TypeScript beginner kits and production quality starter kits.
• An Official Product with Commercial Support – Being an official product of Durandal Inc., it has commercial and enterprise support available, so you can use Aurelia for building core technology for your business.
Aurelia, Angular and React.js – what’s common and what’s different?
Aurelia vs. Angular
Similarities between Aurelia and Angular 2:
Differences in vision details and options range:
Aurelia vs. React.js
Aurelia vs. Angular and React
It goes without saying why these three frameworks are so popular. They all have a lot of strong advantages. Eventually, I’m favoring Aurelia: there’s solid documentation available and the overall philosophy is the same with Angular 2, but Aurelia is a better choice from the syntax and execution point of view. The architecture and syntax vision of Aurelia team seems to be more clear than the vision of the Angular team. The company and enterprise support of Aurelia is also a big pro.
What is your personal experience with these frameworks? Which one would you choose for your projects and why? What’s your prediction “who” will win the crown in the nearest future? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Thank you in advance!