Archive for April, 2016

Researchers generate clean energy using bacteria-powered solar panel

April 30, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Innovation

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 8.36.58 AMFrom the BlueBook of Nanotechnology:

Researchers have taken the next step in the evolution of bacteria-powered energy.

For the first time ever, researchers connected nine biological-solar (bio-solar) cells into a bio-solar panel. Then they continuously produced electricity from the panel and generated the most wattage of any existing small-scale bio-solar cells – 5.59 microwatts.

“Once a functional bio-solar panel becomes available, it could become a permanent power source for supplying long-term power for small, wireless telemetry systems as well as wireless sensors used at remote sites where frequent battery replacement is impractical,” said Seokheun “Sean” Choi, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and co-author of the paper.

Read more on the findings here.

It’s here! The Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit is underway in Chicago

April 25, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 8.50.27 AMFor the next two days, I will be engaged with many of you in a highly-productive, stimulating gathering of leaders and their teams, at the Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit (I&GL), April 25-26 in Chicago.There’s still time to join us!

We’re focusing on the most important leadership challenges facing Chief Innovation Officers, EVPs and VPs of Growth, Innovation, Product Development, R&D, Marketing, and Operations today.

Venn DiagramLearn from the front-runners and thought leaders – what strategies are most effective? How do you gain organizational alignment and buy-in? How do you balance risk with reward and make fact-based decisions to move swiftly? How do you ensure limited resources are directed to the highest growth opportunities? What capabilities do you need to execute flawlessly?

This one-of-a kind Summit has been shaped with the input of industry leaders to make a real impact. It will provide meaningful, actionable insights and implementation plans that ensure management and their teams come away on the same page, ready to move forward together.

But internal alignment is only half the story. No organization is an island, and ecosystems are complex. Growth requires swift and seamless collaboration – inside and out. How do you excel? The inaugural Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit will tell you and provide the tools, resources, peer network, and follow-on support to do it.

Starting with leadership to imagine and inspire, teams to use their ingenuity to integrate new ideas and processes, the intersection and net result is insight-driven impact.


Free networking reception in Chicago

April 20, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.20.07 AM

If you’d like to meet and network with innovation leaders in some of the largest corporations, I have a special invitation for you, at no cost!

On Monday evening, April 25th, head to Chicago’s Signature Ballroom at the DoubleTree O’Hare to hear Managing Director and Partner, Accenture Shiv Iyer on how to boost margins and drive reinvestment for growth.

Shiv Iyer

Shiv Iyer

Then join us for beer, wine and a taste of Chicago!  Meet innovation leaders from companies such as BASF, WD40, Smucker’s, Clorox, Sun Products, GOJO Industries, Mondelez, Kimberly-Clark, Midwest Specialty Products, CIMdata, Landauer, Qualcomm, and more.

The night kicks off our Innovation and Growth Summit. Even if you can’t attend the entire conference, come and meet us for the evening. I’ll be there and can’t wait to learn from these leaders about how new operational models are driving growth in their companies.

Bring a colleague, spread the word!

Details here.


Looking to balance growth objectives with resource constraints?

April 18, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.27.03 AM

It’s not to late to sign up and attend the Growth and Innovation Summit in Chicago!

This summit is designed to maximize your time, providing actionable takeaways in two focused days.  The first day is dedicated to strategy, the second to implementation, with a ‘bridge’ keynote session and kickoff reception in between.  (See the agenda).  You may attend just one or both days, and we encourage you to bring your team

This first-of-its-kind Summit is practical and collegial with top level content, but even more personal with more Q&A, hands-on experience, and synthesis.  By participating, you will learn to:

  •     simplify complexity; increase agility and adaptability to ever-changing needs
  •     balance growth objectives with resource constraints -keep motivation high, especially after restructuring
  •     identify and weed out inefficiencies, redirect cost savings toward innovation and growth
  •     expand your ecosystem
  •     improve organizational effectiveness; connect the dots between strategy, processes, people, and tools

Overall, you will come away with valuable new business contacts, benchmarking insights, and the clarity and direction to get things done.

Return of the “dumb phone”?

April 13, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Most of us can’t wait to get the latest and greatest hand-held computers we use as smart phones. I don’t know how I could do what I do without instant access to my apps and tools on my phone. But not everyone wants this convenience.

Here’s an interesting video about the “Return of the Dumb Phone. What do you think?

Scientists turn skin cells into heart cells and brain cells

April 12, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Health and Wellness
A human heart cell that was chemically reprogrammed from a human skin cell. Credit: Nan Cao, PhD, Gladstone Institutes

A human heart cell that was chemically reprogrammed from a human skin cell.
Credit: Nan Cao, PhD, Gladstone Institutes

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have transformed skin cells into heart cells and brain cells using a combination of chemicals. According to Science Daily, the research lays the groundwork for one day being able to regenerate lost or damaged cells with pharmaceutical drugs:

In two studies published in Science and Cell Stem Cell, the team of scientists, who were led by Gladstone senior investigator Sheng Ding, PhD, and are part of the Roddenberry Center for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at Gladstone, used chemical cocktails to gradually coax skin cells to change into organ-specific stem cell-like cells and, ultimately, into heart or brain cells. This discovery offers a more efficient and reliable method to reprogram cells and avoids medical concerns surrounding genetic engineering.

“This method brings us closer to being able to generate new cells at the site of injury in patients,” said Ding, the senior author on both studies. “Our hope is to one day treat diseases like heart failure or Parkinson’s disease with drugs that help the heart and brain regenerate damaged areas from their own existing tissue cells. This process is much closer to the natural regeneration that happens in animals like newts and salamanders, which has long fascinated us.”

Chemically Repaired Hearts

Adult hearts have a very limited ability to generate new cells, so scientists have searched for a way to replace cells lost after a heart attack, such as transplanting adult heart cells or stem cells into the damaged heart. However, these efforts have been largely ineffective, as most transplanted adult cells do not survive or integrate properly into the heart, and few stem cells can be coaxed into becoming heart cells. An alternative approach pioneered by Deepak Srivastava, MD, director of cardiovascular and stem cell research at Gladstone, used genes to convert scar-forming cells in the heart of animals into new muscle that improved the function of the heart. A chemical reprogramming approach to do the same may offer an easier way to provide the cues that induce heart muscle to regenerate locally.

Read the report here:

Google’s new patent uses smart lens injected right into your eyeball

April 8, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Innovation

freephotoThis is a report from Digital Trends that makes me uncomfortable, and yet it could have some innovative applications:

Forget Sony’s planned smart contact lenses, Google has just filed a patent for a smart device that would be injected directly into your eyeball.

According to the patent filing, the device would replace the natural lens in your eye, and would be injected with a solution that congeals, attaching to your lens capsule. Sure, the device would mostly be used as a way to correct poor vision, but it could be used for other things, too.

The device itself includes a lens, but on top of that it has storage, sensors, a battery, and even radio components so it can communicate with other devices, such as an external module that offers processing power.

But instead of plugging a micro USB cable into your eyeball, the battery draws energy through an “energy-harvesting antenna.” It’s not clear exactly how this would work, only that it would not involve a micro USB cable.Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Google focus on the eyes. Apart from Google Glass, the company filed a patent for a smart contact lens back in 2014. This lens was aimed at tracking your glucose levels through your tears, which would be particularly helpful for those with diabetes. These contact lenses now fall under the Verily umbrella, the life sciences division of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. It’s most likely that this new device will also fall under Verily, as it lists Jason Conrad, the lead of Verily, as the inventor.

Read more: 

Magnetic nanoparticles may reveal early traces of cancer

April 3, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Biotechnology

Students at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are doing some amazing research with nanotechnology. This is a promising report in the battle against cancers:

Nanoscale magnets offer a new way to find faint, early traces of cancer in patients, according to Rice University students working on a method to capitalize on the magnets’ properties. Three Rice computational and applied mathematics students are refining a program to analyze magnetic relaxometry signals from iron-oxide nanoparticles that find and attach themselves to cancerous cells.

Rice seniors Brian Ho, Rachel Hoffman and Eric Sung have developed a novel way to analyze data for cancer researchers who hope to use magnetic nanoparticles to locate signs of cancer that X-rays would never spot.

All magnets (or materials prone to magnetism) have magnetic “moments,” like invisible needles that can move and react to magnetic fields, even if their physical hosts can’t.

These ghostly needles align when exposed to an external magnetic field; when the field is removed, they “relax” once again. Relaxometry measures this latter characteristic. It turns out the moments relax at a very different rate when they belong to nanoparticles that are bound to cancer cells.

The students are working with Rice adviser Béatrice Rivière, the Noah G. Harding Chair and a professor of computational and applied mathematics, and doctors at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to develop computer programs that analyze “traces” of these moments as they relax. Albuquerque, N.M.,-based Senior Scientific, in collaboration with MD Anderson, is developing a commercial relaxometry platform for the early detection of cancer.

 Read more about the research here.