WHITEFISH, MT / August 01, 2014 / In a new world of high tech discoveries, Silicon Valley is creating advances that are now being used to revolutionize the biotech industry. These innovations are set to disrupt the whole pharmaceutical and biotech industry. High-tech companies leading the way include Google (GOOG), Organovo (ONVO), IBM (IBM), and Facebook (FB).
Be At a Biotech Research Center in India without Actually Being There
Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $2 billion dollars this year and is hoping to revolutionize the world of virtual reality with its technology. Oculus was able to combine 3D technology with 360-degree visuals and a field of view that is much wider than industry standards. This combined with technology that has precise optics convincing the brain that you are in the action. This enables the virtual experience to mimic the real experience in such a way that the brain cannot tell the difference.
While the technology was initially developed with gamers in mind, Facebook has much bigger plans. The scientists working on the project envision it being used for virtual classrooms around the world, virtual doctors’ visits and in the biotech industry connecting scientists around the world, who can work on projects simultaneously, while in labs thousands of miles away. The headset is expected to be released later this year.
Recently, Next Galaxy Corp. (WILS) teamed up with Eon Reality to create one of the first social virtual reality platforms for Facebook's Oculus Rift. The virtual reality platform simulates the communal experience of being at an “event” or “place” without actually being there. This virtual reality platform together with the new head mounted displays such as Oculus Rift, The ZEISS Cinemizer, and Sony’s Project Morpheus will make this a reality.
Google's Futuristic Contact Lenses
Google (GOOG), recently named the World’s most valuable brand according to MillwardBrown research firm, is making leaps and bounds in high tech innovation. Their Google Glass has generated a lot of buzz by users and researchers as it is being used for different uses as a hands-free eyewear computer that has an open system for creative apps and the ability to record data.
In addition to Google Glass, Google X, the technology arm of Google, has many other exciting innovations they are working on, including a contact lens that will measure blood sugar levels automatically.
The prototype for the contact lens has been patented and is expected to come to market in the next five years. The contact lens resembles current soft contact lenses on the market but has a chip in the lens that will monitor the blood glucose levels through customer’s tears, enabling patients to better manage their diabetes. This can be a huge market for Google as there is no technology currently on the market for this.
3D Systems Broadens Healthcare Business with VR
Healthcare leader 3D Systems (DDD) said on July 30 that it is paying $120 million to acquire Simbionix, a pioneer in 3D virtual reality surgical simulation and training. With the purchase, 3D Systems brings under its umbrella 16 simulation platforms that teach more than 60 procedures across 8 different specialties. These virtual reality programs give surgeons the opportunity to master complex procedures in a virtual setting first, which improves patient outcomes.
The acquisition comes only months after 3D Systems, a maker of 3D printing systems amongst other things, bought Medical Modeling Inc., a firm with diverse offerings, including virtual surgical planning tools that are used for things such as reconstructive and orthognathic surgeries.
3D Printing Your Organs
Organovo (ONVO) is a company focused on developing 3-D technology that can create living tissue using three dimensional bio printing. This technology is being developed to reproduce human tissue that mimics native tissue in both form and function. The bioprinting technology has the ability to produce and replicate human tissue with a high level of accuracy, which is crucial when it comes to usable biotechnology.
The goal is to replicate human cells that are both multi-cellular and living tissue in a laboratory environment that can be maintained for long periods of time. If fully developed this technology will revolutionize the multi-billion-dollar organ transplant market and will lead the way in cell regeneration.
A Supercomputer That May One Day Cure Cancer
IBM Watson is a computer built by IBM (IBM) that is able to think more like a human than a computer. This development is providing a computer experience that is more dynamic. The Watson computer can read and understand language along with analyzing data. It has the ability to learn based on feedback from users, allowing it to get smarter the more it is used. The computer also has the ability to analyze data and establish a hypothesis along with potential solutions. It will then allow the user to view the train of thought that allows the computer to reach the given conclusion to the hypothesis. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we look at and interact with computers.
IBM introduced the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor to help biotech companies analyze research data faster and reduce the time it takes from initial research to bringing a product to market. These advancements will help researchers formulate conclusions based on existing data. The computer can access and pull data from millions of data points including articles, studies, and journals, pinpointing connections within the data that will enable researches to reach faster and more accurate conclusions.
In an age where we have so much information, having a computer that has the ability to sift through millions of points of data and detect the information that is relevant to a particular study, will enable significant advances in the study of biotechnology in shorter time periods.
In addition to the Watson, IBM has been working in the field of nanoscience since 1981. In IBM’s words. "Just as cells are the building blocks for the human body, IBM envisions a world in which nontechnology processes are the basic building blocks for transistors and microprocessors." This technology has advanced dramatically over the last decade. The latest includes a diagnostic tool called the IBM DNA Transistor. This is proving to be a low cost method for tracking human genome sequence. They are also developing a potential weapon against MRSA. This superbug is highly contagious and is incredibly hard to treat due to its resistance to antibiotics resulting in thousands of deaths in the US every year. The federal government is encouraging companies to develop new antibiotics and giving incentives for that. Another company using nano technology to destroy superbugs is NanoAntibiotics, Inc (NNAB), which is developing a nano efflux pump blocker to block a key component of multi-drug resistant Superbugs.
These new innovations are creating advances that will enable the biotech industry further their research in a meaningful way. Cures to disease and advancements in current treatments will save lives. The ability to test and bring new technology to market faster will enable drugs and cures to reach those inflicted with incurable disease a hope they have not had before. For investors, HiTech advances represent more opportunity to be a part of revolutionary products that can change the world.
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SOURCE: Emerging Growth LLC