In healthy people, Zeb1 is responsible for the migration of cells that promote healing and the creation of new blood vessels. Zeb1 deficiency can cause the death of blood vessel forming endothelial cells. During hyperglycemia, Zeb1 loses its ability to bind to its partners.
Singh points toward the critical need to tune Zeb1 levels to intermediary levels optimal for wound repair. In an interview on the IU School of Medicine website, he said, “From a therapeutic point of view, if we can reduce the levels of Zeb1 in diabetic patients, then we may be able to achieve healthy blood vessel growth in wounds. First, we need to do more preclinical research before we can go clinical.”
Ultimately, he hopes that they can develop drugs that adjust Zeb1 levels in diabetic wounds.
Flyover University research briefs
Detecting food borne toxins
In an effort to help stop the spread of food borne illnesses (which kill 3,000 people a year), researchers at Purdue have developed a lanthanide-based assay coupled with a laser that can be used to detect toxins and pathogenic E. coli in food samples, water, and a variety of industrial materials.
A potential vaccine for preventing respiratory infections
By figuring out how a common virus hides from the immune system, Ohio State University scientists have identified a potential vaccine to prevent sometimes-deadly respiratory infections in humans.
Project seeks to destroy PFAS in liquid waste streams
University of Missouri-Kansas City assistant professor Megan Hart received $354,000 in funding from the Department of Defense’s Strategic and Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) for a two-year project focused on destroying PFAS (a compound in wrinkle-resistant clothing, nonstick cookware, firefighting foam, etc.) in concentrated liquid waste streams through a series of lab-based tests.
Madison startup buys all-EV Green Cab ride service
Last October, Madison’s Green Cab taxi service began swapping out its hybrid vehicles for Tesla Model 3 electric cars, leased from local startup Zerology. Founded last year by tech entrepreneur Shree Kalluri, Zerology says its mission is to help people find “convenient, eco-friendly ways to get from here to there.”
Now Zerology’s parent company, Mobile Transformation, has purchased Green Cab. Zerology and Green Cab, while remaining separate companies, are working together to operate a fleet of 36 electric vehicles, with plans to grow that number to 50. The partnership is a good one, matching the trend toward zero-emission vehicles with the increasing popularity of ride-sharing apps. And because both companies have an interest in sustainable transportation, Kalluri says, “There is already that environmental sensibility baked in.”
The switch to an all-electric fleet presented some infrastructure challenges—like installing four fast charging stations and 20 lower-speed stations (a full charge will last about 300 miles). Zerology is also working with Green Cab to develop a new app for riders, which is expected to launch in March.
SoLiS Mobility is opening its first EV charging station in St. Louis
SoLiS, which has operations in Europe and Asia as well as in St. Louis, says it’s using engineered bamboo building systems and integrated battery and storage. The agnostic charging station will feature 24 EV stalls, a lounge and business center space, coffee and healthy food options, and EV ride sharing/hailing.
SLEDP CEO and president Rodney Crim praised the project, citing its strategic location and convenience, sustainability, and accessibility. “This $3.2M economic development project evokes the innovative spirit that is synonymous with St. Louis and moves us further towards a path of sustainability.”
Social media studio raises $3.5 million
Soona, a Minneapolis startup that provides professionally produced photo and video content, has raised $3.5 million in seed capital. The company has studios in the Twin Cities and Denver and will open studios in Austin and New York City this year.
Soona provides inexpensive, same-day photography and videos for small businesses and social media influencers who want professional-quality content to show off their products. The service is popular with customers and it’s easy to see why: High quality photos are $39 each and videos are just $93 each. For small businesses that are frustrated with phone photos or tired of paying a fortune for video, it’s a great deal.
Soona is also getting some attention for its “candor clause.” It’s a clause its founders, who are both women, wrote into their contracts with investors, requiring them to disclose any prior allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination. Because 85% of partners at venture capital firms are men, there is often a power imbalance when women start businesses and seek capital. The open source clause is available online for other startups to use.
Startup Funding Briefs
Cleveland’s EmployStream raises $7M in Series B Funding
EmployStream, a provider of “onboarding” software for staffing agencies, has just closed on a $7 million Series B funding round led by Ann Arbor-based Plymouth Growth Partners. The company plans to use the capital to expand product development.
Chicago tech hub acquires Illinois Technology Association
Farmers are now growing Edison wheat, a wheat breed developed in the Pacific Northwest, in Kentucky. By modifying the growing cycle, Van Sanford was able to adapt the crop to Kentucky’s climate. Edison wheat is known for its ideal flavor and “dough functionality,” which makes bread taste better than typical whole-wheat products.
Students mill the wheat into flour and bake scones, biscuits, cakes, muffins, artisan breads, and pizza dough. The small grain value chain makes it possible for restaurants and bakeries to source flour directly to the farm that raised it. Students and faculty plan to produce other nontraditional varieties to support local restaurants.
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
Useless information that is strangely fascinating.
This city was the first in the U.S. to add fluoride to drinking water.
The city was built upon a complex of natural caves which were once used for the lagering of beer by early German immigrant brewers.
This city was where the world’s first successful human bone marrow transplant using an HLA matched sibling donor was done.
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