Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Looks Promising! New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function

Looks Promising! New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques responsible for memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients.


The research team reports fully restoring the memories of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks - a maze, a test to get them to recognize new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

Alzheimer’s affects 50 million worldwide. A team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) have come up with a promising solution for removing the defective brain beta-amyloid and tau proteins.

Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to move in. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so once they get past the blood-brain barrier, they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps before the blood-brain barrier is restored within a few hours.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I and the friends and families of those who know someone with Alzheimer's, estimated 50 million, hope this is true.  It could be the breakthrough we need with implications for huge change in the world.  ~  Deb

Richard Platt's curator insight, March 23, 2015 7:43 PM

Very promising trials, now it will need to pass FDA testing, given that ultrasound has typically been shown to be non-invasive and generally harmless this does seem like something that is worth investigating.

Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Paul Conneally: Digital humanitarianism | Video on

TED Talks The disastrous earthquake in Haiti taught humanitarian groups an unexpected lesson: the power of mobile devices to coordinate, inform, and guide relief efforts....

Paul Geisen illustrates hand-held, mobile technology and open source software as new, powerful humanitarian tools for disaster response including coordinating efforts. Collaborating.
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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Higher Ed Management!

The Faculty Project offers Free Online Courses from Elite College Faculty | Inside Higher Ed

The Faculty Project offers Free Online Courses from Elite College Faculty | Inside Higher Ed | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Bricks and mortar institutions:  meet online disruptors in the academy.  Udemy is the next shoe dropping with its Faculty Project, online courses offered by professors at a number of top institutions.


This announcement comes right on the heels of news about a Stanford professor leaving his tenured job in order to reach bigger audiences that have flocked to his artificial intelligence course online.



Udemy, a company that allows anyone to create and sell courses through its online platform, has announced a new area of its site, called The Faculty Project, devoted to courses by professors at a number of top institutions, such as Colgate, Duke University, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia, Dartmouth College and Vassar College. While Udemy is a for-profit enterprise, the Faculty Project courses will be free.


The goal is to “elevate the brand,” according to Gagan Biyani, Udemy’s president and co-founder. The company says it has no immediate plans to monetize the Faculty Project, and would never do so without the input and permission of its faculty contributors.

Via Smithstorian, Keith Hampson PhD
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Google: Project Glass taken out for test run by Google co-founder: Report & Charming Video

Google: Project Glass taken out for test run by Google co-founder: Report & Charming Video | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"The Google Glasses are real!"  Project Glass, augmented reality lenses from Google, is already being tested by Google employees, including company co-founder Sergei Brin.

This video is already making the rounds on Facebook among my friends.  I wanted to share it here, as it foreshadows social media ease/connection.  

It is also spot on for a precursor of 10 year trend forecasting by Bob Johanssen that allows for virtual/digital alteration of your space, via the ACMP 2012 global change conference, and is representative, I think, of Google media relationship charm.


This week Google officially confirmed the existence of Project Glass, a prototype pair of augmented reality goggles, which will allow users to see maps and chats and take photographs or notes without once reaching down for their smart phones.

"The Google Glasses are real!" popular blogger, Robert Scoble wrote in the Twitter message. Later he added that the goggles "look very light weight. Not much different than a regular set of glasses."

To view the charming, short video Google Glasses (complete with a sweet ukelele finale), go here.

Photo credit:  A screenshot from a Google video promoting Project Glass, a new augmented reality device from the team at Mountain View. - Google

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Will they Pay? Degrees & UnBundling: Massive online courses not a game changing innovation > Competency building is

Will they Pay?  Degrees & UnBundling: Massive online courses not a game changing innovation > Competency building is | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Higher ed disrupters:  It may not be what it seems, Alice.   It's the unbundling and competency building that makes the difference.

As shared on this curation stream, with higher education seeming like one of the next bubbles to burst, due to high cost, ossified bureacracies and the like, there is more to the story.

The context, if you've missed it, is further below.   Meanwhile, here's a few other things to consider having to do with profitability, the value of a degree & unbundling - several key concepts for these changing times for higher education:


If you build it, will they pay?

...when the chattering class meets Professor Thrun, it’s love at first sight. The notion that they might take a Stanford course for free recalls their youthful days at similar elite universities

...educational romantics already have degrees. And when Udacity begins charging even modest fees for its courses, Professor Thrun may find this group resistant to paying for lifelong learning.

"Degrees are definitely not disappearing; they’re not even in decline." developing economies, where there is truly a hunger for knowledge in any form and where the degree may not yet be as central to the evaluation of prospective employees [like it is in the US], the wage premium from a bachelor’s degree is even higher [than the US]:

  • 124 percent in Mexico,
  • 171 percent in Brazil and
  • 200 percent in China,
  • compared with a mere 62 percent in the U.S.

Unbundling & Building Success in Competencies are the Innovation

Salman Khan's popular on-line Khan Academy videos teach a single concept.

  • Stanford Professor Thrun’s (reference below) online course builds on Khan’s innovation, and the resulting andragogy is remarkable.

Professor Thrun had to say in his announcement, excerpted:

We really set up our students for failure. We don’t help students to become smart.

Grades are the failure of the education system.  ...So rather than grading students, my task was to make students successful.

We changed the course so the questions were still hard, but students could attempt them multiple times. And when they finally got them right, they would get their A+. And it was much better.

Today, when someone fails, we don’t take time to make them a strong student. We give them a C or a D, move them to the next class. Then they’re branded a loser, and they’re set up for failure. This medium has the potential to change all that.

Context, excerpted:

The news media has been abuzz over two higher education developments:

1) MIT announces an extension of its successful OpenCourseWare initiative and that it will offer certificates to students who complete courses. MITx will allow students to access content for free. Students who wish to receive a certificate will be charged a modest fee for the requisite assessments,  issued under the name MIT.

2) Sebastian Thrun, an adjunct professor of computer science at Stanford who invited the world to attend his fall semester artificial intelligence course and who ended up with 160,000 online students, announced he had decided to stop teaching at Stanford and direct all his teaching activities through Udacity, a start-up he co-founded that will offer online courses from leading professors to millions of students.

He called the experience of reaching so many students life-changing: “Having done this, I can’t teach at Stanford again. I feel there’s a red pill and a blue pill. And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill, and I’ve seen Wonderland.”

Read more via

Photo credit: DaBok, Flickr cc

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Times Higher Education - Innovation strategy 'ignores' funding and visa concerns

University strategies & policy:  Too little innovation?

Excerpt:  Wendy Piatt, director-general of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities, welcomed many of the measures in the newly announced innovation strategy, but was disappointed it did not address concerns about postgraduate funding, or adopt the Russell Group's proposal for a new bank loan scheme for postgraduates.

She also called for more capital funding to be made available to universities, and for research to be exempted from the Freedom of Information Act.

David Price, vice-provost for research at University College London, praised the government for "the stability of its commitment to the research base" in difficult times.

He also said it was a pity the strategy's "fine words on the importance of mobile highly skilled people" had not translated into concessions regarding universities' continuing concerns about the government's new visa regulations.

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