NASA Hosts OSIRIS-REx Sample Lab Media Day

Ahead of the first asteroid sample collected by the U.S. arriving on Earth in September, media are invited on Monday, July 24, to meet mission scientists and see NASA's newly-built OSIRIS-REx Sample Curation Laboratory where the agency will study the sample at its Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The asteroid Bennu, the target of the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) mission, is a carbonaceous asteroid whose regolith may record the earliest history of our solar system. The Bennu sample may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and Earth's oceans, and its study also will help scientists understand planet formation.

The media day will include opportunities to speak with subject matter experts and capture still and moving imagery at the curation lab. Full interviews with subject matter experts will be available after the lab tour concludes.

U.S. and international media interested in participating must request accreditation no later than 5 p.m. CDT Friday, July 7, by contacting the NASA Johnson newsroom at: 281-483-5111 or Media accreditation is limited due to space.

Johnson houses the world's largest collection of astromaterials from the solar system under one roof, including samples from asteroids, comets, Mars, the Moon, Sun, and dust from other stars. Scientists use world-class laboratories to perform research on planetary materials and the space environment to investigate the origin and evolution of our solar system and beyond.

Research Brain MRI biomarkers for Parkinsons

icometrix, world leader in imaging artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for people with neurological conditions, has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) to continue efforts in research towards brain MRI biomarkers for Parkinson's disease (PD). The research is led in collaboration with co-principal investigator Kathleen Poston, MD, professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford Medicine.

Nearly 10 million people worldwide are living with PD. The most common symptoms include motor problems such as shaking, stiffness as well as difficulties with walking and balance. In addition, approximately 30% of patients with PD develop cognitive problems in the early stages of the disease, with a life-long risk of up to 80%. However, PD is extremely diverse with no two people experiencing the disease in the same way. This highlights the need for a personalized prognosis and treatment approach.

"PD monitoring is typically performed based on clinical scores that are subjective and do not allow for a fine-grained evaluation of disease characteristics. Early and specific prediction of the disease progression is therefore challenging. It also restricts our understanding of the underlying neurodegenerative pathophysiology and thereby hampers research on disease modifying therapies in an already highly diverse PD population," explains Annemie Ribbens, VP Science & Trials at icometrix. "With this research, we aim to evaluate brain MRI patterns of PD patients that identify, early on, patients at risk for cognitive or motor problems."

This grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation supports the development of a regulatory cleared solution to automatically analyze brain MRI scans to improve monitoring of PD patients in clinical routine, as well as for patient selection and outcome assessment in multi-center drug development trials. This PD-specific MRI solution will be added to the CE-marked* and FDA-cleared icobrain portfolio of icometrix that also contains solutions for Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

The first promising results of this project were presented at ADPD on April 1st 2023. Brain MRI scans from Stanford and MJFF's landmark, Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI),were evaluated in terms of volumetric patterns and correlated to corresponding clinical scores for motor and cognitive function. The results show that regional brain volumetry assessment can serve as an important biomarker in prediction and differentiation of PD patients at risk for motor and/or cognitive disability progression.

Founded in 2011, icometrix (Leuven, Belgium | Boston, MA, USA) strives for data-driven insights and personalized patient care, supported by AI. icometrix offers a portfolio of eight regulatory approved AI solutions to assist healthcare with various challenges; icobrain extracts data from brain MRI and CT scans for the radiological reporting and clinical management of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, brain trauma, epilepsy, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. icompanion, a digital platform, and mobile app helps people with MS and their care team to monitor clinical symptoms and treatments efficiently and objectively.

Today, icometrix is internationally active and integrated into more than 100 clinical practices. In addition, icometrix supports pharmaceutical companies in phase I-III trials as well as in Real-World Evidence (RWE) studies through imaging and data services, and digital health strategy.

New generation of the ZEISS PRISMO

In the field of precision measurement, the coordinate measuring machines of the ZEISS PRISMO family have been leading the way for over 30 years. The new generation now redefines the standards in terms of speed, flexibility, sustainability and productivity: The devices deliver maximum accuracy at the highest measuring speed and reduce the user's carbon footprint.

ZEISS PRISMO is one of the most accurate coordinate measuring machines on the market. The devices in this family are always used when tolerances of a few micrometers or less are specified for components. But precision is only one side of the coin. The devices of the ZEISS PRISMO family allow the highest measurement speeds, also due to the new definition of the scanning parameters. They thus combine safety and performance. As proof of these high-quality standards, the ZEISS PRISMO is the only model of its kind to carry the DGUV type certificate.

In the further development of the device family, ZEISS is consistently focusing on increasing efficiency without sacrificing measurement accuracy. A decisive way to improve measurement speed is to change the way processes are carried out. Besides that, new features enhance safety for users by reducing the measuring speed when approaching the machine.

Reliable and fast

All four members of the ZEISS PRISMO family meet individual measurement requirements reliably and quickly. They are suitable for use both in the controlled environment of a quality laboratory and in the harsh environment of a production line. All devices can also be combined with the new ZEISS VAST Rotary Table Axis option. An option that allows the axis of the rotary table to be defined almost 75 percent faster.

Higher efficiency is also offered by the new ZEISS CMM Acceleration Mode for Aerospace Applications high-performance package, that handles the measurement of turbine blades and blisks in the aerospace industry, for example. These new options enable repeatable measurements with a reproducibility of less than 10 percent of the permissible tolerances and thus meet the industry-specific requirements for the reliability of measuring devices. In addition, measurement times for turbine blades and blisks are reduced by up to 70 percent.

New functions for more ergonomics, comfort and sustainability

Sustainability, energy efficiency, noise reduction, ergonomic operation - thanks to numerous new functions, the ZEISS PRISMO family also meets the highest demands in this area.

The ZEISS PowerSaver feature, for example, automatically disconnects ZEISS PRISMO from the power supply after a preset time and sets the control to standby. This reduces the power consumption of the devices to zero during standby. Another big plus in terms of reducing resource consumption is the ZEISS AirSaver feature. This switches off the compressed air after a predefined time, thus also saving valuable energy. And the new ZEISS C99m control unit also reduces power consumption - in a normal test cycle, this is reduced by up to 68 percent.

The new devices in the product family also feature improved handling. For example, the new control panel holder now offers users a more flexible storage option. And the new design of the front cover makes it easier to manually load the coordinate measuring machines with heavy parts, as it reduces the distance between the user and the measuring area. In addition, safety laser scanners allow complete all-round monitoring of the system and automatically reduce speed in the event of danger.

The ZEISS PRISMO product family, which has been on the market for over 30 years, now consists of ZEISS PRISMO, ZEISS PRISMO fortis, ZEISS PRISMO verity and ZEISS PRISMO ultra.

ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2022).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 38,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2022). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is a leading manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions. These include coordinate measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems, microscopy systems for industrial quality assurance as well as metrology software for the automotive, aircraft, mechanical engineering, plastics and medical technology industries. Innovative technologies such as 3D X-ray metrology for quality inspection round off the portfolio. In addition, ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions offers a broad global spectrum of customer services with ZEISS Quality Excellence Centers close to its customers. The company is headquartered in Oberkochen. Production and development sites outside Germany are located in Minneapolis in the USA, Shanghai (China) and Bangalore (India). ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is part of the Industrial Quality & Research segment.

2023 Future Science Prize October 2023

The Future Science Awards Foundation has announced that the "2023 Future Science Prize" Award Ceremony and an array of events under "2023 Future Science Prize Week" will be held in Hong Kong in October this year.

This is the first time the world-class annual science event is held in Hong Kong. A series of activities will be held to build a global platform for scientific exchange, to generate enthusiasm for science in the community, and to inject impetus into Hong Kong's science and innovation development.

As the first signature event of "2023 Future Science Prize", the "Future Science Prize Laureates' Documentary Screening" was held on June 10 at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) with attendance of Ms Cathy Wu, Initiator of Future Forum and Secretary General of The Future Science Awards Foundation; Professor Mok Ngai-ming, 2022 The Mathematics and Computer Science Prize Laureate, Edmund and Peggy Tse Professor in Mathematics and Chair of Mathematics at HKU; Ms Isabella Wong, Associate Vice-President (China Affairs) of HKU; Professor Anderson Shum, Associate Vice-President (Research and Innovation) of HKU; Mr James Li, Tencent Vice President of Public Affairs and Tencent Foundation Executive Director; and members of the Programme Committee of "2023 Future Science Prize Week" including Professor Yang Tong, Chair Professor of Mathematical Science at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU); and Professor Vivian Yam, Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy and Chair Professor of Chemistry at HKU.

Ms Cathy Wu, Secretary General of The Future Science Awards Foundation, said: "There are no borders in the world of science. Over the past eight years, 27 laureates have been awarded the Future Science Prize, whose scientific research and achievements are all rooted from the Greater China region and have enormous international influence and contribution to mankind. The Future Science Prize will announce the laureates' list for 2023 in August, followed by an Award Ceremony at the Hong Kong Palace Museum on 17 October. 2023 Future Science Prize Week will also take place from 14 to 17 October with nearly a hundred top-notch scientists from 9 countries around the world gathering in Hong Kong to exchange views on frontier technology and bringing the latest development in the field of science to Hong Kong with an aim to develop a platform for scientific exchange and cooperation amongst Hong Kong, Greater Bay Area and the international community."

Professor Mok Ngai-ming, 2022 The Mathematics and Computer Science Prize Laureate and Chair of Mathematics of HKU said: "I feel indebted to the Future Science Foundation for their recognition of the value of fundamental research in mathematics towards progress in science, and of my individual global perspective on problem solving in mathematics cross-fertilising ideas from complex analysis, differential geometry, algebraic geometry and number theory. The search for beauty and benevolence that binds truth-seekers in mathematics across generations will continue to enable the flourishing of mathematics and its innumerable applications to scientific development."

Professor Anderson Shum, Associate Vice-President (Research and Innovation) of HKU said: "The Future Science Prize is a major event in the scientific community. With the opportunity to organize it in Hong Kong, young people, researchers and the general public can be exposed to top-notch science. As a top institution renowned internationally for cultivating talents, The University of Hong Kong is committed to co-organising various activities related to the Prize, thus promoting the exchange of international scientific talents, deepening the international community's understanding of the country's scientific development and achievements, and to arouse enthusiasm for science in the Hong Kong community.

The "Future Science Prize Laureates' Documentary Screening" held on HKU campus included documentaries of three laureates of the "Future Science Prize", namely Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, 2021 The Life Science Prize Laureate, and Professor in Infectious Diseases at HKU; Professor Yang Xue-ming, 2022 The Physical Science Prize Laureate and Vice President of Southern University of Science and Technology; and 2022 The Mathematics and Computer Science Prize Laureate Professor Mok Ngai-ming. The documentaries showcased their growth and struggles for their dreams as well as their outstanding achievements in their respective academic fields.

Professor Mok on the occasion shared his views with hundreds of local and Greater Bay Area students, inspiring their passion for science, promoting the spirit of science and encouraging the younger generation to embark their journeys as scientists.

The Future Science Awards Foundation will co-organise the "Asian Young Scientist Fellowship Annual Conference" with HKU in October and 12 laureates of the "Asian Young Scientists Project Fund" in 2023 from top universities in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China will be invited to attend the Conference to present their research findings. At the same time, approximately 300 young scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and educators from Hong Kong, Mainland and other parts of the world will be invited to participate in the Conference, allowing these young elite scientists to discuss how to leverage science in tackling major issues that mankind is currently facing.

Established in 2016, the "Future Science Prize" has been recognised by Nature as "China's Nobel Prize". It is established to reward scientists who have made outstanding scientific achievements in the Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, enabling the world to know about their great contributions to the scientific community and demonstrating China's spirit and culture of science to the world.

The "Future Science Prize" consists of three categories, namely "The Life Science Prize", "The Physical Science Prize", and "The Mathematics and Computer Science Prize", which are all professionally evaluated by the Scientific Committee composed of 23 outstanding scientists, upholding the principles of fairness, impartiality and trust.