Blue Steens in April 2020

Catch up on Blue Steens articles and venture further

This month on Blue Steens

Federated learning in healthcare

Federated learning is a machine learning paradigm that allows to train algorithms collaboratively without the need for source data exchange between the parties.

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The winding path from lab to patient

Despite potential short-cuts, drug development is a lengthy and risky process that culminates in marketing approval. However, just because a drug achieves regulatory approval, does not mean that it will be instantly available to those in need.

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Beyond Blue Steens


⊳ Testing

For a quick explanation of the difference between genetic (PCR) and antibody (serological) tests, check out last month’s COVID-19 Testing section. Note that a newly-infected person does not yet have antibodies but will have genetic virus material. In contrast, a person who has overcome the infection, may not have detectable genetic material anymore but will have antibodies. Hence, timing of these tests is important.

⊳ Treatment

⊳ Vaccination

⊳ Other news


  • Scientists have created a new type of robot that is literally alive - The so-called xenobots are part living cells, part machine. They are programmable to take on different forms, self-heal and complete tasks. Their life span is about 1 week. Let’s hope bioethics catch up quickly with the tech evolution.

  • Flagship raises $1.1B to create biotechs for post-pandemic world - Whilst loads of funding is currently pouring into finding solutions for the COVID-19 crisis, Flagship Pioneering is thinking about opportunities in the 3 years after this crisis and is ready to fund a “new generation of companies”. A significant focus area is disease prevention.


Out and about

More like ‘in and about’ these days…

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In this newsletter I share personal views and observations only. For more information and the privacy policy visit Blue Steens.