SCIENCE AND TECH
Hayley Chowdhry 12, Apr 7 mins
7 mins
The Ritz Herald
© Microsoft Corporation
Acquisition will combine solutions and expertise to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Nuance Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Nuance for $56.00 per share, implying a 23% premium to the closing price of Nuance on Friday, April 9, in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, inclusive of Nuance’s net debt. Nuance is a trusted cloud and AI software leader representing decades of accumulated healthcare and enterprise AI experience. Mark Benjamin will remain CEO of Nuance, reporting to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud & AI at Microsoft. The transaction is intended to close this calendar year.

Microsoft has accelerated its efforts to provide industry-specific cloud offerings to support customers and partners as they respond to disruption and new opportunities. These efforts include the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, introduced in 2020, which aims to address the comprehensive needs of the rapidly transforming and growing healthcare industry. Today’s acquisition announcement represents the latest step in Microsoft’s industry-specific cloud strategy.

Nuance is a pioneer and a leading provider of conversational AI and cloud-based ambient clinical intelligence for healthcare providers. Nuance’s products include the Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting, all leading clinical speech recognition SaaS offerings built on Microsoft Azure. Nuance’s solutions work seamlessly with core healthcare systems, including longstanding relationships with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), to alleviate the burden of clinical documentation and empower providers to deliver better patient experiences. Nuance solutions are currently used by more than 55% of physicians and 75% of radiologists in the U.S., and used in 77% of U.S. hospitals. Nuance’s Healthcare Cloud revenue experienced 37% year-over-year growth in Nuance’s…

CURRENT EDITION

WEATHER

TODAY

RH

WASHINGTON BUREAU

Kwasi Aggor’s Perspective on the Importance of EdTech Beyond COVID-19
The Ritz Herald

While the year 2020 has been challenging for people around the world, the digital sector has remained much more resilient.

Spurred by lockdowns, curfews, and in-person gathering restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, digital transformation and innovation have become a necessity.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in schools being shut all across…

Hubble Spots Double Quasars in Merging Galaxies
The Ritz Herald

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is “seeing double.” Peering back 10 billion years into the universe’s past. Hubble astronomers found a pair of quasars that are so close to each other they look like single object in ground-based telescopic photos, but not in Hubble’s crisp view.

The researchers believe the quasars…

#1 Mental Health Podcast in South Africa: Mind-Body Solution With Dr. Tevin Naidu
The Ritz Herald

A new podcast hit South African listeners by storm in February as Dr. Tevin Naidu launched his new mental health podcast, “Mind-Body Solution.” The podcast received thousands of downloads within the first month and continues to grow – even making its way to international listeners. It is set on…

From Stardust to Pale Blue Dot: Carbon’s Interstellar Journey to Earth
The Ritz Herald

We are made of stardust, the saying goes, and a pair of studies including University of Michigan research finds that may be more true than we previously thought.

The first study, led by U-M researcher Jie (Jackie) Li and published in Science Advances, finds that most…

What is Cybersquatting?
The Ritz Herald

When the Internet first became a popular avenue for businesses to sell their goods, people who were tech-savvy found opportunities to make money by buying different domain names of companies with a trademarked name in order to allow them to buy the domain name for their use. These people…

4 mins
© Stephen Morgan
The Ritz Herald
Las Vegas Convention Center Loop ready to serve conventions

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) provided a first look inside Elon Musk’s innovative underground transportation system located beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) campus. The first-of-its-kind transportation solution, named the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, is operational and will be available when LVCC welcomes its first major convention, World of Concrete, in June 2021.

The $52.5 million system will serve as a fun and quick way to move convention attendees throughout the more than 200-acre campus, all 40 feet beneath the ground in all-electric Tesla vehicles. Plans have been announced to develop an expanded system throughout the resort corridor, known as the Vegas Loop, which will ease traffic congestion and offer a new transportation option for visitors from as far north as Downtown Las Vegas, throughout the Strip and as far south as Allegiant Stadium.

“We are excited to have partnered with Elon’s company to bring this transportation ‘first’ to our valued convention customers,” says Steve Hill, LVCVA president and CEO. “The expanded Loop system, when developed, will be a game-changer and a new ‘must experience’ attraction for our visitors.”

The company constructed two one-way, .8-mile vehicular tunnels and three passenger stations to connect the existing convention center campus…

6 mins
The outside of the FDA headquarters is seen in White Oak, Maryland. © Al Drago
The Ritz Herald
Medical device aids clinicians in detecting potential irregularities during colon cancer screening and surveillance

U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing of the GI Genius, the first device that uses artificial intelligence (AI) based on machine learning to assist clinicians in detecting lesions (such as polyps or suspected tumors) in the colon in real time during a colonoscopy.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform health care to better assist health care providers and improve patient care. When AI is combined with traditional screenings or surveillance methods, it could help find problems early on, when they may be easier to treat,” said Courtney H. Lias, Ph.D. acting director of the GastroRenal, ObGyn, General Hospital and Urology Devices Office in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Studies show that during colorectal cancer screenings, missed lesions can be a problem even for well-trained clinicians. With the FDA’s authorization of this device today, clinicians now have a tool that could help improve their ability to detect gastrointestinal lesions they may have missed otherwise.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps or other precancerous growths in the rectum or the colon (large intestine). As part of…

5 mins
© Pixabay
The Ritz Herald

When the Internet first became a popular avenue for businesses to sell their goods, people who were tech-savvy found opportunities to make money by buying different domain names of companies with a trademarked name in order to allow them to buy the domain name for their use. These people began the trend of cybersquatting.

Cybersquatting is when a person buys a domain name and either tries to ransom it to the trademark owner or when the owner of the domain tries to direct the trademark owner’s business to the domain name they have purchased. In most cases where cybersquatting is involved, the case is typically found in favor of the company or brand if the person who purchased the domain name did so with bad intent. People can’t buy domain names with the intent purpose of reselling the domain to the rightful trademark owner or to make a profit off the company or brand’s sales.

As an up-and-coming business owner, it is very important to make sure you check the trademarks that are already created by businesses that may be similar to yours and to make sure you have full legal control over your domain. Here are…

Geometric Energy to Launch Aboard Falcon 9 Rideshare Mission
The Ritz Herald

Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) announces the launch of its CubeSat RideShare Program. The Program’s inaugural mission, Geometric-1, will launch aboard a SpaceX rideshare mission no earlier than June 2022. Geometric-1 will launch a 12 x 6U CubeSat adapter plate into low Earth orbit, offering affordable 6U CubeSats aimed especially…

How Diet Affects Your Skin
The Ritz Herald

We all know that eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and steering clear of too much fat or sugar can help us achieve our weight loss goals and provide a boost to our overall health. But what do our dietary choices do for our skin?

As the largest organ on…

CVS Health Surpasses 10 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered
The Ritz Herald

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has surpassed 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered through its participation in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The company is now administering vaccines in nearly 2,000 stores across 44 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., with the pace…

Can a Robot Take a Lawyer’s Job?
The Ritz Herald

The United States justice system is essentially a long list of things you can do and things you cannot. On the surface of it, one would assume that a computer program would be more than capable of running such a system, condemning the guilty and freeing the innocent. There…

Patient Safety Authority Shares Doctors’ Reflections in the Middle of a Pandemic
The Ritz Herald

One year after Pennsylvania physicians saw their first cases of COVID-19, they have shared their triumphs, traumas, and revelations with the Patient Safety Authority. Released on National Doctor’s Day, their stories, which can be read here, uncover poignant moments, depths of suffering, and warnings to…

6 mins
The Ritz Herald
The NYU Langone Health center. © Getty Images
Combined treatment shrank melanoma tumors in nearly half (47 percent) of 36 men and women who received the therapy every few weeks for at least two years
By / Staff Writer

Early results show that a new combination drug therapy is safe and effective against advanced skin cancer in patients who were not able to have their tumors surgically removed.

The drug combination is among the first, researchers say, to demonstrate the potential value of a live common cold virus, a coxsackievirus, to infect and kill cancer cells.

The Phase I study, led by a researcher at NYU Langone Health and its Perlmutter Cancer Center, is also among the first to show how such oncolytic viruses can safely boost the action of widely used cancer therapies that help the body’s immune defense system detect and kill cancer cells. Currently, such immunotherapies are only effective in shrinking melanoma tumors in just over a third of patients who receive them.

The new study results showed that injections of experimental coxsackievirus drug V937, along with pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug known as pembro or Keytruda, was well tolerated. Moreover, the combined treatment shrank melanoma tumors in nearly half (47 percent) of 36 men and women who received the therapy every few weeks for at least two years.

Researchers say most side effects, such as rash and fatigue, were minimal, while 13 patients (36 percent) had serious immune reactions in the liver, stomach, or lungs, not unlike side effects that are known to happen with pembrolizumab alone.

Set for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research online April 10, the study also showed that eight patients who received both drugs (22 percent) experienced complete remission, with no remaining signs of…

MORE ARTICLES

COVID-19 Healthcare Urgency Report Highlights Americans’ Preference for Urgent Care Clinics Over Hospitals
The Ritz Herald

American healthcare consumers remain hesitant about reentering hospitals and instead are looking to urgent care clinics to aid in health-related needs, according to Deputy’s COVID-19 Healthcare Urgency Report. The report also reveals that many Americans question the validity of the emergency authorization of three vaccines,…

National Institutes of Health, District Columbia Government Form Partnership to Reduce Sleep-Related Infant Deaths
The Ritz Herald

The National Institutes of Health and the District of Columbia government are teaming up to raise awareness among District parents and caregivers about how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as accidental suffocation.

Although many U.S. states and…

Encompass Health and Shannon Health Open New Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital
The Ritz Herald

Encompass Health and Shannon Health announced the opening of Shannon Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health. The 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital is located at 6046 Appaloosa Trail in San Angelo, Texas. The hospital features all-private patient rooms, a large therapy gym with advanced rehabilitation technologies and activities of…

9 mins
The US Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Maryland. © Sarah Silbireg / Getty Images
The Ritz Herald
The following is attributed to Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., and Susan T. Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Protecting one of our most vulnerable populations, babies and young children, is among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s highest priorities. Today, we’re announcing a new action plan, Closer to Zero, that sets forth our approach to reducing exposure to toxic elements in foods commonly eaten by babies and young children to the lowest possible levels. Although the FDA’s testing shows that children are not at an immediate health risk from exposure to toxic elements at the levels found in foods, we are starting the plan’s work immediately, with both short- and long-term goals for achieving continued improvements in reducing levels of toxic elements in these foods over time.

We recognize that Americans want zero toxic elements in the foods eaten by their babies and young children. In reality, because these elements occur in our air, water and soil, there are limits to how low these levels can be. The FDA’s goal, therefore, is to reduce the levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in these foods to the greatest extent possible. We are also sensitive to the fact that…

EDITOR'S

CHOICE

Nevada State Treasurer’s Office Announces Launch of Nevada College Kick Start Scholarship Giveaway

Richer / RH
Nevada State Treasurer’s Office announced the launch of the Nevada College Kick Start Scholarship Giveaway where five students will be randomly selected to receive a $529 scholarship towards an SSGA
Year of COVID: L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Patients Look Back
The Ritz Herald

COVID-19 swept into Southern California a year ago, a silent and forbidding foe that randomly upended the lives of patients young and old, hearty and frail, ready or not. Some survivors can recall every detail of their illnesses, while others say that memories of days spent on a ventilator or…

Will COVID-19 Vaccines Need to Be Adapted Regularly?
The Ritz Herald

Influenza vaccines need to be evaluated every year to ensure they remain effective against new influenza viruses. Will the same apply to COVID-19 vaccines? In order to gauge whether and to what extent this may be necessary, a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin compared the evolution…

Computer Science Instruction Bill Signed by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves
The Ritz Herald

Legislation backed by C Spire and designed to implement computer science curriculum in the classrooms for all the Mississippi’s 884 K-12 public and charter schools was enacted into law with the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves today.

House Bill 633, known as “The Mississippi Computer Science and Cyber Education Equality…