The song “Volare” by Dean Martin is transmitted via a laser frequency comb, the first time a laser has been used as a radio transmitter.Now, the researchers have figured out a way to extract and transmit wireless signals from laser frequency combs.Unlike conventional lasers, which emit a single frequency of light, laser frequency combs emit multiple frequencies simultaneously, evenly spaced to resemble the teeth of a comb. In 2018, the researchers discovered that inside the laser, the different frequencies of light beat together to generate microwave radiation. The light inside the cavity of the laser caused electrons to oscillate at microwave frequencies — which are within the communications spectrum.“If you want to use this device for Wi-Fi, you need to be able to put useful information in the microwave signals and extract that information from the device,” said Marco Piccardo, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and first author of the paper.,The first thing the new device needed to transmit microwave signals was an antenna — so the researchers etched a gap into the top electrode of the device, creating a dipole antenna (like the rabbit ears on the top of an old TV). Next, they modulated the frequency comb to encode information on the microwave radiation created by the beating light of the comb. Then, using the antenna, the microwaves containing the encoded information radiate out from the device. The radio signal is received by a horn antenna, filtered, and sent to a computer.The researchers also demonstrated that the laser radio could receive signals. The team was able to remotely control the behavior of the laser using microwave signals from another device.“This all-in-one, integrated device holds great promise for wireless communication,” said Piccardo. “While the dream of terahertz wireless communication is still a ways away, this research provides a clear roadmap showing how to get there.”The Harvard Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is exploring commercialization opportunities.This research was co-authored by Michele Tamagnone, Benedikt Schwarz, Paul Chevalier, Noah A. Rubin, Yongrui Wang, Christine A. Wang, Michael K. Connors, Daniel McNulty and Alexey Belyanin. It was supported in part by the National Science Foundation. PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen You’ve never heard Dean Martin like this.This recording of Martin’s classic “Volare” was transmitted wirelessly via a semiconductor laser — the first time a laser has been used as a radio frequency transmitter.In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) demonstrated a laser that can emit microwaves wirelessly, modulate them, and receive external radio frequency signals.“The research opens the door to new types of hybrid electronic-photonic devices and is the first step toward ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi,” said Federico Capasso, the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS and senior author of the study.This research builds off previous work from the Capasso Lab. In 2017, the researchers discovered that an infrared-frequency comb in a quantum cascade laser could be used to generate terahertz frequencies, the submillimeter wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that could move data hundreds of times faster than today’s wireless. In 2018, the team found that quantum cascade laser frequency combs could also act as integrated transmitters or receivers to efficiently encode information.
Jan 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A recent study in Cambodia suggests that some human cases of infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus escape detection because symptoms are mild or absent, according to a report from an international avian flu conference this week in Bangkok.The meeting drew about 500 experts from 40 countries to discuss research and ideas on a wide range of topics. Some other topics discussed included the idea of stockpiling vaccine adjuvants to prepare for a pandemic, the use of engineered human antibodies as a defense against the H5N1 virus, and the high H5N1 case-fatality rate in Indonesia.Cambodian studyThe Cambodian researchers tested 674 people in two villages who were exposed to the virus and found that seven of them, all between the ages of 4 and 18, had antibodies signaling previous infection, according to a Jan 24 Bloomberg News report.The finding contrasts with previous serologic studies of people in areas affected by H5N1 outbreaks. A review published Jan 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said the few serologic studies since 2003 of people with potential exposure to H5N1 suggest that asymptomatic or mild cases are rare. The studies involved people living with backyard poultry, workers in live-bird markets, and healthcare workers.More cases of mild disease might suggest that the virus is improving its ability to spread among humans, while becoming less virulent. Based on the current global count of 353 cases with 221 deaths, the case-fatality rate is almost 63%.The Cambodian researchers, led by Sirenda Vong of the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, conducted their study in early 2006, according to the Bloomberg story. The researchers asked villagers about their exposure to poultry and tested their blood for antibodies to H5N1.The median age of the seven people who had antibodies was 12 years, compared with 27 years for those who had no antibodies, the story said.Vong and colleagues had conducted a similar study of 351 Cambodian villagers in 2005 and found that none had antibodies to the virus. The study was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2006.Malik Peiris, a microbiology professor at the University of Hong Kong, told Bloomberg that the latest study supports findings from the 1997 H5N1 outbreak in Hong Kong, in which human cases were first reported. The virus infected 18 people, 6 of whom died. Peiris said children were less severely affected than adults and had a better survival rate, Bloomberg reported.”Most of the children diagnosed in Hong Kong in 1997 had a very mild course of infection; they basically had a mild flu-like illness and they recovered,” Peiris was quoted as saying. “I don’t think there is any evidence to say the situation has changed.”The recent NEJM review said H5N1 infections involving febrile upper respiratory illnesses without pneumonia in children have been reported more often since 2005, but early antiviral treatment may account for this.Stockpiling of adjuvantsAnother topic raised at the meeting was the idea of separately stockpiling adjuvants, immune-boosting chemicals that enable vaccine producers to reduce the dose of antigen in a vaccine without reducing immune response. Global health officials, including those at the World Health Organization (WHO), hope this dose-sparing approach could dramatically increase the world supply of pandemic vaccine.Albert Osterhaus, a virologist at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands who spoke at the conference on Jan 23, said stockpiling adjuvants would be useful if the pandemic strain turned out to be a subtype other than H5N1, according to a Jan 23 Reuters report.”There’s a lot of discussion to vaccinate people against H5N1 with adjuvanted vaccines,” Osterhaus said. “We might do that, but it’s very expensive and it might well be that the pandemic outbreak may not be caused by H5N1 but by H7, H9, or H2 [viruses].”Osterhaus said adjuvants should be stockpiled separately from antigens, Reuters reported. “Adjuvants can be stockpiled and H5 antigen as well,” he said. “So if the pandemic is going to be H5N1, you just mix them and you get a vaccine. If not, you rapidly produce the antigen and add it together with the adjuvant.”Currently, the United States has no licensed influenza vaccines that contain adjuvants, according to a previous CIDRAP News report. However, a few studies of influenza vaccines with alum-based adjuvants have shown acceptable protection levels. In August, researchers working on a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine reported positive results for a split-virus vaccine combined with a proprietary oil-and-water adjuvant. A month later, Sanofi Pasteur reported promising results for its inactivated vaccine paired with its own adjuvant.Using engineered antibodiesIn other developments, a researcher from Crucell, a Dutch biotechnology company, reported at the conference today that engineered human monoclonal antibodies to the H5N1 virus protected mice from several strains of the virus, according to a Reuters report.Crucell created the human antibodies by mixing antibody fragments taken from nine blood donors with antigens from two H5N1 strains found in Vietnam and Indonesia, Reuters reported.Mark Throsby, project director for antibody discovery at Crucell, told the conference that in vitro studies showed that one line of the engineered antibodies neutralized several strains of the H5N1 virus, including strains isolated in Hong Kong in 1997, Indonesia in 2005, and Vietnam in 2003, Reuters reported.In the animal studies, he said, researchers injected the engineered antibodies into mice that had been given normally lethal doses of H5N1 virus 3 days earlier. “We were able to protect all the animals,” Throsby was quoted as saying. “It reduced their disease and they became well again.”Drug resistance in Indonesia?Yesterday Menno de Jong, a virologist at an Oxford University clinical research unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, spoke on the topic of drug failure in the treatment of patients who have H5N1 infections. The case-fatality rate for the disease in Indonesia is especially high—82%, compared with about 63% overall, based on WHO figures.De Jong told the conference that researchers are conducting studies to see if H5N1 patients in places like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam require higher doses of antiviral medications, Reuters reported yesterday.”It could be they are treated later, or the virus is different, more virulent,” de Jong told a Reuters reporter. “There are many maybes, including differences in the susceptibility of the virus.”He told Reuters that the H5N1 viruses in Indonesia appear less susceptible to osteltamivir, the antiviral recommended as first-line treatment for H5N1 infections. “It’s not a resistant virus, it’s just that a bit more drug [may be] needed to inhibit these [H5N1] clade 2 viruses,” he said.De Jong was a member of the WHO expert panel that wrote the recent review in the NEJM on human H5N1 cases. In line with de Jong’s observations at the Bangkok meeting, that article said clade 1 viruses appear to be 15 to 30 times more susceptible to oseltamivir than clade 2 viruses from Turkey and Indonesia. However, the panel wrote that the clinical relevance of this difference in oseltamivir susceptibility “remains to be determined.”See also: Jan 16 CIDRAP News story on NEJM review of human H5N1 cases: “Exposure source unclear in 25% of H5N1 cases”Sep 7, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Cambodian study suggests mild H5N1 cases are rare”Oct 30, 2007, CIDRAP News story “The Pandemic Vaccine Puzzle, part 4: The promise and problems of adjuvants”
Slot values for the draft are still in place from 2019, with the 3.5 percent increase tabled between MLB and the MLBPA, reflecting on the increase in MLB revenue. Now, with just five rounds, players originally slotted for six figures getting a potential $20,000 payday instead.Here’s what you need to know about this year’s draft:MORE: What to know about the 2020 MLB DraftHow will the MLB Draft work in 2020?The coronavirus has drastically altered the way the 2020 MLB Draft will work. While the format remains largely unchanged, the amount of rounds has been cut from 40 to just five.Because there are just five rounds to this year’s draft, teams will be able to sign an unlimited amount of free agents at a maximum of $20,000 per player. Players who were originally slated to make six figures between rounds six through 10 will be getting significantly less up front, with other potential draft picks slipping through the cracks.Dates: Wednesday, June 10 (Round 1, Competitive Balance Round A) and Thursday, June 11 (remainder of draft)Start times: 7 p.m. ET (Wednesday), 5 p.m. ET (Thursday)TV channels: ESPN, MLB Network (Round 1) | ESPN2, MLB Network (Remainder of draft)The first round of the draft features just 29 picks, with the Astros penalized a pick as punishment for their 2017 sign-stealing scandal. The second round features 23 picks, with the Red Sox and Astros forfeiting picks as part of sign-stealing punishments and the Yankees, Braves, Diamondbacks, Phillies and Angels docked picks for signing qualified free agents.There are still assigned slot values through the five-round draft, with a team able to sign an unlimited amount of undrafted free agents to a maximum of $20,000 per player. For full slot values for all five rounds’ worth of picks, click here.Per usual, the draft order is determined by reverse regular-season standings from the previous year. The Tigers have the No. 1 overall pick, the second time in three years they have that selection.Where will the 2020 MLB Draft be held?As part of the draft’s big changes in 2020, the draft was originally moved from MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J. to Omaha, Neb., the site of the College World Series. Participating CWS were invited to the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha.Unfortunately, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the plans have changed, with MLB holding a virtual draft similar to what the NFL did with the 2020 NFL Draft. Akin to the NFL Draft, all MLB GMs and club officials will be shown from wherever they’re working with live camera cut-ins. Select players will also be attending virtually for the draft, most of which are expected to go in the first round.If the NFL draft was any indication, should things go as expected, there will be minimal glitches with the procedures. Typically, the picks during the MLB Draft were made during a conference call including executives from all 30 teams, so teams should be able to adapt easily. From Omaha to living rooms, the MLB Draft is going on as planned.There are many changes coming to the 2020 MLB Draft, most of those changes due to the coronavirus pandemic that has stopped the sport globally. The most forward-facing change to the draft is the amount of rounds dwindled from 40 to five. What are Competitive Balance Picks?At the end of the first round and the second round, teams who are either a recipient of revenue sharing or one of the 10 smallest revenue pools receive an extra pick. Certain formulas that include winning percentage and revenue determine who receives a Competitive Balance Round A pick while the remainder receive picks between the second and third rounds.How will players attend the 2020 MLB Draft?In years past, minimal players have typically attended the MLB Draft, but that was expected to change with the scenery shift to Nebraska, a more centralized location, the week before the College World Series was originally supposed to be scheduled.As of now, there are 23 announced potential first-round picks virtually attending the draft, with 26 confirmed attendees in total.PlayerPositionSchoolMick AbelRHPJesuit High School (Oregon)Patrick BaileyCNC StateTanner BurnsRHPAuburnCade CavalliRHPOklahomaSlade CecconiRHPUniversity of MiamiPete Crow-ArmstrongOFHarvard-Westlake High School (California)Reid DetmersLHPLouisvilleNick GonzalesSS/2BNew Mexico StateRobert HassellOFIndependence High School (Tennessee)Austin HendrickOFWest Allegheny High School (Pennsylvania)Ed HowardSSMount Carmel High School (Illinois)Jared KelleyRHPRefugio High School (Texas)Heston KjerstadOFArkansasAsa LacyLHPTexas A&MNick LoftinSSBaylorAustin MartinOF/3BVanderbiltMax MeyerRHPMinnesotaGarrett MitchellOFUCLACarmen MlodzinskiRHPSouth CarolinaTyler SoderstromCTurlock High School (California)Spencer Torkelson1BArizona StateZac VeenOFSpruce Creek High School (Florida)Austin WellsCArizona