A 911 Registry for AEDs

Emergency dispatchers should be able to direct a caller to a public AED

1 min read
A 911 Registry for AEDs


Elliot R. Fisch, president of Atrus], a company in Florida, has posted an interesting comment to our March story on the performance problems of public defibrillators,  known as AEDs. Our story mentions that the FDA is considering tightening its regulation of the industry and that AEDs may one day be integrated into a next-generation nationwide emergency response system.

Fisch argues that many of the benefits of such a system can be had right now. His company offers a national AED registry that he says costs nothing to the owners of the devices and provides two additional services. First, it lists AEDs’ locations, so 911 operators can point a Good Samaritan caller to one in time to save a person with sudden cardiac arrest.  And second, the registry sends AED owners periodic reminders to perform routine maintenance.

Essentially, Atrus’ registry makes it easier and cheaper for businesses that post AEDs to comply with laws that 35 states have already passed. Compliance, Fisch says, needs such bolstering, because these laws are spottily enforced.

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This CAD Program Can Design New Organisms

Genetic engineers have a powerful new tool to write and edit DNA code

11 min read
A photo showing machinery in a lab

Foundries such as the Edinburgh Genome Foundry assemble fragments of synthetic DNA and send them to labs for testing in cells.

Edinburgh Genome Foundry, University of Edinburgh

In the next decade, medical science may finally advance cures for some of the most complex diseases that plague humanity. Many diseases are caused by mutations in the human genome, which can either be inherited from our parents (such as in cystic fibrosis), or acquired during life, such as most types of cancer. For some of these conditions, medical researchers have identified the exact mutations that lead to disease; but in many more, they're still seeking answers. And without understanding the cause of a problem, it's pretty tough to find a cure.

We believe that a key enabling technology in this quest is a computer-aided design (CAD) program for genome editing, which our organization is launching this week at the Genome Project-write (GP-write) conference.

With this CAD program, medical researchers will be able to quickly design hundreds of different genomes with any combination of mutations and send the genetic code to a company that manufactures strings of DNA. Those fragments of synthesized DNA can then be sent to a foundry for assembly, and finally to a lab where the designed genomes can be tested in cells. Based on how the cells grow, researchers can use the CAD program to iterate with a new batch of redesigned genomes, sharing data for collaborative efforts. Enabling fast redesign of thousands of variants can only be achieved through automation; at that scale, researchers just might identify the combinations of mutations that are causing genetic diseases. This is the first critical R&D step toward finding cures.

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