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New nanoQuill App Celebrates #MargoStrong Being Cancer Free

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Last year Margo Dominicis was diagnosed with cancer — triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma — two weeks before her 37th birthday.

Last week, after major surgery, her doctor deemed her officially cancer free!46763283_10106325415982603_1891377788976365568_n

“Just got the BEST NEWS EVER!! My breast surgeon called with the final pathology from last week’s surgery and there was no residual cancer found in my lymph nodes or either breast! I am officially cancer free!!!! I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you for your prayers over the last 7 months. I love you all!!!! Now I just have to rest up and recover from surgery and then finish out my clinical trial treatments!” — posted on #MargoStrong Facebook Group, March 2019

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#MargoStrong nanoQuill image #18 colored in pinks, purples, and mauves!

nanoQuill is pleased to share Margo’s fantastic news with our coloring community and, by her request, we colored an image on our nanoQuill App (still in beta testing) in her honor. Margo selected image #18 and asked for pinks, purples, and mauves. She is very excited to be included as one of the first images to be featured on our app coming soon for all to download FOR FREE to #color4cancer and help end the disease.  Check out #MargoStrong’s image on the nanoQuill gallery!

Margo’s mother lost her battle with breast cancer. Margo, along with her sister Alley, husband Bob, baby Luca and friends and family from her Facebook group #MargoStrong has kept her mom’s spirit alive during her own journey to fight. 

“My mom died from breast cancer in 2002, and thanks to others who have participated in clinical trials since then, I had a great treatment outcome. To pay it forward, I enrolled in a clinical trial as part of my chemotherapy treatment in hopes that my participation will help other men and women diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. What is so special about nanoQuill is that ANYONE can contribute to advancements in cancer research, not only those diagnosed with cancer, just by coloring images of cancer cells. Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference!”

“She always kept a positive outlook during her year and a half battle. She kept her head up through two rounds of chemo, radiation, and a mastectomy. She always kept smiling. I draw my strength from her. She taught me how to persevere. She taught me that I can accomplish or overcome anything that life throws at me, and that’s how I keep smiling and keep my head up.”

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Little Margo and her mom.

“Cancer is something that nobody likes to talk about, but I’m putting everything out there – the good, the bad, and the ugly – in hopes that others can find strength for their own obstacles in life.” — posted on #MargoStrong Facebook Group, September 2018

The nanoQuill App will feature images generated by an electron microscope and a myriad of colorful palettes to use freehand (no tap and fill), coloring these images and uploading them to the nanoQuill gallery allows us to measure the cell’s detail, render 3D images from all 2D images that you color, and ultimately train new deep learning algorithms — all to benefit and advance the current state of cancer research!  The App will be available to download FOR FREE…COMING SOON!

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nanoQuill App shown on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil.

You can also download an image to color and upload on the gallery OR purchase the nanoQuill: The Coloring Book of Life on Amazon. Proceeds benefit cancer research.

Featured

Qi Showcases a ‘Holy Trinity’to End Cancer & Diversity in Tech at KDAB 20th Anniversary Meeting

Fun in Firenze! Snapshots of KDAB’s 20th Anniversary Meeting


Elephants, Shrimp, and Programmers: OH MY! Qi Proves How This Unusual ‘Holy’ Trinity Will End Cancer

Michel Nederlof explains how apoptosis uses a programming process of cell death to fight cancer.

Did you know that elephants cannot get cancer? AND, the mantis shrimp has a unique vision system that can detect cancer! AND, programmers can wield code to ‘seek and debug’ and eventually destroy the “data” that cause the disease! Qi President & CEO Michel Nederlof presented these facts and Qi’s mission to resolve cancer at the 20th Anniversary Meeting of KDAB company, a world leader in software development, this January in Florence, Italy. 

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This ‘holy trinity’ of the elephant, mantis Shrimp and software programmers proved to be a fascinating topic to over 90 KDAB programmers who often wondered “What is this biotech stuff I keep hearing about?” and other news about the KDAB and Qi partnership. While cancer seems to be the elephant in the room for most casual conversation, Nederlof explained to the crowd of coders how the tusked giant’s multiple ‘TP53’ genes has special powers to fix cellular defects that can lead to cancer.

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Another species who unexpectedly and more recently joined the war on cancer is the mantis shrimp whose compound eyes and sensitivity to polarized light has helped researchers build cameras to find cancer cells.

“By combining programming, computer vision and 3D graphics, we can create a research application using code and machine learning to speed up the current process of finding how cells work and fight the disease. We can find a lot of inspiration from nature all around us if we look deeper. For example the elephant’s cancer fighting ability by having multiple copies of the TP53-gene, and inspiration from the amazing vision system of the mantis shrimp” said Nederlof.

(Check out ‘True Facts About The Mantis Shrimp and laugh until you see double or maybe triple.)


Spotlight: Why is Programming So Male Dominated?  Qi & KDAB Prompt Discussion About Diversity in Tech

Colleen Coll and KDAB Team engaged at special session during 4-day conference.

Women were the pioneers in software programming over 70 years ago. Today only 1 in 4 computing jobs are held by a woman.*

So what happened?

Qi’s Brand Manager, Colleen Coll, chaired this discussion during a special session in Florence, Italy at KDAB‘s (world leaders in software development) 20th Anniversary Meeting in January to discuss women and minorities in tech and solutions for diversity in the workforce.

When asked by KDAB President & CEO Mathias Kalle Dalheimer to present the topic, Coll was initially torn. With a background in marketing, she has only a few years in the tech field, zero experience in human resources, and just recently completed a course in learning to code. “Kalle thought it would be important to include my own experience and I know just from past conversations with colleagues, it is a subject that you cannot go into lightly without confrontation of biases, particularly within a white-male dominated community.” 

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Colleen Coll coloring image on KDAB/Qi’s nanoQuill Wall exhibit at Qt World Summit 2018 in Berlin.

With the help of colleague and Diversity & Inclusion consultant, Tara Hastings, Coll found sources from various publications and studies, including The Atlantic Monthly, Project Include, Elephant In the Valley, and Cultural Intelligence, to prep for the presentation.

The session was a win for both Qi and KDAB, engaging a large group programmers and administrative and executive staff — both men and women representing the Americas, Europe, and Asia. “The key takeaway from this experience was becoming aware of the unconscious biases we ALL have combined with open discussion from all who participated,” said Coll. “The session lasted 20 minutes longer than scheduled. To me, this proves that KDAB’s unique culture and open environment is a benchmark of how tech companies should be proactive in creating a diverse workforce.” And, because their is more and more evidence that prove that diverse representation achieves greater profits (McKinsey & Company) “…KDAB is set to be the game changer.”

(Check out The Atlantic Monthly’s video “How Did Tech Become So Male Dominated?”)

Meet Milo: The Intern Taking Qi’s First Big Step into VR

 

 

After much success of merging computer graphics and software with microscopy, it’s not surprising to find Qi’s next step into the future of cancer research…Virtual Reality (VR) (duh!)

Naturally, our first act toward this high level and carefully planned enterprise would be the sole responsibility of Qi’s very first intern. 

Meet Milo Szecket!

Qi’s VR Experience internship was created to provide a more immersive experience in analyzing tissue. We believe biologists can see more within a VR system than just looking at one screen. Milo was the perfect candidate that fit the youth, talent, and intelligence we were looking for to start this project. 

Although originally from California, he would spend most of his childhood living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the rest of his high school education currently at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Maryland, as a senior.

…So, Milo, what’s your story?

Well, I’ve always been interested in my dad’s work as a computer graphics designer and when an opportunity arose for me to participate in it while still sort of “doing my own thing,” I took it.

 

Tell us about yourself and why the interest in VR? 

The obvious answer is because VR is COOL! But more than that, I haven’t seen many tools being created in VR, except specific-to-VR stuff like vector field makers. 

The closest to a full program meant to actually do something in VR I have found is Kanova, a sculpting program that Foundry (a leading developer of software for media entertainment and digital design) is testing that looks really great. I think VR has a lot more applications to explore, and Qi’s VR Experience of interacting with the cells inside cancer tissue is certainly an interesting one that I’m excited to be a part of.

What’s the last thing you really geeked out about?

To be honest, it would have to be either this or the my robotics team. We are FRC Team 686, if you’re interested. I do data collection and analysis during competitions. 

What motivated you to choose QiTissue as your first VR experience?

It’s really the only chance I’ve had to work with VR, plus, come on. Photoshop for curing cancer? How cool is that?!

What would you like to accomplish on this project?

Ideally (and obviously) I want to end up with a usable VR interface for all aspects of QiTissue, even the 2D ones. More realistically, I’ll be learning Unity VR development for a while before we get to that.

What are your wins so far?

Well, I got Unity installed and running on the Vive, which was more of a feat than I’d like to admit. At this point, the furthest I’ve gotten is being able to pick up a specimen and turn it around and look at it. Currently, it’s still mostly setup, but I’ll be doing more very soon.

What are the challenges so far?

The first thing I wanted to accomplish is grabbing the specimen with both hands and resizing it. This has proven to be a bit of a pain, and by a bit of a pain, I mean no one that I can find has done it with the newest VR plugins for Unity. That will be the main challenge, I think. Unbelievable the lack of documentation for such a new technology.

Milo’s goals for Qi’s VR Experience will be to create a novel experience so people will like it and a new interactive and natural way to navigate a 3D landscape as opposed to a mouse, trackpad, or joystick.

Milo’s work will be the benchmark for our future endeavors to perfect this project. Look for more posts about his progress on Qi social media!

QiTissue and nanoQuill Give a ‘Sneak Peek’ to a Brave New (Embedded) World!

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Our partners KDAB and Qt once again featured nanoQuill and QiTissue at a special event! KDAB and The Qt Company created another nanoQuill Coloring Wall at Embedded World 2019 in Nuremberg, one of the worlds largest trade fairs for experiencing the whole world of embedded systems. With more than 1,100 exhibitors, experts, and numerous speakers from 52 countries, this year #EW2019 addresses the issue of embedded intelligence.

nanoquill wallScreen Shot 2019-03-01 at 2.10.09 PMThe performance of processors and integrated circuits has improved so much and they have become so inexpensive that new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence are finding their way into an increasing number of applications. Because this opens up the possibility of totally new systems that perceive their environment autonomously, draw conclusions from it and then make decisions, it made sense to feature nanoQuill and QiTissue and their workflow and machine learning aspects that advance cancer research and accelerate our fight to end the disease.

Thank you to our partners and fellow cancer warriors, KDAB and Qt! #color4cancer #fightcancerwithart #fightcancerwithprogramming #fightcanderwithsoftware #softwarewillendcancer

Cellulacrum Comes to Life in Bologna

Vernissage! The grand opening of Cellulacrum! L’arte imita la scienza in Bologna with Cellulacrum: Sacred Inner Landscapes exhibit and special presentation by Italian artist Elena Uliana, Qi’s Michel Nederlof and journalist Nicoletta Gandolfi.

This special 3-week exhibit brought hundreds of art lovers to view and awe the works of Uliana and Nederlof: Art imitating science.

This marriage of art and science materialized via a chance encounter in Berlin. Nederlof and Uliana met near a river bank where they discussed common aspects of their work: he goes deep into human tissues annotating cells with fluorescences while she goes deep into the human soul “surpassing those doors which separate the surface world.”

The Cellulacrum project displays images of human cells and tissues magnified under the microscope which show that there is a real world beyond the surface. “They want to communicate that there are real ‘landscapes’ of the soul, the inner landscapes of the exhibition’s title, similar in complexity to the environment that surrounds us, but very difficult to penetrate. To go beyond the surface, also suggested by the physicality of human cells reproduced on the canvas, it is enough to learn to listen, to want to know oneself better,” said Uliana.

Uliana and Nederlof are currently seeking opportunities to bring Cellulacrum to the U.S. and other countries.

Art Imitates Tech…in Italy, of Course!

What happens when art imitates tech?

It becomes the birth of Cellulacrum: Sacred Inner Landscapes, a step-by-step journey inside the human body. This visually stimulating exhibition opens on September 3 – 18 in Bologna, Italy at the Dueunodue Spazi Espositivi gallery presented by Italian singular artist, Elena Uliana and Qi’s CEO Michel Nederlof.

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The exhibition presents Uliana’s latest works from her artigiano hub Artenima that she describes as a “prolific comparison” of her latest works and Nederlof’s profound history of studying cells to benefit the advancement of cancer research.

Uliana’s style uses a mixed technique of acrylics, airbrush, fluorescent and phosphorescent colors which compliments Qi’s use of the microscope to analyze human tissues and cells, to better observe their development and behavior.

As she described in an interview with Luca Sperandio, “Cellulacrum is a reference to the microcosm of cells that hide behind the appearance of the visible. Unlike the paintings I made in the past, the paintings in this series have two fundamental novelties, namely the wide use of stones and minerals on the pictorial surface, These become strong material, with a visual appeal to the enlarged cells under the microscope. This is a trait d’union with the work of the physicist Michel Nederlof.”

What is the connection between our cells (cell) and our spiritual part (sacrum)? And what’s the connection between Elena Uliana and Michel Nederlof scientific research? How do science and art represent the Sacred?

This marriage of art and science materialized via a chance encounter in Berlin. Nederlof and Uliana met near a river bank where they discussed common aspects of their work: he goes deep into human tissues annotating cells with fluorescences while she goes deep into the human soul “surpassing those doors which separate the surface world.”

The Cellulacrum project displays images of human cells and tissues magnified under the microscope which show that there is a real world beyond the surface. “They want to communicate that there are real ‘landscapes’ of the soul, the inner landscapes of the exhibition’s title, similar in complexity to the environment that surrounds us, but very difficult to penetrate. To go beyond the surface, also suggested by the physicality of human cells reproduced on the canvas, it is enough to learn to listen, to want to know oneself better,” said Uliana.

Nederlof adds, I use fluorescence colors to paint your cells. Elena uses fluorescence colors to paint your soul. The dialog between our works is a dialogue of body and soul. We know the soul is rooted in our cells, because we are built from cells. But we cannot place it or connect it. We are missing a dimension, so we struggle to connect the dots. By evoking the emotional response to her art, we can view deeper into our emotional being.

“Our ‘soul’, if you like to call it that, but I prefer a more comprehensive collection of elements that we cannot see or chemically equate. We can help find the dots that are weaving the patterns in our thoughts and by visualizing our microscopic building blocks of life, our cells, we can view the same being from the ground up. Seeing the complex structures they build and observing their interactions, we can build an understanding of the dots that create the pattern of our physical presence. The magic happens when we can connect all the dots,” declared Nederlof.

Born in Vittorio Veneto in July 1985, Uliana graduated in Literature with a thesis in Latin Literature on the theme of the initiatory path through the last book of Apuleio’s Metamorphoses at the Milan State University and subsequently she graduated in History of Art at the Ca’Foscari University of Venice.

After having had extensive life experiences, she learned to expose herself in the works she realizes by making full use of her remarkable technical skills learned through years of practice and study.

A Loving Tribute To Team Member’s Mom, An Inspiration for nanoQuill

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Today is a celebration of a life that was one of many inspirations to a scientist dedicated to saving lives. My Colleen Coll mom’s love for coloring helped my partner, Michel Nederlof, create nanoQuill: The Coloring Book of Life http://amzn.to/2Ciujuw. It’s a coloring book of cancer images from an electronic microscope ANYONE can color that, with Michel’s software, can help advance cancer research.

Sadly, she lost her battle with cancer in June of 2017 before the book was launched only six months later. We will never forget her excitement she had in the midst of planning a coloring party at her senior center for nanoQuill. But, today, with heartache, pain, and tears of joy, I’d like to celebrate her love for art and color.

Next week we are off to Vancouver, BC to collaborate with lots of media and technological experts to showcase nanoQuill at the SIGGRAPH 2018 conference. We hope to have hundreds of attendees to come to our exhibit booth and color an image on our nanoQuill wall, coloring book and app. Our mission is to find a way to merge computer graphics and programming to accelerate cancer annihilation. In other words, beat the shit out of cancer. (#fuckcancer)

Today, I’d like to invite you to my mother’s birthday coloring party. If you can anytime this week or the month of August, please feel free to:

1- download an image from the nanoQuill website http://bit.ly/2kSMI8O
2-color the image (a little or a lot)
3- take a snapshot, and upload to our gallery http://bit.ly/2ln2ucB.

It’s really that easy. We’re not asking for money. The research works with just your technique and eye for coloring. And, if you are really inspired, post on FB, Instagram or any other social media with hashtags #color4cancer #color4mary #marysteam.

Happy Birthday Mom! I miss you so much.