nanoQuill Combines Tech and Art Therapy to Unravel Cancer and Invites All to #color4cancer
Pittsburgh, PA, December 20, 2017 – Quantitative Imaging Systems (Qi) launches new nanoQuill concept with a “Coloring Book of Life”, a crowdsourced coloring book available on Amazon and mobile app that annotates cancer research data and helps in the ultimate search for a cure.
nanoQuill is a collaboration between Qi, a biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing cancer research and treatment, The KDAB Group (KDAB), the leading global software consultancy for Qt, C++ and OpenGL, and The Qt (“cute”) Company, a software company that is the leading independent technology behind millions of devices and applications that provides software development platforms and frameworks to one million developers worldwide.
The book includes a variety of cancer images acquired on an Electron Microscope for anyone, particularly those touched by cancer, to help annotate organelles inside the electron microscopy images by coloring and tracing. nanoQuill ‘artists’ who color these images will be encouraged to take a photo of their artwork and post it on social media with #color4cancer hashtag and display on www.nanoquill.org. Qi is then able to take the crowdsourced annotations to measure a cell’s detail, render 3D images from the colored 2D images, and ultimately train new deep learning algorithms, all in the name of advancing cancer research.
The coloring book is the first project of the nanoQuill concept that will soon include an app with more dynamic, competitive fun, game play aspects and precision coloring.
“Cancer patients and their loved ones go through many stages in their healing process, often involving long periods of stress and waiting for results,” said Michel Nederlof, CEO and founder of Qi. “The nanoQuill Coloring Book of Life adopts the therapeutic benefits of coloring and makes it more empowering by producing the analysis of a colored cell image that gets us a fraction of a nanometer closer to understanding how cancer can be fought.”
To address the monumental challenge of curing cancer, Qi and KDAB developed QiTissue imaging software that combines the power of cell-based analytics with machine learning and visualization capabilities. This combination delivers unprecedented insights into spatial concepts such as tumor nests, islands of resistance, interactions with stroma during metastatic progression, and the effect of each type of immune cell. Qt provides the technology behind the highly intuitive user interface for QiTissue.
Just about everybody gets affected by cancer sooner or later, as a patient, a colleague, a relative, a caregiver, a neighbor, or a friend. Certainly, this applies to KDAB employees, too, which is why we are very proud to be able to contribute to the NanoQuill project”, said Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, the president & CEO of KDAB. “NanoQuill is a great opportunity for us to apply our world-class engineering skills in the area of Qt, 3D, OpenGL, C++, and platform-independent software development to an excellent cause.”
QiTissue helps researchers gain a deeper understanding of the progression of cancer on a cellular level using Qt, which lead to the creation of the nanoQuill concept.
“The research that Qi is conducting truly is ground-breaking, but the scope of it is too massive for just one organization to manage,” said Juha Varelius, CEO, Qt Group. “With our user interface capabilities and KDAB’s unmatched technology expertise, Qi is able to advance its research without being impeded by technological restraints. Furthermore, with the nanoQuill coloring book project, Qi is able to leverage an entire global community to exponentially accelerate the world-changing contributions it’s making towards curing cancer.”
The idea for this coloring book project dates back to 2015, when a research group with the Oregon Health & Science University Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB), led by Joe Gray, Ph.D., developed an outreach program to provide the general public a way to assist in cancer research by coloring in features of complex cell images. The researchers hoped to enable crowdsourced assistance to identify patterns in cells that take much longer for computer systems to identify.
Dr. Gray’s research team, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Systems Biology Consortium Center, generates and analyzes these image data, and in collaboration with Qi, is now introducing crowdsourced coloring in the form of a nanoQuill coloring book and web application. The cancer cell images that are hand-colored and returned will be collected and analyzed by cancer researchers and computational scientists at OHSU, with support from the NIH/NCI Cancer Systems Biology Consortium and the Prospect Creek Foundation. These scientists are developing the microscopy methods and generating the image data for the nanoQuill coloring book and web application
“NanoQuill leverages a person’s ability to visually identify patterns that exist in images of cancer cells,” said Dr. Gray, director of OCSSB and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute associate director for biophysical oncology. “We hope that people will participate in this coloring exercise to help us visualize important features that may guide us to the development of better treatments. We also hope to use the colored images to train computers how to do the coloring.”
Both the nanoQuill app and the coloring book will connect to the nanoQuill website for a community engagement and opportunities for #color4cancer to go viral.
nanoQuill is not a for-profit activity. The app is free, the website is public, and the book can be accessed here for a nominal price. With the primary objective to benefit cancer research, Qi has partnered with software and tech experts The KDAB Group, The Qt (“cute”) Company and renowned cancer research health center Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) to serve as leading sponsors of the nanoQuill project.
Quantitative Imaging Systems (Qi) is the creator and sponsor of nanoQuill. Qi provides innovative software and services for biomedical research, based on digital microscopy. The QiTissue product is an advanced image analysis package to analyze fluorescence microscopy samples of cells and tissues, with superior machine vision and visualization functionality.
About Quantitative Imaging Systems
Quantitative Imaging Systems (Qi) is a biotechnology business founded in 2011 by Michel Nederlof, a physicist with over 30 years of experience in developing imaging systems, and a passion for unraveling cancer through digital imaging microscopy.
With decades of experience in microscope imaging technology, Qi software is designed with pitch-perfect domain knowledge of microscopy applications that provide solutions for biomedical research, drug development, and ultimately design of patient treatment plans. By combining next generation image analytics and visualization technologies, with recent advances in reagents and optics, Qi is breaking barriers in resolution, color, and dimensionality.
Tissue architectural information can now be augmented with highly multiplexed single cell analysis, providing a wealth of information that was previously not available. QiTissue combines the power of cell based analytics, machine learning, and visualization. This enables unprecedented insights into spatial concepts, such as tumor nests, islands of resistance, interactions with stroma during metastatic progression, and the effect of each type of immune cell. To learn more visit http://www.qitissue.com.
About The Qt Company
The Qt Company develops and delivers the Qt development framework under commercial and open source licenses. We enable a single software code across all operating systems, platforms and screen types, from desktops and embedded systems to wearables and mobile devices. Qt is used by approximately one million developers worldwide and is the leading independent technology behind millions of devices and applications. Qt is the platform of choice for in-vehicle systems, medical devices, industrial automation devices, and other business critical application manufacturers, and is used by leading global players in more than 70 industries. The Qt Company is owned by the Qt Group, which operates in China, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia and USA with more than 200 employees worldwide. The Qt Group is headquartered in Espoo, Finland and is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Stock Exchange. The company’s net sales in year 2016 totaled 32,4 MEUR. To learn more visit http://qt.io.
About The KDAB Group (KDAB)
KDAB is the number one global software consultancy for Qt, C++ and OpenGL applications across desktop, embedded and mobile platforms. KDAB build runtimes and develop infrastructure for applications and user interfaces running in cars, medical devices, mobile phones, tablets, industrial machines, oil wells, desktops and much more.
In order to help our customers be successful, KDAB partners with a variety of companies who share the same values and are equally committed to excellence. To learn more visit http://www.kdab.com.
About the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of precision cancer medicine. The institute’s director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down just the cells that enable cancer to grow. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and transformed how cancer is treated. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle – an honor earned only by the nation’s top cancer centers. It is headquarters for one of the National Cancer Institute’s largest research collaboratives, SWOG, in addition to offering the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials. For additional information on the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute visit www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/cancer or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine
The OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB) is dedicated to elucidating the structural and mechanical properties of cells and tissues, understanding how these structures are encoded and regulated by genomic features and how genomic aberrations corrupt aspects of structure that lead to disease formation. The program is centered at OHSU but includes activities at Portland State University, and Oregon State University, local technology centers in nanotechnology and drug discovery. For additional information on the program visit the OCSSB website.
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