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The Wonders of mRNA Vaccines, Which are Leading the Coronavirus Counterattack

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Dr. Mike Varshavski


Hailed for ushering in a “new era of vaccinology” long before the coronavirus resulted in a worldwide pandemic, messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines were rolled out by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna in December 2020 to combat COVID-19. And indeed, they are among the safest vaccines ever developed, as they trigger an immune response by teaching our cells to produce a protein, or even a piece of one, that will in turn generate antibodies. That contrasts with previous vaccines, which involved placing a weakened or inactive germ in our bodies — and which might have given potential recipients pause, particularly in the case of the coronavirus.

There is plenty of fearmongering to be found online, but as I tell my patients (and as I indicated by receiving the vaccine myself), there is no danger of contracting the virus by being inoculated. Any claims to the contrary are simply erroneous.

There have also been concerns about side effects, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC that symptoms normally amount to feeling “a little achy, a little chilly.” And that is merely an indication, he added, that “the immune system is really getting revved up.”

Ellen Foxman, an immunologist at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Washington Post much the same thing: “Things like fever or soreness at the injection site are normal, and actually, they indicate that your body is reacting to the vaccine, which is what you want. That’s a good thing.”

Again: Block out the noise. Listen to the facts. It’s proven effective. And these side effects are not only minimal, but they’re also usually normal.

The Power Behind mRNA Vaccines

To reiterate, mRNA — which Moderna has described as “the software of life” — is the genetic material that compels cells to build proteins. In the case of these vaccines, the mRNA from the coronavirus (SARS-COV-2, as it is called) is injected into a subject. Their cells respond by reconstructing a small, noninfectious part of the virus, which in turn sparks the immune system to produce antibodies that will counteract any incursions by the actual virus.

Barney Graham, deputy director of the NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center, and Jason McLellan, a structural biologist at the University of Texas, began developing a vaccine on January 11, the day after Chinese scientists posted the coronavirus’ genome on a public website. Graham and McLellan built on the research of two University of Pennsylvania scientists, Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman, as well as their own. Graham and McLellan had previously made promising strides toward developing a vaccine for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and while that project fell short of completion, they recognized the similarities between that virus and COVID-19.

Their findings became the basis of all that has occurred since. Moderna launched Phase I trials in April, while Pfizer/BioNTech began Phase I-II trials in May. By late July, both companies took it one step further. And by November, Graham received word that the Pfizer vaccine was showing promise beyond anyone’s expectations.

“I just let it all go,” he told the Washington Post. “I was sobbing, I guess, is the term.”

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, declared by its developers to be 95% effective, was granted emergency-use authorization on December 11. The Moderna vaccine, found to be 94.1% effective, received the same clearance exactly one week later. By early February 2021, some 39 million Americans — i.e., 9.1% of the population — had been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some 1.4 million shots were being administered every day.

In addition, vaccines developed by Novavax and Johnson & Johnson were nearing authorization. The first of those was found to be 89% effective, the second 66%, but the advantage of the latter was that it involved receiving just a single dose of the vaccine; all the others require two shots.

The Future of These Vaccines

There are concerns going forward, not the least of which is how effective the vaccines will be against variants that have emerged in Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa. The World Health Organization has declared that inoculation is a deterrent for those new strains, and while there were reports that the vaccines were less effective against the variants, Fauci said in January that it is “not something that we don’t think we can handle.”

“Bottom line: We’re paying very close attention to it,” he told reporters. “There are alternative plans if we ever have to modify the vaccine.”

And indeed, that is another great feature of vaccines involving mRNA — the fact that there are “plug-and-play” options available, where scientists can replace an existing mRNA sequence with a new one, in order to counter variants. Going forward, that could conceivably result in the development of vaccines for malaria and herpes. In addition, there is some indication that Bill and Melinda Gates might use mRNA in the fight against HIV and sickle-cell disease in Africa, where those diseases are prevalent.

But for now, the focus is on COVID-19, as indeed it must be. Clearly these vaccines, unlike any that preceded them, are the best alternative for ending the pandemic and restoring life as we know it. While it is certainly possible that some tweaks will be needed down the line, these shots have opened new doors, and provided mankind with its most promising path.

Dr. Mike Varshavski

Dr. Mike Varshavski is an actively practicing Board Certified Family Medicine doctor and a widely recognized influencer who spotlights the value of preventive medicine and healthy lifestyle choices to over 15+ million followers on his social media platforms and YouTube channel. Having established himself as a trusted source of information, Doctor Mike Varshavski has made appearances and consulted on CNN, ABC and Fox News, while also interviewing such notable healthcare professionals as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Dr. David Feinberg, the head of Google Health.

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Gabb Wireless Raises $14M in Series A Funding Led by Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill – ReadWrite

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Deanna Ritchie


Gabb Wireless Raises $14M in Series A Funding Led by Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill

Gabb Wireless™ set itself apart from the crowd in 2018 when Founder and CEO, Stephen Dalby said, “enough is enough,” and began his journey to provide the only safe phones-for-kids.

LEHI, UTAH – APRIL 20, 2021

 

Dave Jensen, Managing Partner of Sandlot Partners, announced today that, “Sandlot Partners is investing and partnering with Gabb Wireless not only because of its impressive growth and positioning to lead the $30 billion smartphones-for-kids market — but also because it is providing solutions to address the significant screen time addiction problem in our society.”

Gabb Wireless™ is the first of its kind — a company determined to protect children by providing a safe cellular network for kids and their phones. Gabb created the only safe phones-for-kids serving this underserved demographic. Gabb announced this week that it closed a $14 million round of Series A, led by Sandlot Partners and New Orleans Saints quarterback, Taysom Hill.

“As an investor, Gabb checked all the boxes with its impressive growth, founding team and total addressable market. But it’s so much more than that for me. It’s the emotional side of the investment. I love the idea that we can help build something to help save kids in an area with so much need and demand. My wife Emily and I try to be pretty selective of who we tie our brand to — and when considering the chance to invest and partner with Gabb, it was a no-brainer for us and something that we are extremely excited about,” said Saints quarterback, Taysom Hill.

Stephen Dalby, Gabb Founder & CEO, announced the partnership with Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill. “We’re excited to announce our partnership with Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill, who share our passion for driving impact and providing solutions to the growing screen addiction among adolescents.”

“Sandlot has a strong track record of fueling growth and adding value to their portfolio companies. Taysom’s accomplishments as a BYU and Saints quarterback are well documented, and he’s also very impressive off the field and will be a great brand ambassador for the younger demographic Gabb is targeting.”

Gabb Wireless

Kids need to be protected — and Gabb resolved on an action to do just that. Gabb set itself apart from the crowd in 2018 with a steadfast purpose to get safe, effective phones into the hands of parents who want to protect their children from inappropriate content and disturbing practices on social media and games, and other screen-time issues on the internet.

For some time, it’s been known that social media is affecting our youth with cyberbullying and other societal ills. The average child or pre-teen spends about four to seven hours a day of screen time. This disproportionate amount of time in front of a screen has caused depression, anxiety, and even sexual abuse among young adolescents.

Gabb said, “enough is enough,” and began its journey as a mobile virtual network operator, creating the safest technology available for children today. Gabb offers age-appropriate products to give kids the freedom to explore and their parent’s peace of mind. Children can enjoy their first phone experience with the affordable, $100 phone that protects them from internet dangers. Learn more at www.gabbwireless.com.

Gabb has had an unprecedented year of 471% growth and will use the proceeds from the Series A financing to accelerate efforts to provide safe phones for kids and expand its product lines — increasing Gabb’s total addressable market with these safe alternatives for parents of kids ages five to 15.

Sandlot Partners

Sandlot Partners is an independent private investment firm partnering with noteworthy management owners and founders. Sandlot Partners help maximize the growth potential of businesses by providing companies with growth capital, strategic guidance, and partial liquidity. Sandlot leverages its network of founders and operators, identifies growth opportunities, helps structure, and offers additional strong risk-adjusted private investment opportunities. Sandlot investors also include family offices, strategic individuals, and like-minded institutions seeking strong alignment and providing patient capital.

Cooley, LLP, and VLP Law Group provided legal services for this transaction.

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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How to Build a Startup Team With an Entrepreneurial Mindset – ReadWrite

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Nate Nead


Much of your startup’s success will depend on the quality and integrity of the team you put together. With talented, committed, hardworking people, even a merely decent idea can turn into something groundbreaking. Conversely, even a great idea can struggle to survive if it doesn’t have a solid team in place to support it. 

Obviously, you’ll need to work hard to choose the right people for your team – individuals with a solid experiential background, proof of ample talent, and genuine passion for the business. But beyond that, you’ll need to work actively to equip your team with the right mindsets and philosophies to guide them to productive, innovative work. 

While there are conflicting opinions for what type of company culture works “best,” there’s no denying that your company can (and likely will) benefit from building a team with an “entrepreneurial mindset.” But what is this mentality, and how can you construct it from scratch? 

What Is an “Entrepreneurial Mindset?” 

Let’s start with a description of the “entrepreneurial mindset.” This is an internalized mentality, philosophy, and approach to working within the members of your team that mimics what the most ambitious entrepreneurs tend to feel. 

The mindset includes: 

  • Creativity. Entrepreneurs are creative types. They want to create new ideas, modify existing ones, and come up with inventive new ways to deal with problems. They’re not afraid to think outside the box and try out new concepts – even if they don’t work out. They also like to encourage and promote creative ideas from other people, providing feedback, direction, and motivation to their teammates. 
  • Autonomy and independence. The entrepreneurial mindset also prioritizes autonomy and independence. Entrepreneurs in a business environment don’t wait for someone else to tell them what to do, and they generally don’t have to run their ideas through a bureaucratic chain of command to take action. Instead, they trust themselves, they operate decisively, and they remain agile. In an entrepreneurial environment, your employees will function autonomously in most cases as well. 
  • Change and growth. To be an entrepreneur is to accept the importance of change and growth. The only way for your business to reach more people and make more money is to evolve; that means adding new products and services, changing internal processes, and sometimes, pivoting the entire brand. 
  • Experimentation and adaptation. You probably already know how important it is to remain flexible and adaptable when growing your business. It’s also important for your workforce. With an entrepreneurial mindset, your team of employees will be much more likely to experiment with different approaches and adapt to new scenarios. 
  • Ambitious problem solving. Successful business owners are primarily ambitious problem solvers; they understand there’s some weakness or challenge in the world and are driven to “fix it.” With this mentality, your employees will be more likely to show enthusiasm when solving problems and rising to meet challenges. 

The Value of an Entrepreneurial Team 

So what’s the real value of an entrepreneurial team? 

For starters, you can cut back on direct management and oversight. When all members of your team feel like they have a direct impact on their work environment, and when they’re empowered to do their best, they don’t need as much direction or supervision. Instead of looking over their shoulder, giving them project details, or micromanaging your employees, you can set priorities for them, trust that they’re going to work toward them, and shift your attention to more important matters. This lends itself to a less stressed, more inviting workplace – and allows you to be more productive while tackling the most important projects for your startup

An entrepreneurial mindset also leads to a diversity of thought. When individuals are encouraged to have their own ideas, thoughts, and opinions, they tend to speak more openly in a collaborative environment. They’re more willing to volunteer ideas, offer constructive criticism, and provide meaningful feedback to each other. Such an environment makes it much easier to identify and get rid of bad ideas (before it’s too late), while simultaneously establishing the groundwork for the presentation of highly ingenious concepts. 

Additionally, startups need to keep adapting if they’re going to stay alive. Over time, your target market might change, you might face new competition, and new challenges will threaten your previous approaches. The only way forward is to adapt, incorporating new systems and processes and changing your infrastructure. Ordinarily, teams of employees are reluctant to adapt – after all, most of us don’t particularly like change. However, when the team accepts the importance and value of ongoing adaptability, they’ll be much more likely to be onboard with your latest changes and experiments. 

How to Build a Startup Team With an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Now for the big question – how can you build an entire startup team with a baked-in entrepreneurial mindset? 

  • Create the culture. Everything stems from your company culture. Before you employ any of the following strategies, make sure you have a solid idea for what you want your company culture to be. What are your core values? What is the “ideal” employee mindset? How should this mindset be fostered? What rules exist, if any, to enforce this? Document your company culture guidelines first. 
  • Choose the right candidates. With a culture document in place, you’ll find it much easier to interview candidates – and find out whether they’re a good fit for this environment. Even if they have a lot of talent and experience, they may not thrive in an entrepreneurial workplace; figure this out early, before you hire someone. 
  • Lead by example. You’re the leader, so set the tone. People will follow your example. Whatever habits you want your employees to practice, incorporate them into your own daily work. 
  • Nurture from the top down. You’re not the only leader within your organization, so make sure you select and support strong leaders who can embody and spread your desired entrepreneurial culture from the top down. 
  • Encourage independent management and decision making. Sometimes, employees will have to run their idea “up the ladder” before taking action. But as much as possible, it’s important to encourage autonomy and independent decision making. Empower your employees to make their own decisions, set their own goals, and devise their own approaches to work.  
  • Stimulate creativity. Creativity is vital for an entrepreneurial mindset to thrive. Use creative brainstorming sessions, music, art, and other exercises to encourage your team to think in novel ways. 
  • Get everyone to contribute in meetings. Encourage every member of your team to contribute in your meetings. More contributors will foster an environment of openness and collaborative sharing; it will also help you ferret out the best ideas, which otherwise might be held back by nervous participants. 
  • Reward good ideas. When a member of your team comes up with a good idea or solves a complex problem, reward them and publicly praise them. It will encourage further idea generation in the future and motivate other team members to volunteer their own ideas. 
  • Respect bad ideas. It’s not just about good ideas; it’s also important to tolerate and even respect bad ideas. When someone volunteers a questionable idea or makes a poor decision, show your support. Feel free to offer feedback and criticism, but don’t make the person feel bad for trying to do something inventive or helpful. You don’t want to punish people for trying something new. 
  • Remain adaptive. The most innovative, disruptive businesses are the ones that can adapt. Encourage your team members to remain similarly adaptable, keeping an open mind for new ideas and being willing to change when necessary. 

Once your team is full of people thinking and acting like entrepreneurs, your company will be much more flexible, innovative, and productive. And best of all, this entrepreneurial culture tends to be self-sustaining; your employees will naturally spread it to new recruits and continue to foster this creative, efficient environment. 

Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO & Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting company that provides strategic advisory services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing and software development. For over a decade Nate had provided strategic guidance on M&A, capital procurement, technology and marketing solutions for some of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB clients alike. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Will AI dominate in 2021? A Big Question – ReadWrite

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Faraz Qureshi


In 2020, AI had rapid transformations and unexpected developments along with excellent innovations. We, as humans have entered into the most digitalized era of all times.

Due to the pandemic of coronavirus, technology has become the central focus like never before. Internet and social media witnessed a tremendous boost as well. No doubt but the COVID-19 brought about massive success to most technological fields.

Will AI dominate in 2021? A Big Question

With progressive developments and advanced modifications in technology, Artificial Intelligence needs no introduction. This groundbreaking technology has been so promising for the past several years and is moving at an advanced pace.

We are Captivated by Artificial Intelligence

Agreeing with the fact that the technologies are captivating us completely with their interesting innovations and gadgets. From Artificial intelligence to machine learning, IoT, big data, virtual and augmented reality, Blockchain, and 5G; everything seems to take over the world way too soon.

Keeping it to the topic of Artificial Intelligence, this technology has expanded its grip on our lives without even making us realize that fact. In the days of the pandemic, the IT experts kept working from home and the tech-grounds kept witnessing smart ideas and AI-driven innovations.

Artificial Intelligence is also the new normal.

Artificial Intelligence is going to be the center of our new normal and it will be driving the other nascent technologies to the point towards success. Soon, AI will be the genius core of automated and robotic operations.

In the blink of an eye, Artificial Intelligence can be seen adopted by companies so rapidly and is making its way into several sectors. 2020 has seen this deployment on a wider scale as the AI experts were working from home but the progress didn’t see a stop in the tech fields.

For the year 2021, Artificial Intelligence is expected to level up to a great extent and is going to deliver phenomenal AI implementation.

Artificial Intelligence in 2021

Even if we talk about the days before the pandemic, AI and ML were already causing drastic changes and widespread disruption in all sectors and industries. Now after the whole year that is passed in the quarantine, in 2021 — we are expecting everything to resume back to normal.

Artificial intelligence and related technologies are going to be the biggest key components that would be impacting almost every sector. Yes, this impact is definitely going to be highly positive so we don’t have to look at the darker side — yet.

With the passing of time, AI would become a key trend that will reshape our home, personal, and work life. This can be pretty alarming right away but soon you will find the advantages that AI will bring.

-The global artificial intelligence software market is estimated to grow speedily in the coming years and would reach up to $126 billion by 2025, a recent report reflected.

In this article, I will show you the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the whole world. With the below-written trends, you will be able to gain an insight into how Artificial Intelligence is reshaping every sector.

It is predicted that whoever leads artificial intelligence in 2030 will continue to rule the world in 2100.

Trends in Artificial Intelligence for 2021

Will AI dominate in 2021? It is the hottest topic and the biggest question running through everybody’s mind.

Hyperautomation:

Artificial Intelligence is going to bring a huge change in the industry and in almost all sectors. We are looking forward to seeing Hyperautomation in every field. This is basically the idea of embedding everything with the automated processes. The repetitive tasks must be done with automation.

AI-powered solutions will help businesses a lot over here and would help these businesses to be redefined. Intelligent technologies will also reshape workplaces with phenomenal capabilities.

AI-driven dynamic operating models:

Most industries are going to adopt Artificial Intelligence for data-driven strategies and to come up with smart technologies and solutions. Due to the pandemic, almost every business has witnessed a loss. Now, everybody is pretty clear that their future plans need to be smoothed out, via Artificial intelligence.

Also, Artificial intelligence is going to bring rapid changes in decision-making as well. Companies look forward to saving their time and cost both and this would be enabled by using the AI.

Autonomous operations for increased efficiency:

In almost every sector, management looks for options that can help the company to be efficient and more secure than ever. AI will bring a boost and the businesses will implement the technology to bring autonomous operations on the stage that will enhance efficiency and the processes will get simplified.

Multiple technologies will play a significant role and the AI will become the center of the activities. Taking care of all the operations and making them more simplified and enhanced, AI will play a vital plank.

AI Engineering:

The field of Artificial intelligence engineering is on the rise. People look forward to pursuing their career paths in the niche of AI to get a secure job future. CEOs and IT leaders of the company are looking forward to deploying new artificial intelligence systems that are maintained and more simplified.

AI is also becoming the core of education and we are going to witness a huge change in the education field knowing as the personalized learning in the form of ML or machine learning. Companies are also going to go for robust engineering strategies to enhance performance.

Convergence of AI into AIoT:

The AI and IoT are turning old concepts into the new concept of AIoT — and it’s on the rise. The internet of things and artificial intelligence are being combined to come up with a newer form of technology. Adding AI into the IoT would help the AIoT to complete the tasks and to learn the data without the involvement of humans.

AIoT will be a lot more defined and will dominate the tech industry. Up to 21% of homes will become smart homes in 2021. AIoT will also be able to adjust in the cities and buildings.

Edge AI:

Another amazing concept is brought about by Artificial intelligence and the technology of the internet of things. Edge-AI is the technology of moving the decision-making process seamlessly and the provision of secure and analyzed data is the responsibility of edge AI as well. This is the pure blend of edge computing and artificial intelligence.

With the help of edge-AI, the smart devices would use AI algorithms and edge computing to come up with the data processing. This will be deployed to every smart gadget and device including mobiles, laptops, drones, robots, self-driven cars, and cameras, etc.

The total cost of AI:

Earlier, it was considered as only the tech giants can use the AI technology but now the startups and the small software initiatives can also look out for the deployment of Artificial intelligence. It is now more accessible to all the companies and they can use the tools of their choice along with the frameworks.

The projects that are powered by AI and ML are expected to grow tremendously. The companies are looking forward to integrating AI into their systems and making their processes go seamless.

Explainable AI:

Explainable AI is going to be in the trend of 2021 and is going to dominate for sure. The explainable AI would help the data scientists to create trust across all the companies and the merchandise that are dealing with the AI and ML projects. The model explainability will also be kept in front of AI experts.

The biggest artificial intelligence vendor, Google, has also offered the development tools and frameworks revolving around the concept of explainable AI. We are looking forward to seeing some more interesting projects that are based on the explainable modules of AI.

Quantum computing on rise:

If we say AI is here to stay — then it would definitely not be wrong. As we can see that along with AI, quantum computing is also on the rise. Here AI will combine with the quantum theory that revolves around the concept of computer technology and its principles. Both the technologies together are going to bring drastic changes.

With the increased demand for computer science and technology, artificial intelligence and quantum computing are the most thriving technologies of the industry.

AI as the service:

The demand for AI is rapidly increasing. People are looking for the experts of AI and the professionals who can create custom AI projects so this is indirectly helping the artificial intelligence experts to rise in demand. These professionals are working to provide IT services as well.

Artificial intelligence will continue to thrive for a very long so if the students are going to opt for this career field, they are definitely going to land a bright future.

Parting Shot:

Artificial Intelligence will continue to dominate the world in 2021. It will soon take over every sector and industry and will continue to thrive.

Faraz Qureshi

Faraz Qureshi is one of the most eminent and exceptional content writers, who has been a part of the writing industry for quite some time now. He has also been associated with assignmentmaster.co.uk as a research analyst. He has the skills to mold the words that impress others immediately.

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