Puddle Hops: From Kansas City to Pittsburgh, and geospatial tech to medical research

Geospatial accelerator coming to St. Louis

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and Missouri Technology Corp. are launching an accelerator in St. Louis that will focus on boosting geospatial companies. Up to eight startups will be chosen to receive $100,000 in non-dilutive grant funding, access to office space and mentorship as part of the 13-week program.

Lassie Come Home

If you’ve ever known the terror of your dog getting lost, you will appreciate this technology. FitBark is a GPS tracker that secures to your dog’s collar that makes the search much easier. From the mobile app, owners can see where and what their dog is doing 24/7. They can also receive an alert if the dog gets out. The Kansas City-based company is seeing an increase in business due to the pandemic.

Indy emerging as sports tech hub

It looks like Indianapolis has become a nucleus for sports tech startups. Over the past five years, investors have pumped $2.2 billion into Indiana-based startups and approximately $1.3 billion into startups based in Indianapolis specifically, according to Crunchbase data. Sports tech companies located in Indy include Upper Hand and Stick & Hand.

Black women and breast cancer

A researcher at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is studying the biology that makes Black women more susceptible to breast cancer. A $1.3 million grant from the Department of Defense – Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program will help Harikrishna Nakshatri, PhD identify unique biomarkers that impact Black women.

A vaccine that can destroy tumors

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center may be onto a potential therapeutic anticancer vaccine that frees suppressed cancer-killing immune cells, enabling them to attack and destroy a tumor. Published in the journal Oncoimmunology, on October 1, 2020, the findings showed that the peptide called PD1-Vaxx, a first checkpoint inhibitor vaccine, was safe and effective in a colon cancer syngeneic animal model.

Progress in Parkinson’s disease research

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a technique for isolating cell types that are implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Separating cells of a certain type from their neighbors is thus a critical first step for researchers who want to study how the diseased neurons sense and use oxygen.