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before_its_news 25 posts  |  Last Activity: Feb 26, 2015 10:51 AM Member since: Aug 7, 2012
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  • before_its_news by before_its_news Feb 26, 2015 10:51 AM Flag

    up 40% today already

  • very cheap

  • Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:ROSG): 3 analysts have set the short term price target of Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:ROSG) at $8.83. The standard deviation of short term price target has been estimated at $4.25, implying that the actual price may fluctuate by this value. The higher and the lower price estimates are $ 12 and $4 respectively.

    Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:ROSG) stated gains of 6,782 shares or 11% in the short interest. The short interest registered from 61,946 on January 15,2015 to 68,728 on January 30,2015. In terms of floated shares, the shorted positions stood at 0.6%. The stock has been averaging 88,243 shares daily in trading and would need 1 days to cover the shorts.

    Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:ROSG) slipped 6.08% or 0.22 points in daily trade. The first trade was executed at $3.54 and the stock saw an intraday high of $3.73. In a clear sign of sustained selling, the price closed at $3.38, which was also the lowest point of the day. Closing at the lowest point of the day is a big negative for the stock and more losses may follow todays dismal session. The total number of shares exchanging hands stood at 828,013. The 52-week high of the company is registered $6.69 and its latest market cap is $40 million.

    Rosetta Genomics Ltd. is seeking to develop and commercialize new diagnostic products based on a discovered group of genes known as microRNAs. The Company has established a clinical laboratory improvement amendment (CLIA)-certified laboratory in Philadelphia, which enables it to commercialize its own diagnostic tests applying its microRNA technology. Its Rosetta Cancer Origin Test is its second-generation microRNA-based diagnostic for the identification of the primary site of metastatic cancer, specifically metastatic cancer of unknown primary (CUP). Rosetta Mesothelioma Test leverages microRNAs high-specificity as biomarkers to differentiate mesothelioma, a cancer connected to asbestos exposure and other risk factors, from other carcinomas in the lung and pleura, a medically and legally important differential diagnosis

  • before_its_news by before_its_news Feb 23, 2015 4:25 PM Flag

    right across the aisle from Pfizer Bristol Myers Squibb

  • Reply to

    The next GENE?

    by emn747 Feb 18, 2015 10:10 AM
    before_its_news before_its_news Feb 18, 2015 5:29 PM Flag

    RGDX, cheapest Nasdaq play with low float

  • The Next Big Mover From the Genetic Diagnostic Space Is... (ROSG, GENE, RGDX)

    Genetic Technologies Limited (NASDAQ:GENE) and Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (NASDAQ:ROSG) have been two red hot small cap stocks in the genetic testing space lately, but it's time for Response Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGDX) to shine.

    By James E. Brumley
    Feb 17, 2015 7:46:00 AM PST | 12 View(s) | No Comment(s)

    With bigger and better-known genetics-oriented small cap stocks like like Genetic Technologies Limited (NASDAQ:GENE) or Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (NASDAQ:ROSG) on the radar, it's surprising to find a name like Response Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGDX) has even managed to garnet any attention at all, let alone drop some key bullish hints. In the world of biopharma though, anything can happen, because it's the size of the idea and not always the size of the company that draws a crowd.

    For the unfamiliar, Response Genetics is a cancer-diagnostics company that relies on molecular-level gene testing. Its ResponseDX line of testing can identify gastric, breast, thyroid, brain, and melanoma cancers using gene-sequencing technologies.

    In that light it somewhat competes with Genetic Technologies Limited... the maker of the BREVAgen test, which assesses risk of breast cancer for a particular patient. Rosetta Genomics is an even more direct competitor, in that it now offers a cancer-origin test not unlike the one being offered by RGDX. Still, no two of these companies are quite alike, and all of these small cap stocks within the biotech world are more than different enough to make one more compelling than another at various points in time, depending on what's happening with/for each company at any particular time.

    That being said, what makes RGDX more compelling than ROSG or GENE at this time has nothing to do with their respective companies and everything to do with their charts. See, RGDX is knocking on the door of a breakout.

    Take a look at the daily chart of Response Genetics, Inc. below. At first glance it just looks volatile. The longer one looks at this chart, however, the clearer the bullish clues become. One of the biggest is the way shares pushed up and off of the converged (at 41 cents) 20-day and 50-day moving averages to give us the current breakout effort, which just so happens to have carried RGDX past the critical 100-day moving average line (gray).

    Zooming out to a weekly chart of Response Genetics, Inc. reveals even more bullish clues, the biggest of which is the break above a long-standing falling resistance line (red) currently at 45 cents. What you can also see more clearly in this timeframe, however, is how big of a deal it is that RGDX hurdled the 100-day moving average line (gray). It had been a ceiling several times since early 2014.

    For traders comfortable with speculating on small cap stocks, what we have right now may well be enough to go ahead and take a shot on this ticker. For those less comfortable with risk, however, it may be wise to wait for RGDX to clear the 200-day moving average line (green) at 68 cents before pulling the trigger. The upside potential is pretty big either way.

    None of this is to say that other small cap stocks in the genetic testing space -- names like the aforementioned Genetic Technologies Limited or Rosetta Genomics Ltd. -- aren't worth stocks. From a risk/reward perspective though, Response Genetics, Inc. is the least overbought of all of them.

  • before_its_news by before_its_news Feb 13, 2015 12:42 PM Flag

    the next SGNL

  • before_its_news before_its_news Feb 11, 2015 9:40 AM Flag

    Correction, TRTC is competing for 1 of 5 spots

  • New York's law, unlike #$%$ laws in other states, requires companies to hire union workers for their dispensaries and production facilities.

    Then there is the Federal challenge. Federal law prohibits the sale and possession of marijuana. A dichotomy exists where it's legal for state purposes and illegal for federal purposes.

    Because banks and credit-card companies are federally regulated, the purchase and sale of cannabis has so far been a cash business. A #$%$ patient in New York State will almost certainly have to pay for the drug with cash.

    Banking institutions and credit card companies usually won't allow customers to pay for marijuana with their cards, and usually don't allow businesses to deposit marijuana revenues at their branches, because it could be prosecuted as money-laundering.

    While it is viewed as unlikely, a grower could be prosecuted by the federal government.

    In fact, the federal government has given conflicting statements on the matter.

    In 2009, U.S. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden issued a memo to U.S. attorneys that said they didn't have to prosecute marijuana companies in states where the drug had been legalized.

    In 2011, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James M. Cole issued a memorandum saying the 2009 memo was not intended to shield marijuana dispensaries from federal enforcement actions or prosecutions.

    In February 2014, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder wrote a memo saying banks could work with marijuana industries, without fear of being prosecuted for money laundering.

    Shortly afterward, the Justice Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network told banks the choice of whether or not to work with marijuana businesses was up to them, but warned them they would still be required to file "suspicious activity reports" to the federal government of any activity that could be a violation of federal law, including activity involving marijuana.

    Under a new presidential administration and new attorney general, prosecutors could start aggressively coming after marijuana businesses.

    In other states, like Colorado, marijuana businesses pay state and federal taxes in cash.

    While New York State is levying a 7 percent excise tax on gross marijuana income, marijuana retailers are also going to have to pay taxes to the federal government.

    Reportedly the Internal Revenue Service requires tax payments from marijuana businesses, but won't allow the companies to deduct their business expenses when filing returns, under tax regulations designed to prevent drug dealers from exploiting the tax code.

    #$%$ manufacturers will have to negotiate with labor unions in New York to use organized union workers in their facilities. This raises the question of how the businesses will deal with income tax deductions and Social Security payments to the I.R.S.

    The manufacturers can't go the a local I.R.S. agency branch with cash, because new rules implemented at the federal level require employers to deduct those expenses electronically.

    But by degrees these issues will be worked out.

    The question of the moment is who will be selected to grow and will Niagara County reap a benefit?

    The state health department has a lot of leeway to pick the five companies that will end up with lucrative marijuana manufacturing licenses.

    With so few licenses available for New York State manufacturers, expect fierce competition from companies hoping to do business here, despite the burden of heavy regulations.

    Besides Lewiston Greenhouse LLC, companies and individuals reportedly planning on making an application or considering it, are:

    Terra Tech, a California-based publicly traded agricultural company.

    Dean Petkanas a chief financial officer at Stratton Oakmont who ran a penny-stock boiler room operation depicted in "The Wolf of Wall Street".

    High Times Magazine, which is reportedly launching a private equity fund to invest in marijuana

    Ari Hoffnung

    Richard Yost, who operates Ideal 420 Soil, which sells soil and other products to marijuana growers.

    Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz, a veterinarian.

    Privateer Holdings Inc., a Seattle company that invests in #$%$.

    MJ Freeway, a software company geared toward businesses who operate marijuana businesses.

    Great Lakes Medicinals.

    PalliaTech Inc., a marijuana manufacturer.

    Fioria Franco LLC, based in Clarence.

    KannaLife Sciences.

    North Country Natural Solutions which plans to grow #$%$ in a vacant 60,000-square-foor factory in the town of Bombay, a Franklin County town with a population of 1,357.

    Gaia Plant-Based Medicine, which grows marijuana in Colorado. Gaia, which recently changed its name to Mindful, provided input to state legislators, helped them draft New York's #$%$ law and lobbied for its passage.

    Affinor Growers, a publicly traded Canadian company that grows #$%$ in Washington.

  • Reply to

    insider transactions

    by boover53 Feb 8, 2015 4:16 PM
    before_its_news before_its_news Feb 10, 2015 5:52 PM Flag

    just received orphan drug status for Treatment of malignant mesothelioma today

  • Demand for #$%$ in Nevada is expected to double this year as dispensaries open and state lawmakers discuss potential patchwork legislation for the budding industry.

    For starters, the number of #$%$ cardholders in Washoe County jumped more than 65 percent in 2014.

    "One thing we have been able to do is look at other states when they have gone to availability of establishments for #$%$," said Pam Graber, information and education officer for Nevada's #$%$ program. "If Nevada performs as other states have, then our numbers will continue to go up as awareness rises."

    Dispensary operators, picked by the state, are in the process of rolling out their businesses now. It's only a matter of time before the first of 65 statewide dispensaries opens and more people start asking their doctors about #$%$, Graber said.

    "We think Nevada is going to be one of the largest markets in the country," said Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech with one dispensary in Reno. "We want to make certain that our production and cultivation facility is ready for full production and has the ability to produce multiple strains and product offerings for potential patients."

    At the beginning of last year, there were 588 Washoe County residents with #$%$ cards. At the end of the year, 975 residents were cardholders.

    In Clark County, cardholders jumped from 3,544 to 5,833 in 2014. Statewide, 8,055 Nevadans were #$%$ cardholders.

    "We're not surprised at all by these numbers," said Joe Brezny, spokesman the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Nevada. "I would expect 15 to 20 thousand patients in Nevada within twelve months of dispensaries opening."

    With the opening of dispensaries, Nevadans obtaining #$%$ cards through doctor prescription no longer need to grow on their own, which is expected to add to the growth in cardholders.

    That's because baby-boomers once accepting of marijuana, beginning to feel the effects of old age, are beginning to open to the option, Brezny said.

    "People 50 to 65 who smoked in college — never saw anything wrong with it — think it will help ailments," he said. "What we are hearing over and over is that finally this law makes sense. It's finally a way to follow the rules and get medicine."

    Marijuana at the Legislature

    Amid the growth in the #$%$ industry is ongoing litigation in Clark and Washoe counties stemming from frustration over the process at the state and local levesl of granting businesses the permission to open dispensaries.

    One of the key focuses is the need for more dispensaries, especially in Clark County.

    But Brezny, along with State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, hope this process can be settled during the Legislature. Segerblom has drafted bill requests proposing an increase in the amount of dispensaries in each jurisdiction statewide.

    "There are a number of topics I have heard that are going to be brought up at Legislature," said Leslie Bocskor, the chairman of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association.

    Bocskor said the number of dispensaries could increase by as much as 50 percent.

    In Washoe County, where lawmakers waited to hear from the state, there's other issues. Three of the county's five unincorporated dispensaries were given licenses in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. Businesses can't move outside a five-mile radius once selected, according to the law.

    Tests for impaired driving will also be addressed, Bocskor said.

    "Currently our law is a very aggressive," he said. That's because metabolite testing — under the current system — can detect marijuana in someone's system for weeks after they smoked.

    "Some people who use it obviously won't be under intoxicating effect but will have metabolites in system," he said.

    Meanwhile, there's recreational marijuana, which was brought through an initiative petition and will go to the ballot if voted down in the Legislature.

    "I think we will also see a discussion about the ballot initiative that was filed," Bocskor said. "If it's not in the Legislature it will be in the ballot box. I think the Legislative session will be very interesting this year, particularly in areas on expansion, private transfer of equity, those are some big issues we will be looking at."

  • DJ SEC Gives Green Light for Pot Stock Terra Tech -- Market Talk

    Last update: 28/01/2015 3:46:25 pm

    15:46 EST - The SEC is allowing Terra Tech (TRTC), a company whose business model includes cultivating and selling marijuana, to register to sell shares to the public. The approval appears to be the first for this kind of business and could set a precedent for pot dealers to access the equity markets. But the SEC stopped short of allowing the registration to become effective immediately upon approval of the company's disclosure process, although the registration would still become effective in 20 days. TRTC's two previous registrations were approved by the SEC when the company sold plant growing equipment. It has since expanded into pot cultivation and sales, both illegal under federal law.

  • before_its_news before_its_news Jan 28, 2015 1:27 PM Flag

    That explains the insider buys earlier this month.

  • Derek Peterson began his career in 2000 at the brokerage firm Crowell, Weeden & Co. and had become a partner before moving to Wachovia, where he helped open and manage branches in Southern California and oversaw a portfolio that at one point reached $100 million. After several years, he moved on to Morgan Stanley, though by the time he got there, he was becoming disenchanted with the stock market and portfolio management.

    Peterson says he was frustrated because he was entrusted to manage other people’s money, and yet he had no control over how management ran the companies in which he invested. And their financial condition was becoming increasingly harder to read. Even Wachovia surprised him, a publicly traded company with a good track record and a solid vision for the future, and yet investors woke up one morning to find out the bank’s balance sheet was falling apart and it was going to have to take a buyout or close up shop.

    “When I’m putting those companies into portfolios for people, and I don’t have any control, I don’t have much confidence in what I’m putting out there,” he says.

    That, combined with the quantitative funds and black pools and systematic trading that can move markets for reasons that have nothing to do with fundamentals, made Peterson yearn for something more fulfilling, where he had a broader measure of control.

    “There was a paradigm shift: Stuff we thought was safe and secure, for people who want to allocate assets from a conservative standpoint, is no longer safe,” Peterson says. “The market has become a trader’s market, and I’ve always been more of a fundamentals person. Now you have good news that reacts poorly in the market and bad news that reacts well.”

    He began looking at the fundamentals of the #$%$ industry and found that while retailers like Target generate revenue of a few hundred dollars a square foot, and companies like Apple generate about $3,000 a square foot, #$%$ enterprises bring in from $3,000 to $5,000 in revenue a square foot.

    “That’s what really caught my eye,” he says.

    He’d already felt for some time that he wanted to run his own business. He just wasn’t sure what that business was—until he saw that a friend who owned a #$%$ business generated $18 million a year in revenue out of a building the size of a Starbucks. The business had an EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization) margin of 30% to 35%, Peterson says.

    But the government was unreliable, allowing marijuana growers to prosper one minute and then cracking down on them the next. California approved #$%$ use in 1996, but an effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use was put before voters in 2010 and failed.

    In 2011, there were as many #$%$ dispensaries as there were Starbucks, but a government crackdown led to many of them being shut down, Peterson says. To address the unpredictable nature of the market, he saw a niche in developing a line of products for hydroponic marijuana retailers that could easily be taken down and moved to another location in two or three minutes, if need be. He founded Terra Tech Corp., whose products include high-intensity lights and carbon filtration systems that get the marijuana odor out of the air. His company has since branched out into hydroponic produce, such as lettuce, basil, oregano, tarragon and mint. And one day, when more and more states legalize marijuana, he plans on developing large-scale, food-grade indoor marijuana facilities, where the product can be grown under controllable conditions, given that the people using it have immune systems that are compromised.

    His company now generates about $7 million a year. It’s a far cry from the $400,000 a year and benefits he was earning in the financial sector, but he was so unhappy that he started his marijuana supply company before actually leaving Morgan Stanley. Once they found out, he was terminated.

    “I could have gone to another firm, but I was at a point where I was straddling two worlds. We decided I had to be all in or all out,” Peterson says. He opted for the latter and gave up all of his brokerage and commodity licenses.

    “It was a good living, but the real reason I walked away is that I just wasn’t happy or connected to what I was doing,” Peterson says.

  • Jan 23, 2015 - Will Schmidt for the National Edition

    In my quest to dig up some of the hottest minds in the developing cannabis-tech space I recently came across Terra Tech, a company that focuses on controlled agricultural production design, development, and construction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how the CEO, Derek Peterson, could adapt that business model to fit the cannabis industry as more states decriminalize and legalize cannabis.

    In fact, he’s already begun cultivating cannabis in greenhouses, partnering with both large and small entities to bring to market the IVXX (420) locally grown cannabis brand. There’s a ton of technology already being developed in the cannabis industry thanks to the foundation WeedMaps built, but Peterson is more focused on brand than anything.

    Any startup company is going to have to tackle this beast at one point or another, so I thought it would be great to hear how Peterson is building his own brand on both a national and grassroots scale. Entrepreneurs in any field take note: this is how it’s done.

    Tech Cocktail: What’s your current business model?

    Derek Peterson: We currently operate commercial greenhouses that we grow produce out of that we’ll ultimately adapt to grow cannabis. The tech in a situation like that, around automation and all the other aspects, will blow your mind. What you can control from your iPad is crazy – I get an alert that the carbon dioxide (CO2) level is off and I can fix it in my warehouse in New Jersey from California.

    We partner with Dutch Greenhouse Farms because they have a ton of expertise setting these systems up. We built a full 5 acre greenhouse that has everything automated from a software system. We’re talking CO2 levels and water filtration: the whole works. That is the future of cannabis production. It’s not warehouses and indoor settings; it’s a large commercial agricultural process.

    Tech Cocktail: What are you doing to help the industry?

    Peterson: One of the things we’re working on heavily is the legislative side of things. We want permits in Nevada because they only allow for indoor cultivation and not greenhouse cultivation like we currently have. We’re trying to change legislation area by area to cultivate these greenhouses.

    Think about the benefits of greenhouse cultivation: when you can avoid turning on high intensity lights, you save on energy costs. But to tap the sunlight you need greenhouses. Our really high-end product comes from highly technologized indoor facilities, and it’s kind of the backbone of our IVXX (420) brand.

    What we did was get a handful of really good growers that have been in the cannabis business for a long time. The product they’re putting out shouldn’t be in plastic baggies, it deserves a brand.

    Tech Cocktail: And Terra Tech is building that brand?

    Peterson: Absolutely. We took a concept that you’d see in regular food like with Organic Valley. It’s a national brand made up of local producers. You can see where Farmer Joe and his cows are where you got your milk, and they happen to be three towns away.

    What we want to do on the cannabis side is similar by having a national brand made up of local growers that have expert care in their craft. That way consumers have something they can ultimately trust, which is a huge deficit in the industry – specifically in California. People want to know that they’re getting something that’s been tested and approved for their consumption.

    Tech Cocktail: How have you guys been building that brand?

    Peterson: For us it’s the Starbucks model. We want to own the retail and we want to distribute through our own storefront as well as others. That way we won’t wake up one morning and worry about losing an account. That’s why we’re competing for all these permits, so we can have a broad stroke of distribution.

    It’s a lot like the surf industry, it’s fickle. And it’s been traditionally tough for big companies to establish surf brands. Cannabis is fickle as well, and having a national approach won’t be well-received. So, we’re methodically building in quarantined markets. You have to win people over, you can never assume people will naturally gravitate to your idea.

    Tech Cocktail: Can you offer any words of advice to entrepreneurs looking to get involved in the cannabis-tech space?

    Peterson: All entrepreneurs see all the same headache and business risks. But cannabis entrepreneurs have the additional political and legal risk. Three years ago we were all waking up to the thought that maybe the DEA or FBI was going to kick in our doors.

    But I will say this: if you’re a tech person in any way, shape, or form, look at this space. The team down the street from us does about $30 million a year as a quasi-Yelp for cannabis because there’s a huge base using then. You may not want to be involved with cannabis, smoke it, or sell it, but you may have an app that can help other people do this.

  • MW SEC allows marijuana dealer to register stock

    Last update: 28/01/2015 7:44:15 am

    By Gregory J. Millman

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed a share registration to proceed for a company whose business model includes cultivation and sale of marijuana, which are both illegal under federal law, though legal under some state laws.

    This approval appears to be the first green light for a share registration by a company in this line of business and could set a precedent for marijuana dealers to access the equity markets, but the agency's ambivalence about such a business model is clear from the way it handled the registration.

    Irvine, Calif.-based Terra Tech Corp.(TRTC) recently received approval for its disclosures and the registration of its shares.

    Another company planning to cultivate and sell marijuana also has a pending application with the SEC, a source familiar with the company said.

  • MW SEC allows marijuana dealer to register stock

    Last update: 28/01/2015 7:44:15 am

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed a share registration to proceed for a company whose business model includes cultivation and sale of marijuana, which are both illegal under federal law, though legal under some state laws.

    This approval appears to be the first green light for a share registration by a company in this line of business and could set a precedent for marijuana dealers to access the equity markets, but the agency's ambivalence about such a business model is clear from the way it handled the registration.

    Irvine, Calif.-based Terra Tech Corp.(TRTC) recently received approval for its disclosures and the registration of its shares.

    Another company planning to cultivate and sell marijuana also has a pending application with the SEC, a source familiar with the company said.

  • before_its_news before_its_news Jan 21, 2015 3:32 PM Flag

    Oleksyk’s team is exploring a partnership with the MIT Lincoln Labs, where researchers are investigating the viability of 3-D food printing, starting with baby food. (Because it starts out mushy, baby food is a natural trial substance.)

    3D Systems, a company that has designed a printer for printing intricate sugar confections and is designing a high-speed food printer, is another potential collaborator.


    But they will need a few key additions, Oleksyk explained — anything on the menu for an individual military ration typically requires an extra processing step to make sure the food lasts a long while. A research collaboration with 3D Systems will retrofit rapid 3-D food printers with another step to make the printed food last longer, giving it an extra-long shelf life.


    Among the items in development at the Natick reasearch center is chemically dried “osmo-meat,” a sheetlike jerky designed to survive for months without refrigeration. (Photo: Wendy Maeda/Globe staff)

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, NASA has sidled up as a potential collaborator on Oleksyk’s project. Its vision? 3-D printing could sustain future manned missions.

  • One December afternoon at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, a group of scientists gathered at the base’s Sensory Evaluation Laboratory for a taste test. On the menu: an experimental chocolate protein drink in shot glasses and two versions of a creamy beef and potato stew, arranged on cafeteria trays.

    “Everyone has their own palate,” said Sydney Walker, a senior scientist at the food lab who was setting up the tasting. But she was already expecting a “strong reaction”; cream is always a hard sell.

    Before new items are approved as Army rations, they must clear tests like this one. In the past few months, the lab had hosted tastings for chemically dried “osmo-meat,” a sheetlike jerky designed to survive for months without refrigeration. The consensus: weird, but not too weird. It has moved on to bigger field tests. “You give it to a young person — they give you their honest opinion and you work from there,” Walker said.

    Military recruits develop extreme survival skills, and the food they eat must be equally hardy. Before it is opened up at dinner time, each “Meal, Ready-to-Eat” package — or MRE — has probably been air-dropped from a plane and survived months in blazing heat or freezing cold.


    Vacuum-dried fruits and chicken. (Photo: Wendy Maeda/Globe staff)

    When troops dig into their grilled beef patties or lemon pepper tuna, they have Lauren Oleksyk to thank. She is the team leader of the food science lab at the Natick research center, the Army’s sole incubator for food innovation since 1953.


    Oleksyk’s mission for the last three decades has been to create menus with variety that withstand the toughest conditions — six months at temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, three years without refrigeration — while also being delicious.

    “It takes lot of science to get food to withstand a lot of these different constraints,” Oleksyk said.
    Oleksyk’s resume includes a patent for a flourless bread that lasts three years on the shelf (her first project) and a “flameless” heater that warms up any of the 24 different hot entrees — including a few vegetarian options — on the menu.

    The “heater” looks like a paper envelope and can hold a foil pouch of the ready-to-eat meal. A few drops of water added to the envelope triggers a reaction with magnesium and iron built into the paper sleeve, which generates enough heat to warm the meal in about 10 minutes.

    In 2014, the Department of Defense approved funding for Oleksyk’s latest obsession: 3-D printing. “The applications are just endless,” she said. “With the development of high-speed printers, it’s just going to expand even more.”

    Oleksyk’s team is exploring a partnership with the MIT Lincoln Labs, where researchers are investigating the viability of 3-D food printing, starting with baby food. (Because it starts out mushy, baby food is a natural trial substance.)

    3D Systems, a company that has designed a printer for printing intricate sugar confections and is designing a high-speed food printer, is another potential collaborator.


    But they will need a few key additions, Oleksyk explained — anything on the menu for an individual military ration typically requires an extra processing step to make sure the food lasts a long while. A research collaboration with 3D Systems will retrofit rapid 3-D food printers with another step to make the printed food last longer, giving it an extra-long shelf life.


    Among the items in development at the Natick reasearch center is chemically dried “osmo-meat,” a sheetlike jerky designed to survive for months without refrigeration. (Photo: Wendy Maeda/Globe staff)

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, NASA has sidled up as a potential collaborator on Oleksyk’s project. Its vision? 3-D printing could sustain future manned missions.

    It makes sense, Oleksyk said. “They also have shelf-life requirements like we do. They also have size constraints like we do. Their printers will also need to be small and compact.”

    But they do have issues that the Army is less apt to worry about. “Their concern is, as the food is printed on the plate, will it stick or float away?” Oleksyk said.

    Another project that has NASA’s attention is a shrinking technology that Oleksyk is developing with a company in Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Creative Resonance has patented a way to create food bars without the sugary binders and preservatives that go into grocery store fruit bars.

    It involves slamming a food product with high-frequency sound waves to shake it free of water, then “welding” it into a slab half its size.

    Oleksyk has samples: A fruit-and-nut bar, something that looks like a coffee- mocha bar, and a solid chunk of chile con carne. Just add water, and they bounce back into shape.

    NASA is interested in this technology to feed a mission to Mars — but first, the soldiers will decide if it tastes good enough.

  • PHOENIX -- Arizona legislators should legalize recreational marijuana before voters do according to State Rep. Mark Cardenas. The lawmaker recently began working on a bill to legalize the personal use of marijuana.

    Cardenas said he believes the legislature needs to be proactive when it comes to legalizing pot because it is easier to change a legislative bill than it is a ballot initiative passed by voters.

    "In order to change (a voter referendum or initiative) we have to have 75 percent of the legislature agree to that change and so with something that is as controversial as marijuana you are not going to get 75 percent of the legislature to fix it," Cardenas said.

    Arizona's Voter Protection Act prevents the legislature or governor from tampering with a ballot initiative or referendum passed by voters.

    Being unable to change voter-passed marijuana laws could lead to some unintended consequences like a poorly regulated and taxed system according to Cardenas.

    "It is time to be a little bit smarter about marijuana use and a system of taxation and regulation and say ‘you know what, this is going to happen, we are a group of 90 smart people so let's get together and see how we can best implement this system,'" he said.

    State legislators have an obligation to listen to the will of the voters according to Cardenas and he believes the majority of Arizonans want marijuana prohibition to end.

    "As of right now over 50 percent of the population in Arizona wants it and so this is one of those things that we have to put our egos aside and come to the table and … come up with the best method to make this happen and deploy it in Arizona," he said.

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