Vaccines can cut spread of meningitis by nearly 40 percent

Investigators at the University of Southampton have discovered that two new vaccines can prevent the transmission of meningitis bacteria from person to person.

The vaccines do this by reducing 'carriage' of the responsible bacteria in the nose and throats of the population.

Meningitis is a devastating condition and the Southampton team believe this discovery will change the way new vaccines are made in the future.

Robert Read, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton, who led the study, says: "The standard practice is to vaccinate with the aim of inducing high levels of antibodies in the blood to protect against the disease, but we know that these antibodies can disappear over the course of a few months.

"This study is telling us that the vaccines also have an effect on carriage in the throat and explains why they can be so effective across the population."

The study, published in The Lancet, took place over 10 centres across the UK and tested the effectiveness of two meningitis vaccines -- MenACWY-CRM and 4CMenB -- on participants aged 18 to 24 years old.

Participants were either given two doses of a control vaccine, two doses of the 4CMenB vaccine or one dose of MenACWY-CRM and then a placebo.

MenACWY-CRM was shown to reduce carriage rates by 39 per cent while the 4CMenB vaccine, which was recently approved by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in March, reduced carriage rates by between 20 and 30 per cent.

Meningitis is an infection of the meninges -- the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal bacteria are common and carried harmlessly in the nose or throat by about one in 10 people and are passed on through close contact. Anyone can get meningitis, but babies and young children are most vulnerable.

Professor Read adds: "This is a significant piece of work in helping more and more people be protected from meningitis. We have shown that vaccines modify the way the bacteria are carried, so even when the antibodies are no longer present in the blood, the carriage in the throat is still prevented, and so is onward transmission of the infection to others. This could provide a degree of herd protection against meningitis if implemented in a campaign in which high transmission occurs, for example in teenagers and young adults."

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The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton . Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cut flowers last longer with silver nanotechnology

Once cut and dunked in a vase of water, flowers are susceptible to bacterial growth that shortens the length of time one has to enjoy the blooms. A few silver nanoparticles sprinkled into the water, might be the answer to longer-lasting cut flowers according to research published in the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation.

Once the stems are cut and flowers added to a vase bacteria start to colonize the open ends of the stems and block the channels through which water enters. This is the main cause of a short-loved display even for the most expensive flowers, such as lilies, roses and freesias. Many florists provide a small packet of plant food with their bouquets, but this does nothing to prevent the stems becoming blocked with bacteria. Adding a drop of household bleach is perhaps a useful tip, but not all flower lovers which to have the odor of bleach in the vase spoiling the scent of their flowers.

Now, a team in the Department of Horticulture at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, have tested silver nanoparticles, which are known to have antibacterial activity, in extending the blooming life of cut lilies (Lilium orientalis cv. 'Shocking'). They used suspensions of silver nanoparticles in water at levels of 5, 15, 25, 35 parts per million (ppm) and compared the floral life against controls with untreated vase water.

Seyed Hossein Nemati and colleagues found that control blooms gave a bright flora display on average for just under a week. Whereas the lower concentrations of silver nanoparticles extended this period by a couple of days. However, at 35 ppm their blooms were maintained with good color and healthy petals for almost twice as long as the controls (less than 12 days). Analysis of the stems and water revealed that at this concentration of silver nanoparticles bacterial growth was stymied for the longest period compared with controls where bacterial growth began within the first two days.

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Zipper action triggers bacterial invasion

A team led by Dr. Thorsten Eierhoff and Junior Professor Dr. Winfried Römer from the Institute of Biology II, members of the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies of the University of Freiburg, has identified a novel mechanism of bacterial invasion: Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses lipids in the cell membrane to make its way into host cells.

The protein LecA on the surface of the bacteria binds to sugar on special lipid molecules, so-called Gb3 lipids, which are present in the outer membrane of human cells. When the germ docks onto a cell, the LecA molecules of the bacteria and the Gb3 lipids of the host membrane interlock -- like a zipper. In this way, the cell envelope wraps itself around the germ step by step and conveys it into the cell's interior. Römer and Eierhoff found evidence of the new mechanism in synthetic membranes as well as in cultures of human lung cells.

They published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause serious inflammations of the skin and the lung in patients with a weakened immune system, particularly in those suffering from the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis. When the bacteria enter human cells, Gb3 lipids bind to LecA proteins and bend the membrane. This bond is enough to wrap up the bacterium, calculated Prof. Dr. Christian Fleck from Wageningen University, Netherlands. He was co-author of this study. Researchers were previously only familiar with methods of bacterial invasion involving the manipulation of signals in the host cell. These signals control actin fibers, the cell's muscles: The fibers bend the cell envelope from inside and form membrane bubbles into which the bacteria are absorbed.

In order to prove that the process runs without actin, the researchers observed the effect of Pseudomonas bacteria on synthetic membrane bubbles. The bubbles contained neither actin nor other cellular components -- only the lipid Gb3. The in vitro membrane folded in and closed in around the bacteria when they docked onto the surface. However, the wrapping process only took place when the bacteria produced the protein LecA.

"The experiment shows that Pseudomonas uses this lipid zipper to make its way into cells without manipulating actin," says Eierhoff.

The researchers demonstrated that LecA and Gb3 are also important for bacterial invasion in human lung cells: When the pair of molecules was missing, the number of germs that infiltrated the cells was reduced by up to 70 percent. These findings enabled Römer's research group to identify a potential agent against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg . Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Bacterial nanowires: 'Electric bacteria' not what we thought they were

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of "electric bacteria" that shoots out long tendrils like electric wires, using them to power themselves and transfer electricity to a variety of solid surfaces.

Today, a team led by scientists at USC has turned the study of these bacterial nanowires on its head, discovering that the key features in question are not pili, as previously believed, but rather are extensions of the bacteria's outer membrane equipped with proteins that transfer electrons, called "cytochromes."

Scientists had long suspected that bacterial nanowires were pili -- Latin for "hair" -- which are hair-like features common on other bacteria, allowing them to adhere to surfaces and even connect to one another. Given the similarity of shape, it was easy to believe that nanowires were pili. But Moh El-Naggar, assistant professor at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, says he was always careful to avoid saying that he knew for sure that's what they were.

"The pili idea was the strongest hypothesis, but we were always cautious because the exact composition and structure were very elusive. Then we solved the experimental challenges and the hard data took us in a completely different direction. I have never been happier about being wrong. In many ways, it turned out to be an even cleverer way for bacteria to power themselves," said El-Naggar, corresponding author of the study, who was named a Popular Science Brilliant 10 researcher in 2012 for his pioneering work with bacterial nanowires.

This latest study will be published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on August 18.

Scientists from USC collaborated with colleagues from Penn State, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the research.

The first clue came from tracking the genes of the bacteria. During the formation of nanowires, scientists noted an increase in the expression of electron transport genes, but no corresponding increase in the expression of pilin genes.

Challenged by this evidence of what nanowires weren't, the team next needed to figure out what they actually were. El-Naggar credits Sahand Pirbadian, USC graduate student, with devising an ingenious yet simple strategy to make the discovery.

By depriving the bacteria of oxygen, the researchers were able to force the bacteria to stretch out their nanowires on command, allowing the process to be observed in real time. And by staining the bacterial membrane, periplasm, cytoplasm, and specific proteins, researchers were able to take video of the nanowires reaching out -- confirming that they were based on membrane, and not pili at all.

The process isn't as simple as it sounds. Generating videos of the nanowires stretching out required new methods to simultaneously label multiple features, keep a camera focused on the wriggling bacteria, and combine the optical techniques with atomic force microscopy to gain higher resolution.

"It took us about a year just to develop the experimental set-up and figure out the right conditions for the bacteria to produce nanowires," Pirbadian said. "We had to go back and re-examine some older experiments and rethink what we knew about the organism. Once we were able to induce nanowire growth, we started analyzing their composition and structure, which took another year of work. But it was well worth the effort because the outcome was very surprising -- but in hindsight made a lot of sense."

Understanding the way these electric bacteria work has applications well beyond the lab. Such creatures have the potential to address some of the big questions about the nature of life itself, including what types of lifeforms we might find in extreme environments, like space. In addition, this research has the potential to inform the creation of living, microbial circuits -- forming the foundation of hybrid biological-synthetic electronic devices.

The Cutting-Edge Butter Knife of Your Dreams Is Finally Here

Sliced bread is synonymous with innovation, but really, how wonderful is it if a chilled pat of butter can trash a piece of pumpernickel toast? Fortunately, a trio of Australian designers—Craig Andrews, Sacha Pantschenko, and Norman Oliveria—have come together to revamp breakfast with a new knife/grater combo that can transform a densely packed brick of butter into easily spreadable strands of creamy delight.

The trio was batting around ideas for new products over toast and tea one morning when Oliveria cracked a dish trying to carve a thin slice of butter. In the clatter of trashed ceramics, inspiration for what would come to be called the Butterup struck. “We considered several ideas, from new containers and alternative packaging to the age old approach of applying heat, none of which had much appeal,” says Pantschenko. “The idea to grate butter was certainly something we considered, but to build it into a spreading blade was a light bulb moment.”

Pantschenko’s only concern was that the idea felt too obvious. “We thought this was such a simple solution there must have been something out there that was forgotten many years ago,” he says. “All we could find were butter curlers and a few crazy contraptions, none of which had the ability to collect butter and spread it like a regular knife.” After a vigorous session of Googling, it seemed that no one from Paul Revere to Williams-Sonoma had come up with as elegant a solution—though to be fair to America’s greatest silversmith, refrigerated butter is a relatively modern invention.


A trio of Australians have invented a knife that turns hard butter into creamy strands of delight.

Design Momentum

Thrilled by the novelty of their design and exhilarated by the possibility of Kickstarter riches, the trio of dairy aficionados headed into the workshop. Several prototypes later, the team had a working model featuring a grater, a serrated edge capable of cutting through a thick sourdough crust, and a stainless steel blade designed to slather toast with Vegemite. “We spent quite some time experimenting with various hole patterns, size, spacing and placement until we found something that worked really well to allow thin ribbons of butter to curl back onto the knife,” says Pantschenko.

The final challenge was finding a manufacturer that could consistently produce the somewhat delicate devices. After experimenting with laser cutting, drilling, and machining the team ultimately found a manufacturer that used a stamping technique that keeps production simple and prices low. A Kickstarter campaign soon followed and quickly exceeded its original target by over $100,000.

The Stupendous Splendiferous Butterup is raising funds on Kickstarter until September 2nd 2014 with prices starting at approximately $15.

Formlabs Believes the Future of 3-D Printing Is With Pros, Not Tinkerers

Formlab's trio of founders invented their high resolution, $3,300 3-D printer at MIT's Media Lab and have raised over $22 million dollars in venture capital and crowdfunding pre-orders.

Formlab’s trio of founders invented their high resolution, $3,300 3-D printer at MIT’s Media Lab and have raised over $22 million dollars in venture capital and crowdfunding pre-orders. Formlabs

As an associate partner and managing director of Ideo’s Boston studio, Colin Raney’s typical day at the office revolved around designing drug-dealing robots and gadgets that can read your mind. Raney spent eight years traveling the globe, helping the largest companies in the world solve their most interesting problems, and inventing the future. Despite holding one of the cushiest gigs in the design world, Raney recently decided to trade in his designer desk to join the Cambridge-based 3-D printing upstart Formlabs as their new head of global marketing.

Formlabs has been on a tear after developing a slick, $3,300 3-D printer at the MIT Media Lab, then raising nearly $3 million on Kickstarter and over $19 million in venture capital to fund its development. Their technology, which uses a laser and liquid resin to produce parts with four times the resolution of other low-cost systems, has become the go-to technology among artists and designers who require high-fidelity printing on their desktop.

Colin Rainey

Colin Rainey via Colin Rainey

Now, Raney’s mission is to use the design thinking and business model innovation skills honed at Ideo to help Formlabs reach its true potential. “I’m excited to help design the business that brings this technology to the world.” says Raney. “Desktop printing is still in its infancy and I’m excited to design the experiences that allow this technology to empower engineers and designers.”

You’ll note Raney made no mention of consumers and offered no bold promises that there would be a Formlabs machine in every home. Raney believes that 3-D printing can change the world, but primarily by empowering professional engineers and designers to do better work, faster. This view stands in contrast with companies like MakerBot, led by self-styled mad scientist Bre Pettis, who promises a world where low-cost 3-D printers turn every school and garage into a micro-factory.

“The hype cycle for 3-D printing is that it will replace manufacturing, that you can print anything in the home, but in my opinion that’s actually not the best use of the technology,” says Raney. “People will say you can print a coat hanger if you need one, but you could probably get them from Amazon faster and cheaper than you could 3-D print them.”

What the Power-User Market Really Needs

Instead, Raney and Formlabs want to enable designers to do things that would be unworkable any other way. Take fellow MIT Media Lab alum Skylar Tibbets and his ingenious CAD algorithms that allow for printing 50-foot long chains inside a five-inch box. Or toy designer Danny Choo who used the Form1 to create production tooling for one of his hyper-articulated action figures.

According to Raney, applications like this are only the beginning of what’s possible once designers and engineers have high-power machines at their desks. “At IDEO, we spent a lot of time thinking about how maker technology would evolve in the next 5-10 years, and how people might use it,” says Raney. “As we started to design concepts, you could see how 3-D printing made it possible to produce ideas that would be almost impossible.”

Doing the impossible requires technological breakthroughs, and as the head of a major design and engineering studio Raney heard the constant refrain that 3-D printers would continue to get faster, cheaper, and more reliable, but one important spec was always noticeably absent from these promises: detail. “For the desktop 3-D printers to become a tool that engineers and designers can use, they need to deliver a really high level of detail,” says Raney. “This allows engineers to create intricate parts or designers to produce beautiful objects, and without detail, I’m afraid the technology will just be a novelty.”

Unlike most 3-D printer companies, Formlabs is laser-focused on the professional market and doesn't believe most homes will have a printer in the near term.

Unlike most 3-D printer companies, Formlabs is laser-focused on the professional market and doesn’t believe most homes will have a printer in the near term. George Hart

There are user experience challenges to address as well. As 3-D printer transition from being fridge-sized machines attended to by skilled technicians to desktop devices, tradeoffs in usability must be made. “One of the bigger myths of the 3-D printing space is that the prints just don’t roll off the machines,” says Raney. A key part of Formlabs’s mission must is to instill confidence in users that the machine can produce high-quality parts without requiring hours of post-processing.

There are also business challenges to overcome. Formlabs is being sued by 3D Systems, the $5.4 billion dollar market leader. Autodesk recently created a reference design for a similar SLA-based 3-D printer that it released as an open source design, equipping Chinese knock-off makers with tools to flood the market. And plenty of hardware hackers have taken aim at Formlabs in recent months raising millions of dollars for new systems.

Despite the mounting obstacles, Raney is up for the challenge because the potential is so enormous. “You won’t see 3-D printing everywhere, but where you see it, it changes lives.”

Twitter Steps Up, Suspends Accounts That Share Horrific Beheading Video

Journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., is seen in Boston, in a Friday, May 27, 2011 file photo.

Journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., is seen in Boston, in a Friday, May 27, 2011 file photo.

Steven Senne/AP

Twitter plans to suspend any accounts spreading graphic imagery from a video that appears to show photojournalist James Foley being beheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Company CEO Dick Costolo made the announcement early Wednesday morning on his own Twitter feed, after a video of the alleged beheading emerged Tuesday on YouTube.

It’s an important step for Twitter, signifying that the company—which has recently been dogged by complaints of abuse and other graphic content on the platform—may finally be ready to do something about it. During Twitter’s most recent earnings call, the company asked users to Tweet questions to the Costolo using the hashtag #askcostolo, only to be bombarded with questions about how Twitter planned to respond to reports of harassment on the site. At the time, the questions seemed to fall on deaf ears. Now, however, it seems Costolo and his team are ready to listen.

This is the second announcement of its kind this week for Twitter. One Tuesday, the company announced that it would delete images of the deceased, upon request from family members. That policy change was a clear response to news that Zelda Williams, daughter of actor Robin Williams, left Twitter after trolls flooded her feed with abusive messages about her father. At the time, Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, said: “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” noting that the company was “in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one.”

Now, those very policies seem to be taking shape. The questions is: How well can Twitter truly adhere to them? With 500 million Tweets sent per day, staying on top of every report of abuse will take sophisticated monitoring technology and a large staff of human monitors. Twitter will have to figure out a way to remove this content not in days or weeks, not even hours, but within minutes of it being posted.

But the most troublesome part of all this is the fact that for every Tweet that’s removed, another can easily take its place. As The Guardian recently pointed out, without the proper systems in place, the whole thing is bound to devolve into an internet-wide game of “whack-a-mole.”

And then there’s the fact that Twitter has, for so long, thrived precisely because of all the freedoms it allows its users. As critical as it is for Twitter to strengthen its privacy policies and block content that threatens the safety and well-being of its users, the company will have to do so while still honoring its role as a major purveyor of news around the world.

Vine Grows Up, Lets You Edit and Upload Existing Video


Image: Vine

The six-second, looping-video-sharing service Vine announced several new tools today designed to make it easier to shoot and edit videos from your phone. It also handed out some nice round numbers that don’t reveal much about how many people are shooting Vines, but certainly indicate lots of people are watching.

There are really two parts to what Vine is announcing today: the new tools—which really add a level of robustness to the app it didn’t previously have but aren’t revolutionary, and the viewership numbers, which it largely glosses over but do demonstrate a robust audience. Take them together and it seems like the upstart little app has suddenly grown up into a mature video-sharing platform.

The biggest change is that people can now dip into their camera rolls and use existing videos they’ve recorded for Vines. Previously, you had to shoot video in-app. This means that if you’ve got, say, a two minute video of your dog burping in slow motion, you can now suck up a six second highlight reel from that and use it in a new Vine.

Other tools include a focus-lock feature for the front-facing (selfie) camera, editing features like a duplicating button that lets you repeat a shot, a mute button to wipe out audio, and a “torch” mode, which turns on your phone’s flash so you can shoot in the dark. It’s rolling out the new Vine for iOS today, and Android is coming shortly thereafter, according to the company.

Then there are the numbers. Vine says that more than 100 million people watch Vines every day and that Vine loops play more than a billion times every day. That former number is SuperBowl audience-sized. And the latter number means Vine is playing something like 190 years of video a day. Together, they speak to how many places people are watching—on the Web embedded in Web pages, in-app, on Facebook, and other places. This doesn’t even count things like the best-of-Vine compilations that are all over YouTube. It was clear from the get-go that Vine was going to be pretty big. But still those numbers are surprisingly big.

Vine has already generated its own culture with its own memes and hits and even stars. It is increasingly becoming a way for people to communicate with the world about things that are important to the culture at large.

Now Vine is signaling that it’s leveling up, and it demands to be taken seriously. It has tools to make anyone an on-the-go auteur, and a big audience that it wants people to know about. The question is: if Vine manages to grow into a mainstream tool that’s not just watched, but also used, by many millions of people, can it still keep that same creative culture? Can it be both hip and popular? That seems to be the new goal. It will be interesting to see if it can pull it off.

Out in the Open: This Man Wants to Turn Data Into Free Food (And So Much More)



Let’s say your city releases a list of all trees planted on its public property. It would be a godsend—at least in theory. You could filter the data into a list of all the fruit and nut trees in the city, transfer it into an online database, and create a smartphone app that helps anyone find free food.

Such is promise of “open data”—the massive troves of public information our governments now post to the net. The hope is that, if governments share enough of this data with the world at large, hackers and entrepreneurs will find a way of putting it to good use. But although so much of this government data is now available, the revolution hasn’t exactly happened.

In far too many cases, the data just sits there on a computer server, unseen and unused. Sometimes, no one knows about the data, or no one knows what to do with it. Other times, the data is just too hard to work with. If you’re building that free food app, how do you update your database when the government releases a new version of the spreadsheet? And if you let people report corrections to the data, how do you contribute that data back to the city?

Max Ogden.

Max Ogden. DAT

These are the sorts of problems that obsess 25-year-old software developer Max Ogden, and they’re the reason he built Dat, a new piece of open source software that seeks to restart the open data revolution. Basically, Dat is a way of synchronizing data between two or more sources, tracking any changes to that data, and handling transformations from one data format to another. The aim is a simple one: Ogden wants to make it easier for governments to share their data with a world of software developers.

That’s just the sort of thing that government agencies are looking for, says Waldo Jaquith, the director of US Open Data Institute, the non-profit that is now hosting Dat. “We get calls every week from federal agencies asking how they should give people access to their two petabyte data sets,” he says, referring to information troves that span millions of gigabytes. “They want people to give people slices of that data, but they don’t know how to do it.” Dat can step into the breach—and potentially bootstrap a whole new world on online applications.

Years in the Making

Ogden has been working on open-data problems since he was 19. In 2009, he started experimenting with open data sets from the City of Portland, Oregon, trying to build applications such as a map of all the bike racks in the city. But he quickly found that the city’s data wasn’t as open as he would have liked. It was often in formats that would require expensive enterprise software to work with, so he started translating the data sets into more open formats. That culminated in Ogden creating PDX API, a custom version of the open source database system CouchDB loaded up with many data sets from the City of Portland to make them easier for developers to work with.

His work in Portland landed him a fellowship with Code for America in 2010, a non-profit dedicated to helping the public sector make better use of technology. As part of the fellowship, he worked with the city of Boston, where saw that many cities were struggling with the same issues he faced in Portland. That gave him the idea for DataCouch, an attempt to make it easy for any government or organization to build their own system along the same lines as PDX API. But he ran into some problems. CouchDB was a full-blown database management system, which was a bit too heavy for what Ogden wanted to do. The project never really took off. The tools he need just weren’t there.

After his year-long fellowship, Ogden took a detour into consumer mobile apps and 3D graphics, but he was haunted by the idea of DataCouch. “The open data thing seemed like the place where I could make a bigger impact,” he says. He started thinking about where things went wrong with his ambitious project, and how he could do things differently if he started over from scratch.

What Dat Is

Ogden’s original inspiration for DataCouch was GitHub, the popular code-hosting and collaboration service. Using GitHub, developers can copy open-source projects so that they can make their own versions, known as forks, and submit those changes for approval by the original developers. He wanted to inspire a similar spirit in data, enabling developers to copy and modify data sets, and submit changes back to the government. But he realized that he was missing a big part of what makes GitHub work: Git itself.



Git is a piece of software originally written by Linux creator Linus Torvalds. It keeps track of code changes and makes it easier to integrate code submissions from outside developers. Ogden realized what developers needed wasn’t a GitHub for data, but a Git for data. And that’s what Dat is.

Instead of CouchDB, Dat relies on a lightweight, open-source data storage system from Google called LevelDB. The rest of the software was written in JavaScript by Ogden and his growing number of collaborators, which enables them to keep things minimal and easily run the software on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Macintosh OS X.

Dat to the Future

Ogden built a prototype of Dat with funding from the Knight Foundation, a non-profit dedicated mainly to media and journalism initiatives, and is now an employee of the U.S. Open Data Institute. Most of the project’s development is currently funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a non-profit founded by the former General Motors CEO to fund scientific education and research.

Although Ogden’s background is in city government, the Dat team is now squarely focused on the needs of scientists. That’s largely because of the Sloan Foundation’s focus. “I don’t come from a scientific background and wasn’t even thinking about science data,” he says. “But they convinced me that I should.” He explains that scientists have to deal with many of the same issues with formats and tracking changes that city governments do. Using Dat, Ogden says, much of this complexity could be abstracted away, at least for some users of the data.

The new round of funding has allowed Ogden to actually hire other developers to help build the tool. But he’s not sure how long it will last. That means he might eventually have to try his hand at running a startup again, but he says it might be possible to just keep raising funds indefinitely.

Of course, Ogden still thinks that Dat will be useful to governments. And he’s not discouraged by how slow going the open data movement has been so far. “We’re not trying to take over the government right away, just put out tools for the early adopters, and create a new generation of open data people,” he says. “It takes a long time.”