This 3D-printing startup helps orthodontists straighten your teeth

It’s time to welcome another startup to the clear teeth aligner market. Meet ArchForm, a Y Combinator-backed teeth aligner software startup that lets orthodontists create, design and 3D print aligners within their own offices. The idea is to provide orthodontists with a way to better compete against some direct-to-consumer teeth aligner startups and cut down on the cost of Invisalign. The cost of braces and invisible aligners — those clear, mouthguard-like pieces of plastic — varies, but treatments can range from $4,685 to $6,500 for adolescents, and adult treatments can cost up to $7,135, according to a 2013 American Dental Association survey. Last year, the orthodontics market saw $11 billion in revenue, according to market research company IBISWorld. ArchForm is trying to tap into the growing accessibility of the 3D printer market to enable orthodontists to 3D print their own clear aligners in-office. Orthodontists currently pay about $1,700 per
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Biomedical startup AesculaTech is creating a new, more patient-friendly drug delivery system

“Reverse chocolate” — that’s how AesculaTech co-founder and chief science officer Niki Bayat describes the material created by its proprietary technology. Chocolate is solid until heated, when it melts deliciously into liquid. AesculaTech’s material, on the other hand, is a liquid at low temperatures, turns into a gel when heated and then reaches its final, solid state at body temperature. (If you are having a hard time visualizing the process or distracted by thoughts of dessert, there’s a gif below that shows it being injected into a 37 degree Celsius water bath). By changing the composition of the material, AesculaTech is able to control the temperature at which it transitions into different states. While the liquid is transforming into a gel, different compounds, including medications, can be added to it. Bayat and co-founder Andrew Bartynski, who are in Y Combinator’s latest startup batch, say it has a wide range of
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Reverie Labs uses new machine learning algorithms to fix drug development bottlenecks

Developing new medicines can take years of research and cost millions of dollars before they are even ready for clinical trials. Several biotech startups are using machine learning to revolutionize the process and get drugs into pharmacies more quickly. One of the newest is called Reverie Labs, which is part of Y Combinator’s latest batch. The Boston-based company wants to fix a critical bottleneck in the drug development process by speeding up the process of identifying promising molecules using recently published machine learning algorithms. Reverie Labs’ founders Connor Duffy, Ankit Gupta and Jonah Kallenbach, who named their company after a pivotal detail in the HBO series “Westworld,” explain that its tech analyzes early ideas for molecules from pharmaceutical scientists and suggests possible improvements to shorten the amount of time it takes to reach clinical trials. Duffy says Reverie Labs’ ambition is to “become a full service molecule-as-a-service company.”
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FitHouse aims to make fancy fitness classes more affordable

Fitness-oriented New Yorkers aren’t facing a shortage of classes that they can sign up for, but the prices can add up — Clément Benoit, founder of a new startup called FitHouse, said boutique classes cost an average of $35 per session. FitHouse, on the other hand, is charging $99 per month for unlimited classes. Contrast that not just with a traditional studio, but also with ClassPass, where pricing in NYC ranges from $45 (for two to four classes) to $135 (for eight to 12 classes) per month. In many ways, FitHouse offers a more traditional model than ClassPass — instead of giving subscribers access to a classes run by other studios and instructors, it’s building a studio of its own. Benoit said this gives the company more control over the experience, and a bigger piece of the revenue, which he said “we redistribute to both the user and the
Clément Benoit
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ClassPass Live launches on-demand workouts from home

ClassPass has today announced the launch of ClassPass Live, an at-home workout platform that connects users with fitness teachers via live video. ClassPass Live was first announced in December of last year. The company purchased a studio in Industry City, along with hiring instructors to develop a proprietary ClassPass workout for users and run classes. Here’s what ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman had to say at the time:
At ClassPass we’re flexing our technical capabilities to push the future of fitness, especially as it relates to interactive, immersive experiences – nowhere is that more evident than with ClassPass Live. We’ve leveraged our unparalleled data assets and reviews to create one-of-a-kind, live programming anchored in heart rate training that’s unlike anything else on the market. By expanding into an at-home digital product, we’re able to offer existing members more value and flexibility in how and when they work out while simultaneously
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YC-backed DearBrightly makes Rx skin care more accessible

 Almost everybody wants better skin, but not everyone wants to put in all the heavy lifting required. But DearBrightly, a Y Combinator-backed company, wants to simplify the process of making Rx retinoids accessible to everyone. Retonoid is an umbrella term for both retinols and Rx retinoids, which are made from Vitamin A and promote rapid skin cell turnover, helping with skin issues from aging… Read More

Fitbit is adding menstrual cycle tracking to its smartwatches

 Fitbit’s first smartwatch had its fair share of issues, including a large size, which made it unwieldy for many wrists. That fact no doubt automatically excluded the product from a big chunk of its potential user base, including a lot of women. Fitbit’s hardly alone among wearable makers in that oversight, of course, but the issue certainly stood out for a company whose products… Read More

Jack Dorsey wants to measure how Twitter affects society

 Earlier this month, Twitter began soliciting proposals from the public to help the platform capture, measure and evaluate healthy interactions. Today, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other members of the team held a public conversation via Periscope about the company’s new initiative to measure healthy interactions on Twitter. As Twitter previously noted, the goal is to come up with metrics… Read More

Atomwise, which uses AI to improve drug discovery, raises $45M Series A

 Atomwise, which uses deep learning to shorten the process of discovering new drugs, has raised a $45 million Series A. The round was led by Monsanto Growth Ventures, Data Collective (DCVC) and B Capital Group. Baidu Ventures, Tencent and Dolby Family Ventures, which are all new investors in Atomwise, also participated, as well as returning investors Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures and DFJ. Read More

23andMe gets FDA green light for cancer risk test

 Genetic testing powerhouse 23andMe announced today that it’s officially received the FDA go-ahead to launch a direct-to-consumer testing kit for genes linked to various forms of cancer. The forthcoming kit, which will be made available without a prescription, tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are linked to higher risk of ovarian, break and prostate cancer. “Being the first and… Read More

These 6 Charts Show How the World is Improving

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These 6 Charts Show How the World is Improving

These 6 Charts Show How the World is Improving

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here. It only takes a few minutes of cable news to get the feeling that the world is heading into a tailspin. Endless images of homicide investigations, natural disasters, car crashes, and drug busts fill the airwaves on a daily basis. It’s upsetting – but also certainly captivating for the average viewer. In fact, the news cycle thrives on fear and violence, so mainstream networks find a way to fill up 99% of programming with these singular events. It’s addicting and sometimes anger-inducing, but is it representative of what’s really going on in the world?

Good News Happens Slowly

Today’s infographic comes to us from economist Max Roser of Our World in Data, and it highlights six megatrends that show that in
Poverty in China
Level of education of world
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Apple devices are butt dialing 911 from its refurbishing facility – 20 times per day

 Since October, emergency responders in Elk Grove and Sacramento County, California have received over 1,600 false alarm 911 calls coming from an Apple repair and refurbishing site in the area. It’s not clear if the calls are coming from Apple’s iPhones or Watches but each time a call originates out of the Elk Grove facility, there’s no one on the other end of the line and… Read More

Life sciences startup Avro aims to deliver drugs to children and the elderly through skin patches

 Avro, a life sciences startup in Y Combinator’s current batch, is banking on a method to deliver medications to populations unable to swallow or chew — it will administer them through the skin. Starting with allergy medications, the startup is developing skin patches that release drugs commonly used in seasonal allergies for children. The patches can deliver a variety of drugs. Read More

RightEye’s portable eye-tracking test catches concussions and reading problems in five minutes

 They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re windows to the brain. RightEye is a startup that looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro… Read More

With $250 million, Peter Diamandis’ new startup is all about taking stem cells from placentas

 Stem cells derived from a human placenta hold the key to unlocking a myriad of potentials in regenerative medicine and are the focus of X-Prize and Singularity University founder Peter Diamandis’ new endeavor. Called Celularity, the startup is a spinout from Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company creating gene therapies. Diamandis teamed up with Dr. Robert Hariri, the founder of… Read More

Fitbit buys Twine Health in bid to become a more serious health care tool

 Fitbit’s been on a bit of a acquisition spree over the last couple of years, as the company’s looked to grow its business inside the stagnating wearables category. This morning, the hardware maker announced plans to pick up Twine Health, a HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based health management platform. The company hasn’t disclosed specific numbers for the acquisition, but expects… Read More

Cybex starts selling its $330, app-enabled car seat made for safety geeks

 Normally, I wouldn’t be writing about a car seat for for TechCrunch but as I’ve been in the market for such an item lately (and have been hit up for all things baby tech as my due date nears) the high-tech Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 stood out. Cybex is manufactured in Germany and is a mostly European brand that’s gaining momentum in the U.S. market. Its newest carseat… Read More