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At Purdue University, a team of engineers and food scientists has developed a smartphone-powered device, and accompanying underlying technology, for detecting food borne pathogenic bacteria. The technology relies on using specially designed phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria. These phages are mixed into water that was used to wash a sample of produce. A special solution is then added that makes the phages glow ever so slightly. This glow is detected by a tiny luminometer, a device for measuring the intensity of light. Depending on how much light is...
While flu season is drawing to a close, transmission of germs can still lead to colds and serious respiratory diseases. In few places are individuals more exposed to a multitude of unique germs and germ carriers than during travel. Unlike some forms of travel, such as buses, where an individual can choose to get off the vehicle or find an alternate transit option, like carpooling, air travel is much less flexible. Based on data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2010, on average 1.73 million passengers boarded domestic flights...
Engineers from the Italian Institute of Technology and Italy's National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) have unveiled a prosthetic hand that they claim "gives the patient approximately 90% functionality of a natural hand." The Hannes was designed to lower the price of advanced powered prostheses, while having a long battery life, a strong grip, and manipulation of individual fingers. Its weight is closer to that of a typical hand, making it more natural for the person using it. A natural movement of the fingers is achieved thanks to...
Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a technique that allowed a robot to teach itself to pull a hospital gown onto someone’s arm. By analyzing nearly 11,000 computer simulations of the procedure, the robot learned how to successfully pull the gown over an arm without imparting dangerous forces. The technique could lead to robotic systems that can help to dress incapacitated patients. Over one million Americans need someone to help them get dressed. In many cases, these people are elderly, injured or suffer from a disease. A robotic system to...
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI), which are able to read brain activity and turn the data into real actions such as moving a wheelchair, have the potential to liberate many severely disabled people. While a lot of progress has been achieved in this field, BCIs are still extremely limited in what they're able to achieve and how well they respond to the user. Now researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Geneva, Switzerland, have shown that by having the person and the computer that it interfaces with both learn how to...
ENT
At Ohio State University clinicians are investigating how the use of a computer simulation of the nasal passage can be helpful in performing procedures to improve breathing. The simulator can replicate the fluid dynamics of air passing through and what effect small changes, performed by an ENT physician, can make on the airflow. This simulation technology may allow patients to avoid surgeries by undergoing modifications using minimally invasive techniques. “It opens up the nasal valve to really improve airflow,” in a statements said Dr. Brad Otto, an ENT-Otolaryngologist at The...
Migraines are throbbing headaches often associated with light or sound sensitivity and nausea. They can be a severely debilitating, with an estimated 13% of US adults experiencing them and 2-3 million of whom are classified as chronic sufferers. Although the causes of migraines are not completely understood, many sufferers report increased incidence correlating with weather changes. With relief strategies ranging from rest in the dark, to massage techniques, and to drugs with variable efficacies, sufferers might be interested to learn of an interesting preventative method that reports decreases in weather-related...
Measuring the amount of specific proteins present in the body can help to diagnose diseases that are otherwise difficult to identify. This has been a challenge and even the best existing technology, known as MaxQuant, is not great at measuring low concentrations of proteins and performs poorly in certain situations. Now researchers at State University of New York at Buffalo have developed a proteomics system called IonStar, which they have shown to be able to provide close to perfect accuracy when measuring and comparing concentrations of proteins present in different individuals. According to University...
Most people undergoing a tumor excision go in knowing that the entirety of the offending tissue may not be removed successfully. Typically, tumors look just like healthy tissue and it takes quite a bit of time between when a sample is sent to the pathology lab and when the results come in. Therefore, repeat surgeries are often necessary and too frequently cancer is given another chance to spread. A new experimental device, called MasSpec Pen, developed at University of Texas at Austin, promises to speed up this process so that...
A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a so-called "neuronal cookbook" that provides other scientists a set of instruction for how to convert skin cells into different types of brain neurons. The new methodology should allow researchers to generate exactly the type of cells they need and to study them in a variety of ways. Such abilities were only a dream not long ago, so it is hoped that having ready access to brain cells will help to better understand various neural medical conditions and help...
The Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle, Washington has released Allen Integrated Cell, a piece of software that models the intricate details of human induced pluri-potent stem cells. Specifically, it provides a view of these cells in their pluri-potent state, including the various important organelles that perform unique functions inside the cells. The system includes a deterministic model, which displays the cellular anatomy in individual cells, and a probabilistic model that shows the anatomy as the computer believes the cell will have, even in cells that have not been properly...

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MasSpec Pen Spots Cancer on Surgical Samples

Most people undergoing a tumor excision go in knowing that the entirety of the offending tissue may not be removed successfully. Typically, tumors look just like... May 14th, 2018

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