Tag: medicine

  1. Drug-resistent yeast, synthetic synapses on the nano scale, and memristor research.

    05 July 2016

    For the last decade or so, bacteria that are immune to the effects of antibiotics have been a persistent and growing threat in medicine. Ultimately, the problem goes back to the antibiotic not being administered long enough to kill off the entire colony. The few survivors that managed to make it through the increasing toxicity of their environment because they either had a gene which rendered them immune (and the toxins released when the other bacteria died weren't enough to poison them) or assembled one and survived long enough to breed and pass the gene along to other bacteria. This …

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  2. Neuromorphic navigation systems, single droplet diagnosis, and a general purpose neuromorphic computing platform?

    18 November 2014

    The field of artificial intelligence has taken many twists and turns on the journey toward its as-yet unrealized goal of building a human-equivalent machine intelligence. We're not there yet, but we've found lots of interesting things along the way. One of the things that has been discovered is that, if you understand it well enough (and there are degrees of approximation, to be sure) it's possible to use what you know to build logic circuits that work the same way - neuromorphic processing. The company AeroVironment recently test-flew a miniature drone which had as its spatial navigation system a prototype neuromorphic …

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  3. Reversing progressive memory loss, transplantable 3D printed organs, and improvements in resuscitation.

    13 November 2014

    Possibly the most frightening thing about Alzheimer's Disease is the progressive loss of self; many humans measure their lives by the continuity of their memories, and when that starts to fail, it calls into question all sorts of things about yourself... as long as you're able to think about them. I'm not being cruel, I'm not cracking wise, Alzheimer's is a terrifying disease because it eats everything that makes you, you. Thus, it is with no small feeling of hope that I link to these results at the Buck Institute for Research On Aging - in a small trial at UCLA …

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  4. Cardiac prosthetics and fully implanted artificial limbs.

    20 October 2014

    No matter how you cut it, heart failure is one of those conditions that sends a chill down your spine. When the heart muscle grows weak and inefficient, it compromises blood flow through the body and can cause a host of other conditions, some weird, some additionally dangerous. Depending on how severe the condition is there are several ways of treating it. For example, my father in law has an implanted defibrillator that monitors his cardiac activity, though fairly simple lifestyle changes have worked miracles for his physical condition in the past several years. Left ventricular assist devices, implantable pumps …

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  5. Steps toward an open source microfacture shop and what could be the first recorded nanoparticle injury.

    28 May 2014

    A common criticism of 3D printers is that they're not a panacea. They can't do it all - a limitation shared by every tool, when you think about it - and because of that some vocal people claim they're worthless. You can't really convince anyone who's dead-set against being convinced, so let's move on to more interesting things. A problem being worked on right now is developing a set of technologies and workflow for microfacture - extremely small scale automated manufacture, on the scale of a hackerspace or a home workshop. Most of the components exist right now, from 3D printers to lathes …

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  6. Duo-dimensional circuitry and nanosurgical devices.

    26 May 2014

    When we think of circuitry, people tend to think of one of two things: Either fairly large discrete components that will balance comfortably on the tip of your finger (image credit: Creatively Maladjusted), or slabs of plastic and ceramic encapsulating integrated circuits which are comprised of millions upon millions of components. At the time I write this article we can fabricate circuitry on a scale of about 14 nanometers and in about two years we'll be able to reliably build circuitry around 10 nanometers in size, which is significantly bigger than the atoms of the elements used in chip manufacture …

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  7. Regeneration of living tissue in situ and a surprising observation in antisenescence.

    07 May 2014

    Ordinarily if something happens that causes a chunk of your body to be removed (like, say, a shark bite) there isn't a whole lot that can be done to fill it back in. Scar tissue will form over the wound and skin will eventually cover over it, but that doesn't cause lost muscle and bone to come back. It's kind of scary, when you think about it - what's lost is lost. But that may not be the caes for much longer. A research team active in the field of regenerative medicine at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the …

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  8. Glueing wounds back together, human cloning, and using bio-nano to infiltrate synthetic DNA.

    02 May 2014

    If you've ever been injured enough to need stitches, you know that it's no picnic. Administration of local anesthetic aside (which usually involves multiple shallow injections directly into the wound site), flesh is touchy stuff to suture back together. Get the suture too close to the edge of the wound and it might rip through and pop open again. There may not be enough usable skin far enough away from wound site to stick a needle through (such as on particularly skinny fingers or the backs of some ankles). Some parts of the body just don't take well to being …

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  9. There's wearable computing, and then there's wearable computing.

    03 April 2014

    Just last year around this time the company MC10 figured out how to fabricate small networks of sensors built out of flexible circuitry that stick to the skin of the wearer and collect biotelemetry. By sticking a single square of wavy, flexible circuitry someplace on your person you could keep a medical team appraised of certain aspects of your health. The tech curve, as always, moves like a roller coaster gone out of control... in the journal Nature Nanotechnology a research team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology improved upon the design and created flexible circuitry tattoos that can …

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  10. Electrical relief of migraines, advances in bioprinting, and prosthetic exoskeletons.

    16 March 2014

    If you've never had one before migraine headaches are no picnic. Between the feeling like somebody's testing a sawmill with part of your skull, profound nausea brought about by something as innocuous as sunlight or the sound of a diesel engine, and vertigo that makes walking to the bathroom to retch a challenge, they're something that many of us would probably not wish on our worst enemies (I know I don't). There are few things that can arrest or lessen the severity of migraines once they start. Mostly, all you can do is get someplace dark and quiet and ride …

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