Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Medical Devices Get Smart

Flu Scanner, Adjustable Prosthesis Could Help Patients Do It Themselves

Killer Bug Is Traced at NIH Hospital

Researchers unraveled a medical mystery that left six patients dead last year at the National Institutes of Health's elite research hospital, demonstrating that gene sequencing can help in the fight against hospital-acquired infections.
The NIH researchers' sleuth work—they stalked a deadly strain of antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella pneumonia through 18 patients at the agency's 243-bed Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.—was detailed in a study published online Wednesday by Science Translational Medicine. The scientists sequenced the genes of the microbial invader to reveal its exact path from patient to patient until the deadly outbreak was contained in December.
The researchers determined that the bug was also spreading from sink drains, based on the genetic trail, possibly by splashing upward as people washed their hands. "We didn't test this possibility—we just had the plumbers take out the drain pipes," Dr. Segre said in an emai

Tango World Cup Photography

Monday, August 20, 2012

Regular Exercise Reduces Eye Disease Risk

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin have found out that regular exercise can decrease the risk of an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Injection therapy may help restore sight

A team of reserachers at University of california at Berkeley found a temporary return of vision to blind mice by injecting an ammonium chemical.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vision restoration prosthesis research at Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon senior systems scientist Shawn Kelly is developing a retinal prosthesis capable of restoring vision to those with degenerative eye diseases. He was recently awarded a four-year, $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to continue his research.

The 15 micrometer-thick prosthesis is surgically inserted through a small incision near the back of the eye, and is held in place by the retina. Its communication coil — which allows the chip to “talk” to external devices — is attached to the sclera, or the white of the eye.
“We don’t expect significant discomfort,” Kelly said of the seemingly intrusive implant. “Other ophthalmic devices sit in this area, including scleral buckles to repair retinal detachments, and some glaucoma pressure valves.”
After surgery, a patient would wear a pair of eyeglasses with a camera fitted into its frame. The camera connects to a portable image processor, which wirelessly transfers a compressed version of the captured image data to the implanted device. The prosthesis then sends stimulating signals to the appropriate retinal nerves, creating a pixelated form of the original image.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Common parasite may trigger suicide

People who test positive for a common parasite—previously thought to be harmless—are seven times more likely to attempt suicide, a new study shows.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blind Mice Given Sight After Device Cracks Retinal Code

This is pretty cool..

Blind mice had their vision restored with a device that helped diseased retinas send signals to the brain, according to a study that may lead to new prosthetic technology for millions of sight-impaired people.
Nirenberg and co-author Chethan Pandarinath first monitored healthy eyes to determine the set of equations that translate light received by the retina into something the brain can understand. Then, they used special glasses to create a similar code and deliver it to the eye, which they had injected with a virus containing light-sensitive cells. The cells received the code and fired electric impulses, which the brain could interpret as images.

Lake Tahoe clearer, but more complicated

Despite an extreme weather year, clarity at Lake Tahoe improved in 2011, but underlying trends show the overall picture is more complex than previously thought.

In Your Eyes: What They Reveal About Your Health

As a retina specialist, I probably diagnose an unknown systemic disease once a week...
The eye is one of the few organs not covered by skin, so we get direct insight into what is going on in a person's body when we look into their eyes...

Because the body's systems are interconnected, changes in the eye can reflect those in the vascular, nervous and immune system, among others. And because the eyes are see-through in a way other organs aren't, they offer a unique glimpse into the body. Blood vessels, nerves and tissue can all be viewed directly through the eye with specialized equipment.

With regular monitoring, eye doctors can be the first to spot certain medical conditions and can usher patients for further evaluation, potentially leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment. 
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye examinations whenever individuals notice any vision changes or injury. Adults with no symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease should get a base line exam by age 40 and return every two to four years for evaluations until their mid-50s. From 55 to 64, the AAO recommends exams every one to three years, and every one to two years for those 65 and older.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Stressed-Out Men Prefer Heavier Women

Most men prefer leggy and lean women, Gisele Bündchen lookalikes, right? Not necessarily. In fact, the body type that a man finds attractive can change depending on his environment and circumstances, a new study finds: when under stress, for instance, men prefer heavier women.
The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, reports that when men were placed in stressful situations, then asked to rate the attractiveness of women of varying body sizes, they tended to prefer beefier frames, compared with unstressed men whose tastes skewed thinner.
“This suggests that our body size preferences are not innate, but are flexible,” said study co-author Martin Tovée of Newcastle University in the U.K., in an email, noting that they may be influenced by our particular environment and resources.

Read more:

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Raising Successful Children

 ...the optimal parent is one who is involved and responsive, who sets high expectations but respects her child’s autonomy. These “authoritative parents” appear to hit the sweet spot of parental involvement and generally raise children who do better academically, psychologically and socially than children whose parents are either permissive and less involved, or controlling and more involved. Why is this particular parenting style so successful, and what does it tell us about overparenting?

Chart of the day, HFT edition

This is an amazing graph. Go to the link to see a full explanation
This astonishing GIF comes from Nanex, and shows the amount of high-frequency trading in the stock market from January 2007 to January 2012. (Which means that the Knightmare craziness of last week is not included.)
The various colors, as identified in the legend on the right, are all the different US stock exchanges. You might think there are only two stock exchanges in the US, but you’d be wrong: there are only two exchanges where stocks are listed. There are many, many more exchanges where stocks are traded.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Steve Mann is considered by many to be the world’s first cyborg. He has been using wearable computers that assist his vision since the 1970s. Now he wears a display screen over his right eye and is connected to a computer and the Internet. In this edited interview, he discusses “mediated reality”; the coming wearable-computing wars among Apple, Google and RIM; and the brain-computer interface.
Are you the first cyborg?
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