Nanotechnology sensors

Nanotechnology sensors in development to detect H1N1 Swine Flu in public places

CBC — Canadian researchers are testing a new device that may soon detect flu viruses circulating at malls or airports and warn people about them.

The sensor is designed to detect a specific strain of flu virus, such as the new strain of swine flu, or influenza A (H1N1), as well as measure its concentration in the air. It is being developed by physicist Luc Beaulieu and his team at Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L.

Beaulieu suggested the sensor could be installed in public places where the virus is easily spread, such as office buildings, hospitals, schools or even airplanes.

If it detects high concentrations of a virus on a plane, authorities might decide to turn the aircraft around, Beaulieu said.

“Or to land it and then quarantine passengers,” he said. “So that’s the ultimate goal, to make something people can use.”

The device has already detected influenza viruses in some lab tests, but is currently entering a more rigorous trial phase that is expected to take about a year.

The tests are very sensitive, and Beaulieu wears four sets of protective gloves when working with the sensor to ensure he doesn’t contaminate it.

The sensor itself consists of tiny silicon strips, each as thin as a human hair. The strips, which are called cantilevers because they are anchored on only one side, like a diving board, are mounted and lined up on a chip no bigger than a piece of confetti.
Virus makes cantilever bend

The antibodies are supplied by virologist Ken Hirasawa. Isolating antibodies for a new flu strain could take several months.The antibodies are supplied by virologist Ken Hirasawa. Isolating antibodies for a new flu strain could take several months. (CBC)Each cantilever is coated with protein antibodies, and each antibody is designed to trap a specific strain of influenza.

When the right virus sticks to its antibody, the cantilever bends. A laser pointed at the cantilever detects the bending and triggers an alarm.

The antibodies are supplied by Memorial University virologist Ken Hirasawa, who said he can prepare antibodies to trap any known virus. However, isolating the antibodies for a new strain could take months.

If antibodies are available, the sensor can be easily rejigged to detect a different viral strain, Beaulieu said.

“If you already have these chips with hundreds of cantilevers, then it would be just a question of changing the chip with the new antibodies.”


A headset that reads your brainwaves

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves

Tan Le’s astonishing new computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.

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Why you should listen to her:

Tan Le is the co-founder and president of Emotiv Systems, a firm that’s working on a new form of remote control that uses brainwaves to control digital devices and digital media. It’s long been a dream to bypass the mechanical (mouse, keyboard, clicker) and have our digital devices respond directly to what we think. Emotiv’s recently released EPOC headset uses 16 sensors to listen to activity across the entire brain. Software “learns” what each user’s brain activity looks like when one, for instance, imagines a left turn or a jump.

Neuroscientists have expressed varying views about Emotiv’s headset and technology — electrical activity in the brain is notoriously difficult to decode — but it does work. It is a natural for gaming, where ever more complex environments demand more complex inputs.

But it’s also a potential gamechanger for accessibility apps, such as steering a wheelchair. Le herself has an extraordinary story — a refugee from Vietnam at age 4, she entered college at 16 and has since become a vital young leader in her home country of Australia.

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Tan Le on the Web >

Regenerating our bodies

Alan Russell on regenerating our bodies
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Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine — a breakthrough way of thinking about disease and injury, using a process that can signal the body to rebuild itself.

Alan Russell is a professor of surgery — and of chemical engineering. In crossing the two fields, he is expanding our palette of treatments for disease, injury and congenital defects. We can treat symptoms, he says, or we can replace our damaged parts with bioengineered tissue. As he puts it: “If newts can regenerate a lost limb, why can’t we?”

The founding director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh, Russell leads an ambitious biomedicine program that explores tissue engineering, stem cell research, biosurgery and artificial and biohybrid organs. They’ve also started testing a new kind of heart pump, figured out that Botox can help with enlarged prostate, and identified human adipose cells as having the possibility to repair skeletal muscle. In his own Russell Lab, his team has studied antimicrobial surfaces and helping to develop a therapy to reduce scarring on muscle after injury. Lately, his lab is involved in biotechnology studies in relation to chemical and biological weapons defense.

He’s also co-founder of Agentase, a company that makes an enzyme-based detector for chemical warfare agents.

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Computing a theory of everything

Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything

About this talk

Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks about his quest to make all knowledge computational — able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics underlying the universe.

About Stephen Wolfram

Stephen Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha, the author of A New Kind of Science, and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research.

Source From TED >

My seven species of robot

Dennis Hong: My seven species of robot

About this talk

At TEDxNASA, Dennis Hong introduces seven award-winnning, all-terrain robots — like the humanoid, soccer-playing DARwIn and the cliff-gripping CLIMBeR — all built by his team at RoMeLa, Virginia Tech. Watch to the end to hear the five creative secrets to his lab’s incredible technical success.

Why you should listen to him:

As director of a groundbreaking robotics lab, Dennis Hong guides his team of students through projects on robot locomotion and mechanism design, creating award-winning humanoid robots like DARwIn (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence). His team is known as RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) and operates at Virginia Tech.

Hong has also pioneered various innovations in soft-body robots, using a “whole-skin locomotion” as inspired by amoebae. Marrying robotics with biochemistry, he has been able to generate new types of motion with these ingenious forms. For his contributions to the field, Hong was selected as a NASA Summer Faculty Fellow in 2005, given the CAREER award by the National Science Foundation in 2007 and in 2009, named as one of Popular Science’s Brilliant 10. He is also a gourmet chef and a magician, performing shows for charity and lecturing on the science of magic.

“I still cannot forget the mind-blowing sensation when I first watched the movie Star Wars. I was fascinated by R2D2 and C-3PO. Since then, I decided to become a robot scientist and never changed my mind.”

Dennis Hong

Innovative Medical Imaging on a Cell Phone

Innovative Medical Imaging on a Cell Phone

ISRAEL21cdotcom  —  June 06, 2008  — Professor Boris Rubinsky and his team at Hebrew University and the University of California, Berkeley, have designed a system to transfer medical images via cell phone. Watch and learn how this brilliant technology works!

Source From SRAEL21c dotcom >

Related Links: > Vscan-handheld-ultrasound

Baby Mammoth scanned

42,000 year-old baby mammoth scanned at GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare got a close-up look at a 42,000 year-old baby woolly mammoth using state of the art medical equipment. Discovered in 2007 by a reindeer herder in northwestern Siberia, Lyuba (pronounced Lee-OO-bah) is considered the best-preserved mammoth ever discovered.

Researchers wanted to collect data to learn more about the life and features of this extinct species. A lot of the information Lyuba can provide is not visible on the surface, so to be able to see things through a CT scan or an MRI which show her internal organs and the structure beneath her skin is really important, says Tom Swerski, Project Manager of Exhibitions of The Field Museum.

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Arab Health Exhibition and Congress 2010

GE Healthcare has highlighted its commitment to technology that delivers healthier experiences for caregivers and patients at the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress 2010, held in Dubai between 25 and 28 January this year. GE Healthcares focus has been on healthymagination, the Companys innovative approach to healthcare that helps patients live longer, healthier lives by lowering costs, reaching more people and improving the quality of healthcare delivery.

This video shows GE Healthcares Vscan ultrasound and MSK Extreme MR at Arab Health 2010, featuring John Dineen (GE Healthcare President and CEO) and Aziz Koleilat (GE Healthcare General Manager for the Middle East).

Wireless medicine.

เทคโนโลยี ไร้สายกับการนำมาใช้ในทางการแพทย์
Eric Topol (The Scripps Translational Science Institute) ในงาน TEDMED 2009

The future of medicine is wireless

A couple of weeks ago, the (then interim, now full-fledged) president and CEO of CardioNet, Randy Thurman, declared that the company is leading what we believe is a revolution in healthcare – wireless medicine. . . .

In summary, the convergence of healthcare and information technology is resulting in one of the most important trends for the next twenty years – wireless medicine – and CardioNet is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity over the long term.

(These statements were made in the context of fourth quarter and year-end results–the company reported 65% revenue growth in 2008.)

CardioNet is a medical technology company that currently specializes in the remote diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac arrhythmias (an abnormality in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat). Its Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT), a portable wireless monitoring device, is designed to keep track of a person’s heartbeat 24/7 over an extended period of time as he or she goes about daily life.

Marketed as a service rather than as a product, the MCOT must be prescribed by a physician. The patient wears three chest leads attached to a small sensor that transmits data to the monitor. The monitor analyzes each heartbeat, and when it detects arrhythmias, it automatically sends the data to the CardioNet monitoring center; results are then communicated to the prescribing doctor. When the study period is over, the patient returns the MCOT device to CardioNet.

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