Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Healthcare
August 1st, 2015
5:54
 

With so many demands pulling us in every direction, there’s often precious little time to decompress (or none at all!!)  Studies from a variety of sources have shown that stress affects both your physical and mental well-being.  While it would be really nice to have an afternoon nap like babies & toddlers get, the practicality of this ‘luxury’ in most parts of the world is not going to allow that to happen on a mass scale.

Read this story to see how technology called Muse can help to bring you a calming state of being:

Brain-Sensing Headband

Helps Users Manage Stress

 

Muse headband

The headband uses EEG sensors that detect the brain’s electrical activity. Users are then asked to participate in a three-minute guided exercise that aims to reduce stress, calm anxiety and increase focus and concentration.

Visit the Muse site to learn more:  Muse

 

The funny thing is, technology is often blamed for the freneticism of our current existence.  To put it to use as a de-stressing tool… I really enjoy the irony!!!

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Ponder the flatworm.  Yes, I’m serious.

If you’re not familiar with this lifeform, their resilience may astound you.  Particularly one such flatworm known as the Planarian.  This fairly unheralded and simple organism has the capacity to regenerate its body parts.  Yup – cut it in half and it will split itself and regrow into two separate worms.  But, the why and how behind this regeneration being possible has been elusive.

Although flatworms are a parasite that can cause great damage to the internal workings of the human body, this power of ‘self-replicating’ may hold the key to medical advances that we’ve been seeking.  And it’s all due to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and an ongoing study at Tufts University.

It would allow doctors…who help patients who have suffered scarring and traumatic injuries, to regrow body parts from the patient’s own cells.

 

Read the article posted in wired.co.uk here to learn about the computer breakthrough:

Computer independently solves

120-year-old biological mystery

 

Flatworm

And a shorter piece in news.discovery.com: Computer A.I. Solves 120-Year-Old Biological Mystery

NOTE:  Press releases and other material on the work of the researchers named in the articles above can be found by typing “flatworm” into the search box on the Tufts University website – check out their A.I. work with the worms and other cool stuff they are doing with worms and electricity!!

What other ‘mysteries of life’ might A.I. solve for us?  Take up the challenge and make history for yourself!

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McMaster University has developed a process whereby ordinary inkjet printers can be given a special cartridge containing DNA-based bio-ink that produces paper sensors patterned after the codenames of pathogens.

Sensors that identify infectious disease and food contaminants may soon be printed on paper using ordinary office inkjet printers. Researchers at McMaster University have developed a prototype that could lead to a commercial product in the next few years which helps doctors and scientists in the field quickly detect certain types of cancer or bacterial and respiratory infections or monitor toxin levels in water.

blog pathogens“In the published paper, we detect ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is a marker of bacterial contamination, and PDGF (platelet derived growth factor), which is a marker for cancer,” Brennan explained. “We can print the letter ‘A’ for ATP and ‘P’ for PDGF, so that the letter encodes the compound detected. This allows us to do something we call multiplexing, where we can use any combination of letters or symbols to allow detection of many different targets on a single test strip.”

Just think of the applications for this product, they are far reaching and would save many lives in developing world countries.

Do you have the expertise to save lives by developing advanced detection tools for the medical field?

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Travel can be risky – monetary crises, allergies to unusual foods, unsafe drinking water…and being a potential robbery target as you navigate unfamiliar locales.  Not that I’m advocating fear of traveling!  I love to go exploring anywhere and everywhere.  Sometimes, just getting there carries risks, too.

Read this short piece published by RedOrbit about a budding 17-year-old scientist named Raymond Wang from St. Georges School in Vancouver. Wang’s device sets up “personalized breathing zones” for each passenger.

Teen invents way to stop airborne viruses on planes

 

And watch the YouTube video linked there of the award for his prize-winning invention – and an interview with the inventor himself (you can click the pic below to go right to it…)

Airborne virus

With global concern about the spread of diseases, this young man’s invention may make the air we breathe safer for everyone – and it has applications far beyond commercial flights.  What adaptations can you envision?

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July 13th, 2015
5:14
 

Freedom includes the right to go where one wishes – unfettered and unafraid.  At least, that’s the concept…  When one is hampered by a physical impairment, travel becomes more challenging.  A short walk can become nightmarish when you are unable to clearly see the dangers that lie in your path.

Read about Alex Deans, and his prize-winning invention.  On June 2nd, he received the 2015 Weston Youth Innovation Award from The Ontario Science Centre.  At age 12, he identified a need to be met and worked on his own to acquire the skills and knowledge to address it.

He’s now 18, and the end result is:

iAid

 

iAid

Providing assistance for the visually impaired, the system works like a GPS, using ultrasonic sensors and smartphone technology to help in navigation for a human rather than a car.  To take on a project that was wholly altruistic in nature is truly remarkable.  Although the product is not yet available on the market, it is on its way.  And I, for one, am confident that Alex has more in store for us in the future!

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