Technology

Surgeons removing a malignant brain tumor don’t want to leave cancerous material behind, but they also need to protect healthy brain matter and minimize neurological harm. Once the patient’s skull is open, there’s no time to send tissue samples to a pathology lab to be frozen, sliced, stained, mounted on slides and investigated under a bulky microscope in order distinguish between cancerous and normal brain cells.

A handheld, miniature microscope could allow surgeons to “see” at a cellular level in the operating room and determine where to stop cutting. The researchers hope that after testing the microscope’s performance as a cancer- screening tool, it can be introduced into surgeries or other clinical procedures within the next 2 to 4 years.

A small pilot study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finds that using smartphone reminders to prompt people to get moving may help reduce sedentary behavior.

Prior papers have corrolated sedentary time to increased risk of breast, colorectal, ovarian, endometrial, and prostate cancers as well as weight gain, higher BMI, and obesity. Still, we love our phones. Surveys finds that adults in the U.S. report spending an average of about 8 waking hours per day being sedentary. 

A new method to determine if bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics within a few hours could slow the appearance of drug resistance and allow doctors to more rapidly identify the appropriate treatment for patients with life threatening bacterial infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistance causes two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually, costing the U.S. economy approximately $20-billion a year in direct health care costs and nearly eight million extra days in the hospital. Indeed, bacteria are evolving resistance to antibiotics much more quickly than global biomedical research efforts are delivering new drugs to market, leading to the appearance of infections caused by bacteria that are now resistant to every therapy.

Heartbeats can now be measured without placing sensors on the body, thanks to a new way to measure heartbeats remotely, in real time, and under controlled conditions with as much accuracy as electrocardiographs.

The researchers say this will allow for the development of "casual sensing" -- taking measurements as people go about their daily activities, for instance, when they are going to bed or getting ready to start the day. Kind of like a Fitbit, except accurate

"Taking measurements with sensors on the body can be stressful and troublesome, because you have to stop what you're doing," says Hiroyuki Sakai, a researcher at Panasonic. "What we tried to make was something that would offer people a way to monitor their body in a casual and relaxed environment."

I don't like using the term "consumer" because it implies an economic function of the searcher.  There is certainly an economy (exchange of value) in the Searchable Web Ecosystem but "consumers" are really "searchers".  I say "consumers" because people identify with that word more readily than they do with the word "searcher".  A "consumer" is someone like you and me: we consume things.  A "searcher" is someone who is statistically measured in a more clinical environment.

No one expects much of the social sciences, so a heavy reliance on undergraduate psychology student surveys to draw conclusions and resulting lack of reproducibility is dismissed, but the National Institutes of Health is nearly half of the federal government's and lack of reproducibility in biology and other life sciences is of greater concern for that reason.

If it can't be replicated, is it science? Sure, but it's a complex explanation for the public educated on the science process.

In the last few days, there has been a spate of reports that the incandescent bulb is on its way back.  This relates to work by a group of authors at MIT plus one at Purdue University in Indiana, featured in a news report from MIT:

A nanophotonic comeback for incandescent bulbs?

Many of us might look forward to this, having found compact fluorescent lamps troublesome, and LED lights a bit weird.

It relates to this very recent publication,:

An app that blocks third parties from identifying an individual's location based on what they search for online received a "best paper" award at the recent Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) GLOBECOM Conference, Symposium on Communication&Information System Security, in San Diego.  

A research team led by Linke Guo, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University, says, "This is really attached to daily life. The trend of people using searches and social networks on smartphones which aren't well-protected is going up. Sometimes people share too much information. This is a way to help provide some security." 

Sperm that don't swim well rank high among the main causes of infertility but these cells may get a boost from motorized "spermbots" that can deliver poor swimmers -- that are otherwise healthy -- to an egg.  

Despite not actually having a car in production, the firm Faraday Future has headline-writers gushing about its “Tesla-killing supercar” – an all-electric car that looks like the Batmobile.

There is no doubting that the FFZero1 concept car just unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is eye-catching, but it’s one of a number of new and transformed car brands.