Diagnosing Disease Through Voice Analysis

MIT Technology Review highlights research into diagnosing health conditions ranging fom PTSD to heart disease by analysing the way people speak. From the article:

“Voice samples are a rich source of information about a person’s health, and researchers think subtle vocal cues may indicate underlying medical conditions or gauge disease risk.”

Source: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603200/voice-analysis-tech-could-diagnose-disease/amp/

A 20 cent paper centrifuge to test for diseases

Stanford University researchers have developed a vastly lower-cost alternative to traditional centrifuges. For approximately 20 cents (rather than hundreds or thousands of dollars, and without the need for power), a paper device could allow health workers in the field, in remote areas without power, or after natural disasters do on the spot testing for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

Via The Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21714252-its-string-driven-thing-cardboard-centrifuge-separates-blood-cells-plasma

Wind-powered ‘WaterSeer’ pulls clean water from the air 

Inhabitat features the WaterSeer – an in-development device that draws water from cooled air through condensation. From the article:

The Water Seer device is planted six or more feet into the ground, and soil is then packed around its metal neck. The top of the Water Seer holds a vertical wind turbine, which spins internal fan blades to draw air into the subterranean chamber. Because the underground chamber portion of the Water Seer is cooled by the surrounding earth, water condenses in the reservoir to creates sort of an artificial well, from which people can draw clean, safe drinking water around the clock.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/wind-powered-water-seer-produces-11-gallons-of-clean-drinking-water-from-the-air/

Polymer could defeat hospital superbugs

Engadget reports on a discovery by researchers at The University of Melbourne that may offer a new way to battle superbugs, using
SNAPPs – structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers. In tests the SNAPPs have proved effective by tearing bacteria apart, without damaging other cells.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/student-discovers-a-way-to-destroy-superbug-bacteria-without-antibiotics/

New Drug Could Help Fight Alzheimer’s

A new drug being trialed in the US shows promise in protecting the brain from the plaques that are believed to cause memory loss and conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Biogen’s drug, called aducanumab, was given to 165 patients, and the company says in those who took the highest dose it practically eradicated the amyloid plaques in their brains. Those plaques are widely thought to be what kills nerve cells and causes memory loss.

Via MIT Technology Review

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602275/biogens-plaque-busting-alzheimers-drug-shows-promise/

Tumour Patch Uses Three Tools To Fight Cancer

Medgadget reports on the development by MIT researchers of an implanted cancer fighting patch that uses three elements to tackle tumours.

MIT researchers have created an implantable patch for the administration of three completely different therapies to tumor sites in order to kill and prevent the recurrence of cancer. The hydrogel patch is embedded with gold nanorods that are able to heat up and ablate nearby tissue when illuminated by infrared light. The same rods are also infused with a chemotherapy agent, which is also released when infrared light causes the temperature of the nanorods to rise. In addition to thermal and chemotherapy, the patch also releases RNA gene therapy that targets oncogenes active in the cancer being targeted.

Source: http://www.medgadget.com/2016/07/tumor-patch-brings-three-weapons-fight-cancer.html

Ultrasound helps re-start brain of man in coma

KurzweilAI reports on the use of ultrasound to target a specific part of the brain – the thalamus – in an attempt to restart brain activity of a man in a coma. From the article:

UCLA neurosurgeons used ultrasound to “jump-start” the brain of a 25-year-old man from a coma, and he has made remarkable progress following the treatment.

The technique, called “low-intensity focused ultrasound pulsation” (LIFUP), works non-invasively and without affecting intervening tissues. It excites neurons in the thalamus, an egg-shaped structure that serves as the brain’s central hub for processing information.

Source: http://www.kurzweilai.net/ultrasound-jump-starts-brain-of-man-in-coma

IBM’s Watson diagnoses rare forms of leukemia

IBM’s Watson supercomputer has helped diagnose rare forms of Leukemia in at least two instances by comparing patients genetic information against a database of nearly 20 million cancer research papers.

Via Engadget: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/07/ibms-watson-ai-saved-a-woman-from-leukemia/

Computer Vision Detects Early Esophageal Cancer

Medgadget highlights the use of computer vision to scan images for early signs of esophageal cancer. From the article:

At the Eidhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven) in The Netherlands, a research team has developed a computer vision system that has shown excellent results at identifying early neoplastic lesions, which develop into full blown esophageal cancer, in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Such lesions are very difficult to spot, and not many physicians have the training or the eye necessary to do so accurately and consistently.

Source: http://www.medgadget.com/2016/07/automatic-computer-vision-system-detects-early-esophageal-cancer.html