Online game helps Alzheimer’s research

Futurity highlights an online game that helps fight Alzheimer’s, developed by researchers at Cornell University. The game – Stall Catchers – asks users to search for clogged blood vessels in videos in exchange for points, with the goal of speeding up research that cannot be automated and is reliant on human input.


Fishing nets with LED lights save turtles

LED fishing nets

Researchers at the University of Exeter (UK) have found that adding green LED lights to fishing nets can significanty reduce that numbers of turtles that get trapped and die, without impact on the quantity of fish caught.



First Human Test Of Optogenetics Could Restore Sight

MIT Technology Review reports on the first trial of a procedure aiming to partially restore the sight of people with a degenerative eye condition – retinitis pigmentosa (where light-sensitive photoreceptor cells die, causing blindness).

The article explains that optogenetics is a “technology developed in neuroscience labs that uses a combination of gene therapy and light to precisely control nerve cells.” The trial aims to “engineer the DNA of different cells in the retina, called ganglion cells, so that they can respond to light instead, firing off signals to the brain.”

It is hoped that the approach could one day also be applied to conditions affecting the brain, including Parkinson’s.


3D-Printed Smartphone Attachment Helps Diagnose Sight Problems

Techcrunch highlights a 3d-printed eye examination smartphone app and attachment called Peek (Portable Eye Examination Kit).


The device and app can be used in the field in developing nations and isolated rural areas at lower costs than traditional equipment (or where testing equipment rarely reaches) to test a range of eye functions and conditions.

Source: Techcrunch

Device allows remote eye examinations

Futurity reports on a new device that allows medical professionals to conduct remote eye examinations using a cheap device to capture videos of the macula which are then split into still images sent to doctors via mobile phones. The solution has great potential to help people in developing countries to get eye problems diagnosed.

Source: Futurity