The biometrics industry is still up for grabs. Snowflake Technologies is all set to make a landmark plans by developing vein-viewing technology by the next year. Using the same near-infrared scan technology developed by its parent company, Luminetx, Snowflake announces that it would be possible to verify a person’s identity by reading their vein patterns. Snowflake CEO Phillips saysEach person has a unique vein pattern, and Snowflake will “read your veins like a bar code,” replacing security devices such as signatures, keys, and passwords. The company is developing several prototypes for the security device. Snowflake will target financial institutions and government agencies such as the CIA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The technique is Fascinating. I guess there are many things unique about each one of us.
Biotech research has got the rights to produce Cinis Baby Halo, a kind of pillow, for small baby heads A neonatal nurse with 24 years experience in the prevention of flathead in preemie babies developed this Cinis Baby Halo. Baby Halo is made from a material called Dermasol DS300, FDA approved, that gives a gentle support to baby’s head. It has been put to use in hospitals in United States. This big yellow fruit loop like pillow supposedly prevents infant flathead syndrome and emotional distress. All the mothers have a good choice. Biotech research has made it possible for parents to use Baby Halo at their homes also.
Researchers at HP have developed a micro mini wireless data chip that can store medical information and make a link with the digital substances present in the world. In the medical field, Memory Spot chips have numerous possible consumer and business-based applications. This rice grain sized chip can be fixed to a patient’s wristband to store medical data or any other personal information. All the data then can be transferred to a phone, camera or PDA for visualization. It features a built-in antenna that transfers data at 10 megabits per second. It also features RFID tags, which can be used to track merchandise or your favorite pets. It is 10 times faster than Bluetooth and is able to store numerous images. Howard Taub, HP vice president and associate director, HP Labs, said: We are actively exploring a range of exciting new applications for Memory Spot chips and believe the technology could have a significant impact on our consumer businesses, from printing to imaging, as well as providing solutions in a number of vertical markets.
Futura Medical PLC’s FLD500 condom, which is under the testing process right now, is soon going to be registered in the EU as Class III Medical Device. FLD500 is an ‘easy to put’ condom that has a skinny elastomer coating outside it that maintains more natural lubrication and let the women have the real pleasure of the intercourse. SSL International will be distributing the FLD500 after it gets the license.
Researchers at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine have estimated that the rate, at which the human retina transmits information, is as quick as an Ethernet connection. An abstract from the press relese: The investigators calculate that the human retina can transmit data at roughly 10 million bits per second. By comparison, an Ethernet can transmit information between computers at speeds of 10 to 100 million bits per second. Investigators have known for decades that there are 10 to 15 ganglion cell types in the retina that are adapted for picking up different movements and then work together to send a full picture to the brain. The study estimated the amount of information that is carried to the brain by seven of these ganglion cell types. Kristin Koch, a PhD student in the lab of senior author Peter Sterling, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience said: Spikes are metabolically expensive to produce. Our findings hint that sluggish cells might be ‘cheaper’, metabolically speaking, because they send more information per spike. If a message must be sent at a high rate, the brain uses the brisk channels. But if a message can afford to be sent more slowly, the brain uses the sluggish channels and pays a lower metabolic cost.
Researchers at the University of Oregon have developed a technique that could lead to the introduction of a new microscope for nanotechnology. The researchers have revealed a new pinhole-sized capillary that could distribute helium atoms with X-ray-like waves on asymmetrical surfaces and enable a non-invasive, high-resolution approach to examine both organic and inorganic substances. An abstract from the University’s home page: Stephen Kevan, principal investigator, a physics professor at the University of Oregon stated: The approach of using the wave nature of atoms goes back 100 years to the founding of quantum mechanics. Our goal is to make atomic de Broglie waves that have very smooth wave fronts, as in the case in laser light. Usually atom sources do not provide wave fronts that are aligned coherently, or nice and orderly. The nozzle used in the experiments is similar to one on a garden hose. However, it utilizes a micron-sized glass capillary, borrowed from patch-clamp technology used in neuroscience. The capillary, smaller than a human hair, provides very small but bright-source atoms that can then be scattered from a surface. This distribution of scattered atoms is measured with high resolution using a field ionization detector. This atom optical experiment would benefit from developing an ‘atom camera,’ that would measure the entire speckle pattern in one exposure.
Investigators at Johns Hopkins Institute have revealed after a small clinical trial that a pill combining chemicals found in turmeric (commonly used spice in curries) and onion reduce the size and number of precancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract, thereby lowering the risk of Colon Cancer. Turmeric contains Curcumin and Onion has Quercetin, an antioxidant. Familial adenomatous polyposis is a disorder that runs in families and is characterized by the development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas (polyps) and eventual colon cancer. In the study, published in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, five patients with an inherited form of precancerous polyps in the lower bowel known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) were treated with regular doses of curcumin (the chemical found in turmeric) and quercetin, an antioxidant in onions, over an average of six months. The average number of polyps dropped 60.4 percent, and the average size dropped by 50.9 percent, according to a team led by Francis M. Giardiello, M.D., at the Division of Gastroenterology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Marcia Cruz-Correa, M.D., Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. The best part of this treatment is that the patients develop minimal side effects such as slight nausea and mild diarrhea. The Curcumin treatment is efficacious in decreasing the number of polyps in patients.
Studying the brain is not a new thing but studying the neurons and how they respond to the environment and experience is no doubt a new concept. The more the animal is exposed to shapes, objects and light, the better it can perceive them. Well, the researchers at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have succeeded in studying the brain and the action of genes that shapes it. Here is an abstract from the press release… “This work represents a technological breakthrough,” said first author Kuan Hong Wang, a research scientist at the Picower Institute who will launch his own laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health in the fall. “This is the first study that demonstrates the ability to directly visualize the molecular activity of individual neurons in the brain of live animals at a single-cell resolution, and to observe the changes in the activity in the same neurons in response to the changes of the environment on a daily basis for a week.” The study exploited the power of two-photon microscopy (so-called because it uses two infrared photons to emit fluorescence in tissue), which allows imaging of living tissue up to 1 millimeter deep, enough for researchers to see proteins expressed within individual neurons within the brain. They then created a mouse model in which a coding portion of the Arc gene was replaced with a jellyfish gene encoding a green fluorescent protein (GFP). Neural activities that normally activate the Arc gene then activated the GFP, leaving a fluorescent trace detectable by two-photon microscopy. The genetically engineered mice were let loose in an environment containing a cylinder covered with stripes of vertical or horizontal lines, and the proteins in their brains were monitored as the mice saw the cylinders daily. This advance, coupled with other brain disease models, could “offer unparalleled advantages in understanding pathological processes in real time, leading to potential new drugs and treatments for a host of neurological diseases and mental disorders,” said Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa, a co-author of the study.
A team of researchers at the University of Buffalo has developed a new device named BioBlower to overcome the pathogenic spores largely. The research, funded by the Department of Defense and the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), concluded that the BioBlower wipes out the spores through heat and pressure oscillations. “With our device, there are no filters to change and very minimal maintenance,” said Garvey. “The BioBlower(tm) indiscriminately destroys all airborne biotoxins via the extreme heating of the gas.” In a series of recent tests performed by scientists in the UB Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Calspan-UB Research Center (CUBRC), the BioBlower(tm) successfully destroyed more than 99.9 percent of aerosolized spores of a benign anthrax simulant, Bacillus globicii (Bg). “Bg spores are considered the gold standard for biotesting,” explained Garvey. “Now that we can completely eliminate these hardy bacteria, we can kill any and all airborne biological toxins.” The BioBlower(tm) heats the contaminated air, Garvey explained, by mechanically compressing it as it is being blown rapidly through a mechanical rotary pump. “This recompressive process uniformly increases the temperature of the entire volume of gas, almost instantaneously,” he said, adding that the same type of compressive heating occurs when a tire gets hot as it is inflated with air. “The dramatic effect we observed is due to chemical combustion; these spores simply get burned away to ash,” he said.
Well, most of you must have played the computer-based card game, Free Cell. Nobody knew until today that this simple card game could one day lead to an innovation. Scientists at the OHSU Oregon Center for Aging & Technology (ORCATECH) have found that the Free Cell card game, when adaptive with cognitive performance assessment algorithms, could be used to differentiate the persons with memory problems and cognitively healthy seniors. An abstract from the study… People with mild cognitive impairment are at high risk of developing dementia, which is most commonly caused by Alzheimer disease. The discovery could help doctors plan early treatment strategies by detecting subtle cognitive changes over time in the natural setting of an elder’s home. “We discovered that we can take an existing computer game that people already have found enjoyable and extract cognitive assessment measures from it,” said ORCATECH investigator Holly Jimison, PhD, associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, OHSU School of Medicine, and the study’s lead author. In FreeCell, players are dealt 52 cards face up in eight columns, with four columns having seven cards and the others having six. The object is to move all the cards into four single-card free “cells” in four suit piles stacked from lowest to highest rank. “It requires significant planning to play well, and planning is one measure that neuropsychologists attempt to test in clinical situations,” Jimison said. “We’re trying to replicate that, and we’ve been able to show that we can, at least in early studies with small numbers of people, show distinctions between cognitively healthy elders and those with even mild cognitive impairment.” “It’s a lot easier to treat someone when symptoms are just starting as opposed to when a full-blown crisis occurs,” Kaye said.