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Tag Archives: research

Fix A Gunshot Wound The Way You Fix A Flat Tire

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 12.21.01 PM

RevMedx has received $5 million from the American military to develop a product called Xstat, an in-combat injury treatment system that could temporarily plug up a gunshot wound much in the same way that you stop air from leaking out of a car tire, by inserting small expandable sponges directly into the wound. These sponges are compressed and coated with a hemostatic agent called chitosan so that it isn’t just mechanical pressure holding the blood back, but biochemical processes as well. Each sponge is tagged with a radiopaque marker so that it can later be seen through X-ray and removed, although one co-founder, John Steinbaugh, expressed desire to develop a biodegradable version as well.

In a swine model with aggressive non-compressible hemorrhaging, Xstat provided statistically significant improvement in hemostasis and survival 60 minutes after injury with a large reduction in blood loss, resuscitation fluid requirement, and medic treatment time compared to conventional hemorrhage control dressings.

There’s no timeline as to when this would be ready to use in a combat situation, but it’s not inconceivable that it makes its way to a paramedic’s arsenal sometime in the near future.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TheVerge ]

Electrode Lets You Taste Flavors That Aren’t There; Digital Lollipop On The Horizon

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 7.37.28 PM Eating is a wonderful thing, but getting fatter not so much. Well, the days of being able to ingest healthy things while our tastebuds tell us they’re in fact deep friend bacon burgers might not be so far off. Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team at the National University of Singapore are in the process of developing a device that simulates flavours directly on a user’s tongue.

By placing an electrode on the tip of the tongue and by carefully generating some current and temperature changes, the researches are able to simulate the basic tastes of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The contraption is still quite unwieldy and not ready for any type of commercial use, but they’re working on making it smaller and less cumbersome. Also, they haven’t managed to generate smell and texture yet, which unfortunately is a huge component of taste, but of course they’re working on it. Considering we already have Smell-o-vision type devices, it’s not unreasonable to imagine a future where every element of eating is digitally simulated, minus the calories of course. Ranasinghe and his team are actually working on a digital lollipop.

There’s clearly no word on when or even if this could ever be turned into a commercially available product. But the fact that they’ve been able to simulate some tastes already sounds pretty promising.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ C|Net ]

We’ve Seen The Future, And It’s In This MIT Motion-Tracked Table

4n4pa

Just watch that GIF and tell us if your mind isn’t blown. It’s a project by a team at MIT called inFORM. It seems to involve a table with an array of individually actuated push-rods, which are in turn controlled by a motion-tracking camera. Here’s how they explain it:

Past research on shape displays has primarily focused on rendering content and user interface elements through shape output, with less emphasis on dynamically changing UIs. We propose utilizing shape displays in three different ways to mediate interaction: to facilitate by providing dynamic physical affordances through shape change, to restrict by guiding users with dynamic physical constraints, and to manipulate by actuating physical objects.

If we’re understanding their jargon correctly, the team is looking to develop a man/machine interaction that doesn’t involve a static user interface. In other words, they’re exploring ways in which we could interact with machines in the future. What does that mean in practical terms? We’re not sure, but a user on Reddit suggests a table that can pass the salt itself… It’s funny, but hey, the possibilities appear limitless and we’re glad folks with some semblance of competence are working on this stuff.

Watch the full video below to get a better idea of how awesome this is.

[ Project Page ] AND [ Full Paper ] VIA [ Reddit ]

How Old Are Your Ears? Take This Test and Find Out

Ear Age

You probably use your ears a lot, even when you don’t mean to or when you’re not supposed to (ahem, like when you eavesdrop.) Studies show that people put their hearing at risk a lot, with too-loud headphones, blaring car stereos, and uber loud concerts that are partly to blame.

So the big question is: How old are your ears? AsapScience has created a hearing test of sorts that plays a series of tones at increasing frequencies. The video indicates which average age group can hear the tones, so you can find just how good or bad your hearing is almost immediately.

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Support the Fight Against AIDS While You’re Sleeping

FightAIDS

You obviously don’t use your Android smartphone when you’re sleeping, so why not let scientists who are working to find a cure for AIDS use it instead?

FightAIDS@Home is a project that calls for the involvement of citizens all over the world. Scientists who are trying to find more efficient drugs that can be used to treat HIV need a supercomputer, which will cost them $1,000 an hour. Funding isn’t exactly unlimited, which is why the researchers found an alternative: making use of the computing power of thousands of devices that aren’t being used–because their owners are sleeping.

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Thanks to MIT, Phone Cameras Can Now Be Used to Monitor People’s Heart Rates

MIT Measure Heartbeat

Have you noticed how your head moves back and forth a little when you’re sitting still? That motion is a result of your blood rushing up to your brain and throughout your body with every beat of your heart. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and it also happens to the basis of an algorithm that researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab came up with.

Basically, this slight back-and-forth movement is monitored on video. The person’s skin color changes are analyzed to determine his pulse and heart rate. It is also used to identify any erratic activity, which is especially useful when diagnosing heart issues.

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Air Hockey Playing Robot Is Impossible To Beat

air-hockey-robot

If you thought that all those hours spent at the arcade, perfecting your air hockey-playing skills were worth it because they’d made you unbeatable, know that it was all in vain. A soulless robot created by researchers at Chiba University’s Namiki Lab could prbably hand you your ass in a platter. The system captures your movements and that of the puck at 500fps, and anticipates your shots. This means that pretty much no matter what you do, the robot will have you beat. But this bot goes one level above simply having quicker reflexes than you. To keep you interested and playing (as opposed to giving up in frustration within a minute), it’ll make you believe you could have a chance, stringing you along for a while, learning your moves before mowing you down like last week’s lawn. This robot isn’t only fast, it’s a hustler.

[ Research Paper ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

High Tech Shopping Glove Could Help You Find Things Faster At The Supermarket

Ever been in a supermarket aisle, looking up and down the displays for that one can of tomato soup you want with a google shopping list in hand, but finding nothing but rows upon rows of pickled mushrooms? In a cluttered scene, it can be hard to find the one item you’re looking for, so researchers at the Helsinki and Max Plank Institute for Informatics have developed a prototype glove that can help you find a specific object in such a 3D environment. The glove works on a hot/cold principle, and vibrates with varying degrees of intensity as your hand approaches the item you need. Using these cues, test subjects were able to locate items up to three times faster than without the gloves.

The solution builds on inexpensive off-the-shelf components such as four vibrotactile actuators on a simple glove and a Microsoft Kinect sensor for tracking the user’s hand. The researchers published a dynamic guidance algorithm that calculates effective actuation patterns based on distance and direction to the target.

This would work well in places like a supermarket, or even a library, where it’s common to spend too much time locating things. There is no talk of commercialization at the moment, but it’s often in research settings like these that some of the most exciting consumer technologies are born.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Pharmaceutical Researchers Use Levitation To Develop Better Drugs

Watch the video.

OMGWTF!! Amirite?

But maybe you’re wondering what’s going on. Well, it seems researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago are looking into ways of developing more efficient drugs. Specifically, they want to make more precisely calibrated drugs that would still deliver their therapeutic benefits while requiring less of the drug being taken. As part of this process, they have to evaporate the solvent that contains the active molecules while avoiding these taking up a crystalline form, as this yields a less efficient product. But if they mix the ingredients in a regular vessel (like a beaker), crystals are much more likely to form during the evaporation process (think of snowflake crystals forming only around dust particles). So they turned to “to an acoustic levitator, a piece of equipment originally developed for NASA to simulate microgravity conditions.”

Two small speakers to generate sound waves at frequencies slightly above the audible range – roughly 22 kilohertz. When the top and bottom speakers are precisely aligned, they create two sets of sound waves that perfectly interfere with each other, setting up a phenomenon known as a standing wave.

At certain points along a standing wave, known as nodes, there is no net transfer of energy at all. Because the acoustic pressure from the sound waves is sufficient to cancel the effect of gravity, light objects are able to levitate when placed at the nodes.

Crystals form when touching a surface? No problem: let’s get rid of the surface! Clearly you can only do this to small amounts at a time, so it’s more of an analytical tool than one intended to be used in mass production.

[ Full Article With Details ] VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]