tech science medicine ultrasound cancer innovation health ocd disease sound_waves
Are Focused Sound Waves Medicine’s Next Big Thing?

by Michael Keller

The pictures on the left above show a patient with a benign bone tumor called an osteoid osteoma. The images on the right show the patient after doctors treated the tumor with focused ultrasound, a therapy that delivers high frequency sound waves inside the body without surgery.

Advocates for the technology say it is proving to be a useful and cost-effective treatment for a number of afflictions, from various cancers to neurological diseases.

“Focused ultrasound is increasingly being considered a game-changing technology,” said Kim Butts Pauly, a Stanford University professor of radiology. 

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App Uses Google Glass To Diagnose Disease

The American Chemical Society has the story of some interesting work that might let healthcare providers use Google Glass for medical testing. 

UCLA researchers have built an app that lets users take pictures of test samples and upload them for remote diagnostic analysis. The system can already perform dozens of different tests, including those for malaria, prostate cancer and HIV. The work effectively removes the need for a nearby brick-and-mortar laboratory to analyze samples.

Watch the video, and read about more breakthrough work being done by UCLA engineer Aydogan Ozcan and his group.

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Txch This Week: April Fools’ Day and New Candidate For Extraterrestrial Life

 by Norman Rozenberg

This week on Txchnologist, we looked at the newest innovations changing the world around us. First, Dutch architects are using 3-D printing technology to build an iconic canal house. They hope their work will offer a sustainable and quick way of providing housing for the world’s growing population.

Biofuels might one day blast off in the field of rocketry. Georgia Tech scientists have boosted output from genetically engineered bacteria that secrete pinene, a hydrocarbon perfect for high-powered fuels needed to launch rockets and missiles. NASA and Boeing, meanwhile, have tested jet actuators  that could lead to smaller airplane tails, which would make planes lighter and consume less fuel.

Art and cultural objects are priceless priceless components of civilization that often require delicate preservation. Cutting edge science is helping to conserve art and a new generation of conservationists are being taught how to ply their craft.     

On the subject of educating future professionals, medical school students and researchers are starting to get their hands on some new tools. Instead of pouring over a real cadaver, students can now study the human body virtually. Users can manipulate, dissect and explore a hologram-like cadaver using joysticks and projectors.

And now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.

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tech science weather health flu computer_modeling forecast public_health disease
Weather-Based Model Forecasts Flu Outbreaks

by Rachel Nuwer

As December unfolds, most people have the holidays on their mind. For some, however, this festive time of year will be marred by coughs, aches and fever that will lay them flat. We are now at the beginning of flu season.

But unlike the holidays, the flu does not come to an end with the New Year. It can rear its congested head anytime from now until April. This uncertainty poses a problem for both the public and for health officials, because outbreaks can flare up quickly and unexpectedly, making it difficult to prepare for them.

Now, though, a new flu forecasting method may help alleviate the uncertainty surrounding influenza occurrence. Much like a weatherman does to predict rain or snow, the new system uses advanced data simulation techniques paired with real-time estimates of flu cases to forecast future disease trends.

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