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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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Take Your Medical Equipment On The Go

Engineers have taken another step forward in the quest for wearable, wireless biosensors. This time, a team has assembled miniature sensors, circuits and radios suspended in fluids that act as a wearable, flexible electrocardiogram. 

The device, reported on April 4 in the journal Science, is significantly more than a heart-rate monitor users strap on before a jog. It isn’t much thicker than a quarter or bigger than a stamp, yet it opens the door to wirelessly transmitting hospital-quality data after a patient leaves a clinic.

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Txch This Week: Drone Internet Providers and Dissolving Batteries

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by Norman Rozenberg

This week on Txchnologist, we looked at innovation offering perspectives from the cosmic scale all the way down to strands of DNA. First, NASA unveiled a 360-degree view of the Milky Way, the galaxy we call home. The interactive 20-gigapixel map is the result of 10 years of telescope imaging and work.

Next, looked at an interesting entrant into the ranks of digital currencies—this one looking to stoke investmentment in solar energy production. The project, inspired by BitCoin, pays one SolarCoin for every megawatt-hour of electricity your solar panels produce.

Researchers in Germany have created a material that is less dense than water and stronger than steel. The polymer and alumina structure was inspired by wood, bone and honeycombs.

A breakthrough in cancer research could be around the corner thanks to more than 239,000 computers from around the world that are working together. The virtual supercomputer has uncovered the folding steps that activate a protein key to disease progression. Meanwhile, researchers are working on stimulating parts of the brain with electricity to boost learning and brain activity.

Scientists have sequenced Loblolly Pine DNA, making it the largest genome decoded and analyzed to date. A research team from 12 institutions banded together and used cutting-edge techniques to read and assemble the DNA code.

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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