Sea snail research could help in enhancing memory

John Jack Byrne A number of species in the animal kingdom are related to humans in many ways, which is why rodents and apes are increasingly used for related analyses. Now experts from the University of Texas have unraveled a species of sea snails called Aplysia californica, which provide new insights on disorders related to learning and memory.

In this trial, 2 sets of snails were exposed to 5 learning sessions. While one group was given learning sessions at irregular time frames, as indicated by a mathematical equation, the other group received training sessions at regular intervals of 20 minutes.

A span of 5 days after the sessions, a substantial rise in memory seemed identifiable in the group trained going by the mathematical model. However, no elevation in memory appeared to be found in the group trained at regular intervals.

“When you give a training session, you are starting several different chemical reactions. If you give another session, you get additional effects. The idea is to get the sessions in sync. We have developed a way to adjust the training sessions so they are tuned to the dynamics of the biochemical processes,” commented John H. “Jack” Byrne, Ph.D., senior author and chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the UTHealth Medical School.

Around 10,000 different permutations and combinations were sorted by the computer to locate the schedule that is likely to play a role in improving memory. The team examined the nerve cells in the brain of snails and found that those receiving enhanced training sessions appeared to function better.

The mechanism involved gauging the apt time for learning in the brain, which consecutively scheduled the learning process at such prime periods. This procedure presumably led to considerable increase in memory.

The investigators concluded that computational methods to aid in designing training schedules for improving memory could be useful. The research is published in the journal, Nature Neuroscience.

New algorithm seemingly cuts MRI scan duration to 15 minutes

MRI Scan Today, detecting all sorts of abnormalities such as cancers and brain abrasions could be attributed to high end MRI scans. But, most of who have been exposed to such scans will agree that the experience is cumbersome as subjects have to lie still in the machine for nearly 45 minutes. A major breakthrough by MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics researchers has unfolded an algorithm that could cut the scan duration to a meager 15 minutes.

Experts have noticed that taking multiple scans of the same location requires a lot of time implying that patients have to stay in the machine for a longer duration. This algorithm apparently utilizes data attained from the first contrast scan to develop the successive images. Thus, the scanner does have to work from the start each time it produces a different image from the available information. It simply has to refer to the principal outline from the initial scan thereby decreasing the overall time for scanning all subsequent images.

Elfar Adalsteinsson, research leader, cited, “If the machine is taking a scan of your brain, your head won’t move from one image to the next. So if scan number two already knows where your head is, then it won’t take as long to produce the image as when the data had to be acquired from scratch for the first scan.”

In order to create this outline, the software observed attributes that are common to all scans such as prime anatomical structure and so on. Basically, the algorithms access the first scan to gauge the likely location of the boundaries between varied tissues in the scans coming later. However, the app cannot post a lot of data from the first scan to the other scans since there is a possibility of losing vital traits of tissues that are seen in various contrasts.

The algorithm seemingly calculates the new information it requires to formulate the image for every pixel. The net effect is an MRI scan that is supposedly 3 folds swifter than standard machines. Though this kind of an accelerated scanning technique is deemed to slightly affect the image quality, it seems to be considerably better than competing algorithms.

The scientists are now trying to enhance the algorithm by speeding up the time it takes for processing. The analysis is published in the journal, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

ROP 16 protein may solve the Toxoplasma puzzle

Intestine Mouse infection

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that affects around one third of humans and may result in harmful consequences such as encephalitis. As per a research conducted by Jeroen Saeij, two particular common strains of Toxoplasma seem to be responsible for the production of a protein ROP 16 that reduces inflammation in the affected host. This knowledge could pave way to methods of suppressing inflammation for people with conditions such as Crohn’s disease or those who are infected with strains of the organism.

Toxoplasma spores thrive in dirt, which is why humans may get infected if they consume unwashed and uncooked meat. The parasite is seemingly capable of affecting any warm blooded animal. The organism may lead to encephalitis in those who have a suppressed immune system. Even if mothers get infected during pregnancy, the hazardous effect may show on the fetuses. A specific set of strains found in South America may also cause blindness.

“There’s a lot of these inflammatory diseases, and if there’s a general pathway that’s really good at quelling inflammation, there might be [drug] applications,” commented Saeij, an assistant professor of biology.

There are many principal strains of Toxoplasma in North America and Europe. Patients of Taxoplasma have been isolated from a specific strain known as Type II which is the most common. In an earlier paper, the scientists mentioned that the Type II produces an inflammation causing protein known as GRA15. It also results in an immune response that is supposedly known to destroy intruders. On the contrary they may also harm the host’s own tissue if left unattended.

The new paper put forth that there may be a variant form of another Type II protein called ROP16. However, the investigators found that the protein could suppress inflammation in the host for Types I and III which are rarely found in patients showing Toxoplasma effects. The form of ROP 16 found in Type II didn’t seem to show any result. However, inflammation was apparently suppressed when the researchers inserted the Type I ROP 16 into the Type II strain.

The discrepancy in the result crept often puzzling scientists as to why strains from the same parasite produced different outcomes. The investigators believed that varied forms of the same parasite apparently exploited different immune reactions from potent hosts. Toxoplasma seeks to cause inflammation on the host as that helps the latter withstand severe infection.

Subsequently, the organism will form tissue cysts that reach other victims through carnivorism. Nevertheless, excessive inflammation may kill the host, putting an end to the parasite’s life span. By deploying varied methods of inflammatory responses, the parasite may succeed with the host. The scientists bring to fore that though different strains look similar, each one is adapted to different host environments.

The new paper unfolded a study of Toxoplasma infection in mice. The outcome which saw inflammation in the intestine of the mice looked rather similar to the one seen in Crohn’s disease. However, it can’t be ascertained if these cases have been caused by Toxoplasma. But the latter has been found in many Crohn’s patients that are unlikely to be found with normal individuals.

In the years to come, the team seeks to figure out the mechanism of ROP 16 in exerting anti–inflammatory effects which may lead to certain therapies and drugs for the same. Crohn’s disease is seemingly found in half a million people of United States.

The research is published in the June 15 issue of Cell Host and Microbe.

Proteins In Frog Skins Apparently Treat Cancer, Diabetes And Stroke

Waxy Monkey Frog Proteins found in the skin of frogs seem to be extremely beneficial for humans. In a major breakthrough, researchers from the Queen’s University revealed that proteins in skins of the Waxy Monkey Frog and the Giant Firebellied Toad can fight cancer, diabetes and stroke, and benefits transplant patients by regulating the growth of blood vessels. These proteins may be attained without harming the frogs in any way.

In the course of the investigation, scientists caught sight of two proteins or peptides’ that can possibly control and target way to manage ‘angiogenesis,’ a process by which blood vessels grow in the body. It can seemingly assist in crafting novel treatments for more than seventy major diseases and conditions. The detected proteins are reportedly present in secretions on the skins of the Waxy Monkey Frog and the Giant Firebellied Toad.

“Because of its huge potential, angiogenesis has been a prime target for drugs development research over the past forty years. But despite an investment of around $4-5 billion by scientists and drugs companies around the world, they have yet to develop a drug that can effectively target, control and regulate the growth of blood vessels. The aim of our work at Queen’s is to unlock the potential of the natural world – in this case the secretions found on frog and toad skins – to alleviate human suffering. We are absolutely convinced that the natural world holds the solutions to many of our problems, we just need to pose the right questions to find them. It would be a great shame to have something in nature that is potentially the wonder drug to treat cancer and not aim to do everything in our power to make it work,” quoted Professor Chris Shaw at Queen’s School of Pharmacy, lead investigator.

First, investigators captured the frogs and gently extracted the secretions, before releasing them back in to the wild. Then the proteins stimulating or inhibiting the growth of blood vessels were scrutinized. The protein in the Waxy Monkey Frog supposedly ‘switched off’ angiogenesis and inhibited blood vessel growth to destroy cancer tumors.

And the protein acquired from the Giant Firebellied Toad presumably ‘switched on’ angiogenesis and stimulated blood vessel growth. This protein can be purportedly employed for treating an array of diseases and conditions that require blood vessels to repair quickly including wound healing, organ transplants, diabetic ulcers, and damage caused by strokes or heart conditions.

The research apparently has great significance in tackling a number of ailments.

Sound Synchronisation Technology Seemingly Fastens Heart Disease Diagnosis

Computer Based Technology Heart disease apparently is the leading cause of death in the UK. In an attempt to tackle this fatal ailment, a Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) team has now introduced a novel computer-based technology dubbed DigiScope that synchronises the various sounds collected by the new stethoscope and which make up a human heartbeat. The sound can be further analyzed through a technique named independent component analysis (ICA), accompanied by data presented on a laptop or desktop computer in easy-to-understand graphs.

These may provide a visual representation of the heartbeat and any anomalies in it. Apparently the ICA is only capable of tracking down heartbeats if all the different sounds that make up an individual’s heartbeat are brought together as one overall sound. Just like a conventional stethoscope, the new stethoscope too purportedly captures four sounds one after another. Then the computer-based technology turns these separate sounds into one combined signal which ICA can then process.

“It’s the multidisciplinary character of this exciting international collaboration that has enabled it to produce such a promising outcome. Two prototype DigiScopes are already in use to test their capabilities. The development will not remove the need for specialist cardiac units, it will simply make it easier to identify potential heart problems at an earlier stage,” shared Professor Mark Plumbley, who has led the QMUL work.

Through conventional stethoscopes, the identification of a potential heart problem appears to be completely reliant on the expertise and listening skills of the GP. In conclusion, it was asserted that the newly developed synchronisation technology plays a vital bridging role between the new stethoscope and ICA.

The unique technology was revealed on 25 May at the 36th International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing held in Prague in the Czech Republic.

Scientists Develop Computer Game To Seemingly Treat Eye Diseases Among Kids

University Of Manchester Logo Here is a novel means to conduct eye tests like checking contrast sensitivity and the sharpness of vision in children. With a highly innovative approach, experts from the University of Manchester have now crafted a computer game that actually checks vision of kids as young as four suffering from glaucoma, drug side-effects, brain tumors and other conditions. This game-based approach apparently has great significance in the health domain.

Previously scientists were unable to get kids into sitting still and concentrate while machines measured what they could see at the edge of their vision. An immense amount of data could not be obtained as the kids often moved their eyes wrongly or did not respond correctly. This in turn probably had an overall impact on the child’s diagnosis and treatment options. It was then predicted that making kids play a computer game can help gain attention and cooperation. The computer game is designed in such a way that it supposedly measures the child’s peripheral vision.

“We built a large toy castle roughly a metre high. A pair of magic glasses is set into the front wall, and when the child looks right through them we know they are in the right position and so a drawbridge in the castle wall electronically opens to allow the child to see and play a game on a screen within. The aim of the game is to track a wizard inside the castle, and press a button to help him squash rogue tomatoes. While concentrating on the wizard in the centre of the screen, they then press a different button if they spot a ghost appearing at the corners. Their reactions are recorded automatically by the software using a laptop attached to the game screen. Parents do sometimes worry about their children spending too much time looking at computer screens, but in this case it could potentially help to save a child’s sight or give valuable information to help treat their medical condition,” quoted Tariq Aslam, a consultant at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and senior lecturer at The University of Manchester.

Authors have now developed an electronically controlled apparatus that may encourage kids to position themselves correctly as part of the whole game experience. This apparatus is termed as the ‘Crazy Castle.’ The effectiveness of this apparatus was tested on 17 children aged four to 14.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology based at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, and the Special Trustees of Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Nanopatch Seemingly Reverses Heart Attack Damage

Nanopatch For Heart

Be it cancer or an acute respiratory infection, the world of health and medicine is constantly toiling to come up with precise treatments for a wide variety of treatments. On that note, engineers from Brown University and the India Institute of Technology Kanpur have now developed a nanopatch with carbon nanofibers and a polymer for helping heart-attack victims. This novel approach apparently repairs heart attack damage. In fact, the nanoscaffold appears six times greater than the control sample, while neuron density had doubled.

Within a lab, scientists created a scaffold-looking structure consisting of carbon nanofibers and a government-approved polymer. During the tests, it was suggested that the synthetic nanopatch is capable of regenerating natural heart tissue cells known as cardiomyocytes, and neurons. So a dead region of the heart can be possibly brought back to life. The newly employed carbon nanofibers appear like helical-shaped tubes with diameters between 60 and 200 nanometers. They allegedly work well because they are excellent conductors of electrons.

The nanofibers were used in conjunction with a poly lactic-co-glycolic acid polymer to form a mesh about 22 millimeters long and 15 microns thick and resembling ‘a black Band Aid.’ The mesh was laid down on a glass substrate to check whether cardiomyocytes colonize the surface and grow more cells. While conducting the tests, the 200-nanometer-diameter carbon nanofibers were supposedly seeded with cardiomyocytes. As a result, five times as many heart-tissue cells reportedly colonized the surface after four hours than with a control sample consisting of the polymer only.

David Stout, a graduate student in the School of Engineering at Brown and colleagues found that after five days, the density of the surface was six times greater than the control sample. Neuron density, on other hand, had presumably doubled after four days. The scaffold works probably because it is elastic and durable, and can thus expand and contract much like heart tissue. Additional attempts are being made to tweak the scaffold pattern to better mimic the electrical current of the heart. They are also trying to build an in-vitro model for testing how the material reacts to the heart’s voltage and beat regime.

The research is published in Acta Biomaterialia.

New Microchip Apparently Assists In Cancer Treatment

New Chip DynAMITe The world of health and medicine has now stumbled upon the probable future of cancer treatment. A groundbreaking research by the University of Lincoln has released a novel microchip named Dynamic range Adjustable for Medical Imaging Technology (DynAMITe) to identify cancer and also highlight the impact of radiotherapy treatment. DynAMITe may be considered as the world’s biggest microchip for medical imaging.

It appears as an Active Pixel Sensor and is developed in 0.18 micron CMOS technology. The microchip accommodates 1280 x 1280 pixels on a 100-micron pitch coplanar along with 2560 x 2560 pixels on a 50-micron pitch. It operates at frame rates up to 90 frames per second for seemingly delivering an imaging area in excess of 25 cm square.

Prof Nigel Allinson commented, “DynAMITe was designed for medical imaging, in particular mammography and radiotherapy, so the individual pixels are much larger than those found in consumer digital cameras or mobile phones. As it will withstand exposure to very high levels of x-ray and other radiation, it will operate for many years in the adverse environment of cancer diagnosis and treatment instruments; and represents a major advance over the existing technology of amorphous Silicon panels.”

The 12.8 cm wafer-scale chip seems to be 200 times larger than the processing chips used in current PCs and laptops. The images achieved via DynAMITe probably pinpoint the exact impact of radiation on tumors and also guide the detection in the earliest stages. The imager reportedly is the largest device that can be made on a single industry standard eight inch (20 cm) diameter wafer.

The research was funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

New Test To Diagnose Pancreatitis Allegedly Discovered

Blood Activated Sensor Acute pancreatitis may be a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that can result in severe stomach pain, nausea, fever, shock and in some cases, death. Well, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have now unraveled a unique test that not only detects acute pancreatitis, but also prevents damage from the same. They have also crafted a sensor with the help of a LED light, aluminum foil, gelatin, milk protein and few other cheap, easily obtainable materials.

Reynold’s Wrap, JELL-O and milk have been purportedly transformed to detect organ failure. The sensor is about the size of a matchbox and relies on a simple two-step process to diagnose the disease. In the first step, a bit of blood extract is dropped onto a layer of gelatin and milk protein. In case there are high levels of trypsin, the gelatin will be seemingly broken down just as proteins in the stomach breakdown. The enzyme trypsin is possibly overabundant in the blood of patients with acute pancreatitis.

During the second step, a drop of sodium hydroxide (lye) is added and if the trypsin levels were high enough to break down that first barrier, the sodium hydroxide may trickle down to the second barrier, a strip of Reynold’s wrap. As the foil corrodes, both barriers are now permeable and a circuit is supposedly able to form between a magnesium anode and an iron salt at the cathode. Appropriate amount of current is apparently generated to light up a red LED.

Acute pancreatitis is diagnosed only when the LED lights up within an hour. Brian Zaccheo, a graduate student in the lab of Richard Crooks, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and colleagues mention that the key to this device is a battery having a trypsin-selective switch that closes the circuit between the anode and cathode.

The research is published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

Novel Mobile App MyVoice May Benefit People With Communication Challenges

University Of Toronto Logo Ailments such as aphasia and autism may often lead to communication challenges. In an attempt to help such patients, researchers from the University of Toronto have now developed a mobile app and a server system. This app termed as MyVoice comes with a server system that operates on iPhone and Android devices.

The novel app apparently benefits those living with aphasia, autism and other conditions which affect speech ability. It seemingly empowers users to communicate by tapping words and pictures on a screen. Scientists believe that MyVoice can enhance communication confidence, participation and independence.

“This is an excellent example of how university research makes a direct and positive impact on the challenges that face people around the world. MyVoice is just one of the many projects our Innovations and Partnerships Office is developing with U of T faculty so we can move our brilliant research from our campuses to the global marketplace,” remarked Professor Paul Young, vice-president (research).

Known as an assistive and augmentative communication device, the app offers data on location-aware vocabulary. So, useful words and phrases will purportedly emerge as per the user’s location. MyVoice instantly generates items such as ‘Timbits’ and ‘Double Double’ for use in conversation. Currently, the app is used at a school in the Toronto District School Board.

The mobile app MyVoice funded by Google, Android and NSERC can be owned at $12,000 along with a $30 monthly subscription cost.

Nanoscale Whiskers From Sea Creatures May Aid In Growing Human Muscle Tissue

Sea Squirts And Logo Human muscle tissue can now be generated by minute whiskers of certain sea creatures, or at least the following piece of information suggests so. Investigators from the University of Manchester assert that tiny whiskers of nanoscale dimensions from tunicates can help in creating human muscle tissue. The cellulose from these sea creatures also known sea squirts can seemingly influence the behavior of skeletal muscle cells in the laboratory.

These nanostructures may be thousand times smaller than muscle cells. They also appear as the smallest physical feature found to cause cell alignment. Well, it seems that alignment is vital as many tissues in the body including muscle, contain aligned fibers for strength and stiffness. Cellulose is a polysaccharide supposedly identified in plants and the main ingredient of paper as well as certain textiles namely cotton. It is presumably put to use for a variety of medical applications, such as wound dressings.

“Cellulose is being looked at very closely around the world because of its unique properties, and because it is a renewable resource, but this is the first time that it has been used for skeletal muscle tissue engineering applications. There is potential for muscle precision engineering, but also for other architecturally aligned structures such as ligaments and nerves,” commented Dr Stephen Eichhorn, from the University of Manchester.

Tunicates that grow on rocks and man-made structures in coastal waters apparently have cellulose that can be excluded for making muscle tissue. In this research, experts chemically extracted cellulose in the form of nanowhiskers. One nanometer probably is one billionth of a metre and these minute whiskers are only 10s of nanometres wide which is very much thinner than a human hair.

When cellulose is aligned and parallel to each other, they may trigger rapid muscle cell alignment and fusion. This simple yet time-saving method can purportedly benefit physicians and scientists to lay hands on normal aligned architecture of skeletal muscle tissue. This tissue can be supposedly employed to repair existing muscle or even grow muscle from scratch. It was noted that artificial tissue can be seemingly created to replace damaged or diseased human muscles.

In conclusion, it was suggested that whiskers of nanoscale dimensions from tunicates can be of great significance for mankind.

Nano-Velcro Technology Supposedly Captures Circulating Cancer Cells

Nano Velcro Here is some good news for physicians treating cancer patients. Experts from UCLA have now crafted a device based on Velcro-like nanoscale technology to pinpoint and capture circulating tumor cells or CTCs in the blood. The newly introduced technology is engineered into a 2.5-by-5–centimeter microfluidic chip.

This nano-Velcro technology can possibly enrich rare CTCs captured in blood samples collected from prostate cancer patients. The efficacy of this approach was tested on blood samples collected from prostate cancer patients. As a result, the device was reportedly able to enrich rare CTCs captured within the blood samples. The entire process is much faster and appears comparatively cheeper than the existing methods. Researchers mention that the device with a nanopillar-covered silicon chip captured a higher number of CTCs.

“This new CTC technology has the potential to be a powerful new tool for cancer researchers, allowing them to study cancer evolution by comparing CTCs with the primary tumor and the distant metastases that are most often lethal,” elucidated Dr. Kumaran Duraiswamy, a graduate of UCLA Anderson School of Management who became involved in the project while in school. “When it reaches the clinic in the future, this CTC-analysis technology could help bring truly personalized cancer treatment and management.”

The chip has a kind of stickiness to it that is probably caused by an interaction between the nanopillars and nanostructures on CTCs known as microvilli. This second-generation device may add an overlaid microfluidic channel to generate a fluid flow path that elevates mixing. The mixing produced by the microfluidic channel’s architecture may not only produce the Velcro-like effect from the nanopillars, but also enhance the CTCs contact with the nanopillar-covered floor, further boosting the device’s efficiency.

The blood samples apparently flow at a great speed in the device making the cells bounce up and down inside the channel. These cells are then slammed against the surface and get caught. So a great number of CTCs are presumably captured. The made device appears user-friendly with a semi-automated interface that improves the earlier device’s purely manual operation.

The research is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Newly Developed Optical Microscope May Help Understand The Cause Of Viruses

Manchester Scientist Scientists worldwide constantly attempting to analyze structures of various viruses can possibly benefit from the latest discovery. With a highly innovative approach, University of Manchester scientists have developed a powerful optical microscope that can aid in determining the causes of many viruses and diseases. Claimed to be the world’s most powerful optical microscope, the offering seemingly surpasses the theoretical limit of optical microscopes.

The standard optical microscope can supposedly view items around one micrometer which is 0.001 millimetres clearly. However, by combining an optical microscope with a transparent microsphere also known as ‘microsphere nanoscope’ scientists were probably able to see 20 times smaller under normal lights. This seems to be beyond the theoretical limit of optical microscopy. While testing the newly crafted microscope, experts could examine the inside of human cells and also live viruses.

“Not only have we been able to see items of 50 nanometres, we believe that is just the start and we will be able to see far smaller items. Theoretically, there is no limit on how small an object we will be able to see. The common way of seeing tiny items presently is with an electron microscope, and even then you cannot see inside a cell – only the outside. Optical fluoresce microscopes can see inside the cells indirectly by dying them, but these dyes cannot penetrate viruses. Seeing inside a cell directly without dying and seeing living viruses directly could revolutionize the way cells are studied and allow us to examine closely viruses and biomedicine for the first time,” remarked Professor Lin Li from the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering who initiated and led the research.

The microscope can be supposedly employed for identifying far smaller images. Thanks to the nano-imaging system, that tiny object can now be scrutinized. This system is apparently based on capturing optical, near-field virtual images, which are free from optical diffraction and amplifying them with the help of a microsphere. A minute spherical particle is then reportedly relayed and amplified by a standard optical microscope. The introduced optical microscope may also help in assaying anodized aluminum oxide nano-structures and nano-patterns on Blue-Ray CVC disks.

The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Novel High-Resolution Method Possibly Helps Detect Skin Lesions

Professor Jannick Rolland A new technology has now emerged that can seemingly replace the significantly inconvenient and expensive process of skin lesion diagnosis. University of Rochester optics professor Jannick Rolland has now rolled out an optical technology that displays unprecedented images under the skin’s surface and helps distinguish whether skin lesions are benign or cancerous. It aids in determining the type of skin lesions without arising the need to cut the suspected tumor out of the skin and examining it in the lab.

The newly developed technology apparently provides a clear, high-resolution, 3D image of what lays below the surface within a span of few seconds. It employs a liquid lens setup probably made up of a droplet of water that takes the place of the glass in a standard lens. When the electrical field around the water droplet changes, the droplet purportedly modifies its shape and therefore alters the focus of the lens. With the assistance of this liquid lens, the optical technology may take thousands of pictures focused at different depths below the skin’s surface. When combined these images presumably generate a fully in-focus image of all of the tissue up to 1 millimeter deep in human skin.

“My hope is that, in the future, this technology could remove significant inconvenience and expense from the process of skin lesion diagnosis,” quoted Rolland. “When a patient walks into a clinic with a suspicious mole, for instance, they wouldn’t have to have it necessarily surgically cut out of their skin or be forced to have a costly and time-consuming MRI done. Instead, a relatively small, portable device could take an image that will assist in the classification of the lesion right in the doctor’s office.”

In addition to the liquid lens setup, the device also uses near infrared light instead of ultrasounds. So the images produced are possibly more accurate with micron-scale resolution instead of a millimeter-scale resolution. Scientists claim that the process has been successfully tested in in-vivo human skin. Additional investigations will be undertaken to employ the device in a clinical research environment for analyzing its ability to discriminate between different types of lesions.

The research was presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., on February 19.

Unique Electronic Fitness Trainer May Help Perform Exercise At Home

Personal Fitness Trainer The need for hiring a personal fitness trainer can now be averted, by employing the following technology. With a highly innovative approach, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen have now fabricated an intelligent assistance system that not only offers advice in the form of exercise pointers, but also urges to indulge in more physical activities. This electronic fitness trainer appears beneficial for youth, elders as well as patients subjected to rehabilitation.

The trainer comes along with a sensor suit to accumulate data about its wearer’s movements and simultaneously sends current measurement results to a television, computer or smartphone. When exercising, a T-shirt seemingly tracks down the wearer’s breathing rate. It gathers information, provides the user with feedback on the success of his or her training and instructs on gymnastics or rehabilitation exercises. Even the personalized needs and demands of the individual wearer can be apparently fulfilled by this fitness trainer.

During the initial stage, a trainer or physical therapist has to sketch out a personal training plan on the electronic Fitness Assistant. All of the exercises have to then be recorded under his or her supervision to ensure that they match the user’s own performance levels. Now the trainer is ready to compare the exercise being performed with the results of the recording. Individuals can repeat all the recorded exercises in the home environment with real-time feedback on the performed activities.

The newly introduced electronic personal trainer reportedly helps perform exercise accurately and also motivates its users to engage in more exercise.