Researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of Illinois have developed tiny piezoelectric power generators that can convert the motion of a beating heart into electrical energy.... Read more »
Canan Dagdeviren, Byung Duk Yang, Yewang Su, Phat L. Tran, Pauline Joe, Eric Anderson, Jing Xia, Vijay Doraiswamy, Behrooz Dehdashti, Xue Feng, Bingwei Lu, Robert Poston, Zain Khalpey, Roozbeh Ghaffari, Yonggang Huang, Marvin J. Slepian, and John A. Roger. (2014) Conformal piezoelectric energy harvesting and storage from motions of the heart, lung, and diaphragm. PNAS, 111(5), 1927-1932. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1317233111
Next sensors will be in you, said a recent popular article. And some of them will monitor your digestive system.Accurate monitoring of digestion is hard. There are apps and high tech gadgets for that - like a fork that monitors eating speed or a watch that counts bites, but neither of them can provide a continuous and objective measures of what exactly is eaten and how it affects the digestive system.Thanks to wonders of modern technology, cows now have a device that can monitor the effects of food on their digestive system. Well Cow bovine health monitor, an inch thick capsule almost as long human hand, can be swallowed by a cow and measure the rumen pH and temperature within the digestive system every 15 minutes. It then transmits the data to a Bluetooth collar around the cow’s neck. This data can help to monitor the healthiness of cow's food intake, to predict its gas-forming potential in the short term, make sure it will lead to a high quality milk or prevent the development of health issues such as acidosis or infertility in the long term. The device can last between 80 to 100 days inside the cows.A smaller vitamin-sized device (1mm x 26mm with weigh less than 4 grams) was recently approved for use in humans. This ingestible pill camera - PillCamSB - can monitor pressure, pH and temperature, gastrointestinal motility, lesions, ulcers, early signs of tumors and bleeding within the small bowel. FDA approved it for patients who have experienced an incomplete colonoscopy, as it lower-resolution-imaging can't completely replace the procedure.Food we eat and drugs we take can communicate from our insides too - Ingestible Event Maker sensor - size of a grain of sand - can be attached to any pill or a food item.Perhaps in the future we could rely on "insideables" to monitor our diet and automatically generate recommendations on what to eat and what to avoid? According to a song, The Future's So Bright Gotta Wear Shades.REFERENCES Kiourti, Asimina. (2014). Implantable and ingestible medical devices with wireless telemetry functionalities: A review of current status and challenges. Bioelectromagnetics, 35 (1), 1-15 DOI: 10.1002/bem.21813Hoskins, S.; Sobering, T.; Andresen, D.; Warren, S. (2009). Near-field wireless magnetic link for an ingestible cattle health monitoring pill Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2009. EMBC 2009. Annual International Conference of the IEEE DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5332812Wong WM, Bautista J, Dekel R, et al. Feasibility and tolerability of transnasal / per-oral placement of the wireless pH capsule vs. traditional 24-h oesophageal pH monitoring – a randomized trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005; 21(2): 155-163.Hirono I, Richter JE. Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. ACG practice guidelines: esophageal reflux testing. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007; 102(3): 668-685.Teunissen LP, de Haan A, de Koning JJ, Daanen HA. Telemetry pill versus rectal and esophageal temperature during extreme rates of exercise-induced core temperature change. Physiol Meas. 2012 Jun;33(6):915-24. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/33/6/915. Epub 2012 May 3. ... Read more »
Kiourti, Asimina. (2014) Implantable and ingestible medical devices with wireless telemetry functionalities: A review of current status and challenges. . Bioelectromagnetics, 35(1), 1-15. DOI: 10.1002/bem.21813
Hoskins, S.; Sobering, T.; Andresen, D.; Warren, S. (2009) Near-field wireless magnetic link for an ingestible cattle health monitoring pill. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2009. EMBC 2009. Annual International Conference of the IEEE . DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5332812
Berkeley Lab researcher Bruce Nordman had an idea several years ago to take advantage of existing devices in office buildings by using them for energy efficiency purposes. In the United States buildings are responsible for 73 percent of electricity consumption and about 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.... Read more »
Christensen K., Melfi R., Nordman B., Rosenblum B., Viera R. (2014) Using existing network infrastructure to estimate building occupancy and control plugged-in devices in user workspaces. International Journal of Communication Networks and Distributed Systems, 4-29. DOI: 10.1504/IJCNDS.2014.057985
Researchers find three communicative functions of smileys... Read more »
Skovholt, K., Grønning, A., & Kankaanranta, A. (2014) The Communicative Functions of Emoticons in Workplace E-Mails: :). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12063
TDD Improves QualityTDD improves quality! That might sound obvious, but evidently it isn’t. Test driven development (TDD) is often cited as a key agile practice (1,2). But still, the evidence has been equivocal until now. What is TDD? If you already know what TDD is you should probably skip this section. If not, here is a super-brief […]From Greger Wikstrand - #agile, #projectmanagement, #ehealth, #mhealth #phr, #professionalism, #SoftwareEngineering by Greger Wikstrand .
The evidence is in – TDD works!
Automated Bug Fixing, Innovation and the Small World of SE Research
Success Factors for Outsourcing Companies
... Read more »
H Munir, M Moayyed, & K Petersen. (2014) Considering rigor and relevance when evaluating test driven development: a systematic review. Information and software technology. DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2014.01.002
Last week I talked about some of the terrific visualization tools from the Caleydo team, the ones that are focused on looking at pathway data. There’s another tool that I learned about in their newsletter that offers another type of visualization, which you can also supplement with pathway data. StratomeX offers a look at comparisons […]... Read more »
Lex A., Streit M., Schulz H.-J., Partl C., Schmalstieg D., Park P.J., & Gehlenborg N. (2012) StratomeX: Visual Analysis of Large-Scale Heterogeneous Genomics Data for Cancer Subtype Characterization. Computer Graphics Forum, 31(3pt3), 1175-1184. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8659.2012.03110.x
Researchers have shown how to increase the efficiency of thin-film solar cells, a technology that could bring low-cost solar energy.... Read more »
Leo T. Varghese, Yi Xuan, Ben Niu, Li Fan, Peter Bermel, Minghao Qi. (2013) Enhanced Photon Management of Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells Using Inverse Opal Photonic Crystals with 3D Photonic Bandgaps. Advanced Optical Materials, 1(10). DOI: 10.1002/adom.201300254
Have you dreamed of looking at genomic pathway data, with experimental information aligned with known pathway details, and wandering easily from one pathway node to another as you consider the implication of increased/decreased gene expression, or potential copy number variations? Easily hopping to related pathways to keep looking? Yeah–me too, for years . If this […]... Read more »
Partl Christian, Lex Alexander, Streit Marc, Kalkofen Denis, Kashofer Karl, & Schmalstieg Dieter. (2013) enRoute: dynamic path extraction from biological pathway maps for exploring heterogeneous experimental datasets. BMC Bioinformatics, 14(Suppl 19). DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-14-S19-S3
Much of the naturally occurring radioactivity in fracking wastewater might be removed by blending it with another wastewater from acid mine drainage, according to a Duke University-led study.... Read more »
Andrew J. Kondash, Nathaniel R. Warner, Ori Lahav, Avner Vengosh. (2013) Radium and Barium Removal through Blending Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids with Acid Mine Drainage. Environmental Science . DOI: 10.1021/es403852h
Today is the last day of the Julian year, and tomorrow is Old New Years, so it is a great time to finish our overview of the three themes of TheEGG articles in 2013. We already looked at established applications of evolutionary game theory, and extending from behavior to society and mind; now, we will […]... Read more »
Artem Kaznatcheev. (2013) Complexity of evolutionary equilibria in static fitness landscapes. arXiv. arXiv: 1308.5094v1
Renewable energy can be generated by harnessing the power from the tides, which can be predicted hundreds of years in advance. But the predicted energy gains from certain tidal energy schemes have been overestimated, according to a team of researchers in Liverpool.... Read more »
Nicholas Yates, Ian Walkington, Richard Burrows, Judith Wolf. (2013) The energy gains realisable through pumping for tidal range energy schemes. Renewable Energy, 79-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.01.039
Cristiano Ronaldo was announced today Ballon d'Or and it made me remember something I read some time ago about football players and their injuries. Most of football players injuries are assessed with medical imaging. Medical Imaging provides information about the extent of the injury (e.g. involvement of tendons) and also information about the recovery. The most important exams are: MRI and Ultrasound. Some clubs even have their own ultrasound machine. However, it is still recognized among experts that medical imaging for sports injuries needs further research, because at times it still does not have high sensitivity. So how many times did Cristiano Ronaldo undergo an MRI exam?Ate least three that I could find:November 2013 August 2010October 2009More information here and there:Woods C, Hawkins RD, Maltby S, Hulse M, Thomas A, Hodson A, & Football Association Medical Research Programme (2004). The Football Association Medical Research Programme: an audit of injuries in professional football--analysis of hamstring injuries. British journal of sports medicine, 38 (1), 36-41 PMID: 14751943... Read more »
Woods C, Hawkins RD, Maltby S, Hulse M, Thomas A, Hodson A, & Football Association Medical Research Programme. (2004) The Football Association Medical Research Programme: an audit of injuries in professional football--analysis of hamstring injuries. British journal of sports medicine, 38(1), 36-41. PMID: 14751943
Instead of pumping deep underground enormous amounts of water to fracture shale, Northwestern University professor Zdeněk P. Bažant proposes exploring an alternative to fracking: using the kinetic energy of high-rate shearing generated by an underground explosion to reduce the rock to small fragments, so as to release the gas trapped in its pores.... Read more »
Bazant Z.P., & Caner F.C. (2013) Comminution of solids caused by kinetic energy of high shear strain rate, with implications for impact, shock, and shale fracturing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(48), 19291-4. PMID: 24218624
I suggest one more piece of advice for the list of Wilson et al's Best Practices for Scientific Computing, in PLOS Biol.... Read more »
The sensors team at DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is working on sensor technologies to enable embedded gas sensing at high temperature. The team’s goal is to develop novel materials with large optical responses and high-temperature stability for integration with optical sensor platforms.... Read more »
Paul R. Ohodnicki Jr., Congjun Wanga, Mark Andioa. (2013) Plasmonic transparent conducting metal oxide nanoparticles and nanoparticle films for optical sensing applications. Thin Solid Films, 327-336. DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2013.04.145
Top-ranked sites on Google have different thematic emphasis than lower-ranked sites when searching for scientific information.... Read more »
Li, N., Anderson, A.A., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D.A. (2013) Channeling Science Information Seekers’ Attention? A Content Analysis of Top-Rankedvs. Lower-Ranked Sites in Google. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12043
I start this post with a few important observations. Please feel free to disagree with me (as long as you can provide peer-reviewed evidence for your alternate viewpoint).Bunting @ Wikipedia (1) Comorbidity can, and quite frequently does, surround a diagnosis of autism.(2) Gastrointestinal (GI) issues form an important part of that comorbidity spectrum.(3) The relationship between autism and comorbidity is, at present, poorly understood insofar as which influences the appearance of which and how the two are related.So, with those statements in mind, I offer some discussion today on two potentially very important papers which variably reference the above points.The first paper is from Brittany Peters and colleagues* (with many, many thanks to Natasa for the paper) which suggests that there indeed may be an important relationship between GI issues and rigid-compulsive behaviours noted in cases of autism. The second paper is from Finale Doshi-Velez and colleagues** (again, with thanks to Natasa) who looked at 'comorbidity clusters' when it comes to the autism spectrum.Both these papers come from groups who have some 'research form' in their respective areas. For the Peters paper it comes in the guise of the valuable research contribution from Gorrindo and colleagues*** which basically said that yes, parents might know when their children with autism present with bowel issues: "parents were sensitive to the existence, although not necessarily the nature, of GID [gastrointestinal dysfunction]". For the Doshi-Velez paper I'll link back to the paper by Kohane and colleagues**** (covered in this post) and their notion of 'significantly over-represented' when it comes to the comorbidity burden with autism in mind.The more recent papers make for interesting reading. Starting with the Peters paper:The authors start with a hypothesis: "a possible association between rigid-compulsive behaviors and GI symptoms" based on their clinical experience of the autism spectrum conditions.They tested their hypothesis on data from participants (N=5076) in the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and various measures collected from the ATN database. Alongside including diagnostic data, the database also contains data from a GI symptom questionnaire; both of which were used to collect information for their study analysis.Results: Nearly half of the total cohort (43.5%) "had at least one GI symptom". In light of other quite recent reports (see here and here) this finding is not totally unexpected.Based on data from children (aged 2-17 years) - nearly 3000 of which were in the 'no GI symptoms' group (n=2957) and 806 in the 'constipation plus diarrhea or underwear staining' - several other details emerged from the data. The latter GI symptoms group were "more likely to have a parental report of repetitive behavior.... or compulsive behavior... and OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder] diagnosis". Ritualistic behaviours were also picked up more frequently in the GI group by clinician report (ADOS) over the no GI symptoms group.A few other research nuggets: children in GI symptoms group were "more likely to have a family history of anxiety or OCD" and also more likely to have received "treatment with an atypical antipsychotic".The authors conclude that, allowing for potential issues with the use of the ATN database and missing values, "all five primary measures of rigid-compulsive behavior were significantly associated with constipation and diarrhea or underwear staining". And then we have the Doshi-Velez paper:This was a study looking at "patterns of co-occurence of medical comorbidities in ASDs".Electronic medical records or rather electronic health records (EHR) were the source material for the paper and in particular, the ICD-9 codes relevant to particular conditions derived from the i2b2 National Center for Biomedical Computing (N=13,740). This sounds to me like a similar job to that of SHRINE (used in the previous Kohane paper)."Key patterns" identified from this rather large participant group were then tested on a smaller, independent cohort comprising 496 participants from Wake Forest University Health Sciences.With the application of some technical and statistical wizardry, various subgroups were identified within the cases examined based on the clustering of comorbidity alongside the diagnosis of autism.Results: "Four subgroups were identified" based on medical comorbidity and the paper offers quite a bit of detail about the hows and whens certain comorbidity tend to present.Group 1. That old comorbidity nemesis seizures (I assume to indicate some kind of epilepsy) was the focus for the first group with a prevalence of 77% within this group. Group 2. Then came in "multisystem disorders" to form group 2 which included GI disorders (distinct from just functional GI issues). That being said "early ear infections" seemed to stand head and shoulders above other comorbidities for this group particularly with preschool presentation. Group 3. Next for comorbidity was group 3 "characterised by psychiatric disorders" (33%). This group "had the highest rate of individuals with Asperger syndrome and the lowest rate of intellectual disability" and included some familiar conditions including anxiety (see here). That being said (again!), "Hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood" also prominently featured in the group 3 comorbidity profile. Group 4. Finally, there was a 'not' resolved group. Not much more to say there really.Buried in the text is the quite alarming suggestion that: "All of these subgroups had higher levels of cardiac disorders" which, similar to the example of schizophrenia (see here), implies that health screening should be high on any physician's list when someone presents with autism save any charges of health inequality being levelled.The authors conclude that the identification of these comorbidity subgroups centred on the autism spectrum may very well indicate "distinct etiologies with different genetic and environmental contributions". I'm minded to say that we have another possible piece of evidence pertinent to the plural concept of 'the autisms'.Combined, both these papers offer some really quite important information about the autisms and their very complicated presentation including comorbidity. I would hasten to point out that there is still quite a bit of 'fuzziness' about these results as for example, seen in a quote from the Doshi-Velelz paper: "The 3 subgroups from our original clustering analysis consisted of <10% [less than 10%] of the overall sample". In short, it's complicated. But don't let that take anything away from these results...Oh and since we're on the topic of 'the autisms'... Read more »
Peters B, Williams KC, Gorrindo P, Rosenberg D, Lee EB, Levitt P, & Veenstra-Vanderweele J. (2013) Rigid-Compulsive Behaviors are Associated with Mixed Bowel Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 24293040
Finale Doshi-Velez, Yaorong Ge, & Isaac Kohane. (2013) Comorbidity Clusters in Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Electronic Health Record Time-Series Analysis. Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-0819d
Researchers from North Carolina State University and Johns Hopkins University have devised a technique to coordinate wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for power disruptions.... Read more »
Chandra S., Gayme D.F., Chakrabortty, A. (2013) Coordinating Wind Farms and Battery Management Systems for Inter-Area Oscillation Damping: A Frequency-Domain Approach. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, PP(99), 1-9. DOI: 10.1109/TPWRS.2013.2282367
Humans have multiple copies of a gene known as SRGAP2, which is thought to be involved in brain development. Chimps and orangutans have only one copy.
By: Emily Singer
Further reading... Read more »
Charrier C, Joshi K, Coutinho-Budd J, Kim JE, Lambert N, de Marchena J, Jin WL, Vanderhaeghen P, Ghosh A, Sassa T.... (2012) Inhibition of SRGAP2 function by its human-specific paralogs induces neoteny during spine maturation. Cell, 149(4), 923-35. PMID: 22559944
Jiang Z, Tang H, Ventura M, Cardone MF, Marques-Bonet T, She X, Pevzner PA, & Eichler EE. (2007) Ancestral reconstruction of segmental duplications reveals punctuated cores of human genome evolution. Nature genetics, 39(11), 1361-8. PMID: 17922013
Marques-Bonet T, & Eichler EE. (2009) The evolution of human segmental duplications and the core duplicon hypothesis. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology, 355-62. PMID: 19717539
Two scientific papers that were published in the journal Nature in the year 2000 marked the beginning of engineering biological circuits in cells. The paper "Construction of a genetic toggle switch in Escherichia coli" by Timothy Gardner, Charles Cantor and James Collins created a genetic toggle switch by simultaneously introducing an artificial DNA plasmid into a bacterial cell. This DNA plasmid contained two promoters (DNA sequences which regulate the expression of genes) and two repressors (genes that encode for proteins which suppress the expression of genes) as well as a gene encoding for green fluorescent protein that served as a read-out for the system. ... Read more »
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