tech

Lab Mice Might Become A Thing Of The Past

Scientists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a small laboratory-in-a-box capable of housing and feeding a colony of C. elegans nematodes (roundworms) and testing the effects of cosmetics, drugs, and other substances to determine their toxicity to living organisms in an automated, easy-to-manage process. EPFL helped create Nagi Bioscience, the company commercializing the technology, which has already placed functioning prototypes in notable labs around Europe. Click here to learn more about this laboratory innovation from EPFL News. Syndicated from The Doctor’s Channel. More on Mice on AlmostDocs.com: Helping Mice Mate: 3D Printing Ovarian Envelopes: Northwestern University researchers have tested various 3d printing techniques to discover the angles at which ovarian follicles will optimally interact with their scaffolds to increase ovary survival. 30º and 60º angles apparently provide better protection and vascularization than 90º angles. The results have been harnessed to create a prosthetic implant that is meant to help restore fertility. Sterile mice implanted with these new follicle-infused scaffolds were able to reproduce through natural mating processes. Nobel Prize Winning Scientist Recreates “Inception” in Mice: Susumu Tonegawa, the 1987 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, and his team of neuroscientists at MIT have published compelling evidence suggesting that it is possible to access the memory axis and induce false memories in a mouse model. Tonegawa’s findings pose interesting and thought provoking questions to not only the scientific community but also the political, legal and social communities. One is forced to...

Virtual Reality Could Replace Anesthesia

While the idea of using virtual reality (VR) tools in medical training and patient treatment has been around since the inception of the technology, Dr. José Luis Mosso Vazquez, research professor at the Universidad Panamericana and accomplished surgeon, has been actively using VR in surgery for over a decade already. After purchasing his son a low-tech VR game featuring Spiderman back in 2004, Dr. Vasquez realized the tech’s potential for immersion and distraction. Since many areas of Mexico lack access to the latest medical technology and professionals, ailments requiring surgery can be prohibitively expensive for patients. Even in Mexico City the hospitals are considered to be largely underfunded, so surgical suites may be under-equipped or understaffed. Dr. Vasquez’s virtual reality solution allows surgery to be performed using only local anesthetics while the patient’s attention is focused on an immersive digital experience. In geographically difficult to reach areas, this innovative surgical approach has helped many hundreds of patients to date. VR is already being used in medical schools for surgical training. Read more about it: What does it really feel like to manage an emergency in the operating room? The Cleveland Clinic Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery is using virtual reality (VR) simulations of OR cardiac emergencies to replicate the experience as closely as possible and train cardiac surgery residents. “The two-minute video shows how Cleveland Clinic is using virtual reality scenarios to teach cardiac surgery...

Medical Students Facing Challenges With Classroom Robotics

Robotics have been making big changes to many industries including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. In fact, healthcare was one of the first industries to see robotics at work. Arm-like automatons first made their big debut in the 1960s and 1970s. Robots like the Shakey (1966) and the Stanford Arm (1969) assisted surgeons when performing complicated surgeries. Since then, robots in the medical field have become faster, better, stronger, and more affordable. Today, one-third of American hospitals have at least one surgical robot. It’s no secret robotics have had a positive impact on the medical field. They help to identify health risks in patients and reduce the need for invasive procedures. But just as engineers and manufacturers need to adapt to advancing AI, medical professionals need to face the hurdles that come with robotics in the healthcare industry. Shifting Tides: The Challenge Of Classroom Robotics In The Medical Field Medical students, or surgical trainees, need training on proper medical procedures. They also need training on how to conduct these procedures using, or in tandem with, robotic systems. Unfortunately, these robotic systems don’t always go hand in hand with conventionally approved approaches. One of the norms of surgical training is that students cooperate with a senior surgeon. Students watch and assist during traditional open surgeries. This way they receive hands-on training in real time. Yet, today’s medical students aren’t receiving the...

I’m A Doctor, Not A Robot: How Medical Robots Are Changing The Medical Field

Robots are everywhere, which is why it’s not surprising to hear the good they’re doing for the medical world. Medical robots and AI are helping medical students and professionals conduct procedures and tend to patients with greater and more precise care. Advancements in robotics are being made to pave the way for a future of new medical possibilities. AI and robotics are already helping patients on a financial level by reducing the cost of medical procedures and making surgery safer with fewer consequences. Aside from precision and cost, how are robots changing the medical field and medical schools for the better? As it turns out, there are a number of benefits the medical world will soon be taking advantage of. How Are Medical Robots Changing The Medical Field? From robotic medical assistants to giving massage therapists a literal helping hand, robotics are changing the way we receive healthcare. To learn more, consider the following facts about modern technology’s growing beneficial role in the medical field. Robots are helping to reduce stress in patients. Humans are fiercely social animals. In fact, we can ease the pain of our loved ones simply by holding hands. It turns out there’s science behind wanting your mom when you get hurt. To reduce stress in patients, the leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer AIST has developed PARO, a robotic baby harp seal that encourages relaxation...

How Teleconferencing Is Being Used Treat Mental Health Patients

Due to a shortage of psychiatrists in the healthcare service, doctors are trying new and innovative ways of providing their patients with the support they need. This can be a challenge since certain factors such as the location of the patient and the doctor make it impossible for patients to get the medical care and psychological counseling they need. To solve this problem, Michele Casoli-Reardon, MD, of Arcadian Telepsychiatry, has come up with a new way of getting assessments and treating patients. This new technology being used makes it easy for patients to consult with their doctors regardless of their physical location. The new teleconferencing technology also makes it easy to set appointments for sessions at times that previously would have been unlikely. The patient also does not need to travel to the hospital or healthcare center for each session. Telepsychiatry is also covered by most health insurance, which improves access to mental health services. The only downside at the moment when it comes to telepsychiatry is that in many states in the US, both the doctor and the patient have to be present in the same state for it to be legal. The good news is, some of those laws are being amended for the benefit of those in need of psychiatric care so that they can get the therapy they need. The field of psychiatry is constantly changing,...

Your Apple Watch Could Detect Stroke

Stroke comes in at number five at the top ten killers in the US, affecting more than 800,000 people a year in the US alone. The problem is that there are no symptoms of a stroke, until it actually occurs. A large percentage of those are caused by atrial fibrillation. Traditionally, Atrial fibrillation or a-fib could be diagnosed in a laboratory setting with the use of an ECG. But, that’s just too complicated and takes a long time. Plus, all the sensors and wires attached to the body make it an uncomfortable process. But, what if there was a way to skip all the wires and sensors and get a real time reading of your heart right on your smart watch? Researchers think that day could be here sooner than you think. Smartwatches already have heart rate sensors, albeit they are crude and basic. The technology works by shining a green light from the LED into the skin, then measuring how much of it is reflected back through your red blood. The results vary based on the volume of blood, which can give you a pulse reading. Up until now, the main challenge for these smartwatch sensors is that they cannot detect every beat, and intermittently determine the heart rate. By employing a machine learning algorithm, researchers were able to use a neural net to teach the algorithm to...

The Latest Breakthrough in CTE Research for Your Football Players

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the inspirational character behind the movie Concussion starring Will Smith, and the lead author of the study claiming to have correctly diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living patient over 4 years before his death, identified the now deceased patient who was the subject of this announcement as Fred McNeill, former linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. Although this is only one case, and researchers admit more evidence is needed before making further conclusions, this marks the first time a diagnosis of CTE was indicated during a patient’s life and then confirmed by an autopsy after the patient’s death. This is a great breakthrough in CTE research in alleviating and preventing CTE for football players, but we will need more data to adequately diagnose it. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive head trauma. Currently, CTE can only be confirmed post-mortem. In a new study from JAMA earlier this year, researchers examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players — more than half of them from the NFL — and talked to their family members to identify pathological and clinical features of CTE. CTE has affected football players of all ages, including a player student athlete that committed suicide because he had known about the condition: While it is unknown whether Madison had the same disease, the link between these two well-liked, successful, and smart young...

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