A Secret to Laser Brain Surgery? Slice the MRI Machine in Half
GE – In the early 1990s, Harvard radiologist Dr. Ferenc Jolesz devised a clever way for killing brain tumors with a laser. But he ran into a hard obstacle: the skull.
Jolesz wanted to send a laser beam along a fiber optic strand inserted through a hole in the patient’s cranium. The beam’s intense heat would destroy the target. But he couldn’t see where the beam was going. “It was like trying to evaporate an apple seed inside a whole apple without cutting it.”
Jolesz thought magnetic resonance imaging could help. The right MRI machine would allow doctors to see inside the body, monitor temperature changes inside the skull, and perform surgery at the same time.
One problem: a machine like this did not exist. Then as now, most MRI machines enclosed the patient in a tunnel at the center of the magnet. This design made brain surgery impossible.
But a GE executive who knew about Jolesz’s project introduced him to Trifon Laskaris, a medical imaging pioneer working at GE’s research labs in upstate New York. Laskaris listened to Jolesz and came back with a design that sliced the multi-ton MRI magnet in half. The redesigned machine looked like a double donut with enough space between the two rings to give the surgeon access to the patient. “We could image the patient and operate at the same time,” Jolesz says. “Not only laser procedures could be done, but all types of open surgeries.” more> http://tinyurl.com/l2expyb
Posted in Business, Economy, Healthcare, History, Science, Technology
Tagged Brain surgery, Business improvement, Health, Leadership, Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, Technology, United States
R&D – Retina implants can serve as optical prostheses for blind people whose optical nerves are still intact. The implants convert incident light into electrical impulses that are transmitted to the brain via the optical nerve. There, the information is transformed into images. Although various approaches for implants exist today, the devices are often rejected by the body and the signals transmitted to the brain are generally not optimal.
In contrast to the traditionally used materials, graphene has excellent biocompatibility thanks to its great flexibility and chemical durability. With its outstanding electronic properties, graphene provides an efficient interface for communication between the retina prosthesis and nerve tissue. more> http://tinyurl.com/p5h4tdd
By Lynn Yarris – The cellular signaling networks of living cells start with receptor proteins residing on a cell’s surface that detect and interact with the environment. Signals from these receptors are transmitted to chemical networks within the cell that process the incoming information, make decisions, and direct subsequent cellular activities.
“Although cellular signaling networks perform logical operations like a computer microprocessor, they do not operate in the same way,” Jay Groves, a chemist with Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and UC Berkeley’s Chemistry Department, says. “The individual computational steps in a standard computer are deterministic; the outcome is determined by the inputs. For the chemical reactions that compose a cellular signaling network, however, the molecular level outcomes are defined by probabilities only. This means that the same input can lead to different outcomes.” more> http://tinyurl.com/osa5jj9
By Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland – The drugs don’t work – and neither does the market, when it comes to antibiotics.
When sophisticated bugs that medicines used to kill within days start to fight back and win, all of healthcare, and the people it keeps alive, is in trouble.
“This is…not a science issue. This is an issue of markets and economics,” said Britain’s chief medical officer Sally Davies. “A scientist would just get bogged down and not get it.”
The key challenge is how to reward companies for finding drugs like Sirturo that must be used as sparingly as possible to avoid resistance developing – in effect, breaking the traditional link between payment and prescription volume. more> http://tinyurl.com/p5xlq32
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Antibiotics, Business improvement, Health, Industrial economy, Organization
Universal Calorie Counter Within Reach?
GE – The analysis allowed Matt Webster and his team to write an equation that estimates calories in food with just three simple measurements: weight, fat content and water content.
“The equation takes the fat, water content numbers and assumes values for the rest.”
The rest is a combination of sugars, carbs, proteins and other ingredients. “You actually don’t need to know the details,” he says. “We just have to account for it. That’s the secret sauce.” more> http://tinyurl.com/nzjtbzs
Posted in Business, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business, Calorie, Food, GE, Technology, United States