Thursday, 29 January 2015

Trachea cartilage implants from modified 3D printer

Scientists 3D-Printing Cartilage For Medical Implants

"scientists and physicians at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, have discovered a way to use MakerBot’s 3D-printing technologies to create cartilage and repair tissue damage in the trachea."

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Robot proxies at school (and parties) for kids in hospital.

Hospitalized Kids Go to School Using Virtual Presence Robots.

How cool is that? The robots move between classes allowing children to keep in touch with their friends and their schooling.

Use of standardized clinical outcomes

Standardized outcomes that would need to be reported by default in a specialty is urged by this systematic review. Authors studied the example of chronic lung disease in research of pre-term infants.

Cancer screening: interpreting survival rates

"When talking about cancer screening, survival rates mislead"

Useful explanation from Alexandra Barratt, Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

xAPI, LRS (Learning Record Stores) - the interview with Aaron Silvers

A bit geeky but a great insight into the thinking behind platforms for eLearning. A must read for those wanting a quick introduction to the jargon of learning record stores, Tin Can, SCORM, experience API ...

15 ways to introduce gaming concepts into eLearning

How to Gamify: 15 ways to introduce gaming concepts into eLearning

"you might be wondering, how exactly does one go about 'gamifying' eLearning? Does it involve navigating the screen with a Playstation controller, or dishing out some playing cards?

Nope! Here are 15 ways you can gamify your online learning:"

I like these tips which describe a some simple steps to consider in your design of eLearning. Good introduction to the ideas.

Computer poker ... but only solved a limited type of game.

Computers used to "solve" two-person, limit Texas hold'em

I've always been interested in computers playing games ever since I found that playing in a particular way against my early 1980s chess computer I could beat it. No ... I can't beat them now. Not even the puniest Javascript chess engine ... well sometimes.

This poker game is a different approach - the brute force approach - and is an interesting read.

The next generation of search engine ... developed by the Pentagon?

" doesn’t sound like a typical name for a defense contractor.

But the New York-based web analytics startup has been awarded more than $1 million through a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Memex, focused on developing the next generation of web search.

"It's trying to explore all of the myriad use cases that search and webcrawling can do for you that aren’t just commercial web search," says cofounder and CTO Andrew Montalenti.

One early anticipated application, for instance: tracking and shutting down online transactions related to human trafficking and modern-day slavery."

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bad science by energy companies? No surprise there then.

Wind turbine studies: how to sort the good, the bad, and the ugly.

"Yesterday, The Australian ran a front-page article about what it called a 'groundbreaking' new study on wind turbines and their associated health impacts.

The study supposedly found a trend between participants’ perceived 'sensations' and 'offending sound pressure'.

The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd claimed the (non-peer-reviewed) study shows that 'people living near wind farms face a greater risk of suffering health complaints caused by the low-frequency noise generated by turbines', adding that it may help to 'resolve the contentious debate about the health impact of wind farms'.

Carried out by Steven Cooper of The Acoustic Group, the study was commissioned by energy company Pacific Hydro near its Cape Bridgewater wind farm in southwest Victoria.

But this study is an exemplary case of what we consider to be bad science and bad science reporting."

Friday, 9 January 2015

Why the Uber of healthcare is here to stay

"The growing sophistication of the Internet has spawned the proliferation of startups that could forever change the business of healthcare and create a market for on-demand care"

More than a Game: Applications for Minecraft in eLearning

"While it might not work for simulations, Minecraft does have value in teaching team-building skills. In the game, you can collect resources from other players and share your work with others. Ideal for new teams, Minecraft could supplement team-building retreats and activities as a way to solidify department bonds.Minecraft could also have value in improving workplace morale, too. One of the reasons that Second Life was such as success for the organizations that used it was the fact that it was simply fun. It didn’t feel like work or training, so users were more likely to log in on their own time and experience modules and simulations away from their cubicle."

The Next Big Step For Wikidata: Forming a Hub For Researchers

Reported on Slashdot.

"The proposal, supported by more than 25 volunteers and half a dozen European institutions as project partners, aims to create a virtual research environment (VRE) that will enhance the project's capacity for freely sharing scientific data."

London air pollution

Air pollution will scar London's children for the rest of their lives | Nicky Gavron.

"In the 14 years I have been representing Londoners at City Hall, the problem of air pollution has rarely been off the top of the political agenda. Of all the environmental challenges the capital currently faces, air pollution is by far the most deadly."

‘Pop-up’ fabrication technique trumps 3D printing

The 2015 leap second

Leap second: computer chaos feared as scientists let world catch up with clocks.

Only if coders were daft enough to make inflexible software.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Antibiotic discovery "Teixobactin" labelled a ‘game-changer’

A new discovery reported in Nature could change everything.

The SQiD: is this patient more confused than before?

Improving early recognition of delirium using SQiD (Single Question to identify Delirium): a hospital based quality improvement project.

MR CLEAN - a new era in the treatment of acute stroke?

Intraarterial Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke

"The MR CLEAN researchers sought to examine whether intraarterial treatment – defined as intraarterial thrombolysis, mechanical thrombectomy, or both – improved outcomes. The data from this trial offer reasons to believe that we may be entering a new era in the treatment of acute ischemic strokes."

"In patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by a proximal intracranial occlusion of the anterior circulation, intraarterial treatment administered within 6 hours after stroke onset was effective and safe." (1)

1 Berkhemer OA, Fransen PSS, Beumer D, et al. A Randomized Trial of Intraarterial Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke. New England Journal of Medicine 2015;372:11–20. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1411587

How stupid those old-timers were. Not.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” Watson I presume? Quote is bullshit. Never happened!

What else are futurists ignorant of?

Neurology - history of papers in a tree.

From the New England Journal of Medicine. Neurology 1812 - 2012 historical tree of neurological diseases with links to key papers (needs Flash).

This is an interesting idea presenting the connections between papers back into history. It risks over-simplifying the connections between concepts published at different dates. I wonder if I should rework my (far from brief) history of the electrocardiogram into something that is a little more visual and ... er ... thready like this. Definitely wouldn't use Flash though.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Give an antibiotic pack to travellers going to high-risk diarrhoea destinations.

Traveler’s Diarrhea A Clinical Review in JAMA.

JAMA paper on Type 1 diabetes life expectancy - Scottish cohort 2008 - 2010

Estimated Life Expectancy in a Scottish Cohort With Type 1 Diabetes, 2008-2010
"loss of life expectancy at age 20 years of approximately 11 years for men and 13 years for women compared with the general population without type 1 diabetes." (paywall)

An accompanying editorial says that life expectancy has improved greatly but glycaemic control still suboptimal and therefore outcomes could be improved. (paywall)

Do these types of 'hard facts' help or hinder discussions with people with diabetes? Will motivate some but not others. Would it be better to focus on quality not quantity of life? How do you explain how population averages might apply to the individual? Perhaps comparisons with other aspects of life might help especially where they add to risk in diabetes. What would the figures be for smoking for example, or hypertension?