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PARALYSED WOMAN SERVES TEA IN 15 YEARS
Mind-reading brain implant sets off her robot arm
The computer then decodes the signals and sends the information to a stand-alone robotic arm.
STROKE VICTIM Cathy Hutchinson for the first time in almost 15 years has sipped her morning tea without help from a carer. The precious moment came about thanks to a robotic arm that she controls with her own thoughts.
Miss Hutchinson, 59, was able to direct the mechanised arm, on a stand at her side, to pick up the flask of coffee, bring it close to her mouth and tilt it to her lips.
She then sipped it through a straw – and smiled with delight.
Those behind the breakthrough, which could help restore independence to the paralysed and to amputees, said it was a moment of ‘true joy’.
Dr Leigh Hochberg, an engineer and neurologist at Brown University and Harvard Medical School in the US, said: ‘The smile on her face was something that I and my research team will never forget.’ 
Miss Hutchinson, who lives in a nursing home near Boston, Massachusetts, was one of two patients to have an electronic chip implanted in her brain.
The second, a man in his 60s, had also been left paralysed by a stroke. Both had a BrainGate chip – a grid of electrodes the size of a baby aspirin – placed in the part of the brain which controls movement.
When the patients think about moving their arm, the signals in the brain are picked up by the electrodes and transmitted to a computer system through a cable ‘plugged’ into the top of the patient’s head.
The robotic arm then makes the movement that the patient had imagined. The male volunteer, identified only as Bob, said: ‘I just imagined moving my own arm and the (robotic) arm moved where I wanted it to go.’ 
The achievement, detailed in the journal Nature, marks the culmination of decades of research into how the arms are controlled by the brain. In the latest experiments, Miss Hutchinson and the man used mind-controlled robotic arms to reach for and grasp foam ping-pong balls.
Cathy Hutchinson drinks from a bottle using the DLR robotic arm
Although slow and far from perfect, they achieved the task more often than could be explained by chance alone.
Miss Hutchinson then proved the apparatus to have a practical benefit by using the mind-controlled robotic arm to lift her coffee to her mouth four of the six times she tried it.
The researchers, who are funded by various bodies including the US military, the government’s health research arm and the German Aerospace Centre, believe it should be possible to design an arm which allows the paralysed to perform more fiddly tasks, such as brushing their teeth.
Other goals are to create a cable-free set-up which operates wirelessly and to use the technology to power prosthetic arms.
The real dream is to harness the power of the mind to allow the paralysed to move their own limbs again.
Kevin Warwick, a Reading University expert in robotics who ten years ago had a BrainGate chip implanted in his arm to help develop the technology, said thought control need not be limited to arm movements.
Signals harnessed by brain chips could have a multitude of uses, said the professor. ‘Brain signals could be used to switch on lights, open doors – someone could drive their wheelchair around or even their car. These are the sorts of things that will be possible in the next few years.’
OWI-535 Robotic Arm Edge rides the wings of the award winning OWI Arm Trainer Robot Kit. OWI has made robotic arm technology more affordable without compromising quality. With Robotic Arm Edge, command the gripper to open and close, wrist motion of 120 degrees, an extensive elbow range of 300 degrees, base rotation of 270 degrees, base motion of 180 degrees, vertical reach of 15 inches, horizontal reach of 12.6 inches, and lifting capacity of 100g.
Some of the added features include a search light design on the gripper and a safety gear audible indicator is included on all five gear boxes to prevent any potential damage or gear breakage during operation. How does this equate to fun? Total command and visual manipulation using the five switch wired controller, five motors, and five joints. Night time usage is possible and extended life on the gearbox prolongs predictable control of the robot arm’s behaviour.
—-Internet

Comment

The computer then decodes the signals and sends the information to a stand-alone robotic arm.
STROKE VICTIM Cathy Hutchinson for the first time in almost 15 years has sipped her morning tea without help from a carer. The precious moment came about thanks to a robotic arm that she controls with her own thoughts.
Miss Hutchinson, 59, was able to direct the mechanised arm, on a stand at her side, to pick up the flask of coffee, bring it close to her mouth and tilt it to her lips.
She then sipped it through a straw – and smiled with delight.
Those behind the breakthrough, which could help restore independence to the paralysed and to amputees, said it was a moment of ‘true joy’.
Dr Leigh Hochberg, an engineer and neurologist at Brown University and Harvard Medical School in the US, said: ‘The smile on her face was something that I and my research team will never forget.’ 
Miss Hutchinson, who lives in a nursing home near Boston, Massachusetts, was one of two patients to have an electronic chip implanted in her brain.
The second, a man in his 60s, had also been left paralysed by a stroke. Both had a BrainGate chip – a grid of electrodes the size of a baby aspirin – placed in the part of the brain which controls movement.
When the patients think about moving their arm, the signals in the brain are picked up by the electrodes and transmitted to a computer system through a cable ‘plugged’ into the top of the patient’s head.
The robotic arm then makes the movement that the patient had imagined. The male volunteer, identified only as Bob, said: ‘I just imagined moving my own arm and the (robotic) arm moved where I wanted it to go.’ 
The achievement, detailed in the journal Nature, marks the culmination of decades of research into how the arms are controlled by the brain. In the latest experiments, Miss Hutchinson and the man used mind-controlled robotic arms to reach for and grasp foam ping-pong balls.
Cathy Hutchinson drinks from a bottle using the DLR robotic arm
Although slow and far from perfect, they achieved the task more often than could be explained by chance alone.
Miss Hutchinson then proved the apparatus to have a practical benefit by using the mind-controlled robotic arm to lift her coffee to her mouth four of the six times she tried it.
The researchers, who are funded by various bodies including the US military, the government’s health research arm and the German Aerospace Centre, believe it should be possible to design an arm which allows the paralysed to perform more fiddly tasks, such as brushing their teeth.
Other goals are to create a cable-free set-up which operates wirelessly and to use the technology to power prosthetic arms.
The real dream is to harness the power of the mind to allow the paralysed to move their own limbs again.
Kevin Warwick, a Reading University expert in robotics who ten years ago had a BrainGate chip implanted in his arm to help develop the technology, said thought control need not be limited to arm movements.
Signals harnessed by brain chips could have a multitude of uses, said the professor. ‘Brain signals could be used to switch on lights, open doors – someone could drive their wheelchair around or even their car. These are the sorts of things that will be possible in the next few years.’
OWI-535 Robotic Arm Edge rides the wings of the award winning OWI Arm Trainer Robot Kit. OWI has made robotic arm technology more affordable without compromising quality. With Robotic Arm Edge, command the gripper to open and close, wrist motion of 120 degrees, an extensive elbow range of 300 degrees, base rotation of 270 degrees, base motion of 180 degrees, vertical reach of 15 inches, horizontal reach of 12.6 inches, and lifting capacity of 100g.
Some of the added features include a search light design on the gripper and a safety gear audible indicator is included on all five gear boxes to prevent any potential damage or gear breakage during operation. How does this equate to fun? Total command and visual manipulation using the five switch wired controller, five motors, and five joints. Night time usage is possible and extended life on the gearbox prolongs predictable control of the robot arm’s behaviour.
—-Internet

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UV light may wipe out superbugs

A TYPE OF ultraviolet light called UVC could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections. A new study led by Duke Health and published in The Lancet finds use of UVC machines can cut transmission of four major superbugs by a cumulative 30 percent.
A new tool — a type of ultraviolet light called UVC — could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in-patient rooms and causing new infections.
Some hospitals have already begun using UVC machines in addition to standard chemical disinfection to kill potentially dangerous bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but research on their effectiveness has been preliminary.
A large randomized trial led by Duke Health and published in The Lancet finds use of UVC machines can cut transmission of four major superbugs by a cumulative 30 per cent. The finding is specific to patients who stay overnight in a room where someone with a known positive culture or infection of a drug-resistant organism had previously been treated.
“Some of these germs can live on the environment so long that even after a patient with the organism has left the room and it has been cleaned, the next patient in the room could potentially be exposed,” said Deverick J. Anderson, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Duke Health and lead investigator of the trial, which included more than 21,000 patients. “Infections from one of these bugs are tough and expensive to treat and can be truly debilitating for a patient. For hospitals, these infections also cause a burden of costs that often aren’t reimbursable.”
The researchers focused on four drug-resistant organisms: MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), C. difficile and Acinetobacter.
The trial was conducted from 2012 to 2014 at nine hospitals in the Southeast, including three Duke University Health System hospitals, a Veterans Affairs hospital, and small community health care settings.
The facilities used a portable machine called the Tru-D SmartUVC to disinfect rooms where patients with the target bacteria had been staying. For about 30 minutes, the machine emits UVC light into an empty room, the light bouncing and reflecting into hard-to-reach areas such as open drawers or between cabinets and fixtures. The light waves kill bacteria by disrupting their DNA.
One family of superbugs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, may be spreading more widely than previously thought, according to a study published Monday (PDF) in the journal?Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In fact, transmission of these bacteria person-to-person may be occurring without symptoms, say the researchers, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute.
“We often talk about the rising tide of antibiotic resistance in apocalyptic terms,” said William Hanage, senior author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School. “But we should always remember that the people who are most at risk of these things would be at risk for any infection, because they are often among the frailer people in the health care system.”
 
Infection
Over a 16-month period, the Harvard-MIT research team examined genetic sequences from about 250 samples of patients who had CRE in four hospitals in Boston and Irvine, California.
“A lot of people have done a lot of really good work by focusing on things like outbreaks,” Hanage said. He and his colleagues were aiming instead to get a “population snapshot” of CRE, to define how frequently these infections occurred and to understand which bacterial strains were causing infections within hospitals.
“We tried to get an idea of what the population was, and that enabled us to capture the diversity of these things, which were causing disease in the hospitals we studied,” Hanage said.
First, the researchers found very little evidence of direct transmission between patients who became sick. “There’s one, maybe two, in all the samples we looked at,” Hanage said. Based on this, he and his colleagues believe transmission may be occurring without causing symptoms.
—-Internet

 

Comment

A TYPE OF ultraviolet light called UVC could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections. A new study led by Duke Health and published in The Lancet finds use of UVC machines can cut transmission of four major superbugs by a cumulative 30 percent.
A new tool — a type of ultraviolet light called UVC — could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in-patient rooms and causing new infections.
Some hospitals have already begun using UVC machines in addition to standard chemical disinfection to kill potentially dangerous bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but research on their effectiveness has been preliminary.
A large randomized trial led by Duke Health and published in The Lancet finds use of UVC machines can cut transmission of four major superbugs by a cumulative 30 per cent. The finding is specific to patients who stay overnight in a room where someone with a known positive culture or infection of a drug-resistant organism had previously been treated.
“Some of these germs can live on the environment so long that even after a patient with the organism has left the room and it has been cleaned, the next patient in the room could potentially be exposed,” said Deverick J. Anderson, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Duke Health and lead investigator of the trial, which included more than 21,000 patients. “Infections from one of these bugs are tough and expensive to treat and can be truly debilitating for a patient. For hospitals, these infections also cause a burden of costs that often aren’t reimbursable.”
The researchers focused on four drug-resistant organisms: MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), C. difficile and Acinetobacter.
The trial was conducted from 2012 to 2014 at nine hospitals in the Southeast, including three Duke University Health System hospitals, a Veterans Affairs hospital, and small community health care settings.
The facilities used a portable machine called the Tru-D SmartUVC to disinfect rooms where patients with the target bacteria had been staying. For about 30 minutes, the machine emits UVC light into an empty room, the light bouncing and reflecting into hard-to-reach areas such as open drawers or between cabinets and fixtures. The light waves kill bacteria by disrupting their DNA.
One family of superbugs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, may be spreading more widely than previously thought, according to a study published Monday (PDF) in the journal?Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In fact, transmission of these bacteria person-to-person may be occurring without symptoms, say the researchers, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute.
“We often talk about the rising tide of antibiotic resistance in apocalyptic terms,” said William Hanage, senior author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School. “But we should always remember that the people who are most at risk of these things would be at risk for any infection, because they are often among the frailer people in the health care system.”
 
Infection
Over a 16-month period, the Harvard-MIT research team examined genetic sequences from about 250 samples of patients who had CRE in four hospitals in Boston and Irvine, California.
“A lot of people have done a lot of really good work by focusing on things like outbreaks,” Hanage said. He and his colleagues were aiming instead to get a “population snapshot” of CRE, to define how frequently these infections occurred and to understand which bacterial strains were causing infections within hospitals.
“We tried to get an idea of what the population was, and that enabled us to capture the diversity of these things, which were causing disease in the hospitals we studied,” Hanage said.
First, the researchers found very little evidence of direct transmission between patients who became sick. “There’s one, maybe two, in all the samples we looked at,” Hanage said. Based on this, he and his colleagues believe transmission may be occurring without causing symptoms.
—-Internet

 


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Gionee launches new smartphone

TAKING further its slim smartphones series, Gionee has launched a new smartphone which measures 139.8×67.4×5.5mm, the Gionee Elife S7.
The smartphone is priced at EUR 399. The company claims that the Elife S7 has been made from aviation-level aluminum magnesium alloy and the design is inspired by the U-shape design of railway tracks.
The smartphone packs some high-end specs, such as a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Super Amoled display, a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6572 processor and 2GB of RAM.
The smartphone comes with dual-SIM support and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with company’s Amigo 3.0 UI on top, and the display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The Gionee Elife S7 sports a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash, while also houses an 8-megapixel front facing snapper.
Unfortunately, the storage on the handset is limited only to 16GB, and offers 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/ A-GPS, USB OTG, and FM radio connectivity options.
The Gionee Elife S7 packs a non-removable 2750mAh battery, which according to the company can last for a whole day. “We believe Elife S7 will bring the future of slim smartphones to the next level.
Gionee Communication Equipment Co. is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer based in Shenzen, Guangdong. The Gionee M2017 smartphone is currently available only in Taiwan, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Algeria. But international market presence is increasing.
Gionee smartphone runs on Amigo OS 3.1 (Android OS, V5.1 Lollipop) which designed to enhance operating experience. The display is a 15.24 (6.0) FHD AMOLED 2.5 curved display that provides lifelike picture sharpness. The metal back on this large sleek frame still allows this phone to be held easily while in use.
A 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera take excellent photos that can be enhanced using built-in camera filters.
This smartphone has an enormous 5020mAh battery that delivers up to two days of battery life on a full charge based on usage. The USB-Type C port provide support for fast charging to get you up and running even faster when you need.
For added security, there is a fingerprint sensor that unlocks the device in 0.38s via finger swipe.
 
Here are the SPECS
OS Android OS, V5.1 Lollipop (amigo 3.1)
CPU Octa Core 1.3GHz
RAM 3GB
ROM 64GB
End user Memory 52GB approx.
TF Card up to 128GB
Browser UC Browser
Radio FM Radio
Multi-Media MP3, MP4, 3GP, AVI.
GPS Yes, with A-GPS Support.
Compass Digital Compass
Sensor Proximity sensor, Gyro sensor, G-sensor, Motion sensor, Light sensor
Battery capacity 5020mAh Li-ion polymer.
Standby time 697 hr (2G)/ 619 hr (3G)/ 643 hr (4G), CDMA – 669 hr (approx.)
Talk Time 47 hr (2G)/ 21 hr (3G), CDMA - 34 hr (approx. values)
Connectivity 4G/3G/HSPA/LTE
Bluetooth V4.0, with A2DP
—-Internet

Comment

TAKING further its slim smartphones series, Gionee has launched a new smartphone which measures 139.8×67.4×5.5mm, the Gionee Elife S7.
The smartphone is priced at EUR 399. The company claims that the Elife S7 has been made from aviation-level aluminum magnesium alloy and the design is inspired by the U-shape design of railway tracks.
The smartphone packs some high-end specs, such as a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Super Amoled display, a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6572 processor and 2GB of RAM.
The smartphone comes with dual-SIM support and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with company’s Amigo 3.0 UI on top, and the display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The Gionee Elife S7 sports a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash, while also houses an 8-megapixel front facing snapper.
Unfortunately, the storage on the handset is limited only to 16GB, and offers 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/ A-GPS, USB OTG, and FM radio connectivity options.
The Gionee Elife S7 packs a non-removable 2750mAh battery, which according to the company can last for a whole day. “We believe Elife S7 will bring the future of slim smartphones to the next level.
Gionee Communication Equipment Co. is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer based in Shenzen, Guangdong. The Gionee M2017 smartphone is currently available only in Taiwan, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Algeria. But international market presence is increasing.
Gionee smartphone runs on Amigo OS 3.1 (Android OS, V5.1 Lollipop) which designed to enhance operating experience. The display is a 15.24 (6.0) FHD AMOLED 2.5 curved display that provides lifelike picture sharpness. The metal back on this large sleek frame still allows this phone to be held easily while in use.
A 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera take excellent photos that can be enhanced using built-in camera filters.
This smartphone has an enormous 5020mAh battery that delivers up to two days of battery life on a full charge based on usage. The USB-Type C port provide support for fast charging to get you up and running even faster when you need.
For added security, there is a fingerprint sensor that unlocks the device in 0.38s via finger swipe.
 
Here are the SPECS
OS Android OS, V5.1 Lollipop (amigo 3.1)
CPU Octa Core 1.3GHz
RAM 3GB
ROM 64GB
End user Memory 52GB approx.
TF Card up to 128GB
Browser UC Browser
Radio FM Radio
Multi-Media MP3, MP4, 3GP, AVI.
GPS Yes, with A-GPS Support.
Compass Digital Compass
Sensor Proximity sensor, Gyro sensor, G-sensor, Motion sensor, Light sensor
Battery capacity 5020mAh Li-ion polymer.
Standby time 697 hr (2G)/ 619 hr (3G)/ 643 hr (4G), CDMA – 669 hr (approx.)
Talk Time 47 hr (2G)/ 21 hr (3G), CDMA - 34 hr (approx. values)
Connectivity 4G/3G/HSPA/LTE
Bluetooth V4.0, with A2DP
—-Internet

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