Dr Michael Schutz | Musical Alarms: Improving Medical Environments by Studying Sound
About this episode
Medical devices in hospitals use auditory interfaces to keep doctors and nurses updated while keeping their eyes focused on patients. These auditory alarms are crucial for complex procedures, such as placing a breathing tube. Unfortunately, the specific sounds used in current systems are highly problematic. The lack of sophistication in these tones render them annoying and distracting, harming communication amongst medical staff and posing risks for patient care. An FDA survey has revealed hundreds of deaths annually resulting from poorly designed alarms! Although there are many ways to improve their use, one solution has received little attention thus far – improving the quality of the sounds themselves.
Most human diseases are localised in terms of their location but currently, injected or orally administered drugs are evenly distributed all over the body and thus, act indiscriminately. The targeted delivery of medication to the exact site where it is needed is a common theme in science fiction but thanks to Professor Richard Klemke and his team at the University of California San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center, this fantasy may soon become a reality.
Professor Michael Bukrinsky | Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-morbidities: How Lipid Homeostasis Alterations Lead to Cardiovascular and Neurological Disorders
Although human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is still prevalent worldwide, life-saving antiretroviral drugs can now prevent an infection from progressing into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nevertheless, people who are HIV-positive are still at increased risk of developing neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases, known as co-morbidities. Professor Michael Bukrinsky from the George Washington University in Washington DC works to understand the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to these disorders. His research has produced interesting results that demonstrate the role of altered lipid (cholesterol) homeostasis in HIV-infected cells and how this comes to pass.
Dr Doug Brugge | The Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Studies: Minimising Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution
Epilepsy is a chronic, long-term disease in which abnormal activity in the brain leads to repeated seizures, and it affects nearly 70 million people worldwide. The exact mechanisms behind epileptic seizures are still poorly understood. However, we do know that epilepsy can be caused by changes in the network structure of our brains and that seizures may be a result of spontaneous excessive brain synchronisation. Professor Eckehard Schöll and his Master student Moritz Gerster together with colleagues are using computer simulations to better understand the interplay of network structure and network synchronisation in epilepsy.
Professor Valerii Vinokur – Professor Anna Razumnaya – Professor Igor Lukyanchuk | Reinventing the Capacitor
Modern microelectronics is currently facing a profound challenge. The demand for even smaller and more closely packed electronics has hit a stumbling block: the power emitted in these devices releases more heat than can be efficiently removed. Now, the Terra Quantum team proposes a solution based on the seemingly counterintuitive phenomenon of ‘negative capacitance’.
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