Education and Health Disparity Across the US – Drs Mark D. Hayward & Jennifer Karas Montez
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Dr Dirk Lachenmeier | Avoiding Injury from Hot Food by Determining the Threshold Contact Temperature
Consuming very hot food and beverages poses a risk of oesophageal cancer. Although injury thresholds have been specified in industry standards and guidelines, there remain practical limitations in obtaining an exact measurement of the contact temperature from hot foodstuff in the oral mucosa inside the mouth. Dr Dirk Lachenmeier, a chemist and toxicologist at the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Agency Karlsruhe, worked in collaboration with his father Dr Walter Lachenmeier, a retired engineer, to develop a new method to estimate the safe surface or consumption temperature of hot food. This has allowed them to make important recommendations.
Dr Brett Lidbury | Rethinking Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Using Machine Learning
Dr Brett Lidbury from the Australian National University worked with colleagues to utilise machine learning techniques in a new strategy to identify biomarkers that could be used to help diagnose myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome in patients. Their work represents a significant step forward in understanding, diagnosing and treating this challenging condition, particularly in relation to pathology, the results of which form a routine but important part of general health assessment.
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.
Italy was the first European country to experience a major outbreak of COVID-19. Across the country, intriguingly different patterns of mortality were seen across regions. Dr. Marzia Cremona from Université Laval, in collaboration with a global team of researchers from the Pennsylvania State University and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, used novel statistical tools from the field of functional data analysis (FDA) to identify several important factors contributing to these differences. This work has critical implications for policymaking and also demonstrates the useful application of FDA techniques to epidemiological research.
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