“Skin gun” sprays stems cells onto burn wounds: When treating a burn victim, it can take weeks to generate an autologous skin graft when it’s needed to treat the affected areas. However, a team of researchers at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine developed a new treatment that can reduce this time to just a few days. The researchers harvest healthy skin from the patient and use a “skin gun” to spray the patient’s own skin stem cells onto the wound. Following application of the autologous cells, the researchers used an artificial vascular system to further speed up the healing process by nourishing the stem cells.
MIT suit simulates being 70: The next time you’re worried about being the youngest person at a cocktail party, you’ve got a new clothing option. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Age Lab, a research center designed to innovate technologies and services adept to today’s increasingly numerous elderly population, created a high tech suit that’s designed to inhibit movement and sensation in the same way as, well, being 70 years old would. The suit, called the AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System), is built to help product designers better understand the physical toils of old age. Through empathy, MIT says, designers will create better products.
Blind man takes Daytona: Mark Anthony Riccobono will go into the books as the first blind person to independently drive a car. For the NFB Blind Driver ChallengeT, a program of the U.S. National Federation of the Blind, a Ford Escape hybrid was packed full with technology which enabled him to successfully navigate 1.5 miles of the road course section at the Daytona International Speedway. The car has laser range-finding sensors that enable the computation of a three-dimensional map of the road environment. The TORC Bywire XGV drive-by-wire system is used to convert this data into driving directions. Directions are then sent to some clever devices: DriveGrip, a pair of vibrating gloves that relay steering information, SpeedStrip, a vibration-based device that relays speed information, and AirPix, a device that uses compressed airflow patterns to create tactile images. While the technique is very much the same as that used in autonomous vehicles, the goal here is to allow the blind person to do the actual driving, of course, a motor trade insurance in this case is essential. To make it more difficult, several obstacles were placed in the path of the vehicle, including stationary obstacles and boxes dropped from a van, which he all successfully avoided.
Study: Medical clowns could improve chances for in vitro fertilization: Following from the somewhat common sense idea that women who were less stressed during in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer had better outcomes, the journal Fertility and Sterility published a study out of Israel that claims “medical clowning” improved pregnancy rates compared to a group not exposed to a clown on the day of implantation. “This experimental prospective quasi-randomized study examining the impact of a medical clowning encounter after ET after IVF found that the pregnancy rate in the intervention group was 36.4 percent, compared with 20.2 percent in the control group (adjusted odds ratio, 2.67; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.36–5.24). Medical clowning as an adjunct to IVF-ET may have a beneficial effect on pregnancy rates and deserves further investigation,” according to the researchers.
A weekly roundup of new developments in medical technology, by MedGadget.com.