Extending the reach of dermatologists

AI and medical technology has been coming together for years now, but many more advances are still in the lab.  Now, new research shows that AI can recognize skin cancer with results comparable to dermatologists.  With mobile phones, this could help to extend the reach of dermatologists, hopefully making more people aware of potential skin cancers that need further attention from an expert.

DNA Sequencing in Space

NASA reports that “DNA was successfully sequenced in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins this weekend aboard the International Space Station… A space-based DNA sequencer would be an important tool to help protect astronaut health during long duration missions on the journey to Mars, and future explorers could also potentially use the technology to identify DNA-based life forms beyond Earth.”

Below is a video — made before this NEWWorthy success — explaining the technique.

Pacemaker the size of a nickel

Technology advances continue to shrink medical devices, such as this newly approved nickel-sized pacemaker from Medtronics.

According to Wikipedia, “The first clinical implantation into a human of a fully implantable pacemaker was in 1958.”  Prior to that, external pacemakers weighed 100 pounds or more and required an AC wall socket or 12-volt car battery.  Below a biomedical engineering student explains the advances in pacemaker technology.

Since Medtronics calls its new pacemaker the “world’s smallest”, it’s NEWWorthy.

Taking temperature — use your head

Rachel Metz at MIT Technology Review wrote about “the best thing I saw at CES was a thermometer.”  What’s interesting about this new thermometer is that you don’t put it in you mouth.  Actually, you don’t put it “in” anywhere.  You just touch it to your temple and it sends your temperature to your smartphone.  The Withings Hot Spot Sensor (TM) seems to be the secret to getting accurate results.

Golden Goose Awards 2015

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s the Golden Fleece Awards were given to government funded projects that some considered wasteful.  However, it was found that some of these projects were anything but wasteful.  Turned out that research on the sex life of screwworms saved the livestock industry billions of dollars.

So in 2012, the Golden Goose Awards was founded to recognize obscure, federally funded research that has led to major breakthroughs.  The 2015 Golden Goose Awards were recently announced, including research named “The Marshmallow Test”.

Vegan Pizza

Vegan pizza is OLDWorthy, especially since Daiya and other non-dairy cheeses have been around for almost 10 years now. Even Domino’s launched its first vegan pizza (in Israel) a couple of years ago.  And keep in mind that vegan pizza does not even really require cheese, so get the right crust and veggie ingredients and sauce and you’ve got a vegan pizza.

But recently PETA listed “32 Pizza Places That Let You Have It Your (Vegan) Way“.  Perhaps now that vegan pizza is becoming almost mainstream — at least among vegans — it can be called NEWWorthy.

Veggie Pizza clip art

“CSI Biome” anyone?

We’ve seen “CSI”, “CSI [pick your city]”, and “CSI Cyber”.  How long before we see “CSI Biome”?  The Scientist writes about research that shows that a persons Microbiome (microbes on and in a person’s body) might be used as a fingerprint.  While we might or might not leave DNA all over the place, it might be that we are always leaving our microbiome prints everywhere.

At the very least, perhaps we’ll see a CSI plot in the not too distant future that features a microbiome fingerprint used to solve a crime.

Bacteria clip art