Multicompartment Liquid- Cooling/Warming Protective Garments

Shortened, multicompartment liquid-cooling/ warming garments (LCWGs) for protecting astronauts, firefighters, and others at risk of exposure to extremes of temperature are undergoing development. Unlike prior liquid circulation thermal-protection suits that provide either cooling or warming but not both, an LCWG as envisioned would provide cooling at some body locations and/or heating at other locations, as needed: For example, sometimes there is a need to cool the body core and to heat the extremities simultaneously. An LCWG garment of the type to be developed is said to be shortened because the liquid-cooling and -heating zones would not cover the whole body and, instead, would cover reduced areas selected for maximum heating and cooling effectiveness. Physiological research is under way to provide a rational basis for selection of the liquid-cooling and -heating areas. In addition to enabling better (relative to prior liquid-circulation garments) balancing of heat among different body regions, the use of selective heating and cooling in zones would contribute to a reduction in the amount of energy needed to operate a thermal-protection suit.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Miniature Laboratory for Detecting Sparse Biomolecules

Specimens would be concentrated and sorted before detection. The figure schematically depicts a miniature laboratory system that has been proposed for use in the field to detect sparsely distributed biomolecules. By emphasizing concentration and sorting of specimens prior to detection, the underlying system concept would make it possible to attain high detection sensitivities without the need to develop ever more sensitive biosensors.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Analysis Tool Automates Drug Discovery Data Acquisition and Management

Pharmaceutical company uses calculation software to automate data capture, analysis, and visualization. In the race to deliver drugs to market more quickly, biopharmaceutical companies need to classify and interpret data at unprecedented rates with tools that eliminate redundant analysis tasks and promote collaboration among scientists.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Microwave Treatment of Prostate Cancer and Hyperplasia

Additional uses are found for a relatively inexpensive microwave treatment system. Microwave ablation in the form of microwave energy applied to a heart muscle by a coaxial catheter inserted in a vein in the groin area can be used to heat and kill diseased heart cells. A microwave catheter has been developed to provide deep myocardial ablation to treat ventricular tachycardia by restoring appropriate electrical activity within the heart and eliminating irregular heartbeats. The resulting microwave catheter design, which is now being developed for commercial use in treating ventricular tachycardia, can be modified to treat prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Inasmuch as the occurrence of BPH is increasing — currently 350,000 operations per year are performed in the United States alone to treat this condition — this microwave catheter has significant commercial potential.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Satellite-Derived Management Zones

Precision agriculture can be practiced at low cost. The term “satellite-derived management zones” (SAMZ) denotes agricultural management zones that are subdivisions of large fields and that are derived from images of the fields acquired by instruments aboard Earth orbiting satellites during approximately the past 15 years. “SAMZ” also denotes the methodology and the software that implements the methodology for creating such zones. The SAMZ approach is one of several products of continuing efforts to realize a concept of precision agriculture, which involves optimal variations in seeding, in application of chemicals, and in irrigation, plus decisions to farm or not to farm certain portions of fields, all in an effort to maximize profitability in view of spatial and temporal variations in the growth and health of crops, and in the chemical and physical conditions of soils.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Removing Pathogens Using Nano-Ceramic-Fiber Filters

Filters remove greater than 99.9999 percent of viruses and bacteria from wastewater.

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Replaceable Microfluidic Cartridges for a PCR Biosensor

Design has been optimized for detection of target DNA sequences The figure depicts a replaceable microfluidic cartridge that is a component of a miniature biosensor that detects target deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences. The biosensor utilizes (1) polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) to multiply the amount of DNA to be detected, (2) fluorogenic polynucleotide probe chemicals for labeling the target DNA sequences, and (3) a high-sensitivity epifluorescence-detection optoelectronic subsystem.

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