Features

Emerging Trends in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy

New technologies are providing doctors and patients with more options for treatment and improved quality of life than ever before. Procedures once entailing long recovery times and scarring may now be done almost painlessly and without significant disfigurement. Drug therapies are being tailored to target specific aspects of a disease, and donor organs can be grown from sources from which rejection is eliminated. These approaches in medicine reflect a more focused ideology when confronted with injury and disease.

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NASA Technology Provides Secure Networks for First Responders

In 2003, engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, sent a miniature Cisco router into low Earth orbit on a satellite, proving that Internet Protocols can be used to communicate with satellites. “We wanted to put the Internet in space because it will make it far easier to design, build, test, and later operate new satellite systems,” said Phil Paulsen, project manager in Glenn’s Space Communications Office.

Posted in: UpFront

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NASA Spinoff Brings Nanotechnology to Market

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, licensed its patented technique for manufacturing high-quality, single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to Idaho Space Materials (ISM) in Boise. Carbon nanotubes based on this process are being used by researchers and companies working on the next generation of composite polymers, metals, and ceramics that will impact almost every facet of life.

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NASA Institute Studies and Identifies Martian Land Formations

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston is part of the Universities Space Research Association, and is a NASAfunded institute that conducts research in the lunar, planetary, and terrestrial sciences on behalf of university science departments and NASA. The most recent project between the University of Houston (UH) and the LPI seeks to identify and characterize the natural landscape structures of Mars, such as the inside of craters, valley networks, and the outside and inside rims of craters and inter-crater plains. Identifying these structures is important because rocks, minerals, and geologic landforms hold clues to past water activity on Mars. Understanding the history of water on Mars is a part of NASA’s long-term Mars Exploration Project.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Deformable Mirror to Help NASA Search for New Planets

Boston Micromachines, a provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, is developing a deformable mirror that will aid NASA in the search for extra-solar planets. The mirror comprises a micromirror array consisting of 331 closely packed ultra-flat hexagonal mirror elements. Each element is capable of tip, tilt, and piston motion with nanometer precision as required for a space-based, hyper-contrast coronagraph imaging telescope.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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UEILogger

United Electronics Industries, Canton, MA, has introduced the UEILogger series of data loggers and recorders. The logger "Cube" contains the logger engine and either three or six I/O slots. The logger is matched to the user's application by installing the appropriate I/O boards from more than 20 different available boards. A single 4 x 4.1 x 5.8" logger cube can provide up to 150 A/D channels or 288 digital I/O. The logger requires no programming, and the logging application is configured using a Windows-based application that sets up the logger and extracts data from the logger's memory. The software allows users to set input and output ranges, sample/update rates, and signal conditioning from pull-down menus. The program may be downloaded via the unit's standard Ethernet port or stored on the SD card. The logger supports sample rates up to 100 samples per second on each I/O channel or port. Data is logged onto standard SD cards; a 2-Gig SD card is included that holds more than 500 million 16-bit A/D readings.

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Ginger N. Flores, LOCAD Project Manager, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Diagnosis on Earth is a fairly simple procedure, done at any hospital or medical center. In space flight, however, where doctors and even basic medical equipment may be lacking, falling ill is a serious matter for both astronaut and ground control. Using horseshoe crab blood as a reactive agent, the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System (LOCAD-PTS) is a handheld device developed by NASA researchers to help identify microorganisms. Ginger N. Flores is the LOCAD project manager.

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