Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

High-Density, Homogenous Bacterial Spore Distributions on Test Surfaces

This method uses polycarbonate membrane to transfer spores onto a mirror surface. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Thus far, spore transfer had been successful from the polycarbonate membrane onto stainless steel, aluminum, and to some extent, glass. In order to image the endospores under an ESEM (environmental scanning electron microscope), the spores were transferred onto a 4-mm-diameter, mirror-polished, stainless steel ESEM tab. For the spectroscopic and irradiation procedures in the Planetary Ice Group, it has also been necessary to transfer a highly concentrated, homogenous layer of spores onto a 1/2- or 1-in. (≈1.3- or 2.5-cm) aluminum mirror. Various other methods have been developed and tested for statistical spore deposition and transfer, but transfer was previously prone to uneven coverage due to poor contact, as well as visible microdroplets from over-saturation of the backing filter contact or non-homogeneity on a larger scale. A complete, reproducible method follows to avoid these issues and ensure quantitative predictions and uniformity.

Posted in: Briefs

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Team Game and Simulation Control

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia This technology is an offshoot of LaRC-developed technologies using physiological measures for assessing pilot stress, sustained attention, engagement, and awareness in a laboratory flight simulation environment. The technology allows modulation of player inputs to a video game or simulation from a user interface device based on the player’s psychophysiological state. It exploits current wireless motion-sensing technologies to utilize physiological signals for input modulation. These signals include, but are not limited to, heart rate, muscle tension, and brain wave activity. The invention is a technology for training teams to maintain functional states that are conducive to effective performance of manual tasks such as flight control, by physiologically modulating operator input devices to simulations. The invention also permits individuals who are physically challenged to participate in electronic game play by collaborating with a player who is able to manipulate controls that the challenged player cannot, and enables individuals with different skill sets and interests (physiological self-control vs. physical performance skills) to join together in rewarding game play. Besides gaming, this technology has application in athletic training and mind-body medicine.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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CRP Aptamers to Bone-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (BAP)

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas In order to detect and quantify bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) in a human biological sample, a binding agent (molecule) that specifically recognizes BAP in a sample is typically required. This binding agent can then be used in numerous assays/instruments to enable the detection and quantification of BAP.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Low Er-Doped Yttrium Gallium Garnet (YGG) as Active Media for Solid-State Lasers at 1651 nm

This technology could serve applications in the bio-medical areas such as nerve stimulation and dentistry. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The typical approach for producing laser output at the 1651-nm wavelength is via nonlinear frequency conversion. Lasers based on nonlinear conversion are complex, and it is very difficult to provide stability over time and over a wide range of operating temperatures. The efficiency of such optical sources is also low. A much more promising approach is the use of active media that allows for the development of solid-state lasers (SSL) with spectral emission at 1651 nm. An important requirement for this active medium is the ability to support in-band pumping with a low quantum defect since this approach leads to significant improvement in efficiency of SSLs and excellent beam characteristics due to low thermal stress of the active media.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Lasers & Laser Systems

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Signal Processing Software for Remote Vital Sign Monitoring

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This software provides the processing for a non-contact system that remotely estimates the heart rate and respiration rate of individuals as they carry on daily activities, and also enables detection of heart and respiration rate through walls.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Patient Monitoring, Data Acquisition

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Versatile Platform for Nanotechnology Based on Circular Permutations of Chaperonin Protein

Circular permutation is used to join peptide sequences within a protein template. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The controlled organization of inorganic materials into multi-dimensional addressable arrays is the foundation for logic and memory devices, as well as other nonlinear optical and sensing devices. Many of these devices are currently fabricated using lithographic patterning processes that have progressively developed toward greater integration densities and smaller sizes. At submicron scales, however, conventional lithographic processes are approaching their practical and theoretical limits. At scales below 100 nm, ion and electron beam lithography becomes prohibitively expensive and time consuming, and more importantly, at these scales, quantum effects fundamentally change the properties of devices.

Posted in: Briefs

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Zero-G Condensing Heat Exchanger with Integral Disinfection

The proposed concept promises to improve the life support environment for astronauts. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio A concept for a unique zero-g condensing heat exchanger that has an integral ozone-generating capacity has been conceived. This design will contribute to the control of metabolic water vapor in the air, and also provide disinfection of the resultant condensate, and the disinfection of the air stream that flows through the condensing heat exchanger.

Posted in: Briefs

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