NASA Spinoff

Health and Medicine

Developed by Dr. James Tilton, a computer engineer with Goddard Space Flight Center's Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office, Hierarchical Segmentation (HSEG) software allows for advanced image analysis. The software organizes an image's pixels into regions based on...

How does life begin and evolve? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?

When the U.S. Congress created NASA in 1958, it sought to ensure that the Nation saw returns on its investments in aerospace research. It, therefore, wrote provisions into the Space Act Agreement that formed the Agency requiring that NASA share its technological advances and...

When in the zero-gravity environment of space, an astronaut realizes quickly that most motions require significantly less effort, and the body adjusts itself to the new environment so that a simple act like putting in a contact lens does not result in a sharp poke in the eye or clapping of hands...

Neuropsychology is the study of how the brain relates to behavior, emotion, and cognition. Clinical neuropsychologists evaluate the behavioral effects of neurological and developmental disorders stemming from brain injury, strokes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and...

For decades now, NASA has been sending spacecraft throughout the galaxy. Once in the cosmos, these crafts use advanced cameras to create images of corners and crevices of our universe never before seen and then transmit these pictures back to laboratories on Earth, where government scientists then...

Ever stand up too quickly from a sitting or lying position and feel dizzy or disoriented for a brief moment? The downward push of Earth's gravity naturally causes blood to settle in the lower areas of the human body, and occasionally, with a quick movement—such as rising swiftly from a...

More and more people are putting away their eye-glasses and contact lenses as a result of laser vision correction surgery. LASIK, the most widely performed version of this surgical procedure, improves vision by reshaping the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, using an excimer laser. One excimer...

Referred to as the lifeline for any space launch vehicle by NASA Space Launch Initiative Program Manager Warren Wiley, an umbilical is a large device that transports power, communications, instrument readings, and fluids such as propellants, pressurization gasses, and coolants from one source to another....

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given the world amazing images of the distant stars, planets, and galaxies. The cutting-edge imaging technology that enhances the Hubble images also extends its benefits to life here on Earth, from deciphering previously unreadable portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls to improving digital...

Originally conceived for use in terrestrial remote sensing applications, NASA's Hierarchical Segmentation (HSEG) software has found its way into a new medical imaging system, allowing for enhanced detection and management of medical conditions and diseases.

While gravity has its advantages in keeping us balanced and grounded here on Earth, scientists often find that they are at a disadvantage when trying to conduct research under its powerful, pulling influence. In these instances, the scientists prefer performing their studies in the weightless atmosphere of...

While gravity has its advantages in keeping us balanced and grounded here on Earth, scientists often find that they are at a disadvantage when trying to conduct research under its powerful, pulling influence. In these instances, the scientists prefer performing their studies in the weightless atmosphere of...

Technology and medicine forged a bond in 1986 when a group of dedicated NASA scientists, University of Southern California (USC) medical professors, and a Dutch cardiologist joined forces to prevent heart attacks, using ultrasound images of astronauts blood-flow patterns and the supercomputer depended upon...

Four years ago, Argonide Corporation, a company focused on the research, production, and marketing of specialty nano materials, was seeking to develop applications for its NanoCeram fibers. Only 2 nanometers in diameter, these nano aluminum oxide fibers possessed unusual bio-adhesive properties. When...

Throughout its existence, NASA has made many amazing discoveries in the field of optics that have led to improved eye care and eye wear applications on Earth. Innovations such as laser eye-tracking for LASIK vision-correction procedures, eye trackers that enable people with severe disabilities to communicate and control...

Honored as an inductee of the U.S. Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame and recognized by the American Astronautical Society as “one of the true fathers of the space suit, Bill Elkins spent years conducting extensive research on clothing technology for hostile environments while he served as...

With the Vision for Space Exploration calling for a sustained human presence in space, astronauts will need to grow plants, while in orbit, for nourishment that they will not receive from only consuming dehydrated foods. As a potential source of food for long-duration missions, space-grown plants could...

Who's to say that a little light can't go a long way? Tiny light-emitting diode (LED) chips used to grow plants in space are lighting the way for cancer treatment, wound healing, and chronic pain alleviation on Earth.

To work in NASA’s Mission Control Center and share in the excitement of seeing the very first close-up images of Saturn being piped back to Earth (from the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979) is not a sensation that most high school students get to experience. However, as part of an internship in ...

By mid-1963, American astronauts had visited space on six different occasions, all as part of NASA’s first human space flight program, the Mercury Program . During the final Mercury mission, launched on May 15, 1963, astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper logged 34 hours in orbit, the longest...

From the football turf to high above the Earth, heat exhaustion is a life-threatening concern. Heat exhaustion, or hyperthermia, is an acute condition caused by excessive exposure to heat and dehydration. ...

While most parents would agree that playing video games is the antithesis of time well spent for their children, recent advances involving NASA biofeedback technology are proving otherwise.

Twenty-six years ago, Adam Kissiah delivered a medical wonder to the world that has resulted in restored hearing for thousands of individuals, and allowed thousands of others born deaf to perceive sound for the very first time.

What employee never takes a vacation or a break, never calls in sick, works around the clock 365 days a year, has more than 3 million hours of experience, and is qualified to work in dietary services, radiology and medical record departments, pharmacies, central supply, and laboratories? The answer is a competent,...

Proteins are the chemical building blocks from which all human cells, organs, and tissues are made. They also serve as the hormones, enzymes, and antibodies that help the body fight off invading germs. Determining the structure of a protein enables medical researchers to create pharmaceuticals that will either help or...

From “man’s best friend” to the exotic mammals and reptiles that grace the grounds of a zoo, recent improvements in wellness and prevention care are leading to longer and healthier lives for animals, as well as fewer trips to the veterinary office.

Many people are familiar with the popular science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation, a show featuring a blind character named Geordi La Forge, whose visor-like glasses enable him to see. What many people do not know is that a product very similar to Geordi’s glasses is available to assist people with vision...

A new rehabilitative device promises to improve physical therapy for patients working to regain the ability to walk after facing traumatic injuries or a degenerative illness. Produced by Enduro Medical Technology, of East Hartford, Connecticut, the Secure Ambulation Module (S.A.M.) creates a stable and...

Although dubbed “Little Joe” for its small-format characteristics, a new wavefront sensor camera has proved that it is far from coming up short when paired with high-speed, low-noise applications. SciMeasure Analytical Systems, Inc., a provider of cameras and imaging accessories for use in biomedical...