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IEEE Pulse

Max E Valentinuzzi, Martin Hill Ortiz, Daniel Cervantes, Ron S Leder
Recently, during the Christmas season, a friend of mine visited me and, sneaking a look at my bookshelves, found two rather old Nikola Tesla biographies, which I had used to prepare a "Retrospectroscope" column for the then-named IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine when our dear friend Alvin Wald was its editor-inchief [2]. Eighteen years have elapsed since then; soon, the idea came up of revamping the article. Cynthia Weber, the magazine's current associate editor, considered it acceptable, and here is the new note divided in two parts: that is, a slightly revised version of the original article followed by new material, including some quite interesting information regarding Tesla's homes and laboratories...
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Michele Solis
Over the past 30 years, robots have become standard fixtures in operating rooms. During brain surgery, a NeuroMate robot may guide a neurosurgeon to a target within the pulsing cortex. In orthopedics, a Mako robot sculpts and drills bone during knee and hip replacement surgery. Dominating the general surgery field is the da Vinci robot, a multiarmed device that allows surgeons to conduct precise movements of tools through small incisions that they could not manage with their own hands.
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Cristian A Linte, Ziv R Yaniv
While the term "image-guided surgery" has gained popularity fairly recently, the use of imaging for medical interventions dates as far back as the beginning of the 20th century. Dr. George H. Gray of Lynn, Massachusetts, reported in his 1908 article "X-rays in Surgical Work," published in volume 2 of the Journal of Therapeutics and Dietetics, that "the one great stride in the handling of difficult cases was the accurate diagnosis made possible by the use of the X-rays." His story points to the day when a seamstress presented to his office with a broken sewing needle embedded in her hand...
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Jennifer Berglund
One fall day in Boston, Ridhi Tariyal sat on an examination table in her primary care doctor's office. Her doctor sat across from her, hurriedly transcribing notes as Tariyal responded to the doctor's questions. It was the end of Tariyal's physical, and the waiting room was full. "Do you have any questions?" the doctor asked, not turning away from the computer screen.
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Ahmed Morsy
In 1872, Charles Darwin published The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, in which he argued that mammals show emotion reliably in their faces. Since then, thousands of studies have confirmed the robustness of Darwin's argument in many fields, including linguistics, semiotics, social psychology, and computer science. More interestingly, several studies, including those of renowned psychologist Paul Ekman, demonstrated that basic emotions are, indeed, universal. Affectiva, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff located in Waltham, Massachusetts, builds a variety of products that harness the two main characteristics of facial expressions-robustness and universality-to measure and analyze emotional responses...
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Debdoot Sheet
How would you provide effective and affordable health care in a country of more than 1.25 billion where there are only 0.7 physicians for every 1,000 people [1]? The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) and the Karnataka Internet-Assisted Diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity (KIDROP) service are two notable efforts designed to deliver care across India, in both urban and rural areas and from the country?s flat plains to its rugged mountainous and desert regions.
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Jim Banks
The mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world (Figure 1). It is the main carrier of parasites that cause malaria, which is a bigger killer than any other disease in history; in fact, some blame malaria for the deaths of half the humans who have ever lived. Today, malaria continues to have a devastating effect on the health of millions of people.
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Mary Bates
At first, palliative care and technology might seem like strange bedfellows. At its core, palliative care is a very human side of medicine, relying heavily on talking with and listening to people to understand their experiences and goals. Technology, on the other hand, can often feel impersonal, cold, and one-size-fitsall. Despite this apparent disconnect, researchers and clinicians are finding new ways to harness technology to facilitate communication between patients and caregivers.
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Leslie Mertz
In rural areas, it is not unusual for patients to travel 50 miles or more to reach their doctors? offices or for doctors to refer patients to specialists whose offices are 80, 100, even 200-plus miles away. The sheer distance is a major obstacle for patients of all kinds: those who need urgent specialist care, those who have a chronic condition that requires regular visits, those who live in areas prone to poor weather-related driving conditions-really, anyone who has better things to do than spend hours traveling to and from a medical appointment...
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Leslie Mertz
People can do an incredible range of things remotely today. From a chair at the office or under an umbrella at the beach, they can adjust lights and appliance settings at home, monitor visitors on their doorstep, and check in on their teenagers? whereabouts. When it comes to health care, however, there?s still a long way to go before patients can get even simple care advice without having to make an appointment and trudge into the clinic or doctor's office.
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Suhas Gondi, Kavita Patel
The United States is hailed as providing the most advanced health care the world has to offer. With cutting-edge medical devices, groundbreaking procedures, and innovative technologies, our hospitals and medical centers define what the global community sees as modern biomedicine. Engineers and clinicians continue to push and reshape this standard with new inventions enabled by a rapidly developing knowledge base. However, the fruit of this advancement has not benefited Americans equally. Millions still face significant obstacles to access health care, and our rural communities in particular have been left behind (see also "The Challenge of Rural Health Care")...
November 2016: IEEE Pulse
Jennifer Berglund
The science of the microbiome is arguably one of the hottest topics in medicine, and rightfully so. A deeper understanding of the ecology of the flora in our bodies is providing revolutionary insight beyond the simple form and function of our major parts. This new frontier is dauntingly complex, and most studies focus on details, failing to place these microbial ecosystems within the larger context of evolutionary time and environment.
September 2016: IEEE Pulse
Sergio A Gonzalez, Max E Valentinuzzi, Pedro D Arini
The origins of convolution and its further and rather complex historical development were dealt with in detail by Alejandro Dominguez in a previous article [1]. We saw there that it can be traced back to the middle of the 18th century; however, its modern form and use are not more than 50 or 60 years old.
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
David L Chandler
In April 2016, in honor of Autism Acceptance Month, Apple released a video that quickly went viral, racking up more than 4 million views in its first few days (https://youtube/oMN2PeFama0). It shows a teenage boy named Dillan whose life has been completely transformed by the use of an iPad. As a nonverbal person, until he learned to use the device, he had no way of showing people that he was aware, thoughtful, paying attention, and eager to communicate. He just didn't have the necessary control over his body?s vocal apparatus to let people know he was really there...
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
Peter Hunter
The Physiome Project was initiated by the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS; in 1997 to bring multiscale engineering modeling approaches to the physiological interpretation of the wealth of molecular data that was becoming available at that time [1]. The discipline of physiology, which with anatomy underpins medical practice, had lost its traditional central position in the biological sciences (at least from a funding perspective) to molecular biology, despite the very small impact molecular biology has had on the diagnosis and treatment of disease...
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
Kristina Grifantini
It seems simple: send a small electrical current to a major nerve in the body and stimulate hormones and organs to react in the way you want. New efforts by research teams are doing just that, zapping peripheral nerves attached to major organs in the hopes of addressing problems as diverse as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Thanks to the continued advance of smaller and more efficient electronics, researchers are finding new ways to develop implantable bioelectrical devices to treat a wide range of ailments...
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
Summer E Allen
When brothers Jamie and Glen Selby, aged 5 and 7, arrived at the Shriners Burns Institute in Denver, Colorado, in July 1983, more than 97% of their skin had been destroyed by a fire they had accidentally started while playing in an abandoned house. The boys were so badly burned that their outlook was grim-a 6-year-old friend who was also in the fire died from his injuries?but Jamie and Glen were lucky. Not only did they survive, but they were also some of the first patients to benefit from a new burn treatment nicknamed test-tube skin...
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
Michele Solis
Since the 1980s, stem cells' shape-shifting abilities have wowed scientists. With proper handling, a few growth factors, and some time, stem cells can be cooked up into specific cell types, including neurons, muscle, and skin.
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
Leslie Mertz
Researcher Jeanne Loring thinks she has a good method for reversing the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (Figure 1), and she believes this method-a stem-cell therapy-will find its way to clinics in as little as twoand-a-half years. Although the work has progressed very smoothly, one thing has continued to nag at her: is it actually safe to transplant induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), or are these cells potentially dangerous to patients?
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
Leslie Mertz
Interest in stem cells escalated in 2006 when scientists figured out how to reprogram some specialized adult cells to assume a stem-cell-like state. Called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), these cells opened the door to a range of potential applications, including generating cells and tissues to replace those that are faulty or missing in patients with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or other maladies (Figure 1). Visions of new treatments and even cures for debilitating and fatal illnesses proliferated, and some of that work is well under way (see "A Wealth of Research")...
July 2016: IEEE Pulse
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