Focus on Technology

Monday afternoons during Cincinnati Edition, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

At the Springfield Beckley Municipal Airport crews will begin installing a new kind of radar in June that will allow air traffic controllers to see a combination of planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Air Force and the State of Ohio are footing the $5 million radar bill in first-of-its-kind testing that both parties hope will lead to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for beyond line of sight flight.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Ohio State University researchers are using special glasses to help patients fully recover after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. The glasses help rewire the brain after documented changes following a knee injury.

Zunam Aero

In the next decade you may be flying on a tiny battery operated plane for as little as $25 to a destination you might have otherwise driven.

Start-up Zunum Aero is building a fleet of hybrid-electric planes to handle those short flights with financial backers such as Boeing Horizon X and JetBlue Technology Ventures.

A Milford company is back with an updated communication tool for ALS and other "locked-in" patients.

Known for the NeuroSwitch, Control Bionics has shrunk the technology and made it wearable. The new product is NeuroNode.

Xact Medical

Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Ben Gurion University have developed a prototype device designed to quickly and accurately locate a vein or artery in children and adults in need of a medical procedure. It uses ultrasound and a robotic arm.

FIND, or Fast Intelligent Needle Delivery, is the invention of the newly formed company, Xact Medical and an ongoing partnership with Ben Gurion.

Purdue researchers are developing a test strip, similar to the common pregnancy test, to detect cervical cancer and eventually other types of cancer and diseases.

Used with permission / Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

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A University of Dayton researcher is creating a different way to study drugs that could potentially shorten the time it takes to develop them.

University of Colorado

A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers has developed a revolutionary process that cools buildings without the use of refrigerants or electricity.

The material, described in the journal Science, is a glass polymer hybrid and even under direct sunlight can cool objects.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

You may not realize it but the soil is buzzing with conversation. Plants talk to one other. Some conversations are nice and others are nasty.

Through a fungal network plants can warn each other of pending attacks by bacteria or bugs or they can  send herbicides they manufacture to kill other plants.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati Fire dispatchers are now sending crews to emergencies based on their actual real-time physical location  instead of where their fire houses are located.

This real-time GPS vehicle location dispatch has been used by other departments, including Toledo and Columbus, for years, but is new to Cincinnati, the first in Hamilton County to use it beginning this past January.

Meadowlane Farms

Farm animals are increasingly becoming sources of deadly microorganisms like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and that drug-resistant bacteria could be traveling from the farm to your table.

Science Journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer, in an article written for Scientific American, visited three Indiana hog farms last year and witnessed, in two of the cases, crowded barns and special feed laced with antibiotics.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

DESĪN, with offices in Dayton and Michigan, is introducing  Obi™  the robotic dining companion.

For inventor Jon Dekar it was a very personal decade long project. While in high school volunteering, he watched the disabled struggle as well as his own grandfather who slowly lost the ability to feed himself. "You know, it's one of life's basic needs and it's also a fundamental freedom. It's a very intimate personal experience."

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As crazy as it may sound to the non-scientist, cells in a patient's jaw may be able to rejuvenate their bad heart.

Yi-Gang Wang, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and former heart surgeon, explains that when we are growing in the womb our facial muscle cells develop near the heart. They eventually migrate to the head and are similar to heart cells.

Annette Stowasser

To the non-scientist, the Sunburst Diving Beetle doesn't look any different than your average beetle. But put it under a microscope and examine the complexity of its eyes. You will see bifocal eyes-six sets of them.

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