Focus on Technology

Wednesday 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.

Cincinnati Zoo (taken by a drone)

The Cincinnati Zoo is in the midst of a massive project to make hippos feel welcome and give them a clean place to live.

The clean part sounds easier than it actually is because the dirty little secret about hippopotamuses is they poop a lot. Two of them defecate nearly 1,000 pounds a day. In essence Mark Fisher, vice president of the zoo's facilities, says he has to build a massive toilet that is nice and clean so visitors can view the hippos in an underwater tank.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Breweries around the country are outdoing one another when it comes to going green.  No longer is giving spent grain to farmers the sole solution.   Companies are now looking at the entire sustainable picture, investing in expensive energy systems and changing ingredients.

WBUR details a few examples in "Survival of the Greenest Beer?"

wikimedia commons

The legalized marijuana market could be worth at least 36 billion dollars annually by 2020, bigger than the NFL, by some estimates. For that reason technology companies are wasting no time entering both the medical and recreational use arena.

iFetch

Many of veterinarian Dr. Bob Biederman's clientele are millennials and Gen Xers who live downtown. Often  they are the first to buy new pet technology.

Tim Zarki / University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati calls its research on smart windows which simultaneously controls shade and privacy electronically at a low-cost "breakthrough." 

The patent-pending research from UC and its partners, Hewlett Packard and EMD/Merck Research Labs, is a roll-on coating made up of a honeycomb of electrodes.

Mayfield Clinic

University of Cincinnati biomedical engineers, neurologists and Mayfield Clinic brain surgeons are in the process of creating a sound map for the abnormal brain.

Deep inside the head, groups of neurons make sounds. The doctors will use the sounds to figure out what the problem areas are and how to better treat abnormalities in the brain.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Inside a nondescript Loveland building, AMP Electric Vehicles is putting the finishing touches on the electric delivery trucks it’s building for United Parcel Service.  The U.S. Post Office might be the next customer.

UPS has ordered 18 of them for its Houston market and AMP CEO Steve Burns is trying to convince them to buy more of the electric trucks.

The electric truck

University of Cincinnati

First, an elementary lesson in solvents. They are used in a lot of things including drugs, tires, plastics and more. Most people believe solvents are necessary to mix certain chemical elements together.

Flexible doesn't have to mean flimsy. Think of a tree bending in a wind gust or a bird flying into a headwind. Soon Air Force planes will be outfitted with wing flaps that morph to make them more fuel efficient and quieter.

Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo has produced what's believed to be the first non-human offspring using "glass" sperm. They are kittens named Elsa and Vito.

The Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) harvested domestic cat sperm and preserved it in ultra-rapid freezing liquid nitrogen to form "glass" rather than ice crystals. This process is called vitrification.

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