Focus on Technology

Monday afternoons during All Things Considered at 4:45 pm

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

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Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital are optimistic after their treatment appears to be working on a toddler born without an immune system. Jameson Golliday, who has "Bubble Boy Syndrome," is out of the hospital and now at home in a sterile environment while his white blood cells generate completely.  Ann Thompson, in "Focus on Technology," explains the treatment that could eventually be the standard of care for this very rare and serious disease.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

One sure way to get a job these days is to be a "Big Data" specialist. These are the people who can interpret massive amounts of information and tell businesses how to use it to make money. It's a very specialized set of skills involving computer science, business and statistics. The Harvard Business Review says the dominant trait among data scientists is an intense curiosity.   

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Alternative fuel is playing an even bigger role in the U.S. government’s aviation plan.  Within the next year the latest National Aeronautics Research and Development Plan will be released and a large portion of it focuses on alternative fuels. Wright Patterson Air Force Base is playing a leading role, in part because it can moderately scale up lab production  for commercial companies. WVXU's Ann Thompson took a tour to see how it's made, where it's tested and what unusual samples the Air Force is storing. She reports in "Focus on Technology."

Ann Thompson; taken during a trip in 2012. / WVXU

The threat of nuclear weapons is of big concern to the U.S. and other countries around the world, as evidenced by North Korea’s announcement that it will expand its arsenal. In “Focus on Technology,” Ann Thompson reports even before tension in the Korean peninsula, scientists were trying to identify and protect plutonium and uranium all over the globe.

MLB

Baseball fans expect a lot from their electronic devices both at the Major League and youth level. How is it possible to get nearly real-time information every game for things like landing speed and the nastiness of the pitch? Even coaches of kids teams are using software to keep parents and grandparents up to date remotely. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology," on how programs like Gameday and iScorecast work.


Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

This is what actor Christopher Reeve dreamed of... a bionic machine that helps paralyzed people walk. Drake Center is one of 20 facilities in the world to have an Exoskeleton. It is kind of like a backpack with leg and foot support.

Therapists program the parameters and paraplegics can walk slowly. For 29 year old Kevin Moeller, who's been in a wheelchair ten years, it gives him new freedom and the ability to have his natural height of six foot.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

This is what actor Christopher Reeve dreamed of... a bionic machine that helps paralyzed people walk. Drake Center is one of 20 facilities in the world to have an Exoskeleton. It is kind of like a backpack with leg and foot support. Therapists program the parameters and paraplegics can walk slowly. For 29 year old Kevin Moeller, who's been in a wheelchair ten years, it gives him new freedom and the ability to have his natural height of six foot. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."

Zachary Copfer is making some pretty unusual art using unconventional means. Like it implies, his "Bacteriography" involves developing images in plates of bacteria. The microbiologist turned visual artist makes use of E. coli bacteria and S.marcescens and then treats them with the DNA from jellyfish. The University of Cincinnati graduate got nationwide press last year when he first unveiled his works at a Cincinnati art show.


Ann Thompson WVXU

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says the U.S. is becoming more successful in treating some kinds of cancer, including brain, colorectal, stomach and breast cancer. This is due in part to more aggressive care. The University of Cincinnati is pledging more aggressive and personalized care with a new team of doctors and a new center. WVXU's Ann Thompson reports what makes the new bone marrow transplant center and its doctors different, in Focus on Technology.


U.S. Government

The Pentagon is increasing its cybersecurity force fivefold after a series of hacking incidents that  have originated in China and other places. In recent months U.S. businesses and newspapers have also been compromised.  Suspects include organized rings and teenage hackers from Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Increasingly the U.S. government and businesses are taking steps to better protect themselves. Ann Thompson reports in Focus on Technology.


Ann Thompson WVXU

The NMR 850 mhz is in full use in the basement of Hughes Laboratories at Miami University. The most recent experiment using this powerful magnet, one of the strongest in the world, aims to discover signs of pancreatic cancer earlier. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."


Dottie Stover, University of Cincinnati

The first step in developing a Tricorder device may only be a few years away. UC researcher Jason Heikenfeld is testing his band-aid like patch. With just a few drops of sweat, it will monitor health and diagnose disease on people and in the lab using artificial skin that mimics sweat. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."

Ann Thompson / WVXU

BioLOGIC, Covington's life sciences accelerator, is expanding. Not only do city leaders hope to fill the space but they are counting on the bright ideas and talented workforce to help lure other life science companies to the area. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."


New Jersey Institute of Technology

Interest in "smart guns," using biometrics and radio frequency technology, has rebounded following recent gun violence. President Obama has included them as part of his plan to reduce such mass shootings. Who makes these guns? How do they work? And will they catch on? Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."


WVXU

The 4 billion dollar coronary stent market is about to get bigger. Bioresorbable stents are performing well, giving patients and doctors more options. Cincinnati's Christ Hospital is the lead hospital in a national study. Ann Thompson reports how Absorb™ works and what it could mean for the market.


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