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.

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Baseball umpires are still in business, despite a small effort to computerize them. 

The  so-called "Robo Ump"  made an appearance at a California independent baseball league July 28 and 29, 2015.  The system of three cameras placed strategically on the field and microcomputers in a nearby van is made by Sportvision.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

GE Aviation has transformed its wartime jet engine plant into a state-of-the-art facility with the ability to design and test lightweight composite materials for commercial jet engines of the future. In the process, the company has invested $144 million in 2014-2015 and says it will invest another $356 million by 2020.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Sales representatives from Aprecia Pharmaceuticals are making a strong pitch with doctors as the Blue Ash-based company launched production last week of its 3D printed pill, the first such pill approved by the FDA.

Until later this year the pills are being printed in New Jersey.  The Blue Ash facility has to get federal approval, and is doing test runs.

State of Ohio

University of Dayton researchers are developing computer software that will automatically detect threats or damage to oil and gas pipelines, thanks in part to the support of one of the nation's largest utilities.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

As opioid abuse skyrockets out of control, University of Cincinnati Health researchers are trying to zero in on fresh alternatives for the estimated 100 million people who suffer from chronic pain.

Principal investigator of a $1.95 million federal grant, Jun-Ming Zhang, MD, is studying the roles of the  nervous system and immune system in preclinical models of back and neuropathic pain.

MLB.com

Reds General Manager Dick Williams didn't take the traditional career path to running a professional baseball team. For years he was an investment banker and venture capitalist. In the ten years Williams has worked for the Reds he's taken a closer look at what baseball calls sabermetrics. (SABR-Society for American Baseball Research)

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Founder of Yahoo Tech David Pogue calls it the "biggest unsung technology in years." He's excited about the USB-C, a universal cable that is the same on both sides, both ends and can replace the power, USB, and video outputs cables on your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computers.

Eric Hodgson / Smale Interactive Visualization Center

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's newborn intensive-care unit (NICU) simulated a real emergency this past weekend and evacuated pretend patients and their equipment. The medical staff performed well. But could virtual reality training improve the results for next year's drill?

Joseph Fuqua / University of Cincinnati

An increasing number of medical schools are incorporating digital dissections into their curriculum. But the University of Cincinnati is not one of them. It says this is a case where technology is not better. Instructors say a hands-on approach is key.

Avure Technologies-pictures,WVXU's Jim Nolan-graphic.

Food scares and an increased demand for organic fruits and vegetables are helping propel interest in high pressure pasteurization. HPP, as it's commonly known, uses ultra-high pressure purified cold water to keep packaged food pathogen-free without the preservatives and can quadruple shelf-life.

Bill Balfour / Escape The Room Challenge

Escape rooms just got even more challenging with the introduction of digital locks.  Instead of locating padlock keys and figuring out combination locks, players must crack computer code at Cincinnati's Escape The Room Challenge. "Double Agent Dilemma" is the newest game and Danny Craven designed a way for players to go from room to room without physical locks.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Internet security experts Scott Erven and Mark Collao focused on MRI scanners, X-ray machines, defibrillators and drug infusion pumps when they tried to find out how easy it is to hack into medical devices.

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?"

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati, an advertising hub, is well positioned to be a "relevant player "  when it comes to multi-platform storytelling involving technology, according to John Hendricks, director of creative technology for Possible, a worldwide advertising agency with offices in Cincinnati.

Eliot F. Gomez

University of Cincinnati graduate Eliot Gomez, now doing research in Sweden at  Linköping University, has demonstrated with other scientists the world's first electronic plant. In the future this technology could possibly power small electronic devices or delay blooming if there was a frost.

Here's how he put "wires" into a rose while being careful not to clog the plant or kill it:

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