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.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

International conservationists, desperate to save endangered species, have turned to technology in the hope it will make a difference  before it's too late.

Protect is beginning to implant tiny cameras in the horns of rhinos. The rhinos also wear a bright turquoise radio collar equipped with a heart-rate monitor. If a poacher approaches the animal's heart rate will jump. That triggers an alarm and sends GPS coordinates to rangers who come quickly in a truck or by a helicopter. Here is video from the embedded camera:

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.

NASA

The space superpowers of China, Russia and the United States, as well as aspiring spacefaring nations such as Iran and North Korea, all have the capability to disrupt the global satellite operations that govern many aspects of life. GPS navigation, international phone calls, financial transactions, weather prediction and nuclear missile launch surveillance could all be affected.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Festo, a German automation company with plans to move its logistics center to Mason by the spring of 2016, is busy showing off its research and development to area students.

Mason and University of Cincinnati students got a look at Festo's Bionic Learning Network where UAVs emulate nature to improve automation.

Before applying the principles behind its SmartBird, Festo needed helium to move robotics through the air.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A roomful of patients have blank stares as they eye medical students and professionals inside a $3.3 million simulation laboratory now open at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Joe Glisson hates unnecessary steps. Last fall the Cincinnati Fire Lt. was getting frustrated by the moment when collecting leaves in the very small leaf blower bag attachment and then having to transfer them to a much larger yard waste bag.

At his Springfield Township home Glisson demonstrated how cumbersome it can be to have to fill up one bag and dump it into another.

He now has a solution to the problem. His invention is called "The Eliminator."

The ultimate in environmentally friendly housing might be a structure made partially of water. There is such a house in Kecskemet, Hungary. That's near where the architect who designed it grew up.

Matyas Gutai, PhD  got his inspiration to build the structure from open air hot baths in Tokyo, where despite the cold temperature outside, it was kept comfortably warm inside.

MN8 FoxFire

Zachary Green, CEO of MN8 FoxFire, and a Wyoming volunteer firefighter, has found new uses for "glow-in-the-dark" technology and is marketing them nationally and internationally.

He uses photoluminescence technology to light up firefighter helmets, safety signs and floor markings that show a safe way out of a workspace when the electricity goes out.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Tucked away inside the Milford City Building is a small technology company that is helping ALS patients and other people with the inability to move and communicate around the world.

Control Bionics is the combined venture of James Schorey and former CNN news anchor Peter Ford. Schorey designed the sensor used in the NeuroSwitch and Ford adapted it to people with only the slightest of movement.

How it works

Mylah's Facebook page

Six-year-old Mylah Bryant has a blood disease (aplastic anemia) that required chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Not only did doctors discuss making her well, they asked her parents if they wanted to preserve tissue so she could reproduce years later without the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals will start manufacturing the first FDA approved 3D printed pill in October in Blue Ash. Full production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

The pill is SPRITAM℗ for epilepsy patients and could be taken by as many as 3 million adults and children in the U.S. who suffer from seizures. Aprecia's next set of drugs will also be for the central nervous system. The  company says it has also formulated about 100 different prototypes for various other over-the-counter and RX products.

In case you haven’t noticed, some really big equipment has been moving into the Children’s Hospital Liberty Campus and its impact for cancer patients could be huge.

The New Children's/UC Health Proton Therapy Center, scheduled to open in the winter of 2016-2017, has giant equipment that can zero in on a 3D image of a tumor and "spray paint" the cancerous cells with radiation without damaging surrounding cells.

Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by WhisperToMe

The full Senate is expected to take up a controversial bill called The Cyberthreat Information Sharing Act (CISA) when members return from their August recess.

Dozens of amendments will likely be added to the act, but in its present form businesses would have immunity from customer lawsuits when they hand over information about cyberthreats to other companies and to federal agencies.

Made in Space

Building a house on Mars and other out of this world ideas are already in development on earth at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and other small companies like Made in Space.

In December, 2014, on the International Space Station, astronaut Barry Wilmore opened up a 3D printer, launched a year earlier, and pulled out a part designed by Made in Space, a ratchet wrench. NASA demonstrates how it works back on earth.

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.

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