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.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU

Note: This originally aired on July 31, 2013.

Scientists are just beginning to learn how the body’s hormones are programmed to melt away fat. More hormones in combination with minor surgery may be the solution for the obese. 


Dr. DiPaola / UC Health

Doctors say it is something in the air that's helping infertile couples conceive at West Chester Hospital. Ever since the installation of a high-tech air filtration system the UC Health Center for Reproductive Health has seen a 20% increase in fertility for in vitro fertilization.

Medical Director  Krystene DiPaola, MD, says the national average is 40%. In West Chester it's 60%.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Slugging it out on a court that is way hotter than the actual air temperature is a set-up for heat related illness according to Dr. Brian Grawe, a UC Health sports medicine surgeon, who was the doctor for tennis players at the Western & Southern Open. Right now there are a couple of common ways for them to cool down including waiting for ball boys and girls to bring wet towels.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Clinical trials are underway in Cincinnati and nationwide that could prove brain stimulation is beneficial to stroke victims.

The stimulation is actually turning off a part of the brain

As confusing as it sounds, the 1 hz "stimulation" actually shuts down the side of the brain unaffected by the stroke. This is because the non-lesioned side often takes over and hinders recovery.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

University of Cincinnati scientists have literally drilled down through the teeth of mammoths and mastodons to discover their habits in what’s believed to be the first study of its kind in the region.

UC paleoecologist Brooke Crowley borrowed some mammoth and mastodon teeth from the Museum Center with hopes of finding out where they lived and what they ate. The specimens, very small amounts of white powder from the teeth, were eventually sent to the University of Illinois for  testing.

The process

Babak Ziaie / Purdue University

The market for wearable electronics could top $3 billion by 2018, according to a new report. However, Beecham Research says with better collaboration between technology companies and the fashion industry, the market could be worth $9.3 billion by 2018.

Skybox

Peering down to earth from one satellite now and eventually 24, Google is expanding its view, and some say its influence in the universe.

In June Google bought Skybox Satellite for $500 million. Images from the high resolution satellite are updated daily and users with special software can zoom in on things like crops and construction or see how full oil containers are at a Saudi oil field.

Take a look at one such example where the Burj Khalifa skyscraper casts a shadow over Dubai.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Except for a small sign the  "Innovation Collaboratory House" looks like any other villa at Maple Knoll Village. But walk inside and it's anything but.

Telehealth robots are in the sitting room and a Microsoft X-Box "Kinect" demonstration is in the bedroom. "Flo-bot" can manage congestive heart failure and do stroke intervention. "Little-bot" can ask you questions.

Other innovations:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

The University of Dayton's new Mumma Radar Laboratory opened, not with bangs, but with lots of blips.

The state-of-the-art facility, in Kettering Laboratories, contains perhaps the most precise radars in the world, accurate to 1/10th of a micron or within a fraction of a human hair. They also don't take a lot of power. Lab Director Dr. Michael Wicks says they only need the power equivalent to 1/100th of a Christmas tree bulb.

Actio

Why are girls hitting puberty earlier. Last fall Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers blamed obesity. Are there other causes? At the time, Children's lead investigator Dr. Frank Biro said environmental and physiological factors also play a role.

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