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.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

During his elementary and teenage years Jake Goodwin was sometimes overlooked in class. It wasn't that he didn't have anything interesting to say. In fact, the Mariemont High School sophomore has a lot to say, but sometimes he isn't understood. He suffers from a speech disorder that makes it hard to say the "r" sound.

"It always bothered me but after so many years of just no success at changing it I more or less accepted it as part of myself."

Google

Researchers from Google X, Stanford and Duke plan to drill down to the most basic level of the human body. They want to determine what we look like when we're well, so doctors know sooner when we are becoming sick.

Here's how it will work initially:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

North College Hill's David Puckett knows what it's like to suffer from reflux disease. For five years he was on medicine to prevent mouthfuls of stomach juices from coming up and interfering with his daily life. He also had to watch what he ate and when he ate it.

Then David heard about a new device called LINX.

The titanium beads allow patients to swallow food but they tighten around the esophagus to prevent the acid from coming back up.  Here's how the outpatient procedure works:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

It's no secret that teens don't get enough sleep on school nights, an estimated five to seven hours a night. They need nine. Researchers say not only does this affect their school work, it affects their driving.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is studying whether adding 90 minutes of sleep a night will  make them more alert and decrease accidents. The study involves driving a simulator and monitoring the mood of the teen while they do it.

Dr. Dylan Ward / University of Cincinnati

A camera and a computer may be all it takes to scientifically map earth formations.

Using a regular camera with Agisoft Photoscan software UC Geology Professor Dylan Ward pitched his tent at the bottom of a cliff near Ferron, Utah in May and began clicking away. He took 900 digital images at the base and once back in Cincinnati loaded them into the computer.

Wikipedia

It may not be too long before your co-worker is a robot. That robot might eventually take your job, according to this video.

GE Aviation

NOTE: This originally ran on January 15, 2014.

GE Aviation has so much faith in 3D printing that it will soon relocate its Sharonville facility to a much larger space. GE bought what used to be called Morris Technologies in 2012. Morris was the first to introduce 3D metallic based technology to North America.

It's still five years away from human clinical trials, but at least in mice, a new antibody injection has seemingly suppressed allergic reactions to food.

Cluster headaches are often called "suicide headaches" because of their intense pain, paralyzing suffers for 15 minutes to three hours at a time.

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.

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