Monday, 30 November 2015

Ingestible sensor can measure heart and breathing rates

Using technology invented at MIT, doctors may one day be able to monitor patients’ vital signs by having them swallow an ingestible electronic device that measures heart rate and breathing rate from within the gastrointestinal tract.
This type of sensor could make it easier to assess trauma patients, monitor soldiers in battle, perform long-term evaluation of patients with chronic illnesses, or improve training for professional and amateur athletes, the researchers say.
The new sensor calculates heart and breathing rates from the distinctive sound waves produced by the beating of the heart and the inhalation and exhalation of the lungs.
“Through characterization of the acoustic wave, recorded from different parts of the GI tract, we found that we could measure both heart rate and respiratory rate with good accuracy,” says Giovanni Traverso, a research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and one of the lead authors of a paper describing the device in the Nov. 18 issue of the journal PLOS One.
The paper’s other lead author is Gregory Ciccarelli, an associate staff member at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. Senior authors are Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT and a member of the Koch Institute, and Albert Swiston, a technical staff member at Lincoln Laboratory. Sensing from within
Doctors currently measure vital signs such as heart and respiratory rate using techniques including electrocardiograms (ECG) and pulse oximetry, which require contact with the patient’s skin. These vital signs can also be measured with wearable monitors, but those are often uncomfortable to wear.
Inspired by existing ingestible devices that can measure body temperature, and others that take internal digestive-tract images, the researchers set out to design a sensor that would measure heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature, from inside the digestive tract.
The simplest way to achieve this, they decided, would be to listen to the body using a small microphone. Listening to the sounds of the chest is one of the oldest medical diagnostic techniques, practiced by Hippocrates in ancient Greece. Since the 1800s, doctors have used stethoscopes to listen to these sounds.
The researchers essentially created “an extremely tiny stethoscope that you can swallow,” Swiston says. “Using the same sensor, we can collect both your heart sounds and your lung sounds. That’s one of the advantages of our approach — we can use one sensor to get two pieces of information.”
To translate these acoustic data into heart and breathing rates, the researchers had to devise signal processing systems that distinguish the sounds produced by the heart and lungs from each other, as well as from background noise produced by the digestive tract and other parts of the body.
The entire sensor is about the size of a multivitamin pill and consists of a tiny microphone packaged in a silicone capsule, along with electronics that process the sound and wirelessly send radio signals to an external receiver, with a range of about 3 meters.
In tests along the GI tract of pigs, the researchers found that the device could accurately pick up heart rate and respiratory rate, even when conditions such as the amount of food being digested were varied.
“The authors introduce some interesting and radically different approaches to wearable physiological status monitors, in which the devices are not worn on the skin or on clothing, but instead reside, in a transient fashion, inside the gastrointestinal tract. The resulting capabilities provide a powerful complement to those found in wearable technologies as traditionally conceived,” says John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois who was not part of the research team.
Better diagnosis
The researchers expect that the device would remain in the digestive tract for only a day or two, so for longer-term monitoring, patients would swallow new capsules as needed.
For the military, this kind of ingestible device could be useful for monitoring soldiers for fatigue, dehydration, tachycardia, or shock, the researchers say. When combined with a temperature sensor, it could also detect hypothermia, hyperthermia, or fever from infections.
In the future, the researchers plan to design sensors that could diagnose heart conditions such as abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or breathing problems including emphysema or asthma. Currently doctors require patients to wear a harness (Holter) monitor for up to a week to detect such problems, but these often fail to produce a diagnosis because patients are uncomfortable wearing them 24 hours a day.
“If you could ingest a device that would listen for those pathological sounds, rather than wearing an electrical monitor, that would improve patient compliance,” Swiston says.
The researchers also hope to create sensors that would not only diagnose a problem but also deliver a drug to treat it.
“We hope that one day we’re able to detect certain molecules or a pathogen and then deliver an antibiotic, for example,” Traverso says. “This development provides the foundation for that kind of system down the line.”

Carbon Nanotube for "unconventional" Computing

Currently silicon-based transistor is the fundamental building block of electronic devices.
As we approach the miniaturization limits of conventional electronics, now researchers are exploring alternatives to silicon-based transistors.
Inspired by the way living organisms have evolved in nature to perform complex tasks with remarkable ease, a group of researchers is exploring similar "evolutionary" methods to create information processing devices.
In the Journal of Applied Physics, ( the group describes using single-walled carbon nanotube composites (SWCNTs) as a material in "unconventional" computing. By studying the mechanical and electrical properties of the materials, they discovered a correlation between carbon nanotube concentration/viscosity/conductivity and the computational capability of the composite.
Instead of creating circuits from arrays of discrete components like transistors, their work takes a random disordered material and then 'trains' the material to produce a desired output.
This emerging field of research is known as "evolution-in-materio". An interdisciplinary field blends together materials science, engineering and computer science. Although still in its early stages, the concept has already shown that by using an approach similar to natural evolution, materials can be trained to mimic electronic circuits -- without needing to design the material structure in a specific way.
The material used by the researchers, is a mixture of carbon nanotubes and polymer, which creates a complex electrical structure.
When voltages are applied at points of the material, its electrical properties change. When the correct signals are applied to the material, it can be trained or 'evolved' to perform a useful function.
While the research group doesn't expect to see their method compete with high-speed silicon computers, it could turn out to be a complementary technology. With more research, it could lead to new techniques for making electronics devices.
Credit: Mark Massey/Durham University

Thursday, 26 November 2015

29th National Convention on quality Concepts to be held at SRM,Chennai from 18th to 20th December 2015

Quality Circle Forum of India has great pleasure in inviting all the members and member organisations for the 29th National Convention on Quality Concepts scheduled to be held at Chennai from 18th to 21st December 2015 at SRM University, Kattankulathur, Chennai.
More Details Click Here

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Young people with ‘old eyes’

Growing numbers of people in their 20s and 30s are reporting vision trouble. The cause is spending too much time staring at small screens. Staring too much at tiny details in the confined space of a small screen results in a condition known as presbyopia, a term derived from Greek words meaning “old eye.” The condition may soon need a new colloquial name, perhaps “smartphone eyes. Eye clinics around Tokyo report an increase of young people suffering from such symptoms as difficulty focusing on nearby objects and switching focus on objects at different distances. A survey by the eyeglass industry found that the number of young people reporting such symptoms of presbyopia increased from 0.5 percent in 2012 to 6.7 percent in 2013.

Japanese smartphone ownership increased roughly from 40 percent to 60 percent during the same period. In a report from South Korea, people in their 30s with presbyopia more than doubled over the past five years, as smartphones, tablet and laptop computers, electronic books and car navigation systems proliferated, just as they have in Japan. Though an exact causal connection has not been proven, concentrating on a smartphone screen can cause the ciliary muscles that focus the crystalline lens to lose function.
It is too simplistic to say smartphones directly cause presbyopia. However, doctors and clinics have found that the onset of such symptoms, which generally used to be in the mid-40s, is now starting much earlier. Other reports have found that other eye troubles, such as dry eye, fatigue and pseudomyopia (temporary nearsightedness), have also increased. As more young people acquire smartphones, and use them for longer periods, such symptoms are likely to increase. Overusing them in variable or poor lighting can make the effects even worse.

UK teenage girl becomes 1st to be prosecuted for…fighting AGAINST Islamic State

A British 18-year-old girl has become the first person to be convicted for attempting to join the campaign against ISIS in Syria. She is set to spend 21 months behind bars.
Silhan Özçelik from north London fled her home and took a train to Brussels, leaving a 25-minute farewell video address for her family. In the video, she said she was eager to join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) women’s military forces and fight against Islamic State (previously ISIS/ISIL).

She also left a written note to her family, which said: “I have been thinking about this for many years. I have been wanting to join for many years. Furthermore I am leaving my diary, and it is written in my diary … I wrote, every minute, how much I wanted to become a militant, how much I wanted to become a guerrilla, are all written in those pages.”

The girl added that she was “passionately engaged” with the PKK’s ideas, wanted to become a “bride of the mountains” and was drawn by the fact that women played an active role in the party.

The jury listening to her case in the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court were told that the teenager had wanted to join the PKK for five years, since she watched a film called “Comrade Beritan” about a PKK female guerrilla fighter, who killed herself jumping off a cliff, preferring death to being captured.

Also, posters and collages showing PKK slogans and female guerrillas were discovered in the girl’s bedroom.

In court, however, Özçelik claimed she had fabricated the PKK story, as she wanted to run away with a 28-year-old man and avoid shame for her traditional Kurdish family.

The girl told the court that she believed making the video was “cool,” and if things didn’t work out with the man in Belgium, she would be welcomed back by her friends and family.

The Chinese government is shutting down the mobile service of residents in Xinjiang

HONG KONG: The Chinese government is shutting down the mobile service of residents in Xinjiang who use software that lets them circumvent internet filters, escalating an already aggressive electronic surveillance strategy in the country's fractious western territory. Starting last week, shortly after terrorist attacks in Paris, the local police began cutting the service of people who had downloaded foreign messaging services and other software, according to five people affected.
The people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity over concerns about retaliation from local security forces for speaking to foreign media, all said their telecommunications provider had told them to go to a local police station to have service restored.
"Due to police notice, we will shut down your cellphone number within the next two hours in accordance with the law," read a text message received by one of the people, who lives in the regional capital of Urumqi. "If you have any questions, please consult the cyberpolice affiliated with the police station in your vicinity as soon as possible." The person said that when she called the police, she was told that the service suspensions were aimed at people who had not linked their identification to their account; used virtual private networks, or VPNs, to evade China's system of internet filters, known as the Great Firewall; or downloaded foreign messaging software, like WhatsApp or Telegram.
With debates continuing in Europe and the United States about how heavily to encrypt communications sent through smartphone messaging applications that could mask terrorist plots from law enforcement, the move in China underlines Beijing's determination to control and monitor information online. The debate in the West also has influence in China, said Nicholas Bequelin, the East Asia director for Amnesty International in Hong Kong.
"With the West generally going backward in terms of protecting privacy and freedom of expression, China is comforted in its long-standing position that it is the arbiter of what can be said or not," he said.It's unclear how many of Xinjiang's roughly 20 million people have been affected. One of the residents whose service was shut down said that when he went to the Urumqi police station, there was a line of about 20 people, including several foreigners, waiting to ask the police to restore their mobile phone accounts.
He said he used a virtual private network to get access to Instagram, and that at the police station, an officer "took away my ID card and cellphone for a few minutes and then gave them back to me." He added, "They told me the reason for my suspension is that I 'used software to jump the Great Firewall.'"
He said he was told that his phone service would be suspended for three days, and that he would no longer use virtual private networks. "It is too troublesome," he said. "I just have to give up my Instagram from now on."
Others said it was less clear when their phone numbers might be restored. A man who lives in the town of Yining said the police there first checked his social media postings to see whether he had written anything delicate, then said they would report his case "for further examination."

IIT boy from Pune lands Rs 2-crore dream job in Google

PUNE: City youth Abishek Pant, a final-year computer science student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, has bagged a job with a whopping Rs 2-crore annual package, including stock option, at Google Inc.
The 22-year-old, who finished a three-month internship at Google California earlier this year, went through another rigorous round of interviews before being absorbed into the design solutions cell.
A city topper in the CBSE Std X exams, Pant was born and brought up in the US before his family shifted to Pune in 2006. He will now return to the US to pursue his career.
When the family moved to Pune, his parents were quite worried about how he would adapt to the Indian education system. Their main challenge was to convince Pant about the need to sit through three-hour exams. Pant, however, responded well to his parents' efforts and focused on his studies. The result was evident when he secured 97.6% marks in Std X to make his parents and his teachers at Delhi Public School proud.
Pant said, "The journey from Pune to Kharagpur and Kharagpur to Google Mount View in California has been quite exciting. I had a great experience working there as an intern. A job offer is the icing on the cake."
He had to initially clear two rounds of technical interviews over the phone for the internship. "As part of the process, I had to do coding in a Google document. I was further interviewed by the project manager. I cleared the third interview as well, and my internship began in May."
At the end of the internship, Pant was offered the job, for which he had to go through another set of interviews. He will join the company in September next year.
He has not been assigned any project as yet, but will work with the design solutions team on the best way to solve problems raised by users. "I am looking forward to working on new and interesting engineering challenges, and to working with a smart and talented team," he said. Besides work, Pant is also looking forward to the great variety of food on offer on the company's premises. He said, "Google offers employees tasty, healthy and free breakfast, lunch and dinner from a wide variety of cuisines such as American, Mexican, South American, Japanese and Italian. They even have a dedicated Indian cafeteria. One of my activities during the internship was to try out all of these cuisines."

Supreme Court allows killing of irretrievably ill or mortally wounded stray dogs

Allowing the municipal authorities in the country to eliminate stray dogs which are irretrievably ill or mortally wounded, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said, "Such dogs can be eliminated in a humane manner as prescribed under the Central law – Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act."
Observing that "Life of a dog is not more important than a life of a human being," a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said that at the same time the "balance between compassion for animals and human lives" has to be drawn.
The court accepted the Animal Welfare Board's submission that the stray dogs can't be killed randomly by the civic authorities under the garb of municipal laws as the Central law has specified the killing of stray dogs.
"There can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner, but indubitably the lives of the human beings are to be saved and one should not suffer due to dog bite because of administrative lapse," the court said.
All the state municipal corporations, municipal committees, district boards and local bodies shall be guided by the Act (PCA) and the rules and it is the duty and obligation of the Animal Welfare Board to see that they are followed with all seriousness... a balance between compassion to dogs and the lives of human being, which is appositely called a glorious gift of nature, may harmoniously co-exist," the court said in its interim order.
The bench will take a final decision in the matter later but for the time being the interim order to prevail.
The board argued that the central law mandates birth control of street dogs through strict implementation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and that should be followed.
The court also asked chief secretaries of states and union territories to provide data on cases of dog bites and "removal/ destruction" of stray dogs, as per the rules.
The bench is hearing a bunch of pleas including Animal Welfare Board of India's petition to decide the issue of primacy of laws framed by Centre and state governments in this regard.
one of the pleas was filed against Kerala High Court decision approving the decision to cull stray dogs by the Thiruvananthapuram civic body on a PIL by an advocate.
The court, in its order, referred to various provisions of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rule and asked civic authorities to act as per them.
The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules provide that stray dogs can only be sterilised and immunised and then returned to the very location from where they were picked up from, once they recover after the animal birth control surgery.
Maharashtra government is also seeking lifting of stay granted by the apex court on the Bombay High Court's verdict. The high court had allowed civic bodies in the state to cull stray dogs which are creating nuisance for public order and common persons' health.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Indo-Israel methods of growing vegetables increase yield manifold

The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables at Reddiyarchatram in Dindigul has achieved a milestone by increasing the yield manifold under open cultivation with plastic mulching and fertigation technology.

“This is the first yield from the centre and it has fetched a profit of Rs. 9 lakh. The crops in the centre would have yielded only 50 per cent profit if cultivated under normal conditions,” said a senior officer of the horticulture department. Tomato, chilli, brinjal, okra, ash-gourd and water melon were cultivated under mulching and fertigation (injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system) technology, which came from Israel.

On Friday, Dov Segev-Steinberg, Israel’s Acting Consul General in Bengaluru, visited the centre and appreciated the success achieved by Tamil Nadu scientists in a short span of time.

The centre was set up at a cost of Rs 10.18 crore by the State government in 2013.

Fully operational from January

It will be fully operational from January and train farmers in mulching, Net House and Poly House technology for cultivation.

While Poly House method is suitable for the hilly areas, Net House and mulching methods are ideal for plains.

“Farmers have already reaped the benefit of Poly House. They are able to produce 80 tonnes of cucumber from one acre,” said another official. Explaining how the high yield was achieved, he said the duration of tomato crop was increased from 135 days to 180 days under Mulching and Fertigation method.

“Net House will substantially reduce the use of pesticides. But the technology is useful only for self-pollinated plants,” he added.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Doha Metro Delight For Qatar World Cup Football 2022 Tourists

Eyeing on the 2022 World Cup soccer to be held in the tiny Gulf State Qatar, a rampant development has been preceded. Recently the Qatar Rail has announced the four design and build contracts worth approximately $8.2 billion for phase one of the Doha metro. The project will include four rail lines and an underground section in the centre of the capital Doha and will link stadiums for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
The Red Line North project was given to a corsortium led by constructionfirm Impregilo S.P.A and SK Engineering & Construction Co. and Qatar's Galfar al-Misnad Engineering and Contracting.
Doha Metro delight for Qatar World Cup Football 2022 Tourists
The Red Line South project was given to a consortium led by QDVC, a joint venture between Qatari Diar and France's Vinci Construction Grands Projets, and including South Korea's GS Engineering and Construction Corp and Qatar's Al-Darwish Engineering.
The Green Line project was awarded to a consortium led by PORR Bau GmbH and including Saudi Binladin Group and Qatar's Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Co.

The all-important stations will be designed by a consortium led by South Korean construction firm Samsung C&T Corp and including Spain's Obrascon Huarte Lain S.A. (OHL) and Qatar Building Company. Qatar Rail did not present values for each individual contract that were awarded. The

work will commence in 2019 where at least 20,000 workers would chance to get a job.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Kerala Police's cyber crimes unit has busted a gang engaged in online commercial sex soliciting and taken a dozen people into custody

The gang operated by placing ads on the internet that showed pictures of children, especially girls.
Inspector General of Police S. Sreejith told reporters on Wednesday that the gang of 12 was taken into custody in Kochi on Tuesday night during the police operation code-named 'Big Daddy'.
"This includes two sisters who hail from Karnataka and who were bought from there by a Kerala woman. Two women, identified by us, however, escaped after their vehicle knocked down a police official in Kochi yesterday (Tuesday)," said Sreejith.
"We have also arrested a couple -- Rahul Pasupalan and his wife Reshmi. We found out that the couple were engaged in this racket for the past one year.
"All digital evidence to nail the arrested are with us. All of them will be produced before a magistrate soon," the police officer said.
The couple had come into the limelight last year when they launched the 'kiss of love' event in Kochi to protest the increasing instances of moral policing in the state.
Their supporters tried to protest by kissing in public, but police foiled their attempt and took many protesters into custody.
Sreejith said online commercial sex has caught on very fast in Kerala.
"While we were investigating another online commercial sex case, we came across this 12-member gang. Our officials acted as decoys and got in touch with the gang leader named Akbar, who has around eight online commercial sites that trade in sex," he said.
Four people, including two women, were on the run, said Sreejith.
 He said there was no need for statements or confessions from the accused as police had all the digital evidence of what they were involved in.
He also praised officials of social network Facebook for cooperating with authorities

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Microsoft celebrate the opening of the first international flagship store at Sydney

Microsoft recently opened the doors of its first flagship store in New York City. The grand opening of their newest store on 5th Avenue was followed with a lot of fanfare, including a concert at Rockefeller Center featuring Pitbull. But that isn’t their only flagship store set to open this fall. The technology company is also launching its first international flagship store in Sydney, Australia on November 12th. The two story and 6,000 square foot store is located in the Westfield shopping centre in the Pitt Street Mall and comes with all the familiar aspects of a Microsoft Store. There will plenty of opportunities to try out Microsoft devices, PCs from other OEMs, and a Microsoft Answer Desk to help with PC repair and troubleshooting.

To celebrate the opening of the Sydney store, Microsoft is giving away 750 tickets to the first in line for the grand opening to see Jessie J in concert with opening act Ellie Drennan. There are also other events taking place at the store to commemorate the grand opening, including demonstrations of the Surface Pro 4, Halo 5 photo opp with Master Chief and Spartan Locke, and a fitness workshop with the Microsoft Band 2.
The new store, which is the first of its kind outside of North America, is set to officially open on Thursday afternoon.
A Microsoft spokeswoman told 'hundreds' of people had lined up ahead of the opening, with the first fan arriving on Wednesday night about 6pm after catching a bus from Canberra.

 The spokeswoman also said the environment had been 'very positive' throughout the day, and fans were 'excited' to be at the official opening. They also said 'about 2000' people attended the opening, and people were still queuing up into the afternoon. 

Post graduate degree At 15. Young Sushma Verma Is India’s Upcoming Science Wizard

A fifteen year old girl living in the outskirts of Lucknow passed her exams with flying colours. But Sushma Verma is not a school student. She studies MSc (Microbiology) at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University (BBAU). Her brilliant scorecard shows Semester Grade Point Average (SGPAs) of 8, 8.25 with first rank in first, second and fourth semesters.

In a country where more than 35 per cent of girls are discouraged from studying and going to school, young prodigy Sushma Verma from Lucknow has a different story to tell! At age 7 when most of us were barely able to dedicate 30 minutes to studying, Sushma had already completed her 10th. At the young age of 13, she had enrolled herself in college and was getting her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Lucknow University.
And now, at the age of 15, she has achieved yet another milestone by becoming the youngest Indian to have been enrolled as a PhD student at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow—a course where her classmates are probably eight to nine years older than her, at least!

  • Sushma Verma also got place in the Limca Book of Records for her achievements.
  • University Research Entrance Test to study environmental microbiology was conducted by the University and Verma secured the seventh rank. Keeping in mind the special effort she did, the university will be providing her with the special privilege like a scholarship and hostel seat.

Her 51-year-old father Tej Bahadur was in fact a daily wage worker (sanitation) at the  same university.