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With unexploded ordnance and land mines remaining a serious global problem, we’ve seen many efforts to develop new technology to detect these dangers, such as using terahertz waves and inkjet-printable sensors. But instead of relying on the development of new technology, some students at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have sought to use an existing one in a new way with the development of their SAPER explosives detection app for smartphones. Read More
Infectious diseases these days seem to have gotten a lot of attention, with media hype and threats of pandemics often being portrayed in apocalyptic sci-fi movies. We all know that several types of these diseases can spread rapidly, and it is crucial that doctors be able to identify them quickly in order to prevent an epidemic. Unfortunately, current testing methods can take hours and even days, delaying the process of adequate prevention. It should then ease your mind to hear that researchers at the University of Tennessee have invented a device that can rapidly detect these unwanted afflictions. Read More
Scientists – and dogs – have known for some time that our breath can reveal much more about us than our estimated blood alcohol content. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison believe that “breathalyzer”-like technology they currently have under development could be used to diagnose a wide range of diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and infections. Such technology, which relies on the fact that many diseases alter the body’s metabolism in distinctive ways, would provide a non-invasive method of detecting disease even before typical symptoms appear. Read More
Surely one of the greatest fears of modern parents is that their child will fall prey to an online sexual predator. It's estimated that there are over 15 million photographs of child abuse victims in circulation online, and the very nature of the internet makes stemming the spread of such material a difficult and laborious task for criminal investigators. The development of an automated assistance system for image and video evaluation by Fraunhofer researchers is set to make that task a little easier, and a lot quicker. The desCRY software uses complex algorithms to determine if an image or video from a suspect's confiscated storage medium depicts child abuse, in a fraction of the time currently taken to manually trawl through the hundreds of thousands of files often stored on a typical computer's hard drive. Read More
Scientists at Northwestern University, Illinois, have outlined a new method for detecting electromagnetic radiation at the high energy end of the spectrum. The work could lead to the development of a small, hand held device able to detect this "hard radiation" and has implications for the detection of radioactive materials which could potentially be employed in terrorist weapons, such as nuclear bombs or radiological dispersion devices, as well as materials employed in clandestine nuclear programs. Read More
When it comes to toxic gases, what you can’t see can most definitely hurt you. To improve the safety of military personnel, firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel who are often called into situations where they may be exposed to toxic gases, Morphix Technologies has developed the Chameleon chemical detection device. Designed to be worn on the forearm, the device can hold up to ten disposable cassettes, each of which detects a different toxic gas. Read More
Last year we reported in the development of a cancer-detecting electronic nose inspired by dogs' ability to literally sniff out different types of ovarian cancer. Now a new study has found that sniffer dogs' abilities extend to reliably detecting lung cancer. The researchers say the results of the study confirm that there is a stable marker for lung cancer, which offers the possibility that a 'breath test' for the early detection of lung cancer could be developed. Read More
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, around 200,000 women were raped in the U.S. in 2007 with the aid of a “date rape” drug – and because so many cases go unreported, the actual figure is believed to be 80 to 100 percent higher. GHB is one of the most commonly used drugs because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible when dissolved in water. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences have developed an easy-to-use sensor that, when dipped into a cocktail, can instantly detect GHB and another commonly used date rape drug, ketamine. Read More
Being able to quickly confirm the presence of infectious bacteria in a patient’s bloodstream, and then identifying the specific species and strain, can make the difference between life and death for that patient. While traditional detection and identification methods are fairly accurate, they can also take too long to perform. A chemist from the University of Illinois, however, has developed an inexpensive new system that is much quicker – and it works by sniffing out the harmful bacteria. Read More
Binghamton University computer scientist Lijun Yin thinks that using a computer should be a comfortable and intuitive experience, like talking to a friend. As anyone who has ever yelled “Why did you go and do that?” at their PC or Mac will know, however, using a computer is currently sometimes more like talking to an overly-literal government bureaucrat who just doesn’t get you. Thanks to Yin’s work with things like emotion recognition, however, that might be on its way to becoming a thing of the past. Read More