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University of Pennsylvania

Medical

Pacemaker for the tongue helps apnea patients breathe normally

For years, one of the primary ways to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea was through the use of a device known as a continuous positive airway pressure – or CPAP – machine, which forces air through the nasal passages to interrupt dangerous pauses in breathing while sleeping. For people can't tolerate the machine, a new chest implant that sends electrical pulses to a nerve in the tongue promises healthier rest, as reported in a new University of Pennsylvania (U Penn) study.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Taking photos makes experiences ... better?

You've probably either said it yourself, or had it said to you: Stop taking all those photos, and just enjoy the experience. Indeed, it does make sense to think that picture-taking "removes" you from a situation, changing you from being a participant to being an observer. According to a new multi-university study, however, getting snapshots can actually make you enjoy experiences more.Read More

Medical

Robot-driven CT scanner can image standing, conscious horses

Traditional CT scanners require the patient to lay down and stay perfectly still in a narrow tube within an imposing-looking machine. It's a daunting experience, and while it's workable for human patients, it's not well suited to large animals like horses. A project taking place at the University of Pennsylvania is looking to completely change how we go about performing the scans in such cases, using two robotic arms that move around the horse while it's upright and conscious.Read More

Materials

Material one thousand times thinner than paper withstands the squeeze to retain its shape

Ultra-thin and lightweight, yet durable beyond the lab setting. These are the desirable attributes for scientists in pursuit of the next generation of versatile, high-performing wonder materials. Emphasizing one without compromising the others has been a tricky balancing act for engineers, but one team is now claiming a significant breakthrough. Its first-of-its-kind nanoscale plate is one thousand times thinner than paper and still manages to maintain its shape after being bent and twisted by a human hand.Read More

Materials

Color-changing polymer to indicate severity of hits to the head

A head trauma can be difficult to diagnose and destroy a life years after the event. Being able to tell immediately if the force someone has suffered is sufficient to result in a traumatic brain injury can make all the difference in limiting the damage. A team from the University of Pennsylvania has developed a material that could one day be incorporated into headgear to instantly gauge the severity of blows and provide a clearly visible indication of injury.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

DARPA wants to develop electronic memory-restoring implants

Earlier this year, we heard about how DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was setting up its new Biological Technologies Office. The goal of that division is to "merge biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security." This week, the agency released details of one of the office's key projects, called Restoring Active Memory. It's aimed at using implantable "neuroprosthetics" to help army veterans and other people recover from memory deficits caused by brain injury or disease. Read More

Electronics

Quadrotor gets autonomous navigation capabilities with Google's Project Tango

We’ve seen a lot of eye- and brain-catching robotics fun from the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania, including a swarm of nano quadrotors playing the James Bond theme and a quadcopter swooping raptor-like onto prey. Dr. Vijay Kumar now gives us proof of concept of the utility of Google’s Project Tango in aerial systems by outfitting a quadrotor with the device to provide autonomous navigational capabilities.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Stem cell-based treatment for baldness a step closer

As one of the follically-challenged, any new breakthroughs in the area of hair regeneration will generally get my attention. When stem cells first started to gain widespread media attention I, no doubt like many others, thought a full head of hair was just around the corner. But despite numerous developments, years later my dome is still of the chrome variety. Providing the latest cause for cautious optimism, researchers have now developed a way to generate a large number number of hair-follicle-generating stem cells from adult cells.Read More

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