Archives for August 2008

Medical Technology- The future is now

In my travels throughout the web I often search for interesting gadgets and inventions that will change our lives. A while back I stumbled onto MedGadget. It is an interesting site that discusses technological advances in medicine.

Here are a couple of things that caught my eye:
MIT Technology Review is reporting on new metal and polymer microgrippers that can be chemically activated to grab or cut tissue deep within the body without requiring any incisions. The scientists that developed the device envision swallowing a bunch of these and then guiding the particles using magnets to specific spots in the body for microsurgeries or doing biopsies.

From MIT Tech Review:

A gripper based on the current design could respond autonomously to chemical cues in the body. For example, it might react to the biochemicals released by infected tissue by closing around the tissue, so that pieces can be removed for analysis.
Gracias [David Gracias, biomolecular and chemical-engineering professor at JHU] and his colleagues presented the microgripper at the American Chemical Society meeting earlier this month. To demonstrate the device, they used it to grasp and maneuver tiny beads and clumps of cells in a petri dish. They have also used the device in the laboratory to perform an in vitro biopsy on a cow’s bladder. “This is the first micromachine that has been shown convincingly to do very useful things,” Gracias says. “And it does not require electric power for operation.”

The open gripper is 500 micrometers (0.05 centimeters) in diameter, and it is made of a film of copper and chromium covered with polymer. As long as the polymer stays rigid, the gripper remains open. But introducing a chemical trigger or lowering the temperature causes the polymer to soften, actuating the gripper’s fingers so that they curl inward to form a ball that is 190 micrometers wide. Another chemical signal can be used to reopen the gripper. All of the chemicals used as triggers in experiments are harmless to the body.

And the ReWalk Exoskeleton which helps paralyzed people walk again. It is made by an Israeli company called Argo Medical Technologies. I think this is just very cool.

ReWalkâ„¢, the first commercially viable upright walking assistance tool, enables wheelchair users with lower-limb disabilities to stand, walk, and even climb stairs. For potentially millions of wheelchair users.

There is a cool video you can see by clicking on this link.

Haveil Havalim #180

It is hard to believe, but we have reached the 180th edition of Haveil Havalim. Go take a look and don’t forget to tell your friends and neighbors.

Apology Songs

Don’t Let It End– Styx
Always On My Mind– Elvis Presley
Suspicious Minds– Elvis Presley
Forgive Me-Evanescence
I am Sorry – John Denver

The Blog Carnival Of Our Community

Hi folks,

I am Jack and I am the admin for Haveil Havalim, the blog carnival of our community. Now that the dust has settled somewhat from the conference I wanted to take a moment to promote H.H. again.

If you are unfamilar a blog carnival is a sort of blog event in which a series of posts are highlighted/promoted about a particular topic. In respect to Haveil Havalim it is a weekly event that is hosted on various blogs within the JBlogosphere.

Each week the host serves a variety of different posts that deal with Israel, Judaism, Torah, Culture, Politics and Personal. If you are new to the JBlogosphere or interested in finding out what is going on it is a great way to gain some insight.

It is also a fantastic way to gain more exposure for your blog and to learn about other blogs that you might find to be of interest. One of the things that I like about it is that it is inclusive and not exclusive. It is one of the few places in the world where you will find all Jews interacting with each other.

Blogging has enriched my life and I have made some good friends through it that I probably never would have met otherwise. H.H. has been a valuable part of it.

I’d like to encourage you all to participate in it. Even if you choose not to host you can always submit posts. The best way to do so is through the Blog Carnival form. Please remember that we ask that you submit no more than three posts at a time.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at my blog or via email talktojacknow-at-sbcglobal-dot-net.

For a list of past editions of H.H. please click here.

Crossposted at The Muqata.

Johnny’s Frustration

In theory this is tied into In The Weeds. The real question is if I can tie them together in a neat little package. We’ll take a moment to wade into it and see what happens.

Johnny stared at the computer screen, the frown on his face made it clear that he wasn’t happy. If that wasn’t enough of a hint at his mood the edge in his voice and the vein bulging in his forehead made it pretty clear that he was aggravated. In his right hand he gripped a little exercise tool he used to strengthen his grip.

“Hi Johnny. Your hands must be really strong now.”

With a loud sigh Johnny turned around and faced the source of the comment. Mark Kelling was a socially awkward colleague of Johnny’s. A little over six feet tall he had an enormous head that sat upon a very thin neck. It wasn’t nice, but Johnny used to wonder if Mark had to do neck exercises to support the pumpkin that he called his head.

Johnny made a mental note not to call him pumpkin head. It wasn’t nice, Mark couldn’t help it if genetics had graced him with a forehead that was large enough to show a double feature on. That last comment wasn’t nice either and it was indicative of his piss poor mood.

But at the same time it wasn’t like Mark was high on Johnny’s list of people. From time time Johnny and Mark had worked together on a number of different projects and that was the real source of Johnny’s ire. Mark was absolutely the last person you wanted to deal with clients.

No doubt that he was a hard worker, but his penchant for saying the wrong thing was legendary.

“Hi, I am Mark Rudolph Kelling.” If only he could leave it at that, instead you had moments like the one where he told an angry client that Viagra for women might help her mood.

Johnny tried not to roll his eyes or shake his head at the memory. “Yeah Mark, they are getting there.”

“Well Johnny, I know another way that you can strengthen them,” he said with a giggle. With a quick toss of his head he marched off to a different office.

This time Johnny did roll his eyes. He knew that he meant well, but he just had no tolerance for him. Fortunately it had been a short visit so he was able to get right back to work. Or at least he tried to get back to work.

The thing with June was weighing upon him and he was a bit uncertain at how to proceed. June was his best friend and the woman he considered to be the love of his life. He considered their relationship to be among the most valuable things he had, not that you could necessarily consider a relationship to be a possession.

But the idea was close enough. He treasured and cherished June. But for a while their relationship had been undergoing a few ups and downs. Nothing happens in a vacuum so he couldn’t say that he was without blame, but at the same time it was June who was having the biggest issue.

Seeing June in pain killed him. He wanted nothing more than to be her hero and come riding to her rescue. But Johnny knew that there were some things that he couldn’t do for her. And so he tried to take a step back and let his girl work things out for herself.

It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t his nature to just relax, watch and wait. A war of wills was being waged inside his head. One side maintained that she was slipping away and that if he didn’t do anything he would lose her, forever.

The other side scoffed at the idea that she would run away never to come back. They maintained that the best thing to do would be to just let her walk. Let her go and she’ll find her smile again and eventually she’ll come back to you.

Johnny smiled at the thought. That idea appealed to the romantic in him and it made the most sense. She knew how deeply in love he was with her. She understood that he’d walk through fire and or take a bullet for her, but none of that would fix this. At the moment her issues were things that only June could deal with.

It made him frustrated and it made him angry. When she called him melodramatic he bristled with anger. It wasn’t melodramatic to be worried about losing the greatest love he had ever known. Ok, maybe it sounded melodramatic and over the top, but it was how he felt.

So he was frustrated and angry. He was tired and scared. It wasn’t easy, but at the same time he vowed to hold on and ride the wave. His gut told him that the story they had begun was far from over and that the best thing he could do was hold on and ride the wave.

He reached out with his left hand and picked up the Magic 8-Ball if he would spend his life with June. The answer “It is certain” appeared in the window.

With a shrug of his shoulder and a sigh Johnny smiled and relaxed. All would work itself out. He loved that woman fiercely, but in the interim he’d focus upon taking care of himself and he’d try to stay busy.