Un programa de la UE aplica las TIC a la resolución de problemas sociales.

29 10 2012

La lucha contra los incendios es uno de los objetivos del proyecto Venus-C. Image: Bcasterline. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Digital Agenda focuses on fighting and combat bacteria, using leading the information technology and communication.


The Digital Agenda, the European programme that encompasses the initiatives of the EU around the technologies of information and communication, increasingly focuses its research toward the resolution of social problems. As an example, the VENUS-C project aims to make available of scientists from all over Europe cloud computing resources, to deal with forest fires, and the ITFOM connects the use of ICT in medicine. Other projects are designed to take care of the elderly and to fight against bacteria. By Carlos Gomez down.


“To attract the most gifted minds in Europe to research it is crucial to infrastructure of first world line and adequate funding. The best scientific ideas have become products and marketable services”, indicates the European Commission on 'Research and innovation' section of the Digital Agenda, the European programme which comprises initiatives relating to ICT, and that it intends to address and solve social problems.


As account CORDIS, projects such as VENUS-C (“Multidisciplinary virtual environments using infrastructure in the cloud”) ensure that thousands of scientists across Europe have access to powerful computing resources.


VENUS-C has created an infrastructure of computing in the open cloud, scalable and centered on the user that will reach all the computing power they need.


One of the goals of VENUS-C is to fight fires. “The cloud computing offers diverse useful features that allows them to develop a better scientific work by speeding up the production of results, but also generate new scientific knowledge that otherwise would have not been able to emerge”, indicates the team in charge of the project.


The future


The program “«Future and emerging technologies» (FET) the EU includes a series of pilot projects devoted to truly great challenges such as health, the population aging and the cost and quality of medical services.


The pilot project ITFOM («Future computer scientist of medicine»”), for example, It brings together the power of ICT and advances detailed biomedical data and the science 'omics' to cover this broad domain and achieve specific treatments for each patient from very serious diseases such as cancer.


Great advances in technology and data-driven medicine could lead to the achievement of a “virtual patient” (a computer replica of human anatomy) in the next decade. Met this forecast could accelerate the development of new drugs, eliminate unwanted side effects, prevent the onset of diseases and increase the health and general welfare of the population.


Public information


In addition, the European Commission maintains long position that the results of publicly funded research of the EU must be in the public domain also. Therefore a model of scientific publication that promotes free access and financed the project supports Openaire (“Free access to the European research infrastructure”) to create a “information space” that relate to publications, corpus of data and information on financing.


He will provide a single point of access to all open access publications generated by projects financed by public funds (national and community).


The action 56 of the Digital Agenda it urges the Member States to participate in pilot programs large scale funded through the programme for innovation and competitiveness.


Projects on a large scale as EPSOS (“European patients smart open services”) they are facilitating the provision of medical assistance the citizen anywhere in the EU to eliminate linguistic barriers, Administrative and technical.


Activate the electronic capabilities of Europeans


“More than the 50 % Europeans use Internet daily, but the 30 % I have not ever used”, According to the Commission. An enormous amount of older people and people with disabilities encounter obstacles to access to new content and e-services.


The gradual digitalization of daily life entails a risk of widening digital gap unless you take measures to improve digital literacy through the promotion of continuous electronic skills development and learning. Paragraph “Digital training” is responsible for bridging the digital divide, a task for which European support for ICT research is key if we are to encourage the creation of 'new skills for new jobs'.


For example, researchers from the European-funded project LTFLL (“Language technologies for lifelong learning”) they have developed a range of intelligent support and advisory services and intelligent tools of “natural language processing” (PLN) for individual and collaborative learning that is expected to facilitate the task of the teacher, Save time and costs and improve student performance.


Some of the applications of the PLN (join the Linguistics and computer science), they are for example computer programs to convert text to voice, the automatic translation of languages and the mining of data looking for specific concepts.


The article discusses the contributions of the LTFLL project to the nascent field of the “analytical learning”, It focuses on measuring, pick up, analyze and provide information on students and their learning environment. This work supports multiple actions of the ADE (European Digital Agenda) that you give priority to competition and digital literacy.


ICT to solve social challenges


The Digital Agenda deals with the capacity of ICT to reduce energy consumption, improving the lives of older citizens, revolutionize health services and providing better public services.”«ICT can also boost the digitisation of Europe's digital heritage through universal access to the Internet»”, as indicated in the website of the ADE.


There is a twenty-eight actions within the meaning of the ADE dedicated to «ICT to solve social challenges», It range from solutions, laws and smart energy practices, measures and technologies to «assisted by the environment daily life» (AAL). ICT stories have criticism many projects devoted to this field of large amplitude, in particular on the ability of technology to facilitate the efforts devoted to assistance to older and «ageing in good condition».


It is of new technologies you monitor the health, protect the home, They help to keep in shape and contribute to stay in touch with family and friends. The challenge is to ensure that users, especially the older, make use of these intelligent systems. “Overcoming obstacles to acceptance and usability of AAL systems through innovative designs user-centric [is essential]“, say the researchers of the project Soprano (“Programmable intelligent environments oriented services for elderly citizens”).


Against bacteria


At the opposite end of the «social challenges», the project Debugit («Detection and elimination of bacteria through the use of information technologies») It presents a new system for data mining, clinical follow-up and support to the decision-making process that constitutes a new and powerful weapon in the war against the resistance to antibiotics.


In relation to ecosystems and nature, the project D4SCIENCE-II («Infrastructure ecosystem of data in the service of science») you have created an interoperable framework dedicated to e-infrastructures - a virtual research environment (VRE)- in which the data, the computing capacity and software resources are located in different electronic infrastructures and can share regardless of their location, tecnología, format, language, Protocol or workflow.


«We collect statistics on Fisheries of all classes developed in all countries», being the very diverse data quality. «D4SCIENCE helps us to unify all these data», explains the project partner Anton Ellenbroek, the Department of fisheries and aquaculture of the United Nations food and agriculture (FAO), Headquartered in Rome. «It's a really important infrastructure» [...] Allows us to analyse statistics in ways that were previously impossible. 'Find it us easy to share information with other virtual research environments', stated.


Tendencia21.NET [en línea]Madrid (ESP): tendencia21.NET, 29 de octubre de 2012 [REF. 15 October of 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.tendencias21.net/Un-programa-de-la-UE-aplica-las-TIC-a-la-resolucion-de-problemas-sociales_a13673.html

The OCS™ Lung Initial European Clinical Experience Featured in The Lancet

25 10 2012

The Lancet has published the initial series of successful lung transplants demonstrating the feasibility and safety of using the Organ Care System™ (OCS™) Lung technology, at Hannover Medical School and Puerta de Hierro Hospital Madrid.

A study published in the October 10th edition of The Lancet reports on the first in-man clinical experience with the OCS Lung technology. These cases were conducted in two leading lung transplant centers in Germany and Spain.  Representing a full spectrum of donor and recipient risk factors/indications for lung transplantation, these cases evaluate the feasibility and safety of the OCS technology.  All lungs were successfully preserved on the OCS system and transplanted with excellent results. This study was the foundation to initiate the ongoing international prospective randomized INSPIRE Trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the OCS Lung device.

“Our early clinical data supports the use of the OCS Lung. We show good outcomes of lung transplantation following preservation on OCS Lung in a high-risk recipient population,” said Dr. Gregor Warnecke at the Hannover Medical School in Germany. “The full potential of this technology will be exemplified in the data resulting from the ongoing INSPIRE Trial and we are enthusiastic to move this important trial forward.”

“We are excited by The Lancet publication and we look forward to continuing our global collaboration with leading lung transplant centers to complete and report the results from the INSPIRE Trial,” said Dr. Waleed Hassanein, President and CEO of TransMedics, Inc.

INSPIRE is an international, multi-center, large clinical trial that is randomizing subjects. It will evaluate the success of lung preservation using OCS technology as compared to traditional cold-storage preservation. The INSPIRE Trial is approved under the US Food & Drug Administration for an investigational device exemption (IDE), and it is currently enrolling patients in leading lung transplant centers in Europe, US, Australia, and Canada. For more information about the INSPIRE Trial, visit www.inspireclinicaltrial.com.


About OCS 
Since the advent of transplantation, the cornerstone of organ preservation has been cold ischemic storage (organs on ice). Although this method is intended to help reduce the extent of organ damage during transport, significant damage still occurs. The longer an organ is stored this way, the more damage occurs. Moreover, the cold-storage technique does not enable any optimization or monitoring capabilities during transportation from donor to recipient. It is estimated that only 15-20% of donor lungs are utilized for transplantation globally based on the limitations of cold storage.

TransMedics has developed the world’s only portable medical device capable of overcoming the above limitations of cold storage for organ transplantation. OCS technology was designed to provide a comprehensive solution to all three key limitations of the cold storage technique.

OCS Lung:

Minimizes cold ischemia injury by perfusing the organs with a proprietary warm perfusate

Optimizes the condition of organs by replenishing oxygen, nutrients and hormones that are depleted

Provides continuous monitoring and assessment capabilities for the organs until the point of transplantation


About TransMedics, Inc.
TransMedics is a privately held medical technology company dedicated to extending the life saving benefits of organ transplantation to patients suffering from end-stage organ failure. Headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, the company was founded in 1998 to address the unmet need for more and better organs for transplants. For more information, please visit www.TransMedics.com.

SOURCE TransMedics, Inc.


Prnewswire.com [en línea] London (UK): prnewswire.com, 25 de octubre de 2012 [REF. 10 October of 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-ocs-lung-initial-european-clinical-experience-featured-in-the-lancet-173428651.html

Degeneration of the nucleus in Parkinson: New diagnostic and therapeutic approach

22 10 2012

The area of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of a patient affected by Parkinson's disease with the LRRK2 mutation(G2019S) (below), It shows a nuclear morphology altered compared with a patient control of similar age.

The study of stem cells helps to understand how a genetic mutation is responsible for the symptomatic manifestations of a disease, and at the same time, provides new clues for identification of cellular mechanisms that lead to motor disturbances are.

Through the reprogramming of cells from the skin of Parkinson patients, you have a specific mutation, researchers from the Centre of regenerative medicine in Barcelona (CMRB) and the laboratory of gene expression of the Salk Institute in California, they have identified that the damage at the core of the neural stem cells plays an important role in Parkinson's disease. Results, published online in the journal Nature, they can lead to new ways to diagnose and treat disease.

Scientists discovered that a mutation in the gene that produces the enzyme LRRK2, identified so far responsible for familial and sporadic cases of Parkinson's disease, alter the morphology of the membrane that surrounds the nucleus of neural stem cells. This damage to the nuclear architecture leads to the destruction of these cells, as well as its ability to generate new functional neurons, including the cells responsible for producing dopamine.

Researchers compared the results found in the laboratory with samples of brain post-mortem of patients with Parkinson's disease and found that they had the same alteration in the nuclear membrane.

“This discovery helps to explain why Parkinson's disease, that has traditionally partnered with loss of neurons that produce dopamine and motor alterations, could be presented in addition to motor dysfunctions, other non-motor manifestations, such as depression and anxiety”, says Juan Carlos Izpisúa, Director of the CMRB, who has directed the research team. “Our work identifies the degeneration of the nucleus as a previously unknown in Parkinson's disease factor.”

Although researchers say they still do not know if these neural alterations in the nuclear membrane of stem cells cause Parkinson's disease or as a result of her, they indicate that this discovery could provide clues about the possibility of generating new therapeutic approaches.

For example, during the study carried out by Izpisúa, Gene editing technologies have been used to correct the mutation in neural stem cells of the patients. This genetic correction repair the damage of the nuclear envelope, and improves the survival and functioning of neural stem cells.

De la misma manera, These studies have shown that it is possible to repair the damage of the nuclear envelope of neural stem cells chemically, corroborating the observed results with the genetic correction. “This finding opens the door for the pharmacological treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease who have this genetic mutation. Del mismo modo, current clinical trIn the same way the possibility of neural stem cells transplantation, as well as their subsequent differentiation in order to compensate for the lack of dopamine. Our work provides an exceptional platform for the development of similar tests with cells from patients once corrected “, drew Izpisúa.

The new discovery "could help the clinical environment to improve the diagnosis of this form of Parkinson's disease". In the same way Izpisúa clarifies that “Observations in samples from patients, such as nuclear deformation parameters, "they could add to the set of factors which are taken into account when making the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease".

The research team, It includes scientists from China, the University of California, San Diego, and the Scripps Research Institute, they made their discoveries using induced pluripotency stem cells (iPS). These cells are similar to stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells, but they are derived in the laboratory from adult cells. The generation of these cells has generated expectations in the biomedical community, due to its application in transplant therapies - since they can be transformed into the laboratory in the affected tissue that needs to be replaced- as well as its usefulness for research, points Izpisúa.

“We can model the disease using these cells in ways that are not possible with traditional research methods, such as the use of established cell lines, primary cultures and animal models”, explains Izpisúa.

In this study, the researchers used cells from the skin of patients with Parkinson's disease who had the mutation in the LRRK2 gene, they were later transformed to iPS that were differentiated to neural stem cells stem cells.

In this way, Izpisúa was unable to generate a cell model that mimics what happens when neural stem cells age, "we have found that in this form of Parkinson's disease", older neural stem cells show more and more deformation of the membrane and nuclear architecture. This means that, with the time, the mutation in the LRRK2 gene, It affects the core of the neural stem cells, making it difficult to both their survival and their ability to produce new functional neurons”, explains Izpisúa.

“This is the first time, in our opinion, You can relate the mutation in the enzyme LRRK2 with neural alterations in stem cells in Parkinson's disease “, Adds. “Before the development of the technology of reprogramming, studies on human neural stem cells were difficult to perform because they had to be isolated from the brains of these patients”.

Dr. Izpisúa Belmonte speculates that the existence of neural stem cells dysfunctional due to mutation in the enzyme LRRK2, It could be related to other health problems associated with this form of Parkinson's disease, such as depression, the anxiety and the inability to detect odors.

Finally, the study shows that "technologies of cellular reprogramming are essential to be able to model diseases", "as well as for the study of the different diseases caused by ageing", explains Izpisúa.

Other researchers who have collaborated in the study: Guang-Hui Liu, Jing Qu, Keiichiro Suzuki, Emmanuel Nivet, MO Li, Nuria Montserrat, Fei Yi, Xiuling Xu, Sergio Ruiz, Weiqi Zhang, Bing Ren, Ulrich Wagner, Audrey Kim, Ying Li, April Goebl, Jessica Kim, Rupa Devi Soligalla, Ilir Dubova, James Thompson, John Yates III, Concepción Rodríguez Esteban, e Ignacio Sancho-Martínez.

La investigación tuvo el apoyo de la Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, la G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation, Sanofi, The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Ellison Medical Foundation and Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, MINECO y de la Fundación Cellex.

Para más información:

Revista Nature.

Title: Progressive degeneration of human neural stem cells caused by pathogenic LRRK2.

Authors: Guang-Hui Liu, Jing Qu, Keiichiro Suzuki, Emmanuel Nivet, MO Li, Nuria Montserrat , Fei Yi, Xiuling Xu, Sergio Ruiz, Weiqi Zhang, Bing Ren, Ulrich Wagner, Audrey Kim, Ying Li, April Goebl, Jessica Kim, Rupa Devi Soligalla, Ilir Dubova, James Thompson, John Yates III , Concepcion Rodriguez Esteban, Ignacio Sancho-Martinez, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte.


Cmrb.eu [en línea]Barcelona (ESP): cmCMRB.EU22 de octubre de 2012 [REF. 17 October of 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.cmrb.eu/es_news/view.php?ID = 216

Medical innovation that has left a decade of U.S. wars

18 10 2012

Spray skin grafts and implants brain to control prostheses are some developments of recent wars.


Actualmente regresan a la guerra, con prótesis, soldados que en conflictos anteriores no habrían sobrevivido (Getty Images).

Now they return to war, with prosthesis, soldiers who would not have survived in previous conflicts (Getty Images).

(CNN) — After the terrorist attacks of the 11 de septiembre de 2001, United States started the "war on terror", a campaign to combat that has lasted more than one decade. Does 11 years, the 7 October of 2001, United States launched operationEnduring freedom, He became the war in Afghanistan, and in March of 2003 attacked Iraq. Thousands of Americans have died and almost 50,000 soldiers have been injured in these wars.

Some of the most lethal weapons used by insurgents are improvised explosive devices. The injuries by explosion of these bombs, including loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries and severe burns, abound among soldiers.

Now the military survive these extreme wounds that decades ago would have been fatal. A soldier wounded in battle now has a 50% more than likely to survive in any prior war, According to the United States Department of Defense.

Part of this progress is attributed to advancing best body protection equipment, best medical training, and efficient evacuation system. According to the air force's United States, a soldier can return to United States in three days or less if necessary, compared with the 10 days taken during the Gulf war (1990-1991) and the 45 days that took in the Viet Nam Guerra.

As in previous wars, medical research has made progress to better heal the injured and prevent more people from dying on the battlefield.

Here is a look at some of the progress:

Brain trauma

In the us they have been almost 250,000 cases of traumatic brain injuries (TBI, for its acronym in English) Since the year 2000, According to the spokeswoman for the Department of Defense, Cynthia Smith. More than 60 TBI programs have been created in medical treatment for the military facilities on bases of United States, and 11 new centres of care and recovery of bruises have been established in areas of deployment.

Before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, paid more attention to serious brain injuries, but the research has changed its approach, Since the 95% BITS are not serious in nature, According to Commander John Hughes, naval research neurologist.

"If you did a textbook on traumatic brain injuries since five or" 10 years, "it focused on more serious problems", said Hughes. "We realize that"minor injuries are in fact serious problems"that you need to assess".

To better understandthe impact of these injuries, have developed more sophisticated techniques using magnetic resonance imaging to show the structural changes occurring in the brain.

It has also made progress in diagnosis early TBI. "The challenge is really how diagnose these individuals" (…) "as soon as possible", said Hughes.

The militia has taken steps to modify high-tech instruments used in hospitals and laboratories, adapting them as portable units that can be used by medical personnel in the field of combat. For example: a portable device called a DANA (Defense automated neurobehavioral assessment) that can be used to identify a concussion in the combat zone through a series of neurocognitive tests.


Approximately 1,400 US military personnel have lost one or more limbs, According to the latest figures published by the Pentagon.

Some injuries that result in loss of limbs and which were previously fatal now not only survive, but that some soldiers may return to the combat zone.

"Walk on trails in the mountains of Afghanistan is very different from walking in the street", said Colonel Paul Pasquina, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics and rehabilitation at the military Walter Reed Medical Center, in United States. "We realized that some of these prosthetic limbs broke".

Pasquina said dentures not only made more resistant, but they are now power. The knees and the ankles motorized facilitate speed change to walk and run, and help the wounded to walk more naturally.

They are also developingdevices that can be implanted in the brain to have a better control of the prosthetic arms. For example, If you think open your hand, the implanted device converts this intention into a signalElectric armprosthetic and made to open your hand.

Regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine uses strategies to replace gaps in nerves, blood vessels, for coverage of complex wounds and for the regeneration of bone to save limbs. From processes as common as skin grafts, up toas complex as the regeneration of an ear, examples of regenerative medicine.

The Department of Defense established the Institute of medicine regenerative of the armed forces of United States (O'NEAL, for its acronym in English) in 2008 to finance projects forRestore function of tissues and organsdamaged. In 2011 more than 80 projects had already been funded by the O'Neal.

One of theseis the sprayskin. Researchers explore ways to replace the old method of grafts of skin with this process: take a small skin biopsy, break the cells, put them in a spray container and then sprinkling it over the burn site, According to Captain Eric Elster, trasplantogo of organs in the military Walter Reed Medical Center.

Face and hand transplants are less risky now that the anti-rejection medication is more secure.

"In many ways we deal with victims who had not survived in previous conflicts", said Elster, Chief of surgery at the Kandahar Airfield hospital, in Afghanistan. "Because of all these advances we have a great challenge", It is to cure these patients, "and there is where the regenerative medicine comes into play".

Medico-militar innovation in history *:

War of independence in United States: General George Washington ordered the first inoculation against smallpox in soldiers. Harvard Medical School is founded by John Warren, a surgeon of the Continental Army.

Civil War of United States: The military develops a system of ambulances to transport the wounded.

First world war: Blood transfusions are more widely used. Neurosurgery becomes more common in the war.

World War II: Penicillin is used to treat infections. The chemical DDT is used for the first time for the control of mosquitoes. There are advances in medicines against malaria.

War of Korea: advances in vascular surgery. Advances understanding of viral vaccines. Develop measles vaccine, mumps and rubella after the war of Korea.

War of Viet Nam: arise in helicopter ambulances. Start the intensive care for rabies. An infant of Navy serving in Viet Nam is the first person to survive a case of rabies.

*This list was compiled with information from Professor Dale Smith, Chairman of the Department of medical history in the uniformed services of the University of Sciences of the Bethesda health.


Mexico.cnn.com [en línea]Mexico (MEX): mexMexico.CNN.com8 de octubre de 2012 [REF. 13 October of 2012] Available on Internet: http://mexico.cnn.com/salud/2012/10/13/la-innovacion-medica-que-ha-dejado-una-decada-de-guerras-estadounidenses

Technologies for coronary interventions

15 10 2012

Treatment by plate rotablator is practiced in the 5% procedures for angioplasty in the world. A group of specialists discussed its use in a clinic on rotational aterectomia.


The severely calcified Coronary lesions (LSC) they hinder the coronary intervention. There is a treatment, called "rotational aterectomia", the rotablator is used, It is a machine or a device which connects a tube or a guide metal in which it is inserted a strawberry with olive shape coated diamond powder that can rotate up to 200.000 revolutions per minute and which allows spraying calcium in the wall of the artery. The procedure was tested in August by a group of Interventional cardiologists in an Academy which was held on the subject in the Central Auditorium of the Sucre clinic.

This treatment of the plate by rotablator is practiced in the 5% treatment by trained transluminal angioplasty in the world. Angioplasty is a procedure that involves inserting a balloon to dilate an occluded artery (whole or in part), in order to restore blood flow, clogged by cholesterol plaques or thrombus (blood clots that form in the interior of the walls of the blood vessels).

At the meeting the specialists discussed the use of rotational aterectomia and also conducted interactive resolutions of cases live. Attended by renowned specialists in cardiac interventions such as doctor Eduardo Aptecar, Head of the service of hemodynamics of the Clinique La Fountaines of Melun from France. Aptecar is also an integral service of Cardiology of the Hospital Universitario Henri Mondor of the public assistance of Paris, France. At the meeting, also participated Alejandro Moyano, Chief Service hemodynamics of Conci Carpinella and clinical Sucre, Marcos de la Vega and Gabriel Ferrero specialists, coordinators of the the hemodynamics room of this clinic and its Staff consisting of Francisco Canllo and Bioimágenes Cristian Zampa and Pablo Mansilla graduates. The event was organized by Conci Carpinella and the Sucre clinic. "The purpose of this clinic is sharing and transferring experiences on the resolution of heart with technology and technical pathologies of last generation between professionals and health institutions", explains Dr. Moyano.


The rotablator causes the modification and reduction of atherosclerotic plaque. "The Diamond cutter allows 'filing' all the harshness of the wall of the atheroma plaque", "some of them have plenty of calcium", says Aptecar. The rotablator is what is called "differential cut", which consists of spraying the glass areas that are inelastic as for example boards with calcification. With this technology are also preserved the healthy segments of the artery wall that are elastic. The plates of calcification are modified before the passage of the olive by rotating at high speed. The olive diamond scale produce an effect of spraying calcium on the plate, with formation of microparticles which migrated distally without occluding the artery.

After the modification of the plate with the rotablator generally completes the procedure with the placement of a coronary stent to reduce the rate of Restenosis, or the appearance of a narrowing, or stenosis after correction (see Computer graphics: Procedure).

This procedure is used when there are boards with plenty of calcium or that they have fine passages and in which pass a stent presents much difficulty because you could tweak its structure. "With the rotablator is allowed file calcium plates", thereby lowering its volume, It takes the angles and the peaks of calcium so the stent can pass without problems, "is it located and does not warp its structure", says Moyano.

However, This treatment has some disadvantages in our country. "The main one is the cost of this treatment and the fact that people are not accustomed to use it". The world is being used in the 5% of the procedures, Add Aptecar.

Professionals agree that the existence of the rotablator should be mandatory in the halls of hemodynamics of health institutions. The severely calcified lesions (LSC) they are a constraint on the coronary intervention. His aggressive driving can lead to dissection or incomplete stent aposiciones, that it could be avoided with the preparation of plate. But specialists warn about the lack of coverage of this treatment by the obras sociales. "It is very important that all covered this treatment", so that all patients can access, "because even though the technique is simple materials are highly expensive", warns the doctor Marcos de la Vega.


Lavoz.com.ar [en línea] Cordoba(ARG): lavoz.com.ar, 15 October of 2012 [REF. 12 de septiembre de 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.lavoz.com.ar/suplementos/salud/tecnologias-para-intervenciones-coronarias

College Students Design Stethoscope That Can Diagnose Pneumonia

11 10 2012


Photo via Microsoft Australia

Photo via Microsoft Australia

Every year 2.1 million children around the globe die from pneumonia—more than die from HIV, malaria, and measles combined—making it the number one killer of kids under the age of 5. Why so many deaths? Although pneumonia can be successfully treated with antibiotics, even experts sometimes have a difficult time diagnosing it. In the developing world, the infection is either not diagnosed or diagnosed too late for antibiotics to help. Those diagnosis challenges could disappear thanks to the StethoCloud, a custom built stethoscope and mobile phone app system that analyzes a person’s breathing to determine if they have pneumonia.

The StethoCloud is the creation of four students from the University of Melbourne—Hon Weng Chong, Kim Ramchen, Mahsa Salehi, and Andrew Lin—for Microsoft’s student innovation competition, the Imagine Cup. The project won Microsoft Australia’s national Imagine Cup and placed in the worldwide finals. Two of the team members, Chong and Lin, have a medical school background and have interned in developing nations. After a conversation about pneumonia with his mentor at the university, global health expert Dr. Jim Black, Chong spent two weeks in February developing a prototype. “The first one I was like, ‘why aren’t we getting any sounds?’” says Chong, “and the next one, we were getting all this extra noise so we kept refining it.”

Solving the problems of those early versions resulted in a stethoscope that comes embedded with a tiny mic and has been modified to block out external noise and heat. To use the system,  a community health worker—or even an unskilled user—simply plugs the stethoscope into the jack on a mobile phone, places it on the appropriate sections of the body, and boots up the phone’s StethoCloud app, which was designed by the computer science and big data experts on the team: Ramchen and Salehi.

The mic captures the sounds of the person breathing and the app uploads the recording onto cloud servers. Then the app analyzes the breathing patterns, makes a diagnosis according to the standards of the World Health Organization—either the subject has pneumonia or doesn’t—and then presents the user with the appropriate treatment plan.

While a regular digital stethoscope runs over $600, the StethoCloud only costs about $20, which is significantly more affordable in the developing nations that are home to 98 percent of childhood pneumonia deaths. And, although a phone is required for the system to work, about “1.5 million pneumonia deaths occur in developing countries with a high enough mobile usage that we can directly address it without distributing anything else,” says Lin.

The team has research protocols going on with the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and they’ve sent the prototype to hospitals and health organizations in Ghana, Malaysia, and Mozambique. Lin, who previously interned at the WHO, says that getting the StethoCloud put into use “is a complicated process” since “public health organizations don’t always work on the same timeline.” The team hopes to see some level of adoption within the next year in the countries that need it most, since early and accurate diagnosis for even 10 percent of the cases means 210,000 deaths prevented.

Above all, the students are thrilled to be able use their computer science and medical knowledge for good. “We’re deeply passionate about pneumonia, about saving children,” says Lin. “Honestly, this is the dream of every student. This is what you want to do when you’re little. You want to be that one that makes a difference, and that’s what we’re setting out to do.”

Good.is [en línea] Los Angeles (USA): good.is, 11 October of 2012 [REF. 14 in July of 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.good.is/posts/college-students-design-stethoscope-that-can-diagnose-pneumonia/

Digital image processing based on functioning of the immune system

8 10 2012

Using nature as model, a group of scientists with Mexican participation, they have created an algorithm that optimizes the processing of digital images.

algoritmo que optimiza procesamiento imágenes digitales

The first applications of this technique involve medicine. (Photo: Volker Brinkman/PLoS Phatogens )


Imitating the functioning of the immune system man, a group of scientists with Mexican participation have optimized image analysis by computer, using a specific type of instructions known as section Clonal algorithm (ASC).

The immune system creates barriers against invading organisms. First detect the external agent to recognize it. Then antibodies are multiplied with the obtained information and attacking the Antigen.

Making an analogy the researchers optimized the reading of images. The Antigen would be the problem to resolve and potential solutions antibodies, clarifies the article published in Mathematical Problems in Engineering.

In this way the ASC creates randomly possible solutions that tie with the problems that are faced, If there is success creating clones that are improving to attack the problem. Otherwise proposes another solution.

This algorithm works as one series of instructions that you solve mathematical problems, for detect and classify the most relevant characteristics and with more information pixels What conform to the image.

“The segmentation of images, It belongs to the area known as vision by computer, It is one of the most difficult problems that there are, in practice it is even intractable because there is not a simple computational algorithm to solve it”, said Juan Humberto Sossa Azuela, co-author of the study and a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences

“One of the advantages that has used the bioinspirado computation (as the ASC) It is that you can solve problems in a much faster way, more efficiently and at a lower cost”, said researcher of the center of research in computation of the IPN.

The expert and his team have several years developing a wide variety of bioinspired computational systems, but relatively little time the AIC and its application in the analysis of digital images.

The analysis of medical images is one of the first applications developed by the specialist and his team, for example, photographs of small samples of blood called smear.

According to the results of the first tests of the researcher, It is possible to detect early stages of lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer in which the bone marrow produces an excess of lymphocytes.


Eluniversal.com.MX [en línea] Mexico(MEX): eluniversal.com.MX, 08 October of 2012 [REF. 25 de septiembre de 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulos/73691.html

Develop new ceramic materials for application in health and energy

4 10 2012

The Balseiro scientists are working with this technology seeking to extend it to the treatment of cancer, Dental techniques and improve energy efficiency.

nuevos materiales vitrocerámicos

These new ceramic materials also will improve odontological techniques.

Usually identified with the art world, the ceramic is a very noble material with applications in more areas than is believed. It is the case of a group of scientists from the UNCuyo Balseiro Institute -based in Bariloche -, He developed technologies for ceramic (vitreous or glass-ceramics) in monolithic State or thin layers, as the case, with specific capabilities in the field of health and energy.

With respect to health research developed radioactive glass microspheres that are locked together in the liver, near tumors receiving the radiation emerging from them. But these microspheres can also be used in dentistry in the accession of restorations of rigid inclusion, totally ceramics, as explained Alejandro Fernández, Co-Director of the project.

In both, to the energy area focused on the development of ceramic for construction of fuel cell capable of converting, efficient and clean, chemical energy into electrical energy.

Fernandez argues that the Argentina has all the necessary elements in order to produce this technology in industrial way, even if for now it only is in the stage of research. "The first objective is to be able to produce them in the case of glass microspheres for radiotherapy", characterize them and tested for use in the country. It is a technology for which we have all the elements, including nuclear reactors that are necessary for its activation, "and it is very expensive if we want to buy the doses ready for treatments abroad", says researcher.

To give an idea of the breadth of applications that may have these materials, as a result of the project was another, no less important, as it is the development of microspheres for the transport of medicines, allow you to selectively separate ions from a solution.


One of the aspects of this unpublished research in Argentina is that trying to install this technology in the area of health, specifically in the treatment of tumors, through the development of glass microspheres for internal radiotherapy for liver cancer. "It maximizes the radioactive dose in diseased tissue and minimizes the dose in healthy tissue", explains Fernández. "Already applies in other countries without being a cure", "but in cases where it is recommended your application increases the life expectancy of patients", clarifies.

The project succeeded in producing microspheres, characterize them and are being used without activating in animal models in the Institute of Oncology Angel Roffo of Buenos Aires.

Dental bonding

Applications in dentistry was proposed to modify the ceramic surfaces in order to improve its adhesion to the dental cements and achieved a better seal its margins, "what would prevent something that in technical terms is called the marginal microleakage": avoid that microorganisms and their products to penetrate the tooth interface- restoration, "producing secondary caries", Adds Fernández.

According to the balance that makes so far, they were able to improve the adhesion, and the results — including a thesis of engineering performed by Pablo Bejarano- they were presented at the Conference of the society of surgical Dental and dental materials (ACT 2012) in last September.

Energy efficiency

In the case of the energy issue is well known that the oil crisis and the increasingly stringent standards on emissions to the atmosphere generated the search for alternative systems of obtaining electrical energy. Among them, fuel cells appear as very attractive devices since they have a high efficiency and emissions are minimal. Among the different types of fuel cells, the so-called of oxide solid (SOFC) they are most activity which focus on research and development, due to its great efficiency and range of applications.

Says Fernandez, the current challenge to convert to the SOFC in mass use devices is to increase reliability (life time) and reduce your costs. This, to a large extent, It is related to the research and development of new materials, in this case they are all ceramic oxides. "Which are available commercially operate at very high temperature" (in the range of 800 a 1000 °C), Instead the new materials that we studied in this project can be used in a range of operation which is called intermediate temperature (400-600 °C). "Th° Cdecrease in operating temperature would decrease the total cost of the cell and its useful life", details the researcher.

They are now working in the manufacture of a complete cell (cathode, anode and electrolyte) using any glass for sealing and verify performance in a SOFC, work that is underway.

On the other hand, clarifies Fernandez, the optimization of materials ceramic oxides in the energy area not only has multiple applications for fuel cells, but also for the production of hydrogen (in electrolizadoras cells), oxygen sensors or gas separation membranes.



Uncu.edu.ar [en línea] Mendoza(ARG): unUNCU.edu.ar04 October of 2012 [REF. 13 de septiembre de 2012] Available on Internet: http://www.uncu.edu.ar/novedades/index/desarrollan-nuevos-materiales-ceramicos-para-aplicarlos-en-salud-y-energia

Dr Martinez Usero: The European market of technological support products and its influence on quality of life

1 10 2012

Dr. José Ángel Martínez Usero

Director of projects and international relations, Technosite-Fundación ONCE


Technological support products are essential to allow the full participation of persons with disabilities and the elderly in society. These technologies enable people to participate more actively in the knowledge society, mitigating the barriers in everyday life. However, different studies have shown that there is a significant fragmentation in the European market of products support. This is, There are many products in different languages to solve very specific problems, the products are expensive, and there is a network of efficient distribution and systems to inform professionals and final customers of existing commercial options.

The thematic networks ETNA and ATIS4all

From 2011, the European thematic networks ETNA [European Thematic Networkon Assistive Information Technologies] and ATIS4all [Assistive Technologies and Inclusive Solutions for all] they work together to establish a European portal for the technology support products.

The European portal, available from January of 2011, provides information technology support products, having different databases, search services, ability to comment on products, share opinions, participate in specific forums. The ATIS4all portal has a wide variety of useful information for medical professionals in the field of rehabilitation, researchers, commercial support products producers and end users. All this with multiple social tools that allow you to create a real community around European technological support products.

The ETNA network web site: http://www.etna-project.eu

Web site of the ATIS4all network: http://www.atis4all.eu


The ATIS4all portal

At the moment, the ETNA and ATIS4all European consortia are developing a European entry point for technological support products and inclusive technology solutions.

Some of the most renowned experts, the producers, researchers, developers of products and end users have joined forces to create together the European portal of technological support products, all this with the aim of providing information complete and up-to-date products exist, their applications, good practices, case studies, legislation and applicable regulations, training materials, and everything must be aware of any professional related to the scope of support products.

The collaborative portal ATIS4all-available in trial in January of 2013 and fully operational by the end of 2013 - is developed in collaboration with the ETNA thematic network and the European Association EASTIN.

In the case of Spain, We have a direct link with the portal, given that both the thematic network and the ATIS4all portal are led by Technosite, the technology company of Fundación ONCE, He has extensive experience in the field of the development of portals, as for example the Discapnet portal.

If you would like to participate in the ATIS4all portal??

Already now you can begin to collaborate actively with the ATIS4all portal. Any local authority, regional, national or international develops its activities in the field of technological support products and you want to exchange knowledge and experience with ATIS4all, You can start to work.

Is which the function of an associated entity??

An entity associated to the European portal ATIS4all can contribute on a voluntary basis in the compilation of relevant information resources, marketing and dissemination of the portal activities, the Organization of local events, the involvement of new professionals in the ATIS community, as well as boosting professional and scientific blogs and forums.

ATIS4all associated entities do not have direct responsibility, given that their participation is voluntary. For the moment, the only commitment is to strategically support the European portal, spreading his existence and contributing to the extent possible to its revitalisation.

If you would like to submit an application??

To become a partner of ATIS4all, You must only send an email to the address info@atis4all.eu including in the subject "submission for supporter" communicating your interest and we will contact you to provide you with all the information.