Author Archives: Dziurdzia Maciej

Colour-Changing Bandage Detecting Infections

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Scientists have recently developed a new type of patch. The goal of a patch is to “fight back against antibiotic resistance and heal wounds more quickly“.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science in China write in their published paper (link in sources) – “However, the common methods of sensing resistance are limited (by time), the requirement for professional personnel, and expensive instruments. Moreover, the abuse of antibiotics causes the accelerated process of bacterial resistance“. However bandage recently discovered, can overcome some of these limitations. Ingredients that are in our patch can be easily distributed and fight bacteria immediately, without professional personnel and equipment required. Moreover, a person wearing bandage gets continuous feedback on what’s happening with the wound.  

The green color on the patch means no bacteria in our wound. The yellow color means that the bacteria are drug-sensitive responsive to our antibiotics. Red color, on the other hand, means that that the bacteria need extra help to be wiped out because it’s drug-resistant. “If drug resistance is detected, an intense beam of light can be used to activate the release of a highly reactive species of oxygen to weaken the bacteria, making them more susceptible to the antibiotic in the material.” – as David Nield from sciencalert.com refers. After testing this kind of bandage on mice, scientists were able to successfully treat both DS (drug-sensitive) and DR (drug-resistant) E.coli bacteria infections using the new method.

In recent years we’ve noticed many updates of traditional bandages, such as nanofibre mesh or the novel bandage for burn wounds, that stop bacteria from multiplying and minimizes the risk of infection. Color changing bandage not only releases antibiotics to the wound but also informs the patient about the situation inside his wound.

Researchers from ACS Central Science say – “This work develops a new way for the rational use of antibiotics, […] given the low cost and easy operation of this point-of-care device, it can be developed for practical applications.”

 

Sources:

  • https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acscentsci.9b01104
  • https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-developed-a-colour-changing-bandage-to-detect-bacterial-infections?perpetual=yes&limitstart=1

How to keep your phone alive for longer

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It’s winter and we all know how badly our phone reacts to cold temperatures. In this post, I will share with you some tricks that will help you to get the most out of your phone battery.

Keeping your phone charged around 50 percent 

It’s useful to have a piece of basic knowledge of how the charging process works. Two layers are inside the battery – graphite and lithium cobalt oxide. Energy occurs when lithium ions move from the graphite layer to the cobalt oxide. Charing phone moves ions back to graphite to start the whole process again. It’s good to keep a battery charged at 50% when half of the ions are in the lithium cobalt oxide and the other 50% is in the graphite layer. This method puts the least amount of pressure on the lithium ions and therefore – extends the number of cycles and improves the condition of our battery. 

Not leaving your phone charged overnight

Once your phone has reached 100% it gets “trickle charges”. This method stops the charge when the battery is at 100% and after some moment starts charing again, therefore it doesn’t let it drop lower than the maximum. This is bad for the battery because of the continuous strain it puts on lithium ions.

Keeping an eye on your apps

Apps and notifications can quickly take the energy out from your smartphone. Applications running in the background may be a real threat to your phone’s energy. It’s important to remember about closing them frequently. Facebook App is also a big battery drainer – switching off its notifications will extend your battery’s life 

Keeping your phone away from the heat 

Hight temperature makes battery lose capacity.“A cell kept between 25 – 30 degrees Celsius (77 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit) should retain around 80 percent of its capacity after the first year even when cycling from empty to full charge.” – Android Authority reports.

 

 

Sources: 

  • https://www.wired.co.uk/article/improve-battery-life-phone?fbclid=IwAR1ix0FBRb5pzXWiaP-fC2zwAeBfVBljHFfu9AnTx5RV-tqBPr1Rwo0r1EE
  • https://www.sciencealert.com/how-to-charge-phone-battery-to-last-longer-advice-science

 

Innovative technique that converts plastic junk into fuel

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It’s really hard to go by a day without using plastic products. They’re inexpensive, durable, and as a result – levels of plastic production by humans are high. We know about tons of plastic waste accumulated in oceans. By 2050, the ocean will have more plastic than fish, and that’s frightening. But how can we, humans, solve the problem of a growing number of plastic junk on our planet?

One of many ways to fight plastic pollution is to convert plastic trash deposits into something valuable. One of Purdue’s University teams came up with an idea to convert commonly used plastic into oil. As ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering reports – the aforementioned process is way more energy-efficient than recycling and burning plastic waste. 

Nearly 25% of plastic junk is a polypropylene, used to make products of everyday life. Chemical engineer Linda Wang and her team focused on re-using this type of plastic (2th and 4th category of resin’s identification plastic code). Plastics are hydrocarbons that are made from petroleum and can be converted back to liquid fuel. The Purdue team uses a method called hydrothermal processing. 

There were scientists using this technique concerning other types of plastic before, but the yield of those processes has been very low. Wang’s team place the polypropylene in a reactor filled with water and hit it up to temperatures from 380–500°C for up to about five hours at a big pressure of 23 Megapascals. At this high heat and pressure, water breaks down a plastic and changes it into the oil. Purdue’s University team manage to transform approximately 90% of plastic into oil. 

Emergent oil can be used to make building blocks for commonly used fuels and chemicals. The team’s analysis shows the hydrothermal process uses less energy and produces fewer emissions then incinerating polypropylene plastics.

Linda Wang and her colleagues didn’t stop there. Now, they are working on optimizing the production of gasoline and diesel fuels.

 

Sources:

New Technique Converts Plastic Waste to Fuel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_pollution

https://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/stories/plastic-waste-converted-gas-fuel

Google stores over 50 milion Americans’ medical records – Project Nightingale

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We all know, that leakage of personal data isn’t anything new nowadays. There are many reasons for collecting your data by big companies. Many of them focus on earning money, by targeting ads based on data concerning your behavior and interests. In Project Nigtigale’s case, however, Google aims at something much bigger.

Project Nightingale owes the name after Florence Nightingale who was an English social reformer and the founder of modern nursing in the 19th century. Project Nightingale is a data storage and processing project made by Google Cloud and Ascencion, which set on foot in early 2019. Their main goal is to design new software using artificial intelligence to predict or more quickly identify medical conditions and suggest changes to patients care. Additionally, the company aims to create a search tool that collects patients’ data into a central location. Google is said to be using medical records of more than 50 million American people from 2600 hospitals in 21 states. The shared data includes patient names and their dates of birth, along with doctor diagnoses, lab records, and hospitalization results. Health data was stored on an Ascension-owned virtual private space.

Despite its great purpose, patients and physicians across 21 states haven’t been informed about their data sharing. Because of this, there were many speculations about whether is this project morally equitable. David Feinberg – the head of Google Health – responded to all criticism.  Due to his position – a physician – he said, that he understands that health information should be private and as he refers – Google is not permitted to use that for marketing or research purposes. However, we can’t be sure that the personal pieces of information were strictly sheltered. People are afraid of the potential break-in by hackers.

The Office of Civil Rights of HHS is demanding more details about Project Nightingale to ensure HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protections have been implemented.

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Would you give up your personal data for the development of medical care in the future?

Share with us your opinion!

 

 

Author: Maciej Dziurdzia

Sources:

https://geek.justjoin.it/projekt-nightingale-google-dane-medyczne/

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/cybersecurity/10-things-to-know-about-project-nightingale.html

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/14/google-healthcare-data-ascension

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/11/business/google-ascension-health-data.html

 

 

 

 

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