Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MacArthur "Genius" Grants Announced

A great list of luminaries have been awarded the latest round of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Genius grants. Among them, Saul Griffith, co-founder of Squid Labs, Yoky Matsuoka, a developer of advanced prosthetics at the University of Washington, and others. The full list is available at their site. Congratulations!

Monday, September 24, 2007

ForSE 2007: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs

From our friends at TiE
ForSE 2007: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs
November 02, 2007
In partnership with TiE Boston and Desphande Foundation


Friday, November 2, 2007
11:30am - 7:15pm
Boston University School of Management
Executive Leadership Center, 4th Floor
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

ForSE 2007 is the first conference dedicated to building a dynamic network of leading entrepreneurs, concerned professionals, investors, and thought-leaders dedicated to social impact. Join us for this inaugural event as we launch a new era in Boston's social venture community.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Add RF into to your next Little Device That Could

We're all about radio controlled syringes and to help us out, Make Magazine has an excellent little crash course on embedded radio controls into projects. Check it out at Makezine

Syringe disposal solution in a soda can

The above design was one of this year's INDEX award winners. The idea is simple and is aimed at helping mass vaccination operations run smoothly by ensuring adequate sharp disposal.

More at Core77

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

IDDS featured in the NYTimes

MIT's IDDS was featured in the Nwe York Times today! Great job everyone!

For those who aren't aware yet, IDDS was a month long event bringing students from around the world in to work on developing world technologies. The result was a fascinating array of projects that included better greenhouse systems, patient tracking systems, and clean water solutions!

The workshop was developed over the last year by Ms. Smith, Dr. Pickar and others after a meeting to discuss a “design revolution” — a shift in focus among companies, universities, investors and scientists toward attacking problems that hamper development in the world’s poorest places.

“Nearly 90 percent of research and development dollars are spent on creating technologies that serve the wealthiest 10 percent of the world’s population,” Ms. Smith said. “The point of the design revolution is to switch that.”

She added: “There are several different places where that revolution has to take place. We started thinking, ‘How do we train engineers so they might start thinking of this as a field of engineering they’d want to pursue?’ ”

More at NYTimes

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Tricorder has arrived (sorta)

Trauma is responsible for about 15% of the global burden of disease according to the WHO. Doctors in Seattle are beginning to play around with a device they might have first seen in Star Trek. Just like the tricorder, the device is being used to stop internal bleeding in the lung area.

In this case, lenses focus the high-intensity ultrasound beams at a particular spot inside the body on the patient's lungs. Focusing the ultrasound beams, in a process similar to focusing sunlight with a magnifying glass, creates a tiny but extremely hot spot about the size and shape of a grain of rice. The rays heat the blood cells until they form a seal. Meanwhile the tissue between the device and the spot being treated does not get hot, as it would with a laser beam.

"You can penetrate deep into the body and deliver the energy to the bleeding very accurately," Vaezy said. Recent tests on pigs' lungs showed that high-intensity ultrasound sealed the leaks in one or two minutes. More than 95 percent of the 70 incisions were stable after two minutes of treatment, according to results published this summer in the Journal of Trauma.

The research is funded by the NIH and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. We could see one of these tools attached to the end of a robotic arm operating remotely using pre-programmed procedures to save George Jetson.

More at Science Daily

PolyTherics makes generics using fancy molecular footwork

I covered this a while back and Business 2.0 has landed an interview with Dr. Sunil Shaunak, developer of a system to modify the molecular structure of a drug to produce a generic counterpart.

His attitude is certainly very much in line with our beliefs
"What you conventionally do, at the moment, is you make the medicine and test it in Europe and North America, where you have high profit margins, and as prices come down it eventually becomes available in poorer parts of the world," he says. "We've turned the model upside down and said, 'Let's make it available first to the masses and then optimize what we've learned for the rich.'"
The patent liability issues are still out there it will be interesting how his company, Polytherics, navigates the litigation.