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Talking cars that can ease traffic congestion

Researchers are trying to develop a transportation system where vehicles communicate directly with each other, giving drivers warnings about en route traffic.

The concept will allow a single driver to control multiple vehicles or routing vehicles around hazardous road conditions.

A model has been developed to improve the clarity of the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) transmissions needed to make that concept a reality.

“The model helps us understand how the V2V signals are distorted,” Dr. Dan Stancil, head of North Carolina State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-author of a paper on the work, said.

“While there are smartphone apps that can tell you about traffic jams, there is a time lag between when the traffic jam begins and when the driver is notified.

“One advantage of this sort of direct communication between vehicles is that it has very little time delay, and could warn you to apply the brakes in response to an event only hundreds of yards away,” he said.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by losing weight

A new study has found that people with pre-diabetes, who lose roughly 10 percent of their body weight within six months of diagnosis, dramatically lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next three years.

The findings by Johns Hopkins scientists offer patients and physicians a guide to how short-term behavior change may affect long-term health.

“We have known for some time that the greater the weight loss, the lower your risk of diabetes,” study leader Nisa Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said.

“Now we understand that we can see much of the benefit of losing that weight in those first six months when people are adjusting to a new way to eating and exercising.
Substantial weight loss in the short term clearly should go a long way toward preventing diabetes,” the researcher said.

Preventing pre-diabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes is critical, Maruthur said.
Uncontrolled diabetes — marked by excess sugar in the blood — can lead to eye, kidney and nerve damage, as well as cardiovascular disease.

The new research suggests that if people with pre-diabetes don’t lose enough weight in those first months, physicians may want to consider more aggressive treatment, such as adding a medication to push blood sugar levels lower.

Telescope technology can help diagnose loss of vision

Technology, which is usually used in state of the art telescopes to find distant stars, is set to help diagnose world’s most common form of sight loss in adults.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) leads to central vision loss when looking at something directly ahead.

Engineers at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC), which is a part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), normally design and make instruments for detection of faint light from distant stars and galaxies.

However, the specialist cameras, light technology and software have now been adapted to create a unique ‘retinal densitometer,’ which picks up the earliest stages of AMD by measuring how the eye responds to light, Sky News reported.

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