what's the buzz...

what's the buzz...

Handwriting can help diagnose Parkinson’s

Researchers have suggested that Parkinson’s disease can be diagnosed at an early stage by comparing the handwriting of sick and healthy subjects.

Prof. Sara Rosenblum, of the University of Haifa’s Department of Occupational Therapy, said that identifying the changes in handwriting could lead to an early diagnosis of the illness and neurological intervention at a critical moment.

Studies from recent years show that there are unique and distinctive differences between the handwriting of patients with Parkinson's disease and that of healthy people. However, most studies that to date have focused on handwriting focused on motor skills and not on writing that involves cognitive abilities, such as signing a check, copying addresses, etc.

Coming soon, ‘Terminator’ robots that can self-heal

It might not be too long before we have robots that could self heal just like the ones in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Terminator 2,’ as researchers in Spain have discovered the first self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself without any intervention.

The new material could be used to improve the security and lifetime of plastic parts in everyday products such as electrical components, cars and even houses.

The researchers have dubbed the material a “Terminator” polymer in tribute to the shape-shifting, molten T-100 terminator robot from the ‘Terminator 2’ film.

Self-healing polymers that can spontaneously achieve quantitative healing in the absence of a catalyst have never been reported, until now.

The scientists prepared the self-healing thermoset elastomers from common polymeric starting materials using a simple and inexpensive approach.

Implantable electronic shrink wrap to heal human hearts

Researchers have revealed that laminating devices, which could enhance human health and performance by marrying electronics with the human body, onto tissues could help achieve natural motions, without mechanical constraint.

John A. Rogers, Ph.D., of the Departments of Materials Science, Engineering, and Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editorial advisory board member for ACS Nano, talked about materials for a new generation of electronic devices that promise to revolutionize health care in the world of tomorrow, at the American Chemical Society meeting.

Rogers said that materials, mechanics designs and manufacturing systems are now available for electronic systems that achieve effective elastic moduli and bending stiffness’s matched to the surfaces of major organs of the body, including the skin, the heart and the brain.

The researcher said that laminating such devices onto these tissues leads to conformal contact, and adequate adhesion based on van der Waals interactions alone, in a manner that can accommodate natural motions, without mechanical constraint.