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  • Finding triggers of birth defects in an embryo heart | think:blog
    research assistant professor Michael W Jenkins senior research associate Shi Gu Lee Barwick an undergraduate researcher now at Brigham Young University and Michiko Watanabe a professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine To look at the structure of the developing heart and blood flow the researchers modified a technology called Doppler optical coherence tomography Called OCT for short they shine an infrared laser on the heart The reflections measured at various depths are used to create a three dimensional image in much the same manner submariners use sonar to picture their surroundings in the deep sea But the researchers add the dimension of time creating movies of blood flow through the structures needed to map shear stress They take their first images at two days during a stage of heart development called cardiac looping This is when the simple straight tube that s an embryo heart turns clockwise into a helix forming the beginnings of two atria and two ventricles They take more images at three days and again at eight days when the septum the wall between the left and right sides of the heart has formed Working with Ganga Karunamuni a pediatrics research associate at the school of medicine the team is now pursuing a slate of experiments testing the quail heart model s response to alcohol exposure and will also test exposure to mental health drugs called selective serotonin receptor inhibitors Alone or together they can alter shear stress They are exposing the model to alcohol at a stage called gastrulation when the embryo changes from two sheets of cells to a multi layered organism This is a critical stage for induction of birth defects Peterson said In humans it s an early stage when a woman may not know that she is pregnant

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/30/finding_triggers_of_birth_defects_in_an_embryo_heart (2015-11-11)
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  • Silver medal-winning sailor, technology test pilot launches book | think:blog
    control while using less of her energy She is a most fearless test pilot said Hunter Peckham a professor of biomedical engineering Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve and the center s former program director Peckham wrote the forward in French s new book She provides a huge service to us She pushes and challenges us to improve the technology every step of the way He and French are more than researcher and test pilot He too is an avid sailor It s phenomenal sailing with her he said You re sailing with a world class sailor French was at the helm and teammate JP Creignou who is blind handled the lines as they took silver in the two person keelboat competition a 10 race series at the Paralympics this September The competition followed the Olympics But more than being a top skipper Her passion is to see this technology that has made such an impact on her life become available to all Peckham said She ll pour herself into anything that will help us make this technology available more broadly She ll explain what it does and how it changed her life to industry and to lay audiences at professional conferences focused on independence Which is what she s doing this week as she launches On My Feet Again at the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco today Executives and entrepreneurs from the neurotechnology industry will meet and talk with investors technologists and potential partners during the two day conference To publicize the implant French has been featured on Scientific American Frontiers a PBS show hosted by Alan Alda in the documentary To Have Courage and in the book Shattered Nerves How Science is Solving Modern Medicine s Most Perplexing Problems She has written and spoken to audiences

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/23/silver_medalwinning_sailor_technology_test_pilot_launches_book (2015-11-11)
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  • Will we craft our own evolution? Maxwell J. Mehlman’s book examines crucial issues emerging in genetic engineering | think:blog
    new habitats Quite literally it could be our ticket to the stars he writes He acknowledges that there are those whose belief systems are threatened by directed evolution There are also concerns among members in the scientific community who point to the intricacies of genetics and a need to better understand interactions between genes and the environment Despite concerns technology advances Mehlman points to an emerging bank of information developed through the Human Genome Project the well known research effort to determine in detail the sequences of the chemical base pairs that make up human DNA Now the process is highly automated and massive amounts of DNA are sequenced simultaneously Decoding has become not only much faster but more accurate and much less expensive he explains Researchers are becoming more adept at linking genetic information with specific human characteristics and at manipulating DNA to change human characteristics Mehlman argues that scientists whether optimistic or dubious tend to agree on two things However long it will take to perfect the process it is inevitable that humans will attempt to control their evolutionary future and in trying to direct their evolution humans are bound to make mistakes The challenge says Mehlman is to minimize the harm to children who are engineered and their descendants and to prevent the destruction of the human lineage Mehlman identifies the social and legal tools that will be needed and explains how they must be wielded He writes Rather than just passing genes on to our offspring the way those before us did we are acquiring the technological wherewithal to reconstruct those genes If we botch it children will suffer the lineage may die out and that will be that If we succeed we will earn the gratitude of our descendants It seems to me that we

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/22/will_we_craft_our_own_evolution_maxwell_j_mehlmanas_book_examines_crucial_issues_emerging_in_genetic_engineering (2015-11-11)
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  • Effort to mass-produce flexible nanoscale electronics | think:blog
    throughput is costly and very time consuming all impediments to mass production Using ink jet printers to build small devices has proven cheap and effective but getting down into the nanometers has been difficult Philip Feng an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science specializes in nanofabrication and devices Joao Maia an associate professor of macromolecular science and engineering is an expert at making nanolayered polymers R Mohan Sankaran an associate chemical engineering professor developed the technology to use microplasmas as a manufacturing tool Zorman spent the last two decades developing techniques used to build microelectromechanical devices for harsh environments and biomedical applications When Feng and Zorman saw Sankaran s work we realized this could revolutionize nanoscale manufacturing Zorman said A plasma is a state of matter similar to a gas but a portion is ionized that is particles are gaining or losing electrons and becoming charged A spark is an example of a plasma but it s hot and uncontrollable Sankaran makes a controllable microplasma by ionizing argon gas as it is pumped out of a tube a hair width across The plasma is like a pencil Sankaran said You can use it to draw a line or any pattern you want To get down to nanometers Feng must make stencils of nano sized wires circuits and other desired forms He ll use a durable silicon carbide material Zorman has developed To get to 100 nanometers or less Feng said we must study the laws of scaling the materials used and reactions that a microplasma can induce such as the reactions on the surface of a polymer and inside the polymer and to compare this process side by side with the electron beam lithography As they scale down Maia will focus on sealing the electronics from moisture A lot of people are working on flexible electronics but the problem is the product s lifetime is short because moisture enters and decreases resistivity shorts out or corrodes the electronics Maia said If you have to change out your flexible device every two weeks or two months that s not such a good thing Maia will make sheets of polymers that include a nanolayer embedded with metal salts such as silver nitride or gold chloride These are the precursors of the wires and metallic structures needed to make the electronics The sheet will roll through a production line and pause under stencils A set of microplasmas above the stencils will fire In preliminary tests on a stationary piece of film electrons from the microplasma travel through the stencil and into the polymer where they turn the metal salts into conductive chains of metal particles that form wires and structures like spray paint and a stencil form letters and numbers The sheet can then be dipped in a solution to dissolve the unexposed metal salts to be recycled More layers or combinations of layers will be added to make the sheet watertight If multiple devices or packaging layers are needed the

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/16/effort_to_massproduce_flexible_nanoscale_electronics (2015-11-11)
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  • Making computer data storage cheaper and easier | think:blog
    in collaboration with their colleague Professor Eric Baer make an optical film with 64 data layers A thick putty like flow of polymers is repeatedly divided and stacked then spread into a film and rolled onto a spool They estimate they can make a square kilometer of film in an hour To make the final product the researchers cut and paste film onto the same hard plastic base DVDs and Blu rays are built on Valle said they need to make only slight adjustments to a standard disc reader to enable it to probe and read the data on each layer without interference from layers above or below Singer and Valle founded Folio Photonics last week after spending much of the summer at an entrepreneurial boot camp During the National Science Foundation s Innovation Corps program with sessions at Georgia Tech they and physics lecturer Bruce Terry interviewed 150 potential customers partners and suppliers and underwent days and evenings of business and commercialization training We learned in two months what some start ups learn only through failing Valle said The Case Western Reserve scientists aren t the only ones pursuing terabyte storage discs Other companies are looking into a holographic technology which requires two lasers to write the data and will require a whole new writer reader Singer said Ours has the advantage of lower manufacturing costs and is more compatible with current readers and writers The discs are aimed at storing data that isn t needed instantaneously or often but is valuable enough to keep Singer and Valle are specifically looking to provide an affordable option to computer centers that now regularly purge data due to the prohibitive costs of current storage technologies They are also trying to fill increasing needs in the fields of pathology and genomics Pathologists

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/10/making_computer_data_storage_cheaper_and_easier (2015-11-11)
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  • CWRU dental school joins Israel’s Rambam Medical Center for Dental Program To prepare foreign students for advanced dental training at CWRU | think:blog
    in graduate specialty programs The preparatory program begins in 2013 Two students will be accepted into the program to spend the year in Israel followed by the accredited AEGD residency program in the fall 2014 at Case Western Reserve Students will be recruited from Russia the Far East India and other foreign countries All classes in Israel will be in English to ease the transition when arriving at Case Western Reserve This training makes it possible for foreign students who have graduated from dental schools in their countries to begin treating patients on their first day at Case Western Reserve Goldberg said The faculty has worked closely with Rambam to design a curriculum that aligns the skills of the foreign students with U S dental students Goldberg said the program builds on the university s efforts to promote more international experiences through educational programs and collaborations This is the first agreement with Rambam whose faculty member Dr Zvi Gutmacher now has a joint appointment as a visiting professor at the dental school Gutmacher resides in Israel and will oversee the preparatory classes While advanced general dentistry programs are common in the U S they are not elsewhere in the world said Faddoul Advanced education in general dentistry programs in the U S goes beyond the four year dental school programs for the DMD or DDS and gives dental doctors experience in treating complicated oral health issues that a private practice dentist rarely encounters Also attending the signing will be dental school faculty Fady Faddoul director of AEGD program at the dental school Dr Sorin Teich assistant dean of clinic operations Dr Mark Hans associate dean of Graduate Studies and Dr Lisa Lang chair of comprehensive care and assistant dean of clinical education print e mail feeds connect Get in touch

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/04/cwru_dental_school_joins_israelas_rambam_medical_center_for_dental_program_to_prepare_foreign_students_for_advanced_dental_training_at_cwru (2015-11-11)
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  • New training “patients” arrive for CWRU nursing students | think:blog
    Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing the manikins were in excellent condition except for a finger injury on one patient and a missing eye on another They still have plenty of life but the curriculum at FPB required more sophisticated models We were happy to find good homes for the manikins that will use them to educate health care professionals of the future she said The new human like replacements unlike the older versions are enhanced with accessories that allow faculty to change the patient s gender add incisions colostomies and amputations from surgeries as well as skin conditions ulcerations bedsores and other medical conditions The new manikins allow students to become competent in caring for a diverse group of patients with complex surgical and medical conditions in the skills lab setting explains Alfes Although few schools have so called high fidelity simulators used to train acute care nurses to care for critically ill patients almost every nursing school needs to utilize some form of human patient manikins to teach basic nursing skills From the first week of nursing school undergraduate students at FPB begin practicing nursing skills in the lab which has four unique centers The Clinical Teaching Center which utilizes the manikins resembles a hospital unit filled with specialized beds authentic hospital supplies as well as hospital linens wheel chairs IV pumps and synthetic medications The student nurses start with very basic nursing skills including hand washing bed making bathing taking vital signs and transferring patients from bed to wheelchair This enhances the 1 600 hours of clinical time the undergraduates have during their four years at FPB These hours ranks the nursing school at the top for required clinical hours at a nursing school said Alfes By the end of the second year students learn how to

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/04/new_training_apatientsa_arrive_for_cwru_nursing_students (2015-11-11)
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  • CWRU wins grant to wean sustainable energy off oil | think:blog
    the United Kingdom University of MONS in Belgium University of Bologna in Italy and Santa Catarina State University in Brazil Not only are they pursuing more functional materials but by using renewable sources they aim to eliminate reliance on a limited resource and reduce the environmental impact of production and disposal The group provides expertise in synthesis processing characterization theory and lifecycle analysis needed to help solve these global problems said Manas Zloczower who will lead the wind turbine blade research Currently the amount of energy wind turbines can produce is limited by the weight of blades The heavier the blade the more energy required to move it But lighter often more flexible blades fail to maintain the shape needed to get the most from the wind Marcio Loos was a postdoctoral researcher working with Manas Zloczower at Case School of Engineering last year when he built a blade made of polyurethane reinforced with carbon nanotubes Testing showed the blade was substantially lighter and eight times tougher and more durable than current blades Loos leads a group of researchers at Santa Catarina who with Manas Zloczower will continue to advance that technology They will also team with Richard Gross at NYU and investigate starch and lipid based polymers reinforced with cellulose nanowhiskers among other options Traditional solar panels built of silicon are heavy far lighter thin film solar cells lack the durability of their kin And makers of both are still striving to increase the efficiency of each Organic materials have shown promise for the next generation low cost photovoltaics Case Western Reserve physics professor Kenneth Singer will lead solar cell materials research and continue a long collaboration with Virgil Percec at the University of Pennsylvania and more recent work with Goran Ungar at the University of Sheffield and Richard

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/02/cwru_wins_grant_to_wean_sustainable_energy_off_oil (2015-11-11)
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