Cover Story

Cover Story

AI Tackles Hospital Infections

For Ashley Zappia, getting her hands dirty was part of her job. Even though she always tried to remain as clean as possible, her work as a nursing aide at a Southern California hospital required a lot of diapering, changing, and other hands-on tasks.

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The Space Between

Around 2008, endoscopists David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias began to notice an unfamiliar pattern in the bile duct during endomicroscopy, which didn’t look like anything they knew from pathology.

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The Many Textures of Robotics

Innovative researchers are employing flexible, rather than rigid materials in combination with new design approaches as part of the emerging field of biomedical soft robotics. The idea is to generate tools that conform to and interact with the human body in a much more natural and lightweight way, providing better treatment options for clinicians and translating into better outcomes for patients.

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Biomedical Materials Learn to Heal Themselves

Maintaining sterility in emergency and operating rooms can be challenging, especially in cases of highly infectious disease outbreaks or toxic spills. A simple nick in a surgical glove could have deadly consequences. But, now, a variety of promising new materials in development may lead to everything from self-healing gloves and bandages to bone, blood vessel, and muscle scaffolding implants that could repair themselves the way tissues do.

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Nuclear Imaging Enters a New Era

Nuclear medicine has come a long way in a short time. Over the past three decades alone, it has taken two major steps forward and is now on the precipice of yet another advance that could begin to have a real impact on cancer care within the year.

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On the Cusp of a Healthcare Revolution

Of the key technologies listed as “ready to propel industries and transform our world” in the 2017 report Top 50 Emerging Technologies: Growth Opportunities of Strategic Imperative, most fall under the scope of BME. Issued by the major market research and analysis company Frost and Sullivan, the report’s findings are no surprise to those who are heavily invested in this field.

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Grappling with the Health Consequences of Floods

In early September—when the rains from Hurricane Harvey finally subsided in Houston, Texas—Seth Pedersen loaded up his pickup truck with sample collection kits, waders, rubber boots, buckets, and a small aluminum fishing boat. Pedersen, a second year graduate student in environmental engineering at Rice University, was on a mission to test the water in homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey.

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Sharing Data to Solve the Riddle of Autism

Worldwide, at least one in 100 people have autism spectrum disorder. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number at one in 68. Despite the high prevalence and increased awareness of autism in recent years, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclarified.