Color Blindness & Bionics | SciByte 81

Color Blindness & Bionics | SciByte 81

We take a look at color blindness, a bionic man, dinosaur killing asteroids, Smartpens, Alzheimers, viewer feedback, Curiosity news, and as always take a peek back into history and up in the sky this week.

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Show Notes:

Fighting Color Blindness with Glasses

  • The low down
  • A pair of researchers from 2AI Labs have developed a wearable eyeglass device that effectively cures red-green color blindness
  • Most mammals have two dimensions of color, a yellow-blue dimension, and a grayscale (or brightness) dimension
  • Some of us have an extra dimension of color vision: The red-green dimension
  • The researchers created a filter technology that further amplified the eyes\’ ability to see blood under the skin, essentially removing \”visual noise\” from the blood signal
  • The Technology
  • The technology works by leveraging our capacity to see the amount of oxygen in another person\’s blood by simply looking at the hue of their skin
  • This eventually led to the development of eyeglasses that enable wearers to perceive emotions and social cues more clearly
  • As they tested the filters they received surprising feedback from users who were colorblind claiming that one of our technologies blew them away in its ability to \’cure\’ their color blindness
  • Of Note
  • The Oxy-Iso filter isolates and amplifies this signal so that it\’s also exaggerated
  • One important thing to note is that Oxy-Iso since can only work on red-green colorblind people who have some of each of their M and L cones
  • However while it does work at helping color-blind persons see red-green differences it also simultaneously handicaps them in their existing yellow-blue perception
  • Medical Applications
  • The devices can be used in the form of eyewear, or in the form of filters in front of illuminants, bathing the room in the blood-amplifying light
  • Outside of the application to color blindness, the two \”Iso\” filters — Oxy-Iso and Hemo-Iso — are principally intended for medical applications
  • The team is moving to put the technology into prescription eyewear, as well as into sunwear, and into general-purpose lighting,\”
  • They are also considering its application in cosmetic lighting
  • Oxy-Amp does is make the vasculature below the skin more salient, and that\’s just to say that skin appears more transparent — more youthful
  • Multimedia
  • YouTube Color Blindness test – Real ! | VladimirWlado
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • How Mark Changizi Conquered Colorblindness With Glasses | Popular Science


Bionic man


Dinosaurs Might Have Been Taken out with a One-Two punch

  • Binary Asteroids
  • Space scientists estimate that as many as 15 percent of observable asteroids are binaries
  • This observation has caused scientists problems due to the fact that the evidence of binaries striking the Earth is as few as 2 to 4 percent
  • Meteor Craters on Earth
  • A research team now suggests that many of the craters on Earth thought to have been caused by a single asteroid, may in fact have been caused by binaries
  • A binary could cause just one crater if the two asteroids were close enough together when they struck.
  • Computer simulations showing that binary asteroids hitting the Earth that some of the craters were oblong, or irregularly shaped
  • There are some real craters here on Earth where the crater has some asymmetries that could be explained by a binary strike
  • Chicxulub
  • The Chicxulub crater, off the coast of Mexico, is thought by many scientists to be evidence of an asteroid strike that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • A team of researchers from the U.K. and Australia has published a paper suggesting that the crater Chicxulub may have come about due to the impact of binary asteroids
  • If that were the case, it likely that the combined size of the asteroid would have been roughly the same as the calculated size of a single entity
  • Since the crater left behind has a diameter of approximately 112 mi [180 km] they would have a combined diameter of ~4-6 mi [7-10 km]
  • The researchers say, that twin asteroids could have been as far apart as 50 mi [80 km] and still produced a single crater.
  • Re-examination
  • Scientists are now looking at other existing craters on Earth to try to determine if they too are possibly the result of binary strikes and if so, recalculate the percentage of binary strikes
  • Multimedia
  • YouTube | Meteor Impact Site | NationalGeographic
  • YouTube | iSALE3D Binary Asteroid Impact | Helios1234p
  • YouTube | Mutual Events of Binary Asteroid 1999 KW4 | CelestiaDev
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Research group suggests Chicxulub crater may have been caused by binary asteroids |

Digitizing Pen and Paper

  • When used on special paper, the pens record your every scribble with a built-in camera and can also record audio at the same time and sync that audio with what you write
  • Writing to the Cloud
  • The new pens differ in that they, and the notes they record, are no longer tethered to an individual computer
  • If you are near a hotspot, the Sky pens will begin syncing their notes to Evernote, a Internet-based note taking and storage service, as soon as they stop recording them
  • What it Does
  • Sky pen owners can send up to 500 megabytes of data for free from their smartpens, which is roughly about 70 hours worth of recordings or 10,000 pages of notes
  • Build into the technology is the fact that a a Livescribe player that allows users to see and hear their notes at the same time
  • Evernote arranges the notes by page in their notebook, but when you click or tap on the page, the Livescribe player will collect and display all the pages of notes from that particular recording.
  • The service also scans them for recognizable characters and words so users can search them
  • Drawbacks
  • It can only be used with Evernote and it can be slow to transfer recordings
  • The pen does require company approved paper, although you can print out paper with the proper patterns on it
  • Multimedia
  • YouTube | Sky(TM) wifi smartpen product spot :30 sec (US)
  • YouTube | Sky(TM)wifi smartpen Introduction | nevermissaword
  • Social Media
  • livescribe @livescribe
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Smartpen takes handwritten notes into mobile, cloud era |

Altering amyloid protein in Alzheimer\’s

  • A recent study shows that the natural chemicals found in green tea and red wine may disrupt a key step of the Alzheimer\’s disease pathway
  • Amyloid Protein Clumps
  • Alzheimer\’s disease is characterised by a distinct buildup of amyloid protein in the brain that clumps together to form toxic, sticky balls of varying shapes
  • These amyloid balls latch on to the surface of nerve cells in the brain by attaching to proteins on the cell surface called prions
  • New Research
  • This research was looking at whether the precise shape of the amyloid balls is essential for them to attach to the prion receptors
  • If it is then scientists could prevent the amyloid balls binding to prion by altering their shape, as this would stop the cells from dying
  • Recent research has shown that the extracts of red wine and green tea can re-shape amyloid proteins, such that they can no longer harm nerve cells
  • The research team formed amyloid balls in a test tube and added them to human and animal brain cells
  • When they added the extracts from red wine and green tea, which recent research has shown to re-shape amyloid proteins
  • The amyloid balls no longer harmed the nerve cells because their shape was distorted, so they could no longer bind to prion and disrupt cell function
  • What This Means for the Future
  • This research has showed, for the first time, that when amyloid balls stick to prion, it triggers the production of even more amyloid
  • The researchers are now trying to understand exactly how the amyloid-prion interaction kills off neurons
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Green tea and red wine extracts interrupt Alzheimer\’s disease pathway in cells |


Metric vs. Standard

  • Jason aka Tubsta
  • Shouldn’t you use metric measurements on a science show?
  • The answer
  • They are nearly always in the show notes.
  • Should probably include them in the show more often …
  • A majority of the audience is from the US, where metric measurements are not tangible
  • Although outside of the US standard measurements are probably not too tangible
  • I haven’t doubled up on the measurements in the past due to it taking it a bit longer, In the future I will make an effort to state both standard and metric more often
  • Hopefully combining the two might help people better understand both



Looking back

  • Feb 15, 1951 : 62 years ago : Nuclear medical therapy : The first atomic reactor to be used in medical therapy treated its first patient at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY. The Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR) began the experimental treatment of brain cancer using neutrons from the reactor. In the following two years, ten patients were treated with boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). The BGRR also supplied radioisotopes for use by other research organizations, including medical uses, among others. The reactor, the world\’s first dedicated to peaceful exploration of atomic energy operated 1950-68, and was used for research other than medical uses. It was followed by the Brookfield Medical Research Reactor, which reached critically 15 Mar 1959

Looking up this week

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