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Posts from the ‘Sport’ Category

The First Bionic Olympics To Be Held in 2016

After Pistorius competing at the last 2012 Olympic Games with prosthetics, we all knew that the world of sport was about to change dramatically. More and more athletes now utilize innovative technologies or actually wear them to augment human capabilities, therefore the announcement of the first Bionic Olympic Games called the Cybathlon to be held in Switzerland in 2016 did not come as a surprise.

The Cybathlon will award two categories of medals for each event: one for the athlete and one for the scientist or company that manufactured the robotic assistive device. That includes things like the latest prosthetics, exoskeletons, and powered wheelchairs, and more futuristic technologies like electrically stimulated muscles and brain-computer interfaces.

For instance, during the BCI event (image above), participants—or “pilots” to use the Cybathlon lingo—that are paralyzed below the neck will be equipped with brain-machine interfaces that will enable them to control an avatar with their mind. The virtual avatar will compete in a horse or car racing video game.

 

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iDoo, Your Personal Mobile Trainer is Looking for Beta Testers!

iDoo that I came across at the recent Smartmobil conference aims to become a mobilized personal trainer who even measures your performance. In order to reach this goal, the developers are looking for beta testers. It looks great and I hope a lot of people will sign up through the link below.

iDoo gives you the flexibility to perform the perfect training, anywhere, anytime. The app is based on a patent pending algorithm that uses several sensors of the smartphone to compare the movement of the user with the perfect motion desired by the exercise. The app features several exercises, targeting different muscles and body parts.

We are looking for testers to try out the first 15 warm-up exercises! Apply for the test following the link here, and be among the first users to try this revolutionary fitness app ever.

Top 100 Sports Medicine Social Media Channels

Webicina’s new Sports Medicine and Social Media collection features relevant and quality social media resources from blogs and podcasts to community sites, Youtube and Twitter accounts focusing on this specialty.

Here is my top 10 social media selection for Sports Medicine:

  1. Dr. Howard J. Luks`s Blog (blog)
  2. About.com Sports Medicine (blog)
  3. Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance (podcast)
  4. British Journal of Sports Medicine (blog)
  5. National Academy of Sports Medicine (Twitter)
  6. American College of Sports Medicine (Facebook)
  7. Karim Khan (Twitter)
  8. Evidence Based Medicine Guidelines – Physical and Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics (Mobile app)
  9. National Academy of Sports Medicine (Youtube)
  10. ScienceDaily Images (image collection)

And PeRSSonalized Sports Medicine, the simplest, free, customizable, multi-lingual medical information aggregator will let you follow these resources easily in a personalized way.

Feel free to share any of these resources and let us know if you think others should be added.

Ruckus Nation: An Online Idea Competition to Get Kids Moving

I’ve told you how much I admire Hopelab, a non-profit organization, for several times. After the Re-Mission game which helps children fighting cancer, here is their new project, Ruckus Nation. This competition is about to find great ideas for new products that will get kids moving. They have already accepted many submissions as contestants range in age from 9 to 76, representing 43 countries and 40 U.S. states. You can register here.

According to their latest announcement:

Based on feedback from participants, the contestant registration deadline has been moved to November 20 to coincide with the deadline for submitting Ruckus Nation entries. The two separate deadlines were confusing to some people, so we’ve simplified things. The Ruckus Nation contestant registration deadline is now November 20, the same day as the deadline to submit your idea. All other deadlines are the same.

Key Dates and Deadlines:
November 5 – Early entry deadline
November 20 – Contestant registration closes, deadline for entries
November 27 – Judge registration closes

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If you’re not entering as a contestant, you can become a judge as they’re looking for people of all ages, from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse expertise, to help them select the most promising product ideas.

Have I mentioned that you can win 75,000$?

Here’s a video of a Ruckus Nation promotion by a company called Reatrix which has partnered with HopeLab (pdf):

You should also check out the Physical Activity Research Summary which documents a lot of the research Hopelab did which led them to the path they’re on with Ruckus Nation and their ultimate goals for helping with childhood obesity.

Further reading:

The Best Innovations of 2007 in Medicine

The R & D Magazine asked some researchers from around the world to choose and present the best innovations of 2007 at the forefront of technology.

The editors of R&D Magazine are proud to announce the winners of the 45th Annual R&D 100 Awards. This annual competition recognizes the best in innovation—on a global scale. Indeed, the products and technologies highlighted on the following pages are among the most innovative ideas from today’s technology powerhouses in academia, government, and industry, worldwide.

Here is my selection from the field of medicine:

  • Active Protection System is a unique protective textile that instantly becomes rigid upon impact, but remains flexible and breathable when protection is not required. The System consists of a three-dimensional spacer fabric treated with a silicone coating. Versatile, durable and lightweight, it can be incorporated directly into a wide range of products to provide unprecedented levels of safety.

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  • The INSORB® Subcuticular Skin Stapler is designed to combine the cosmetic result of absorbable sutures with the rapid closure times associated with metal skin staplers, while eliminating the need for metal staple removal post-operatively.

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  • VaxDesign is an emerging biotechnology company that combines immunology with engineering to find elegant, practical solutions to complex biological problems. They develop in vitro assays of the human immune system that are functionally equivalent to the human immune system.

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  • The pneumothorax detector system consists of two components. A control module provides power for the circuitry and MIR sensor, and also houses a processing system to analyze incoming data and detect the presence or absence of a pneumothorax. A probe unit is connected to the main control module and an antenna for sending out the MIR pulse, and detecting the reflected signal. Novel, high speed data acquisition and processing electronics in the control module acquire the data in real time.

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  • Ultra-High-Resolution Mammography System (UHRMS) that equips doctors with a low-cost, high-quality alternative to digital radiography (currently the most popular mammographic technology at leading hospitals).

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Illustration

  • Researchers don’t necessarily have to attend a meeting in person to get something out of it. Virtual conferences are a growing trend; they have recently been held on topics including nanoscale structures, animal diseases, amphibian conservation, and climate change. One of the largest such events is the Virtual Conference on Genomics and Bioinformatics (VCGB)… Attendees to VCGB gather at local nodes linked together using Access Grid, a virtual collaboration system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. (Science)

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Don’t hesitate to tell us if you find better ones.

GenWatch: Athletism and Nucleosomes

After MedWatch, I start a new system called GenWatch with the most recent and interesting news on genes or genetics itself. The first “issue” is about the possible link between fatigue, genes and athletic performance:

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth are investigating whether endurance athletes with a specific type of gene are less likely to suffer fatigue. The results from the study may mean identifying the super athletes of tomorrow could be as simple as taking blood from a pin prick.

Dr Robson-Ansley’s latest research looks at whether ‘fatigue resistant’ endurance athletes have a slight variation of the gene responsible for IL-6 (a messenger molecule in the body that is released when the body is under stress). Previous studies have found that people a C-type variation of the gene produced less IL-6 during infection than those with the G-type of the gene.

The second GenWatch finding is the role of nucleosomes, that are spherical packing units for DNA, in the human genome:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have developed a powerful method for charting the positions of key gene-regulating molecules called nucleosomes throughout the human genome. The mapping tool could help uncover important clues for understanding and diagnosing cancer and other diseases, the scientists say

Of course, I didn’t want to steal the name of the GeneWatch journal… (Actually I did, but couldn’t.)

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Soccer therapy

After a successful traumatology exam, I’m back in business. Newsweek has an article on an interesting subject which is really close to my heart. Psychiatrists use soccer as a therapy for mental illnesses. (Of course, we’re talking about an Italian project, what else.) They’ve been using it in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, multiple-personality disorders and bipolar disorder. Dr. Santo Rullo, a psychiatrist who has used soccer therapy as part of a treatment program for more than 600 men over the last 14 years, says

In the beginning, it didn’t matter what time of day we scheduled games. But now so many patients are back at work or have other social obligations, we need to work around schedules.

Since soccer is such a part of our national culture, it is a natural way to help our patients touch base with their core and their backgrounds. It gives them a sense of balance.

Ladies, don’t worry, for female patients, they have had the same success with bowling.

I’ve tried to find articles, publications on soccer therapy, but Pubmed doesn’t show any good results. Evidence-based medicine, ha? There is no evidence for that, but it works! And that’s the most important point…

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Photo:Julian Athos Caggiano (Courtesy of Newsweek)

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