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+ - The next generation of medical tools may be home-brewed->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In the Little Devices Lab at MIT, Jose Gomez-Marquez builds medical tools using a DIY mindset. He’s designing cheap alternatives to existing hospital equipment to help spread high-quality medical care around the world. Gomez-Marquez is at the forefront of a large and often-unrecognized group of DIY medical tool builders. Together they are challenging the idea that staying healthy requires extraordinarily expensive, sophisticated equipment built by massive corporations. Harnessing this inventive energy, he argues, could improve the health of thousands of people around the world.
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Comment: Re:The grid needs storage - not battery storage (Score 1) 241

by tomhath (#49569315) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

That doesn't change the fact that on the power grid itself, there is no storage

That's not true, there are many examples of storage. Reservoirs, piles of coal, even some pumped hydro and batteries (although those are not usually cost effective).

The problem is that the utility companies which own and manage the grid have designed it to operate a certain way; they want to balance generation with demand. But now politicians are trying to force it to be operated a different way; generate as much as you can and figure out some way to deal with the fact that the generated power might be too much or not enough for the demand.

Some people seem to think that a bunch of really big batteries is a good solution. Actually it's just an expensive hack to try and cover up the problem that the politicians created by allowing people to back feed a highly variable and not easily controlled amount of power onto the grid.

Comment: How many? (Score 1) 510

by tomhath (#49568267) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

a new program that, without any targeted outreach, achieved 50 percent female enrollment in just one academic year

A PhD minor "achieved 50% female enrollment"? When someone tosses out a meaningless statistic like that it triggers my BS detector. How many people are in the program? How many stayed with it? What is their major field of study? How many qualified men applied but were not selected for *cough* some reason *cough*?

+ - 'Tom and Jerry syndrome' causes seizures in old cats->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Mice and rats communicate in the ultrasonic frequency range, and it’s thought that cats evolved the ability to hear those high-pitched squeaks to better hunt their prey. Now, a new study suggests that sensitivity to higher pitched sounds may cause seizures in some older cats. After receiving reports of the problem, nicknamed the “Tom and Jerry syndrome” because of how the cartoon cat is often startled by sounds, researchers surveyed cat owners and examined their pets’ medical records, looking for insight into the types and durations of seizures and the sounds that provoked them. In 96 cats, they found evidence of the syndrome they call feline audiogenic reflex seizures. The most common types of seizure-eliciting sounds included crinkling tinfoil, clanking a metal spoon on a ceramic feeding bowl, and clinking glass. The severity of the seizure ranged from brief muscle jerks to more serious episodes where the cat lost consciousness and stiffened and jerked for several minutes.
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Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 267

Gee i wonder how was it possible to sell strawberries decades and centuries ago without all the machinery and electronics.

Well, first of all, eating strawberries is a luxury that wasn't available in most places of the world just a couple of generations ago. Along with modern genetics you also need fast transportation and refrigeration.

But to your point, all crops were grown with cheap labor.

The absent ones are always at fault.