Bioengineering

Effect Measure

Category archives for Bioengineering

With health care costs growing without bounds, the medical devices industry and President Obama are hard at work. Not hard at work reducing costs. Hard at work convincing us that the solution to the cost crisis is more technology. Right, Mr. President. And John McCain is a maverick and Sarah Palin is a genius. Almost…

Rationality as innovation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano is asking academics to work with her agency to develop “innovative initiatives” to protect the nation from terrorist threats. This is what I would call a faith-based initiative, in this case, faith in the technological fix. DHS could certainly use some help. It’s one of the…

Is biotech a security problem?

A Reuters piece under the headline, “Biotechnology Boom Raises Security Fears: Mild Diseases Could Be Turned Into Deadly Ones, Experts Caution” we see the biotech Frankenstein/terrorist bogeyman raised once again by “experts” in the area at a scientific conference in Casablanca. The weekend conference was run by a tiny group (budget of less than $250K)…

Piggy-backing flu on smallpox vaccine

There is as yet no pandemic bird flu vaccine but there are a lot of potential vaccines. The recent fiasco involving Baxter International (here, here) involved one in development. There are many more. They employ old and new technologies and are in various stages, a few in early clinical trials. Many more are in the…

Bioengineered tissue transplant saves a life

There is a story on the wires today about an upcoming Lancet article describing the case of a young Columbian woman whose failing airway was replaced by a bioengineered airway whose cells were cultured from adult stem cells obtained from the patient’s bone marrow. Since there is as yet no scientific paper, I got these…

Red flag on the flu vaccine front

A story in CIDRAP News by the always excellent science journalist Maryn McKenna provides food for thought:.

One of the effects of high gas prices is to encourage people to use bicycles. This also includes the police, where some jurisdictions are taking cops out of cruisers and putting them on foot or on bikes. Bike police (and bicycle messengers, people who use their bikes in crowded urban areas to endanger pedestrians), spend…

We take for it granted that technology can be used to tag objects in various ways, useful and otherwise. The anti-theft devices used on retail clothing stores are a familiar example. Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) are used for this purpose as well as for security access. I have a device like that on my…

A new way to skin the CAT (scan)

Many years ago — about 40 to be exact — I was working as the only medical doctor in a bioengineering research laboratory in a famous technological university. A lot of what was done there involved speech synthesis (one of the first reading machines for the blind using text to speech recognition) and also some…

A patch for flu vaccine production

While we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop and a nasty, rip roaring flu pandemic to come rushing down the tracks at us, lots of companies have jumped into the pandemic vaccine sweepstakes. Reuters reports that at least 16 companies are testing flu vaccines and probably even more are involved in some…