Aussie researchers trial new technology to help seniors stay on their feet

Researchers at the University of Queensland are trialling new technology to help senior Australians stay on their feet and reduce falls. 

The VertiGuard is a light-weight sensor worn on a belt that continuously records and detects the body’s sway in different directions.

An exercise program is created using the data, which helps train the body into better movement and balance.

READ MORE: Seniors swarming the internet to exercise, stay in touch in lockdown

a person standing in front of a computer: David Ramsay is taking part in the trial after recently suffering a fall.

© Nine
David Ramsay is taking part in the trial after recently suffering a fall.

a table with a remote control: The VertiGuard is a light-weight sensor worn on a belt that continuously records and detects the body's sway in different directions.

© Nine
The VertiGuard is a light-weight sensor worn on a belt that continuously records and detects the body’s sway in different directions.

David Ramsay is taking part in the trial after recently suffering a fall.

“I do have a bit of an issue with balance,” he said.

“If I can improve the way I walk and my posture when I’m walking

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Oral drug blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission, researchers find — ScienceDaily

Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482/EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours, researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have discovered.

The group led by Dr. Richard Plemper, Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State, originally discovered that the drug is potent against influenza viruses.

“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” said Plemper. “MK-4482/EIDD-2801 could be game-changing.”

Interrupting widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 until mass vaccination is available is paramount to managing COVID-19 and mitigating the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.

Because the drug can be taken by mouth, treatment can be started early for a potentially three-fold benefit: inhibit patients’ progress to severe disease, shorten the infectious phase to ease the emotional and socioeconomic toll of prolonged patient isolation and rapidly silence local outbreaks.

“We noted early on that MK-4482/EIDD-2801

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Researchers successfully track ‘bottle tags’ through Ganges River system into Bay of Bengal — ScienceDaily

A new study demonstrates the potential for plastic bottles tagged with tracking devices to deepen our understanding of how plastic pollution moves through rivers. Emily Duncan of the University of Exeter, U.K., and colleagues present this research in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on Dec 2, 2020.

Plastic pollution threatens natural ecosystems and human health worldwide. Previous research suggests that rivers transport up to 80 percent of the plastic pollution found in oceans. However, while ocean modeling and tracking technology have revealed detailed insights into how plastic litter moves and accumulates within oceans, river transport of plastic pollution remains poorly understood.

To help address this knowledge gap, Duncan and colleagues developed a new, low-cost, open-source tracking method that uses reclaimed 500 mL plastic bottles to house custom-designed electronics, allowing the bottles to be tracked via GPS cellular networks and satellite technology. These “bottle tags” mimic plastic beverage bottles, in the

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What makes certain groups more vulnerable to COVID-19? Researchers look to animals to find clues in proteins involved in infection — ScienceDaily

What makes the elderly and people with underlying conditions more vulnerable to COVID-19? According to a new study led by McGill University researchers, clues can be found in the proteins involved in initiating infection, as the virus binds to host cells of different animals. Greater cellular oxidation with aging and sickness may explain why seniors and people with chronic illness get infected more often and more severely.

Over 60 million people have been infected and around 1.5 million have died from COVID-19. The virus is disrupting economies and food supply chains all over the world. Understanding why some animals get infected and others do not could be the key to unlocking new treatments and therapies. In a study published in Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, researchers analyzed available protein sequences of the virus and host cell receptors across different spices to find out why.

“We know that the virus can

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Researchers discover life in deep ocean sediments at or above water’s boiling point — ScienceDaily

An international research team that included three scientists from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography has discovered single-celled microorganisms in a location where they didn’t expect to find them.

“Water boils on the (Earth’s) surface at 100 degrees Celsius, and we found organisms living in sediments at 120 degrees Celsius,” said URI Professor of Oceanography Arthur Spivack, who led the geochemistry efforts of the 2016 expedition organized by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Germany’s MARUM-Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. The study was carried out as part of the work of Expedition 370 of the International Ocean Discovery Program.

The research results from a two-month-long expedition in 2016 will be published today in the journal Science.

The news follows an announcement in October that microbial diversity below the seafloor is as rich as on Earth’s surface. Researchers

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Researchers confront optics and data-transfer challenges with 3D-printed lens


IMAGE: Illinois researchers developed a spherical lens that allows light coming into the lens from any direction to be focused into a very small spot on the surface of the lens…
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Credit: Graphic by Michael Vincent

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have developed new 3D-printed microlenses with adjustable refractive indices – a property that gives them highly specialized light-focusing abilities. This advancement is poised to improve imaging, computing and communications by significantly increasing the data-routing capability of computer chips and other optical systems, the researchers said.

The study was led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers Paul Braun and Lynford Goddard and is the first to demonstrate the ability to adjust the direction in which light bends and travels through a lens with sub-micrometer precision.

The results of the study are published in the journal Light: Science and Application.

“Having the ability to fabricate optics with different shapes

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Researchers measure electron emission to improve understanding of laser-based metal 3-D printing

Researchers measure electron emission to improve understanding of laser-based metal 3D printing
Researchers measured the emission of electrons from the surface of stainless steel under laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) conditions, demonstrating the potential for using thermionic emission signals to detect phenomena that can produce defects in parts and improve understanding of the LPBF process. The top image shows a multi-physics simulation of laser-induced melting of stainless steel, showing the electron emission signal primarily produced at the front of the surface depression. The bottom image depicts cross-sections of laser tracks produced in stainless steel. Monitoring of the thermionic emission can detect transition between conduction (left) and keyhole (right) mode welding regimes. Credit: Aiden Martin/LLNL

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have taken a promising step in improving the reliability of laser-based metal 3-D printing techniques by measuring the emission of electrons from the surface of stainless steel during laser processing.

Researchers collected thermionic emission signals from 316L stainless steel under laser powder

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Researchers hope sensor-based system can help farms detect ammonia

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A team in Denmark has developed a sensor-based system which could help to tackle air pollution by detecting ammonia and other gases emanating from the agriculture sector.

Alongside chemical engineers and chemists, researchers from Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark worked on the technology as part of the Ecometa project, which is focused on cutting emissions connected to agriculture. 

The researchers at the universities are focused on photonics, a term the European Commission has described as “the science and technology of light.” Details of their system have been published in the journal “MDPI Photonics.”

According to an announcement earlier this week, those involved in the project have produced an integrated optical sensor which “measures ammonia in the air using a laser, a gas sensor and hollow-core optical fibres.”

Andreas Hansel is a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University’s Department of Engineering. In a

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Researchers study influence of cultural factors on gesture design — ScienceDaily

Imagine changing the TV channel with a wave of your hand or turning on the car radio with a twist of your wrist.

Freehand gesture-based interfaces in interactive systems are becoming more common, but what if your preferred way to gesture a command — say, changing the TV to channel 10 — significantly differed from that of a user from another culture? Would the system recognize your command?

Researchers from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology and their collaborators explored this question and found that some gesture choices are significantly influenced by the cultural backgrounds of participants.

“Certain cultures may prefer particular gestures and we may see a difference, but there is common ground between cultures choosing some gestures for the same kind of purposes and actions,” said Xiaolong “Luke” Zhang, associate professor of information sciences and technology and principal investigator of the study. “So we wanted

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Researchers create a filter for masks that can deactivate SARS-CoV-2 and multi-resistant bacteria

Researchers create a filter for masks that can deactivate SARS-CoV-2 and multi-resistant bacteria
Credit: Asociación RUVID

Researchers from the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV), from the Biomaterials and Bioengineering group of the CITSAM (San Alberto Magno Centre for Translational Research), headed by Ángel Serrano, have developed a protective filter with commercial tissues for masks, manufactured with a biofunctional coating of benzalkonium chloride, that can deactivate SARS-CoV-2 a minute after coming into contact with the virus.

“Masks have been globally accepted as a useful tool for preventing the viral and bacterial spreading, but the commercial ones have filters manufactured with materials that are uncapable of deactivating SARS-CoV-2 and bacteria that are multi-resistant to drugs,” explains Serrano

This filter also deactivates bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are resistant to the antibiotic methicillin, which worsen the pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, and which represent a threat for people’s lives. This fact makes the filter created by the UCV scientists the first to deactivate SARS-CoV-2

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