'INSIDE' LOOK AT ALZHEIMER'S
NEUROSCIENTISTS at University of California (Los Angeles) and
University of Queensland in Australia have used imaging technology
to create the first three-dimensional video maps showing how
Alzheimer's disease systematically engulfs the brain of a living
Dramatic time-lapse videos were built on an SGI Onyx family
visualisation system, starting with enormous data sets.
The work was part of an ongoing University of Queensland project
investigating early Alzheimer's disease.
These moving images, available online at www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/AD_4D/dynamic.html,
show how brain areas that control memory function, before emotion
and inhibition, and finally sensation are destroyed. They also
illustrate how the disease spares small brain regions which control
vision and other basic functions that typically remain intact in
The latest findings appeared in the February edition of the
peer-reviewed Journal of Neuroscience.
LCD TAG TO DISPLAY YOUR TEMPERATURE
THE Sars outbreak got one Nanyang Technology University professor
wondering how best to use technology.
Professor Lun Kwok Chan, who is a vice-dean at the Division of
Structural and Computational Biology, was reading stories about how
people were using stickers to indicate that they were fever-free,
when the idea hit him - to use a simple LCD screen, like those in
digital clocks, to display to the world your
That way, he says, at one glance, people will know your
temperature that day, and you don't have to keep pasting stickers on
Although he and his colleagues have yet to develop a prototype,
he reckons it will be easy enough to 'set' your temperature each
day, much like how you would set a clock.
It would also be thin enough to be unobtrusive when hung on your
blouse or shirt.
The display will also register the date and time when reading was
taken and also have a 24-hour 'forced reset' so that an outdated
reading is not displayed.
He is also working on a model that will take the temperature of a
WEARABLE COMPUTERS HERE NEXT WEEK
STATE-OF-THE-ART wearable computers will come to town next week,
thanks to an agreement signed between United States-based Xybernaut
Corporation and homegrown Applesgate-Plus.
While they are not quite integrated with your clothes yet, the
Xybernaut computers feature a wearable processor - less than 2 kg -
that is clipped onto a harness that you can wear.
You enter data through a small keyboard worn on your wrist or you
can opt for a touch-pad screen, or even a speech-recognition module.
You can even opt for a 'heads-up display', which means that
information is piped to a small screen right in front of your eye.
Communication with the server is through wireless
The technology is meant more for heavy-duty work though, like
construction workers who have to look at floor plans before they
erect structures, or aircraft maintenance engineers who can
instantly access maintenance schedules without leaving the plane, or
get authorisation for new parts on the go, said Mr Eddy Tan,
managing director of Applesgate-Plus, which is planning to get 10
sets in next week.
Prices start at US$3,000 for a basic model.