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Robotic system can help paralysed patients regain hand movement

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Scientists have developed a system that can read brain signals to help users control an artificial hand just by thinking — an advance that could help stroke patients regain the ability to move their fingers.

Spinal injuries or stroke often leaves a person partially paralysed. Such disabilities leave them disconnected from their families and community. “We want to give them a life where, using the technology, they can fulfill their basic needs, such as getting a glass of water or typing on the screen,” said Dr Haider Raza, from University of Essex in the UK, one of the scientists who worked on the system

The team, which includes researchers from Indian Institute Technology (IIT) Kanpur, developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) that can ‘read’ a person’s brain waves and convert them to computer signals.

 

Their research was recently published in the Journal of Biomedical and Health informatics, Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental systems, and Journal of Neuroscience Methods.

“BCI is technology by which we control the computer using the mind. My focus is on rehabilitation – to treat those whose brain is injured,” Raza told PTI.

Currently, physiotherapists try to restore movement in patients physically moving the paralysed body parts, while asking the patients to ‘imagine’ making those movements.

“For example, if somebody just imagines moving their hands, a part of their brain gets activated. If we do this imagination exercise on a regular basis, there is a possibility of reactivating those regions,” Raza said.

“However, just imagining is not enough — active practice is also needed, which is what physiotherapists do,” he said.

For this purpose the researchers designed an exoskeleton for the hand, which is connected with the computer. “A stroke patient, who has lost his ability to move his hand, will imagine moving his hand. The BCI algorithm — which reads the brain signals — will detect that the patient is trying to move their hand,” said Raza.

The command from the computer will move the robotic exoskeleton. “This will give the patient both mental practice and physical practice,” Raza said. “We have tested the system on 21 patients. Out of which, 14 patients have shown improvement,” he said.

The team is now trying to improve the technology to build a complete exoskeleton.


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Novel microscope can non-invasively diagnose, treat diseases:Study

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Scientists have developed a specialised microscope that has the potential to diagnose diseases like skin cancer as well as perform precise surgery without making any incisions in the skin.

According to the study published in the journal Science Advances, the microscope allows medical professionals to pinpoint the exact location of an abnormality, diagnose it and treat it instantly.

“Our technology allows us to scan tissue quickly, and when we see a suspicious or abnormal cell structure, we can perform ultra-precise surgery and selectively treat the unwanted or diseased structure within the tissue – without cutting into the skin,” said Yimei Huang from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

 

It could be used to treat any structure of the body that can be reached by light and requires extremely precise treatment, including nerves or blood vessels in the skin, eye, brain or other vital structures, researchers said.

“For diagnosing and scanning diseases like skin cancer, this could be revolutionary,” said Harvey Lui, professor at the University of British Columbia.

The study shows that the device allows imaging of living tissue up to about one millimetre in depth using an ultrafast infrared laser beam.

Researchers said that this microscope, however, is different from previous technology due to its capability to not only digitally scan living tissue, but also treat the tissue by intensifying the heat produced by the laser.

“We can alter the pathway of blood vessels without impacting any of the surrounding vessels or tissues,” said Lui.

The researchers also said that their aim is to make multiphoton microscope technology more versatile while also increasing its precision.

“We wanted to be able to identify what was happening under the skin from many different angles and to have the capability of imaging different body sites,” said Haishan Zeng from the University of British Columbia.

Developments of a miniature version of the telescope that could be used to perform microscopic examinations and treatment during endoscopy are also underway, researchers said.

“We are not only the first to achieve fast video-rate imaging that enables clinical applications, but also the first to develop this technology for therapeutic uses,” said Zeng

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Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone coming to India on May 27:Report

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After Asus and Nubia, Black Shark is set to launch a high-end gaming smartphone in India. According to BGR India, Black Shark has already started sending invites for the launch of Black Shark 2. The gaming phone will reportedly launch in India on May 27.

Black Shark 2 was launched in March and is already available for sale in China. The phone is the second-generation gaming smartphone and a follow-up to the Black Shark Helo.

This will be the first ever gaming smartphone from Black Shark to launch in the country. In case you are not aware, Black Shark is a sub-brand of Xiaomi.

 

As expected, this is a premium smartphone with top-of-the-line specifications. The device boasts a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with a 2340 x 1080 and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The entire display, according to the company, is pressure sensitive. This means gamers can map onto the display that reacts to different levels of pressure
Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor coupled with either 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s also a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support, a 48MP/12MP rear camera setup, and a 20MP front-facing camera.

It also features an in-display fingerprint scanner, similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+. Black Shark 2 also comes with Liquid Cooling 3.0, a vapor cooling system similar to what the Razer Phone 2 uses. The company also plans to sell optional accessories with the Black Shark 2 in India.

The launch of Black Shark 2 comes at a time when the popularity of mobile games like PUBG and Fortnite at the all-time high in India. The gaming smartphone will take on the likes of the Asus ROG Phone and Nubia Red Magic. Interestingly, ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia is also expected to launch the Red Magic 3 in India in the coming days.

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Tara Sutaria obsessed with makeup

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Actress Tara Sutaria, who has wooed the audience with her stylish and glamorous looks in her debut film ‘Student of the Year 2’, says she loves to do makeup. “I am completely obsessed with makeup. I love to experiment different cosmetic products.

I even check social media to have a look at trending makeup and fashion styles…So that I don’t miss out anything,” Tara told IANS. She has also shared her own makeup style.

“During day time, I prefer to have a natural look…So I opt for minimal makeup. At night, I like to go a little bold,” added Tara, who has been appointed brand ambassador for the global brand, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, in India. Ater putting on makeup, the 23-year-old makes sure to keep herself hydrated as much as possible.

 

“The most important thing to do is to keep youself hydrated. So when I apply makeup, I make sure to drink ample amount of water. And it is very much important to take off your makeup from your skin completely before heading to sleep. Cleansing, toning and moisturising is my skin care ritual.” On the work front, Tara will next be seen in ‘Marjaavaan’.

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