January 11, 2012
By Nancy Atkinson
“It sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” could be the theme song for a new spy satellite being developed by DARPA. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s latest proof-of-concept project is called the Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE), and would provide real-time images and video of any place on Earth at any time — a capability that, so far, only exists in the realm of movies and science fiction. The details of this huge eye-in-the-sky look like something right out of science fiction, as well, and it would be interesting to determine if it could have applications for astronomy as well.
MOIRE would be a geosynchronous orbital system that uses a huge but lightweight membrane optic. A 20-meter-wide membrane “eye” would be etched with a diffractive pattern, according to DARPA, which would focus light on a sensor. Reportedly it will cost $500 million USD for each space-based telescope, and it would be able to image an area greater than 100 x 100 km with a video update rate of at least one frame a second.
DARPA says the program aims to demonstrate the ability to manufacture large membranes and large structures to hold the optics flat, and also demonstrate the secondary optical elements needed to turn a diffraction-based optic into a wide bandwidth imaging device.
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April 11th, 2011
This tiniest device measures upto one square millimeter, but don’t go on the small size of this computer because pack inside the tiniest device is an ultra low power microprocessor, a pressure sensor , solar cell, wireless radio for communication to an external reader device, memory and a thin film battery.
Remember Gulliver’s travel to Lilliput, maybe our world is also turning smaller day by day because in the future this smallest computer (Unnamed uptill now) can be use efficiently for tracking, surveillance, military purposes and what not?
The miniscule computer system is developed by Professor Dennis Sylvester, David Wentzloff and David Blaauw.
Dennis Sylvester, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan further explained and said:” This is the very first true millimeter-scale complete computing system; small computing systems are possible by the usage of low-power components that can fit on a chip. A complete millimeter scale computer system enables us to collect, store and transmit data”.
The first application of millimeter scale computing system is in the field of medical. This device is implanted in the human eye to measure eye pressure and track the progress of glaucoma , which is a potential blinding disease.
The system starts working after every 15 minutes to take measurements and uses an average of 5.3 nanowatts energy, battery is charged through 10 hours of indoor light each day or 1.5 hours of sunlight.
The device is equipped with a wireless radio for communicating to external reader device but it can not communicate with computer systems of its own type.
Scientists are now working on decreasing the radio’s power consumption so that it’s compatible with millimeter-scale batteries.
Let’s hope this incredible device will open doors for further advancements in the miniscule computer systems.
January 4th, 2011
By: Cindy Jones-Shoeman
Ask most people what they think is their most valuable sense, and a majority will say their sense of sight. While the sense of touch is arguably more important, people who have had the sense of sight all their lives can’t imagine life without it. That said, these people will likely want to know how to best preserve the health of their eyes. Of course, there are things people can do to keep their eyes safe (such as wearing protective goggles in situations that require them), but how can a person’s diet protect and preserve the health of her eyes? How can a person maintain good eye health through his diet?
Foods that Maintain Eye Health
Green tea may benefit eyes, thanks to the Vitamin C and Vitamin E as well as the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein. Green tea is also known to be beneficial for the body in general. It’s easy to see that a cup a day could benefit one’s eyes.
Carrots might seem cliche, but there’s a reason why experts recommend carrots for maintaining good eye health. Bite for bite, carrots contain ample amounts of Vitamin A — so much, in fact, that just one carrot a day can help a person meet his daily requirements. Some people prefer to take their carrots as juice, which is also a good way to benefit from the vegetable.
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that also aids eye health. According to the American Cancer Society, lycopene is believed to lower the risk of macular degenerative disease, which can cause blindness. Lycopene is concentrated in tomatoes, which makes them a great food choice.
Garlic, often recommended for heart health, is also good for eye health. That’s because garlic contains healthy, reliable amounts of selenium. Like lycopene, selenium can protect the eyes from disease.
Spinach and other dark leafy greens are typically high in Vitamin C and contain other phytonutrients and carotenoids so vital to the health of the eyes as well as other parts of the body. There are few foods like them, and it’s best to include a portion of these foods every day in one’s diet.
Maintaining one’s eye health isn’t too difficult when one looks at the choices of foods available to help one’s eyes. From drinking green tea to eating a spinach salad, it’s easy to envision why feeding the body with eye-friendly vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is so important.
November 1, 2010
By: S.L. Baker
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a name for a large group of inherited vision disorders that cause progressive degeneration of the light sensitive membrane that coats the inside of the eye — the retina. For most people with RP, night blindness is the first symptom of the problem. Then side vision goes, resulting in tunnel vision and, eventually, central vision deteriorates. Complete blindness, though uncommon, can occur.
Retinitis pigmentosa has long been declared an “incurable” disease by mainstream medicine, although several studies over the past two decades have shown that vitamin A may slow down RP’s progression. However, many doctors balk at prescribing high dose vitamin A because they fear it will result in liver problems.
But a report just presented at the recent Scientific Program of the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting held in Chicago has provided new hope for RP sufferers. Researchers have found that the nutrient beta carotene (found abundantly in yellow and orange foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes), which does not carry the liver risks associated with high doses of vitamin A, can improve vision in some people with supposedly incurable RP.
Last year, Dr.Ygal Rotenstreich of the Sheba Medical Center’s Goldschleger Eye Research Institute in Tel Hashomer, Israel, published a study in the British Journal of Opthalmology showing that a specific form of the nutrient beta carotene, dubbed 9-cis, was effective in treating people with the eye disease retinal dystrophy which causes night blindness. Because RP usually usually begins in childhood with the first signs of night blindness, Dr. Rotenstreich and his research team decided to see if 9-cis could be helpful in retinitis pigmentosa, too. And it was.
In their recent study, one third of the 29 participating RP patients showed marked improvement in visual function while taking the prescribed oral dose of the beta carotene for only 90 days. It will take more research to find out if longer treatment would provide even more effective therapy for RP.
“We recommend repeating the study with patients with the genetic forms of RP that would be most likely to respond to oral beta carotene,” Dr. Rotenstreich said in a press statement. “We know its positive effect is associated with retinoid cycle defect, which is involved in some but not all forms of RP. Also, future research should look for the optimal beta carotene dosage.”
June 24, 2010
By David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) A 16-year-old girl lost nearly all of her vision within 10 days of receiving the second course of her vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), reports a case study in the Journal of Child Neurology.
The HPV vaccine is designed to prevent infection by the strains of the virus that are responsible for the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts cases.
The study recounts the case of a previously healthy teenage girl who developed a headache on the left side of her head and began to lose vision in her right eye eight days after receiving her second HPV vaccine shot. Over the course of the following 48 hours, the pain spread across her head and she began to lose sight in her left eye as well.
February 22, 2010
By Philip Hogan
Substances found in green tea could help fight eye disease, according to authors of the latest research from the University of Hong Kong.
Scientists from the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Hong Kong have confirmed that substances found in green tea do penetrate into the tissues of the eye, a fact previously unknown as scientists were unsure if catechins, which are antioxidants thought to protect the body against damage from oxygen, could make their way from the mouth to the gastrointestinal system to the eyes.
The article, which is featured in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, is the first of its kind to document how the lens, retina and other tissues within the eyes absorb beneficial substances such as catechins. The research within the study raises the possibility that among green tea’s long list of already documented health benefits that it might also help to protect against common eye diseases such as glaucoma.
Catechins contained within green tea, as well as other antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin have long been linked with having the capability of protecting the eye from disease, but lack of research has, until now, left this thought unproven.
The study was conducted using laboratory rats that were fed green tea over a period of time. Subsequent dissection and analysis of the rats’ eye tissue showed significant absorption of individual catechins into various structures of the eye. The retina was seen to absorb the highest levels of gallocatechin, with the aqueous humor absorbing epigallocatechin.
The authors of the research stated that their ‘results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress’. The effect of the green tea catechins on the laboratory rats was a reduction in harmful oxidative stress in the eye, which lasted up to twenty hours.
October 2, 2009
The Pentagon’s efforts to develop a beam weapon that can deter an adversary by causing a burning sensation on their skin has taken a step forward with the development of a small, potentially hand-held, version. The weapon, which is claimed to cause no permanent harm, could also end up being used by police to control civilians.
The idea of the weapon is to “create a heating sensation that repels individual adversaries”, according to the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) in Quantico, Virginia, which develops less-lethal weapons for the US military and coastguard.
Tests with a rifle-mounted infrared laser, carried out at a US air force lab near Dayton, Ohio, have determined a combination of laser pulse power and wavelength that causes an alarming, hot sensation on the skin, but which stops short of causing a burn, says JNLWD project engineer Wesley Burgei.
“We have established the minimum irradiance to cause a sensation and have characterised where thermal injury begins,” he says. “But the exact operating irradiance which balances a useful military effect with a conservative margin of safety has not been nailed down yet.”
That’s something that will have to be done before the weapon is deployed, as too powerful a laser beam could permanently blind someone if fired at their eyes. Weapons that do this are banned under the UN Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons.
Burgei says it is possible to create a beam that will affect the skin without damaging the cornea, and do so at a wavelength that does not penetrate to the retina “and would therefore be retina safe”.
Pentagon researchers say they can create a beam that will affect skin without damaging the cornea
The JNLWD says that tests at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s human effectiveness lab have established that the skin heating effect causes no permanent damage – suggesting it may have “military utility”. The tests also highlighted areas in need of improvement before troops can use it, says lab manager Semih Kumru – though what those features are has not been revealed.
The proposed system is rifle mounted, with a sight above it and a visible low-power laser beam that the soldier uses to aim the invisible infrared laser. The solid-state laser system is battery-powered, and could become hand-held “in the near future”, Burgei says.
The weapon, which has been evolving since 2005, is officially known at the Pentagon as the Thermal Laser System. The US National Institute of Justice, which is also funding the weapon’s development in the hope that it may prove useful for the police, refers to it as the IR-Lesslethal device.