Wednesday November 22, 2017

Encephalophone : This Musical Instrument Lets Users Create Music With Mind

New 'hands-free' instrument lets you create music by thought alone

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Encephalophone is a hands free musical instrument
Musical Notes. Pixabay

July 14, 2017:

A newly-developed musical instrument will now enable people to produce music with their minds without letting the use of hands on the device. The instrument called Encephalophone — “enceph” means “head” — is described in a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

In the study, fifteen novice normal subjects were tested for their ability to hit target notes presented within a 5 min trial period. All 15 subjects were able to perform more accurately than a random note generation.

Researchers assume that this new instrument will rehabilitate patients with motor disabilities such as those from stroke and others.

Thomas Deuel, an author from the University of Washington explained, “The Encephalophone is a musical instrument that you control with your thoughts, without movement.”

ALSO READ: The Need to Introduce Music Education in our Schools: Why is it Underfunded?

Deuel adds, “I am a musician and neurologist, and I’ve seen many patients who played music prior to their stroke or other motor impairment, who can no longer play an instrument or sing. I thought it would be great to use a brain-computer instrument to enable patients to play music again without requiring movement.”

The Encephalophone collects brain signals through a cap that transforms the signals into musical notes. The invention is combined with a synthesizer which allows the user to create music using a variety of instrumental sounds.

Music is already a great source to help people regain brain function, and the hands-free instrument could be used in this type of therapy. The authors write that combining the Encephalophone with physical therapy could help rewire key circuits in the part of the brain responsible for movement.

Over the decades, there have been numerous attempts to use brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to produce music and met with some success. Advances in BCI technology are facilitating finer degrees of control over diverse technologies, making it possible for those who have lost control of limbs to walk, manipulate objects, or even drive again.

 “There is great potential for the Encephalophone to hopefully improve rehabilitation of stroke patients and those with motor disabilities,” Deuel remarked.

 

– Prepared by a Staff Writer at Newsgram

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Beware! Tobacco, Poor Diet, and Mental Disorders are Leading Causes of Poor Health and you may be at Risk too!

According to a new study, deaths from noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes have caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide

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poor health
A heavyset man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss. (VOA)

London, September 15, 2017 : Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s leading cause of poor health and the biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest poor health, a large international study has found.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy is increasing, so too are the years people live in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.

ALSO READ World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates suggest 300 Million people suffer from Depression

“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study.

He said a “triad of troubles” — obesity, conflict and mental illness — is emerging as a “stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles.”

Diet critical

The IHME-led study, involving more than 2,500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.

ALSO READ Ban on E-Cigarettes May Increase the Risk on the Public Health in India, Warn Experts

Diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oils and high in salt were the most common risk factors, contributing to cases of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

The study found that deaths from firearms, conflict and terrorism have increased globally, and that noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.

Heart disease was the leading cause of premature death in most regions and killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016.

ALSO READ Eat According to Your Blood Type and See the Benefits Yourself!

Mental illness was found to take a heavy toll on individuals and societies, with 1.1 billion people living with psychological or psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems in 2016.

Major depressive disorders ranked in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

The GBD is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global health charity and gives data estimates on 330 diseases, causes of death and injuries in 195 countries and territories. (VOA)

 

 

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Indian women are at higher risk of death due to Domestic Violence than American women: Study

According to the research domestic violence was found to increase the risk of death in Indian women by nearly 40 times than among the US women

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Street Play on domestic violence
Street Play on domestic violence. Wikimedia
  • Researchers from the University of Washington found three major causes of injury -fall, road traffic accidents and domestic violence
  • US men were three times as likely to die after sustaining a fall than US women
  • One in four female victims of assault in India actively seeks care after experiencing intimate partner violence

New York, USA, September 3, 2017:  Women in India are nearly 40 times more likely to die after being assaulted than their peers in the US, finds a comparative analysis of trauma data from both countries.

In the study, researchers from the University of Washington found three major causes of injury -fall, road traffic accidents and domestic violence.

Indian men were more likely to die after sustaining any one of the three categories of injury than either Indian women or US men and women.

On the other hand, US men were three times as likely to die after sustaining a fall than US women.

However, the greatest disparity in risk of death emerged for Indian and US women who had been assaulted -a difference the researchers described as “unparalleled”.

Domestic violence was found to increase the risk of death in Indian women by nearly 40 times than among the US women.

Importantly, evidence showed that only one in four female victims of assault in India actively seeks care after experiencing intimate partner violence.

In addition, both men and women in the US had between five and seven times lower odds of dying after a fall or a road traffic accident than did their counterparts in India, the researchers said.

“The higher odds of death for Indian females compared with US females suggest that there are other injuries and systemic factors that contribute to this discrepancy in mortality odds,” said Mohini Dasari, a researcher at the University of Washington.

For the study, published in the online journal BMJ Global Health, the team drew on information submitted to Indian (11,670 cases) and the US (14,155 cases) trauma databases for 2013 to 2015.

The Indian database comprised patients from four hospitals in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi, while the US database included patients treated at level 1 trauma centres in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (IANS)

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Google Buys Indian-Origin Professor Shwetak Patel’s Health Monitoring Start-up

The start-up turns smartphones into medical devices and collects various health statistics

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Shwetak Patel, Google
Google has acquired Senosis Health, a Seattle-based health monitoring start-up founded by University of Washington Professor Shwetak Patel (Representative image). Pixabay
  • The start-up turns smartphones into medical devices and collects various health stats
  • Using functions on a smartphone including its accelerometer, microphone, flash and camera, the Senosis apps can monitor lung health and hemoglobin counts, among other things
  • It marks the latest acquisition for Patel, whose past start-up ventures have landed in the hands of companies such as Belkin International and Sears

San Francisco, August 17, 2017: Google has acquired Senosis Health, a Seattle-based health monitoring start-up founded by University of Washington Professor Shwetak Patel, the media reported. The start-up turns smartphones into medical devices and collects various health stats, The Verge reported on Tuesday.

Using functions on a smartphone including its accelerometer, microphone, flash and camera, the Senosis apps can monitor lung health and hemoglobin counts, among other things, the report said. For example, to measure the hemoglobin, Senosis’ app uses the phone’s flash to illuminate a user’s finger.

ALSO READ: There’s a place for you at Google: CEO Sundar Pichai to girl innovators

It marks the latest acquisition for Patel, whose past start-up ventures have landed in the hands of companies such as Belkin International and Sears, according to Geekwire.com which first reported the acquisition on Sunday. Patel, who founded the company with four others, is a professor at University of Washington’s computer science and engineering faculty.

According to a biography at University of Washington website, Patel was a founder of Zensi, Inc., a demand side energy monitoring solutions provider, which was acquired by Belkin, Inc in 2010. He is also a co-founder of a low-power wireless sensor platform company called SNUPI Technologies and a consumer home sensing product called WallyHome.

WallyHome was acquired by Sears in 2015. A recipient of many awards, his past work was also honored by the New York Times as a top technology of the year in 2005. (IANS)