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Indian Origin Researcher part of Team that developed Automated Robotic Drill, will perform Surgery in 2.5 minutes

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Doctors performing surgery on a patient., Wikimedia
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New York, May 1, 2017: A computer-driven automated drill that could perform a type of complex cranial surgery 50 times faster — decreasing the operating time from two hours to 2.5 minutes — has been developed by researchers, including one of the Indian-origin.

A translabyrinthine surgery is performed to expose slow-growing, benign tumours that form around the auditory nerves.

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For such complex surgeries, surgeons typically use hand drills to make intricate openings, adding hours to a procedure and may also increase the risks of loss of facial movement.

However, the new automated machine replaces hand drills to produce fast, clean, and safe cuts, reducing the time the wound is open and the patient is anesthetised, thereby decreasing the incidence of infection, human error, and surgical cost.

“I was interested in developing a low-cost drill that could do a lot of the grunt work to reduce surgeon fatigue,” said A.K. Balaji, Associate Professor at the University of Utah in the US.

The drill, which could play a pivotal role in future surgical procedures like hip implants, was developed from scratch to meet the needs of the neurosurgical unit, as well as developed software that sets a safe cutting path, the researchers said in the paper reported in the journal Neurosurgical Focus.

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First, the patient is imaged using a CT scan to gather bone data and identify the exact location of sensitive structures, such as nerves and major veins and arteries that must be avoided. Surgeons use this information to programme the cutting path of the drill.

In addition, the surgeon can programme safety barriers along the cutting path within 1 mm of sensitive structures.

If the drill gets too close to the facial nerve and irritation is monitored during surgery, the drill automatically turns off. (IANS)

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Do You Know: The Oldest Ever Detected Supernova Happened 10.5 Billion Years Ago

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UFO religion as a concept is now becoming a part of popular understanding.
Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
  • The first Supernova ever discovered was 10.5 billion years old
  • The star named DES16C2nm was detected by the Dark Energy Survey
  • Researchers used very powerful telescopes to detect it

An international team of astronomers has discovered the oldest supernova ever detected — a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago.

A supernova is the explosion of a massive star at the end of its life cycle.

The first supernova discovered was 10.5 billion years old. Wikimedia  Commons
The first supernova discovered was 10.5 billion years old. Wikimedia Commons

The exploding star, named DES16C2nm, was detected by the Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration to map several hundred million galaxies in order to find out more about dark energy — the mysterious force believed to be causing the accelerated expansion of the universe.

As detailed in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, light from the event has taken 10.5 billion years to reach Earth, making it the oldest supernova ever discovered and studied.

The universe itself is thought to be 13.8 billion years old.

Also Read: Mangalyaan Mission: A huge leap into space

“It’s thrilling to be part of the survey that has discovered the oldest known supernova,” said the lead author of the study Mathew Smith of the University of Southampton in Britain.

A star called DES16C2nm was discovered. Pixabay
A star called DES16C2nm was discovered. Pixabay

is extremely distant, extremely bright, and extremely rare – not the sort of thing you stumble across every day as an astronomer,” Smith said.

The researchers used three powerful telescopes — the Very Large Telescope and the Magellan, in Chile, and the Keck Observatory, in Hawaii — to measure the exploding star’s distance and brightness.

More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions worldwide are involved in the DES, a five-year project which began in 2013.